Im a mid-20 something new grad who just recently started orientation on a med-surg floor in a local hospital. I've been working in home health for the past few months and this is my first acute care job. I'm starting to notice some things about myself and it probably holds true for some people in my generation, especially after reading several posts from other new grads on here... Our generation really does feel entitled. "Our nursing program should've prepared us for what we will face in nursing, our jobs should go above and beyond meeting our expectations, our coworkers should never talk down to us."
I've worked before, never as a "professional" though, so I know what the real world is like. But for some reason, I just believed that things would at least be above average for me in nursing. Maybe its the caring nature of the field, I don't know... But obviously floor nursing is very stressful. No one's entitled to hold your hand. Your school isn't there to tell you what you're signing up for. That's YOUR responsibility (research your field, shadow established professionals, look online, etc). The reality shock of what nursing is really like can't all be blamed on our schools or new jobs. And just like the rest of life, other's won't always build you up.
Not to pass the buck, but I grew up in the early 90s and a lot of what we were taught in school was that "everybody is a winner", "you're special", and "you can be whatever you want to be." What was left out of the equation was that it won't always be easy, everyone won't always be happy for you and it's definitely going to take more than just thinking positive (i.e. some hard work and dedication). I don't ever really remember hearing about that side of the coin until late in high school.
A lot of posts on AN's for new grads tell us to "fake it till we make it." Maybe I'm not quite understanding what that means, but it couldn't be farther from the truth. Be humble. Ask questions. Regard your patient's safety over your ego and need to "fake it."
I came on to the floor for my 3rd shift with a preceptor, scared as hell but not wanting to ask many questions for fear of looking dumb, etc. After making a few mistakes early in the shift (none that were harmful to the patient, just wasted our time and put us behind), my preceptor nailed it in my head that it's better to ask NOW while I'm on orientation, then to be on my own and have my job on the line. She said when she first started in nursing she was humble, told everyone that she needed help and recieved any instructions/criticisms that anyone had to tell her. This preceptor has been working at the hospital for 18+ years and stopped at least 10 times during the day to double check something with the charge nurse, call pharmacy for clarification or even to ask another nurse what color tube she needed to draw a certain lab. No one looked at her as if she had three heads, her patient's got the best care and that was that.
I'm a quiet person by nature and a bit timid with my nursing skills. But I found that the more I let my guard down, admitted I needed help with things, the more confident I became. I didn't go into a room with a Lovenox needle that I haven't used in over a year, wondering If I would remember how this specific needle would work. I stopped and asked other nurses on the floor, and could walk into my patient's room confident.
This is just a start and floor nursing is a big reality shock for me but hey... I'm learning. Just wanted to throw this out to other new grads and for the older grads that are scratching their heads wondering why the hell some of us are how we are. I really appreciated the words from my preceptor today and know it'll help become a better person and nurse in the long run.
Penn and Teller ******** S08E09 Self Esteem Part 2
The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement