New nurse problems

Nurses New Nurse


So I just started a new nursing job in the icu. I've only been on my own for a month now and at first I felt like I was doing really well until today when one of the older more experienced nurses told me that I messed up doing trach care and didn't properly attach the inner cannula and that it was loose when she came in to do her assessment. This pt has a strong cough tho so it might be possibly he coughed it loose. She then told me that a pt I had stuck 2 times told her I had stuck him multiple times and that if I couldn't do it to seek help and didn't believe me that I had only done it twice. She constantly belittles all the new hires and says none of us know what were doing. I'm really worried that I'm going to get fired over this especially since she thinks I didn't put the inner canna back in correctly. Does anyone have any advice on this?


5 Posts

So I just started a new job in the icu and I have been on my own for about a month now. During orientation everyone told me I did so well. Now that I'm on my own I have such bad anxiety. The older nurses talk about how bad the new hires are and that they keep messing up. When I give report to the one older nurse she always rolls her eyes at me and picks out small things to critisize me for. She never helps us out but expects us to help her and if we don't she talks about it to all the other nurses . She constantly refers to us as the new people when I'm sitting right there and ignores me except when she has something bad to say about the way I didn't something. I constantly feel like I'm going to get fired because of her and dread giving her report in fear she'll find something and I'll get fired for it . If anyone has advice or a similar story please let me know that it gets better and that hopefully most new nurses don't get fired for making small mistakes once in a while


4 Posts

That is seriously troubling, not to mention unprofessional behavior. I am so sorry that your work enviornment feels so hostile and unnurturing. First of all, you won't get fired for a small mistake, especially if you are unionized. If you do something unsafe and it is a pattern, then that is a different story.

I personally have only experienced being picked on as a nurse tech, and unfortunately, it did not get better even after speaking to the manager, which is why I did not want to work there when i became a nurse. But not all units are like that.

Can you speak to your manager about it? You don't necessarily have to name names, but I know that my current manager would want to know. I would also encourage the other new nurses who are feeling similarly to do the same. Chances are, it isn't the first time these behaviors have occurred on your unit.

What kind of small things do you get criticised for? Do you think it is anything you can use to improve upon or is it just mean spirited? There is a difference between forgetting to put a bed alarm on vs forgetting to refill a water pitcher so even though it may be difficult, see if you can put things into perspective as a chance to improve.

Continue to work hard, do your best, ask questions when you are unsure, chart thoroughly, and always always always put patient safety first. Good luck to you. I hope things change for the better.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Re-read OP a couple of times to be sure I understood the situation . . . Coworkers have given positive feedback overall but "one older nurse" is grumpy, gives off negative vibes (eye rolling) and asks questions in report.

Has OP had any type of conversation with Grumpy to discuss this? Probably not. Communication is the first step for taking ownership of your own problems. No one has a crystal ball that gives magical insight into your feelings. Either take the initiative to let people know how you feel or just accept the situation.

If OP chooses 'option B', it's OK because in another 6 months, other newbies will be fresh meat for all the mean old nurses to chew on.


5 Posts


she says I don't ask enough questions and that everyone is seriously worried and I'm messing up a lot but the things she says I'm messing up don't make sense. And I've talked to other nurses who followed me and they said they have never had a problem with anything I have done and everything was in order.

Last night the dr. Told me to keep my pt on oxygen and not the bipap as long as her sats stayed above 92% well that morning when I left she desated into the high 80s and somehow that was on me. Also my pt was prescribed insulin ac and hs therefore her blood sugars were scheduled ac and hs, well, she yelled at me and said that it should have been ordered q6h since she had sepsis. Then when I asked the one RN who has been there for a long time to help me put an Iv in she said I absolutely needed a line and should talk to my dr about it ASAP. The dr said it wasn't nessessary and I let it go. Wel the next day this nurse I have a problem with was belittling me asking what my rational was as to a line and that it was ridiculous and I needed to think things through better. I just don't know what to do anymore ppl trust her and she basic runs everything on my unit and is friends with the higher ups so I feel like I'm definetly going to get fired. Am I wrong?

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Is the same Grumpy nurse you mentioned in your other post? Seems as though the feedback you are receiving is constructive. Caring for a presumably new trach is very important. You need to double check everything.

As for IV sticks, that's also true... never do more than 2 attempts on a conscious patient. Be sure you are clearly communicating to the patient. This procedure is one of the top patient dissatisfiers... let him/her know "I don't want to make another attempt, but your IV line is essential; is it all right if I ask someone else to take a look?"

I think Grumpy is giving you some good advice - keep an open mind and listen to your more experienced colleague. Thank her for her guidance.


5 Posts

I do appreciate her advice but at the same time I feel like I'm doing my best and I'm going to get fired over these mistakes that many new nurses make. If it were a learning experience that is one thing but the way she says things is like I'm on the verge of being fired and it stresses me out every day and I dread going there and have last all self confidence in myself as a nurse

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma.

I think you need to breathe...understand the message and not the messenger.

In the ICU setting, things can go south in a blink of an eye, heck in any setting, and you must anticipate potential complications and changes; you must not falter when people ask your rationale in regards to your pt; it is your responsibility to anticipate as well as be able to think things through when you are faced with situations; for example, the pt you had on BiPAP may have been 93, which is above 92, but I would still keep someone on BiPAP because of the potential rebound of be saturation, which happened in your case...see what I mean?

If a pt is septic, they can go south, so an additional line is something to keep in mind; it's not the providers call; he could've said "no worries", however, if that pt needed a line and something happened, you would be on here posting about how the provider yelled at you...see what I mean? You MUST be cognizant in trusting your nursing judgement; the seasoned nurses are attempting to do so; and possibly their bluntness is being percepted along with your nervousness of being new as negative.

Accept the critique, do better next shift...that's how you survive this business. :yes:

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma.

Does she say that you are going to get fired????

If anything, step back for a moment; think about the setting you are in; you are in a setting where the "little" mistakes can lead to big issues; you must prepare and anticipate potential complications; double check everything; seek out another experienced nurse to make sure you have all your ducks in a row; take each day as a learning experience, do better the next shift; that's how you will excel.

Remember, you are a new nurse, keep honing your practice, accept the messages, not the messenger, especially when you are working with medically complex patients; help your self confidence by striving do competence-it's going to take time. :yes:

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

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