New nurse with job that is causing anxiety and depression - page 2

HERE IS MY STORY: I graduated in May with my BSN from a university, i was a good student..graduated with honors. I took the NCLEX in the summer and got my first job in a large hospital in december. I... Read More

  1. by   sugarwahine10 BSN,RN
    You are obviously very smart, care about doing a good job, and have stuck it out while getting little support from your management. I would quit now. It will be much harder for you to get another nursing job if you are fired. I wouldn't even give them 2 weeks notice, they might fire you in the meantime if you did just to be mean--you can't really use them as a reference so who cares. They aren't preparing you to work on a busy floor and just making you feel bad about your capabilities. Run, don't walk, from that place. It will be a blemish on your work record if you get fired. Waitress or something in the meantime until you get another nursing job. That job isn't worth your time or your nursing license. When you are interviewing for another nursing job, just let them know that your last nursing job wasn't a good fit for you and don't bash the management. Good luck!
  2. by   Sugarcoma
    [QUOTE=Esme12;7164871]I am angry and frustrated at the behavior of a majority of hospitals these days. They are petulant, selfish, mean, lazy and self indulgent. I just don't know what is wrong with people today.

    I am so angry and disappointed and the lack of empathy and guidance. [QUOTE=Esme12;7164871]

    I couldn't agree more!

    I mean seriously, lets take a brand new grad fresh from school and full of idealism, give them a preceptor who probably would rather be walking on broken glass than precepting and who probably knows all of nothing about teaching. Of course, she/he did take that two hour hospital course on precepting; but only because she/he hasn't had a raise in forever and they offered an extra buck or two an hour for precepting.

    Lets pair that with a manager who has little to no experience working with new grads. Said manager needs and really wants an experienced RN to take some of the weight off the other staff RN's before they start to leave out of sheer desperation when some other less than stellar unit at another hospital starts bleeding their staff. Of course said manager can only get administrative approval for the lowest rung on the payscale which is the new grad, but hey its better than nothing.

    So lets have this new grad follow around their preceptor for a few weeks on a unit that probably resents the added work a new grad presents to the rest of the staff and treats the new grad accordingly. When this formula doesn't magically produce a competent nurse in the shortest amount of time possible, ready to take on a ratio that an EXPERIENCED nurse would struggle with well we can just blame the new grad. YOUR not developing, YOU need better time management, etc. etc. Management speak for YOUR the problem which only serves to create self doubt and guilt. I mean they are putting so much time and effort into YOU, you really should be grateful and try harder. And try they will, after all they need that magical one year of experience before they can go anywhere else and they know that there are 10 unemployed grads waiting in the wings to take their place should the opportunity arise. A vicious cycle that just keeps repeating ad nauseum.
  3. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from nurseGi
    the 4th week. I started with 1 patient and moved up from there (im now up to 5), Nurses on my floor can get up to 8 patients. I noticed my preceptor was very care-free and usually busy with her patients to even teach me things.
    As a new grad you need and deserve a preceptor's undivided attention.The preceptor should not have an assignment of her own- especially not in the first weeks of your orientation.As the weeks go by an you become more independent then he or she can pick up a few. That's a crappy orientation you are getting.
  4. by   Heart2015FNP
    It wouldn't surprise me that you are actually doing quite well and you are considered a threat to the unit. The culture of season nurses eating their young is still an issue. I suggest going to your HR rep. and request a transfer. Keep your progress notes as proof of the hostile environment. You are not crazy. You are being bullied.
  5. by   poppycat
    I don't think you have failed at all. Your preceptor & manger are the ones who have failed you. This is a horrible way to treat a new grad! Please look for a workplace that will nurture you so you can become the nurse you wan to be.
  6. by   RCBR
    "It is rough out there right now and most units who are hiring now and especially who are hiring new grads are less than stellar themselves."

    So very true. The good units have low or no tunover, thus offering few and far in between hiring opportunies, and when they hire they will pick from an extensive list of experienced nurses who who have asked to work there (word gets around abou the good units). It is usually the crappy units that take new grads. That is the case in my hospital, and from talking to other peoople who graduated with me, elsewhere too. If you jump ship now you might be exchanging 6 for a half a dozen, or landing in an even worse unit. No point asking about patient/nurse ratio or turnover during interviews; they will never be truthfull to you about it.

