Experienced cardiac nurse transfers to CTICU..gotta read this one

  1. 3
    I have worked at the same hospital for about 5 years. I started out as an Interventional Cardiology RN right out of school. I became one of the Night Shift Charge Nurses and was offered a position as Nurse Manager in the Interventional Unit. At the same time I was offered the ANM position I had applied for a job in the CTICU in my hosp. I have a great working relationship with the MD's and RN's on the night shift in the CTICU from being pulled to the CTICU SD over the years. Let's just get one thing straight, my ultimate goal as an RN was to be hired into the CTICU. Not the CTICU SD but the CTICU. It was my dream. I got the interview, and when I was offered the position in the CTICU I started crying. I knew what job I wanted right away. I had burned out on the Interventional floor. I had precepted, had been one of the charge Nurses and I felt I wasn't being challanged anymore. My co-workers were so excited for me and said they would miss me and we cried ALOT. I reminded them I would only be 2 floors away.

    I start my orientation in the CTICU and meet my preceptor....my first thought was, I am so excited to be here and I can't wait to learn and build on my knowledge base from the Interventional unit. But I had also went from working 4 and a half years on night shift and suddenly was being oriented on day shift. No big deal I can adjust. Plus the position was for night shift, so I would go back into my routine in no time...so I thought....

    So it starts......the one thing I said to my husband was, "I hope that this orientation goes well and isn't like the nightmare orientation I experienced years ago." He said, "You know what you are doing this time around, and you know you are a great nurse, or you wouldn't have been offered 2 jobs."

    Yea welcome to my nightmare....but this time around I had experience under my belt. So I start in the CTICU, my preceptor came across very excited to teach me. Great that's what I wanted....

    So my first week I was bounced to another preceptor who was amazing, she knew who I was and let me work and was an amazing teacher. But week 2 came and I was bounced back to my original preceptor. Then my decent into the abuse abyss began.

    I was scoulded like a child, I am 31 years old. I was told that I didn't know how to properly put a BP cuff on the pt, ahhh excuse me.....I do believe I just taught you how to use the new monitors and how to activate the screens to be able to read the BP...and I did pick up a thing or two when I was IN CHARGE of the Interventional Cardiac Unit for the last few years.

    I basically bit my tongue and grinn and beared it for a few weeks. I wanted to learn, but when you are constantly belittled and placed in a position of being treated like a child you tend to shut down. I would ask questions and be spoken to like a 3rd grade student. I would come into work in the morning, now remember I worked nights for years, it would take me a few to adjust in the AM.

    I was told I don't care, I am irresponsible, and that I should realize that it is a privlidge to work in the CTICU. That this was the most prestegous job in the hospital and how I didn't appreciate that........UMM yea you crazy beast This was my life dream working in the CTICU, I know b/c I cried when I got the job, but now you are making it a living nightmare.

    I finally came to my breaking point. I had a pt. who told me, "don't let that woman following you into my room. She is mean and she talks to you like you are not human. She yells at you for nothing and you are running around in circles while she sits on her hide, how are you susposed to learn when you are being yelled at for every minute thing."

    The next day I went to my educator, I explained what was going on, and had a meeting. I thought things would change and for a few days they did then........I had enough, I was being told how I wasn't putting an IV in right, I have put in countless lines over the years in fact they don't know how to put in lines in the CTICU b/c everyone has a TLC, I just turned and walked out of the pt's room and said "this isn't my first time on the playground, I was offered an ANM position, I was runner up for employee of the month, a night shift preceptor, and one of the founders of the TCAB program. I am not a new nurse that you can beat down, I want to learn and you just keep grinding me into the ground, and by the way the pt. has 2 fresh lines I just put in while you walked out of the room, so don't ever tell me how to insert and IV ever again."

    Standing there was one of the MD's who I have been friends with for years, he turned to her and said, "Ang can get a line in anyone, and she is a great nurse that's why I reccomended her for this floor, but you don't let her speak or give her a chance." I think daggers may have been shooting out of her eyes at this point.

    And the worst part was all of my friends on nights in the CTICU were like, "Just get through it then you will be with us....we know how upset you are.." Infact some of the day shift and the night shift RN's and CNA's went to my director about the way I was being treated....

    LESSON LEARNED for the second time in my nursing career "Note to self, no more preceptors..", ....my orientation was 3 months......I have beeen off orientation for almost 6 months, but have been a cardiac nurse for 5 years. I swear I attract crazy.

    I have no hard feelings toward her. I know Karma is a witch!!
    gmarie15, lrobinson5, and fiveofpeep like this.

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  2. 2
    I always love reading your posts! I was laughing at the "crazy beast" part. Nice to know things haven't changed.
    lrobinson5 and Morettia2 like this.
  3. 1
    Hmmm Sounds familiar. I wonder if this person precepted me once . Maybe I just met her sister(s). Lol.

