Have I made a mistake? - page 2

I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there's really no way to condense it. When I went into nursing, I knew from the start that I wanted to specialize in an area that I could really try... Read More

  1. by   BETSRN
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there's really no way to condense it.

    When I went into nursing, I knew from the start that I wanted to specialize in an area that I could really try to excell in. I didn't know what area until I graduated (last May), but I finally settled on L&D.

    To make a long story short, I love what I do. I love deliveries, the babies, my co-workers are absolutely wonderful ... BUT!!! When I started, cross training was the big thing in our area ( which I think is great ). I started out in nursery - spent about two and a half months there, then I went to post-partum - only spent a week there, then to surgery - where I witnessed all of THREE c-sections. I finally made it to L&D in September.

    I had been in orientation for about three weeks when my partner for the shift called in. I was left on the floor alone by my manager who had told me that she would be around if I needed her. I had two deliveries back to back and was never able to find her! Keep in mind I am a new grad who had only been in L&D for about three weeks.

    When I was started, I was promised at LEAST 8 weeks with a preceptor - I worked with her a total of about six days in my first month and a half - then I was taken off orientation! I was told that I was doing wonderfully and that I was ready. I DIDN'T FEEL READY! The next month (November) I went to the night shift WORKING ALONE!

    My problem is that now here I am, in March, still feeling very scared and alone. Like I said, I love my job, but because I am alone so much of the time and still feel so new and like I missed out on so much, I feel myself dreading coming back in before I even start my days off.

    I said that I saw a whopping 3 c-sections while I was in surgery - after that I was expected to scrub the d--- things! I was like - "Who the h--- are Bonnie and Alice??!!!!!!!" (teasing of course). Anyways, I think you get the picture.

    Now I am starting to feel as though I made a mistake in going into nursing at all. I have tried telling my head nurse and the manager that I am scared, but all I ever get is a pat on the head, "You're doing great!"

    I can't begin to tell you the times that I have been literally thrown into things - last week I had to work nursery alone and I was scared to death. It was my first time and my training in there was back in June of last year. I walked in that night and, of course, there was a c-section about to take place. I told my head nurse that I really needed some support because I had only caught the baby in a section a couple of times and that had been a year ago. Her answer? "You'll have Dr. with you, you'll be fine!"

    My question is, Have I messed up? Am I being treaded unreasonably or am I just not cut out for nursing? I feel like I have the potential to be an excellent nurse, but why am I feeling like I just don't want to go on?

    Thanks!
    You ARE being treated unreasonably. GO find another job ASAP. One should have a MIMIMUM of 12-16 weeks of orientation in L&D and then you are not expected to be competent for at least a year after that.

    Do NOT stay there. I know it is a difficult decision, but you are sitting on a time bomb.
  2. by   BETSRN
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Gompers, Do you suppose that, if I did go somewhere else, they would give me a propper orientation, or do you think that I would be considered "experienced" and be thrown to the wolves there too? This in my biggest concern.
    Judge the hospital by the orientation they offer. Do NOT accept anything under a 3 month orientation (not counting hospital orientation) at all. You are risking your license.
  3. by   BETSRN
    Quote from Gompers
    Don't worry, what you are feeling is completely natural, and I think most new nurses would feel the exact same way in your shoes. You were really cheated out of a proper orientation, and I still can't figure out why there would be only one nurse (you!) on any given shift instead of the 2+ I thought was required by most L&D units. You are in jeopardy there, and I'm glad you came here to ask some questions.

    First I'd talk to your manager, and really express your concerns because this is about patient safety and liability. If there is no change, then I'd quietly go job hunting.

    Also, to echo what begalli said - you did NOT do anything wrong.

    First of all, even 2 nurses is not adequate EVER as long as there is even one laboring patient. Any hospital worth anything will understand why you got out. You are not "badmouthing" the hospital by telling the next place about your lack of orientation. That's just fact, and something that should never happen.

    We are a small community hospital who does 800-900 deliveried a year. The only time we ever staff with 2 nurses is when we have NO patients at all. The minute you have even one labor check come through the door you potentially could need 3 nurses immediately (if you have no scrub tech available) if there was an emergency.

    You are just starting out in a wonderful area of nursing. I have been in it for 20 years! Don't let this one experience sour you. Go find another facility that will care about you and give you the orientation you need. Do not accept less. Keep looking until you find it.

