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The Hardest Job I've Ever Had

First Year   (2,438 Views 10 Comments)
by TopazLPN TopazLPN, LPN (Member)

TopazLPN is a LPN and specializes in LTC.

1,713 Profile Views; 19 Posts

I am a new nurse. I've been working in a LTC/SNF for 6 months, part-time on the weekends while I take classes towards my RN during the week. I thought working as an LPN would be a great way to break into health care because I've never worked in any nursing position. I looked at it as a transition before I would have to "really work hard" as an RN in the hospital setting. I was so naive. I had no idea how hard I would have to work as an LPN. I am overwhelmed by the workload and constantly run behind, but my co-workers tell me I work the easiest hall (20-24 residents with only 3-5 Medicare). I am not a person who is afraid of hard work.. I have had many jobs that required hard work, physically and mentally, but being an LPN does not compare.

I operate on a level of high-strung anxiety unknown to me in any other job I've ever had. Will I get the med pass done on time? Have I assessed all my patients on charting? Has there been a change in condition in any of my flock? What do I need to tell the Dr. about this situation? Have I received/reported the lab results? Does everyone have a clean brief and have baza on their coccyx? How do I fill out this paper work??? It is the strangest feeling to be responsible for a situation when I don't have any experience with it - but I learn as I go. My saving grace is having a routine that I know fairly well (because most of my residents are LTC). I can survive on-time if I work on my normal hall, but if I float to another hall or another shift I have to start from scratch again and the madness re-ignites....

I have a good heart and I want to be a good nurse, but I know that I'm not. I didn't expect to be Super Nurse on Day 1 of working, I just can't believe the level of insecurity that I feel. I have become more comfortable compared to the first few weeks/months of being an LPN - I now know what to do if someone falls, I know how to take a telephone order from the Dr, I can chart better - but I am still very unhappy with this job. I question whether or not I'll continue my career as a nurse! BUT I have almost 3 years of education invested in nursing!! Can I walk away from all that hard work?? It really frustrates me that I was so blind to what this job is all about - nursing school was a very poor preparation. I learned so much about disease and appropriate interventions, and they harped the mantra of quality care.. but I question how well my education applies to reality. What I really need to know is how to manage my time and get the work done. I know its possible - I watch registry nurses come into the facility all the time and breeze thru their work. If they can do it, when they have no prior knowledge of their residents, then I know it can be done! I am determined to stay at my current job for at least a year. I am stressed and it does affect my personal life in a negative way ... I have cried so many times ... but everyone says that the first year is the hardest, so I can't quit now. Even tho I think about quitting! :)

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419 Posts; 5,926 Profile Views

You sound like a wonderful, caring, compassionate, intelligent, educated person.

And you are learning as you go.

Those things are more than you can ask for. Wouldnt you like to have a nurse like you?

You can't change the world but you can make it a better place for today, right?

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TigerGalLE is a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Med/Surg.

712 Posts; 11,896 Profile Views

I could not imagine having that many patients. No wonder you are stressed. I work in the hospital and have 5-7. I know my patients are sicker but I would flip if I was responsible for that kind of pt load. I think you are probably doing great. You just need some confidence. Which I've heard you don't feel confident for a year. So stick with it and try to leave work at work. I don't do it either so maybe I should practice what I preach. But I'm trying to be supportive. You CAN do this! And just think about how much you are learning!!!!

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pagandeva2000 is a LPN and specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

7,984 Posts; 25,770 Profile Views

I feel the same way you do. I received my LPN license last June. I do admit that you have more responsibility than I do...I work in a clinic, but there are so many things I just don't really know, but somehow, I get through the day. The deal to me is that nursing school poorly prepares you for real life. They never mention how many patients you will be responsible for, communication barriers that some patients have, that everyone will be in your face at one time, the pettiness of other nurses and so on. Only life will give us that. But, for what it is worth, you are doing better than I am, so, be proud! :0)

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luv4nursing has 5 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Peds, LDRP.

