I'm a float pool nurse at my hospital so I bounce around, a lot. Wherever they need me, I go. So I'm pretty well known around the hospital, favorably, thank goodness. The past few months, I was pretty regular on one unit and had the pleasure of working closely with a new grad. I really like her. She was eager to learn, asked a lot of questions, optimistic, enthusiastic... You know, in the new nurse phase. She was good, really, really good at her skills. I guess I kind of took her under my wing while I was working on that unit. I didn't mind answering her questions. I applauded her for asking questions. Better ask than try to go it alone when you aren't sure what/how to do something and injure a patient, right?
Well, past few weeks I have been on another unit until this past weekend, I found myself back on her unit, only during the day shift. I was in the break room collecting my things at the end of my shift (happily I might add) when she walked in, looking both stressed to the gills yet a bit relieved at the same time. She immediately stated "OHHHH!!!!!! You're working here tonight!!!!!!!" And of course I was initially flattered that she was so happy that I might be working with her, but when I replied, "oh no, I'm leaving, I worked the day shift", her eyes immediately filled with tears and she just broke into sobs. Knowing that she would be eaten alive if anyone else seen this, I rushed to the breakroom door and locked it. I just wanted to give her that chance to get her cry out. The poor kid, went on to tell me that life had been hell on her unit. She felt like no one liked her, everyone got mad when she asked questions, and she felt thrown to the wolves. She was really hoping I was working because I had patience with her. She told me that she frequently heard the other nurses talking behind her back about how slow she is and that she doesn't take initiative to do anything on her own. Then she asked me the doomed question... "is it like this everywhere or just here?" and then she went on to say the statement so many new nurses say... "I HATE THIS JOB! I HATE BEING A NURSE!!!" and then she said, in a very defeated voice... "maybe I just wasn't meant to be a nurse, maybe I just suck at it". And my heart just broke. It broke wide open for her.
All I could do was console her. Put my arm around her and let her cry it out then reassure her that NO, you don't hate being a nurse. And YES, you are a GREAT nurse because you recognize when you need help and you are trying to seek it out... what makes you great is because you are thinking of the patient first, whether you realize it or not, you are putting your patient first because you don't want to do the wrong thing or make a mistake! That, to me, makes a phenomenal nurse. How in the world is a new nurse supposed to learn how to take innitiave if the new nurse can't ask for the help she needs out of fear of being ripped apart for it. Yes, we all need to be autonomous, but, we have to learn... I know we are all busy and all stressed, but come on, we've all been new nurses... We've all been there, why do some (not all) nurses forget where they came from and how they started?
I just had to get this out because my heart just broke for her. I hope I was able to console her enough and I pray she will not be one of the many new nurses that leave the profession after a year or so because of things like this... I just don't understand why we eat our young. Well, hopefully I helped and hopefully soon I'll be on her unit again. Hopefully she'll soon find her niche and she will prove to the world just how awesome of a nurse she is.
Your comment that you rushed to lock the break room door when she started crying " because she would be eaten alive if anyone else saw this" makes me think you were already aware of the negative culture present on this floor. If the standard response in your hospital is to eat an employee alive when they become emotional you need to have a serious sit down with your CNO and discuss your observations. I agree with a previous poster that everyone has that honeymoon phase, falls off the cliff, and then some get up, dust themselves off and climb back up the cliff but the least we can do is lend a hand to pull them upright or help cushion the fall. The first year is so hard we don't need to make it even worse.
Last edit by fakebee on Jan 15, '13
Because we are a tired,worn out bunch of *******. It is terrible, but I see it happen daily where I work. At least the night shift is new grad friendly.
Last edit by Esme12 on Jan 16, '13
: Reason: TOS/profanity/use of letters and symbols