    I am going to be the odd man out here and tell you to ride this storm out. But with a different attitude. First, never cry in front of anyone, especially your preceptor or management; you will not elicit pity or compassion but derision for you will look weak and emotionally unstable. Cry only where no one will see you. Second, show confidence in your clinical skills. When you are going to perform a nursing skill, act and pretend like you have done it a thousand times. Do not show insecurity, do not let others think you don't know what your are doing (but never do something you don't know how to do). Third, try to find an informal, unofficial preceptor amongst your fellow RNs. Not all nurses eat their young, you will find that some are actually willing and able to help you. You obvsioulsy need help and coaching and your preceptor is not giving it to you but maybe some of your colleagues will. Fourth, you will be a stronger and better nurse after you pass this transition. It is the strongest fire that forge the strongest bonds and you will emerge a much stronger person and nurse after this ordeal is over. You you feel proud of it and will have grown a thick skin which will help you through the rest of your career. But if you make it through it, don't ever inflict the same treatment you received onto the new grads who will come after you. It is only by refusing to treat other new nurses like we were treated that we will stop this sick cycle of older nurses bullying and eating the young nurses.
  7. by   IloveNursing2214
    This sounds like bullying to me as well ... So sad .
  8. by   Heart2015FNP
    If you are exhibiting signs of depression, low self-esteem, and panic attacks within three months of employment. You will not get better "fighting back." without removing yourself from the hostile environment. Trust me. I know. This is unacceptable for a new graduate to go through. Their expectations should apply to a season nurse. It takes 4-6 months to precept a new grad. Do yourself a favor and go to HR for a transfer. They don't deserve you. Read your policy on workplace harrassment and present your proof. Those actions will make you a stronger nurse...that's fighting back.
  9. by   nurseGi
    Thank you all so much for your insight. They assigned me to a new preceptor, who is better then the other. I was put back on 12s (started yesterday), and the new preceptor taught me things the other preceptor never mentioned.. that I should have known by now. They tell me that I have a month left on orientation.. and this is gonna be like a crash course for me. Yesterday was hectic.. and I am never been so anxious in my life. This preceptor pulled me to the side after the day was over and told me what i needed to work on and told me she could tell something was wrong, she asked if i was happy here, and of course i started tearing up again and crying...cause i am NOT happy at all. Of course I didn't tell her that, i just said I am just overwhelmed and stressed. I also told her that i feel like i didn't get the proper education in the beginning of my orientation and now it is reflecting and I don't have much time left to prove myself. She told me its a normal thing to be going through and a lot of other nurses on the floor have been through the same. She told me she had been a nurse for 20 years in a nursing home and came to the unit and also felt overwhelmed and as a new grad it is going to be even tougher. She told me i could do this, i just have to come to work everyday and feel confident (so hard with all that has happened) and really try to know my patients in terms of there illness and history. I feel like an idoit crying infront of her, but I am a sensitive person and I have never been through something like this before. I come from a very supportive family, and its what I am used to. I have today and tomorrow off, and I have to come up with a list of my strengths and weaknesses to present to my manager and preceptor. I really need to take on a different attitude when I go there, i think I am living in fear and its reflecting on my performance, and also the comments I receive from my manager are a big let down.. but I just gonna try as hard as i can and what ever happens.... happens, atleast I can say I tried.
  10. by   imintrouble
    Schools are doing a disservice to their graduates by emphasizing theory over the practical.
    The last two new grads we had, didn't know how to hang a piggyback.
    No exaggeration. They didn't know about fld compatability. They'd never placed an NG or a foley. Their IV insertion skills were limited.
    We want to blame 1) the preceptor or 2) the orientee, depending on what side of the spectrum we're on. Maybe we should be blaming the nursing programs that graduate nurses, who don't have the clinical skills to do the jobs for which they're hired.
  11. by   VANurse2010
    I mostly agree with this post, but I'll add some qualifiers from my own experience. Sometimes, depending on region and availability of clinical sites/facilities, the education programs aren't always *able* to provide extensive clinical times. Particularly in rural areas, even the clinical time you do spend will mostly be dealing with 90 year olds with COPD exacerbations and pneumonia. Not that there's anything wrong with those patients, but they don't provide the most broad-based clinical experience. That said, students should come out of school knowing how to place a Foley, start an INT, and hang a piggyback. NG tubes ... That one I don't know. I don't think anyone in my nursing school class had that opportunity in 1.5 years of clinical.

    Quote from imintrouble
    Schools are doing a disservice to their graduates by emphasizing theory over the practical.
    The last two new grads we had, didn't know how to hang a piggyback.
    No exaggeration. They didn't know about fld compatability. They'd never placed an NG or a foley. Their IV insertion skills were limited.
    We want to blame 1) the preceptor or 2) the orientee, depending on what side of the spectrum we're on. Maybe we should be blaming the nursing programs that graduate nurses, who don't have the clinical skills to do the jobs for which they're hired.
  12. by   Sugarcoma
    I was a fill in preceptor on my old unit so I know a thing or two about how new grads get thrown to the wolves on many units. I have also seen unsafe new grads. If you were here telling us you had made serious patient care errors or that you knew more than or refuse to take advice from the other nurses etc. my advice to you would be very different. But the things you have stated regarding the feedback you have recieved from your preceptor and manager just sound like plain old new grad growing pains to me. It stinks having management that doesn't sound like they have realistic expectations of a new grads abilities.

    Your reactions are normal. You have been placed under a microscope and basically threatened with do better or else. Most people make more mistakes under these conditions due to stress and anxiety. It is a vicious cycle. No one likes to be told they are not making the cut. It impacts our self esteem, makes us feel less than or incapable. You have to find a way to mitigate your anxiety or it will defeat you.

