Hi. I graduated last May and was thrilled to find a job a year after graduation at a big city hospital (I wanted to work at a public hospital, not private) in a psych unit. My preceptor was wonderful, my orientation was 3 months and seemed extremely thorough, and I liked most everyone I encountered, from doctors to fellow RNs to patients. I was learning a lot, working very hard but enjoying it. We were always short-staffed but I was glad to experience primary nursing, from making beds to med-passing.
Then my preceptor went on vacation and chaos ensued. This was at the last two weeks of my orientation, when I was expected to do charge nursing and run the unit, do admits and discharges, make the schedule under Nurse X. Nurse X could not be bothered to explain anything or answer any questions. She would not inform me about changes in patients conditions or if she gave narcotics to anyone on my lunch break, making me look stupid and neglectful. Under me/her, psych techs exchanged duties without telling anyone, abandoned their 1:1 and COs, other nurses took 2 and 3 hour lunches and violent, psychotic patients were literally running amok in the hallways, scaring other patients, while Nurse X chatted with her boyfriend on the phone. Nurse X was also very territorial. I hadn't done an admit on my own, so my nurse educator explicitly told her that I had to do one. I was in the midst of talking to a suicidal young Japanese woman about why she had taken an overdose of pills (it took a while to get her to talk because she wanted to give me the "right" answers) when Nurse X ran in, said, "What did you take? How much? Did they pump your stomach?" and the girl clammed up and wouldn't talk anymore. This nurse also tells paranoid patients that we have cameras in the nurses station that monitor their every move. Etc etc.
Until Nurse X took over my supervising, I had felt (and been told) that I was doing a great job, from my preceptor to docs, social workers and psych techs. But now the nursing supervisor thinks I need another week of orientation and I feel like the biggest loser. I've tried to ask Nurse X why she seems to be sabotaging me, like "Why didn't you tell me you gave Ativan to Patient Y? I need to know stuff like this." She gives me a sunny smile and said, "Oh, I forgot...it's just been so crazy.."
My preceptor will be back next week, I will enjoy working with her and learning from her and an additional week of orientation can only help me (even though it may make me look bad to the unit I'm going to). But how do you handle working with someone who actively sabotages you like this? I am not one of those know-it-all grad RNs. This is my second career and I've been unemployed for a year. I told everyone how green I was. I told everyone how grateful I was to learn from them. But I now feel like she has poisoned the other RNs against me (although non-nursing staff has noticed what she is doing and tells me it's typical politics).