I need advice. I'm done with this unit as a new grad.

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    I have posted several times with great responses regarding my situation as a new hire/new grad neuro ICU nurse. I have given it my all, worked extremely hard to meet expectations, but bottom line, after 4 months,is that the majority of the time I am told I am not providing "good patient care" or that I do not "see the big picture".

    I meet with my DON today. I will request a transfer, but will prepare for the worst (termination or resignation). Any tips on what to say/not say in this meeting? At this point, it seems that the specifics don't even matter. I have been in an environment of anticipated failure from the beginning. No matter how far I have come, how much I have learned, and how willing I am to do it, it has never been enough. (see previous posts).

    Also would appreciate your advice regarding what to ask of my DON. A referral? Advice? Or should I just say thank you very much for everything and best of luck?

    I never thought it would come to this, but it has. I have never worked so hard only to be viewed as unsuccessful.
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  4. 0
    Good grief, hon. What happend? This scares me as this is a unit I am interested in working on. Is it pretty intense or something?

    As far as advice goes, all you can do is be honest with your DON. If they have half a brain, they'll work with you in finding an area that is a better fit. I once heard it takes a full year to get acclimated in a new position. That seems about right. Every job I've ever had I hated for at least the first 9 months.

    I see you posted this a couple days ago -- how did it go?
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    I did meet with my DON and said I wanted a transfer. She was very professional and understood my perspective. I made a point of not getting into specifics, as it was too late to tell her how the nurses in her unit really are. I just told her I couldn't succeed or learn in a unit where I didn't receive encouragement or confidence. It is all very sad to me, but I look forward to a more positive experience somewhere. Although I know things are tough when you start, there is NO WAY I could have lasted in a unit for a year like the one I was in. Every shift I was snubbed, ignored, smirked at, and criticized. No way. They've lost a great addition to their team, even if I didn't have the years of experience behind me. The frosting on the cake is that I had the meeting, cleaned out my locker and left. No one said boo. No thanks, no good luck, nothing. Just knowing smiles confirming what they wanted all along....that I wasn't going to make it there. And they won. But....actually.....I won. I don't have to work in that hellhole any more. We'll see.
    Chica_bella813 likes this.
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    Wow. Well I'm so glad to hear your director was professional and understanding about everything. And really it's a good thing that you brought the way you were treated (without being too specific) to her attention. I'm sure she respects you for the way you handled yourself. It's too bad for the unit really. Too bad that they lost a good nurse. Anyway, nice move. Way to stand up for yourself and know what you are and are NOT willing to take.
    Imgettingthere likes this.
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    I'm disheartened to hear this. Although you know you gave it all you had and went through the proper channels to protect your license. There's much more opportunity out there for you. Hopefully they will give you a good recommendation. Did you leave the facility altogether or transfer?
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    I hate to hear this...I really truly do. There is one unit at our hospital that always had a reputation of being 'difficult to staff'. They were short one day and needed PCT help so I went there to assist. I was only there for a day, but they had two new grads. I didn't know any of these people but it made me cringe to see how the two new grads were treated. Didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why it was difficult to staff.

    Just out of curiosity, was this a department you were interested in or was another department really your first choice?
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    Quote from BabyLady
    I hate to hear this...I really truly do. There is one unit at our hospital that always had a reputation of being 'difficult to staff'. They were short one day and needed PCT help so I went there to assist. I was only there for a day, but they had two new grads. I didn't know any of these people but it made me cringe to see how the two new grads were treated. Didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why it was difficult to staff.

    Just out of curiosity, was this a department you were interested in or was another department really your first choice?
    I was interested in ICU work, as the complexity of the unit was a draw for me, however, If I had ANY information that it was going to be like this, I NEVER would have started there. I have applied for a transfer, and of course was taken off of the schedule the day I told my DON I wanted out, but I have heard nothing. In the meantime, my facility is going through lay-offs, so I am not optimistic that anyone will put a huge effort into placing me when others are out of a job. I feel like my nursing career has come to a screeching halt, and for all I went through to re-educate myself for 3 years while being a single mom with no income, I can't believe that this is happening.

    One of the things that is so sad to me is that NONE of my complaints related to the patients and/or families. I loved working with them. It was my own colleagues who made my life miserable. Can someone please explain this to me? Why did I feel so hated for trying to learn how to do what they do?
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    Quote from elizzy
    I'm disheartened to hear this. Although you know you gave it all you had and went through the proper channels to protect your license. There's much more opportunity out there for you. Hopefully they will give you a good recommendation. Did you leave the facility altogether or transfer?
    I am still with the facility, but have serious doubts that they will "find" another position for me. I have put in for a transfer but have received no reply. So I am just sitting here. I really have no idea if I will get a positive recommendation. I was so overwhelmingly rejected from this staff that I don't know what I could expect from my DON that is positive. And you are right...I did what I did partly to protect my license. I knew it was just a matter of time that I would make a med error in a frazzle of demands without support. Classically, what would happen is that I would look up a med to double check something, or to become familiar with it if it was new to me, and if I took the time to do that, I would be criticized for "dragging my feet" or "not having basic nursing skills". I couldn't win. If I was feeling the pressure to be "fast", I would have been tempted to just give a drug that was ordered. I didn't let that happen. But I also didn't survive on the unit. So go figure.

    Thanks for your thoughts....
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    Critical care is very demanding and historically not a "good" place to start a career. With that said it is also a place where people need to support each other and understand that a new nurse is new to everything. Chances are the unit has a reputation for burning through staff. If the DON is good over time she/he will recognize that there is a problem with the unit, not the new staff.
    However, this process does not help you. Don't wait for the hospital to find you a new position look for one elsewhere.
    Given that you just got burned try for a postion that is less demanding in order to get your confidence back. Forgive yourself any mistakes and understand that you are not responsible for their bad behavior. Your number one goal is to take care of you first. Start with a list of what you did learn and what you did accomplish. Look for a new position as if it were your first. In the long haul you will do fine.
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    Let me start by saying that sucks! Like yourself I too spent 3 years of hell to get into the nursing profession. DO NOT GIVE UP! You worked ridiculously hard for your license, find other avenues, even if it is outside of that hospital. I have only worked for a nurse of a month now, and I was fortunate to get hired with a great Neuro team, and because of that it proves not all nurses are out to eat their young. It's a bummer the nurses you worked for did not respect you more, but there is a place for you in this profession, keep looking at options, I was lucky, but you can find some luck of your own too...it just may take a little longer, but it will be worth it


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