New Nurse Seeking Advice

by wfryeamis wfryeamis (New) New Nurse

I am a brand new nurse of only three months. I applied to a few hospital positions but never heard back from any of them. I attribute this to the fact that I have no prior experience in the medical field and my area is still recovering from Hurricane Michael, a category 5 hurricane that hit last October - so few job opportunities. After the financial burden of nursing school I was eager to get to work right away, so I accepted a job at a local nursing home/rehab facility.
This is not the kind of nursing that I am interested in, but was desperate. I went into the job with an open mind and a good attitude, thankful that someone had finally hired me.

I have been at this job for just one month and am extremely unhappy. I have 30 residents on my hall that I am assigned to with the help of only a few CNAs. The entire facility is still on a paper based system - no computers. This makes simple things take a very long time. For example, looking through the entire MAR TWICE to pull meds for 30 patients for 9pm and 6am med pass takes up a substantial amount of my 12 hour shift! The first med pass alone takes 4 hours. Then I have to piece through the entire treatment book to see who needs treatments done and if there are any new orders written in. By this time its about 12-1am. I then get together all the lab paperwork for anyone having labs drawn as they come around 2am. I then rush to get charting done by 4:30 am so that I can go back out to the floor to pass 6am meds. I feel that I have absolutely no time to be with my patients and I completely feel that they are not getting the time and care they deserve.

People rarely do their jobs and most call in constantly. In the short time I have been there someone has already not shone up to relieve me. When brought to management's attention they asked me to stay and do the morning med pass to all 30 residents after a 12 hour shift while they tried to find someone to come in! To make things worse, in my first week of orientation someone stole 31 narcotics from my hall's cart and now all the hall's nurses are being investigated - even me! Not to mention the fact that I only received 7 days of orientation. The last 3 days of orientation were requested by me because I didn't feel prepared enough to care for 30 residents I wasn't even familiar with yet on my own. I was trained by LPNs on the hall the last three days because after the fourth day of orientation the nurse I was replacing left to work for another facility.

My aids are always sitting outside smoking or in one of the resident's rooms sleeping so I constantly have to get up from charting or other paperwork to check call lights. Each time I come into work residents are out of particular medications because no one reorders them on time. I hurriedly do my treatments the last 30 minutes of my shift because this is the only time I can fit it in.

I am hoping that someone can tell me that I am not being a total crybaby about this job. I come home crying all the time because I feel stuck and frustrated. I hope that it isn't just that I am a failure at time management and that maybe other places aren't like this. I am beginning to question whether I was cut out to be a nurse in the first place. I feel as if I wasted four years of my life on an education that I wont be happy using. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Not being relieved at the end of a shift, people stealing narcotics, sleeping on the job/blatantly neglecting residents? Even if the other challenges weren't enough, these things would be hard stops in my book; personally I would just consider it too dangerous to work in a place like that.

I would do anything remotely reasonable to find a different job.

Don't form your opinions about nursing based on this.

Good luck~

Start a systematic job search and leave when you find a new job. Meanwhile identify one item at a time to learn and pick up the pace on. I would divide the assignment up and each night tackle a different group to concentrate on when doing your chart overview and don’t focus so much on the rest. Over a five night week, you will have got around to everyone for added ‘attention’. You are on night shift, your contribution to spending time with your residents is to do that chart overview, get them their meds, and see that the CNAs don’t disturb them with loud talk, so they can rest. Speed will pick up over time. Hopefully you can get out of there quickly.

myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 13 years experience.

That job is like going to "license Vegas" with your savings and only playing roulette (perhaps the worst game in the house in terms of odds). You should keep applying. Not only hospitals, but also outpatient MD offices, schools (that hire RN's), outpatient dialysis centers. Even if you have to move to a different state for a year or two to get experience it is far better than losing your job (or facing fines/prison in the case of narcotics) than continuing to work where you are at.