    The most important thing to remember is that in staying, you are risking YOUR license and involvement in law suits. You worked hard for your license, remember that.
  4. by   BETSRN
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Thank you all so so much. I have some time off coming up in April, I am definitely going to start looking around. Want a good laugh? Since I first posted last night, I got an email saying that I am being sent to preceptor class next month. ROTFLMAOOO! Does it ever stop? And Dixie, I know what you mean, they flatter you, but my gut is telling me exactly what you said. THERE JUST ISN'T ANYONE ELSE! Begalli, thanks for the encouragement!
    PRECEPTOR class?????? I'd get out today. If you can afford to take a few weeks off, I'd leave today and start looking tomorrow.

    Someday, after years of wondwerful L&D experience, you'll look back on this and just shake you head. Even if you have to accept another type of nursing for a time, get out while you still have your license intact and give yourself peace of mind.

    Your place sounds truly scary. AFter you haev secured another job and are well ensconced in it, I would sit down and write your board of nursing (and JCAHO) a letter stating your experiences. They should not be getting away with that.
  5. by   Jay Levan
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there's really no way to condense it.

    When I went into nursing, I knew from the start that I wanted to specialize in an area that I could really try to excell in. I didn't know what area until I graduated (last May), but I finally settled on L&D.

    To make a long story short, I love what I do. I love deliveries, the babies, my co-workers are absolutely wonderful ... BUT!!! When I started, cross training was the big thing in our area ( which I think is great ). I started out in nursery - spent about two and a half months there, then I went to post-partum - only spent a week there, then to surgery - where I witnessed all of THREE c-sections. I finally made it to L&D in September.

    I had been in orientation for about three weeks when my partner for the shift called in. I was left on the floor alone by my manager who had told me that she would be around if I needed her. I had two deliveries back to back and was never able to find her! Keep in mind I am a new grad who had only been in L&D for about three weeks.

    When I was started, I was promised at LEAST 8 weeks with a preceptor - I worked with her a total of about six days in my first month and a half - then I was taken off orientation! I was told that I was doing wonderfully and that I was ready. I DIDN'T FEEL READY! The next month (November) I went to the night shift WORKING ALONE!

    My problem is that now here I am, in March, still feeling very scared and alone. Like I said, I love my job, but because I am alone so much of the time and still feel so new and like I missed out on so much, I feel myself dreading coming back in before I even start my days off.

    I said that I saw a whopping 3 c-sections while I was in surgery - after that I was expected to scrub the d--- things! I was like - "Who the h--- are Bonnie and Alice??!!!!!!!" (teasing of course). Anyways, I think you get the picture.

    Now I am starting to feel as though I made a mistake in going into nursing at all. I have tried telling my head nurse and the manager that I am scared, but all I ever get is a pat on the head, "You're doing great!"

    I can't begin to tell you the times that I have been literally thrown into things - last week I had to work nursery alone and I was scared to death. It was my first time and my training in there was back in June of last year. I walked in that night and, of course, there was a c-section about to take place. I told my head nurse that I really needed some support because I had only caught the baby in a section a couple of times and that had been a year ago. Her answer? "You'll have Dr. with you, you'll be fine!"

    My question is, Have I messed up? Am I being treaded unreasonably or am I just not cut out for nursing? I feel like I have the potential to be an excellent nurse, but why am I feeling like I just don't want to go on?

    Thanks!
    I predict that we will see many more of these same stories over the next five to ten years. Although it is happenening to a lesser degree now, I have personally seen several nurses with the same story to tell. Basicly that story is, "that they feel as though they are being thrown to the wolves." Hosp. Admin. could not care less about your license to practice! :angryfire
  6. by   brigaily2000
    Quote from Dixielee
    I will agree with the other posters. You need to get out ASAP and protect your license, your home and everything you have worked for. You are being put in a dangerous situation and it is just a matter of time before something unexpected comes along and you will be liable because you are continuing to allow yourself to be put into unsafe situations. The hospital, your supervisor, nurse manager, etc. will probably NOT be named in the lawsuit, but you will if things go wrong. I'm not saying you will be responsible, but L&D is probably the most likely place to get sued if something goes wrong, even if you do NOTHING wrong. Why do you think some many OB's are getting out of the practice.

    There are other places where you will have a proper orientation and support. You should already be able to see that your hospital is not going to stand by you if the chips are down. They have lied to you about everything so far, so I doubt they would suddenly become responsible if a crisis emerges.

    Don't let them just tell you you are doing fine. I'm sure you are, but you do not have the experience or judgement yet to handle the unexpected.

