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Need help and advice...desperate!


Specializes in Telemetry, PCU, Private Duty, Hospice.

I am in desperate need for help and advice... I will try to make this as short and condensed as possible.

I graduated from nursing school in May 2011 and started on a PCU in June 2011. I received the standard 5 months orientation and really felt the unit wasn't right for me. I tried for 4 months to transfer out. I applied for med-surg, hospice, rehab, GI lab. I couldn't even get an interview with my limited nursing experience. My mother became terminally ill and I ended up quitting my job last May to care for her before she passed away. I had trouble finding a job when I returned and after 2 months of unemployment I took a job in LTC. Wow! What an eye-opening experience. I would have had to care for anywhere from 40-60 patients at night. It was awful to be starting my 7am med pass at 4:30am and have to tell my patients to ring for the aide to help them to the bathroom. With having to crush all the meds and do my blood sugar checks, I barely was able to finish the med pass before day shift came on. I felt like such a horrible nurse! I couldn't stand not being able to help my patients with the care they deserved and it made me so sick! But once the med pass started there was no time to be anything but the med nurse. I love providing personal care to my patients...helps me bond with them and get to know them better. My hat is off for any nurse who can handle that patient load. I really felt like my license would be at risk if I stayed there. I gave my notice after two weeks.

Three months ago I started on a medical telemetry unit. It started off okay. I gained a lot more experience during orientation than during my previous stint in the hospital on the PCU unit. More of a variety of patients and putting to use nursing skills. I've had issues with disrespect on my unit though. I was recently reprimanded by a preceptor. I was coming off orientation and I asked for help with a patient. The worst of it was that she reprimanded me out in the open where patients and other staff members heard. It was extremely embarrassing. I was so shocked by the event that I didn't even stick up for myself. I was at least proud of myself for not breaking down and crying. I'm very sensitive and just want to succeed in everything I do. I try hard but there is just so much I don't know!! I spoke with my manager about the incident and she actually gave me kudos for the situation and stated that the other nurse's behavior is not a behavior that is to be tolerated on the unit.

I had an awful night at work last night. I had a really difficult assignment including an alcohol withdrawal patient who was transferred to my unit from ICU 15 minutes before my shift. He was in restraints, safety monitor at bedside, and the Ativan I was giving him (he could have it every 15minutes) was not touching him at all. Had to get an order for 4 point restraints and Haldol, not to mention learn how to care for a patient in restraints since he was my first. He was belligerent and vulgar and confused. He was just one of my 5 patients (usually have 6 patients). Then I found out that I was switching a patient with a co-worker and once I got report, I realized that the new patient was too heavy for my already heavy load so I went to the facilitator to discuss and she switched the assignment back. Well, the other nurse then yelled at the facilitator and me...told me I should be able to care for the patient...all nurses should be able to hang blood (which I know how to do but the patient was too time consuming to what I was already dealing with). She was angry that I didn't talk to her about it before going to the facilitator. Why would I talk to her? She didn't change the assignment the first time...the facilitator did. The nurse then refused to speak to me the rest of the night. As a nurse who is unsure of herself and still learning (off orientation for 2 weeks), I had to work next to someone I could not ask for help or run things by and that scared me.

I have had enough of working in the hospital!!! I have failed at nursing for 15 months. Hospice nursing is my passion, but I don't have enough experience and I am not getting called for any jobs I've applied to. I am going tomorrow to apply to become a waitress just to get out of the hospital. I hate it and hate that I worked so hard to become a nurse and can't do it. I am so disappointed in myself. I am close to being hired in private duty nursing...one patient per shift. Even that makes me nervous. If I can't function in a hospital how am I going to function in the home? I currently live paycheck to paycheck and loss of money is going to really hurt. I am single and am solely responsible for everything.

What are my options? What am I even qualified to do? I've applied for hospice jobs, doctors office, urgent care, home health, case manager for insurance agency... I am hearing nothing back therefore they most likely want more experienced applicants. I feel that I would be good at case management if I am trained properly. I worked for an insurance company for 5 years as a medical underwriter. I reviewed applicant's medical records and determined if they were insurable or not based on the company's guidelines. I didn't like the job since I was helping the company make money instead of helping people. That's when I applied for nursing school. I love people. I love educating patients. I am just not cut out for the stress of hospital nursing and I have nothing else to fall back on.

I am currently licensed in PA and CA. If anyone knows of a company that is hiring and willing to train, please respond or PM me!! I have a great work ethic and references. I just don't have the confidence it takes to be a successful nurse in the hospital setting. What a disappointment that is. I feel like if I can't make it in the hospital then I have no where to go.

BostonTerrierLover, BSN, RN

Specializes in Adult/Ped Emergency and Trauma. Has 16 years experience.

First off, let me say I took on a clinical nurse job at a State University Medical Center to help an MD Pediatrician get started, organized, and start an outpatient Pediatric Cardiology Clinic, and Cardiopulmonology DO also came in. Also, I assisted a local MD during Peak Season to get through double bookings. I think it was the MOST stressful thing I've ever done in my career(and for $14 and $15.10/hr respectively!). It was gut-wrenching and the MDs/DOs were extra supportive because I was there as a second job to help out and train their MAs/PCTs and LPNs get the hang of it-all new to Outpatient Clinics.

Check on two things. 1.)Medical Equipment(ex: McKesson, Altria, Prosthetix,etc) that was the least stressful job I've had, and best hours! Great Pay $29+travel miles+ company car+bonuses. PM me your region, and I'll give you the companies I have that are hiring. I'm not a head hunter, I just helped out my Aunt who worked for a med supply company that did specialty beds, wound vacs, traction, etc. 2.)occupational health nurses (ex: working in a factory,large corporation, etc. It is moderate money, better than LTC/LTAC but not quiet as much as MS, Tele, and floor nursing-but again, GREAT hours, off holidays, and Great benefits! Plus, I made my office hours so I could cover various shifts.

Also, some more areas I found less stressful through travel are: Hospice(in-patient)-like hospital nursing, but personal care time, paced, not many admits/discharges vs. ms/tele.

Prison/Jail nursing. (Corrections Nursing). Busy, but paced. Your usually your boss, and the patients are a captive audience, lol, just glad to see you, and get some attention (I am pretty sensitive too, but as long as you can "act" like you have thick skin-usually that suffices to keep their behavior in check, plus you have a trustee, and usually a medicine tech for simple meds, and to process your "kites," or medical attention forms.

Psychiatric Nursing I even found boring at times, especially at night. But, since I am a talker- and usually Psych Nurses are kind of quiet and introverted- I didn't fit in. I was given a crossword puzzle as a way of saying "shut up" nicely:)

You'll find your niche, just don't give up, it's out there waiting on you.

Edited by BostonTerrierLoverRN

I say try to stick it out. You haven't failed yet. You're two weeks off orientation and it sounds like you are doing very well, you advocate for yourself and your patients. It is unfortunate that your co-workers are disrespectful at times, but keep calm and carry on. You will find those difficult co-workers everywhere. Don't give up just yet... You need probably a 6 months-year under your belt on med surg to even feel 'organized', let alone competent.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

actually I think you have used good judgment in bad situations. Not every hospital is like what you described. Come to Texas. We need good nurses and there is a lot of growth in several areas of Texas.