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I think I am in the wrong place......

Eldow076 Eldow076 (New) New

I have been in the NICU as an RN for almost a year on my own. I don't think it's where I belong. I had to take these horrible PBSD (sp?) vidoe competencies that were filmed in at least 1972. I asked before hand how important they were since I had to come in on my day off to take them. I was told they were no big deal, wouldnt take that long, ect. Well, I hurried through them because I didn't plan to be there very long, after hour 2 I had to pack it in. The whole time not thinking they were a big deal, then I get dragged into the educator's office to discuss how badly i did, how I have to take extra education classes, and even worse, preceptor shifts!!! Are you kidding me, if i had known I would be labeled a bad nurse over these stupid videos i would have dedicated a whole day to them. As of right now they won't even let me on the floor to work until i have these "precepted shifts".:no:

This is just the tip of the iceberg, on almost a daily basis I am "talked to" about something I did or didn't do. The breaking point for me (literally) was when I had a patient's IV go out at the end of shift and was told to turn off the IVF and let night shift start the new one. The night manager turned around and told my supervisor that the IVF had been off for an hour and the kid was NPO (he had been eating since the morning). And this is commonplace with this night manager (I don't know what I did to **** her off but she regularly complains about me to my day supervisor).

On top of all this my primary passed and i have never cried as much as I did that day. I don't think I can ever take another one, in fact the mere thought of going through that pain again makes me want to cry all over again.:sniff:

At this point I don't know what to do. The director of the NICU asked if maybe this wasn't the best fit for me, due to stress. I hardly ever eat anymore, and feel like i may have developed a couple ulcers.

Should I continue to plug along and just try harder to get it (whatever it is) or look into another area? My husband can't understand why I'm not in L&D since that was the whole reason I went to nursing school to begin with.


Depressed in AZ

MA Nurse

Specializes in NICU, Telephone Triage.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time. After 18 years in NICU, it's sometimes hard for me ,too. I'm going to try out a level 2 NICU. I'm kinda burned out on sick babies, esp. when the parents want everything done and the baby suffers when it needs to be let go.

I know nurses can be mean, unfortunately. I always try to be friendly to my co-workers and not judge them. Sounds like you're in a unit where they aren't friendly to new nurses, do you think that's the case? Those old videos sound odd, I've never had to do anything like that before.

Do you work in a level 3? If so, is the stress too much? Maybe try level 2, or L&D like you mentioned. Personally, L&D appears very stressful. What about post partum?

Also, i think it would be good to sit down with your manager and discuss your issues.

Hope I've helped some. Are you due for a vacation? Maybe that will help.

I have a couple options, we have another facility that does more "small baby" cases and is attached to an L&D. Right now I am in more of a Med-Surg NICU, we get everything from small babies transported in to cardiac defects waiting for surgery. On any given day I could have a train wreck or an ER admit that has elevated bili.

So I could ask to be moved to the other unit and have a lot more routine patient type. I can also see about moving to our CCN or level 2 but most of those nurses have been in the NICU 20 years.

The thing that is most depressing is that I was finally starting to feel competent in my skills, in one felled swoop I was made to feel like a moron. I graduated top of my class from nursing school, I am a smart person! The other part is the people I work with, they tell me to ask questions but then dont have time to help me or roll their eyes because "I obvioulsy have no idea what I'm doing." One nurse actually complained to management because I asked her a question about an off floor test (I just came from nights where we dont take kids to procedures) which in her mind i should have known the answer to. BTW these are young nurses, maybe graduated a year before me.

The day that everything hit the fan I did talk to my supervisor and the NICU manager (another lovely pull me into the office incidents). They continue to act like this whole thing is no big deal, that I will do a couple of preceptor shifts and everything will be fine.


Specializes in NICU, adult med-tele.

It sounds like you are in the wrong unit not the wrong area of nursing!

Hang in there! We all go through this type of stuff. It seems, from you post, that what's got you down is the stupid assinine hospital style micromanagement and general ********. (can you tell I've dealt with this A LOT!) I've seen really really good nurses run straight out of patient care because of this type of stuff. It makes me so mad!

It sounds like you are pretty sure you should leave, but take it from me a year in the NICU is not long enough for you to be familiar with everything. If it was me, I would at least try to get a retest or something on those videoes. I have never heard of anything like that and certainly if they are outdated, and no one informed you on what the outcome would be if you didn't do so well, you have a case. You might just have to go higher up. I would want to clear my name at least before I left, if I was going to.

Good luck. I know this probably didn't help with your decision but this kind of crap just really bothers me.:angryfire


Specializes in NICU.

It really makes me sad :( that they are giving you such a difficult time. If you can go to another NICU in another hospital, I think that would be the best bet. It just sounds like the people you work with are just plain mean. You don't deserve to feel the way you do. I have been in my NICU a year and I really like it. I enjoy going to work. You should too. Try another hospital. I hope it all works out for you.


Specializes in PICU/NICU.

Depressed in AZ.......... I am also in AZ and I think I might know where you work. If I do, than I can tell you that all places are not like this, other RNs should not be out to get you! My advise, if you absolutely do not like NICU nursing, then you should try something new, if it is just the unit you are not fitting in well with, go somewhere else. You should not be miserable going to work everyday! I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time- especially your first year.

If you would like to PM me and chat about NICUs in AZ... feel free I will give ya all of the info I have(and lets just say I've been around).

Hang in there!!

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