Have I made a mistake? - page 4

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   Foxfour
    Quote from 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.
    I would love the kind of orientation you had. It seems to me that since training of a nurse is so expensive to an employer, they would do everything they could to keep the retention high. For example, give their new grads or transition nurses the kind of orientation like you had. I have always said that if a hospital would stand by this, I would be very faithful to my employer, and I know that a lot of nurses out there feel the same way I do. It is very scary to be thrown into something that you are not ready for. Can you send me a PM, and tell me what state and hospital you work in that gives nurses this great orientation? Thank you.
  2. by   obnursesteff
    Quote from Foxfour
    I would love the kind of orientation you had. It seems to me that since training of a nurse is so expensive to an employer, they would do everything they could to keep the retention high. For example, give their new grads or transition nurses the kind of orientation like you had. I have always said that if a hospital would stand by this, I would be very faithful to my employer, and I know that a lot of nurses out there feel the same way I do. It is very scary to be thrown into something that you are not ready for. Can you send me a PM, and tell me what state and hospital you work in that gives nurses this great orientation? Thank you.

    I work at Copley Hospital in Morrisville, Vermont. Our L&d unit is looking for 2 FT noc RNs at this time. My nurse manager is Cheryl Bourbon. Give us a call!!!! By the way, what is a PM? I'm guessing it is "personal message". How do you do it?
    Steff
    Last edit by obnursesteff on Mar 28, '05
  3. by   Lawnurse
    I'm really sorry your unit is treating you so badly. Here's another reason to get out...

    (court room - you're being sued)

    you: this happened because I was the only one on the floor and I hadn't been properly trained in this procedure and the nurse manager did not actually give me 8 weeks of preceptorship even though that was in my written contract.

    Plaintiff's lawyer: yet you continued to work in these conditions even though, as you said, you KNEW you were not properly trained for this procedure?

    you see where I am going with this...just because they are being TOTALLY unfair to you does not mean you can't get sued.

    Scary thought, I know. This is why I practice DEFENSE.

    best wishes to you <<<hugs>>>
  4. by   tryingtomakeit
    Just an update for you guys...

    About a week after my original post, I was asked if I would work nursery one night (alone of course). There was a nurse who is very competent in nsy who would be working post partum that night, and, as I said earlier, I had been given more orientation when I first started in nsy than I was given in L&D, however I had never worked nsy alone and it had been sometime since my orientation. My response was that I would do it only because the experienced nurse was working PP and under the condition that if ANYTHING out of the ordinary were to arise, there would be a more experienced nurse on call for me. WELL, guess what? I walked into the hospital that night to a stat section on a 34 weeker with a non reassuring strip (our nurses in nsy catch the babies) and the experienced nsy nurse who was supposed to have been working PP had called in due to a death in her family. I walked into my head nurse's office and reminded her that I was told that if ANYTHING out of the ordinary came up, that I would have backup. Her response? "The Dr. will be there, you'll be fine!"

    About two nights later, I was working L&D (once again alone). When I came in, I had one observation patient - a 29 weeker having a few irregular contractions. I was fine with that. I can give terbutaline and I give a mean fluid bolus! lol But in the space of about an hour, I had gotten four more patients. Let's do the math 5 mothers + 5 babies inside them = 10 patients, or at least that's my theory. Needless to say, I called the night supervisor and told her that I needed help. "I don't know where we're going to get it," was her reply. "Do you know anyone who would come in?" I replied that there was a list of L&D nurses and that she start at the top. She never came. About an hour later, the supervisor who was coming on behind her came on and started calling for backup. She claimed that she couldn't find anyone. So I called my manager and told her that either she could come in and help me or she would have my resignation the next morning. She came. She was grumpy, but she came (also I had gotten another patient before she got there).

    I work tonight, then my vacation starts. I just want God to get me through this night, then I am headed to job hunt next week.

    Thank you guys for all your support!
  5. by   BETSRN
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Just an update for you guys...

    About a week after my original post, I was asked if I would work nursery one night (alone of course). There was a nurse who is very competent in nsy who would be working post partum that night, and, as I said earlier, I had been given more orientation when I first started in nsy than I was given in L&D, however I had never worked nsy alone and it had been sometime since my orientation. My response was that I would do it only because the experienced nurse was working PP and under the condition that if ANYTHING out of the ordinary were to arise, there would be a more experienced nurse on call for me. WELL, guess what? I walked into the hospital that night to a stat section on a 34 weeker with a non reassuring strip (our nurses in nsy catch the babies) and the experienced nsy nurse who was supposed to have been working PP had called in due to a death in her family. I walked into my head nurse's office and reminded her that I was told that if ANYTHING out of the ordinary came up, that I would have backup. Her response? "The Dr. will be there, you'll be fine!"

