Help with new job


So I have been a nurse for a whole 8 months. I know this makes me a newbie to the field. Before I was a nurse, I was a researcher and professor. I got my PhD in biology and taught at various universities for 5 years before I ultimately decided I was unhappy and needed a change. I am still pretty young (30's) so am not considering retirement anytime soon. For the past 8 months, I've been working in a relatively large rehab facility. I love my job: I enjoy the patients, the people I work with, my day to day routine. Especially now since we have beat covid-19 in our facility (at least for now) . We got hit very hard and had many deaths.

I moved to Southern California about a month ago and got what I thought was a pretty sweet deal at a non-profit hospital system. On the surface, this job seemed awesome: more money, day shift, different variety of patients. I was really stoked. I completed the first week of classroom training that was super non-applicable and nothing I didn't already know. To explain, they grouped the nurses with the MAs and the entire training was focused on the MAs. The next week I moved to a clinic. The first day went okay. The next couple days, the nurse training me decided she didn't like how I did wound care, or how I gave IM injections or wrote notes or charted. At the end of week 1 she told me she didn't trust me to do anything without her. Im also super limited by a huge language barrier. I don't speak any spanish and 50% of the patients we see are spanish only. The nurse said she would help translate for me, but so far it has been her having a conversation with patients and me doing her charting.

The second week (this week) has actually gotten worse. We are only seeing maybe 3 patients a day. She does all the nursing care and leaves me to chart for her. For example, she removed stitches today and had me do the charting. Today was exceptionally bad, because not only did I not really get to do any nursing care, but the MAs and the nurse had a conversation in front of me how they dislike it when people come to work at their clinic who don't speak spanish, and that they should just send english only speakers up North (note: super far from where I live). I was super hurt, because I am already feeling insecure about not speaking spanish, but it just confirms that they don't want me there. The nurse and MAs also spend a great deal of time making dispariging comments about the cleaning staff and other MAs who are not at the front desk.

I don't know what to do. Im only at this location for another week and a half. But that will be the end of my training and Im expected to have learned everything I am suppose to know. Part of me wants to quit and find something else because I am so discouraged. Help? words of encouragement?

TriciaJ, RN

4,305 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 42 years experience.

Every job I ever started I had at least one poor preceptor. Sometimes even a poor whole orientation. Be as self-directed as you can without ruffling any feathers. Also grow a thick skin. When people have to make nasty comments and trash-talk people, they are giving you much more information about themselves than the people they're trashing.

This is temporary. Make a list of the things you've actually learned. Make a list of things you would like to have learned. When you're scheduled to be off orientation, talk to whomever is in charge about how to shore up your deficits. I really doubt that anyone expects you to be fully up and running after orientation. That's when the real learning begins. This is temporary. Hang in there.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

2,776 Posts

Specializes in school nurse. Has 31 years experience.

With an educational history like yours, you know how to put your nose to the grindstone.

Start learning Spanish. (No, I'm not excusing the abysmal behavior of the preceptor. If the situation were reversed you'd be accused of being racist.)

Spanish is the second language of the US and learning it will help your career immensely. Plus, foreign language acquisition is good exercise for your brain...

Nunya, BSN

771 Posts

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 41 years experience.

Just stop with doing HER charting, if anything adverse happens to the patient because of what SHE did then you'll be pulled into it also.

And is sounds like you're just orienting there and it isn't your permanent location? Be sure to tell their supervisors how they acted, dates and times and having it written down is good. I would also notify YOUR supervisor you aren't getting an appropriate orientation. But really, it doesn't sound like they're doing anything you don't already know how to do.


6,594 Posts

16 hours ago, MichelleMacRN2017 said:

I was super hurt, because I am already feeling insecure about not speaking spanish, but it just confirms that they don't want me there.

You just can't be super hurt. I mean, there is nothing personal about their behavior. If it wasn't you it would be somebody else, and if the somebody else happened to be fluent in Spanish then it would be for some other reason.

16 hours ago, MichelleMacRN2017 said:

Im only at this location for another week and a half.

So then where do you go/where is your primary worksite?

I would take my paycheck for the next week and a half and not think about quitting without seeing how the next step looks.

Specializes in ER, GI, Occ Health. Has 9 years experience.

This is just orientation and not your permanent home, it sounds like. I'd just stick it out. Sounds like you are confident in your nursing skills, so really just need to learn the charting and procedures, which you can do there or pick up at your home dept.