New grad......did I make a mistake?

Posted
by TaylorJ TaylorJ (New) New Nurse

I graduated in May of this year and started a job on a covid unit in a nursing home about three weeks ago. I trained for a about a week and a half and I was put out on my own. I hate it. I hate my job. I cry when thinking about going in. I make a lot of mistakes, thankfully none that result in patient harm, but mistakes none the less. I wanted a hospital job so bad but I couldn’t get into any residency programs. Everyday I go to work and everyday I wonder if I even really want to be a nurse. I enjoy the nursing aspect but the workload and the lack of training for a new grad like me makes me feel like maybe I’m not cut out to be a nurse. I spent four years working towards my degree and I’m already ready to tap out one month in. I want to quit so bad. But I know that’s not professional. And I have bills to pay.

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC.

OP - you DID NOT make a mistake! You just had the AWFUL misfortune of having been thrown into this C19 horrific time for all HC job seekers and new & current employees.

Sadly, your LTC experience is not UNusual for newbies. The degree to which you are experiencing your distress is most likely compounded exponentially by the current C19 state of the industry all around.

And LTC and covid-ICUs are prob the most diff units in these times. No matter where you would seek, the problems will also be there, maybe a little bit better, but maybe a WHOLE lot worse. NO nook, cranny or niche is safe & exempt from these looney times.

My best advice would be to slow down and try to concentrate on being GOOD to YOURSELF. Try getting adequate sleep, nourish and hydrate as you need to. Do something nice for YOU - buy a book, a record or a sweater. I don't know that I'd recommend talking with a counselor, but maybe a fav instructor from school could lend a sympathetic ear.

If you've been reading along with many of the posts from newbies here, most are experiencing almost identical feelings as you. You are NOT alone. Only time will influence the situation, however it turns out. For the better, I pray.

As for work, let your nsg admin/mgt know you're struggling. But you're still trying to do the best you can. Perhaps they can help in some way for some more training time or precepting (DON'T expect extravagant amt of extra time!) Focus on the priorities at work, your meds, tx, req documentation, etc. Delegate as approp. No way to do everything all at once. Slowly, all the other 'things' will fall into place.

Good luck

8 hours ago, TaylorJ said:

I trained for a about a week and a half and I was put out on my own.

This is apparently normal in some settings.
Normal and OK are very different. Nothing about this is OK. Brand new nurse, less than two weeks of training with no resource person or direct supervision is unsafe, regardless of whether it is common practice.

My perspective as a hospital based ER nurse. Maybe other LTC nurse will chime in and tell you how to practice safely under these conditions.

Regardless, best of luck.

Couple of different things:

21 hours ago, TaylorJ said:

I trained for a about a week and a half and I was put out on my own. I hate it. I hate my job. I cry when thinking about going in. I make a lot of mistakes, thankfully none that result in patient harm, but mistakes none the less.

1) I agree with pp that this is not adequate training for a new nurse.

I don't know what kind of mistakes you are making, but if they are potentially serious ones then you must focus on slowing down and being conscientious about what you're doing; do it according to how you were taught in school. If some of your lesser duties (as instructed or preferred by your employer) don't get done due to the absolute need to deprioritize them, that's just the way it is. If you can figure out how to be safe and your workplace is not tarnishing your professional record when their lesser objectives are not met, then it's possible to steadily move forward.

If you cannot slow down enough to operate safely or your workplace is causing trouble because they are dissatisfied with your conscientiously-paced performance, then you will need to leave.

22 hours ago, TaylorJ said:

I wanted a hospital job so bad but I couldn’t get into any residency programs.

2) In addition to actual job stressors, this ^ is likely greatly influencing how you feel right now. While that is understandable, you kind of have a decision to make in this realm, too. You either decide to commit to trying to make the best of your circumstances, or you decide that they are unacceptable and you would rather be back to looking for a job. But don't try to do job B while constantly agonizing over how much you wanted job A. Don't doom yourself to failure that way.

Take each day one at a time, purpose yourself to be conscientious and to resist feeling pressured to compromise yourself on important matters. Assessing your patients, intervening as necessary, and delivering correct meds and treatments are top priorities. Almost every other thing is going to be lower priority than those items.

Good luck to you ~

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC.

