yesterday was FIRST day! is this how it always is?

  1. Hey guys!
    Passed my boards around a month ago, did orientation, all that. Yesterday was my first day on the floor- meg/surg floor.

    Anyways, all I did yesterday was follow another nurse around. She was an LPN. Is it the norm to give a new RN an LPN to orient with? Honestly, I'm not really sure what LPN can/can't do within their scope of practice, so maybe it is the norm to put an RN with an LPN?

    But I get there and they put me with her because they said "she is the best nurse on the floor". She's been at this hospital, on this floor, for 11 years.

    I am scared that they said she is the "best" nurse they have on the floor. She didn't even do a full assessment on ANY of her patients, just checked why they were in the hospital, for example resp. problem- and listened to lungs, etc.
    She was giving meds WAY out of the hour timeframe- and I mean like even 3 hours late.
    She was talking to me about another co-workers "hygeine" problem(body odor) which I thought was inappropriate.
    She kept talking about how nursing students from one nursing school do nothing, and make the worst nurses. just happens to be the school i went to
    She was unorganized too- never checking meds more than once, taking meds for several patients in one room, trying to keep them seperate, almost giving a patient meds twice, etc.
    Didn't get anyone to double check insulin, etc. She would just sign another nurses initials.

    The whole day was filled with "well I know this isn't the right way but....." and things like that.

    Honestly- I just got out of nursing school and I know that not all nurses do things the right way, etc., but she kept me a nervous wreck the whole day.

    So, basically, I know, that I am a new nurse, and no experience, and I know things aren't going to be exactly like I was taught in school, but are most floors this way? Some of these things seemed pretty major to me- especially for the "best nurse on the floor". I mean she was nice and everything, but it worries me some. Should I be worried?

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for any input!!
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    About ncriverrat

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 32; Likes: 2

    16 Comments

  3. by   Maevish
    Wow! I don't really have an answer for you, but I'm in my last semester and I had a nurse EXACTLY like that and it really freaked me out! I'll be checking back on this post!
  4. by   ncriverrat
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that has been kind of freaked out by a situation like this. I think part of it is that I went in that morning, and in my head I was like "oh yeah, I bet they're going to give me an AWESOME nurse today so I can learn a lot!!" lol boy was I wrong.....
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    Maybe by "best" nurse, they meant "best nurse to figure out how NOT to do things"

    <wink>
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    The fact that she is an LPN (LVN where I live) has nothing to do with it - except for teaching you about IV's and other things RN's do and LVN's don't.

    This is about a nurse taking shortcuts that are dangerous. And I know RN's who do that.

    I work with an LVN who IS someone I would pair up with a new student to learn fundamental nursing skills - she is awesome and does not cut corners.

    It is sad - the way people begin to justify shabby nursing skills.

    I would not continue to orient with this nurse. Ask for someone else.

    steph
  7. by   Cherish
    Sorry that everything went so WRONG. That reminds me of when I was doing my Phlebotomy clinicals 2 years ago. I was with someone who always ripped her gloves (definate no-no), talked about anything and everything while drawing blood and acted like the patient was never there. Maybe you can request to be with an RN this time. Maybe by saying that you want to see a procedure done and get the hang of that, you know something that LPN's don't do. Hope all goes well with ya.
  8. by   JentheRN05
    Sounds to me as if you got two problems
    1. An irresponsible preceptor
    2. Went to the 'wrong' school - therefore she's teaching you the 'wrong' way so she has more to bi#$$ about.

    I would go to the nurse manager and tell her politely that you don't feel comfortable learning from this person. That she does do things differently (extremely) differently than you were taught in school, and you would like to follow an RN. Please.

    Although I'm not sure that is really the best idea - it's the only one I got right now.
    I wouldn't follow her - if it meant I had to leave my job or follow her I wouldn't let the door hit me on the way out. She will teach sloppy work habits and terrible ethics to boot.
    Just my thoughts
  9. by   Antikigirl
    For our facility, an LPN can have a new nurse with her....our LPN's do the same duties as RN's basically, so it isn't a probelm. Actually many times it is luck of the draw who some will get, depends on who volunteered to take on a new nurse and if they are there that day. At least that was the way it was for me!