    Lets face it NurseGi, what is the worst thing that can happen. Lets say you are let go from this job in a month. Lets say they march you down the hallway booing you as you go. Lets say your manager clucks her tongue at you while saying....ah ha! I knew YOU would never make it. In the grand scheme of your life what does that mean? Do you really think the people who love you will not understand? Heck you don't even have to tell them the specifics, you can always say you were down-sized or let go due to budget constraints. You will never have to return to that unit or see those people again. Sure it may mean starting over, but there are worse things in life. If you confront the fear of not making it on this unit it will lose its power over you and you may be able to get your anxiety in check.

    My advice to you:

    Your new preceptor sounds like a better fit than the old one but I will warn you that no matter how nice she seems DO NOT say anything negative against your manager or old preceptor. Instead of saying you don't feel like you got the proper education say things like: I didn't realize how hard this transition would be, I don't feel like nursing school prepared me, I feel like an idiot most of the time, I am overwhelmed etc. Do not speak to the specifics of your situation with anyone at work!!!!!!!!

    When you write your list of strengths and weaknesses use specific things they have told you as weaknesses. Do NOT write what you perceive as weaknesses, they do not need any more ammunition against you. Match your weaknesses with a strength if at all possible. You say your preceptor said you need to know your patients illnesses and histories better? Weakness = lack of knowledge of the pathophysiologies common in patient population. Strength= Actively seeking to improve knowledge deficity by studying patho phys of DM, CAD, or whatever conditions you see frequently, using the following resources: Your nursing texts, medscape, etc. etc. You say you are only up to 5 patients at this time and you haven't made any mistakes? Weakness=time management. Strength=Demonstrated ability to safely care for 5 patients on unit. You let them change your schedule, came in for unpaid I.V. training? Strength=Demonstrated flexibility in scheduling. Weakness=Not proficient in IV starts, Strength=Completed facility approved IV training.

    Approach this next month as an extension of nursing school. Jump through their hoops so you can gain some valuable patient care experience. Even if you are let go and you never put this on your resume it will still benefit you.

    It is a crummy thing that you have not found the support you need on this unit so you need to be supportive of yourself.
    The first year is rough! In your first year as a nurse you will encounter something new every single shift. It will take you a good 6 months just to master the basics. You will need to run things by your coworkers and need their assistance. This is not a sign of failure or weakness. It simply makes you what you are...a new nurse. Go to them and ask, even if they are rude, roll their eyes at you, yell, or make snide comments. Keep your patient's safe always and get help when you need it! You are not there to make friends, or make your coworkers or managers lives easier. NEVER let anyone make you feel bad about needing support. If your manager doesn't understand and counts this against you...she scares me!

    Remind yourself before and after every single shift that it is ok to be new. It is ok to not know how to do something, who to call, where this is located etc. It does not make you a bad person or a crappy nurse. Those other nurses you see, the ones who seem so smart, so proficient, so incredibly better than you are right now? They were once clueless newbies too!

    Your experiences thus far are not a reflection of you, your worth as a person, your intelligence, and has absolutely no predictive value of what type of nurse you will become with more experience. Remember that, repeat that, over and over again.

    Finally, network with other new grads for support. Spend some of your time off doing non-nursing related things with your friends and family!
  13. by   Lucky0220
    Quote from imintrouble
    Schools are doing a disservice to their graduates by emphasizing theory over the practical.
    The last two new grads we had, didn't know how to hang a piggyback.
    No exaggeration. They didn't know about fld compatability. They'd never placed an NG or a foley. Their IV insertion skills were limited.
    We want to blame 1) the preceptor or 2) the orientee, depending on what side of the spectrum we're on. Maybe we should be blaming the nursing programs that graduate nurses, who don't have the clinical skills to do the jobs for which they're hired.

    I couldn't agree more with this observation. I truly believe that the OP and other new grads, including myself, when I graduated 4 years ago, were totally unprepared for bedside nursing when we graduated. Unfortunately, I didn't know that I was so unprepared. Like the OP, I did very well in school, but believe me, that meant nothing when I got to the floor. Our clinicals during school, were, for the most part, a waste of time. Instructors were more concerned with the required care plans we turned in, rather than finding opportunities for us to provide patient care. I never had more than one patient during any of my clinicals, so you can imagine how horrible my time management skills were.

    nurseGi, you've gotten some great advice from the PPs and I hope that this new preceptor makes a difference for you. I went through 3 preceptors at my first job because I felt that they did not have great teaching skills. That is usually the problem. You can be a fantastic nurse, but not necessarily a great teacher. You first preceptor, and management too, seem to be out of touch with what nursing programs focus on these days, otherwise your preceptor would not have said what she did about you going to a good school and why don't you know such and such. I believe they had unrealistic expectations from you because of this.

    It seems to me that they see real potential in you, and that's why they're extending your orientation. But I'd still be wary, and aggressively look for another job during this time.

    If it doesn't work out, I'll paraphrase what a pp said "they didn't deserve you!!"

    Good luck