No, really - what is your EMERGENCY?

This used to be the journal of a nursing student at a prestigious 4 year university that will still remain unnamed. This is now the journal of a Registered Nurse working in an Emergency Department in a major US city. All names have been changed to protect the stupid and the mean. There is no educational value in this journal, sometimes it will be downright mean and catty - this is where I come to vent!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More classes = More complaining

So, we have had 3 of the 13 ICU classes I am being forced to take as part of my orientation. Yes, I said ICU and yes I am working in the ED. The classes are definitely geared toward the ICU and not the ED. Here is the deal - most of the time, by the time a patient makes it to the ICU there is at least an inkling of what is wrong with the patient. This is not so in the ED. The patients come in and unless they have a previous history of their problem or they are bleeding profusely - it is kind of like a game of Clue to figure out the problem. Therefore, our approaches to our patients are different. I am not complaining about taking the course. It is a great review and I needed a review since I had almost 4 months off between finishing school and starting my job. Besides, they pay me the same. But is it too much to ask for them to throw in one slide that says, "oh yeah - this is probably what you might see in the ED patient..."? I don't think so.

While we are on the topic of classes, let me rant about the lack of teaching experience. If you are going to call yourself a nursing educator then take a class or two on how to educate. Reading powerpoint slides is not education - that is patronizing. I can read the slides myself. You are wasting my time and your time if you stand in front of me and provide me with no other information than what is on the slide. You are being paid for your technical expertise and your self proclaimed vast amounts of experience. Share that with me.

I shared all of this with our new Nursing Educator in the ED. It was her first day. She LOVES me already.......

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ok, ok you talked me into it

Ok, ok. You talked me into it. I will continue to post - a little. The title for the blog has changed a little - it is now Pissed Off New Grad Nurses. I'm not as creative as the person who came up with the original name - this was the best I could do. One other change - I will now be blogging with my real first name. I will still not divulge what school I went to, what hospital or what town I am working in, and all my coworkers names will be fake - I've got to keep some anonymity!

So, nursing is no different from many other careers - your education never really ends. However, I was kind of looking forward to getting away from the classroom setting for a while. HA. This is not to be the case. Today, I spent 8 hours in a classroom (the second of two sessions) learning about how to analyze EKG strips. Ok, definitely a useful skill. A need to know. A professional requirement. I'm paid the same for this time as I'm paid on the floor. I have no problem learning it. I have no problem sitting in a classroom with 50 of my fellow new grads while you teach it to me. But DO NOT talk to me like I am a toddler. I am a grown human who graduated from college - I am not a total idiot, you do not have to speak slowly and over enunciate your syllables.

I am all about the pre-test for a lot of these things. Would it be that hard to give us a pre-test and if you pass it, then you just tested out of the period of instruction. I really think it would save us and the educators a lot of time and effort. And that way, they would have much more time for the people who don't understand the stuff and need a little extra instruction. Some of us had this stuff in school and listening to it again in such a patronizing way is like sticking ourselves in the eyeball with the calipers. It is really sad when I would rather be reading my required reading for my Marine Corps Command and Staff course than listen to Heavy D (that is what we nicknamed the instructor owing to her big size) drone on about junctional rhythms again.

So, I am a person who learns best through doing things. Lucky for me, my preceptor understands this and she is of the, "watch one, do one, teach one" philosophy. I like this - I get to do a lot of new things this way. The new grads in the ED are way ahead of our counterparts in the ICUs. They are not allowed to do anything. They are not even allowed to suction their patients, they don't pass meds, they can't even document in the patient chart. They are still being treated like students, complete with clinical conferences where they discuss their clinical experiences for the day. I'm all about supervised practice, having preceptors, I don't want to be thrown to the wolves all on my own too soon. But it is almost as if they have gone back in time to their first semester in nursing school. I get that we don't have very much experience, but the way you get experience is by doing things, not just talking about them.

Ok enough. I have two days off in a row - I've got to get a whole lot of fun in during those 48 hours!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Last Post - probably

Well, I realize it has been several months since my last post. In that time, I took and passed my NCLEX (with the minimum number of questions - take that whomever waitlisted me for nursing school!), moved to a new city and started my job as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department. Yes, I am a new grad in an ED. Yes, I realize this pisses off many experienced nurses who do not feel that there is a place for new grads in the ED. The hospital I am working at has a phenomenal program for new graduates. At no point will I be unleashed on patients without my preceptor, clinical leader, clinical educator, and nurse manager feeling that I am entirely well prepared. I will be taking the same 3 month classroom course as the ICU new grads at my hospital (in conjunction with supervised clinical work) so I will be well prepared to serve my patients. I will spend at least 4 months under an experienced preceptor, with the option to extend that if I (or my boss) thinks I need it.

Do I think that a new grad program in an ED is for everyone? Absolutely not. There were people I interviewed with who would have been a pile of mush after the first day. My management had the foresight to not hire them - go figure. All four of the new grads in my unit have ED experience both prior to and during nursing school, 3 of us are 2nd degree, and the one who is not is very mature. I mean heck - I have spent 11 years in the Marine Corps and been to two war zones - chaos and multi-tasking is not a stranger to me! Ok, soap box done.

I, so far, really enjoy my co-workers. I have not seen a nursing staff yet with the morale of this group of nurses. They actually like each other AND, shocker of all shockers - they like their job!!! I have yet to hear someone complain about the nursing shortage or the patients or how much they wish they had never gone into nursing. And believe me, we are busy enough to invite some complaining. At any given time, we can have up to 38 patients in our ED - not counting those in the waiting room - and oh yeah - those who are "boarding" waiting for rooms upstairs. Plus, we are a teaching hospital with like 900 residents and students milling about. I promise - I haven't forgotten my roots - I'm nice to the students (even the medical students). The nurses I work with actively seek out ways to help each other. They ask each other questions about patient care, they look up meds if they need to, they work with the doctors without that animosity that always seems to develop. Short story - I think I have found the jackpot and what a great place to start working!

So, chances are this will be the last post on this site. Who knows - I might make some more.....