Terrified and Humiliated New Grad in LTC

  1. I just graduated in May from an ADN program. I was hired prn at a local LTC facility. The job market is scarce and I am desperate to take whatever I can get. 5 new grad/new hires including myself got a whole 4 days of orientation and only 2 of those out on the floor. One has already been hired as a 11p to 7a full time charge nurse, one got a full time 3p to 11p shift, and the other got a full time weekend shift. My supervisor tells me, after only TWO DAYS in a new nursing environment that my skills are not up to par, so I got none of the promotions and am still PRN, which really is fine, I guess, because clearly I'm not ready to be tossed to the wolves with no oversight for 30 patients with 20 medications apiece as well as peg tubes, wound care, feedings, etc. However, my boss made me feel like I was 1/2 an inch tall. He made me feel as if I was a substandard nurse and not nearly as good as the others I was hired with. I am somewhat sensitive and I began to tear up, but I did NOT cry. He said "are you tearing up?" with incredulous disgust. I said I was simply tired and I am no crybaby. I graduated with honors and externed at a large hospital. Something about this boss makes me nervous and when he watches me I make stupid mistakes. I don't know how to shake this, and show this guy that I can be a good and capable nurse. I also think it's a bit much to ask anyone to go out on a floor and handle 30 patients after 2 days on the floor. What do you guys think?

    P.S. I thought I loved nursing but this experience is making me feel as if I've made a terrible mistake.
    Last edit by Super Ultra on Jun 29, '12
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    About Super Ultra

    Joined: Mar '10; Posts: 11; Likes: 1


  3. by   JZ_RN
    Don't let this guy intimidate you. If he's the boss, chances are he is not understanding to the struggles of the floor nurses, which is what I have found in LTC. Once you're off the floor you're real quick to judge others while forgetting how difficult it can be. He is trying to make you feel small so he can control you and abuse you, which happens to young nurses (myself included) and new nurses. Don't be afraid. Just do what you know is safe for yourself and your patients. If you know it's necessary to do or not do for your license, worry about that and the patient and forget his belittling words and behaviors. Sounds like you need to keep looking for a decent job. I wish you luck, I know how you feel!
  4. by   BrandonLPN
    Wow, he sounds like a mean boss! Talk to the other new grads who've been hired full time. How are they keeping up with the workload? Maybe they can give you some tips.
  5. by   Cupid21
    Hi I have been an LPN for 16 years and you are probably a lot younger then me but nursing is one of the hardest jobs you'll ever do. I guess my skin is thick in one way but in another I am so so so sick and tired of the abuse that goes on in nursing. I would love to tell you the grass is greener on the other side but most of the time it is not. I am always asking questions when I do not know something and it does take time to catch on how to manage all those patients. It is an exhausting job. You are always learning and things are always changing. I agree with the other writer he is making you feel small so that he can control you, it does happen to nurses all the time. You see there aren't any laws that protect nurses like the biggest problem patient ratio. But the truth is the amount of patients that is given to one nurse is really impossible to do everything that is asked. Your boss knows that. You will always be told that the facility can't get more nurses or they will have to shut down which is a bold face lie. Someone is making good money off of our backs big time. So you are made to feel inadequate so you will take on the responsibility and work you fingers to the bone to fulfill their unrealistic expectations. I wish you the best!
  6. by   BrandonLPN
    Yeah, probably the best advice we can give is to just develop thicker skin and push on. I wish there was something better I could tell you, but that's the nature of nursing. Your boss sounds like a real jerk (more so than most), but in this line of work you will probably always get crap from someone. If not your boss, then from pts' family, or the doctor, or a CNA. Just let it roll off your back. Jerky people hate being ignored!

    As for always falling behind, well, like I said observe how the experienced staff nurses do it. I'm sure they multitask and combine as many things as possible. I'm probably treading on dangerous ground here, but it IS ok to combine med passes in certain instances. Just use common sense. Don't give ambien with the 4pm pass. Don't combine two separate doses of depakote. Obvious stuff. There is NOTHING morally wrong with combining routine meds as long as it does no harm. You are a licensed nurse, and you have the judgement to know when to and when not to combine passes.

