My seven month journey in ICU has ended. - page 3

I started my CVICU position in April. Ofcourse I was super excited because I just became a RN after being a LPN for 3 years. I had my license for exactly 3 months before getting hired, not bad for a new grad RN. I always knew... Read More

  1. 1
    Quote from OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I started my CVICU position in April. Ofcourse I was super excited because I just became a RN after being a LPN for 3 years. I had my license for exactly 3 months before getting hired, not bad for a new grad RN.

    I always knew that CVICU was not my dream job but I was super excited to learn and develop my new skills.

    So what happened? My orientation was rough. I had 9 different preceptors, and felt that the overall orientation was disorganized. However, I felt this was nursing and I'm just blessed to have a job.

    In addition to a bad orientation, I had to work with senior nurses who hated new grads ( their words not mine) and did every thing in their power to not create a learning environment for new grads. One nurse flat out told some of us interns that she doesn't like to precept and is a total "B" (word). I've been talked to like a dog and treated like a complete idiot during my time there. Several new and experienced nurses that fell prey to some of the lateral violence have cried on the job and on the way home. However, through it all, I was determined to make this work. I just figured, this is nursing, this is what I signed up for.

    At the end of my orientation, I was given great compliments from some of nurses and docs and I looked forward to being on my own.

    I've made my mistakes here and there but thank God some of senior nurses were there every step of the way and I've never caused patient harm.

    Then out of no where I get called into a meeting and was told my work performance was substandard. Little did I know that when I asked for help it would be looked at as a sign of incompetence and reported to my boss.

    Anyway, I've decided resign from the unit ( not the hospital) and move on. There was no way I could continue to work on a unit where there was such an intensity of passive aggressive behavior. At the end of the day, I just did not fit in.

    At first I felt embarrassed, incompetent, and like a complete failure. I cried, cried, and cried. I was heartbroken because I truly gave it my all. I arrived to work an hour early and would go home every night and review the things I didn't know.

    Today, I can look my self in the mirror and know that I'm a great nurse. Not because I'm compassionate or care but because I know what I know, and I know what I don't know.

    I know for a fact that I've literally saved lives and helped people walk out of that ICU in better condition than they came. I know for a fact that I've helped people breathe easier and generally have a higher quality of life.

    The bad part about it now is that I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm no longer a new grad RN but I'm also don't have that year of experience.

    I'm confident that I'll one day find my niche in nursing with a nice working environment.

    You described my very first nursing job, just out of school three months and licensed 2 weeks. I was the only LPN with all RNs and MAs and the lead RN who was supposed to train me was the one who hated new grads and told me, to my face, that she doesn't know what they were thinking when they hired me. I had questions, being brand new, and IF she'd answer them it was with a huge attitude, and apparently reported to the HR manager. I was actually fired because I wasn't a good fit, and I'd had a phone call from a pt who wound up verbally abusing me for not paging her doc out of heart surgery to take her call, and the 5th time she called and demanded to speak to another nurse, no one would take the call, so the pt reported me to the main office. I've been there, glad you were able to get out of there and you will get a better job that you will love. Who knows, you just may end up in ICU and it will be what you've hoped for!

    Love your screen name!!
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.

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  2. 2
    You were a victim of horizontal violence. Nearly half of new nurses either leave the profession entirely or change jobs within the first year out of school. HR hasn't heard yet there is a critical nursing shortage and continues to treat nurses poorly.

    A basic mistake management makes over and over again is to think that anyone could be a preceptor. Preceptors should have extra pay and training. They should NOT have patients while they are precepting one or two new grads, they should help the new nurse manage their patients. It should be a recognized nursing specialty. Dreamland? When you consider it costs about $80,000 to bring a new nurse to full productivity, it is a cost saver. That money is lost when a new nurse leaves, and the hospital has to sell a lot of Tylenol to make the money back.

