Speaking Up For Yourself in the Workplace


I was taught in my last semester of nursing school that new nurse grads need to learn to speak up for themselves in their place of employment if they are feeling overwhelmed and overburdened by their assignments . . . yeah, right! Where I work, if you speak up, you are not a "team player" and not "taking your share of the workload" in other words, they expect you to be a doormat and just take it. I am expected to take the same number of complex patients as the other nurses on my unit that have been doing this for over 20 years - I have been a nurse for 3 months! I'm not trying to use my lack of experience as a crutch for not wanting to do the work - it's just that I'll spend half my night looking for someone to help me do something I have never done before and then that person gets behind, because they have their own patients to take care of. A few of the nurses are very nice and helpful, but some are just downright nasty and refuse to offer assistance of any kind. "well that's the way you're going to learn" is the attitude. Yup, I guess if I end up killing someone, well that will teach me not to make that mistake again! My orientation basically sucked - 2 weeks - that's it!!! and that consisted of 6 12-hours shifts - one of which my preceptor called in sick!



61 Posts

I can not even begin to contemplate how you are surviving with only 2 weeks orientation. What type of floor do you work on? Whats the patient load? I just started my orientation 2 days ago and Im wondering if ill be ready in 6 weeks.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 31,911 Posts

Sorry to hear that it's not going well. It's the same where I work except the new grads get 3 months of orientation. Unfortunately when they are off orientation they are given similar assignments to the rest of us. Hopefully us old battleaxes are more helpful than where you work.

Good luck.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management. 7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Amblessing, that's terrible treatment! I hope you'll consider changing jobs!



209 Posts

are you a mother/baby nurse? i am a new grad on a mother/baby floor and got 4 weeks of orientation. i would have gotten 6, but since i did 3 weeks on the same floor before graduating, they felt 4 would be fine, since i know where everything is, charting basics, etc.

i can't imagine 2 weeks of orientation. basically i have had 6 now (including the 3 in school) and i am just feeling that i can do it on my own after my last week of orientation. that they care that little about the safety of their patients or happiness of their employees sucks. i might consider going elsewhere if you can't get some more orientation. it is your license on the line, not theirs.

sorry you are having such a bad experience. i always feel bad when i hear stories like this. i have had an awesome experience so far and wish everyone else could as well.

good luck getting more time for orienting!



148 Posts

Well, things are getting better. I think the problem is that we have so many people acting as charge nurses in our unit that some of them don't realize that I am so new and I get really complicated people. I just have to learn that every day is going to be different - some will be good and some will be bad.

The best part is that when a patient's husband, boyfriend, mother, or whoever thanks you and hugs you at the end of the shift for being so nice and taking good care of their family member Amazing how something so simple as "thank you" makes it all worthwhile! :) :) :)


happystudent, RN

552 Posts

I hope things work out!! Dont ever be afraid to ask questions...If you are not getting what you need to function as a part of the team....run (not walk) to you NM office and tell him/her you need help! Dont risk your pts and your license..okay?

good thoughts goin your way!



195 Posts

Wow! Only 2 weeks orientation, thats insane. I work in a busy LDR and I got 12 weeks orientation and was just beginning to feel like I could handle the patient load on my own by the end of that period. I would really suggest that you ask for additional time if you need it. They must realize that one day you will be a great asset to the facility but first you must be trained to do things properly. Oh .. and I have a question, by mother/baby do you mean like L&D or more like PP or both?

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