    I say this from experience. As a new grad 31 years ago I wanted to work in ICU. I was told I would be with an experienced RN, oriented, blah, blah, blah. I was paired with another new grad who had worked at Macy's selling handbags while in school, and this was her first medical job ever. I had worked as a tech then "student nurse" (we could do that back then), so I was in charge. I was scared but flattered that they thought I could do it. How nieve could I have been!!!! They just didn't have anyone else there. The first time we had a code, neither one of us could function. Fortunately, it happened at about 0655 and a day shift nurse walked in while we stood around with our thumb up our a$$, and grabbed an ambu bag. It is purely by the Grace of God and dumb luck that we did not out and out kill anyone from lack of experience.

    I have some tales of the early years that will curl your hair, as I'm sure a lot of us old timers have. I will write a book on it later. I won't bore you will the details, just trust me!

    Be aware of your limitations, trust your instincts and get the heck out while you can!
    I would be interested in reading said book. Let me know when or if it's out!!
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    YOU did not mess up; they did. We never staff counting orientees where I work. This place sounds dangerous. YOUR license and patient's health and lives are on the line. Your instincts are good; you need to move on if at all possible. If not, you need to address your concerns to your manager (but don't expect much to change, sadly).

    If you do secure another job someplace else, be SURE you detail in your exit interview WHY you are LEAVING very clearly. I wish you the best. TRY to find a position that has a RESIDENCY in labor/delivery (usually at larger hospitals). This is your BEST way to get oriented properly to OB. HUGS.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Mar 11, '05
  8. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Now I am starting to feel as though I made a mistake in going into nursing at all. I have tried telling my head nurse and the manager that I am scared, but all I ever get is a pat on the head, "You're doing great!"

    Sounds like me when I was brand new in home health - LOVED doing visits, didn't mind the paperwork or the travel.

    Then my boss became director of TWO facilities (same company) and began to spend most of her time at the other facility which had kind of fallen apart. Leaving me to do my own duties (I was brand new at home health) PLUS many of HERs including some very tough paperwork I barely knew how to do.

    After a couple of weeks I realized this place was gonna go under if I didn't get some help. I begged and pleaded, wrote up my concerns. They did the same thing - that pat on the head, "You're doing GREAT!" Yeah right! and then they kept promising me help for weeks - things got worse and worse. I ended up quitting because there was NO WAY I could take all that, and be responsible for the whole facility! If I had had plenty of experience, maybe I could have - but not when I was so GREEN.

    This says NOTHING about your nursing abilities, NOTHING. But it sounds like if you don't get the orientation you were promised YOU are gonna go under! I guess you need to go through the chain of command until you get HEARD! It's not just you and your fear - it's your patients, all of them! who deserve to have someone with training. God forbid something goes wrong.

    This isn't like working for a 7-11 where if the poop hits the fan it would make for a funny sit-com. This is REAL LIFE and REAL situations -

    I HATE how in nursing we so often get stuck in these kinds of positions!

    Good luck!
  9. by   tryingtomakeit
    Once again, thank you all so much for the wonderful advice. The things I have told you don't even begin to describe some of the positions I have been put in. For instance, one night I was assigned as the only nurse in L&D for the night and was already dreading going to work. When I got there, there was only one baby and one mom on post partum/nsy. Guess what? BOTH the Nursery and post partum nurse were called off and I was left covering L&D, nursery AND PP. I had two O&E's come in that night and was running back and forth between PP and L&D trying to keep up with the baby and mom and my O&E's. Every night when I go to work, it's like something worse than the night before happens. I just wanted to be really sure that this isn't the norm. Our hospital has about 700 deliveries a year, so it is small, but not THAT small.

    Like I said, In April I have some time off coming and I plan to spend a lot of it looking for a new job.

    Thanks again!
  10. by   camay1221_RN
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there's really no way to condense it.

    When I went into nursing, I knew from the start that I wanted to specialize in an area that I could really try to excell in. I didn't know what area until I graduated (last May), but I finally settled on L&D.

    To make a long story short, I love what I do. I love deliveries, the babies, my co-workers are absolutely wonderful ... BUT!!! When I started, cross training was the big thing in our area ( which I think is great ). I started out in nursery - spent about two and a half months there, then I went to post-partum - only spent a week there, then to surgery - where I witnessed all of THREE c-sections. I finally made it to L&D in September.

    I had been in orientation for about three weeks when my partner for the shift called in. I was left on the floor alone by my manager who had told me that she would be around if I needed her. I had two deliveries back to back and was never able to find her! Keep in mind I am a new grad who had only been in L&D for about three weeks.

