Have I made a mistake? - page 3

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 palesarah
    (((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!
    Sarah's comments about the skill mix is something I forgot to mention. First, we never take a new grad into our LDRP (same size as the OP's). But even after someone "comes off" orientation, we never consider them to be able to really work alone (as competent) for at least a year. We, also, look at each daily assignment and look at the skill mix so that one experienced RN is never left with all newer people. We never staff with less than three either, unless there are absolutley NO patients on the unit at all and even then, someone is always on call and ready to come in at a moment's notice.

    I think the responses here have driven home the fact that even when a unit is small, there is NEVER any excuse for poor, unsafe staffing. No one should EVER accept a job into a unit that staffs poorly or treats its staff as the OP was treated. There is so much liability in OB as it is and no one should risk their license. There are so many wonderful hospitals out there. It just takes some looking.
  2. by   obnursesteff
    I was almost in tears after reading your note. We have a small LDRP unit (3 rooms, about 250 deliveries/year). We always have at least one RN on the unit, even if we are closed, a 2nd is always on call.
    Our orientation is scheduled for 1 year. 8-9 months on day shift, following preceptor's schedule, then 3 months on shift hired for. This coupled with weekly meetings with nurse manager to keep her updated with orientation goals and competencies. This is how I was precepted, I have been at the same place for 9 years. I LOVE IT.
    Do not settle for a place that makes you hate your job. It is too great of a profession for one place to turn you off. Get out and find a good place to work, that will treat you like the professional that you are.
  3. by   BETSRN
    Quote from camay1221_RN
    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!
    I second that response. Nursing is too wonderful to throw in the towel. There are so many good units out there, good cohesive staffs and good managers. WE are not always lucky to find those in combination.

    The poster above is very lucky to have such a good orientation. That's the way it should be on any unit. We are pretty lucky where I am (except for the effective manager part). Take the time to look around. You know what you do NOT want, so now you know the questions to ask when job hunting. best of luck. Be picky!
  4. by   chimama
    You poor thing! In the unit I work new grads are given about 6 months of orientation and I have precepted for as long a three months because the grad felt she needed it. I think your manager is taking a HUGE risk having someone so inexperienced, even if you are real good,alone on shifts. I think you have been done wrong and should try to find another job.
  5. by   Overland1
    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.

    Ditto! Putting a new nurse in a position where lives and/or licenses are at risk is a sign that something is definitely wrong there. Even experienced nurses need some orientation to a new place.

    When you discuss this with the manager, observe that manager's responses and subsequent actions. If the problem is resolved, then all is (probably) good; if not, then (as stated above) quietly begin the search.
  6. by   tridil2000
    Quote from Jerry Falletta
    Ditto! Putting a new nurse in a position where lives and/or licenses are at risk is a sign that something is definitely wrong there. Even experienced nurses need some orientation to a new place.

    When you discuss this with the manager, observe that manager's responses and subsequent actions. If the problem is resolved, then all is (probably) good; if not, then (as stated above) quietly begin the search.



    write your nm a letter and cc it to her boss. in the letter, start off by requesting that this letter be placed in your permanent file with human resources.

    in the letter, explain how you want the full 8 weeks of orientaion that was promised as a condition of employment. write that you only had x amount, and were then expected to go off orientation without your consent or without proper training. write that you feel the hospital has 'set you up to fail' (this is a legal term beleive it or not!)

    keep notes of their responses in a record box at home. write down who said what and when. also write down if any other nurses witness their comments.

    if you don't get a proper orientation after that, look for a new job. the facility is too lax and too dangerous.

    good luck!
  7. by   riern
    I'm sure you're discouraged but you've gotten some great advice here. Listen to it, don't drag your feet, it only takes one dead baby.

    I too am afraid we'll see this happening more and more in the years to come. Hospitals are all too willing to put a warm body in an empty spot and not look at the whole picture. We as nurses have to stand up and protect ourselves. What I've found at our hospital is that the CNO has not idea what the manager is doing and HR is even more clueless. Not only do you need to put your concerns and examples as you've given us in writing to your manager, send a copy to her boss, the hospital CNO and the HR person. That should get some changes going.

    You did not make a mistake by going into nursing. Hang in there and keep us posted.
  8. by   UM Review RN
    OK, I don't work L&D, but I was still upset for you after I read your post. I just want to add that you might want to look into getting some insurance.

    http://nso.com/

    Some of us are insured, some are not, very few will admit it, but nowadays, it's a smart thing to think about.
  9. by   Littlewonder
    Wow!!! Don't just get more orientation, but raise an alarm in the community. As a patient advocate, the people of the community need to know that they are risking their lives to go to that hospital!!! The staffing there is a huge part of the problem. NO MATTER HOW EXPERIENCED YOU ARE THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ONE NURSE TO BE CARING FOR THE ENTIRE FLOOR! If any emergency happened anywhere someone's life could be on the line. This is a situation for an immediate call to the state authorities, JCHO, and the local newspaper. Wow. I would be terrified!!! I have worked OB for three years and have been put in some bad spots staffing wise (me alone with one mom and baby) but what you are talking about is out of this world dangerous. The public deserves to know that they are not safe there.

    (I am totally not blaming you - you sound like a very contientious nurse to be so scared! But why in the world are the other nurses there putting up with this situation???!!!)
  10. by   Littlewonder
    By the way, our hospital is much smaller (350 deliveries on a good year) and we are never staffed with under two nurses with a third on call if needed. (Try for a hospital where LDRP/nursery are all combined, there are more nurses available to learn from if you are all together instead of split into different departments!)
  11. by   BETSRN
    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 you, too, are choosing to risk your license and the lives of others. I'd get out like the other poster we are all encouraging.
  12. by   icyounurse
    get out while you still have a liscence. you should have at least 12 weeks of orientation on the unit you are working on. that is standard, or at least it should be.
  13. by   NurseFirst
    Quote from BETSRN
    Then you, too, are choosing to risk your license and the lives of others. I'd get out like the other poster we are all encouraging.
    Actually, I think you could quit and then submit a claim for unemployment insurance based upon working in a place with unsafe staffing.

    I gather this hospital isn't unionized. I can't imagine a unionized hospital being able to get away with this.

    NurseFirst

close