    Oh, and don't listen to those who tell you the veteran nurses who finish on time only do so because they "cheat" or "cut corners". This is BS. They finish on time because they work hard and know what they are doing. They are your best resource.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Jun 30, '12
  7. by   Super Ultra
    Thanks everyone for your responses so far. I know that I do need to grow a somewhat thicker skin because I'm new, but this guy said all this to me after two days of training! I haven't even been let loose on the floor by myself and he's judging my nursing skills as sub par. It's just frustrating to be automatically judged as inept before I've really even done anything. I know it's easy to say "well, I don't need any work, it's just the boss is a you know what" but I am willing to reflect and see if I've done anything egregiously out of place, but even the other new grad I was training with said "you look like you've done everything well so far to me." So it may be that this guy is just trying to control me, but for the time being, I have a job and I desperately need to keep it, so I'm going to "suck it up, buttercup" and do my best.

    P.S. The "stupid" mistakes I make are things like having trouble locking the narcotics drawer and fumbling with it, and I accidentally touched the base of my butterfly needle with my glove before I was going to draw blood, but I immediately got a new one. I'm not talking huge mistakes here, but apparently we're going for perfection.
    Last edit by Super Ultra on Jun 30, '12
  8. by   Kittypower123
    LTC is hard - after only two days, I wouldn't expect you, as a new nurse (or even an experienced one new to the facility for that matter), to get everything done on time without help. It takes time to get your routine down and get faster at everything.

    At my last job, we were short a nurse and had 6 admissions coming. When we approached management asking for help we were told that we just needed to manage our time better. Unfortunately, most management seems to think we're super human and then gets upset when we show we're only regular humans. Makes me want to wear a cape and big 'S' on my chest to work everyday (might as well dress the part, right?).
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Hi, there. You are somebody. Do not let anyone bring you down to lowliness.

    I wrote about public humiliation in healthcare a few days ago. Click on the website link below to read the article if you feel like doing so.

    Basically, humiliation occurs in nursing. An effective way of dealing with it is to ensure that your self-worth does not depend on what others think of you. It is hard for someone to humiliate you if you feel confidence in yourself.

  10. by   imintrouble
    Get mad. You were treated badly. Period. It's unreasonable to expect a new grad nurse to be proficient after only a few days of orientation. How unprofessional to compare the new hires to each other.
    He stinks as a boss. Unfortunately you can't point that out and keep your job.

    I don't allow those I have no respect for to insult me. They can't because I don't value their opinion.

    The fact that he hired 5 new nurses suggests a large employee turn over.
    The fact that he elevated one to charge nurse after 4 days says even more.
    The lack is not with you, it's with your employer.
    Don't you dare let that loser boss get you down.
  11. by   malamud69
    I echo the comments that they must have a heavy turnover...(usually means its a place you probably do not want on your resume.)I am still a nursing student and have counseled with many veteran nurses that I know and none of them would even consider taking a job that has only a few days of orientation...That is absurd...I work as a cna and the LTC I work at has a mandatory minimum of two weeks! For cna and nurses! Sounds like a terrible place...I would be concerned for patient safety, your sanity and your license. Watch out! Run! Don't be fooled... if you are tennacious there are plenty of jobs out there in this great big country. How flexible are you?
  12. by   Super Ultra
    Thank you! Somewhere inside I was thinking just this, but being completely new and not exactly knowing what to expect I wasn't sure if I was just not working hard enough, not smart enough, etc.
  13. by   caliotter3
    Do not worry. Your time will come. Meanwhile, continue to look for work. Perhaps you will find something that will be better.
  14. by   malamud69
    A veteran ER nurse friend of mine gave some great advice to anybody starting out in most health care jobs: If you can afford to do it, work more than one Per Diem job...you can find the fit that works for both sides...no B.S., you are not tied to something if it doesn't work out etc...makes common sense. You may also get to practice a variety of skills in different settings.