Hello all! I'm a new grad that has been working on a med-surg/tele floor of a large hospital for 6 months. I had eight weeks of orientation and have been on my own since.
I have had some rough nights, critical patients, seasoned nurses cutting me down, overload of admissions, and unsafe patient ratios because of lack of staffing. But I have done my best to keep my patients safe.
None of those things are special to my situation and I know that. I also know that I need to be patient with myself since I'm still learning. But I don't think I'm cut out for hospital nursing.
I had a situation where I spent all night helping out the other nurses with their admissions, passing meds, answering call lights. But the moment I needed some guidance on my patient's status changing no one could be bothered. I was verbatim told I was being ignored. And I broke. I couldn't stop myself from crying, which I have never done regarding work related issues. I was told right away I didn't have the option to cry, my patients needed me. And it's true, my blubbering was not helping them. I deeply embarrassed my usually incredibly calm self, but more importantly it made me realize I can't be a nurse in that situation.
The real question I have is how can I go to another employer and not have them think less of me for only staying at my first nursing job for less than a year? My other work history is great, I was an aid at my last job for over three years and had glowing recommendations.
I take so much pride in what I do, so I just feel like such a failure I couldn't succeed in the hospital.
The first year of nursing is miserable -- if you haven't already done so, check out some of the threads on the "First Year After Licensure" forum. That said, six months is way too early to be giving up. Yes, you've had some rough shifts and you're not meshing well with your colleagues. That's pretty normal. Crying at work is somewhat normal, too, only most of us manage to wait until we get to the bathroom to give in to it. Your colleague was right, though -- your patients needed you. And you recognized that right away.
I don't think a new job is the answer. The first year is rough, and a new job will just give you all the same issues with different faces and supplies in places you've never seen before. The answer is to stick it out for a whole year. Around the one year, something "clicks" for most of us (although I was slow and it took me longer) and we start to feel like we've got this -- at least some of the time. We start to be more confident, to know what we don't know and to know where to find answers. Most of us are surprised to find we actually LIKE the jobs we thought we hated six months in. For those of us who still hate our jobs, our colleagues or our specialties, it's much easier to find a new job after a full year of experience than it is after six months.
You don't have to wait a whole year to leave. If you didn't sign a piece of paper that said you have to stay on your unit then you maybe able to transfer. Even if you do try and transfer beware of shady managers who will write you up to stop you from leaving.
You can also apply to another hospital system. Look your unit is understaffed and so is every other unit in every hospital. There simply isn't enough of us, so that means you can get another job very quickly.
I worked on an imc tele unit for 4 years at 3 different hospital systems. That is a very hard unit to work on. No shame in wanting something a little slower and patients a little less critical.
Here is the truth...you already seen the type of co-workers you are working with. These aren't your friends but they can quickly make your life miserable and that's just added stress you don't need. A new start is not a bad thing.
When I was new, I helped everyone too. Then, I realized that no one else responded to bed alarms, call lights or other needs. I quickly became burnt out. I'm not saying that you shouldn't help, but you need to make sure you have enough in the tank to take care of your own patients.
I felt like this my third year of nursing when i switched to an icu unit. I think you have valid concerns and the only thing that helped me was getting support from a mentor. Check out nursealot.com honestly sometimes i just needed a shoulder to cry on and tell me I wasn't crazy. Check out the EAP program at your employer too. Good luck.
Hi curious where you are located? I am in CA and after 18 yrs., I am leaving the hospital arena for the exact reasons you have stated above. It's like you are reading my mind. Just my opinion and what I did: If you apply for something out of the hospital setting just keep it simple and on your app where it asks 'reason for leaving" just write "looking to vier away from acute care setting" and say the same in any interviews. They may ask in an interview what you dislike most about the hospital/acute care setting so be prepared with a nice answer that doesn't look like complaining
What area are you in?
I just have to say that your attitude and willingness to help, honesty, and wanting to do the right thing will get you far no matter what you do. (I think all this is reflected in your post.)
I agree with Ruby Vee. If you can tolerate your current position for at least a year, maybe you can consider an internal transfer within the same hospital. You have many great qualities of a nurse. At the end of the day, I would reflect on what you want. If your thought process is to apply to another hospital, you may be equally disappointed. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Good luck to you.
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