    Too many managers turn their new nurses over to nurses who will openly say, "I hate new grads!" Orientation is ad hoc, willy-nilly, and Hail Mary. A plan is part of the nursing process, as we all learned in the first semester of nursing school. Ad Hoc is not a plan, just a dependence on luck. Willy-nilly orientation is an abandonment of the nursing process. Most importantly, this method is dangerous. How can patient safety thrive in an atmosphere of resentment and fear? Somehow, this method is expected to bring good results. HR and management blame the retention problem on the nursing shortage, seeing themselves as victims of the shortage. I've been to the lunch meetings, and the breakfast meetings, I know. Lots of hand-wringing.

    I left the hospital, for good, after a nurse shoved me through a door one night. This nurse was on anti-depressants, had been at the hospital over 20 years, and was the terror of my new grads. She needed help. I was doing charge that night. Usually I would blow something like that off, but, because of her meanness to my carefully nurtured new grads, I decided to "take one for the team, " and write her up. It was even caught on one of our video cameras, so I thought I would be rid of her. Good nurses know that writing someone up often causes more problems than it solves, so a write-up should be done carefully, and rarely. I could not help but thinking, that, as a male, I would have been fired instantly for shoving a female nurse.

    The DON called me at home the next day, and asked me to trust her to take appropriate action. I told her I was thinking about taking the case to the state board of nursing. She asked me to give my word to take no further action. I gave it.

    A few days later, this nurse was back at work, scolding me for being a "rat-fink," lol. I thought, "Who needs it?," and started looking for another job. Too bad, I was a good Charge Nurse, lost forever.

    Solutions? Dedicated Preceptors, Orientation planning and an orientation schedule, get HR and nursing management in the game, and a true zero tolerance for horizontal violence. New nurses could use way more support from nursing leadership, both on the state and national level. Right now, they're not getting it. As for horizontal violence, I think it may be time for us nurses to seek remedies outside of the healthcare system, demonstrating the damage this does to our personal and professional lives.
    OnlybyHisgraceRN and BlackMurse1 like this.
  3. 0
    MAN....
    , good riddens to bad times

    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 15, '12 : Reason: TOS/profanity
  4. 1
    Quote from CampNurse1
    You were a victim of horizontal violence. Nearly half of new nurses either leave the profession entirely or change jobs within the first year out of school. HR hasn't heard yet there is a critical nursing shortage and continues to treat nurses poorly.

    A basic mistake management makes over and over again is to think that anyone could be a preceptor. Preceptors should have extra pay and training. They should NOT have patients while they are precepting one or two new grads, they should help the new nurse manage their patients. It should be a recognized nursing specialty. Dreamland? When you consider it costs about $80,000 to bring a new nurse to full productivity, it is a cost saver. That money is lost when a new nurse leaves, and the hospital has to sell a lot of Tylenol to make the money back.

    Too many managers turn their new nurses over to nurses who will openly say, "I hate new grads!" Orientation is ad hoc, willy-nilly, and Hail Mary. A plan is part of the nursing process, as we all learned in the first semester of nursing school. Ad Hoc is not a plan, just a dependence on luck. Willy-nilly orientation is an abandonment of the nursing process. Most importantly, this method is dangerous. How can patient safety thrive in an atmosphere of resentment and fear? Somehow, this method is expected to bring good results. HR and management blame the retention problem on the nursing shortage, seeing themselves as victims of the shortage. I've been to the lunch meetings, and the breakfast meetings, I know. Lots of hand-wringing.

    I left the hospital, for good, after a nurse shoved me through a door one night. This nurse was on anti-depressants, had been at the hospital over 20 years, and was the terror of my new grads. She needed help. I was doing charge that night. Usually I would blow something like that off, but, because of her meanness to my carefully nurtured new grads, I decided to "take one for the team, " and write her up. It was even caught on one of our video cameras, so I thought I would be rid of her. Good nurses know that writing someone up often causes more problems than it solves, so a write-up should be done carefully, and rarely. I could not help but thinking, that, as a male, I would have been fired instantly for shoving a female nurse.

    The DON called me at home the next day, and asked me to trust her to take appropriate action. I told her I was thinking about taking the case to the state board of nursing. She asked me to give my word to take no further action. I gave it.

    A few days later, this nurse was back at work, scolding me for being a "rat-fink," lol. I thought, "Who needs it?," and started looking for another job. Too bad, I was a good Charge Nurse, lost forever.

