Stuck (?) In Med-Surg?

  1. I'm a new RN 3 months on an oncology unit, also low level monitoring, neuro, med-surg (we get everything). I just read the thread about 1st year med-surg posted by EDGRAD. Those replies were helpful and inspiring, but I'm really feeling stuck.
    I went back to nursing school because I was working in a doctor's office and felt "stuck" there, nowhere to move up, since I'm not interested in management in any arena. My intention was to go to the OR, but after interviewing anyone who would listen, I decided on a year of med-surg. I worked on the floor I'm on now as an aide for 1 1/2 years while I was in school, so I kinda knew what I was getting into.
    So the heart of the problem: I don't look forward to going to work AT ALL. I dread it. I have no issues with the people I work with, I love the patients, I felt my orientation was sufficient, etc. But I just don't feel "cut out" for floor nursing, especially with 10 patients on midnight. I have to look at my paper to remember the patients Dx while I'm in the room!!! It is so unsafe, and it's my patient's life and my license on the line. And I feel stuck there. The community college I graduated from had a perioperative program, so I thought I'd do that, but they no longer have it--training surg techs only now. I don't think I'd get alot of support if I went to my manager and said "how do I get to the OR?", since there is such a shortage of bedside nurses now. I'm afraid to let anyone I work with know how I'm feeling, because I don't want to be ruin any chance I have of moving on within the same hospital. On the other hand, I don't like feeling like I'm "putting in the time" on med-surg when I really hate it. Our sign-on bonus is paid out at 6mos, 1yr, and 2yrs. I know I can't do this for 2years, so I'm feeling rushed to make a decision by the 6 month mark. Do I spill it or keep plugging away? All replies will be greatly appreciated.
    (Feeling blue---Teresa)
  2. Visit teresaden profile page

    About teresaden

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 7
    Staff RN
    Specialty: Med-Surg/Oncology/Neuro Unit

    5 Comments

  3. by   willdgate
    If you don't like it, consider leaving, but first find a job somewhere else first, I"m so scared I won't like my job, since nursing is difficult for everyone, good luck
  4. by   PooterPT
    Teresa,
    There are so many opportunities and options in nursing Cae out there.
    Don't settle for something you are not happy or fulfilled with. Check out the options available in your area. I am certain there are many. Go on line. There are endless possibilities out there. I know you will find your niche. Don't be afraid to try other forms of nursing like Home care, Hospice
    care, Same day surgery, etc.
  5. by   crb613
    Teresa,
    I know what you mean about the nurse to pt ratio! I do love M/S but I am having more pts than I feel I can safely care for. I was promised 6/7, with 7 being the max....well its more like a steady 8/9...& 10 sometime. I started May 23 as an RNA, took my boards in Aug. My orientation was great, & the nurses I work are awesome.
    I am now on nights being flipped from surgical M/S to the geriatric M/S. Our peds wing is closed for construction so we have those on the geriatric side too. Last night I took report on 8....& we got 2 admits. The other nurse w/me is as new as I am, she also had 8. I had 3 kids ages 4 & under (resp distress cont. pulse ox, N/V), 1 hospice (ca w/mets to brain), 3 on bed alarms (one blind, confused & the others confused), 2W/Psych issues....(one of the psych had sleep apnea, & the other copd exac. w/cocaine addiction!) and 5 of these were on accu checks, of course they all needed insulin!
    They required a lot of care....I kept them alive & that is about it!
    I worried all night that something would happen & I would not know until it was too late. I feel bad because I know they did not get the attention they deserved. I don't know where the notion came from that these people sleep at night :uhoh21: cause they don't!!! I like where I work, but this is way too much. I am going to talk w/my director.....If I cannot practice safely I need to go somewhere I can. Good luck to you!
  6. by   RNLisa
    Quote from crb613
    I worried all night that something would happen & I would not know until it was too late. I feel bad because I know they did not get the attention they deserved.

    This something I worried about too, I am to be there for the patients, they are sick, they need care. I kept thinking at my first job, that I wasn't "there" for them. I didn't get to know them. A doctor had asked about a patient to another nurse, and she had to look at her paper to see what room that patient was in because she went by room numbers, the doctor said "You don't know your patient? You need to take some time to get to know your patient". Of course, doctors don't know all we go through, but he was so right! Of course those of you that have read my posts, I left that job and started a new job this week. I start on the floor in 2 days.

    I became a nurse to help others. I want to treat others as I would want to be treated. It's difficult to do that when we are so swamped with other duties and too many patients.
  7. by   Daytonite
    dear feeling blue teresaden. . .since you know you need to put in the time on the oncology unit in order to get in a transfer to the or i guess you just have to make the best of it. as a person who did a lot of hospital management let me give you some insider info to help you out. first of all, if a position in or opens up and you apply for it when you are permitted to transfer, by the rules of the company they really have to honor your request and go through the process of interviewing you like any other applicant. there are some things you can do to help yourself get that transfer. you are right not to reveal your feelings to anyone else. keep them to yourself and keep your plans of transferring to the or to yourself. get a dog if you don't already have one, or a teddy bear, and tell them your secret feelings. be a good employee over the next months. try very hard not to call off sick or be tardy. your attendance record will be one of the first things the manager of the or will probably look at when he/she gets your transfer request. the second thing he/she will do is go to human resources to look at your personal file to look for disciplinary actions against you. so, do all you can to keep your nose clean. be kind and helpful to every one you work with. bite your tongue even when you feel the urge to want to tell someone off. you want to develop a good profile and reputation that the manager of the or cannot find fault with. the last thing she will want to take on is an employee with personality or disciplinary problems.

    i also recommend that you find out who the manager of the or is and try over the next months to get into some informal conversations with him/her. be casual and don't be too eager to spill the beans about wanting to work there. ask what or nurses do. do they have many openings. do they ever consider people for those openings from the regular nursing units if they are interested. well, i've been maybe thinking about it, if he/she asks you. this is how you work around the system informally. if you are able to tactfully do this, you may have your or job in hand before you even put the official piece of paper in your current nurse manager's hand. this is how i got my transfer to the iv therapy team many years ago.

    i am wondering why you were able to work there so long as an aide, but now you dread it as an rn. may i venture a guess that from my years of experience that the difference is because as a aide you had greater confidence in what you were doing. at this point your confidence level as an rn is not at that same level. and, it shouldn't be. you are still a learner. i would also like to suggest that since you are so scared about your current performance where you are working that you do something about it. at the end of every shift when you come home, pick one patient or problem that was a challenge for you that day and hit your textbooks. read up on that patient's diagnosis and treatment or subject. open up your care plan book (if you have one) and review the nursing interventions. think about what you did for the patient, what you could have done, and what you will do the next time you have that patient or a patient similar to them. this is how you improve your practice. the more you learn, the more confidence you will have and hopefully your feelings of not looking forward of going to work will change. what i am saying is give yourself some purpose to go to work. you know, your education didn't end when you got your diploma. it was just the end of your education being monitored and supervised by instructors. now, you have to be your own nursing instructor. try to find some excitement in learning new things about oncology nursing--at least until you can get your transfer. it will help the time go faster for you. your patients are the ones who will benefit as well. your current manager may very well be impressed to see you taking initiative to self-learn where you have learning gaps--another feather in your cap when it comes time to apply for that transfer!

    here are some links to some help with your memory problem:

    http://www.psywww.com/mtsite/memory.html - memory techniques and mnemonics

    http://memorytechniques.zupatips.com/ - improve memory home page. links to the techniques are on the right side of the page.

    http://www.mindtools.com/memory.html - memory improvement tools

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