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Help, Struggling

Nurses   (847 Views 8 Comments)

176 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hello to everyone on allnurses,

I am sadly having a very rough time. I graduated just under a year ago. I was hired to a hospital job in May and taken off orientation in July. I struggled through the month of July and early August but ultimately was doing well throughout Sept. In September my manager sat me down and said she was concerned about how I was doing. I had been floated to different floors, given extra patients (we are supposed to be taking 5, occasionally 6 and I had been thrown 7 all at once- not all together with admissions and discharges.. just straight up 7), and not complained. She was concerned because I seemed "frustrated" at times. I explained to her that I am the type of person that works hard and I was aware I often seemed overworked and had been working on this. I also learned that my personality often demanded perfect and I do not like missing things so I had been having a hard time fitting everything into my shift. Overall, I felt I was doing a good job and most of my peers said I was surpassing new graduate abilities. For example I would go out of my way to be a team player- helping with admissions, hanging blood, checking IV pumps and helping clean ups. However, my manager explained that she had been having discussions with other nurses on my unit-- they believed that I come off too anxious and that it made them anxious, which also made them uncomfortable. That day she and one other nurse sat me down and explained I have a month to shape up or I would be terminated (yeah she used that word right then and there). One week later I was asked to come in on an off day for a meeting. At that meeting I was told that my progress was not where she had expected. HR was present, paperwork was signed and unceremoniously laid off- two days shy of my 6 month date. I lost all of my PTO and all of my benefits. The HR representative said I was not leaving in bad light, that I was eligible for rehire on any other floor in the hospital because this was a unique situation- I was the first ever new graduate on that unit (of which I was never aware of until that day). I took a few days off to comprehend what had happened and in the end understood. Then...

Upon applying to other positions I was told by another HR representative that since I worked for less than six months I was NOT going to be rehired anywhere within their system, not just this hospital but also none of the 8 other hospitals owned by the same system (I am not going to name, I'm not on here to bad mouth them, they are a wonderful hospital system to work for, my situation is unique). I soldiered on. I've been applying just about everywhere else, however my resume shows I left a hospital after just 6 months and I have to explain what happened. This is my issue, I have already had some HR reps say I will never work again because of this. But I am a hard worker. I learn fast, my clinical skills are developed, my critical thinking skills are sharp. I have caught GI bleeds that even my doctor has missed. I'm so lost and confused. I am unsure of where to turn. I feel as if I was tossed out of a hospital because someone did not like me. My patient's liked me, the supervisors of the hospital liked me... was there nothing I could do?

I turn to you, my fellow nurses, has anyone had an issue like this?

By the way, this is not my first job. I've worked for 10 years. This is a second degree. I've never been laid off, fired, or even left a job before. I have worked temp jobs, I was a special needs teacher for 4 years and a parks and rec supervisor. I've never had anyone complain about me before in this manner. I have had confrontations with coworkers in other jobs but I never felt as if I fought with anyone at this hospital. Is this to be expected? Does anyone have any advice for me?

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BSNbeDONE specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

2,317 Posts; 24,599 Profile Views

At this point, try another healthcare system (preferably a teaching hospital) or the VA. Continue being honest and upfront about what happened....or perhaps not even listing them as a reference/experience at all. Of course, with the VA, you'd have to explain the gap between graduation/licensure and a first or no position.

Once you find another position, and you will, try to relax that "perfect" personality a bit if that's what has you coming off as being too anxious. Personally, I think you were mishandled unless there's more to this story.

I often felt overwhelmed with 7 patients even with decades of experience under my belt. I don't think a new grad should have that kind of caseload until at least the one-year mark. Chin up and keep it moving.

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3 Posts; 176 Profile Views

Thank you so much for your response. I wish there was more I could tell you about the situation. I've reached out to my former manager to ask questions and have never heard back. I am trying my best to keep moving forward. I am using them as job experience but only applying to new graduate opportunities. I am trying to see this as a learning opportunity. I realize my personality is a bit anxious. I have been that way my whole life, I tried my best when working there to keep it toned down. I learned my first day off orientation that I came off anxious and immediately started actively calming myself down and would discuss my actions with my peers. Often the CNAs were the best at helping me with this and appreciated me asking for help. They would help me calm down and I would help them with their work load.

I should add I was hired as a experiment and never really knew that until I was terminated. I had zero clue about this. I've been trying to figure out if maybe that had a big role in me being let go.

