Advice would be greatly appreciated (warning: long post)

  1. I could really use some advice right now...

    I am sitting here sick to my stomach because I have to go to work tomorrow.
    Here is my situation:

    This past summer, I was hired at the local hospital for an extern type program; it wasn't the true nurse extern program because I wouldn't graduate soon enough, but it would be an opportunity to learn and gain experience.
    I am a BSN student going full time. I was hired on a Rehab unit, and I realized within days that I had chose the right field...Nursing was definitely for me! My manager came up to me and told me how many wonderful things she had heard from nurses and patients about me and I had only been there about 2-3 weeks. My role was pretty much that of a Nursing Assistant. Within about a month, I hurt my back on the job. The nurses I was working with made sure I filled out a detailed report about what happened because they had been hurt before, and they didn't want to see me get hurt further, etc. I was sent to occupational medicine and put on restrictions. I took the restrictions to my manager who said I can't work with these restrictions (no bending, twisting, stooping or lifting more than 15 lbs). Okay, I understand that; there wouldn't be much I could do. So I went to my follow up with occupational med and they changed my restrictions. I was under restrictions of 15 lb weight limit and not over the shoulder lifting. I took these to my manager who said, "technically you are 'occasional status,' so I don't have to work with these restrictions. I'm going to take you off the schedule." Did I get any pay at this point? nope. Keep in mind I was scheduled to work 36-48 hours a week for the next 3 weeks, and she took me off of all of these shifts. I attended PT as directed, and continued to follow up with occupational med. Eventually they sent me to an independent medical exam (big joke), where they determined I could return to work with no restrictions, even though I still had back pain.

    My manager sat down with me and said that she didn't feel it was a good idea to work the floor regularly because if my back still hurt, I would probably be tense while lifting and she felt I could hurt myself or a patient that way. Okay, thats fine I understand your reasoning. They would call me whenever they needed a sitter, and I gladly went in. One day she calls and says, "do you still want to work for us, or do you just want to sever ties?" I was like of course I want to work for the company still. She said that I needed to be put on the schedule more because I was not meeting my minimum shift requirements. So all of a sudden she is okay with me lifting heavy patients once more.
    So I start working a scheduled 2 days a month, as well as anytime they would call me for extra help as long as I didn't have class.
    We have a competency days that is mandatory. They scheduled me on a day when I had class. I let the educator know this, and she gave me alternate dates, all of which I also had class. The educator told me that was alright because there were others who were students and couldn't make it either, so she was going to have a make-up day and let me know about it.

    My manager called me about a week later and said I absolutely needed to attend this last day that was being offered. It was in the middle of one of my classes. I told her this and she said well I guess you will just have to leave class early...this is a mandatory requirement. I spoke with the educator again, who told me not to worry about it, stay for the whole class, and she would have the manager call me with the date of the make up day. The manager called me and let me know the make up day was on such and such day, from 4-7 and it would take about an hour and a half to complete. I had clinical on this day that would get out around 5, so I figured no problem, as long as I get there by 5:30 I'll be fine, right? Wrong! As I was walking out of clinical, which was through the same hospital but about 5 minutes away from where I needed to go, my manager calls me and says "where are you?" I respond with I am on my way; I am at the main hospital and will be there in 5 minutes. She says "well they are already packing up!" I reminded her that she told me it was from 4-7, and she said "NO I said it was from 4 until whenever they finished! If you don't do this I have to put you in corrective action and you haven't been here 6 months, so that would mean termination! I don't even know what to say right now." I was almost in tears at this point, and she said "you can try to make it but they probably wont be there still...if you don't get it done, call me in the morning because we'll have to talk." She hangs up...I fly over to the other location, run up the stairs, go into a part of the facility I have never even been to and end up finding the educator and an RN doing her competency. I can hardly breathe at this point from panicking and running, as well as crying. They look at me and ask if I'm ok. I choke out that I couldn't miss competency days and I'm here and I hope she can do it, and I thought they would be gone. She tells me to breathe and sit down and it is no problem, she will do it as soon as she was done with the RN. After calming down, I told her that my manager said they were packing up, etc. Her response was, "I don't know why she would tell you that...I wasn't packing anything up." So I finish my competency and move on.

    I applied in November for the true extern program through the same hospital. I got called for an interview, which I felt I did great in. The next day, I got called in to work 7p-11p because they needed some help. No problem, I went in to work. At the end of my shift, I am given my review. It was given to my by someone who hadn't even looked at it yet. She would read it and then say, "you did this" or "you didn't do that?" I would then have to explain the situation. I have never received a negative review before, but after this one I was very upset. I was told my "dependability" needs improvement, because I was unable to attend unit conferences (that were always during a time I had class), and that I had expressed an interest in pediatrics which may contribute to my "lackluster performance." Yes I have expressed interest in peds, but I always work my butt off and put my heart into everything I do. I continue to get compliments on my work from the nurses working with me.
    Needless to say I did not get an offer for an externship. I was the only internal applicant that wasn't offered a spot, and many people in my classes were offered positions who have never even worked healthcare other than clinicals. I have also applied several times to other units, and have not even received calls for more information.

    Wow this is long, so I'll try to get to the point.
    Do I quit since there doesn't seem to be a chance for growth in this hospital now? My fiance insists that I am likely to be fired since I have had a back injury...they wont want the liability. (never did get paid anything for all of the time off either) Should I stay at a job that I absolutely dread going to, not only because of my manager's negative attitude towards me but because of the lack of teamwork and absolute laziness I have to pick up the slack for whenever I do work?? I don't know what to do? I don't think I would get a good reference from this place no matter what...and I have another part time job I have had for 3 years (although not in healthcare)
    If you have made it this far...thank you! I could just really use some advice from someone who has been there before
  2. Visit deemd22 profile page

    About deemd22

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 10; Likes: 6
    RN Pediatric Congenital Heart Unit; from US
    Specialty: Pediatrics


  3. by   nurseerina
    There is no reason to stay on at a job you hate. You're just going to hate it more and more as the days go by. The beauty of nursing is that you can work in many different specialties and different hospitals. Plus you dont even have to work at a hospital! If you were to leave your current job and go to a new one you can request that your interviewer not contact that particular unit/hospital for a reference if you're worried they will speak poorly of you. I was in a situation similar to yours when I was in nursing school. I worked 3p-11p part time, which meant that I only worked two days a week. My manager always scheduled me to work on the same days that I had clinical which ran from 7a-3p at a different hospital an hour away. I repeatedly told her what my schedule was and that it would not change for the duration of the semester. Naturally I was late to work alot because of this. I was written up several times for it even though it wasnt my fault. Unfortunately, there are "bad managers" out there who dont need to be managing units. When I graduated I sought work elsewhere and was hired at my first interview. Ive been a nurse for 5 years and have worked all over the country as a staff and travel nurse. There are good hospitals and there are bad. You just have to choose the one that's right for you and makes you happy. At my last job I looked forward to going to work everyday because the unit had excellent teamwork and wonderful management. Everything ran like a well-oiled wheel. If my I my husband's military career hadnt forced me to move I'd still be there. Good luck! You're too early in your career to be dreading your job!!