Horrible first job - need advice

Nurses Job Hunt


Hi everyone,

I got my first job as a new grad in the beginning of December (so im coming up on 6 months). bsn is in progress with about 12-18 more months. I work in a hospital on a telemetry/med surg floor.

We are horribly understaffed, we are also ICU overflow and have critical pts sometimes and the ratio goes 6:1 more often than not. I have felt very unsafe with my assignment many times.

Almost a month ago i was injured by a combative patient (due to lack of staff he was supposed to have 1-on-1 supervision which was discontinued before it should have been). I was sent to the ER, treated, followed up with employee health and they sent me to one of their office docs to get cleared. Three visits later i finally got cleared (they were concerned i wasnt healing properly) finally cleared me, back to work, light duty (chest injury). Understaffed, 6 pts - 2 critical, 3 confused. All alarmed, one gets up, i call for help and of course none shows up. The pt is halfway to bathroom and falls risk. I try to steady him and get him sitting down and of course he goes down. He leaned my way and i had the opportunity to catch him - felt like my whole chest wall ripped (just the already damaged muscle pulling more i guess) super sharp pain and i DROP the pt. Handle the situation, notify appropriate people, an hour later im in severe pain still and nursing supervisor gets pissed when i tell her i need to go to the ER again (couldnt catch my breath, tons of chest pressure and pulse ox of 77%). Had to give report to other nurses and walk myself down, nesrly passing out at this point, and was treated again in ER. also, as im in pain charting the fall, supervisor is coaching me to "leave out" parts where i dropped him/couldnt hold.him up. I was in pain and getting lightheaded so i did as told and now im very worried.

then employee health sets up another dr appt with a new guy (other doc was away). He walks in, says my CXR was clear so hes clearing me to go back in 1 day no restrictions. I told him my concerns and he dismissed them, interrupting me. He also marked me off as non-work-related injury (theyre treating the re-injury/exacerbation as a new injury) and that my symptoms and the new injury didnt happen at work. He also didnt assess me - at all. Just sat and talked AT me for a total of 2 mins. No eye contact. I left in tears. Called employee health, emailed HR and my manager. Told my manager everything and said im not coming in tomorrow or ill hurt myself again or another pt possibly. Unless i can be promised light duty (which due to staffing i cant). She said i will be penalized for calling out. Employee health said its coming out of my PTO since it was ruled non work related, and Hr wrote back that they cant do a thing because its a medical situation.

I am so upset and done with this place. Dozens of nurses have quit in the past year with management changes and now i see why

I need advice - do i stick it out til december (1 year) or leave after 6 months? Im not sure how much luck ill have without the BSN being complete...

Im not positive of my end goal but im thinking outpatient, maybe ambulatory surgery or pre/post op, endoscopy something like that. Also considering school nurse cert after BSN is done. I think i can get into somewhere outpt without the complete BSN but would that be stupid? Do i really need that full year - will having 6 months tele unit then afterwards ambulatory surgery or something like that look bad and screw me over later?

Thanks for reading. So stressed about it :/

Specializes in NICU.

Sorry you're going through this :-/ Unfortunately I don't have any advice to offer on where you should go, but I definitely think you shouldn't stay where you are. Aside from the fact they sound utterly uncaring about your wellbeing, it also sounds like only a matter of time before you end up in a license-threatening situation.

Can you carry on your BSN elsewhere? I'd put your health first and find a different job where they actually care about you!! It seems like a dodgy place if so many have left in so short a time. They shouldn't treat you like that!! The fact that you had to walk yourself to emergency when you could barely even breathe is so bad!

Also, the fact that you are thinking of working in different areas is a good incentive to change!

Do you think you could get your health back if you took a bit of time of? If you keep working then maybe it'll only get worse. Hope it all goes well for you. Let us know what you decide!!

Specializes in Critical Care and ED.

I think you should see a lawyer with a view to legal action against this company. Also, write down every single thing as you remember it happening so you don't forget details. I would also immediately look for a new job. You should also fill in an incident form for this event.

How can the Dr say you were not reinjured during that pts fall?! Also,do you have a union? If so, call a rep! Maybe think about calling a lawyer. I would see another Dr and get FMLA or a LOA,see if you can take time off to heal. And I would look for a new job stat. Something doesn't sound right. You only have 1 body, you have to put your health first. Feel better soon.

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

This is just about the worst I've heard. Seriously. You need to get out of there.

Did you do an incident report, regarding this second incident? The pain you felt

when the patient fell on you? O2 sats?

If so, and I seriously hope you did... you need to take a copy of it to a lawyer.

MAN it makes me so mad the way nurses get treated in some places!!!!!!


Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

Get. Out. Now. Really. Your only goal at the moment is to live long enough to formulate your next goal. Great advice re: write everything down now, including the part where the supervisor coached you on your documentation; contact a union rep if there is one and a lawyer. Please do not set foot back on that unit. It's unsafe. Call them now and tell them you won't be back. You might want to drop a dime to Joint Commission while you're at it.

I don't know what your financial situation is, or if you have family or other resources, but I would recommend dumpster-diving before giving those horrible people another chance to kill you. Please keep us posted.

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry.

I'm not a sue happy person, but sue them. They just screwed you out of paid time on work related disability. You can also sue the doctor for improper assessment, treatment, and documentation. You documented a fall that happened immediately previous to an ER trip for a chest injury. That is proof you were at work when you were injured. It also proves that you caught a patient while on light duty with a chest injury because no one came to help you. It can easily be correlated that catching a patient while recovering from a chest injury and then going to ER shortly after is related to the original injury and it happened at work. The first incident is already reported and on file as a work place injury. They can't recant that to say this "new" injury that happened at work is not workplace related.

It sounds like they are hoping you're too naive to take legal action. Do not step another foot inside those doors and notify your management and HR you intend to take legal action and any further information can be requested from your lawyer. They totally screwed themself with this and your health and well bein is not worth risking at such a terrible place.

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry.

Also go to an urgent care or ER ASAP to get your true injuries documented and then contact that lawyer you'll be threatening them with.

Specializes in Medsurg/ICU, Mental Health, Home Health.

Everyone has given wonderful advice, I think.

I have something else to add...this sequence of events, specifically the reinjury, shows that we, as healthcare providers, will stop at nothing to prevent a patient fall without a second thought. It's a reflexive action, our own physical well-being be damned.

Specializes in school nurse.
I think you should see a lawyer with a view to legal action against this company. Also, write down every single thing as you remember it happening so you don't forget details. I would also immediately look for a new job. You should also fill in an incident form for this event.

I agree. I think that sometimes the lawyer route is overused, but this scenario seems to scream the need to consult with one...

Specializes in IMCU, Oncology.

I worked on a med/surg floor for 9 months as a new grad. I was injured at the 8 month mark and started looking for a new job. I worked on the floor as a resource helping other nurses, but no heavy lifting until I found another job and moved on. Now I work in an oncology clinic and make more money and I am totally physically safe from injury from caring for patients. I was just starting my BSN when I left the hospital.

I would definitely speak with a attorney in your situation. If your injury ins't being taken seriously, that is not right. I would at least begin looking for a new job and insist on light duty in the mean time.

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