    I dunno...If I had to guess...I would say that this behavior stems from jealousy...or maybe they are trying to assert themselves as the HBIC. (Google it)

    Uhhh...but that is unethical on so many levels. I read your post today about your new grad experience...them not answering your questions and ect...And it is really hard to fathom that those personalities end up taking care of people at their most vulnerable state...but also...if the new person comes to you asking a question and you purposely trip them up or refuse to answer...and the new person makes a mistake that results in a death or injury....well then that is on their conscience for sure. How depraved are some that they literally do not care if they put patients in danger for the sake of ego and entertainment. I believe this behavior is the result of being overworked, underappreciated, and not an adequate support system for OUR mental well being and coping (with what we deal with all the time). Still... I have been in the same boat yet have never had the impulse treat the people who could potentially relieve MY stress caused by the chronic short staffing, like crap.

    Kinda off topic..I know, lol.

    As to what you are dealing with now..lol...I think I would actually be laughing at the absurd notion that someone who worked in the hospital for 5 years and got promoted to that unit could not master simple tasks. I tend to push back a little tho..and it ain't always in a warm fuzzy way. Don't mess with the quiet ones . lol.

    Funny though...I had an experience like your new grad experience when I was new to healthcare as a CNA....and my reaction to was to get better..faster..read more, learn more...because I was determined that noone was gonna push me out!..It affected me so much so..even to this day and through nursing school I continued working like that for fear of "OMG What if when I am a new nurse noone will help me again!"...but their was a bonus, Lucky for me, ---all that extra work caused my skills to be pretty darn good...I get excellent results and have a stronger understanding of what i am doing and why do it...then some veterans...and now, even tho I am not 'typically' the popular one or even the most recognized...I keep getting all kinds of little recognitions and more and more responsibility....training new employees and new nurses, ect. I really think their will be a big job for me in my future. Its feels so great to know that YES, the nice, hard working person CAN come out on TOP, Don't EVER give up!!!


    Laugh it off girl...they never succeeded before and they wont this time. I think I would be taking a tiny tinge of sick pleasure in how hard some will work to get you down..as I manage to overcome their antics and get better then them in short order. (Funny, they didn't list any of this on my nursing brochure when I signed up for college hahaha)
    Morettia2 likes this.
  4. 2
    I hate nurses like that, sad thing is, there are SO MANY like that! If only I could have 5 minutes in a dark room with my preceptor as a new grad, 6 years ago, what a ***** she was.
    milfordmom and Morettia2 like this.
  5. 3
    You were treated badly-I agree, but I work CVSICU. Let me tell you a story. So, we were getting an SurgICU/MedICU nurse with 10+ years experience. First week on orientation all we heard was " Oh, I've worked with DR. So-N-So for so many years in ICU he trusts me to save his patinets" Whereupon she startes to write "verbal orders" from the attending while on orientation WITHOUT TALKING TO THE SURGEON OR HER PRECEPTOR!. There dosen't seem to be a drip or drug that she dosen't know backwards and forwards (in her opinion). She skipped 1/2 her orientation days because she didn't feel orientation was that important to someone with her vast experience. Off orientation she is constantly making decisions that should be in the hands of the surgeon, and writing orders to that effect. I get to follow her and explain to the surgeon on call how he "telepathically" ordered drugs, and drips that were started 4 hrs ago and strangely enough the patient is now crapping out because the the problem was made worse not better. The surgeon reams ME out because I'm the one giving him the bad news. "What are "YOU NURSES" doing to my patients??!!" and "WHO THE H. GAVE YOU THE ORDER FOR THAT??!!!" Are retorical questions, he just wants to get the problem solved now and move on. The nurse moved on after about a year and a half, but by that time we were all dreading the next "experienced" nurse to come to us from WHATEVERICU. At times, an "experienced nurse" will make the staff more nervous than someone with less background but less confidence. CVSICU involves a lot of assessment and judgement that you don't see in some of the other critical care areas. The staff were out of line banging on your IV skills, but when someone comes off as a bit cocky in orientation- they tend to get put through the ringer on every issue. Not fair-I agree- but the docs and the staff don't want the patients to be cared for like they were CCU, PROGCCU, or SURGICU patients- they want them managed like CardioVascularSurgICU patients.
    Hope things worked out for you- Sounds like a progran I'd like to work in- even if they are a bit over zelous in thier Hazing of new staff.
    jadelpn, traumagirll99, and lrobinson5 like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from Morettia2
    I have worked at the same hospital for about 5 years. I started out as an Interventional Cardiology RN right out of school. I became one of the Night Shift Charge Nurses and was offered a position as Nurse Manager in the Interventional Unit. At the same time I was offered the ANM position I had applied for a job in the CTICU in my hosp. I have a great working relationship with the MD's and RN's on the night shift in the CTICU from being pulled to the CTICU SD over the years. Let's just get one thing straight, my ultimate goal as an RN was to be hired into the CTICU. Not the CTICU SD but the CTICU. It was my dream. I got the interview, and when I was offered the position in the CTICU I started crying. I knew what job I wanted right away. I had burned out on the Interventional floor. I had precepted, had been one of the charge Nurses and I felt I wasn't being challanged anymore. My co-workers were so excited for me and said they would miss me and we cried ALOT. I reminded them I would only be 2 floors away.

