re-thinking my choice

Specialties Operating Room


this is more of a rant than anything, but input is greatly appreciated. today i got to work at my usual time (40 min early) and go about my day. i am in training for the 3p-11p shift, and do not have my license yet, so i must have a preceptor. im going about my day and notice that all the other nurses are not looking at me in the eyes, generally acting strange around me. about half way through my shift one of my good friends pulls me aside and tells me we need to talk. she goes on to tell me that she and all other RN's i work with have been told that i should not be left alone with drugs, that they should watch me constantly, and that i may be a danger to my patients....

first, this has completely broken my spirit. second, i am reconsidering my choice in the OR. third, i am beginning to reconsider my choice in nursing.

a little background as to why this hit me so hard.

i take great, great, great pride in who i am, who God has molded me to be. i strive every day to make my patient's and co-workers days go by just a little bit easier. for someone to hear that i have to take adderall daily, turn that around 180 deg, label me as a drug seeker, and spread the word was like stripping my self worth from me. i would NEVER even think about stealing drugs. i would NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER think of myself as a danger to patients. i have run out of meds a while back due to pharmacy error this month, and my doc wont fill another RX, so i have been a little scatter brained, but not to the extent of putting someone in danger. i may think a little differently than the average bear, but that by no means means i am a danger. i will not even start on the drug seeking thing. that just straight up ****** me off. i want to find out who started the rumors, and clear them up ( in a civil manner of course), but i fear that i would have to confront every nurse (including the head cheeses of the department) and several techs. so now i am basically forced to do what i was taught not to do when rumors are started, which is keep my mouth shut, and go with the flow. if i warranted this treatment, then of course i would play it safe, but when my credibility as a person is attacked when i did nothing wrong, i need to clear it up. i am half expecting to be drug tested in the next week. if that happens, i will pee in the cup, then leave. everyone i have ever known would not ever imagine me being a drug head. it feels like it's me against the OR right now, when all i ever tried to do was help.

or, maybe my ADD is affecting me more than i realize. i might just be too "out there" for the OR. i dunno anymore...

Specializes in OR.

If the ADD thing is the only reason the other nurses are questioning your integrity, then I agree they have a ****** attitude and this should not be ignored. Are you good at deflecting pressure with humor? Have you ever explained the difference between you with adderall and you without adderall? Do any of them have relatives or children with ADD? Maybe if you can connect with them using one of these methods, then they will get some insight into reality rather than paranoia....good luck. P.S. Don't give up on the OR- it's worth it.

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

I think you should slow your roll a little and take a breath. First of all, if you are working without a license yet then it is perfectly reasonable that you should be watched closely, and should not be handling meds. That is not so much about you as it is the policy where you work. Nobody without a license should be handling meds. I get that you are suggesting that this is something more personal, and that there may be implications about drug-seeking, but make sure that you are not blowing something up before you let this thing cause the kind of self-doubt that you are describing. Also, if you are a new grad, and new to the OR then of course you are probably not safe to be around patients unattended. That's why the OR has such a very long preceptorship program (usually around 4 - 6 months). There are many, many, many ways you can harm a patient in the OR. It is the responsibility of everyone in the OR to watch you carefully and make sure you don't inadvertently do something dangerous. You really need to take a step back if you can and try to get some perspective. I'm really not trying to dismiss your obvious distress at this situation, but what you are describing is a situation that could happen on any floor in any hospital. If you let this turn you off being an OR nurse then you may be extremely upset when you find yourself in a similar situation in a different department. You will just have to learn to stick at it and provel to those people around you that you are worthy of being trusted. That's something you are going to face wherever you go as a new grad. I really wouldn't blow this opportunity too quickly by charging in with a hot head and confronting people who might have been talking about you. Stay calm, let the dust settle, and keep doing your best every day. It may turn out that this is indeed a hostile and poisonous enviroment that you will need to get out of, but try to put yourself in the position of devil's advocate and look at all the angles on this before you do anything rash. Good luck!

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

I get what you are saying, but I have to send out a word of caution to you: first of all, it is very difficult to work in the OR. You probably have already guessed this. The OR is a very tight knit group of people and it takes a while for the staff to accept a new person. I don't know why this is, I don't want to surmise as to why this is, but it IS. I had a very difficult time when I first started in the OR, but determination and a positive attitude kept me there despite the negative comments and the doubt that other staff cast on me.

Secondly, I would definitely not mention to ANYONE other than your direct manager what sort of meds you are taking and why. It is nobody's business but yours. It is easy for someone to take a comment that you make, e.g. "I am just so scattered today because my Adderall prescription ran out and I am just not myself." Do you see how that can be taken out of context? You don't owe anyone there any sort of explanation. You are new, you are learning, and ALL of us were scattered when we first started.

Go back to work with a new and confident attitude. Don't worry yourself with what they are thinking. You say that your main focus is to make your patient's and your co-worker's day go by easier. THEN FOCUS ON THAT. You went to school for this reason, you sacrificed a great deal to get to where you are now.

Do NOT feel that you must justify yourself to these people. Do not confront them-you are just adding fuel to the fire. It is none of their business, so don't invite them into your business. It will reflect poorly on you.

When you go to work, be prepared. Make sure that you have taken care of your personal needs before you get there (eat breakfast, take some extra time in the morning to gather your thoughts, meditate/pray if you want to). When you feel satiated at the start of your day, you will be armed with confidence, and you will be able to focus more clearly on the tasks at hand.

Remember that it is THEIR problem, not yours. Don't own it. As the PP suggested, I would also hate for you to miss out on such a wonderful opportunity such as OR nursing because of a stupid rumor. Your focus now is to be the nurse that you studied so hard and for so long to be. Don't let that escape you.

Lesson learned keep your private life out of the OR any tidbit and they will all pounce. Stay private and keep them guessing.

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