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Quitting during probation/orientation

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by musiklover7000 musiklover7000 (New Member) New Member Nurse

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Hey guys, I just wanted to get some advice. I wanted to change departments and always wanted to try the ER. I wanted to sharpen my critical thinking skills and wanted to work in a busier environment. I eventually got hired as staff with experience, and not part of any fellowship program. Fast forward a couple of months, I have a week left of orientation and I absolutely hate the ER. I get super stressed going into work, almost to the point where I can mini panic attacks. I don't like how crazy busy things get and how I cannot give each patient the time they deserve. I also think that my personality doesn't fit the "ER culture." I thought as time went on, I would get used to the pace of things, but it's becoming more of the opposite for me. It's becoming obvious that the ER is not for me and I really want to quit but I don't want to burn bridges. What should I do?  

Edited by musiklover7000

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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Have you talked with the nurse manager? Is it possible to ask for more time on orientation? I am assuming that you have some experience. The two sentences immediately before "what should I do" are all that you need to say.

For the record...I am not sure that any position "sharpens critical thinking skills" better than another, but I darn sure know my critical thinking is dulled under pressure.

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Thank you for your response ruby_jane. I have tried speaking with the educators and it was a struggle even getting this extra week. My whole orientation has been so disorganized, and I did not feel supported throughout the entire process. I feel like I am just a number at this hospital. I understand that the patients here can be nasty, rude and are very sick. But my co-workers do not cultivate a nurturing environment for the new staff members. Everyone is quick to judge, and I always hear them speaking ill of others. The ER is already such a stressful place...the staff members make this particular ER a toxic place to work. 

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Talk to your old manager and tell her it did not work out and see if you can go back (have seen nurses do this at several places- they left for awhile for greener pastures then came back.)

If there is a nurse recruitment office, go talk to the recruiter and tell her that ER has not been the right fit for you and see if they have other openings.  If they already sunk costs paying for orientation to their facility and their EHR, etc, then it is in their interests to place you.

I've never thought ED would be a good fit for me. Too many patients in a day, no continuity of care (to get to know the patient), adreniline/stress level with frequent traumas and codes etc. 

 

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2 hours ago, musiklover7000 said:

Hey guys, I just wanted to get some advice. I wanted to change departments and always wanted to try the ER. I wanted to sharpen my critical thinking skills and wanted to work in a busier environment. I eventually got hired as staff with experience, and not part of any fellowship program. Fast forward a couple of months, I have a week left of orientation and I absolutely hate the ER. I get super stressed going into work, almost to the point where I can mini panic attacks. I don't like how crazy busy things get and how I cannot give each patient the time they deserve. I also think that my personality doesn't fit the "ER culture." I thought as time went on, I would get used to the pace of things, but it's becoming more of the opposite for me. It's becoming obvious that the ER is not for me and I really want to quit but I don't want to burn bridges. What should I do?  

Actually I think this kind of thing happens all the time.  A nurse takes a job and before 3 months hates it.  A nurse friend told me recently she had taken a LTC job, was there 3 months and resigned, she said the reason was the pace was ridiculous, she didn't know who had meds or when, just racing all day trying to find people, pass pills, a real nightmare.  Made her practically sick because the standard she has for herself was not the standard there.  She resigned saying to them, "I'm no good at this job".

Honestly I don't know where patients actually get the time they deserve, so it's not just in ER, I think it's probably everywhere unfortunately.

What would happen if you talked to the manager?  Do you feel they would be angry with you?  You could just go in to talk.  Just say you don't feel comfortable in the position.  Then the manager may ask some more questions but have some answers ready that aren't finger pointing.  I have had jobs that were very difficult but got easier as time went by, I have had jobs where the stress was soooo bad that I would find a quiet spot and take 2 minutes to cry or cry on the way home because it was so bad.  If you can ease your way out somehow, try to do that.  Some nurses don't have choices in the matter.  It sounds as if at least you have some control over what happens.  I wish you the best and hope I was able to give you a little insight.  It's terrible to feel that way about a job.  Good luck.

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1 hour ago, musiklover7000 said:

Thank you for your response ruby_jane. I have tried speaking with the educators and it was a struggle even getting this extra week. My whole orientation has been so disorganized, and I did not feel supported throughout the entire process. I feel like I am just a number at this hospital. I understand that the patients here can be nasty, rude and are very sick. But my co-workers do not cultivate a nurturing environment for the new staff members. Everyone is quick to judge, and I always hear them speaking ill of others. The ER is already such a stressful place...the staff members make this particular ER a toxic place to work. 

