I need some advice/support. I have been working as a nurse for about 8 months. I was extremely extremely fortunate to have found a job, as I live in an area where the job market for new grads is just impossible. I got into a new grad program at a great hospital, and overall I love my job. I am the only new grad on the unit, and there haven't been new grads in this hospital in a long while, so I often feel alone in my status as a newbie. I get absolutely no feedback from my manager or from coworkers (except negative feedback from my manager when I do something wrong). I basically have to constantly evaluate my own progress, but overall I am always doubting myself and wondering if I am doing okay. I get along well with my coworkers, and patients always tell me I am a great nurse. I assumed I was doing fine.
This week, after three night shifts, my boss called me into her office and said she needed to talk to me. She said that some coworkers were complaining that "you do a lot of sitting" and that "you are always asking others for help, but never offering help to others." I was pretty devastated. I've spent the last two days crying my eyes out and feeling like an absolute and utter failure.
I've had an extremely difficult year (I was finishing up my BSN while working full time with two small kids at home, plus some other personal and family issues). But I felt like I put my heart and soul into my job, and am now being told that basically people think I am lazy and don't pull my weight on the unit. I am an introvert, more on the quiet side, so I definitely know I need to improve on being more proactive about offering help. But I am always the first to jump up for bed alarms or beeping IVs, I never ignore telephones or call lights as some of my coworkers do, when there is an admit on the unit I always go to the room to offer help. Just this week I offered to give a 6 AM medications to someone else's patient because he had a difficult night and was fed up with this patient. A different coworker was busy, I gave his patient pain medication.
I'm not sure if I'm more upset by my boss's words because I feel they are unfair, or because maybe I feel there is some truth to it. Maybe I don't do enough on the unit? Maybe people interpret my quiet pensiveness as laziness. Maybe I don't offer help as much as I should because I have so much insecurity as a new grad I figure people don't need my help. What hurt even more is my boss said to me "you were chosen out of 1000 applicants to the new grad program, so they must have seen some potential in you." Almost like, not sure what they were thinking when they hired you, but they must have seen something. I feel like the standards are too high, I feel like I am underachieving, and I feel like I am one big disappointment. I am embarrassed to show my face at work on Sunday night. I had no idea my coworkers felt this way about me.
I set up a meeting with my manager tomorrow because I was too caught off guard when she spoke to me to defend myself properly. I want to tell her that I think those claims are unfair, but at the same time I plan to do everything in my power to change my behavior and not just help people, but maybe be more vocal about doing it, so they realize I am helping.
I'd appreciate any words of support or advice you guys have. Being a new grad is just so difficult, especially when I get no feedback or affirmation. I hate this constant self-doubt, and wish I had more confidence.