    I start my orientation in the CTICU and meet my preceptor....my first thought was, I am so excited to be here and I can't wait to learn and build on my knowledge base from the Interventional unit. But I had also went from working 4 and a half years on night shift and suddenly was being oriented on day shift. No big deal I can adjust. Plus the position was for night shift, so I would go back into my routine in no time...so I thought....

    So it starts......the one thing I said to my husband was, "I hope that this orientation goes well and isn't like the nightmare orientation I experienced years ago." He said, "You know what you are doing this time around, and you know you are a great nurse, or you wouldn't have been offered 2 jobs."

    Yea welcome to my nightmare....but this time around I had experience under my belt. So I start in the CTICU, my preceptor came across very excited to teach me. Great that's what I wanted....

    So my first week I was bounced to another preceptor who was amazing, she knew who I was and let me work and was an amazing teacher. But week 2 came and I was bounced back to my original preceptor. Then my decent into the abuse abyss began.

    I was scoulded like a child, I am 31 years old. I was told that I didn't know how to properly put a BP cuff on the pt, ahhh excuse me.....I do believe I just taught you how to use the new monitors and how to activate the screens to be able to read the BP...and I did pick up a thing or two when I was IN CHARGE of the Interventional Cardiac Unit for the last few years.

    I basically bit my tongue and grinn and beared it for a few weeks. I wanted to learn, but when you are constantly belittled and placed in a position of being treated like a child you tend to shut down. I would ask questions and be spoken to like a 3rd grade student. I would come into work in the morning, now remember I worked nights for years, it would take me a few to adjust in the AM.

    I was told I don't care, I am irresponsible, and that I should realize that it is a privlidge to work in the CTICU. That this was the most prestegous job in the hospital and how I didn't appreciate that........UMM yea you crazy beast This was my life dream working in the CTICU, I know b/c I cried when I got the job, but now you are making it a living nightmare.

    I finally came to my breaking point. I had a pt. who told me, "don't let that woman following you into my room. She is mean and she talks to you like you are not human. She yells at you for nothing and you are running around in circles while she sits on her hide, how are you susposed to learn when you are being yelled at for every minute thing."

    The next day I went to my educator, I explained what was going on, and had a meeting. I thought things would change and for a few days they did then........I had enough, I was being told how I wasn't putting an IV in right, I have put in countless lines over the years in fact they don't know how to put in lines in the CTICU b/c everyone has a TLC, I just turned and walked out of the pt's room and said "this isn't my first time on the playground, I was offered an ANM position, I was runner up for employee of the month, a night shift preceptor, and one of the founders of the TCAB program. I am not a new nurse that you can beat down, I want to learn and you just keep grinding me into the ground, and by the way the pt. has 2 fresh lines I just put in while you walked out of the room, so don't ever tell me how to insert and IV ever again."

    Standing there was one of the MD's who I have been friends with for years, he turned to her and said, "Ang can get a line in anyone, and she is a great nurse that's why I reccomended her for this floor, but you don't let her speak or give her a chance." I think daggers may have been shooting out of her eyes at this point.

    And the worst part was all of my friends on nights in the CTICU were like, "Just get through it then you will be with us....we know how upset you are.." Infact some of the day shift and the night shift RN's and CNA's went to my director about the way I was being treated....

    LESSON LEARNED for the second time in my nursing career "Note to self, no more preceptors..", ....my orientation was 3 months......I have beeen off orientation for almost 6 months, but have been a cardiac nurse for 5 years. I swear I attract crazy.

    I have no hard feelings toward her. I know Karma is a witch!!
    Hey Angie,
    I'm a recent BSN grad vying for a position in Telemetry at NBIMC. Could offer any advice on how best to approach the manager. A classmate of mine forwarded my resume/cover letter to them and gave me their contact info. Now I want to contact them directly and thought it be a good idea to ask a few pointed questions to demonstrated my deep interest in working in their unit. I've read your posts about your experience at NBIMC - very inspiring ;-))). I also one day would like to work in the CTICU but first want the foundation from working in Tele.
    Thanks,
    Ethanpark
    Morettia2 likes this.
  7. 2
    See the thing is....I didn't become cocky, I was sick of being verbally beat down. One can only handle so much insult. You reach a breaking point. And I broke. I had enough, and I wasn't about to be treated like a child. Yes I was there to learn, but how can you learn when the person teaching you constantly berates you.

    It's been almost 2 years since I posted this and the "hazing" just started to subside. I am proud to be a CTICU nurse and I can say that I learned more when I was unchained from my preceptor. Yes, she was very intelligent, but I am a person and I deserve to be spoken to like a human being. But that's in the past and I have moved on.
    milfordmom and NRSKarenRN like this.


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