My best friend hated the job the moment she walked intp the door. I had never been in a healthcare setting. Thus, I was completely naïve. My financial state was at “make whatever work as soon as possible.” We had turned in our resume, applied to an open position, got an interview and been offered a job in less than 3 hours’ time. All of this, wearing t-shirts and shorts with flip-flops. We were fresh out of school with zero experience, but we had something very valuable –a registered nurses license.
Two weeks later, we were thrown out on to the floor. We were still figuring out were everything was. We didn’t know what was in the med cart or medications the patients were taking. We were routinely asking the License Vocational Nurses how to supervise. Of course, IV’s were out of their scope of practice and there was no one to ask questions. Should we YouTube it? We were overwhelmed with the weight of at 90 plus patients. Forget about going to the bathroom much less eating lunch in the duration of our 8-hour shift.
We quickly realized that our licenses were at risk. One sentinel event we could potentially loose our job and our licenses. While the facility would quickly find someone to replace us, we may not be able to work again. We needed more support to grow as nurses. Supervising was to big of a step. We wanted to get some experience on the floor before we started trying to be responsible for the work of other health professionals. It was not the right fit and we needed to leave.
I don’t regret my time at my very first job. I learned a lot about working with a multi-disciplinary team. There were amazing nurses that would have taught me all they knew, but neither of us had the time. While there was no chance of having people around me to support me in growth, they would do everything they could to help me out in cases of emergency.
Here are three things I learned about resigning:
Know your contract
Each facility will have a policy on how employees are contracted. It’s usually in the Employee Handbook. Our facility had a contract that anyone could terminate employment at will –employer or employee. While I was open to staying two years at the facility, it wasn’t working for me and I was free to resign. You should probably even know this before for start the job. Of course, we gave a two week notice.
Try to issues resolve first
We knew exactly what we needed –more orientation. This was our first job and as new grads the best thing for us to have was support from a more experienced Registered Nurse. We didn’t know it, but other great training would have been orienting us on the med cart and with wound care. We talk to the administrator about getting more days of orientation. We even suggested putting us on the same shift so someone could have free hands to telephone for help or at the very least compliment the other’s weakness. The answer was no. Time to move to plan B.
Try to find another job discreetly
This may not always be possible depending on the why you feel uncomfortable at the present job but be wise. If you can tough it out until you find another job, do it. And do it discreetly
. To be honest I wasn’t looking for another job; however, a job I had applied to previously started aggressively contacting me for an interview. They even made a special allowance for the fact that I was at work during the hiring event. I asked them if they would consider my best friend and they would. Green lights. None of this we broadcasted. In fact, our coworkers found out about our departure from the administration.
Continue to give 100%
Just because I was looking elsewhere didn’t stop me from giving 100% at my current job. I was still learning to the best of my ability like I would be there another 5 years. On my last day, I was interacting with a patient’s family member. We were trying to solve a situation.
“Trust you,” she said.
I had to be honest with her. I could do everything I could today, but it was my last day.
As overwhelming as the job was, we realized that our facility simply didn’t have the resources to help get where we needed to be as nurses. We didn’t hold it against them and we thanked them profusely for trusting us with their patients and giving the opportunity. I acknowledged that they did their very best to support us. Because they did. They would always come running to the rescue if there was a crisis that they could help with. In return, they didn’t mind being our references for our new job.
Have you had to switch jobs? What made the transition easier?
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