Orientations woes, Vent (long)

  1. So i graduated in May and took a job as a GN on a surgical floor. I was told low acuity pt.'s, great teamwork, lots of help around, and you will be eased in and not given anything you cannot handle..... BS! My fist day I shadowed my preceptor, my second day I was told here are your 7 patients have at it, and to top it all off my preceptor is charge so she is very busy also. The other nurses cannot help...they all have 7 patients to. The staffing is ridiculous. 3 nurses from 7-3 then at 3 one nurse leaves and the other 2 split her 6-7 patients until 7:30. If you lose a pt, you lose a pca. if you gain another pt, you do not get that pca back.

    Most of the techs are great but twice now I have had pt.s with bad vitals and the tech did not tell me.. example =post op 1 day with bp of 196/94 no hx of HTN, c/o HA, u/o 75 ml in 4 hrs! I try really hard to stay on top of my pts vitals and output but it is almost impossible with 7 pts, teaching, talking w/docs etc. I just feel so inadequate and completely overwhelmed. They are very big on independant decision making which basically means, if you have a problem, figure it out yourself. Even little things like how do i page this doc? the response i get is always you have to figure this out yourself. okay well my patient is going south and all i really want you to tell me is which one of the 12 sheets of phone numbers posted behind the desk should i be looking at? sheets which still have the names of residents long since gone as contact people for certain docs.

    It is so very frustrating. To top it all off I start midnights next week and just met my midnight preceptor and found out he graduated from nursing school TWO months before I did!!!! It just seems like a bad situation to me, but other nurses I talk with tell me this is how it is, its the same everywhere.

    The most patients I have ever had in clinical were 4. 7-9 is very difficult for me right now and I just do not feel like I am giving quality care. Yesterday my "low acuity" patients were 2 GSW's, 1 post pneumo with a CT, 2 very complicated wounds with vacs, 1 MVA, and 1 with DT's who was intent on ripping out his JP drains. It seemed like everyone had complications at 18:30 (critical lab values, abnormal vitals, iv infiltration etc.) I was late to report and my preceptor just kept coming up to me and saying can we go yet? arent you done yet? She never offered to help, it seems like the only thing she will do for me is pass my meds. I literally just came home and cried. I have to go back tomorrow and am dreading it. What I really want to do is get in my car and drive to my mothers house...lol. If my family was not depending on my income I really would do just that. Please, experienced RN's out there, tell me it gets better!

    Thanks for letting me vent!
    Last edit by monkeyadale on Jun 21, '09 : Reason: Spelling
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    About monkeyadale

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 19; Likes: 20


  3. by   NIGHTWOLF87
    first, let me say congrats for being a new gn! secondly, i am sorry that you are having a less than stellar orientation on your unit. when i first graduated, my first job was at the hospital that i did my last semester of clincials at. i worked on a medical/oncology floor. the nice thing about it was i already knew the routine of the floor and the nurse's, so that was a big help when i was orienting. but once i was off orientation and on my own...wow...i would get an average of 10-12 patients, plus admissions, plus discharges...it was a time management nightmare at first, but once i got more experience and confidence, it was like, "ok, is that all you can throw at me?" but with experience, comes confidence, and you will learn to adjust. if not, then i would recommmend that you look for another unit. i now work in nicu, and our orientation has been recently changed to 6 months: 3 months in level ii and 3 months in level iii. even when i started here, over 3 1/2 years ago, my orientation was 12 weeks, even though i already had experience (been an rn for almost 7 years now). it is great only have 1-2 patients in level iii and only 3-4 in level ii. just try to hang in there and you can do it. just have faith and confidence in yourself and don't let them see that they are getting to you. some nurses that i have seen in my past experience like to feed on the weak, so to speak. don't let them get to you! keep your chin up and keep fighting the good fight! good luck and again, congrats on becoming a gn!
  4. by   Virgo_RN
    Sounds like a bad situation to me, too.
  5. by   SlightlyMental_RN
    Holy cr*p! You poor thing! My orientation (so far) is kind of confusing, as they aren't sure where they want to place me. That, and I feel like I have no clue how to work the computer system. :typing But I would take those kind of worries any day over the stress that you must be experiencing. I'm so sorry to hear that it's going like this for you. Perhaps one of the board moderators can move this thread to an area where more experienced nurses will read it and give you some advice and encouragement? In the meantime, :icon_hug:.
  6. by   NurseKitten
    No, no, no....this is NOT right. Please start looking elsewhere, in another facility. They have thrown you to the wolves, and that is not right. Nurse have a reputation for eating their young, but this is ridiculous. You are a nurse, you have choices as to the work environment. As part of your interview, you get it IN WRITING that you have at least 8 weeks on orientation. If not 12.

    Hang in there, and don't take it lying down. Take your power back. And come talk to us any time.
  7. by   Kiky87
    This is absolutely NOT normal. If things aren't going to change I would seriously, seriously consider leaving. Most new grad programs for medical and/or surgical floors are 12 weeks and they slowly ease you into having more patients. Never should you have a preceptor who has only 2 more months experience than you! This all sounds like a recipe for disaster.
  8. by   monkeyadale
    I would like to thank each of you for your response and for just confirming for me that this is in fact a crappy situation. I have been doing some investigating and basically found out the floor I am on is always training new grads because no one stays, they have very few home staff most are floats and they will basically take anyone with a pulse. It is very frustrating to learn this now. I did clinicals at this hospital (different floor) and when I talked with the manager and the nurses everyone told me what a smart choice I had made and that I was going to love it. Grrr. It has been a very rough few days. I cannot just quit becuz my family desperately needs the money, so I am just going to look around for something else and hopefully something will come up soon. I feel a little guilty griping about my job when I read so many posts on here from new grads who cannot even find one, but this floor is just not the right one for me.
  9. by   nrsgnerd
    Oh, my friend....you just worked your tail off to get your degree and license and they are putting not just the patients at risk because of your load and lack of orientation but they are putting your license on the line....get the heck out of there as soon as you can. The last thing you need is to lose your license before you even get started....everywhere I know of gives 8-12 weeks of orientation and I'm starting in a CCU in a week and I get 16 weeks....no no no no no no....you stand up and protect yourself! You sound really smart and like your working your buns off to give good care but this is not fair to anyone, especiallly the patients! My best to you, your in my prayers!
  10. by   nicolegrow
    No, it is not like that everywhere. The facility you work at is putting patient safety on the line. You should never do anything that you are not comfortable with!
    If you stay at this facility you must speak up. Have you talked to your Nurse Manager about the Nurse Aid not giving you vitals? It is your responsibility not only to konw the vitals, but also to report a Nurse Aid who is not following delegated tasks. You need some open comunication lines. The situation that you have described is unethical.
    Whatever you decide remember to keep a cool head and be professional, no matter how frustrating it may be.
  11. by   Kittyfeet
    That sounds really, really dangerous to me. You need to protect your patients and your license!
  12. by   E.R. Rookie
    That is BS and you need to call your recruiter. In our orientation they gave us a list of about 5 people to call if theres an issue.
    I feel for you and you sound very strong. Im sure you can get thru it but you dont need to. You could easily burn out. Someone could get hurt. Let us know what happens.