I was a cardiopulmonary step down nurse for about two years. I didn't prefer the stress and the long drive to work. When I found a nursing home position in my home town I thought it was a great idea. Yeah...not so much. A year into it, I was beaten down by horrible in-fighting between the staff and the management, unthinkable and unethical treatment of the patients, and I finally walked out (after my shift) when I felt my license was on the line after severe understaffing on a really bad wing one night. Yes, I only gave one week's notice, and I was supposed to give two. I had talked with management about the problems for months, but no one cared. As long as you weren't costing them money, they didn't give a crapola. I always said it was a really foolish thing to walk out of a job without giving notice, and then I went and did it! I am not proud of it, and now I'm looking for other jobs, hopefully in wound care (I like wound care), but trying to figure out how to explain the last year of my employment. I have references from other nurses and CNA's who really loved working with me and know I did a good job, but I did make a mistake not holding out for one more week.
I didn't know that all jobs appear on a background check, and I could never really leave this work experience behind. While I was at the nursing home, I also did private duty nursing for an elderly couple in their home. So I thought maybe I'd just say I did the private duty and leave out the nursing home, but then I found out about background checks.
I couldn't watch anymore people suffer in that place. The night I decided was IT I had 20 patients with three on hospice, a huge number of treatments and medications to complete, one very mentally retarded man needing recatherization, many breathing treatments, and many all-too mobile dementia patients trying to haul themselves out of bed. I also had a woman physically tearing me up because she was refusing any kind of care. She tore open my arm with her nails when I tried to get her up because she was sitting in urine. So there I was all night with my CNA dealing with that and MUCH more. The paperwork was WEEKS behind on that wing because no nurse who had been there cared to or could finish it with all the other stuff going on. In the morning, I was running around like crazy trying to complete meds, treatments and paperwork, and my aid was trying to complete bed checks and getting people up for day shift. Just as the day shift came in, one lady landed on the floor in her room. As we were going to her, another one started screaming in her room, and ended up being sent out for chest pains...as I am trying to complete the paperwork for the one who fell another one started yelling from her room and had her feet on the floor, ready to fall down, too. Day shift went about informing us what a crappy job we did all night, because they are just that kind of wonderful people. Yeah, I was absolutely upside down and inside out after that night, and I was scheduled to be on that wing the rest of the month! It was only the cap of the iceberg...I could go on for pages about how bad that place was-not just that one wing. How they penalize you when you are charge nurse and call help in when all your aids call off, how they have an on-call person who NEVER comes in but gets paid for on-call...wow.... and some of the poor patients and the care they received....
Suffice to say, I was DONE.
Now, I have a year's worth of busting my tail in that place and I left without giving two weeks notice. Should I just put it down and explain a bit of how I felt my license was under fire and the patients received substandard care? I don't know what else to do but be honest. Dammit, I'm a good nurse!
(thanks for letting me get that all off my chest!)