New Nurse Meeting Resistance

  1. I am new to my ICU/CCU unit. I came to ICU/CCU with 9 months experience on a Medical/Oncology unit. I was not able to complete my orientation with my original preceptor because of my class schedule (I'm working on my BSN), and I was assigned to another preceptor, who either treated me like I knew absolutely nothing (not even how to give an IM injection) or that I knew everything. She would even leave to go talk on the phone (personal calls) for an hour when the other nurses were very busy and I couldn't find anyone to ask questions. After about 2 weeks with this preceptor, I walked in to work, expecting to still be on orientation, to find out that I had my own patient assignment with no preceptor--I was out on my own. (Thank goodness my original preceptor was there that night and I didn't have unstable patients) I still have a lot of unanswered questions, and I'm still not positive why I was turned on my own, but I definitely don't feel like I was ready. The experienced nurses say that I'm doing fine, but I have never had an unstable patient. Any suggestions on how to handle my situation?
    Last edit by tbearrn on Oct 3, '01
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    About tbearrn

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 12


  3. by   Janet Barclay
    First, take a deep beath. One of the hallmark signs of a good critical care nurse is that they are too hard on themselves.
    If you had no unansered questions, I'd suggest that you move on out of ICU . I still have lots and I've been in ICU/CCU for over 12 years.
    Second, you should not be caring for unstable patients at an entry level anyway, so don't worry. My experience has been that if we put an orientee, even buddied with an unstable patient, they tend not to learn a whole lot and the experience is overwhelming.
    Our orientation is six weeks of mixed calssroom and clinicla followed by two weeks of buddied shifts. That seems to be enough for most folks, although most feel that they could benefit from more, objectively they do just great!
    Talk to the educator on your unit about extra reading materials to make you fell more prepared, but expect to feel nervous for at least a year. We are actually paring back some of the information that is in our course, because we think that a lot of information is purged after the final because there is do much.
    hope this helps,
  4. by   IntenseRN
    Shame on your second preceptor. You need to let your manager or educator know about their behavior. Find yourself a mentor in the unit you work. Someone you can go to and ask anything. I have been a nurse for 7 years and I still have plenty of questions. I still get uneasy feelings when a patient is going bad. You should never feel too comfortable in ICU. Good Luck
  5. by   EllanRN
    I am in your position too but luckily had a more positive preceptor/orientation experience. One of the ideas that we came up with is to write down all the questions that come up and then set up time with an advanced clinician for an hour or so a week. We could also use this time to practice skills. We haven't started this yet but I think it will make me feel more comfortable. Good luck.
  6. by   JMP
    Boy- can I relate. I had buddied shifts over the holiday season and ended up with more than 6 made things difficult.........but not impossible.

    I question myself every minute- I look up every drug- if I am not 100 percent sure of it- I ask so many questions that I feel I must look like a goof- everything is different- everything seems so strange from the six months on the floor that I had before ICU.

    However, I am taking a critical care nursing class- on my own time- and I am trying to take every opportunity to learn- but so far the only other thing I can think of is just to give it time! Every day is like a drop in the ol' time bucket and they say it takes one to TWO YEARS to feel more confident. It is hard. I am a mature nurse ( over 40) and so many people- esp the young 22 year old interns and residents expect me to be a fountain of knowledge- guess what- I am not. But I will know it the next time if they ask me again- everyday I think " you can do this" and then go and try to be the best I can be. Never stop asking if you are not sure- and keep asking until you get the answer- that is what I do.

    Good luck!
  7. by   sikevin
    I have been a nurse for 18 years, the last 10 years in a large county ED, as a preceptor and relief charge, during 6 of those 10 years I also had a second job a flight nurse with a helicopter program. Last January I decided to make the jump to ICU. I chose a large teaching facility with a Med/Surg/Trauma patient mix. I wanted to keep a mix of patients like in the ED. I say all this to tell you even after a year I am still full of questions, and feel like a brand new nurse. Luckily this unit is very supportive, and want their new hires to succeed.