I graduated from school and was working as an aide in a preop and PACU floor. Right after I got licensed my managers hired me and was really excited to be in such a position as a new grad. After about 9 months I realized it was a big learning curve and did not have the "bedside" experience a lot of my co-workers did and decided to take a tele-float position at another hospital to "learn" and realized what a mistake it was.
At first it was not so bad because I was learning a lot of new and useful info and really getting to see the disease process. It was exciting at first but little by little I started to see what was really going on. Certain floors I floated too were very strict regarding patient satisfaction scores and it was all the management would talk about, in particular the post-surgical and cardiac tele floors. I remember the first time I was talked to for not bringing a blanket fast enough because I was doing my med pass and realized what a mistake I had done leaving PACU.
I eventually ventured into the ICU and really liked it, but at this time I had moved to another city 40 minutes away and was tiring with the commute after a year. Traffic became bad at times and a lot of construction often made the commute about an hour and at my current home I lived 5 minutes from another hospital and applied there. None of the day ICU positions called me back, but did get called back for a tele position and took it. This floor in particular just SUCKS the life out of you. The patients are chronically ill and often have multi organ issues. Management is all about patient satisfaction scores and it seems like its all they email me about. The manager who is not helpful at all does "rounds" in the afternoon where she goes into every room and basically logs complaints the patients have and brings them up to you...while you're in the middle of charting, med passes, patient care etc. This in contrast with managers from other floors I have floated to who are active on the floor helping staff with tasks and patient care.
I remember an incident where a physician wanted to discharge a patient who to me looked awful and just didnt feel right giving him his discharge instructions and go home. The wife had to take him to an appointment the next day hours away and well I didnt feel good at all about this. He kept desatting whenever he would get up to do anything and I mean he would go down to the mid 80s just by walking to the bathroom and needed the cannula running at 6L to get him back up to above 90. He would also get very tachycardic and just looked bad. I called the hospitalist during all of this and he assessed the guy and decided it would be best to keep him another night.
I come back the next day and the guy isnt there, apparently he ended up crashing during the night and was transferred to the ICU. If I had let him go home he could have potentially died. My manager comes up to me later in the day and tells me in a snarky tone "you were in that patients room for quite a long time yesterday, your patients neighbor was complaining you werent fast enough with his pain medication". Thats when I realized she doesn't give a *** about the patients at all and just basically wants her positive HCAHP scores.
I'm still working for the same manager and really want to go to another setting that isn't telemetry or med surg. Im wanting to stick it out at this hospital for at least a year before trying to go elsewhere so it doesn't look bad on my resume. Each day I'm on the floor I'm just miserable and on edge about getting called into the office over something stupid and potentially getting fired. I get home usually drained and have even developed agoraphobia where I really dislike leaving the house even to go to the store or any kind of social event. The only way I can calm down at home is to drink alcohol which has become a bad habit, I don't binge drink or anything but have found myself drinking two beers on my days off every night to wind down. I don't mind the patient care at all to be honest, but management has some unrealistic expectations and I'm just turned off from floor nursing at the moment. Hopefully something happens next year and I can leave because I feel like I'm losing my mind.