New nurse here. How do I overcome a suspension from work?

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    I recently got my RN about 5 months ago and have been employed on a medsurg unit. It is a very busy unit that is at times understaffed and it is a lot to adjust to. I started with 2 other nurses and we have all made mistakes, however I made a very big mistake that is resulting in having a 3 day suspension from work . I am horrified that it even happened (dont worry nobody died or was harmed!), and I have definitely learned from my mistake and have completely changed the way I do everything. The problem is that now I am paranoid of making any mistake at all and I fear going to work every day because I am afraid any mistake at all will get me fired. Even though I made this mistake, I still feel as though I am a good nurse, and I always try my best.

    I really want to change jobs and work at a nursing home because I realize that maybe I am just not cut out to be a medsurg nurse on a very busy unit. The problem is that I do not know how to go about applying, since I am not sure if I should put my current employer on there or not. I know that I will not get a good reference from them, so I am tempted to leave them off since I have only worked there for 5 months. Is this dishonest to do this? What would you suggest would be my best course of action to find a job that is less hectic and stressful?

    Thank you so much for your reply!! This whole thing is very disturbing to me .
    lindarn likes this.
  2. 38 Comments so far...

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    Braden, I have heard a nursing home is a lot worse in staffing. Was it a med error? Because if so, that is easier to make in a nursing home. Maybe home health? It's one on one. Same patient load; but you can spend extra time to "cross your t's" and "dot your i's".

    That's my opinion and I am a student. Good luck to you
  4. 5
    agreed. There is not a facility of any type that is overstaffed and most are understaffed - hospitals, home health, hospice--you name it. My advice is to learn from your mistake and, if needed, contact the hospital educator for any remediation. I do that role and it often ends up more of a counseling session to give the nurse some confidence. We all make mistakes. Just push on till you know for sure what you want to do. Good luck.
  5. 1
    How horrible for you! I'm so sorry you're going through such a difficult time. It's hard enough to adjust as a new nurse and having this happen to you is understandably super scary! Long term care is crazy busy and always understaffed. You mentioned that all of the new nurses have made mistakes and I'm wondering if your facility is cutting the training down to get the floor staffed? With only being about 5 months out, is the facility supporting their new nurses?
    lindarn likes this.
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    Nursing homes are super busy. Like any where from 20 to 40 patients (depending on your shift) busy. A lot of what is done is medpass and charting. Also you need eyes in the back of your head to watch out for the sneaky ones.Why not Stay where you are and get your year of hospital experience. Then think about going into geriatrics. Do you really think that you still won't be worried about other mistake just because you work somewhere diffrent. Also I feel like honesty is the best policy.
    mmm333, ChristaRN, and lindarn like this.
  7. 9
    At this point you would not be making a good decision to make the move from med surg in an acute care hospital to a LTC facility. Stay where you are and tough it out. Running away from the problem is one thing, but running to an environment that is going to be exponentially worse is something else.
    mmm333, xoemmylouox, ChristaRN, and 6 others like this.
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    I have made mistakes too, everyone does. Don't beat yourself up. Good thing is that you Learned from them. I currently work in LTC and want out because staffing is much worse. You may have from 20- 60 residents ( depending on shift). This is way too much. Hang in there for 7 more months til you have your year under your belt and you can start looking for another area of nursing.
  9. 2
    Sorry, but I am curious about why you were suspended for 3days? Sorry, you do not have to share but just wondering.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN and lindarn like this.
  10. 13
    Do you use a cheat sheet?

    Write down every major task on each patient for the day, add as orders come in. Check often for orders.

    I use a "Box Grid" type set-up with pts. last room number only [139-B would be "9"] (incase I loose it, it's loaded with pt. info)

    I time it vertical down the side in 15 min increments. Room numbers horizontal across top.

    I list Medications, Allergies, Lab to check on/check in, Procedures, Tasks (dsg. changes, turns and repositions, ROMs), Consults, Pt's Doctor, VS/Pain Assessments, Basic Assessment, C/Os, Diet Type vs. NPO, %eaten from meals, Activity level, and I/Os. Cross things off as you do it, Draw one line through your VS when you chart them, so they are still legible.

    It also helps when a physician asks, "How is Mrs. XXXXXXX today?" or your shift end report. Have some blanks for new admits, and cross off discharges when of floor.

    If your depending on memorization, you are setting yourself up for failure, Most mistakes I see new nurses make is organizational related, or wouldn't have been missed. Omission errors are the highest I see, or something is "missed."
    I have a time check-off every hour for new orders check, once its off my list, it's off my mind.

    The sheet is invaluable when I start charting!!! I cover my bases well with it! Mistakes will happen, but the more prepared you are, the less they will come.

    If you get this "art" mastered, you will be amazed how much time it can save you! You cannot remember everything!!!!

    If I sound to harsh, it's because I want you to succeed, and have a long happy and fulfilling career! I want your patient's to be safe (and I know you do too), we have all made mistakes-but we HAVE TO learn from them!!

    NO NO NO, LTC is not the answer!! More patients, more medicines, and more treatments=more potential mistakes.
    The easiest person to change is ourselves. I just want the best for you. And, Remember our problems can outrun us!! You can never outrun them, they will follow you until you face and defeat them.

    Great Luck in Your Career, Sorry this Happened to You!!!!
    perioddrama, xoemmylouox, Lovely_RN, and 10 others like this.
  11. 4
    Thank you all for your reply!! The mistake that I made was sort of an omission, but a very bad omission. I had a patient transferred to me that I did not have on the tele monitor for about 2 hours. I assumed the nursing aid did this because I saw her in there fooling with it, and then I trusted the monitor to alarm if anything was wrong. In report I got that the patient was in sinus rhythm, and again I trusted other people and technology too much. I cant even believe that I did this because knowing what rhythm your patient is in is part of your assessment. Since then I have totally changed everything I am doing, and I am constantly checking and rechecking myself. I do have a checklist that is quite long and it does help me.

    The position in the nursing home that I was thinking of applying for is a supervisor position, so there is actually very little direct patient care. I dont know if that is the same as what you guys are referring to or not?

    The reason I am so scared to stay is because my manager said that "one more mistake like this will lead to your termination". I know that I will make mistakes because I am human, (though hopefully not such big mistakes!) and I am scared that she will fire me before my year is up. There is also an older nurse on the unit who does not like me at all , heard about my mistake and is now trying to get me in trouble for every little thing. (She went to my manager to tell her that I walked right by a call bell that was ringing--this is true but I only did it because I had a STAT med in my hand that I needed to give). Thankfully my manager could look and see in the documentation that it was true, but it worries me that this nurse seems like she is out to get me. The last thing I want to do is get fired from my first nursing job!! I have never been fired or even gotten in trouble at any job before.


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