OK, bad onboarding.  I don't know why hospitals do this.  It would serve them so much better to do great onboarding and preceptorship.  Sorry this happened to you.

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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3 hours ago, musiklover7000 said:

It's becoming obvious that the ER is not for me and I really want to quit but I don't want to burn bridges. What should I do?  

I can identify, musiklover. After working 7 years as an LPN in psych, surgery, and CD treatment, I got my RN and wanted to return to the OR at another hospital. What I thought would be a return to an area that I truly enjoyed working in became a real den of vipers.

I quit during my orientation and took a position working in a state hospital.

That was over 28 years ago and I've not had to cross that burned bridge. When asked why I quit, I merely said "It didn't work out". That position was just a stepping stone in crossing the creek of life.

Good luck, musiklover.

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18 minutes ago, Davey Do said:

became a real den of vipers.

They do love orienting the new hires. Especially those PRN nurses acting like a preceptor. After orientation, they'd be the first ones to stab you in the back. 🙂

 

And since the original poster said you "don't want to burn bridges.."

Trust me on this one.

 

The moment you decide to leave your unit, is the moment that you are burning the bridge. 

 

"How dare you! We invested so much time in training you." attitude.

 

My advice? Be successful. Live happily. And you won't invite them to your dinner party anyways.

Edited by KonichiwaRN

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:30 AM, musiklover7000 said:

Thank you for your response ruby_jane. I have tried speaking with the educators and it was a struggle even getting this extra week. My whole orientation has been so disorganized, and I did not feel supported throughout the entire process. I feel like I am just a number at this hospital. I understand that the patients here can be nasty, rude and are very sick. But my co-workers do not cultivate a nurturing environment for the new staff members. Everyone is quick to judge, and I always hear them speaking ill of others. The ER is already such a stressful place...the staff members make this particular ER a toxic place to work. 

Been there , done that. A den of vipers, a sorority house, a shark tank, a coffee clutch, a snake pit...these are all pseudonyms for the toxic environments that have plagued the profession. Nurses eating their young. Horizontal and vertical violence (nurse to nurse, doc to nurse, CNA to nurse, housekeeping to nurse, transport to nurse, manager to nurse, lab to nurse, patient to nurse, family to nurse) is sadly implanted into institutional care, and its been this way since day's dawn.

My first job as a new grad was in one of these toxic nuclear waste dumping sites , aka, a local hospital. After driving home in tears 6 times in a row while on orientation, as a person in their 30s, I knew I had to just get out. I quit without notice, and burned it real good. Did it the right way, though. Personally walked into HR in tears, and let it rip. They did apologize, and they did agree that there is a very serious problem with new grads quitting during orientation. But nothing changed. To. this. day. 

Every now and then, for shats and giggles I read the employee reviews online, where I am reminded that its toxic culture is alive and well, unchanged after 2 decades of time. 

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23 hours ago, KonichiwaRN said:

They do love orienting the new hires. Especially those PRN nurses acting like a preceptor. After orientation, they'd be the first ones to stab you in the back. 🙂

It goes on and on and on. I recently heard a preceptor horror story that actually topped some of my own, here in my town. New grad BSN relocated with his wife and two young children for this new hospital job. After 90 days, without warning, or reason, he was shat canned. His preceptor was a toxic garbage nurse who thought it would be amusing to deep six her preceptee for her own personal gratification. 

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I felt this way about medsurg

.positions.

 

 I 

 

 tried clinics etc. I am back to mental health. When people tell me they work medsurg, ED or I C U, I'm like great for you. The older I get the less I feel like trying something totally different if what I am doing works.

 

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I think as nurses we need to try different things until we find our niche. I thought I would like a fast paced job, but only lasted 2 months. I quit without notice. I didn't like feeling like I never gave my patients the attention they deserved, and wasn't good enough due to snarky nurses making comments. The stress just wasn't worth it.

It is worth going elsewhere if you are not happy. I wouldn't worry about burning bridges, I've burned a few. There are plenty of nursing jobs out there. Life is short, find your niche/comfort zone where you know you excel, and have some peace.

Edited by nsue

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