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Scared and don't know what to do


Hey, I graduated as an LVN in August. I worked a surgical floor for 3 weeks. I moved towns, and just started working at a healthsouth rehab. Orientation is 3 days, more if you need it. They are seriously pushing me to be off orientation. I just did my second night last night, and if I hadn't done those few weeks on the surgical floor, I would be even more scared. I was sent into a room to start an IV all by myself...no training at all. The only confidence I had was thanks to my time on the surgical floor where I did receive training.

Last night my preceptor and I took 16 pts between us. When the day shift came two nurses had to take 21 each1 and the third nurse took 16. We are still expected to check on them q hr, chart, give meds, treatments etc. at night as well as update the MARS. It's basically impossible to do any of this the right way with so many pts. Thankfully my preceptor is a buffer right now, but soon she wont be.

I applied for a med/surg position at another hospital at the same as this one. I know they are still hiring. It's just a bit more of a drive. My wife is a nurse and tells me to quit, seeing as I'll probably have to quit anyway when I refuse to take 20 pts and everyone turns on leaving me noone to go to for the much needed help I'm sure to need. I plan to get my RN asap too, so the hours at HS and its close by location seemed perfect. 3x12 hr nights. But I don't want to endanger any pts or risk my license. I discovered one pt last night with huge eschar covered wounds to his heels wrapped up in op=sites and kerlix. I know why...because no-one has the time to check them out, and they have been out of duoderms. It's scary.

I don't know what to do. The other hospital scared me a bit too on my interview walk round....just that I would be floating a lot taking 6-7 pts etc. that doesn't seem so bad now, especially as I'd be getting invaluable med/surg experience. Also, I know they have at least one week's classroom nurse orientation plus time with a preceptor.

My other option is to just quit and look around more for somewhere with a decent orientation.

I'm lost any advice?

Sure the rehab pts are less acute and usually we have one tech for up to 20 pts, but at times we are gonna be expected to do all our own labs etc. I just can't see myself keeping up. The day shift nurses do the Q day physical assesment, but we still have to chart and of course do an initial quick assesment....well I do just to cover my ass and check on everyone, but I just don;t have time for a proper head-to-toe. Should I just ride this out? Seems every nurse I know started in similar circumstances.


Specializes in Med-surg,. Has 18 years experience.

I would look around and apply for as many positions as possible, in your interviews ask how long orientation is, how long with a preceptor, is there training/asst with procedures you have not had experience with, what are their pt. to staff ratios and responsibilities; this is not a good position for a new nurse. Sometimes you may have to drive a little further to find what you want...this job is not acceptable and you have every right to be scared...not to mention the patients!:o

hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

I am assuming you are working in a LTC? im not sure what a healthsouth facilit is but most LTC's give at least 5 days orientation(that /i've worked for).

I am assuming you are working in a LTC? im not sure what a healthsouth facilit is but most LTC's give at least 5 days orientation(that /i've worked for).

It's a rehab hospital, and the patients can be pretty demanding care-wise. For example, they give blood and other IVF's there. Patients have all kinds of wounds and dressings changes, and you are expected to chart for each patient through out the shift, do rounds q hour.

I actually quit today. It would have been my third day with a preceptor, so I wasn't letting anyone down (but I stll blew my chance of rehire due to the fact that I didn't complete the mandatory 4 weeks notice??). I'm going to apply at a hospital really close by for a med/surg position tomorrow. I applied a few weeks back online (even though I walked in with my resume, this is how they take applications), and the position is still open. I called up the floor and asked for the nurse directors name, and I'm gonna go walk in to see if she'll talk with me tomorrow. The charge nurse I spoke to told me it couldn't hurt. I'm also going to go back to the hospital that offered me the med/surg job a few weeks ago. This hospital told me to come back if didn't work out.

I think I need to do med/surg. I am still just an LVN, but in 6-12 months time I'd rather be a well rounded nurse with endless possibilities than a rehab nurse with limited possibilities. Tough day

thanks for the replies!

everthesame, LPN, LVN

Has 12 years experience.

Three days orientation. Wow that's a long time. Are you sure you needed all that time?:icon_roll

Just kidding. I don't think I could orient to any nursing position in a new facility in just three days. It sounds like you did the right thing by leaving. How are you supposed to chart on 16-20 patients hourly? That gives you 3 minutes and 45 seconds per hour to care for and chart on each of your 16 patients.

Good luck with your job search. There really are facilities out there that do allow for a decent orientation period for new nurses.

It would probably take me three days just to locate the bathroom I would never be able to have time to use. Good luck in your future efforts. Hope you get something that is positive for you.

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