    Now, dependant on work load, I may do a focused only assessment related to reason a pt is in hospital. But I only do that if I am strapped for time, I always go back and do the rest of the assessment, or continue assessing through the shift every time I go in there (like one system at a time till I have it all down). Most times people don't even know I am doing their assessment because I can watch movement, check facial nerves by watching them speak and interact, and a good one is watching someone ambulate (when possible). But I always have questions and steth time!

    As far as medication, I only do one patient at a time to ensure I am doing it right! No way would I take anothers medication with me...that is an accident waiting to happen! I saw one time a nurse to that and she put down someone elses meds down to listen to lung sounds and the pt grabbed the wrong cup of pills GULP! Thank goodness it was stool softeners and a multivit..but still!!!!!!!!!! No no! Stick to your guns about only doing one persons meds at a time!

    We don't have to double check insulin, but many of us do anyway! It is just a safety thing we feel is important. So many of us do it anyway! HOwever if she is forging a signature..this is very very bad! Should be reported! Next time she may forge yours and make a mistake and you both are in trouble!

    I would talk to your nursing manager and thank them for the opportunity to work with her, but that you wish to have someone a little more geared in helping a new nurse get started in learning policy and procedures.

    Good luck to you!
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    I'd just like to say again that this has nothing to do with the nurse being an LPN/LVN. And no, I was never a LPN/LVN.

    I personally know RN's who cut corners just like this nurse so getting an RN to follow may not solve the problem since everyone seems to think this LPN/LVN is the best nurse. The whole culture of the floor may be the same.

    Yes, please take this up with your nurse manager. Not everyone cuts corners.

    steph
  11. by   ncriverrat
    Thanks for the replies!
    Something I'm scared about is that one of the nurses WILL put my initials down for double checking insulin. Where I work double checking is required, and it scares me to think that someone may just put my initials down and then the amount be wrong and something happen.

    As far as the assessment, what bothered me is that while she was only focusing on one area, she would document that she did the WHOLE assessment, and of course all the patients were doing great according to her assessment.

    I work again saturday, and I am with someone else. Hopefully it will go much better, but I am still worried about having nurses on the floor who treat patient care like this.
  12. by   ncriverrat
    I think I may have worded my post wrong about her being an LPN- I wasn't trying to ask if these problems were because of her BEING an LPN- I have great respect for them, and the best nurse I know is an LPN. I should have clarified a little better- what I really mean is that I think I saw her do a couple of things that may not be in her scope of practice.

    I hope it didn't sound like I was belittling LPN's or anything like that; that was DEF. not where I was going with that, sorry if it came out wrong!
  13. by   Larry77
    While I agree with the previous responses in this was not the RIGHT way and sounds like she's not the best preceptor for you, there is a difference between how things are done in nursing school and how they are done in the real world.

    If you have a full section with 7 pt's with 3 post-op's and 2 pt's getting blood you will learn to do problem oriented assessments and take SAFE shortcuts (not to say what your preceptor did is anyway right).

    Also there is a lot of STYLE in nursing it's possible that this nurse that seems to succeed according to others in her dept has some good habits too that you could pick up on.

    I agree with talking to the nurse manager but I would not mention your question about her being an LPN--should not be an issue at all (except she can't show you how to give IVP drugs or blood admin), this could make you come off like an RN snob who doesn't respect experience only titles.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from ncriverrat
    I think I may have worded my post wrong about her being an LPN- I wasn't trying to ask if these problems were because of her BEING an LPN- I have great respect for them, and the best nurse I know is an LPN. I should have clarified a little better- what I really mean is that I think I saw her do a couple of things that may not be in her scope of practice.

    I hope it didn't sound like I was belittling LPN's or anything like that; that was DEF. not where I was going with that, sorry if it came out wrong!
    Actually, I was responding to some of the responses you got about not being precepted by an LPN.

    steph

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