Quote from mattsmom81
I have always strived to be very kind to new nurses.it seems like today if we say anything but wonderful things to a new grad, they run crying they've been 'eaten'.
In today's money driven healthcare system, hospitals use warm bodies where they shouldn't. They have given me new grads (counted as a staff member in) ICU and told me to 'train' them on the job, without an education or internship program at our disposal. That is unfair to me and all the ICU patients, as well as unfair to the new grad. But when I have spoken up about the unfairness of this (and refused to precept new grads in my ICU), I have been accused of 'young eating' and of 'not liking new nurses'. Both untrue...it was the SITUATION I didn't like!!. Of course a few spineless nurses took on the new grads. <sigh>
Just because a seasoned nurse says 'this is no place for a new grad and I cannot be responsible for precepting them' doesn't mean the problem IS the new grad.
So...the term has been twisted IMHO. Perhaps even used against us to manipulate us into accepting new grads in less than optimal conditions to keep from being labeled a 'young eater'.
I think the answer is "courtesy" and support. I, too, beleive the "eating our young" phrase is getting to become so oft-spoken that that kind of enviroment is almost expected and accepted. I had fortunately up unitl last year had always worked with courteous and supportive nursing staff. I won't say I was personal friends with everyone I worked with but I knew that I would not be left "out in the cold". Last year, I learned the true meaning of the phrase. They say God sends you thru trouble to learn something. I know will not ever allow that kind of behaivior to persist in the work enviroment nor will I work in an enviroment where it persists.
There are many things that can be done to encourage and support new staff (young and old). Many of those stem from leadership, this in my opinion is the root of the problem. For instance,
(1)management should select indiviuals to precept based on willingness to teach not soloely on clinical expertise
it is wonderful to have clinically proficient staff teach new staff but if they are burnt out and disillusioned, they are simply not worth it. My first foray into ICU, I was precepted by nurse who was 1 year out of nursing school (I had been in nursing up to ten years at that point) but that nurse was patient, enthusiastic and encouraging. Coming into a new and unfamailiar enviroment, she made a big difference.
(2) If a orientee makes a mistake, their preceptor is equally responsible.
At the hospital where I currently work any nurse who is assigned as a preceptor is bound by an agreement that if a significant error is made by an orientee, she is equally responsible. After a certain period of time, the preceptor, manager and orientee sign an agreement that states that the orientee is comfortable in administering medication unsupervised and is fully responsible for their own errors. It is amazing how much more reponsibilty and concern are shown to orientees by preceptors because of this. By the way, preceptors are also attend a training class and are paid an additional 2 dollars an hour for shifts that they precept on.
(3) Management has a responsibility to be bigger than the pettiness.
One of the reasons I left a previous job was not because I disliked the nurses that I worked with (although I did) but was primarily because of a manager with poor leadership abilities and lack of good communication. Part of being a leader is observing, ensuring accuracy, and remaining objective. If the manager runs behind every petty complaint without considering merit or affect, they are worse than the staff. So often, new staff is the target of petty complaints, it is up to mangement not support that behaivior by not going out the door with it.
(3.5) Stop talking to the manager about problems and start talking to one another.
If someone makes a mistake, talk to them
about it first. New staff often do not know they made a mistake or something is a problem, how insulting and disillusioning to keep hearing compaints coming to you from your manager. How can new staff trust and respect co-workers who are so conniving and petty.
(4) Everyone deserves an organized, prepared orientation that is planned and followed.
How difficult is it to start taking retention seriously enough that you plan for new staff. So often, orientation is an afterthought. Before a new employee sets foot in the door, they should have their progress monitored and documented
. They should know the plan and leadership should support and follow
the plan. Stop putting new nurses into staffing because you are short, start showing how much you value them. Like the above qoute, it is absolutely unfair to a new nurse to expect them to have an effective learning experience in that type of situation. It burdens the preceptor and the orientee.
(5) I may not be able to change your attitude but I don't have to support you in it
It's about time that good nurses start standing up to the poison spitters. If and when I hear a nurse trashing what so and so did, I don't stand and quietly agree. I remind them (in a nice way) how often I have had to clean up behind them and what a shame it is that they can only find fault since I have seen so many positive things in this person
(6) Be a mentor and team
I always find new staff when a procedure needs to be performed. They don't have to be "my orientee". I take time to step in the room and take a set of vitals for them if I see they are busy --- you don't have to ask. That's what teamwork is. That's what I expect -- That's what I demand!!!!