Hi. This is my first response on this wonderful site. When I saw the topic title - my heart stopped. I was too embarrassed to write the same thing - but now that you've broken the ice, I feel the weight has been lifted off my shoulders.........I feel sick at heart at the moment (4:45am here in Boston) because I am so stressed out over my orientation at a "state of the art" , LTC, corporate facility. This place is rife with $$$. Mostly private pay. Opulent in every way - real high-tech - and the newest and the best of everything......so you are asking what's the problem?
I am beginning to question my own abilities as a nurse and a person and feel as though I have been "set up to fail"...........they painted this wonderful picture of what I was to expect (last week during classroom orientation). I was told the following at that time: "our med nurses do all the meds, answer lights, do the treatments, DO's, admits/d/c's, in addition to their assigned and prn notes........ This week I have been shadowing on the floor. The med pass doesn't get done until the shift is over - it's that simple (and I haven't even done it yet alone). The other med nurses all say the same thing: " It's a wonderful concept, but are you kidding me? The treatments hardly ever get done - not if you want to get through this med pass.....".
My first nite on the floor - I was pulled away from my med pass shadowing to do an admission. The pt. was a major fall risk and I made sure he had a bed/chair, and personal alarm in place. The alarm went off at least 6 x's. Since I was really an "extra" person, and no one else seemed to hear it, I answered each one. I got there just in time - every time. You are asking "where were the CNA's?" We had TWO CNA's for this team of 22 residents. Each one was responsible for putting 11 residents to bed. As you know, on 3-11, everyone seems to be ready for bed at the same time.......most of them need assistance, and some need complete assist - at which time both CNA's are in the same room.....I can't blame the CNA's. They are run ragged and stressed to the max.........
What's wrong with this picture?????? All this money, the best of everything, and not enough staff. How is anyone supposed to do their job, maintain patient safety, and be compliant with the med pass????
I'm so sorry that this is so long - but I just have to talk to anyone before I lose it. Let me preface this tale by saying that the lst day of orientation, I hesitated to even go. My niece had been in a near fatal car accident and was still on life support. I was sleeping with 2 phones in my bed and I was worried sick and exhausted.........I finally decided to go - but explained what was going on to the Staff Development Coordinator. She said she understood, and that we would take it one day at a time - not to worry - see how things go, etc.........RIGHT.
On Friday of the first week, I was supposed to report to the floor to shadow the charge nurse and observe the goings on......The nite before I spent hours reading the required nursing materials and ended up falling asleep exhausted in the den (which meant of course that since I didn't even get near my bed, the alarm wasn't set......") This is not my style - I was devastated because I knew I would be late and knew this would not look good for me. I always screw myself with my honesty, though. As it turned out, I called to let them know I was on my way. They weren't even aware that I wasn't there - the charge nurse never knew I was coming. I called the SDC and left an apologetic message on her voice mail, telling her I was on my way......bottom line: I could have just shown up, said nothing, and no one would have even noticed - but obviously I could never do that.
On Friday of my first week of shadowing (yesterday), my youngest child (19 yr. old daughter) woke up and could barely open her mouth because she had such a severe sore throat. She couldn't even swallow Tylenol, or open her mouth wide enough for me to inspect. The left side of her neck was immensely swollen. We ended up at the doctors by 11am. He was very concerned. She had developed a large abscess behind one of her tonsils. He wouldn't touch it - and said she may end up having to be hospitalized. We needed to see an ENT asap. It's now noon and I'm supposed to work 3-11 and have no idea how this will end up. I start to panic. I call the SDC and left a message on her phone stating that "no matter what happens, I will be there - it may not be at 3, but you can count on me to be there....." By 1 PM we were at the ENT's. He anesthetized her throat 3 x's, and then proceeded to drain this awful abscess. My daughter was in agony. We left with rx's for ABT and Tylenol #3.
By the time I filled the Rx's, picked up juice and gatorade, gave her the meds, got her settled, and was putting on my scrubs
- the facility called (at3:02PM), wanting to know, "what's the story here?"....... I told her that I had called (twice actually) and kept getting voice mail, so I called the floor at 2:15 to make sure they received the message (they hadn't). I told her that I was now dressed and about to leave my house - I would probably be there around 3:40 and that I would stay as long as they needed me........The reply? "It's probably better if you just don't come in". I said, "are you letting me go?" She said, "no, it's not that, it's just that we will need to sit down on Monday to discuss the "tardiness" issue." I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I really don't know how I could have avoided these two incidents, other than taking a later orientation - but hey, they said they would work with me. As for my daughter's emergency - I had no control over that either. These are not usual circumstances in my life, believe me. You know how they say WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS?? That seems to be what's happening these past two weeks - and I have to ask myself if I want to continue at all in this job..............I am a conscientous, caring, loyal nurse, and my self esteem is in the toilet at the moment. ANY advice or feedback from anyone would be greatly appreciated......thanks.