Published Jul 19, 2005
I'm a new grad and I just had my first day of work this week in Telemetry and when I asked for a list of daily duties (that might help me keep on track while I get up to speed), I was told they didn't have one.
When I mentioned that I would be looking up meds I was not familiar with, my preceptor suggested that if I felt that I needed to look up meds then I had better plan on working the night shift!!
One day and I have a bad taste in my mouth about the hospital where I chose to work. Should I just stay and use my days off to look for another position?
Isn't it usual for there to be a list of daily duties?
I guess that is a way to think of it. Your daily duties are taking care of your assigned patients and prioritizing their care. Your day begin with report and then a head to toe assessment of your patients, comparing that to normal patho or what is normal for them and their disease process or condition. Your duties are written as physician orders... like meds and procedures. Most orders are timed events. Be familiar with medication administration times such as TID, BID. AC & HS etc....also beware of stat, prn, and now orders.
Look up all meds that are unfamiliar to you..but think of them in groups, like beta blockers, Ca++ channel blockers...that way you can already know things like side effects. You could make index cards to make it faster.
Some units assign certain daily tasks like checking the crash carts and CBG machines.
It will all fall together in time...best wishes!
I'm a new grad and I just had my first day of work this week in Telemetry and when I asked for a list of daily duties (that might help me keep on track while I get up to speed), I was told they didn't have one. When I mentioned that I would be looking up meds I was not familiar with, my preceptor suggested that if I felt that I needed to look up meds then I had better plan on working the night shift!!One day and I have a bad taste in my mouth about the hospital where I chose to work. Should I just stay and use my days off to look for another position?Isn't it usual for there to be a list of daily duties?Help.
(((((cenote))))) I'm so sorry your first day turned into a nightmare for you, and that your preceptor didn't make an effort to show compassion towards you for being new at your job. Who needs enemies at work with preceptors from hell trying to train new staff.
One thing I always have stressed to nurses...new or experienced...it is up to each nurse to protect the nursing license they worked so hard for, so never put anything by way of "drama on the job" above that. You can lose your license quicker than it took for you to gain your license. Think smart about where you hire on. If it smells like a rat, it probably is a rat. If the rest of your week goes as bad, ask for another preceptor. If that doesn't change things for you, look for another job. Staff attitudes can make or break a unit. You deserve to start off better than that. :)
Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN
Our Policy and Procedure book lists the duties for each floor and for each job title. Maybe your facility has something similar. It might not list everything but at least it would give a start to a list.
All good advice . . . I'll try to have an attitude adjustment tomorrow which will be my second day. I've decided to make my own "to do" list while tagging along with the preceptor. (Luckily I won't have to take a patient until my fourth day).
Let me say thank you to all who answered. I sometimes feel alone in this quest for a nursing career and "allnurses" allows me to vent and lets me know if it's me that has the problem . . . or them! Your support is sooooo needed and appreciated.
SaderNurse05, BSN, RN
I bet when JCAHO comes they have a real nice policy written up that is very formal about what your job duties and requirements are. I think you had a sourpuss (burned out? envious?) preceptor. If you don't get better answers ask for another, or look for a mentor- could be another nurse, someone you know that may not even work there but has experience in the same kind of job you have. Hang in there and good luck. BTW, plaese remember how this feels and don't pass it on to students when you are the preceptor.
I spoke with my preceptor about HER attitude and asked that she try to remember when she was a "new" nurse. Told her that I'd be protecting my
license at ALL costs and I would be looking up any med I was not familiar with for the purpose of protecting my patients and my livelyhood. Also told her that I expected guidance that fell under state law. She backed off.
So this week ended ok. But I am feeling unsure about being a nurse. I went into this for all the right reasons ( I'm twice my preceptor's age and came to nursing late in life) and am depressed about my future in this field. Will commit for 6 months at this hospital and then try to figure out what the hell is wrong with this profession . . . I already know . . . Garbage men and bus drivers, albeit both respecable jobs, earn more than nurses. Am I crazy or is something wrong here?'
Kudos to you for speaking to the preceptor:) I have enough cahones to speak up to those who want to be a sourpuss also, but then again I'm an old chick! Keep on guarding that license because no one else will do it for you.....good luck regardless of what happens
Tweety, BSN, RN
I'd give it more time, and withold judgement. One day isn't enough to judge.
We don't have a list of duties either for the RN, and I think that might be common. Hopefully, your preceptor will let you know the duties your shift is expected to get done.
That your preceptor said such a thing is disheartening though.
UM Review RN, ASN, RN
Will commit for 6 months at this hospital and then try to figure out what the hell is wrong with this profession . . . I already know . . . Garbage men and bus drivers, albeit both respecable jobs, earn more than nurses. Am I crazy or is something wrong here?'
I think you do need a list of things that you as the nurse can do, but even more important, you need to know what everyone else does so you can delegate tasks appropriately. That can help you prioritize.
Please understand that I'm not trying to complicate your job, I'm trying to make it easier.
For instance, on my unit, I delegate the Foley that needs to be inserted or DC'd because my job covers assessments, starting IVs, passing meds--things that no one else can do. Techs can start and DC Foleys and DC IVs. So if I'm really pressed for time and the patient isn't on anticoagulation, I'll start the new IV and ask the Tech DC the old IV. If she has time, fine, if not, no prob, I'll get it.
But I see your point and I'm sure you see mine because we're essentially saying the same things. I really don't understand why your preceptor didn't answer your question appropriately, but your follow-up the next day was appropriate and should help your preceptor identify areas you need to grow in.
As far as the quoted text goes---quite frankly, you're a brand-new nurse and your first six months are going to be full of challenges. This is not the time to change the world, this is the time to learn your job. If you get distracted from things you CAN change (like your work habits) by things you CAN'T change (like the base starting salary for RNs in your area), you will exhaust yourself.
So give it the time it deserves. Actually, I'd say to give it a year. (Truthfully, I didn't really feel comfortable doing my job until a couple of years had passed, but then, I'm the over-analytical type.)
Then if you want to be a garbage collector or a bus driver, go for it.
PS Please feel free to PM me or keep posting with problems. We're happy to help you.
Maybe what you were really looking for isn't a list of "duties", but rather an idea of what the "typical" shift is like. When I precepted, I gave the new nurse a schedule of sorts- 7am take report, 7:30am start assessments, 9:30am start passing 10am meds, etc. Helped the new nurse get an idea of how the shift goes--keeping in mind of course that you can't adhere to a schedule when interruptions and crises occur. But it did seem to help them to have an idea of how I managed my time.
Maybe you also need to see some examples of how nurses keep track of all the things they have to do- some make lists, some use their report sheet....ask around.
And of course you should look up unfamiliar meds- after 25 years I still do that! Your preceptor sounds like the stereotypical "eat your young" nurse- ask for a different one.
These first few months will be the toughest- you'll feel scared, overwhelmed and you may cry. But hang in there because eventually you'll feel like you have a handle on it. Give yourself time. :)
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