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Am I a bad nurse?

Private Duty   (5,948 Views | 27 Replies)

3,866 Profile Views; 151 Posts

I got hired for a PDN agency in April after 2 months of searching for a job and finding this agency on Craigslist. I was and still am fresh out of nursing school and just passed my NCLEX and got my LVN nursing license.

The head manager gave me a case for a boy on trach and has a g-button. I went for training/orientation for 2 days with one of the boy's nurses, the first day, I observed what she did, the second day I did what she did with her guiding me. I was going to be on my own the day after with the mom's help. When I went home after that second day of training, I got a call from the agency that the mom was not comfortable with me and didn't want me to come back, so I would have to choose another case. (The agency sends out daily emails of available shifts).

That was a Friday, so the following Monday, I called and asked for a low tech case (I don't know how it is at other agencies, but my agency has low tech cases, which pays less, but have less medical problems, and high tech for more experienced nurses, the first patient was a high tech case). The head manager sent me the POC and it was a boy with Down Syndrome and he's also nonverbal. I was with this boy for 7 weeks, 19 hours a week, until I received a call that this boy's mom didn't want me to come back because I wasn't communicating with the boy. I really tried my best and I talked to him all the time, but I guess it wasn't enough. That was just last week.

Now I have to choose yet another patient. I don't know what to do anymore because I've only been with this agency for 2 months now and I'm already going to be on my 3rd patient. I guess I just need some advice and reassurance that everything is going to be ok. I truly feel pediatrics is my calling because I love children.

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OrganizedChaos has 10 years experience as a LVN and specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 6,883 Posts; 64,775 Profile Views

PDN & new grads rarely mix. The reason why, because you aren't given any orientation & the company just wants a warm body to fill shifts. If you aren't comfortable in your skills, what new grad is? The parents can tell & then this will happen. I would never recommend a new take a PDN job. You might love peds but PDN isn't the way to go about it.

On top of that, if you take a low acuity case you won't be using any skills. I suggest you apply at nursing homes or anywhere else in the area that hires LVNs. Good luck.

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151 Posts; 3,866 Profile Views

Thank you, the thing is the agency made me sign a contract to stay with them for a year, so I'm locked into that contract until next year.

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OrganizedChaos has 10 years experience as a LVN and specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 6,883 Posts; 64,775 Profile Views

Thank you, the thing is the agency made me sign a contract to stay with them for a year, so I'm locked into that contract until next year.

Yikes.

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209 Posts; 3,446 Profile Views

Ask for more training. Stick through the year and learn all u can.

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vintagemother specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC,.

2,703 Posts; 44,582 Profile Views

Might I politely suggest that you find a way to exude more confidence? In my (humble) opinion and experience, nurses who exude confidence are less likely to be called out for not appearing competent.

This is not to say you should be cocky. But it is probably in your best interest to make the family feel comfortable with you by demonstrating that you know what you're doing.

I hope that makes sense...

I've witnessed nurses get thrown under the bus, reported, and talked about behind their backs because they showed the other staff and pts that they were unsure of how to do stuff.

It's ok if you don't know how. It's ok to ask for help. But...do it discretely.

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93 Posts; 2,699 Profile Views

I agree with vintagemother try to show more confidence. However unfortunately this is a downside to PDN. Sometimes they like you, sometimes they don't. Sometimes that dislike takes a day, sometimes it's a year. Point being don't take it personal.

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151 Posts; 3,866 Profile Views

Yikes.

I know, I shouldn't have accepted it, but I was getting desperate because no one would call me for a job.

Thank you for all your advice everyone. I'm going to keep at it.

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SDALPN specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

997 Posts; 16,330 Profile Views

That's why experienced nurses tell new grads PDN isn't for new grads. They don't listen until its too late.

You signed a year contract? I haven't heard of any reputable agency requiring this. Contact a lawyer. If they don't have work for you, but you are stuck for a year, how will you get paid and pay bills?

Get used to not being wanted on a case. That's part of PDN. Most of the available cases are the ones nobody wants with the difficult parents. Learn what you can from it and move on. You have to have thick skin in this job. These parents spend more time looking for a reason to hate you than they do trying to find reasons to be a team with you. The parents take things out on their nurses often. Not all parents are like that. If you find a good case you will see why they don't have openings often.

What I'm saying above even happens to experienced nurses. But like the others have said, your lack of experience (no fault of your own) contributes to the problem. Its great that you know the area you want to work in. But without experience, you may want to gain experience elsewhere first.

Oh yeah, and parents WILL lie about you to get rid of you. Its not enough for them to be honest and say its not a good fit. They will exaggerate and get creative in order to create trouble for you. Not all of them do this, but many will.

Maybe one day, someone will realize that these parents need counseling to work through their feelings.

If you really did do something or didn't do something that you should have, learn from it and keep going. If its your personality, keep being who you are. Eventually you will find the right fit.

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151 Posts; 3,866 Profile Views

I got another patient, but he was a 15 year old that couldn't walk. Mom wasn't very helpful either. Because this patient couldn't walk, I had a hard time trying to get up because he wouldn't stand for me even though I tried and I'm not very strong either. I had to give him up and now I am going to try another a patient and this will be my last chance to prove that I can make it as a nurse in PDN.

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3 Followers; 37,066 Posts; 98,511 Profile Views

Go to another agency and see what they have for you. Just because you signed something with this agency does not prevent you from getting another employer, or two, or three, in order to stay employed. Many, if not most, nurses who do extended care, work with more than one agency. That is how you keep some money coming in when one patient is discharged from service or hospitalized.

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196 Posts; 7,755 Profile Views

Don't feel bad at all. It's not you personally. Maybe part of it is being a new grad, but that still has nothing to do with you personally. I would Def look for something else. I think you'll feel much better about yourself as a nurse when you find a new job or agency. And it's so true that most of them just want warm bodies. I'm a new grad in PDN and I'm already leaving after 3 months! Luckily the families like me but then again I didn't have peds patients (though I wanted them) and I imagine the parents are more critical when the patient is a child. I too took PDN because I couldn't get hired anywhere else when I moved. I'm now about to start a hospital job ....so stick with what you're doing while looking for other jobs and your "experience" with the agency will help you get a new job!! Even if you're not really doing much at work like I'm not, ha. Half the reason I'm leaving PDN ...stagnation in skill use ...bored... among many other reasons I'm leaving.

Also ... just because you sign a contract ... if it's so horrible or if you can't get work ....you don't HAVE to stay there. Once you get hired on somewhere else screw it. And I maybe would consult a lawyer ...because if you keep getting thrown off cases and don't have work then how is the contract / agency benefiting you?

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