So I'm a new grad lpn in Nevada who got hired at a snf for PM shift. The facility only gave 3 days of on-the-floor orientation before putting you to work on the floor alone (That's the norm around here, i heard). At the end of my orientation i wasn't 100% confident but i thought i could handle working the PM shift with the patients i oriented with (I was able to memorize the med cart, and the pt routines) plus i was told there would always be a supervisor available for help (there was a supervisor those 3 days).
My first day alone, i was given a different shift than i was trained and had signed up for, in a different part of the facility (with different staff and no supervisors for help in sight) than i had been for orientation. As a new grad, this completely threw me off!
My first medpass was chaos! I had no familiarity with the med cart on that floor (it was a mess with no organization ie meds were not in chronological order by room or meds belonging to the same person were in random locations in the cart), some of the house supply bottles had been open for over 2 months, missing meds which had not been reordered, empty inhalers just thrown back into the cart, a central supply room with all the house meds in random cardboard boxes with no label or any attempt at organization (one box had 2 bottles of aspirin, a bottle of multivitamins and some bottles of loperamide), etc...
On top of the embarrassingly long medpass in the morning due to all of the obstacles while trying to locate anything, I had to figure out how to use the gtube machines for 3 pts who were on feeds (no one to help and there weren't any pts on the machines on the side i oriented), I had to do weekly summaries on pts i had seen for the first time that day, treatments, charting and run around getting stuff for pts because the CNAs go missing. I was there for 12 hours with no break, not even 2 minutes for the bathroom. On top of that, i got written up for unscheduled overtime and not clocking out for lunch!
I feel incompetent and beaten. I've worked 5 days on the floor and i get moved to different areas in the facility everyday. I've had to learn new pts and new med carts everyday so far. I tried talking to the DON in person (always too busy to talk) and no replies to phone calls or messages. I don't think i can handle this anymore! I am ready to quit!
Everyone is telling me to wait until i get another job to leave, but i am not comfortable going back! I've cried everyday since the first day. I knew working as a lpn would be hard (I was a CNA before i started school) but i wasn't expecting this. How bad would it be if i quit over the phone and email her (DON) with CC to DSD and HR?
Oct 19, '17
Sounds like you are being treated like an agency nurse. Quitting by phone or e-mail is very bad form, and the LTC market (at least in my area) is small enough that everyone knows everyone, so it can make it hard to get another job if you quit that way. I get what you are saying, I did some agency nursing in my past, and it can be like you said, but it CAN get better as you get more sure of yourself. I can only recommend getting in early enough that you can get the med cart organized, and in relatively short time you will have seen all the areas of the facility and will feel you can handle anything! Good luck to you! It DOES get better!
Oct 19, '17
Welcome to the wonderful world of LTC nursing!!!! I'm sorry but my experience has been that No, it doesn't get better. My LTC has gotten worse and so many nurses are quitting right now at my LTC. Every week, they keep adding extra things we have to do in addition to already being "overworked" That being said, you are a "new graduate" so my advice is for you to stay and tough it out. You have to get that "one year of experience" under your belt and unfortunately, you may need to force yourself to stay no matter how horrible it is. Yes, it is normal to be crying all of the time and to be totally stressed out all of the time. That has always been my experience working in LTC.
Oct 20, '17
Thank you for your advice! I talked to the staffing coordinator (DON still too busy to talk) and was able to get the same area for the rest of this month! I stayed over after clocking out one shift and organized the med cart. It made my life so much easier the next day. I still feel lost most of the time esp when it comes to paperwork. I'm hoping I can last a year.
Oct 24, '17
Shame on your DON. She should make time to speak to you. I've run huge buildings. If I was busy, I'd ask the staff person to come back later in the day, but I always made time
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