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helster83 specializes in None.

From the NYC- area, hold two B.S. degrees one of which is a BSN from Jan 2010

helster83's Latest Activity

  1. helster83

    Going Backwards

    I understand your pain. I've been in the field for about the same time and have had the same luck and felt the same lack of confidence. Currently I am in a position (in home health) that I love-- but sometimes have my rough days. But I have been through hell with two jobs in the past to appreciate where I am now. My lack of confidence is starting to build now. I have staff work under me, I know my 28 patients quite well, my manager and I have a great relationship, and I am learning to stand up for myself to people who are disrespectful. The problem is that in this field, if people see that you lack confidence they will walk all over you. Some people mistaken kindness for weakness. It's a sad fact for many adults in this industry, and it's what makes many aspects of this job so hard. Anyway, the only advice I can give is: do anything and everything to build up your self image-- to yourself. Build up the positive energy about yourself and the right job will find itself to you.
  2. I've done something that I call "cold calling" ...basically depending on where you live, type 'hospital' into google maps, see what pops up, and start making phone calls. Speak to the operator, have them forward you to their volunteer department if they have one, then speak with or leave a message with a volunteer coordinator. From there they should send you an application or arrange a meeting with you. Explain to them that you are a RN looking into working at this particular hospital, but before you commit yourself you would like to volunteer first. I would say it's a pretty respectable proposition. They get to know a job candidate and you can potentially square yourself a job. If you don't get a position, it'll look real good on your resume to other hospitals. I say it's a win-win in this scenario.
  3. helster83

    Giving Up on Nursing

    I get exactly where you are coming from because I've been there too. I know you are frustrated. Just sending out resumes isn't going to get you noticed, alone. It's great that you have the EMT experience though, but you have to try different strategies. Many people volunteer and get connections, I have and it's worked out quite well for me. Also, it's important during this time that you are looking for an entry position to make yourself happy... get rid of your anger and frustration (After I did, I eventually found a position). Stop thinking about yourself as being rejected... this is a tough economy for new nurses, everyone feels rejection in one way or another. After you get the job you'll realize how short staffed your floor is and how overworked you are. You will have different issues to contend with... so for now, learn to find ways to make yourself happy with your circumstance and think outside the box. Those are the two keys to finding a great position and being content. Anyway, good luck and all the best.
  4. helster83

    Why such high new RN turnover?

    I honestly haven't known any new graduate nurses to have unrealistic high expectations (such as asking for the day shift), I personally would never ask of such things. But I will say that hospitals do throw their nurses to the dogs, especially their newbies. Management seems to have had unrealistic expectations, mostly because they are becoming obessessed with press ganey scores, medicaid/medicare was screwing over hospitals (aka nurses) over anything and everything, budgets suck, on top of it a new nurse have a million things to learn on top of all the typical b.s. And I'm sure you all know how isolating working the night shift can be, you see family/friends less, less time for personal life. This is a breeding ground for misery, exhaustion and high turnover. At the very least, for all the work and dedication new nurses put into their trade, they should be supported by staff, rather than thrown to the dogs. Also, b/c I worked as a CNA in nursing school, it was extremely helpful in getting my first and second nursing positions. Hospitals love knowing you have some hands on experience in patient care.
  5. helster83

    Still a new grad... when will it end?

    There has been a lot of thought and analysis on my own part in regards to what has happened during the time I worked both positions. I have done a lot of questioning of myself in how I reacted or how I felt in circumstances when I made mistakes or lost the sense of control. I thought a lot about how I would correct myself the next time around. And also, both employment situations were completely different. Honestly, I'd say the last experience was an improvement from the first one all around. I got along well with my preceptors and co-workers from my prior job very well. I truly treasured working and learning from them. Many of them told me that they 'believed in me' as I continued to grow and were shocked at the news when I told them I was forced to resign after I made the flexeril mischart error. But they gave me back the confidence that was taken from me, from my first position. I might not be "experienced" enough to a recruiter, but in the spirit of the word 'experienced', I did learn a heck of a lot, thanks to them. New grads don't teach themselves how to do blood transfusions, or how to react to crazy situations, etc. Mentors do that. You are right about soul searching. I am the common denominator between both failures. I can't expect to think everything thats wrong with my career is external, and has nothing to do with my input. I have realized this since day 1. Thats why I asked for help. I cannot possibly provide you the whole story. You just read my side, for what it's worth. I am just another anonymous poster looking for a little insight on how to break down the barriers (self created or external) that are keeping me from succeeding in a career that I devoted my life to.
  6. helster83

    Still a new grad... when will it end?

