Have you ever heard the saying that nurses eat their young? Well, I experienced it firsthand in L&D, and I am never NEVER going back. It makes me sick to my stomach to think how I didn't stand up for myself until it just seemed too late. It is really disgusting the way they treated me as a new grad. The nurses made complaints about me to my manager and never said anything to my face! Then my manager bombarded me with a bunch of petty and often false information! I didn't answer the phone one time (nothing was said to me), I didn't "seem" like I knew what I was doing (um, probably because that nurse was too busy bossing me around!), I asked more than one person the same question (um, yeah, like asking, will you look at my strip? It is open to subjective interpretation!), oh, and I seemed too confident! ***** The key feature is that my manager said she was unable to summarize the complaints in any way. Of course she couldn't! It was pulled from anything and everything! I never once failed to meet a policy or standard of care; yet, my manager didn't even check the charts to find out the truth. I loved L&D patients (used to be doula, unlike any of them), but I'm not hanging around that horrible environment. I still have nightmares about it now 2 weeks later, and I just needed to vent. New grads, please watch your back! If somebody is giving you attitude, bring it up to them right then and there so they have to say their problem to your face. Also, insist your manager check the charts for what really happened! Poor leadership and a weak manager are a big part of the problem.
Aug 23, '12
Im sorry to hear this. Im still a student but have hopes to go into L&D right off. I've heard that L&D is a tough place and can be catty..I don't understand why this is though!
Aug 24, '12
Every unit is different, but what happened to me is textbook workplace bullying. My risk factors were being non-confrontational, intelligent, knowledgeable, hard-working, very experienced with natural labor, inquisitive (especially since they often didn't know the answers), fluent in another language, and having a philosophy of birth that was different than most--even though my philosophy did not prevent me from carrying out orders. If you are wide-eyed and put them on a pedestal, they might leave you alone. Also, if you have a strong manager that takes the time to hear both sides and doesn't cater to certain parties, that would be ok. Not everyone was a **** but enough were to get me to leave. They even complained that I searched the internet instead of reading policies! I had actually read every policy the department had published, but they were threatened by the fact that I sought knowledge outside of them. I'm going to be a benefit to my new unit, and it's their loss. I have learned a lot about protecting myself. I hope you can learn from my experience.
Aug 24, '12
I'm so sorry to hear that. Please don't judge all L&Ds by this one. I have spent most of my career in L&D, and I did travel nursing for years so I've worked in a lot of them. Most of them were places where the nurses valued teamwork and cared about their coworkers. If you liked the actual patient care part of it, try it at a different hospital.
Aug 26, '12
I am a newer grad working in L&D since June and I am blessed with a great unit where all the nurses work very well as a team and are very good at mentoring new employees. My preceptors are thorough with teaching and are constantly encouraging us (there are two of us) to ask questions. Not every L&D unit leaves a bad taste in someone's mouth or is run like cr*p though. You will see the type of working environment you described in all different units and hospitals and I am sorry the one you were on was so bad. I hope the next one works out for you and you are treated fairly!
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