I am in a situation which I find distressing and demoralizing, and would appreciate any feedback to help me sort it out.
I was an LPN for >10 yrs, and then got my RN a little over 2 yrs ago. School was always pretty easy for me, and I think that I have excellent assessment skills and considerable diagnostic knowledge, and have worked a variety of acute care positions;usually in step-down or critical care areas. I have done some travel nursing (Fl. and Ca) and also registry (agency) so I consider flexibility one of my assets. Recently I moved to the central coast of Ca. and was surprised to find NO nursing shortage here! I was competing with nurses with tons of experience and being a little green in the ICU, and my other background still being a bit of a specialty (tele and stepdowns) I found it difficult to land a position at the local acute care hospital, and took a position at a LTCF in the meantime. The manager who interviewed me made it out to be more of an acute care rehab facility, and expressed lots of empathy to my situation, saying that he was a critical care nurse also and had no trouble keeping his skills up at this institution, etc.
That was the last of the supportive stuff. I was asked if I could work the next night, as the regular nurse had just injured herself. I said I'd give it a try, and walked into a nightmare. Nobody seemed to be able (or willing) to remember what being new was like, and I found myself asking questions to the air. Nurses spent a lot of time complaining about this and that, mostly short staffing, and there were never enough CNAs.The paperwork was incredible; sort of a mixture of government gobble-de gook and the facility's own redundant forms spawning more forms. The nursing station was crowded, cluttered and disorganized. Stuff would not be in the same place from day to day. The staff just seemed to ignore me except when they wanted to tell me what I should have done, or that I was running behind and better "pick it up". I found out that first night that I would not be given any slack, and when my med passes ran late,I got a lot of rolled eyes and whispering but little help. I went to suction a pt with a trach and found the suction machine didn't have enough suction to actually remove any secretions, and sterile technique was not observed. The oxygen generators all had clogged filters, and the PICC lines were being flushed with 3cc (high pressure) s
yringes, if they were flushed at all.