Thinking about leaving

  1. I'm a new nurse working telemetry. Had 1 week of classroom orientation and 6 weeks with a preceptor. I've been on my own for 2 months now and I'm having some issues, mostly with the charge nurse who makes the assignment. I do not believe she takes into consideration that I am a brand new nurse. We have 5 pts each. On my first week alone, she assigned me to a pt that had an AICD misfiring with an order to hang lidocaine. I refused the assignment and she agreed to swap this pt for someone else. Two weeks or so later I had a pt brady down to 30, but holding her pressure. I asked the charge for help (she does not have a pt assignment). Instead of helping me through this situation, she left when her shift ended shortly thereafter. No other nurses helped me either. Praise God the pt survived... got her down to ccu once I had some meds in her and had her HR sitting "stable" in the upper 30's.

    This same charge nurse assigned me a pt who kept going in and out of afib with RVR 180's. I bolused cardizem three times and had a drip going. Finally the Dr. ordered me to just titrate the drip. Being brand new, I felt uncomfortable titrating this drip (not to mention that we are not supposed to titrate on the floor). Once the pt's pressure started dropping, the Dr said to transfer to ICU. The charge nurse argued with me that I could titrate the drip here on the floor. I had to go over her head to the nursing supervisor to get my transfer.

    I could tell you several more stories, but I think you get the point. I understand that working a stepdown cardiac floor, things can go wrong and quickly. I think I am handling it well as a new nurse, just that I need more support. There is only 1 nurse I can consistantly rely on to back me when things get a little hairy. Everyone else is always too busy... But when other nurses need help, I'm always there. Something minor like an IV is beeping, I go check it out. Someone's sugar dropped to 38, I assisted the nurse with that pt until stable. Another nurse had a pt go tachy over 200, I took her new admission that had just come up.

    I sat down with my manager and explained how frustrated I am getting. One, with the charge nurse not screening the assignment before giving them to me, and two, with the lack of team work on our unit. Instead of addressing the problem, my manager suggested I work a different shift that she says has more cohesiveness. In the same conversation, she told me this is real world nursing and I better get used to it.

    I love my floor. I love my pts. I love all things cardiac. I feel like I'm getting into my own "groove" as a nurse. I'm becoming more confident in my assessments and in my interventions. I just don't have the support. Is it like this everywhere? Is it every man for himself? I don't want to leave if it's all the same... Any words of advice or wisdom for a frustrated new nurse?
    Thanks in advance!
    Last edit by All_Smiles_RN on Oct 3, '06
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    About All_Smiles_RN

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 515; Likes: 53
    Specialty: Cardiology


  3. by   EricJRN
    Wow... that doesn't sound like a pleasant team to work with! Are there other new nurses there going through the same things?
  4. by   All_Smiles_RN
    There are no other new nurses on my floor on the night shift. There are 2 new nurses on days and they say it's better, that they get support when things go wrong. Going to days will mean rearranging my schedule and finances... but anything has got to be better than this.
  5. by   Mulan
    I'd say get off that floor and go to a medsurg floor but you say you love cardiac. Sounds like a floor I used to get floated to, very dangerous to have to work like that and a lot of places it is everyman for himself.

    You may find it entirely different on days, it's worth a try. There should be more people on days, more resources available to you.

    Good luck.
  6. by   All_Smiles_RN
    I'll be starting on day shift in the same unit in 2 weeks. My nurse manager doesn't think I need any orientation to days, not even one day. I haven't done any discharges, so I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of just swinging it. I left her a voicemail requesting training in discharges before I start on days (I rarely see her as we work opposite schedules).

    I went on two interviews recently. I went to one at a rehab center. Sounds nice except that I'd have between 15-25 patients myself with one aide on nights. Sounds a bit too much, lol. The other interview was for another tele floor. The nursing director told me that her unit may not be what I'm looking for in terms of support/team work. She said they are working on improving things. I really appreciated her candidness with me.

    I'm going to give days a try. I pray that things get better for me. Thanks for the input I received.
  7. by   RNKay31
    Wow that is very scary, I would definitely watch my license with this facility
  8. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from jenniferhelene
    she told me this is real world nursing and I better get used to it.

    Is it like this everywhere? Is it every man for himself?
    NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!

    That statement by her just makes me CRINGE. It's NOT like that everywhere, it's not every man for himself. Not on my unit it's not.

    I am so sorry you're going through this. Being a new nurse I know how hard it is and how incredibly stressful and scary it is ...... and that's with a ton of supportive co-workers! So I can't even begin to imagine being on a unit like you're describing, where you get little to no support.

    A few times the charge nurse has given me some inappropriate assignments but not on purpose, that just happens sometimes, but they always changed it for me with no problem. I have support from my charge nurse and from all my co-workers. I remember my 3rd night off orientation by baby extubated and almost coded ..... my pod partner practically took over because I had no idea what to do! I was just standing there in shock because I hadn't been involved in those situations enough to feel comfortable. She took over for me. I never feel like I'm just left on my own. I just wanted to let you know that it's not like that everywhere and you don't have to get used to it ...... that makes me so mad that she would say such a thing ...... "get used to it, because that's how nursing is!" UGH :angryfire

    You deserve so much better than this!! You sound like a great nurse, you know what you're doing, you're confident .... but of course you need the support that every new nurse needs. Good for you for standing up and talking with your manager and letting them know that you don't feel comfortable. I hope dayshift works out and you get the support you need. Let us know how it goes, I wish you luck!
    Last edit by RainDreamer on Oct 17, '06
  9. by   erichRN
    It sickens me that there are nurses that have such personality issues that they can't work as a team; it sickens me that the supervisor you spoke with did not have the skills to handle the personnel problems of the people under her. As usual, the ones who suffer are the caridac patients who have now lost a good nurse who enoyed them and her field. And it goes on-business as usual. Sad.