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All alone?

Hi! I am a brand new RN with all of 6 months experience in a rural hospital. We deliver babies, have a fast paced 10 bed ER, long term care and sub acute ward as well as a medical floor. I was hired into a float position, meaning work between the units as required. It sounded like a dream job- lots of experience to be gained and lots of new skills to be learned. In all actuality it has the potential to be a very good position, as long as it is utilized appropriately. I say this not because I have a bad case of "graditis" or because I have a bad attitude, but because of what I have experienced in six short months. I was "floated" into a charge position (with zero orientation after a sick call for days) and did the best job I could and tried to keep my chin up. I worked a 16 hour night because one staff member didn't show. I have been told I am over confident (because I refused to ask questions I knew the answer to in an effort to make the senior staff feel "needed"; I am sorry but that's just an insult to their intelligence and mine), inexperienced (very very true; and when asked for the training was denied). Everyone loves to tell the new girls (of which I am one) exactly what they have done wrong, and if it an be in front of another staff member; so much the better. Morale seems to be inredibly low, and I go to work every shift feeling like I want to hurl d/t staff tensions and staffing assignments (ie in charge with zero orientation to the position). I have tried to discuss it with the team leader but am legitimately blown off (after thoroughly and calmly explaining my reasoning, she completely disregarded me, acting as though I hadn't just spent twenty minutes talking). All in all, I am feeling incredibly disheartened, and very frustrated. I think this job has a lot of potential, as do I. I'm just curious when you start to feel as though you have some idea of what's going on, if dealing with difficult people gets any better, and any tips that may help a brand new grad! Thanks do much

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3 Responses to “All alone?”

  1. Jason R. Thrift, RN, MS Says:

    You’re not alone, Rosey. These are similar experiences I’ve heard in many organizations, not just rural areas like you’re occupying. It happens in mine as well.

    The best advice I can offer is probably one you’ve already considered: muddle through it all, or consider other options.

    After spending 6 months on the unit I was on, I was ready to leave myself. It’s a frighteningly difficult profession at times, that seems to be made that way more times than not for various reasons. What’s that saying, “The world is what you make of it.” Well, nurses make it what they want, that’s for sure. And it’s not always conducive to everyone, unfortunately.

    But, the one thing you have control over is yourself. It sounds like you’re trying your best at that, but is there anything else you could try? That’s what I tried to focus on, what could I do differently to possibly help the situation. Look inward and see what you can do to help yourself and help others.

    But, the one thing you do have is some experience now. If there is another hospital nearby you could consider, look into it. Consider all possibilities. It might even be good, instead of floating to units, to be assigned to a specific department as I was during my first year. That way you have repetition with similar patients and staff every day you work. That truly does help I believe. It grounds you and let’s you build up your skills.

    Feel free to ask anything that you like, always willing to help.

  2. Rosey Says:

    Thanks so much! Its a relief to hear that I am not the only one who has experienced this 🙂

  3. Tina Says:

    No…not alone at all. I’m a new grad. Just hit the 1 yr. mark. I work in the ICU, and get floated to the CCU constantly – which started on my 3rd day off orientation. Awesome. 🙁 Large hospital in a rural area, so we see everything that comes through the door. I never know if I’m gonna care for an open heart patient, an MI or a subdural hematoma, or a bariatric surgery gone severely septic. Its a bit overwhelming. And even though I have the basics down now, I still am constantly down on myself for not being perfect.

    It feels like experienced staff are far from supportive, and I feel really taken advantage of, when it comes to things like breaks, and getting out at a reasonable hour. I really hope it gets better. At least its comforting to know I’m not the only one feeling so frustrated. I really hope experience helps me feel happier in this job, but I’m worried the real issue is the way our hospital is run. Morale is low on our unit, and there is a high staff turn-over rate. I’ve always been one of those people who loves my job, no matter what, and I do well. But this is just not what I expected. I never expected to be a door mat. Ugh. Oh, I hope it improves.

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