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Disrespected, tripled,seeking advice- long

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by Icunicenurse Icunicenurse (New Member) New Member

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I posted the bulk of this post originally inquiring about why nurses are so against unions but there seems to be more activity here. I apologize in advance for the length of this and yes this a vent, but I would truly love to hear opinions and advice on how to get through all of this during my first year in nursing.

I feel that my strengths in the ICU are that I am always willing to help my team mates and often go out of my way if I see a nurse struggling. I usually always have a great rapport with patients and family, even the difficult ones and feel that I have a good bedside manner.

I struggle with newly admitted critical patients, knowing what to do while anticipating physician needs during bedside procedures, and just not knowing what I don't know. I have spent time trying to evaluate myself and as my screen name suggests I feel that some of my problem is I am too nice. I do my best to respect my physicians and not come off as a know it all to the nursing staff. I want to learn from them and become a great ICU nurse. I have been told I am well liked in my unit so am conflicted on changing my natural personality but feel that being myself, nice and easy going is seen by some as a weakness.

I landed my dream job” and have wanted to work in critical care since the beginning of nursing school. My hospital is the biggest and best in the area and we are currently working towards magnet status. I feel like I was lied to about how this would help nurses and we would be supported and taken care of.

In my ICU we have a very high acuity. We are constantly short staffed and tripled. 1:1 for CCRT patients is advertised but never actually happens!

I have seen a patient self-extubate during the holy interdisciplinary rounds due to that nurse being tripled and spread out across the unit. None of the bosses said anything and just went on to round on the next patient.

The majority (not all, of course there are some really good ones) of our assistants will not help unless asked and it's like pulling teeth just to get them to help with a blood sugar check. Often they are sitting on their cellphones or just catching up on gossip. But since they have worked there a long time it is widely accepted by the staff. I have to rely on my nurse colleagues for things like help with turning. But there are times when they are too busy, or probably too exhausted from their own workload to help.

We have are losing experienced staff nurses left and right.

I have been talked down to by our surgeons and blatantly disrespected on more than one occasion for trying to help a patient but not enough to be considered abusive so that I could report it. For example, during the most recent incident my patient was having severe rigors, I sought help from a very experienced and respected nurse who told me to go get the doctor right away as he was in the unit. I approached the surgeon while he was having a conversation with another nurse about pain meds. I apologized for interrupting and before I could even say why, he cut me off and said "you are interrupting and I will not talk to you now". Loud enough for several other staff members to hear. The experienced nurses just tell me not to worry he's like that with all new nurses. I was approached by several staff members who couldn't believe the way he talked to me.

On another incident I calmly asked a doc to update the close family members of a dying patient at their request. Since a distant family member had been updated, the doctor was visibly offended and proceeded to call my charge nurse and say "I got in her face" which was completely false. Luckily the charge was within ear shot and heard everything. This was swept under the rug.

During my new nurse orientation the nursing instructor preached against unions especially since we were going magnet and would have so many benefits. I feel like a strong nurse union could solve many of our problems and help our patient care.

Sadly, my dream job has turned to hell. I love my sick patients and family. I love the nursing staff I work with and the majority are excellent and willing to help and teach. But I am sick of being overworked, tripled, hardly ever getting my lunch break, all while being talked down to and humiliated by the doctors that see me as a stupid new nurse is just the icing on the cake and making me want to look for other options

Edited by Icunicenurse

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

4,187 Posts; 30,182 Profile Views

Geez. You are trying to do a good job for your patients. I think you need to be very professional and assertive so they respect you.

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Burphel has 15 years experience and specializes in Travel, ICU, PCU.

9 Posts; 528 Profile Views

Sadly, my dream job has turned to hell...look for other options

Right there. If you enjoy ICU nursing, start shopping around for a job at a different hospital. If that's how your unit operates it may be the biggest, but it ain't the best, nor should it *ever* be a magnet hospital. From the sound of things, if you stick around you're going to wind up burning out or eventually having a safety issue. Do yourself a favor and go somewhere you'll be happy before that happens.

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airborneinf82 has 8 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Trauma and Cardiovascular ICU.

184 Posts; 3,964 Profile Views

My first ICU job would triple. I couldn't take it and felt it was horribly unsafe. I left and will NEVER work in a job that triples ICU patients.

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