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my night ended in tears......any help?

wsuRN2009 wsuRN2009 (New) New

I am a brand new nurse on a med/surg floor. I have been orienting with a preceptor for just about 3 weeks now. My preceptor was out sick so I was assigned to worked with another nurse. Last night I had a patient that was supposed to get a biopsy done the day before and somehow it was not ordered in the computer correctly and was not caught by the 3 different shifts of nurses that took care of this pt before my nurse and I came on at 11p. We made sure it was ordered for the next day. So anyways we went about our night and it went very smoothly. Stable patients no major issues. So at 7 am the day shift came on and the MD that ordered the procedure was there also. I was waiting to give report and happened to be the one the doctor took his frustrations out on. Why wasn't the biopsy done yesterday? This is ridiculous. He ordered me to get my supervisor immediately. That happened at shift change, and paging two doctors for 2 other patients with abnormal labs a half hour before. Anyways it just seemed like all this stuff happened at once and everyone looked to me like how could I have let this happen. I felt completely incompetent and responsible. I was so frustrated with the hospitals charting system (all paper) and amount of mistakes by several different people to let this happen. But it all fell on me. Thankfully it was not life threatening but it was an unneccessary delay. I held it together until I saw my manager in the hallway and she asked me how my night was. I completely fell apart. She was so great and rushed me into her office to talk about it. But I cried like a baby. She made me feel better and said it happens to a lot of new nurses, and it will get better. On my way home I felt even worse for breaking down like that over something that doesn't sound like that big of a deal. It was completely unprofessional. Now I am questioning if this is for me. If I can't even handle one frustrated doctor over a non lifethreatening situation am I going to make it as a nurse? Did I completely waste the last 4 years of my life to get here? I would really appreciate any suggestions or anything to help me through this. Thank you


Specializes in Psych, LTC, Acute Care.

((HUGS)). Nursing is an everyday battle. One day its good and the next day it may be terrible. I am a new grad of 7 months. Hang in there, just know that you are not alone.

nurseme3, LPN

Specializes in Surgical, Community Health.

I am sorry that that situation happened to you. It is a classic example of how communication among shifts and disciplines breaks down, and unfortunately you happened to be assigned nurse at the time that the issue was caught. I too have cried at work and it is okay...we are human. I hope your night tonight is better.

You are not alone! I cried twice during orientation, and I didn't even wait until the end of the shift! It's ok, it happens. Nursing is stressful and overwhelming, and you need an outlet for that. It is NOT your fault the test didn't get done the day before.....you weren't even there! Take pride in the fact that you noticed the scheduling error and got everything in order for the next day. You saw a problem, and you took action to correct it. That's what we do!

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I had a doctor ream me once because the day shift nurse did not notice that the pt flipped back into a-fib. I called the MD by 8PM and he went ballastic on me. I was holding the phone several inches from my ear and the whole floor still heard him screaming. When he was done, I calmly said "Doctor so-and-so, your feelings may be justified, but unfortunately you are directing them to the wrong person. Now, what orders would you like to give me?" He was taken aback and rather sheepishly mumbled his orders back to me.

Sometimes you are just the easiest target for a doc, or patient, or family member, or manager, or co-worker, etc. It takes practice and time, but you will get to the point to where you just let it roll off your back. If the scenerio above had happended to me when I was only 3 weeks into orientation, I would have bawled also. Hang in there!