Have I made a mistake?

  1. I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there's really no way to condense it.

    When I went into nursing, I knew from the start that I wanted to specialize in an area that I could really try to excell in. I didn't know what area until I graduated (last May), but I finally settled on L&D.

    To make a long story short, I love what I do. I love deliveries, the babies, my co-workers are absolutely wonderful ... BUT!!! When I started, cross training was the big thing in our area ( which I think is great ). I started out in nursery - spent about two and a half months there, then I went to post-partum - only spent a week there, then to surgery - where I witnessed all of THREE c-sections. I finally made it to L&D in September.

    I had been in orientation for about three weeks when my partner for the shift called in. I was left on the floor alone by my manager who had told me that she would be around if I needed her. I had two deliveries back to back and was never able to find her! Keep in mind I am a new grad who had only been in L&D for about three weeks.

    When I was started, I was promised at LEAST 8 weeks with a preceptor - I worked with her a total of about six days in my first month and a half - then I was taken off orientation! I was told that I was doing wonderfully and that I was ready. I DIDN'T FEEL READY! The next month (November) I went to the night shift WORKING ALONE!

    My problem is that now here I am, in March, still feeling very scared and alone. Like I said, I love my job, but because I am alone so much of the time and still feel so new and like I missed out on so much, I feel myself dreading coming back in before I even start my days off.

    I said that I saw a whopping 3 c-sections while I was in surgery - after that I was expected to scrub the d--- things! I was like - "Who the h--- are Bonnie and Alice??!!!!!!!" (teasing of course). Anyways, I think you get the picture.

    Now I am starting to feel as though I made a mistake in going into nursing at all. I have tried telling my head nurse and the manager that I am scared, but all I ever get is a pat on the head, "You're doing great!"

    I can't begin to tell you the times that I have been literally thrown into things - last week I had to work nursery alone and I was scared to death. It was my first time and my training in there was back in June of last year. I walked in that night and, of course, there was a c-section about to take place. I told my head nurse that I really needed some support because I had only caught the baby in a section a couple of times and that had been a year ago. Her answer? "You'll have Dr. with you, you'll be fine!"

    My question is, Have I messed up? Am I being treaded unreasonably or am I just not cut out for nursing? I feel like I have the potential to be an excellent nurse, but why am I feeling like I just don't want to go on?

    Thanks!
    Last edit by tryingtomakeit on Mar 11, '05
  2. Visit tryingtomakeit profile page

    About tryingtomakeit

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 146; Likes: 38
    L&D nurse
    Specialty: LTC, Home Health, L&D, Nsy, PP

    64 Comments

  3. by   Gompers
    I'd try to find another job NOW.

    Aside from very small rural hospitals, I've NEVER heard of an L&D unit that would have only one nurse working on any given shift! And for you to be promised 8 weeks of orientation (which is really not a long orientation as it is) and then to be taken off after just a few days of precepting...

    You are risking your license at this place. Get out.

    JMHO.
  4. by   tryingtomakeit
    LOLOLOL Somehow I managed to post this in the wrong forum! LMAOOOOO
  5. by   Gompers
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    LOLOLOL Somehow I managed to post this in the wrong forum! LMAOOOOO
    I'm sure one of the Allnuses.com staff members will move it in the morning - either to general nursing, OB-GYN nursing, nursing issues/concerns, or nursing career advice.
  6. by   tryingtomakeit
    Quote from Gompers
    I'd try to find another job NOW.

    Aside from very small rural hospitals, I've NEVER heard of an L&D unit that would have only one nurse working on any given shift! And for you to be promised 8 weeks of orientation (which is really not a long orientation as it is) and then to be taken off after just a few days of precepting...

    You are risking your license at this place. Get out.

    JMHO.
    Gompers, Do you suppose that, if I did go somewhere else, they would give me a propper orientation, or do you think that I would be considered "experienced" and be thrown to the wolves there too? This in my biggest concern.
  7. by   Gompers
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    Gompers, Do you suppose that, if I did go somewhere else, they would give me a propper orientation, or do you think that I would be considered "experienced" and be thrown to the wolves there too? This in my biggest concern.

    Well, if you do get another job, you should still get an orientation because it will be a new place with new charting, policies, routines, etc. During the interview process, make it a point to say that you want a full orientation. Make sure not to openly bad mouth your current hospital/unit though! That's never a good idea during an interview. Nor should you say you feel like you aren't doing well in that area. Say something like, "I would appreciate at least a few weeks of full-time precepting, because in the past I've felt rushed off of orientation before I felt ready."

