I am a brand new nurse, and I hate my first job.
I recently graduated from nursing school, and started looking for jobs. Of course, all my hospital applications got no response due to my lack of experience. The only place that called me for an interview was a nursing home, and I got the job...
Now comes the "fun" part: I have 35 patients every day, on different floors, different sides of the building. They are rarely the same 35 patients, as I float everywhere, so I don't really have the chance to get to know them. I have 2 hours to pass their morning meds, and each have at least 10-15 different meds to take... during these 2 hours I have to check their blood glucose levels (CNA's don't do it there), and I have to check the blood pressure on about 90% of them before giving their blood pressure meds, which is very time consuming. They never stay in one place, as they move around the building after breakfast for activities or just at their leisure, so I am having a hard time finding them sometimes, especially since I don't know what most of them look like... which is why I am late in passing meds all the time. Apart from constant communication with family members, treatments for patients, and handling the occasional occurrence of health status change in a patient, I had to learn the computer system, the communication system with other members of the care team, while the nurses training me were generally lacking patience in explaining things and had a patronizing attitude.
I requested more training days after the 9 days provided, because I honestly didn't feel safe handling all this at the same time as a new nurse. They gave me a few extra days, but I felt ridiculed for it, and it always feels like the other nurses are talking behind my back, and consider me incompetent. I feel absolutely horrible every day at work, I dread going there, and I want to cry before every shift... I don't know what to do. I know it will get easier once I become more familiar with the setting, the system, and the patients, but now I am having a very hard time and I am completely miserable.
Just had to vent here, hoping to get some advice on how to handle things...
Last edit by jkel0912 on Sep 20, '17
Sep 20, '17
While I have no advise for you regarding how to handle this situation, I am encouraging you to think about moving to an area of the country that is looking for hospital nurses.
I live in central Kentucky, and many hospitals here not only hire new graduates, but pay those graduates a SIGN-ON bonus.
If you really want to work in a hospital setting (and I don't blame you for hating your job), you just might have to move.
Know that you are NOT incompetent. I have no doubt that your orientation training was lacking and too short. Hopefully, you might be able to explore other nursing opportunities.
Sep 20, '17
Oh boy, you are not in a good situation at all.
I cannot imagine being competent as a new grad, in any unit, in any facility, in any level of care, inpatient or outpatient, after less than two weeks of shoddy orientation. Heck, even with a pristine orientation, it's not enough.
That's seems to me like a system that is absolutely setting you up to not only fail, but also create a sense that you are inadequate (your'e not) or that you are failing nursing (utter hogwash), which will lead to rapid burnout at best and perhaps even a pervasive state of anxiety or depression.
I agree with the previous poster; if there is any way you can relocate or pull a long commute, I can promise you it is worth it. Even if it is only to get the much-discussed one year of experience under your belt you may need to move closer to home.
Trust me, I know long commutes. For a variety of unchangeable reasons, I really needed to take a job (that I love) that is a TWO HOUR one way commute. That's all interstate driving. It's 110 miles, to be exact. Yup. A FOUR HOUR round trip. 3-4 days a week.
But it was completely not financially or personally possible for me to relocate. And for somewhat complicated reasons, this job was something I really needed to take for the betterment of my life at this moment.
My point is "where there is a will, there is a way." You are going to have to get creative and think outside the box. Some hospitals offer sign on bonuses WITH a very hefty relocation allowance (I've gotten a $15k relocation allowance before with a $10k sign on). That finances a move NICELY.
Maybe go someplace you have always wanted to see...explore the West, live by a beach, work by the Rockies if you love skiing or the outdoors, pick an awesome metropolitan area if the urban vibe rings your bell. Talk about a memorable year!
Personal reasons keeping you at home (like me)? Then I encourage you to think hard about a hospital job that may have an unpleasant commute. Again, you can manage a lot of things for a single year.
I hate my commute but love my unit so much, I can't imagine risking a switch for the sake of a better drive. I may spend 4 hours in my car, but I have to spend 8-16 hours on my unit; I'd rather be happy for 16 hours and slightly irritated for 4 than spend 16 hours miserable at work in exchange for a pleasant 30 minute commute. But that's just me.
Good luck in your choice!!
Sep 20, '17
I agree that you are in a very poor situation that would challenge even the most experienced nurse. Moving would be an excellent option. Give it some serious thought.
Sep 20, '17
OP, this was my experience as a brand new RN. I was working as a QMA in a nursing home, so I continued working there as a RN. I had, on average, 35-40 residents/patients. Most were diabetics and/or required tube feedings. We also had several bariatric patients. And my nursing assistants vanished most of the time, so I felt like I was running the floor by myself. Let me just say that I understand just how you're feeling, and you are not incompetent. Your facility is expecting the impossible from you, and anyone that says otherwise is cutting corners (I have experienced this, personally). A previous poster mentioned possibly relocating... is this a possibility? I live in Northern Indiana and we have literally hundreds of RN positions open, many even offer sign-on bonuses. I wish you the best in your nursing career, and hope you can find something that works for you.