screwed up at work... feeling crappy...

Nurses General Nursing


this is such a silly little thing to get upset about... and maybe it's because i'm feeling sick myself (just getting over a sinus infection)... but do you ever have days when you wish you just stayed in bed?

i'm a new RN who's been working on an Ortho floor for 2 months now... i hate it... i hate how heavy the workload is... i hate the getting people up and out of bed... i'm pretty much hating nursing right now...

i had my first big screw up today... i discharged a patient, my first discharge actually, and i overlooked a few things... i've never been shown how to do a discharge and it was so busy today that no one had time to help me... basically, a pt. was transferred to a nursing home without a follow-up instructions sheet and i did not notify his family that he was being transferred... the family showed up on the unit after my shift (i only found this out when i was calling in sick) and reemed out the charge nurse... there's definitely going to be a report to the unit manager about this... the charge nurse was actually really nice about it when she told me, but i just feel so stupid...

besides the fact that i was already hating going to work on this unit, i now feel like i should just quit... there HAS to be a better fit for me than this unit... i only took the job because i was moving and just needed any job i could get...

i just never thought that, after 2 months of nursing, i'd feel like nursing wasn't for me...

beth :p


25 Posts

that is the one thing im terrified of. i know when i graduate i will be desperate for any place that will hire me. im already "in" with the department i work for, but there usually arent too many openings in our ER for nurses. they do hire new grads which is awesome, but who knows when they will have an opening. i just will die if i have to be stuck on a floor, esp. ortho at that.


265 Posts

An ortho unit is especially hard - physically. Thats why they have trouble staffing those units. There are soooo many areas of nursing - you dont have to stick with one that you hate. Look around. I could only do it for 8 months.!!

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I hope you're feeling physically well soon.

Try to forgive yourself about the rest. We live and we learn in this world. Kudos to the charge nurse for being decent about it.

Best wishes.


775 Posts


I'm so sorry you had such a rotten day. Try to remember that you can't really be expected to do something perfectly when you weren't even shown how. I've screwed up, forgetting paperwork at a discharge after years of nursing :chuckle

Sounds like the charge nurse was understanding. We all make mistakes - and its not the end of the world.

There are lots of other areas of nursing out there.

Farkinott, RN

581 Posts

Specializes in Renal, Haemo and Peritoneal.

Sounds like the system let you down! How can you expect to do something like a discharge perfectly if you haven't been shown! Lighten up on yourself! The charge seems cool about it maybe he/she can see the bigger picture and realises it is not entirely your fault. A fantastic line of defence at your disposal is "I have had inadequate training". Sums it up really.

Good luck, life will get better.

Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Don't beat yourself up too much over this. It sounds like this unit didn't give you the best orientation, so they are the ones to blame, not you. Like the above poster said, how are you supposed to be able to do something right the first time if no one ever taught you how to do it in the first place??? If you really hate this job, try and transfer to another floor or unit once you hit your six month mark and hopefully you'll find a better fit. Good luck!


2,836 Posts

:o Sorry to hear about your problems. I have been an LPN for 30 years and guess what? "I'm not perfect and never will be." I continue to make mistakes and it's OK. I do the best I can and that's all I can do." So don't be so hard on yourself. We all forget things sometimes. :chuckle


705 Posts

Specializes in Case Mgmt; Mat/Child, Critical Care.

I hope you're feeling better, physically and emotionally. Don't beat yourself up, you're still learning, you didn't get proper orientation, and no one helped you! The mistakes you made were minor, these things happen...unfortunate, yes, but everyone will be OK.

Now you know for the future, what things not to overlook.

Feel better, put it out of your mind after telling yourself: "I did the best I could that day". That's all anyone can ask of you!


1,037 Posts

Don't beat yourself up... I have forgotten things on discharges at times...

I also work on an Ortho floor.. I have been on it for 2yrs, 6 months of that as a RN... I knew what I was getting into when I said I would stay.. But more and more everyday I am hating my job... It is a horribly physically demanding floor. And when they don't staff it well enough then that just makes your days that much harder... I have already hurt my back, and not b/c I didn't use proper body mechanics, but b/c a pt passed out in the middle of a transfer and instinct was to grab the lil 85yr old lady. Everyday I am looking for another floor that has a position.

Its funny, but noone likes coming to work on our floor.. People almost refuse... We always laugh and tell them its b/c you actually are having to work... B/C some of the units they come from are busy, but nowhere as constant as this floor...

Good Luck...

PM me if you wish :)

Specializes in Emergency Room.

when i did my nurse externship prior to graduating, ortho was one of my rotations. i almost did not become a nurse because of that unit. it was my worst rotation. it is entirely too physical and they never have enough help. i work ed now and am much happier. don't quit nursing, change specialties now if possible. as a new nurse, it takes time to get used to the nursing environment so don't be too hard on yourself, but don't abuse yourself either. give it some time and talk to a mentor or someone you trust to encourage you. you don't want to become bitter before you have given the profession a chance. you'll be fine :p

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

Don't sweat it too much. Actually, I'm surprised a SW or discharge planner hadn't notified the family much prior to the actual day of discharge. If the ball was dropped, you certainly weren't the only one.

And I think we've all forgotten to send that all-important envelope o' stuff with a patient. Again, it's happened enough that our routine practice is to pre-fax the admission orders, etc., to the ECF prior to discharge.

Think of this as a great opportunity for your unit to shore up some policies to communicate better with families and facilities.

And if ortho drives you nuts (and I KNOW it would me) check out something else. :) Nursing is a great adventure - don't feel stuck in a unit you dislike!

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