    Solutions? Dedicated Preceptors, Orientation planning and an orientation schedule, get HR and nursing management in the game, and a true zero tolerance for horizontal violence. New nurses could use way more support from nursing leadership, both on the state and national level. Right now, they're not getting it. As for horizontal violence, I think it may be time for us nurses to seek remedies outside of the healthcare system, demonstrating the damage this does to our personal and professional lives.
    My thoughts exactly. This has to change. I'm ended up on ativan due to this job. Every since I've left, I have no need to take it. Makes me want to forget nursing all together sometimes.
    Esme12 likes this.
  5. 1
    Please let us know if you get the maternity job!
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.
  6. 1
    It sounds like you've been through a whirlwind. You must have some sense of relief that it is all over, despite this being your 'dream job'. The wonderful thing about nursing is that there are so many options. I know so many nurses who end up in an entirely different profession than what they originally intended. Not everyone is cut out for every specialty, and that's OKAY.

    There is something out there for you, that will make you love going to work. You'll love the patients, the type of care you're giving, and the staff you work with.
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I started my CVICU position in April. Ofcourse I was super excited because I just became a RN after being a LPN for 3 years. I had my license for exactly 3 months before getting hired, not bad for a new grad RN.

    I always knew that CVICU was not my dream job but I was super excited to learn and develop my new skills.

    So what happened? My orientation was rough. I had 9 different preceptors, and felt that the overall orientation was disorganized. However, I felt this was nursing and I'm just blessed to have a job.

    In addition to a bad orientation, I had to work with senior nurses who hated new grads ( their words not mine) and did every thing in their power to not create a learning environment for new grads. One nurse flat out told some of us interns that she doesn't like to precept and is a total "B" (word). I've been talked to like a dog and treated like a complete idiot during my time there. Several new and experienced nurses that fell prey to some of the lateral violence have cried on the job and on the way home. However, through it all, I was determined to make this work. I just figured, this is nursing, this is what I signed up for.

    At the end of my orientation, I was given great compliments from some of nurses and docs and I looked forward to being on my own.

    I've made my mistakes here and there but thank God some of senior nurses were there every step of the way and I've never caused patient harm.

    Then out of no where I get called into a meeting and was told my work performance was substandard. Little did I know that when I asked for help it would be looked at as a sign of incompetence and reported to my boss.

    Anyway, I've decided resign from the unit ( not the hospital) and move on. There was no way I could continue to work on a unit where there was such an intensity of passive aggressive behavior. At the end of the day, I just did not fit in.

    At first I felt embarrassed, incompetent, and like a complete failure. I cried, cried, and cried. I was heartbroken because I truly gave it my all. I arrived to work an hour early and would go home every night and review the things I didn't know.

    Today, I can look my self in the mirror and know that I'm a great nurse. Not because I'm compassionate or care but because I know what I know, and I know what I don't know.

    I know for a fact that I've literally saved lives and helped people walk out of that ICU in better condition than they came. I know for a fact that I've helped people breathe easier and generally have a higher quality of life.

    The bad part about it now is that I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm no longer a new grad RN but I'm also don't have that year of experience.

    I'm confident that I'll one day find my niche in nursing with a nice working environment.
    I hope you've taken some lessons from your experience and not just blamed it all on bad preceptors and a disorganized orientation. You are right -- some nurses absolutely should not be preceptors, but management has little choice about using them as such as there aren't enough GOOD preceptors to go around. You can learn a lot from a bad preceptor if you make up your mind to do so.

    I've seen some red flags in your post. I doubt your work performance was viewed as substandard just because you asked for help. It may be because you acted helpless, because you had no clear idea what you needed when you asked for help, because you asked for help too late, because you asked the wrong person for help or asked for the wrong sort of help. It would be useful for you to figure out what exactly went wrong to keep you from repeating these mistakes in your new job.

    No new grad can look at his or her self in the mirror and know that they are a great nurse. Knowing what you know and what you don't know is a great start, but it's not a great nurse. You perhaps have potential to be a great nurse -- but you're not there yet. You're still a beginner.

    I hope you find the job you're looking for, that you fit in, and that you work happily for many years. Good luck.
    Susie2310 likes this.


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