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New grad nurse of 3 months and might lose job because I’m struggling in my orientation. Help!

Nurses   (3,998 Views 67 Comments)
by Scrubba Dub Scrubba Dub (New Member) New Member

199 Visitors; 11 Posts

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I work on an oncology med/surg floor as a new grad nurse. I have been wanting to be a bedside nurse and I love working with my patients. But I am apparently not flourishing enough to be ready to come off orientation. I have trouble with time management but have been working diligently on it and have been improving bit by bit every day. But some days it’s so hard to finish on time when I am still learning a lot of new things and can’t always retain it all at once. I am also still struggling with understanding computer stuff and following all of the rules there are in everything I do. I am also a bit anxious and according to the nurses I work with on the floor, it shows. 

I’ve cried already 3 times at work because of the way the nurses criticize me. They say they are trying to help but when they would talk to me, they would say things like, “you don’t know this yet?,” “you should know this by now.” And everything that they teach me, they make sure to tell my manager the things I didn’t know how to do and the mistakes I made (that I learned from and corrected).

They would also keep telling me to stop being so anxious and crying all the time and it just made me feel even worse and I would not be able to focus on my work and would make more mistakes.

My manager isn’t really nice when it comes to giving me feedback. She never had anything positive to say. It was always just about the preceptors complaining about me doing things wrong. She thinks I am genuinely failing at this job and told me that if I don’t improve enough in my last week of orientation, that my employment will be terminated. 

I’ve been on orientation for about 11 weeks and I feel like I should be flourishing more than this and honestly, I am not happy here. I feel like I should be learning much faster than this. I know I am really new and it’s going to take a long time to get good, but I am not getting good enough after 3 months and that worries me that I am not cut out for this 

I’m really really going to fight for my job but at the same time, is it worth all of this toxic behavior from my preceptors and manager? What do I do?!

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RNfindingherway has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

11,352 Visitors; 792 Posts

My goodness I know exactly how you feel and I know it hurts deep down. All  I can say is encourage yourself and hold on to your faith. I know what's like when you ask for feedback and help all to be criticized. I know how it feels when you have so much responsibilities and don't quite understand the ins and outs of the job description. My Dear, you will make it. The floor seems like a toxic environment and once it it the culture of the floor, you will always be picked on. You will continue to feel inadequate because of all the criticism. If you don't feel it is a right fit for you, start applying for another job. Please don't give up on nursing.  Hugs to you. 

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8 Followers; 21,934 Visitors; 2,847 Posts

At this point whether their opinions and estimations of your abilities are fair or not, those are the conclusions they've come to. I'm sorry, but I haven't personally seen anyone turn this around - because it involves not only you "wow-ing" them, but also them allowing themselves to see a "wow," should it occur, after they spent so much time being unimpressed.

I'm sure this is not what you want to hear, but I would consider Plan B. 😔

There are plenty of stories here and out there of people who just couldn't get things aligned during a particular experience but learned whatever lessons there were to learn and then had success elsewhere.

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632 Visitors; 54 Posts

It sounds like you just were not the right fit there and you will probably be hearing it didn't work out. However, the hospital has spent quite a bit to train you. It doesn't hurt to ask if you may be suited for a less acute unit at the hospital. Some hospitals will train a new grad and find they can move them to a less acute floor so as not to have completely wasted the resources they spent to train that person. If not, thank them for the opportunity, remain professional ask for additional feedback and ask how it could effect your rehire status if you so choose to reapply to that hospital.

Plenty of people have been in your shoes. The first year is rough. Brutal. It is plain emotionally draining. Do not be hard on yourself and try to see it as a learning experience. But start considering plan B as the previous poster stated.

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6,240 Visitors; 544 Posts

Offer to resign in lieu of being fired. It might not prevent you from landing on the “do not hire” list, but it’ll save you a lot of grief in future job hunting when asked if you have even been terminated. 

Best wishes. 

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

13,483 Visitors; 840 Posts

4 hours ago, AxelNewRN86 said:

It sounds like you just were not the right fit there and you will probably be hearing it didn't work out. However, the hospital has spent quite a bit to train you. It doesn't hurt to ask if you may be suited for a less acute unit at the hospital. Some hospitals will train a new grad and find they can move them to a less acute floor so as not to have completely wasted the resources they spent to train that person. If not, thank them for the opportunity, remain professional ask for additional feedback and ask how it could effect your rehire status if you so choose to reapply to that hospital.