    About two nights later, I was working L&D (once again alone). When I came in, I had one observation patient - a 29 weeker having a few irregular contractions. I was fine with that. I can give terbutaline and I give a mean fluid bolus! lol But in the space of about an hour, I had gotten four more patients. Let's do the math 5 mothers + 5 babies inside them = 10 patients, or at least that's my theory. Needless to say, I called the night supervisor and told her that I needed help. "I don't know where we're going to get it," was her reply. "Do you know anyone who would come in?" I replied that there was a list of L&D nurses and that she start at the top. She never came. About an hour later, the supervisor who was coming on behind her came on and started calling for backup. She claimed that she couldn't find anyone. So I called my manager and told her that either she could come in and help me or she would have my resignation the next morning. She came. She was grumpy, but she came (also I had gotten another patient before she got there).

    I work tonight, then my vacation starts. I just want God to get me through this night, then I am headed to job hunt next week.

    Thank you guys for all your support!
    I am very pleased to see that you stood up for what was right: you were in a terrible sitaution. I have NO doubt that you are making the right decisions by leaving. Do it ASAP: even if it means not having an income for a few weeks(if you can swing it). This is the type of sitaution that hangs us in a court of law.
  6. by   Gompers
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    So I called my manager and told her that either she could come in and help me or she would have my resignation the next morning. She came.
    Good for you! Those ratios you were talking about were completely unsafe, and you need to find a new job ASAP. Contact your old nursing school friends if you can, and find out how things are going for them. Maybe they can point you in the direction of a hospital with much safer staffing. Then, at your exit interview, describe IN DETAIL the kinds of things you've had to go through. I believe you are also in the position to report the hospital to the board of nursing. Do it.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!
  7. by   PreemieNurse
    I am the nurse manager of a NICU and what I would do if I were your manager, would be to assign you with a preceptor who will take more time with you. OB is NOT the field to fool around in, (if there is one!) as there are a lot of lawsuits in this field. Anything that happens with a baby, no matter how mild, and the parents are ready to take the physician and the nurse to court. I hear your plea and I would do something about it. I applaud you for your honesty and NOT trying to act like you know it all, as some nurses would do because they would be too embarrassed to admit they DON'T know it all!
    If you do not get any satisfaction from your manager, maybe RISK management can help you out. If you STILL don't get any help, maybe it's time to move on to a hospital where they WILL make sure you get the total orientation you need.

    Good luck!

    Cheryl



    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!
  8. by   esObRN
    I have been an L&D nurse for 5 yrs now. When I first got started I was told I would have a twelve week orientation. The 1st two weeks were dedicated to hospital (general) orientation. The following 2 to 3 wks were dedicated to classroom/perinatal education. Afterwards we were placed on floor orientation. Every day we had a different preceptor. After about 6 wks I was told it was time " to cut the cord." My manager and my charge nurse's told me I was doing great and I would be fine. A year later, I still felt so insecure. Every inservice/conference I went to made me feel even more inadequate. I know where you are coming from. We fought for better orientation for our new nurse's, this way we could increase our nursing retention rate. I remember so many nurse's coming on and not many would stay. I guess you could say it was "survival of the fittest."

    I work @ a facility where we average about 500 deliveries a month, a very high risk population. After my second year I finally felt like I could finally stand on my own to feet. I suggest you continue to talk to your peers and to management regarding education. They probably are right when they tell you that you will be fine. However, I know your insecurities will not just disappear. Look for learning opportunities. Remember, nursing is a "hands on" learning job. Always use your resources, look, listen, learn from your elders and more experienced nurses. Don't doubt yourself. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the shoulda, coulda, woulda. Look at me now. I am in charge of the Triage area - a five bed unit, I do charge of our 17 LDR unit. Your time will come when you will finally feel like you can stand on your own two feet. I don't know it all, but I am willing to learn every single day. If there is one thing that experience has taught me is that one must always learn to use their resources.
  9. by   KacyLynnRN
    Oh my god....I would get the HELL out! I don't even work L&D and I still feel very strongly that you are in a BAD, BAD situation! I would try to look for a job at a larger hospital's L&D floor, so you would have plenty of experienced people who could help you out. If you stay where you are at, I would be very afraid that you could be involved in a malpractice suit one day. And, the SBON would not care if you said "well, my orientation was cut short...I was the only nurse on the floor...etc." In their opinion, you should know what an unsafe situation is and not get yourself into it. You have gone to management and told them you do not feel properly trained/ready to be on your own and they still wouldn't help you. Do you think if something really bad happens they will help you either?? My advice is to get out ASAP.
  10. by   gajalama
    [font=Arial Black]Your first 'clue' that this was not a healthy place to work at is the fact that they segment birthing care. Women and families should be cared for in birthing suites, not in three seperate places: L/D, Nursery, and Post Partum. Get out and find a progressive hospital where you can grow and enjoy your nursing skills and abilities. I've been an RN for over 31 yrs, and in the 1980's hospitals began to change the way care to pg. women was provided based upon all the literature and research about bonding and attachment and such. The archaic way women and families have been seperated since the 40's does nothing to promote a healthy birth experience. Find a place where you can care for the entire family. This just makes my blood boil to know that in the 2000's we are still seperating the care we provide to pregnant women. All the best to you!
    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!
  11. by   FrumDoula
    Quote from gajalama
    [font=Arial Black]Your first 'clue' that this was not a healthy place to work at is the fact that they segment birthing care. Women and families should be cared for in birthing suites, not in three seperate places: L/D, Nursery, and Post Partum. Get out and find a progressive hospital where you can grow and enjoy your nursing skills and abilities. I've been an RN for over 31 yrs, and in the 1980's hospitals began to change the way care to pg. women was provided based upon all the literature and research about bonding and attachment and such. The archaic way women and families have been seperated since the 40's does nothing to promote a healthy birth experience. Find a place where you can care for the entire family. This just makes my blood boil to know that in the 2000's we are still seperating the care we provide to pregnant women. All the best to you!
    BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And what is so scary and sad is that these women think they are in the safest possible environment to have their babies. Oy ....

