Quiting on short notice

  1. Hello everyone, I had the urge to make an account just to post this b/c of how much anxiety I am feeling right now.

    I am a new grad; had only been working for 2 months at a LTC facility; charge nurse for 34-36 residents at a time. I was oriented for 2 weeks; and by oriented I mean; I shadowed the nurses with very little explanation while there. I since then realized that like nursing school--the real world is a lot of self-teaching as well. I am not 100% comfortable with this fact because unlike nursing school; I am actually finally caring of real people and not just mannequins. I was taught "techniques" to last throughout the day and not exactly what to do when for example the BON comes for audits and such. I will ask for help. All the time. Just to make sure.

    So for 6 weeks, I've tried to stick it out for the most part. I asked for help when I need it, I suffer a little through the day because I know thats just what a nurse does. No breaks if needed, tend to resident's needs, all of it! I'm trying my very best.
    But it's this facility whose having a bit of trouble. They're understaffed with their CNAs. There has been a PM shift when CNAs were carrying 18 residents at once. There are residents who don't get their weekly showers, don't get fed until 8:30PM when dinner was served at 5:30PM, or briefs not being changed for over 3 hours!!! My fellow charge nurses are not very welcoming when I ask for help. When I endorse to the upcoming shift about change of conditions and such, it all comes back to me the next day.

    The other day, I had a copd resident who was having sob and sore throat. Did everything I could, called the doctor and all of that. Endorsed accordingly. Stayed a few extra hours to chart with the NOC nurse right next to me. The same pt cried out in pain and discomfort in spurts. At one point, I had to console her and check up on her. Stable when I had left. Next day, I had only clocked in, and same thing was occuring. Just loud yelling. It was shift changing time so it was hard to get ahold of any of the supervisors, and when I had, I was so angry at the lack of urgency they had. I didnt know what to do!!! So I called 911 without doctors orders b/c this resident had 31% o2 sat on RA and 58% on 4L.

    When the paramedics finally come, I go off on my supervisors out of frustration in front of them and they told me that I shouldn't have done that.

    With everything going on, with the lack of help and urgency with situations like such, with the overload of all the employees and just everything!!!---I told my DON that I quit. I didn't leave in the middle of my shift, I still made a letter of resignation.

    But my conscious is killing me. I should have stuck it out. At least for 2 weeks, formally. And my mistake was I had slipped the letter under the door instead of handing it in person. Now I'm getting all these calls telling me how unprofessional I am.

    I am weak at heart when it comes to these residents. I have cried too many times of how much some of the nurses there did not care about them. Always reassuring me that "that's just how they are.." It's not a good experience for me.

    What am I do to from here on out? I wanted to help them. I really did. But they didn't help me back. A very good few did, don't get me wrong. But when I need it most, I can't do anything without being absolutely sure. As a new nurse, I'm still scared. I've called for an ambulance 4 times when I had a gut feeling of a resident being in a bad enough condition. I got in trouble for it though???

    I'm still so confused!!!! Nobody ever prepared me for the reality of nursing. The different kinds of nurses there are. I guess I thought everyone who I'd work with would be just as caring as one another. But a lot of them are just there for the paycheck---it's so obvious.

    I'm getting anxiety and I feel such great guilt for leaving those residents. Will it be hard for me to find another job? Will it always be like this? Because if it will, then I really have to brace myself and toughen up. I've cried almost every day after each shift. It's really gotten my down. It's discouraging.....
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  2. Poll: Did I mess up?

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    1 Votes
  3. 4 Comments

  4. by   JKL33
    Quote from Jplvn
    But my conscious is killing me. I should have stuck it out. At least for 2 weeks, formally. And my mistake was I had slipped the letter under the door instead of handing it in person. Now I'm getting all these calls telling me how unprofessional I am.
    Well admittedly sometimes I have a harda$$ way of looking at things, but I say good for you. Don't communicate any more with these people who know they did wrong and want to make you feel guilty for it. Tell them to stop harassing you.

    You are correct that whenever humanly possible, giving notice of your intent to resign is the professional way to go. This will be a learning experience for you and honestly, that's kind of what life's all about. You didn't react according to your "ideal." But the situation itself was far less than ideal. It's a wash. You don't need to be weighted down with guilt going forward.
  5. by   dream'n
    I would of called 911 also with a patient pulse ox of 31% on RA and 58% on 4L of O2, that is just insane. No one should be calling you, that in itself is unprofessional.
  6. by   caliotter3
    The problem that you need to face is that it is highly likely that the next job you are able to obtain will be in a facility with much the same circumstances, if not worse. What will be your response then? You can't run away from every bad working situation or you will find yourself with nowhere to apply for a job without relocating. And yet, you must obtain the experience needed to cope. You need to work on your coping skills regardless of the types of workplaces that are available to a new grad with a questionable work history.
  7. by   Lil Nel
    I empathize with you, I really do.

    Working at a facility such as this one is probably a big reason why some of your co-workers have the "it's just a paycheck" attitude. If they didn't adopt that attitude, how would they survive in such an environment?

    You will never change the mind set of the powers that be at the facility. Never.

    No, I don't think you messed up. Stop answering their phone calls. Who cares if they think you are unprofessional? Are THEY professional in their approach to these residents? No!

    Find another job (just not at a LTC), and move forward.

    But realize that your morals and ethics are constantly going to be challenged as a nurse. I work at a non-profit, private hospital. Ideal, right? No.

    Each us has our line in the sand. Sometimes I can make through a shift by thinking: It is just a paycheck. But if and when I can't, I know it will be time to go.

    Good luck!

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