Disheartened

Nurses General Nursing

Published

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

I know this is not the first post, nor the last about job satisfaction amongst new graduate nurses. I work on a very busy medical surgical floor at a teaching hospital. I do realize that there is a clear difference between your expectations of your first job and the reality of a nursing career. However, I feel like my role is to pass pills, fill out flow sheets, and answer persistent phone calls. We are so incredibly busy, that I don't have time to put the pieces together. (i.e.- lab results/procedure results) I find myself operating like a mechanical robot. We have med students/residents rounding constantly. They have the 10 min to sit and discuss the care of the patient, the patho-phys, pros/cons, the *whys*. I find myself longing for that role.

Is it just the specialty I'm working in? Should I stick it out until I can transfer, or will I be unhappy wherever I go? I long for mental stimulation and the ability to make decisions on the behalf of my patient. I am certainly not saying that the nursing role is not mentally stimulating, but I feel like medical surgical nursing is more about how fast you can run. I'm engaging in pertinent conversation with physicians in regards to my patient and I get the evil eye from administrators when I put in an assessment 10 minutes late. (The pt. was assessed, but I had not documented it yet.)

I'm just venting a bit of frustration and I hope I can find my niche. :confused::confused:

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

Well first off as a new grad, job dissatisfaction is inevitable b/c I'd imagine that you're already overwhelmed just trying to put the whole clinical picture together on top of the med passes, family bothering you, lab calling you, etc. I worked on a busy tele floor as a new nurse with a bunch of other new nurses and I can't recall any of us being happy those first few months. It gets better with time. I'd definitely stay in med/surg for at least 6 months before I tried to transfer to another floor. Get your foundation first. More than likely your hospital will only let you transfer to a tele floor. Most places require cardiac tele experience to transfer to ICU. If you ever get a chance to go to ICU, go. Now ICU is a different type of animal. You only have 2 patients. You actually have time to sit down, think, put the clinical picture together, and be proactive for your patient...that's why most MD's respect ICU nurses more. On the regular floor, you don't have any time to think taking care of 6 patients or more....you're just running around the whole time. Eventually, you'll get a routine and find your niche. If you're that unhappy in med/surg, try transferring to a tele floor. Don't give up on nursing yet....especially not during the 1st year. It takes 1 yr or more to become competent as nurse. Trust me....it'll get better.

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.
Well first off as a new grad, job dissatisfaction is inevitable b/c I'd imagine that you're already overwhelmed just trying to put the whole clinical picture together on top of the med passes, family bothering you, lab calling you, etc. I worked on a busy tele floor as a new nurse with a bunch of other new nurses and I can't recall any of us being happy those first few months. It gets better with time. I'd definitely stay in med/surg for at least 6 months before I tried to transfer to another floor. More than likely your hospital will only let you transfer to a tele floor. Most places require tele experience to transfer to ICU. If you ever get a chance to go to ICU, go. Now ICU is a different type of animal. You only have 2 patients. You actually have time to sit down, think, put the clinical picture together, and be proactive for your patient...that's why most MD's respect ICU nurses more. On the regular floor, you don't have any time to think taking care of 6 patients or more....you're just running around the whole time. Eventually, you'll get a routine and find your niche. If you're that unhappy in med/surg, try transferring to a tele floor. Don't give up on nursing yet....especially not during the 1st year. It takes 1 yr or more to become competent as nurse. Trust me....it'll get better.

Thanks for your reply! Btw, this is a tele floor, but a non-cardiac tele floor. We take care of people on cardizem drips, hep drips, electrolyte replacement and etoh protocol. Our main pt. population is end stage renal. I do think I can attribute some of my frustration to not having a set routine. But I also see that this floor has high turnover and the seasoned nurses (10 yrs plus) are still running around like headless chickens!

Specializes in Med/Surg.

I just read your blog, and I feel exactly the same way. I just graduated a year ago and working med-surge for 7months now and I feel the same frustration as you. Half the time I question whether or not it was the right decision to go into med-surg first. My heart is in pediatrics and maternal newborn. Med/Surg is definately hard work. They say it gets easier, good luck.

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

If you do tele...do real tele..that is cardiac tele...still crazy but you learn a lot more..preps you for the unit if that's what you want to do. And to mamaluna, even though you rather do peds/maternity...med/surg still gives you a foundation, pays the bills, and is nursing experience. It'll still be something to put on a resume for when you do go for that peds job. Good luck.

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.
If you do tele...do real tele..that is cardiac tele...still crazy but you learn a lot more..preps you for the unit if that's what you want to do. And to mamaluna, even though you rather do peds/maternity...med/surg still gives you a foundation, pays the bills, and is nursing experience. It'll still be something to put on a resume for when you do go for that peds job. Good luck.

To be honest, transferring to another medical floor is not going to be an option for me. Thankyou for the advice, I will keep my eyes open!

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

I swear, you sound EXACTLY like I did when I was sick of the med/surg floor as a new RN. I decided that I needed a bit more focused practice, if you will. I decided to apply to the PACU. I was soooo glad that I made this move. PACU nurses are able to focus their care on either one or two patients at a time. You MUST be able to read EKGs, know what meds you are giving and why, and your assessments are so valuable, because you alone are the direct line between your patient and the surgeon/anesthesia care provider. Let me state now that I am in no way saying that floor nurses are not also a direct line-I am merely stating that the docs are always present in the PACU, and are easily accessible if you have a question or you need their opinion. You learn a great deal, and you have a lot of autonomy. You are involved with (sometimes lengthy) discussions with docs regarding the best care for your patient. Maybe look into PACU.

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

BTW, I found PACU to be "brain candy" for me. I was able to listen to the docs speak amongst themselves about the hows and whys of surgery and anesthesia. Then I could pick their brain! FREE EDUCATION! YAY!

Nursing is never a piece of cake. You will get more organized and find a pattern that works for you. Each unit has it's own set of problems. I do find that if you are in a specialty unit you do get more respect from the physician's. I work on a pediatric/women's unit and if I call a physician with a concern they listen.

I've found general surgeons less willing to listen to you. It can be very frustrating if you think a pt is having problems. Back to the organization though, I made a worksheet that worked for me. Labs, meds, time due, vs, etc. and that helps. Our unit has some worksheets that other nurses use, but they just didn't work with my brain. Good luck. Hang in there. Med/surg is a very difficult floor. If you can handle that you can do most anything.

Specializes in critical care, PACU.

come to ICU!

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.
come to ICU!

I'm researching that as we speak. (or what I need to do to get there)

+ Add a Comment