I accepted my first job on an inpatient psych unit about 5 months ago. Psychiatric nursing interests me and I am eager to learn. When I took this position, the hospital had just announced that it was just purchased by a larger hospital system. I was confident that this hospital would have opportunity and I could grow with an organization for many years to come. I was also confident that I would still be exposed to medical patients and utilize my clinical skills. (As told in my interview)
Right from the gates there were disappointments. I was told I would get 90 days of training/orientation, and was put on the schedule as a regular staff nurse 3 weeks later. I feel that I was just thrown in the position and hit the ground running. I guess this is pretty normal. We do have some medical patients on the floor, but honestly, we barely have an opportunity to do a psych assessment on the patients, let alone a nursing assessment. Sadly, most medical concerns are ignored. They are usually only addressed to "save your butt", so to speak. I don't agree with it and feel like I don't get support from other staff when I do have a medical concern.
Here are my concerns: I only work 2 days per week and 5 months later I still feel like I am struggling. I know that I am still a novice and it will take time to feel comfortable...BUT, my biggest complaint is not feeling as though I am getting mentored or support from the other nurses. Some nights I may have 12-17 patients ON MY OWN. This scares the crap out of me. I addressed this concern with my clinical manager and it was brushed off. I can assure you that most of the seasoned nurses don't know what's going on with their patients either. It's a mess on the unit and extremely unsafe. We have adolescents with geriatric patients, and throw a few sex offenders in there as well. There is no organization on our shift either. A new admission comes and it is just tossed to the nurse that happens to be in the nursing station...no rhyme or reason to assigning patient load. I feel like only working 2 nights a week is not enough to get comfortable and feel like I am learning and growing. Being in a disorganized, low morale floor doesn't help either.
So, here we are 5 months later and I feel like I haven't learned enough in that time frame, but am responsible. It's a scary and unsettling feeling. I continue to ask questions, but it is to the point that they look at me like, "You should know".
I'm not sure what I should do. I thought maybe I could throw my scenario out there for you all to read and provide feedback. Is this normal? Should I be feeling this way? I want to stick it out and I try to learn and absorb as much as I can. I also constantly read psychiatric nursing books for help/education. Although, I don't see any of our staff nurses utilizing these skills. (I'm just saying) Perhaps I should post for another position on a different floor. I don't want to lose my clinical skills, so maybe that would be an option. I also want to stick it out with the new "take over" because I think working for a larger hospital system has its advantages and I don't want to leave and not be able to come back. I don't want to make an rash decisions and not think them through.
I hope you all can provide some perspective. Thank You!