    Good luck!
  8. by   tryingtomakeit
    Thanks for all your advice Gompers. I really do appreciate it!
  9. by   begalli
    Also, you DID NOT mess up. The hospital that basically lured you in with false promises messed up. They are losing you!

    Every new nurse goes through a period of time where they feel inadequate and afraid. Your situation is compounded by the complete lack of support from your employer.

    Protect your license and Get Out, but Don't Give Up!

    Nursing is awesome!

    Good Luck!
  10. by   tryingtomakeit
    You guys have NO idea how badly I needed this. I was crying so hard earlier that I can still barely see!

    But I feel much better now
  11. by   Gompers
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    You guys have NO idea how badly I needed this. I was crying so hard earlier that I can still barely see!

    But I feel much better now

    Don't worry, what you are feeling is completely natural, and I think most new nurses would feel the exact same way in your shoes. You were really cheated out of a proper orientation, and I still can't figure out why there would be only one nurse (you!) on any given shift instead of the 2+ I thought was required by most L&D units. You are in jeopardy there, and I'm glad you came here to ask some questions.

    First I'd talk to your manager, and really express your concerns because this is about patient safety and liability. If there is no change, then I'd quietly go job hunting.

    Also, to echo what begalli said - you did NOT do anything wrong.
    Last edit by Gompers on Mar 11, '05
  12. by   begalli
    Quote from tryingtomakeit
    You guys have NO idea how badly I needed this. I was crying so hard earlier that I can still barely see!

    But I feel much better now
    awwww, here...

    :icon_hug:

    You're going to be okay. As an RN, one of your advocacy roles is that of advocating for yourself. No way can you possibly support your patients if you are not feeling supported yourself.

    If, like Gompers said, you still don't have a good feeling that things will change where you are after possibly bringing it up with your manager - definitely start looking (in my opinion, I would skip the manager and just begin quietly looking - this place has probably been doing this for a long long time).

    You'll see. It can be better.
  13. by   Dixielee
    I will agree with the other posters. You need to get out ASAP and protect your license, your home and everything you have worked for. You are being put in a dangerous situation and it is just a matter of time before something unexpected comes along and you will be liable because you are continuing to allow yourself to be put into unsafe situations. The hospital, your supervisor, nurse manager, etc. will probably NOT be named in the lawsuit, but you will if things go wrong. I'm not saying you will be responsible, but L&D is probably the most likely place to get sued if something goes wrong, even if you do NOTHING wrong. Why do you think some many OB's are getting out of the practice.

    There are other places where you will have a proper orientation and support. You should already be able to see that your hospital is not going to stand by you if the chips are down. They have lied to you about everything so far, so I doubt they would suddenly become responsible if a crisis emerges.

    Don't let them just tell you you are doing fine. I'm sure you are, but you do not have the experience or judgement yet to handle the unexpected.

    I say this from experience. As a new grad 31 years ago I wanted to work in ICU. I was told I would be with an experienced RN, oriented, blah, blah, blah. I was paired with another new grad who had worked at Macy's selling handbags while in school, and this was her first medical job ever. I had worked as a tech then "student nurse" (we could do that back then), so I was in charge. I was scared but flattered that they thought I could do it. How nieve could I have been!!!! They just didn't have anyone else there. The first time we had a code, neither one of us could function. Fortunately, it happened at about 0655 and a day shift nurse walked in while we stood around with our thumb up our a$$, and grabbed an ambu bag. It is purely by the Grace of God and dumb luck that we did not out and out kill anyone from lack of experience.

    I have some tales of the early years that will curl your hair, as I'm sure a lot of us old timers have. I will write a book on it later. I won't bore you will the details, just trust me!

    Be aware of your limitations, trust your instincts and get the heck out while you can!
  14. by   tryingtomakeit
    Thank you all so so much. I have some time off coming up in April, I am definitely going to start looking around. Want a good laugh? Since I first posted last night, I got an email saying that I am being sent to preceptor class next month. ROTFLMAOOO! Does it ever stop? And Dixie, I know what you mean, they flatter you, but my gut is telling me exactly what you said. THERE JUST ISN'T ANYONE ELSE! Begalli, thanks for the encouragement!

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