Thank you, your advise and input has helped made me feel better. I think I should mainly focus on teaching hospitals.

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Lev has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency - CEN.

2 Followers; 9 Articles; 2,802 Posts; 55,917 Profile Views

Don't listen to the HR reps. That is not true about never getting hired again. I would get a job, any job while seeking full time employment. Look for local flu drives, look for a clinic. Meanwhile, apply for other hospital jobs. Med-surg is not for everyone. 7 patients is a lot. It sounds like your coworkers and managers did not give you a fair chance. When speaking to recruiters I would keep it simple.

"As a new graduate this unit was not a good fit for me. A couple months off orientation I was told that I had a month to show more confidence in my practice otherwise I would be terminated but a week later I was terminated. I was told at my exit interview that I was was the first new grad the unit had in a long time."

Where do you live?

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52 Posts; 1,154 Profile Views

Well, that's ridiculous for anyone to tell you that you will never work again. Get that out of your head. And I agree with the previous poster, 7 patients is a lot. Actually, 5 is a lot. 4 is ideal on a general unit.

Try for a fellowship somewhere. In my area there are sign on bonuses galore. Definitely work on the anxiety thing. It might make you self-conscious in the beginning, but it would help you in the long run. I have had the same problem as your fellow nurses, anxious people in turn make me anxious. Save the adrenaline for when you really need it. Good luck :)

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,237 Posts; 30,598 Profile Views

Thank you so much for your response. I wish there was more I could tell you about the situation. I've reached out to my former manager to ask questions and have never heard back. I am trying my best to keep moving forward. I am using them as job experience but only applying to new graduate opportunities. I am trying to see this as a learning opportunity. I realize my personality is a bit anxious. I have been that way my whole life, I tried my best when working there to keep it toned down. I learned my first day off orientation that I came off anxious and immediately started actively calming myself down and would discuss my actions with my peers. Often the CNAs were the best at helping me with this and appreciated me asking for help. They would help me calm down and I would help them with their work load.

You've got me wondering what type of anxious behavior(s) required other staff to help you calm down ...and what kind of anxious action(s) needed discussing with peers. Are you able to elaborate?

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3 Posts; 176 Profile Views

Yes I am able to elaborate. The anxious behavior was mostly me hustling to fall alerts and call bells. I was told I move too fast. When a patient suffered an awful fall during my precepting and I saw the consequences, I guess I internalized that and always ended up running to bed alarms and call bells. I was under the impression nurses are supposed to move fast. I was told by my patients they appreciated it. So I asked the CNAs to let me know if was hustling too much or if I looked too "serious/frustrated". MOST people on my unit said I did not ever come off anxious. That most of the time I just had a lot of energy and that they liked that. However some senior nurses said "stop moving like that, you make me think there is actually something serious going on". That being the negative feedback... it was the only thing that ever stood out. Not my stopping a fall making it an assisted fall... my anxiety is very well maintained. I come from a line is moderately anxious women. It never truly effects me unless I feel overly crunched for time- which has only happened when I have over 5 patients.

I truly worked on it. I started fast walking rather then running and I spoke with my charge nurses about it. However I feel none of my hard work got relayed to my manager.

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,013 Profile Views

I understand the rationale behind that feedback. From patient's perspective, things are good if the nurse appears to be calm, cool & collected. This is the bedside (patient facing) demeanor we all should provide. There has even been research on the positive effects of a 'calm/serene' nurse... reduction in blood pressure & heart rate, etc. Patients pay close attention to your reactions. Many ICU patients & families have commented (to me) things like - "if I see the nurse looking at the monitor and frowning, I know it's bad"

So - this is like the Disney "Off stage - On stage" philosophy. We can freak out and get as anxious as all get out.... but NOT in front of the patients. There is also the fact that anxiety is contagious. When your co-workers see someone running around with his/her hair on fire (metaphorically, of course), they also be come anxious.

Maybe a hospital environment is not a good fit for you. That is one area that is always going to be a bit chaotic and unpredictable. With your experience in special needs education, have you considered school nursing?

I am also very disappointed that you apparently were used as a guinea pig by being placed in a department that had never hired a new grad. You were caught up in a situation that was almost certainly not going to end well because they didn't even have realistic expectations about the needs of new grads & so they could not have been prepared to meet those needs.

I can only imagine how this must have affected you. But, it's going to turn out all right in the end.

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