Should I adress this with my ADON or leave it be?


I am a new grad working as a supervisor in a 60 bed rehab unit at a LTC facility. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to take the cart of a nurse that had quit. I actually did not mind the work at all, but quickly became overwhelmed. Med pass was not completed until VERY late, and I just feel like I was giving the minimal in patient care due to trying to get everything done for my patients as well as continue to perform administrative duties. Of course having had this experience hopefully I will do better the next time I am asked to cover. I just feel anxious that I am somehow compromising patient safety by not voicing my concern regarding lack of training. I was not given any training on the carts because after working in a hospital setting for 4 months they seemed to feel I wouldn't need it. I had also worked for the same company about a year ago over a two month EOW schedule- 8 days total there which was good but still, a year ago! To be honest I thought I would be fine once I got started but quickly discovered I either did not know or remember the majority of the things I needed to.

So I was considering discussing this with the ADON, but was wondering if she might feel I am complaining about being asked to cover the cart- which they told me initially I would need to do on occasion. As I new grad I guess the pressure and responsibility weighs heavy on me. What if something happens to a patient while I am "learning on the job"? My biggest fear is not only something happening to the patient but also the repercussions it would have for me. I have an overactive conscience as it is and having accusations of incompetence or neglect would be very difficult for me to handle.

I am also thinking if I just let this lie and try to stick it out and see if I get more comfortable with the work, it might all "click" eventually?

Appreciate any input you can give me from a DON/ADON perspective. Thank you.


38,332 Posts

I would attempt to get some pointers from the immediate supervisor or coworkers before I addressed this with the ADON. She might just see you pointing out your shortcomings instead of seeking improvement.

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience. 6,089 Posts

First off, new grad and supervisor should never be used in the same sentence.

That being said, years ago I was hired as the nurse manager of a very busy subacute unit. One day they needed someone to pass meds. The facility policy clearly stated that 'no one will be asked to pass meds without having a thorough orientation to the med cart and the med pass.' My 'thorough' orientation lasted less than 2 minutes. I lived and so did the residents.

Honestly if I had to pass meds now I wouldn't be done till sometime next week! It takes time to learn a routine. Speak to the person you feel will most likely help you..not the one who will say you aren't fast enough or smart enough or whatever.


Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU, Psych, Med-surg...etc.... Has 31 years experience. 511 Posts

CCM is right...also, now that you know what it was like (your orientation by fire) take time to write things down as to what you thought you could have done better, or what it was you felt you didn't do etc and figure out what could have been different (if anything) well as familarizing yourself with the medications and policies and procedures regarding working the cart. I am sure next time won't be as awful, though it takes time to be proficient and you cannot expect to be timely your first time, or second, or takes time! If you are not doing it on a regular basis, certainly it will feel somewhat overwhelming, but each time it will be better. You might ask to work the cart occasionally so that you have the experience and feel more comfortable. I remember when I was a Unit Manager and had only been at the facility for a month, I was "on call" and had to work the cart....well, that was a nightmare...but I too lived through it and after that I would make time to go out on the unit and "do a med pass" for the nurses on the various shifts, not only to help myself be familiar, but also to help them have some extra charting time, or whatever. It also helped me learn the residents and really be in touch with what was going on.


Specializes in Geriatrics, WCC. 683 Posts

By all means, ask for some orientation from the powers that be.

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience. 3,734 Posts

You need to get on the cart and work the floor. Ask for a mini orientation and get some experience. Trust me, you will be a better supervisor for this.