This! It doesn't hurt to ask for a less acute floor, maybe Med/Surg. This floor doesn't sound like the fit for you, but I'm confident there is a right fit out there for you. 

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749 Visitors; 32 Posts

When i was a new grad and just got hired I hated orientation. I hated the person orientating me, the educator and my manager. I felt that i wasn't being supported enough and they would only focus on my mistakes rather than the positive things that I've accomplished during orientation. I almost quit the job cause i hated the whole process and everyone, but i pushed through a couple extra orientation shifts and really took their feedback into consideration regarding why I couldn't time manage efficiently and somehow made it through. it came down to prioritizing and doing things 'their way' for now instead of what i've learned in school.  keep encouraging yourself. be open to feedback and don't take things too personally. They've already invested so much into you - they want you to succeed. Oncology is a very difficult unit to learn. It is so different from what you learn in school with general med/surg stuff. The chemotherapy drugs and protocols to address specific cancers are so different from what you learn in school it's like learning a whole new way of nursing from scratch - its probably why youre struggling too. I wish you all the best!

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Kallie3006 has 6 years experience as a ADN and works as a Jack of all trades, master of none.

1 Follower; 5,036 Visitors; 360 Posts

You know when you get a plant or try to grow something and it needs "x" amount of water and "x" amount of sun, temp between "x" and "x" etc? 

You, my friend, are the plant and your environment has drown you with water, refused you any sun and have been burning you up at the same time.  Ask to transfer units, see if you can shadow on the perspective units to see how they flow (at this hospital or if you choice another).  This will allow you to get an idea of the unit flow, the team work and overall atmosphere without the commitment .  

Nursing school is rough but your first year or two after boards is nothing to compare.  That's normal.  There is a learning curve and you need someone to guide you through that instead of providing such a negative environment.  

Ask what you can do to improve for future endeavors, thank them for the opportunity and go find you some sunshine. 🌞

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199 Visitors; 11 Posts

Thank you everyone for your comments. For the moment I am going to put my all into improving. Im rewriting my report sheet and getting myself to work early every day this week to prepare. I’ll have updates...

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

6 Followers; 31,801 Visitors; 3,020 Posts

If you're giving it all you can and still not getting anywhere, I second the advice to ask for another unit.  Oncology does seem a bit much for a first job.

I'll tell you a few things that stand out:  you seem willing to work hard and accept feedback.  Those two things are HUGE.  I just read a post earlier today from a new grad who believed she wasn't succeeding because they didn't want to hear her ideas for how they should do things.

You seem like the ideal new grad, but your anxiety level is making it hard to adapt to your current unit, and your current unit is doing a number on your anxiety level.  Is there someone else at your work you can talk to?  Is there a nurse educator?  I really think it would be worth making the case that you'd like to try a less acute unit if they're receptive.

Good luck and hang in there.

 

 

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NuGuyNurse2b works as a Student Nurse.

9,161 Visitors; 927 Posts

I hated that question during my orientation, during my requesting help from other people when I was off orientation, and anytime I would ask someone else a question on something I've never done.  We all have different backgrounds.  New grads are coming out of NCLEX success with a bunch of information in their heads that they're trying to figure out what to retain and what to chuck.  That one question does not build confidence, it only breaks the person down.  Teachable moments should be just that - to teach the person, not vilify them for not knowing something.

To OP, I've been in your shoes, and to be frank, they've already made up their minds about you.  Do not let them terminate you - resign and make sure you copy yourself (ie your personal email address) as well as any HR contacts you may have had when you accepted the position.  A lot of these managers are simply awful people - even when you resign before they can terminate you, they will list you as terminated and when you apply for other positions in other hospitals that may be a part of a bigger hospital system, it will show up on their records that you were terminated, or worse, listed as a do not rehire.  You will need proof that you in fact resigned.

 

 

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45,181 Visitors; 4,988 Posts

JKL33 - I thought the same.

 

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