JKL33 - as per usual, you give good advice.

hhern - sadly, LTC cannot provide, nor AFFORD, the prolonged, structured orientation time to give new nurses, most esp NEWBIE nurses need. It's just the nature of the beast. Even hosps are hard-pressed to be the post-SON educator that is soooo sorely needed for the margiinally prepared newbie. Really, it's NOT THEIR JOB to be SON, part 2.

So SNFs/NHs do what they can and just hope that the new hire/newbie will fit in/function as well as poss and eventually progress & improve.

In NO way is this ideal, for the rudely awakened and thoroughly stressed-out employee, but most imp, pt safety is at risk.

Advice given to OP is for prioritizing, slowing down and following good technique as taught in school. Not much else can be done. If OP can friend-up with an experienced shift co-worker, or one before/after shift, support and a resource becomes avail. Maybe a transfer to a less acute unit might help, if admin approves. Or a shift change.

But given the current C19 times, the status of SON education/preparation and the nature of the industry, OP can only try to stick it out, or resign and look for another job. But even then, hard times are awaiting!

Good luck to OP.

BSN-to-MSN, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 7 years experience.

These are tough times to be a new nurse. Please, try to find healthy coping strategies.

2 weeks training in LTC is acceptable. The difference is they give you and your preceptor a normal patient load when you train, and when you are on your own, the short staffing happens. Been there: a new grad in LTC. Could not get into the hospital for a year and a half.

Keep applying, maybe consider doing part time at the LTC.

chulada77, ADN, BSN, MSN, APRN

Has 10 years experience.

Your employer should be ashamed of themselves for that type of training! Go to a hospital that gives a healthy, long onboarding for new grads. Some hospitals onboard a new grad for up to 6 months. It is at least easier to apply for another job when you are currently working....

KalipsoRed21, BSN

Specializes in Currently: Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

So you were totally thrown to the wolves. No new grad should only be given a couple of weeks of training and that’s it. However, while I would tell you to keep looking for other positions and jump this ship you are on ASAP, that overwhelmed dread that you feel is not likely to go away for a year or two. Sorry, Healthcare is just really poopy about abusing the good nature of all of us who want to help others. You are likely ALWAYS going to have WAY more work to do than you can actually complete. To survive 1) Always put the patient’s need first. 2)When you are 13 hours behind in charting tell your damn employer they can pay for you to come in on one of your regular shifts and not have patients so you can catch up. Your time is yours and even if they are willing to pay you twice the pay, don’t give up your time unless YOU want to. Good luck!

BSN-to-MSN, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 7 years experience.

8 hours ago, KalipsoRed21 said:

When you are 13 hours behind in charting tell your damn employer they can pay for you to come in on one of your regular shifts and not have patients so you can catch up

What?

Have you successfully used this strategy?

My thought- no employer would ever allow this, unless they are my mom.

BSN-to-MSN, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 7 years experience.

When working in LTC ( PM shift), I remember they compressed evening medpass and added 2100 statins to 1700 0r 1800 med pass. It helped.

2 minutes ago, RN-to- BSN said:

What?

Have you successfully used this strategy?

My thought- no employer would ever allow this, unless they are my mom.

If my mom allowed this the amount of nagging that accompanied it would make it a very undesirable course of action.

1 minute ago, RN-to- BSN said:

When working in LTC ( PM shift), I remember they compressed evening medpass and added 2100 statins to 1700 0r 1800 med pass. It helped.

Many nurses combine med passes as a matter of course in LTC facilities.

moomin, LPN

Specializes in LVN. Has 2 years experience.

I know how you feel. I am pretty much in the same boat as you. I am a new nurse working at a SNF and didn't get much training either. I am having bad anxiety lately about it. I have already quit one job at a SNF after two weeks and now I am working at another one and not very happy with the environment. I used to work there as a CNA and the facility has gone down hill so much since I was a CNA there, I can't even believe it. They are always understaffed and the environment is depressing and stressful. I am about to switch to part-time because it is taking a toll on my mental health. I am also continuing my job search for a place with less beds. I know it's not easy being a new grad and entering this field during a pandemic. All staff is stressed and more rules and pressures are placed on us during these times. Try not to give up just yet. I have hope that the tides will eventually change for us after we get 6 months to a year of experience. Hang in there and know you are not alone. A lot of new grad nurses are feeling the same way.