    Thank- you. I definitely feel stronger as a RN now than I did a year ago. I've had a lot of time to go over how a shift could be managed much easier by organizing myself differently.
  7. helster83

    Still a new grad... when will it end?

    Thank- you for your post, though I'd find it rather nauseating to speak to my old employers again. I don't want to remind them that me (as well as other new nurses) are at their mercy. I have gotten feed back from other nurses on my floor. My main problem (according to them) was that I showed lack of confidence or nervousness. ((I was petrified of the idea of having a patient code or starting to decompensate and addressing it too late)). Thankfully, it never happened. I luckily had a few good hunches that made me recheck v/s's independently of what my PCA's took. The other nurses on the floor always tried reassuring me that everyone makes mistakes, they do, no one's perfect, to always ask for help when you need it. They were great to work with.
  8. helster83

    Still a new grad... when will it end?

    You sound exactly like me. Sometimes I didn't take breaks, but realized that by 7AM I sounded like a complete moron in report because my blood sugar probably ran low by then. So, I made it a big deal to take 20 minutes in the break room around 2 or 3 AM. Hot pocket, can of pepsi and a snickers bar. I told my family when I worked that it was impossible to work at 100% capacity, 100% of the time. There were always 2-3 patients that acted up throughout the night, or something would always go wrong that you have to learn to prepare for, and accept that you made mistakes over. The other problem is that you have to watch your own back, because you can get accused of making mistakes that you didn't make (which seemed to happen to a lot to the nurses on my floor, and it happened to me once). My hospital was going through changes with reimbursement (medicaid was looking for more reasons to withhold money), and the hospital is trying to get recognized as being magnet status. Therefore management is extra unforgiving.
  9. helster83

    Still a new grad... when will it end?

    Thank- you so much. Reading this means so much.
  10. helster83

    Still a new grad... when will it end?

    At the time I was volunteering, the hospital was on a hiring freeze and there were talks about laying RN's off. Right after I was hired by my 2nd employer. As a side note that I should have mentioned, since losing my position in October '11, I have worked per diem as a school nurse at a private all boy's school in the bronx. Work hasn't been steady though. Thank- you for sheding your advice!
  11. -I graduated in Jan '10. -Passed the boards March '10. -Worked as a nurse's aid at a local hospital from july '09- july '10. -(First opportunity) Got hired to work in acute care at NYP- Cornell, started july '10. Got the preceptor from HELL (got berated every day, he bullied everyone from me, to volunteers, chaplains, nurses from an adjacent unit, anything he thought was inferior... did a lot of complaining about me to management for making mistakes-- before I ever had the opportunity to make them). No patients were ever harmed. I barely had the opportunity to do anything on my own. So I didn't make it through preceptorship, and lost the position 3 months later. - Spent a lot of time questioning my own intelligence and lost confidence in myself. I pulled myself back up by becoming more active with nursing (I volunteered in medical oncology at a close hospital, went to open house events with free CE's, took free CE's online, joined oncology nurse society, attended ONS seminars/events, set up my own database of all the hundreds of positions I applied for between December '10- June '11. -After going on an interview in April '11, I got the call that I got the job on June 1st. It was in a med surg unit in LI. This was considered a GI medicine floor, but we had a large quantity of psych, dementia, ETOH withdrawal and palliative patients. It's very challenging. ...Anyway long story short, I lost THAT job too. Basically, I had my wedding date for Oct. 1, 2011 set since December of '10. On the interview (in april) the hiring manager knew I was engaged and getting married soon. She didn't ask for a date. After I started working in June (early june) I told her of the date (but had NO plans of taking PTO days). She nearly chewed my head off. I tried my best of being as helpful and diplomatic as possible. Since then, she had been passive aggressive about the wedding (I swear I didn't take any time off! Just switched two days so I could sleep the night before the wedding and attend my own rehearsal dinner). She tried to make me work the night before the big day. 2 weeks after the wedding, she forced me to resign from the position on the grounds of my "many mistakes." She said that if I didn't resign, that she'd fire me adn that getting fired could hinder my license in NYS, keeping me from ever working as a RN again. Yes I made errors since I started. They were based on charting or supposedly missing a specific lab in the morning. The charting error that got me bounced was putting a flexeril PRN q 8 hrs into a standing order section of the paper medex. The patient still got the right med/dose/route/times. I know what I did was a mistake. I was wrong. Apparently education (as I was told by my lovely manager) didn't think I was worth keeping. None of my patients were ever harmed. TODAY -- I'm frustrated that I cannot find work. I think that I'm unemployable at this point. Whose going to want to hire me in this economy? I find my own recent work history unbelieveable, let alone others to understand how I struck out twice in a row the way I did yet feel like a victim. I didn't write this story to get berated for being irresponsible. I think it's safe to say we all made at least one mistake in our careers. Is there any (helpful) advice out there for someone like me? If you read my story... thank-you.
  12. helster83

