Just accepted position in rehab hospital.

  1. Hi everyone. I am new to posting here but have been reading the site for a month or so. I am an RN with just over 5 years of experience. I worked nights (3 twelve hour shifts) in med-surge for four years but couldn't deal with my sleep getting so messed up. Some nurses love nights and do well with it but I didn't at all. I gained weight, slept bizarre hours on my days off, kept getting colds, had no energy, etc.

    I finally went to day shift in a different hospital working 3 twelve hour shifts on a very busy ortho/neuro/med-surge unit. I felt better for working days but I hated the unit I was on mostly because of the people there and the poor way was it was run. There was little to no team work, low morale, training was little to none (and then you were thrown to the wolves), nurse manager there looking for anything you do wrong to write you up, unit secretaries bit your head off over any little question, unfriendly coworkers, etc. The place was busy, disorganized, and I think most everyone hated it there. We would usually have to stay an hour and a half over every night. Every time we would have a nurse from another unit floated to our floor they would always say, "I'm never coming to this unit again!" I just didn't feel like a part of the team and wanted out of there because I didn't feel like I belonged there. I knew it was the wrong job for me.

    I was depressed on my days off just thinking of having to go back there. I couldn't sleep the night before a shift. It started to affect my personal relationships too because I have become so grouchy. I couldn't lose the weight I had gained on working nights because I was too exhausted to exercise and I was so miserable I wanted to stress eat. I'm sure all of you nurses can unfortunately relate to this type of job.

    I started applying to other jobs I found on the internet. I received an offer for a nursing job in a smaller rehabilitation hospital. The hours are 3p to 11p four days a week but it pays more. At this point, I don't even care about the evening hours or working an extra day a week as long as I was relatively happy on my job, could sleep overnight, and we worked well as a team. I know rehab is not easy. There is a lot of lifting, lots of patient care, family members to deal with, etc. I don't mind hard work. I don't mind doing any nursing task as long as I don't hate my job to the point of not even being able to sleep before a shift and being depressed on my days off.

    I plan on getting my foot in the door of the rehab hospital and hopefully eventually get a job on the morning shift. I have never worked in a rehab hospital before. I was wondering if anyone here could tell me about rehab nursing and if you like it or noticed it had a different atmosphere than regular hospitals? What can I expect working the 3p to 11p shift? Do people in rehab seem to like their jobs more, work as a team, etc? Are families as bad to deal with as in the regular hospital? I know that I could start this new job and the people there could be terrible as well but it's a chance I have to take as I am at the point of quitting nursing altogether if my jobs continue to be this terrible. Thanks for listening to my rant. lol
    •  
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I work 12-hour night shifts at a rehabilitation hospital, from 6:00p.m. to 6:30a.m. Since I have never worked at a general or acute care hospital, I cannot really compare rehab nursing to med/surg or any acute specialty. Virtually all of my nursing experience is in LTC (a.k.a nursing homes).

    I will have anywhere from 7 to 12 patients with one CNA/tech assisting me. I pass oral meds, hang IVs, do basic assessments, simple dressing changes, bladder scans, bowel stimulation, I&O caths, CPM machines, immobilizers, braces, splints, enteral tube feedings, charting, admissions, protimes, etc. We hang blood once in a blue moon, but not too often. The CNA/tech does the finger stick blood sugars, bladder scans, basic ADLs, vital signs, flow sheets, etc.

    This is the most physical type of nursing that I have ever done. I am transferring dead weight patients onto bedside commodes, turning and repositioning people, lifting CPM machines, moving people up in bed, and so forth. Overall, my current group of coworkers works well as a team. Most of the families are okay, but some can become hostile.
  4. by   cpnegrad07
    i started applying to other jobs i found on the internet. i received an offer for a nursing job in a smaller rehabilitation hospital. the hours are 3p to 11p four days a week but it pays more. at this point, i don't even care about the evening hours or working an extra day a week as long as i was relatively happy on my job, could sleep overnight, and we worked well as a team. i know rehab is not easy. there is a lot of lifting
    remember to use the lifting tools they have, like the seralift and the maxilift--real back and patient savers. they take a little more time to set up but are worth it.
    , lots of patient care, family members to deal with, etc. i don't mind hard work. i don't mind doing any nursing task as long as i don't hate my job to the point of not even being able to sleep before a shift and being depressed on my days off
    amen..

    i plan on getting my foot in the door of the rehab hospital and hopefully eventually get a job on the morning shift. i have never worked in a rehab hospital before. i was wondering if anyone here could tell me about rehab nursing and if you like it or noticed it had a different atmosphere than regular hospitals? what can i expect working the 3p to 11p shift?
    baths and bowel programs. this is when we do ours.
    do people in rehab seem to like their jobs more, work as a team
    we have (mostly) great people who are happy to help if i ask. but i found the medsurg floor to have the same.(generally).
    are families as bad to deal with as in the regular hospital?
    i think the families are easier, because you get to know them and they, you. that is one thing i definitely like about rehab--getting to know and visit with the pt and family and to be able to help them navigate this thing.
    i know that i could start this new job and the people there could be terrible as well but it's a chance i have to take as i am at the point of quitting nursing altogether if my jobs continue to be this terrible. thanks for listening to my rant
    we all need to rant; what would nursing be without it? well, it could be better, for one, but don't get me started.
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Oct 18, '10 : Reason: quotation blocks
  5. by   NurseFrustrated
    Thank you both for your replies.

    Commuter, thanks for describing the things you do on your job. They are all things I am familiar with doing on the med-surge unit as well so that's a good thing. I don't mind doing any of them. The problem I have on my current job is the people I work with, bosses, etc. I feel like I bust my butt with no appreciation and that my bosses just go around looking for anything to write you up for. We never get a compliment for anything we do right but oh do we hear about a bedside flow sheet missing one initial from 3 months ago. That's mainly why I need the change. I'm just hoping the new job will have a better group of people to work with.

    Cpnegrad07, thank you for describing what happens on the 3p to 11p shift. I think I would enjoy getting to know patients and their families. I hope that it is a positive thing. I really hope this cuts down on irate family members. I know they will still be hard to deal with from time to time but maybe with less frequency on rehab. That's one of the things I hate most about my current job. That hospital is so chaotic and has such poor communication between doctors, nurses, and every other department, it seems there is at least one upset and irate family member to deal with daily. Usually more than one. It made me get to the point of wanting to quit nursing altogether. I hope this new job will have a more positive atmosphere.
  6. by   AtomicWoman
    I work in an acute rehab hospital (free-standing). I have found the nurses in general work well as a team, and many of the nurses have been there 20+ years, which says a lot. I love meeting and working with the families over an extended period of time. They come to trust you and rely on you.

    Our 3-11 shift gets most of the admissions, for some reason. I think the acute care hospitals keep the patient most of the day to maximize their billing, but I could just be cynical about that. 3-11 also does the showers (aides do most of them) and the usual stuff: med passes, PVR/bladder scan, bowel routines (esp. if you are on a spinal cord injury unit). On the brain injury unit (where I work), many of the patients sundown, so 3-11 can be challenging in terms of getting medications and treatments done. We end up with a fair number of 1-on-1s on 3-11 and 11-7. It is very physical, because most of the patients have limited mobility. Whenever possible, I try to grab another nurse or aide if I need to move a patient. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself, though.

    I've never worked in acute care, but my friends who work in acute care tell me their tales and I am glad I don't work on a crazy med/surg unit.
  7. by   NurseFrustrated
    Thanks for your reply. The evening shift may be difficult because of my children, but my husband and mother will be taking good care of the kids for me while I work. I eventually want to work morning shift and hopefully can transfer after getting my foot in the door. Truthfully, my family will be happy to see me in a job I like as opposed to one that was really causing me a lot of stress.
  8. by   Angel37
    How do you like your new job now? I applied at a rehab hospital and i will have a interview appt.on the 7 Dec.Do you have any advice?
  9. by   Kat D LPN
    I am a fairly new nurse.I work at a rehab hospital in ga where i was a tech first. I never knew how much work it was for a nurse, however i have gained a lot of experience. It's like having two-jobs in one. Med-surg and rehab. We hang IV's, draw blood, pass meds, deal with family, bladder scans, EKG's, blood sugars all for each of our patients from stroke, motor vehicle accidents,Neuro patients, to simple knee and hip replacements. Sometimes my job is overwhelming but i know that the experience is priceless. Not every person you work with is going to be someone you like but i just look the other way and know that i am doing my job correctly without harming a patient. All in all we work well together to get the job done. I keep in mind that i am here to care for the patients assigned to me and that is it. Don't get me wrong i enjoy making friends but i also remember you cant do that with "everbody". lol
  10. by   missfreda
    Hi Everyone! To: Nurse Frustrated
    I am new to this forum and would like to respond to starting rehab nursing. I am a new RN as of 7 months ago (June, 2010) and have worked Med-Surg. OMG! You have expressed all of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences to the max! Exact picture... floated nurses proclaiming 'never to come back'.... , lack of team work.... WOW! That's why I resigned! Disorganized, CRAZY unit! I feel much better after reading your experience. I thought I was just expecting too much and making things difficult for others by putting pressure on my peers to help out. It seemed as if I was a disruption to the "norm"... they didn't seem to appreciate someone coming in and getting things done. I just got tired of pulling the whole load. Sometimes it doesn't benefit you to be a "strong nurse".. you can get "dumped on"... after that experience, I considered leaving nursing as well. I have an interview on tomorrow for rehab nursing. I hope it's better than what I left in med-surg.!
    Last edit by missfreda on Jan 24, '11 : Reason: didn't put reference
  11. by   Sophieluu
    Hi Kat D LPN,

    Would you mind sharing your experience as a CNA at rehab hospital? What was it like? Did you hurt your back? What type of jobs are you entitled to? Thanks

close