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need advice

NCRNJenny NCRNJenny (New) New

I just graduated in may and was hired into a small community ICU. I am supposed to have about a 5-6 month orientation and am currently 6-7 weeks into it. I precepted in ICU and loved it, all my nursing instructors in school said i would be perfect for it. Well I HATE IT! I used to love nursing and now i dread it. I get sick when I come home and before I get into work because of how nervous I am. I spend my weekends in knots and it is ruining my marriage. I have even seen a DR to get medicine to help me relax and to see a therapist to deal. I have had about 7 different preceptors and they alternate daily. I feel i am doing good but apparently some think differently. Sometimes i leave and wonder why i even bother. I know alot of the older nurses think I am too young to handle it. In fact i have been told they do not know why they would hire such a young new grad when clearly i do not have life experience...I am 22. Some preceptors I feel so comfortable with and it shows in my work but they are part time and really aren't supposed to be my preceptors but since we don't just have one, they are. Recently there have been changes in management so I have no manager per se to go to right now and well I have nobody. I really feel lost and helpless, usually I am so strong. I do not know what to do. i am about ready to quit nursing all together, I keep telling myself give it time but some colleagues make me feel like I should have it down by now so I feel like a failure. One person a few weeks ago even told me to dye my hair brown and maybe people will "perceive" me better. What should I do?

Dont give up on nursing!!!! What I can say is that maybe that particular ICU unit is not the one for you. See if there is any way you can request to be with one particular preceptor for several weeks. Continuity helps a tone when orienting. And if it doesnt look like things will shake out on that unit, look into different nursing opportunities in that hospital or in another. In any hospital you can go from one floor to another and it be totally different worlds. Hugs for you!!!!!

Thank you for your reply. I had addressed the manager before she was transferred about that and since we do a mix of 8 and 12 hour shifts we can not just have one preceptor, plus she felt that following everybody would show us different ways of nursing. I was just thinking about how being young and looking young i have to work extra hard for the patients to trust me and accept me as their nurse and that i do not need a colleague doing the same thing. I was a year younger when they hired me and i am starting to think that nobody but the manager really wanted me there. I have looked into other areas, the hospital is so small and the nurses i work with now float to all the the units. I wanted ICU so I could go into a graduate degree program that required so many years of it. your kind words mean alot to me as i am crying right now. everyday my age is brought up. I just don't understand how I can be ok with making mistakes if they happen (i mean i try not to) and how i can laugh at myself and move on but they cannot. Why is age such a huge role? I still graduated and passed boards. sorry fo rthe long posts i am just really thinking in depthly if i should quit next week or not

I know exactly how you feel. I also passed NCLEX in July and started working as a nurse in ICU. I worked as an aide in the unit for a little over a year. This is why I decided to stay in ICU. I have been on orientation for 8 weeks and in that time have had 13 different preceptors. They hired 8 new grads at the same time so our manager said we could not have just one preceptor. I feel having more than 2 or 3 is a disservice to new grads. When we have that many preceptors it is hard for the nurses to know what we have been taught and what we haven't. I feel like I just get thrown to the wolves some days. I am looking for another position in the hospital I currently work at. I have also put in an application at another hospital, but they wanted me to work ICU. I wanted to cry because I want out of ICU. Hang in there, I know we can both stay in nursing and find an area we are happy with.

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