    I have to admit, it still makes me nuts to watch babies separated from their mothers so often in the name of hospital policy and not medical necessity. Mom gets a token 10 minutes of "bonding time" before the kid is whisked away to the french fry warmer to be evaluated, when it could all be done right there on the mom most times. I saw this practice continued recently, even in "progressive" San Francisco.

    Alison
  12. by   BETSRN
    Quote from FrumDoula
    BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And what is so scary and sad is that these women think they are in the safest possible environment to have their babies. Oy ....

    I have to admit, it still makes me nuts to watch babies separated from their mothers so often in the name of hospital policy and not medical necessity. Mom gets a token 10 minutes of "bonding time" before the kid is whisked away to the french fry warmer to be evaluated, when it could all be done right there on the mom most times. I saw this practice continued recently, even in "progressive" San Francisco.

    Alison
    I think you are really jumping the gun here, FrumDoula. There are plenty of places that do not grab the baby away from the mother after 10 minutes to sit under a "french fry warmer" as you call it! Do I think all hospitals do a good job keeping mother and baby together? No, I do not. However, I think those really old fashioned places are more the exception now than the rule. Sure, they exist, but they are in the minority.

    Now, I am blessed to be able to work in one of those facilities that is an LDRP and we never separate mother and baby unless there is a medical need. I know in my heart that this is the right way to do things. However, we are lucky to be a smaller place and can afford to do so, haveing an ENTIRE staff that is completely crosstrained.

    That being said, I know that in larger facilities, doing this kind of nursing just is NOT feasible. Volume does not always allow this type of care and in reality most places do NOT have nurses that care to be crosstrained in this regard. Even when we become full, we still have to move mothers to non-birthing rooms to make room for those coming who are laboring. Despite our effort to keep them together, sometimes mother doen NOT want to have the baby withher 24/7. Do I like that? No, but no matter how much you teach and how much evidence there is to support this couplet concept, there will always be those who do not go by the book.

    Many factors go into this: many of them totally out of nurses' control. So, please don't always jump to blame the establishment (although they are usually at fault).

    Your doula philosophy is wonderful and in a perfect world, all mothers and babies would be together 24/7 and they would want to be, but sadly, that is not the case. When you graduate and become a staff nurse (even in a successful LDRP), you may see the other side of the coin a bit.

    We ALL want to (and do) give safe care. I resent your comments lumping all of us together. Safe care can be given in many settings. Just because mothers and babies move to a PP unit after birth, does NOT mean that their environment is any less safe or effective. Once you personally have actually cleaned an LDRP room after a birth and seen what goes into its upkeep, you may understand better. As nurse, you'll more than likely have to push that mop around a bit. Maybe then your perspective will grow and develop a bit.

    I wish you the best. Experience will be a good teacher for you.
  13. by   nursey_girl
    I started out in L and D 9 years ago. Can be very overwhelming for anyone, especially a new nurse. You probably are doing great! Don't be hard on yourself. A few weeks does not make a labor and delivery nurse and you're getting the short end of the stick. Basically, you're getting taken advantage of and your supervisor knows it. I love the doctors and staff and babies too, but L and D is one of those areas with a fine line..When thing are good, they are very good....when things are bad, they can be very bad in a very serious life threatening way.
    Abruptions, prolapsed cords, preeclamsia, eclampsia, shoulder dystocia!! The list goes on!
    I worked in a situation a lot like yours in a small hospital several years ago. I learned a lot, and loved that job!! But looking back, I was living a charmed life! If not for a truly wonderful Doc, who himself was blessed and other staff throuhout the hospital that lended me support whenever I was in a fix, I could have really gotten in trouble.
    I eventually moved on to a larger area of the state...Looking back I sometimes get goosebumps. I was so clueless!! The things I have seen now and the thought of what if!!
    You deserve to be the very best you can be and to have the backing you deserve instead of a pat on the back!! Part of being the excellant nurse you want to be is to have a back bone. Start now by not letting yourself get taken advantage of....Good luck!

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