    NCLEX-RN tomorrow! am lost and don't know what to do

    Yeah, everyone should definitely relax the night before their big exam. I remember when I took the NCLEX, and how nervous I started out. Your brain has to work at optimal levels for tomorrow, regardless of whether you think you know everything or not. Watch your favorite tv shows, listen to some of your favorite music, do anything that'll make you happy enough to not focus on the scary exam. Sleep well tonight. Get up extra early in the morning, to ensure nothing goes wrong with your commute, make sure you have a great & healthy breakfast. When you start the exam, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Good luck with the questions, but I'm sure it'll be fine. (Worrying hurts your brain, relaxing and being happy helps it instead).
  13. helster83

    RN's are perfect human beings, aren't we?

    I don't disagree with your statement at all. It's a shame so many people resort to childish behavior. It's never about correcting a situation, it's about pointing blame on others to help oneself. Luckily I had coworkers that weren't like that. Management however was a bit less kind (accused me of stuff, used intimidation tactics, etc.) They made situations a million times harder than they ever had to be.
  14. helster83

    RN's are perfect human beings, aren't we?

    I almost feel like this rant was written about myself!!! LOL!!! I'm a new grad that basically and feel like I'm a poster person. Oh well. I'm determined to find happiness in my life, I'm not my occupation, I am me. No f*cked up manager is going to walk all over me anymore. I don't care how "crazy" everything is, including them.
  15. helster83

    New Grads...Teaching Hospital vs Community Hospital

    This issue has also been something I have been putting some thought into recently. I have worked in both environments. I worked in a major level one trauma center in NYC as a new grad this year... and I was very disappointed with my experience. I had a preceptor who had zero patience for me as I was trying to learn (I was doing a 13 week orientation in the neuro- ICU, 8 of those weeks were on the actual floor). Anyway it didn't work out very well for me, learning became stunted, and that was it. Before getting this position, I worked as a nurse's aide at a local community hospital. Honestly I felt more comfortable in my own skin, everyone knew me, when I was in the ER the nurses wanted to show me things. Beforehand, I thought level 1 trauma center is the place to be the best nurse. Now I don't know. I suppose it all depends on your experience at hand. Some people I met on orientation at the major hospital loved it, others looked like depressed zombies or were suffering from the same conditions as me. For me, I think I'm better off working small at a community hospital and building up from there, if I want to in the future.
  16. helster83

    What are different things I could specialize in as a RN

    I work in acute care for Neuroscience. Nurses in this unit can eventually get CNRN (certified neuroscience registered nurse) and/ or CCRN (critical care registered nurse).

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