    When I was started, I was promised at LEAST 8 weeks with a preceptor - I worked with her a total of about six days in my first month and a half - then I was taken off orientation! I was told that I was doing wonderfully and that I was ready. I DIDN'T FEEL READY! The next month (November) I went to the night shift WORKING ALONE!

    My problem is that now here I am, in March, still feeling very scared and alone. Like I said, I love my job, but because I am alone so much of the time and still feel so new and like I missed out on so much, I feel myself dreading coming back in before I even start my days off.

    I said that I saw a whopping 3 c-sections while I was in surgery - after that I was expected to scrub the d--- things! I was like - "Who the h--- are Bonnie and Alice??!!!!!!!" (teasing of course). Anyways, I think you get the picture.

    Now I am starting to feel as though I made a mistake in going into nursing at all. I have tried telling my head nurse and the manager that I am scared, but all I ever get is a pat on the head, "You're doing great!"

    I can't begin to tell you the times that I have been literally thrown into things - last week I had to work nursery alone and I was scared to death. It was my first time and my training in there was back in June of last year. I walked in that night and, of course, there was a c-section about to take place. I told my head nurse that I really needed some support because I had only caught the baby in a section a couple of times and that had been a year ago. Her answer? "You'll have Dr. with you, you'll be fine!"

    My question is, Have I messed up? Am I being treaded unreasonably or am I just not cut out for nursing? I feel like I have the potential to be an excellent nurse, but why am I feeling like I just don't want to go on?

    Thanks!

    I just want to throw more support your way!!! You didn't make a mistake going into nursing! Find a hospital that will train you appropriately and you will see why you chose nursing.

    I started working in L&D iat the end of November and I will be on orientation until the end of April. I have been a nurse for seven years, but I asked my educator to orient me as a new grad, as I have very little background with having to think on my feet and critical thinking. Orientation for a new grad in our L&D is six months.

    Good Luck to you with your current job and best of luck looking for a new one!
  11. by   tasharn
    I hate to sound horrible but welcome to the real world. I have been in l&d two years and I work alone on the night shift, without centeral monitoring and no in house dr. or surgery crew. Hope someone don't come in abrupted,
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from tasharn
    I hate to sound horrible but welcome to the real world. I have been in l&d two years and I work alone on the night shift, without centeral monitoring and no in house dr. or surgery crew. Hope someone don't come in abrupted,
    then your hospital is violating AWHONN standards regarding staffing. BAD news. Someone better review those standards since you are held to them.
  13. by   palesarah
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Once again, thank you all so much for the wonderful advice. The things I have told you don't even begin to describe some of the positions I have been put in. For instance, one night I was assigned as the only nurse in L&D for the night and was already dreading going to work. When I got there, there was only one baby and one mom on post partum/nsy. Guess what? BOTH the Nursery and post partum nurse were called off and I was left covering L&D, nursery AND PP. I had two O&E's come in that night and was running back and forth between PP and L&D trying to keep up with the baby and mom and my O&E's. Every night when I go to work, it's like something worse than the night before happens. I just wanted to be really sure that this isn't the norm. Our hospital has about 700 deliveries a year, so it is small, but not THAT small.

    Like I said, In April I have some time off coming and I plan to spend a lot of it looking for a new job.

    Thanks again!
    (((HUGS))) to you. You've recieved some great advice by some wonderful nurses here already. I just wanted to share my experience- I was hired into an LDRP that does approx 800 deliveries/year right after graduation in 2003. I was given a 3 month orientation to postpartum (we don't have a wellbaby nursery), followed by 3 months to L&D. When I came off orientation, I wasn't quite ready, so I got ANOTHER 2-3 months of L&D orientation before I was "counted". I was later oriented to our Level 2 nursery.
    I'm approaching my 2 year anniversary in a few months, and it's only been in the past few months or so that I have started to feel at all comfortable being "on my own", although I'm never really- we never staff with fewer than 3 nurses.

    And they still don't count me as "experienced" when determining skill mix for a shift!

    I know from reading here that I have recieved an exceptional orientation, and work on an exceptional unit, and I am grateful. Our new grads/new hires are babied a bit, because they want us to grow into safe, skilled nurses. And I wanted you to know that what you've been thrown into is NOT how it has to be!

    I hope you take the advice of the others here and seek a job at a hospital that will also give you the orientation you need and deserve to be a safe, competent nurse. Good luck!

close