546 Posts; 6,623 Profile Views

Please do yourself a favor for your own sanity and get a job in home health. You will love the pace and low stress level compared to LTC. It makes going to school a lot easier too. Ive been an LPN for 1.5 yrs and I work in peds home health. Im currently transitioning to my RN and graduate in December. If I didnt have my current job, I dont think I could have made it through this program working full time. Its been a great decision for me. Look into it, you wont regret it. U will even have time to do your homework while at work during downtime. Good luck!

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pagandeva2000 is a LPN and specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

7,984 Posts; 25,770 Profile Views

I can agree with luv4nursing...while you are pursuing your RN, get a quieter position. Home care usually is and at this point, you already see how aggreviating it is to be a nurse of any kind. If you can make your work atmosphere as stress free as possible while you are pursuing your RN, you'd be better off. You don't want to risk the license you already have and, most people do, unfortunately have to work while attending school. Best of luck!

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10 Posts; 718 Profile Views

i totally understand what you're going through. i used to work LTC/SNF as an LVN but had to quit. it was just hard. I had 34 residents and worked 3-11p. the medication aide worked 7-4p, so wasn't of much help to me. i was frustrated, given it was my first job as a nurse. i hated it! Since it was my first nurse job, i did everything on point but the stress was too much. most admissions and discharges were done on my shift by myself. one day, i had 3 admissions and i clocked out at 12.00am. The assist. DON told me the next day i shouldn't clock out late. i explained to her how busy i was, and she told me i should have left it and finished it the next day! what?!!!! nope, i couldn't put my license on the line like that. i quit. the other nurses seem to go with the flow but i refused. patients would get admitted and not get their meds till like 36 hours later! the night nurse would not complete it because she didn't admit her ( don't blame her!). i had to quit. if you're miserable, you should find something else, because there's another world of nursing out here. i did agency nursing while i completed my degree. i worked only when i wanted to. there are options out there.

i'm now an Rn-BSN and work in neuro ICU, eventhough it's kinda stressful, i love it!

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I just graduated 8 months ago. I work in a rehab facility and was hired entry level. they gave me 1 week orientation and sent me on the floor! with 8 or 9 or 13 patients!!! what a rude awakening. After a month of asking why they did that they decided to re orientate me. I have been yelled at, humiliated, laughed at, and treated like a child in front of my peers. what kind of fool am I? Now after 3 months I,m still not fast enough and ask too many questions so they don"t know what to do with me. I am so depressed and stressed out ready for the luney bin. I need another job. I never have a schedule I work from week to week can someone tell me any rules? I don't even know if i want to be a nurse anymore Help!!

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10 Posts; 718 Profile Views

I just graduated 8 months ago. I work in a rehab facility and was hired entry level. they gave me 1 week orientation and sent me on the floor! with 8 or 9 or 13 patients!!! what a rude awakening. After a month of asking why they did that they decided to re orientate me. I have been yelled at, humiliated, laughed at, and treated like a child in front of my peers. what kind of fool am I? Now after 3 months I,m still not fast enough and ask too many questions so they don"t know what to do with me. I am so depressed and stressed out ready for the luney bin. I need another job. I never have a schedule I work from week to week can someone tell me any rules? I don't even know if i want to be a nurse anymore Help!!

sorry to read what you're going through. It must be hard. You can try doing an internship offered at most hospitals. thatz what i did eventhough it was an ICU positon. at the time, they also had internships in med surg, L&D, OR, ER etc. don't give up on nursing just yet. try other employers. when you interview, ask them how long their orientation last. will you have a preceptor/mentor? girl, you have options! don't limit yourself. do some research, find nursing recruiters in your state/city and tell them what you want. they are all looking to make a commission and will eagerly work with you to find the type of job you're looking for. good luck. Just remember why you got into nursing and let that keep you going.

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