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I'm so stressed about work it's making me ill

(58 Posts)
MsRamone Sun 25-Oct-15 15:15:26

Ive only just qualified as a nurse.
Secured a ward based job back in March.
Started as a care assistant (until pin comes through) just over a month ago.

The ward is horrendous. In the short time I've been there there have been so many incidents of bullying and general awful behavior that me and the other new starter have started keeping diaries.

Incidents include:

Staff nurse ripping into my character to a PATIENT behind a curtain and encouraging the patient to laugh about me.
Same incident involving a different staff nurse happened to the other new starter.

Me and the other new starter are CONSTANTLY sent on second breaks on our own meaning we're always left as the only care assistant on the ward dealing with 27 immobile patients demanding bedpans, Doesn't happen to the oldtime staff

I was told off the other day by a staff nurse for HELPING a colleague and was told to "stick to your own patients, nobody helps me so I don't see why anyone should help her." Said colleague was handing out toast to the whole ward, whilst she did that I whipped around and began filling in food diaries for all patients but no - apparently we don't help each other or do any favors on this ward.

On one shift there were 3 staff nurses on and two care assistants (including myself). At the busiest time of day on the most horrendous shift ever, the nurse in charge thought it would be a good idea for her and another staff nurse plus the other care assistant to all go off for break together leaving just me and a new international nurse (who isn't the most competant of nurses at the best of times) to run the entire ward. Buzzers going off in almost every room, half the ward wanting bedpans, half the ward wanting to be OFF bedpans, two dementia patients, one with a security guard, the other ripping off his surgical dressing and sticking his hands in the wound (blood everywhere!), two phones ringing, staff nurse doesn't know which way to turn, me half way between crying and walking out ... why the fuck did 2 staff nurses need to go off the ward together in this situation?? isn't it common sense to leave at least 2 nurses on the ward???

Another young care assistant is continuously slagged off by the other staff members, nobody talks to her and she's treated like shit. Another staff nurse is openly laughed at during handovers and on one occassion was ripped into in front of other staff nurses, two new starters and a student and REALLY shown up.

I actually feel ill thinking about it. I havnt slept for two weeks. I am not eating.

I actually have secured another job but as my manager is away for two weeks I've not being able to give my notice in yet and that is another stress because for one, she'll go ape shit that I'm leaving already causing her more work and secondly, the rest of the staff will get to find out and life will be even more hellish at work.

I actually feel like going off with stress until my notice is paid.

MsRamone Sun 25-Oct-15 15:17:31

Just to add, the other new starter ends up locked in the toilet crying on almost every shift. Only reason I don't is because I'm not one to cry but I feel her pain just as much.

ilovesooty Sun 25-Oct-15 15:17:56

Find out who you can hand in your notice to in your manager's absence.

c4kedout Sun 25-Oct-15 15:18:06

you still should be able to give notice. not sure what the staffing structure is but either somebody above the manager or the one who covers her.

MsRamone Sun 25-Oct-15 15:19:02

I suppose the AIBU in this is does it sound like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here? I suspect the other staff members will think so.

c4kedout Sun 25-Oct-15 15:20:55

just hand in your notice. any holiday you can take before you leave?

solvendie Sun 25-Oct-15 15:21:50

Didnt want to read and run - go to HR and let them know what you have posted here. This sounds like a ward in crisis and it needs resolving for everyone. Good luck

frikadela01 Sun 25-Oct-15 15:22:45

Hand your notice in now to whoever has taken over managers responsibilities (possibly the band 6 nurses) fuck how mad it will make her and fuck everyone else on the ward... wards like this are very hard to change without a complete overhaul of staff, sounds like the culture is pretty ingrained in them. Yes your last few weeks at work might be worse bit at least you're getting out.

MsRamone Sun 25-Oct-15 15:24:01

I have some annual leave to take which I'm going to try and negotiate with manager. HR are saying I need to give two months notice even though I'm currently working as a care assistant and I'm in my 6 month probation period??? doesn't seem right and I simply cannot work there for two months.

I have no contract to refer to either as I was not new to the trust when I got this job so they just did a change of role form.

frikadela01 Sun 25-Oct-15 15:26:09

And agree with solvendie report all this to HR.... It sounds terrible. Some of the things you mention could be escalated to the NMC too. Horrific behaviour

frikadela01 Sun 25-Oct-15 15:30:02

What does your old contract say about notice? Change of role forms are not a replacement for a new contract. You should have received a new contract appropriate to your new role.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sun 25-Oct-15 15:30:58

As much as i'd like to tell you to take it higher, consult the bullying and discrimination policy, see your union rep etc etc I know damn well its futile. At my local hospital bullying in a certain department was so rife and entrenched even the consultants couldnt hack it and resigned.
In some places in the NHS there is a massive bullying culture, no candour and sweeping such incidents under the carpet is the norm. Its disgusting and wrong but I dont know what can be done other than finding a job elsewhere.
Im lucky ive never worked in such an environment but im well aware its a massive problem and one that doesnt seem to be going away.

c4kedout Sun 25-Oct-15 15:34:52

what PP said. I would just try to get out of there ASAP. you won't change the culture on that ward.

what does your contract say? notice periods during probation are usually shorter.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sun 25-Oct-15 15:35:29

Either stick it out for the next few weeks or go off sick citing the stress of the ward environment.

Squeegle Sun 25-Oct-15 15:39:47

Agree with Pp, unless you have a new contract in writing, your notice period will not have changed.

Simply write a letter of resignation, giving your one month's notice, address it to HR, and deliver it to them.

Then let your new job know when you will start. If there is any problem then they will let you know. If you are being bullied I also agree, go off with stress until you are due to leave.

MsRamone Sun 25-Oct-15 15:43:32

My old contract was signed 2 years ago. That said, my offer letter for this job clearly stated I would be on probation for 6 months

Mistigri Sun 25-Oct-15 15:43:54

YANBU to want out, or to think that this is unsafe and unacceptable.

Some of this stuff sounds like it should be reported, but at the start of a career I'm not sure I'd take the risk :-/

Your manager's manager is perfectly competent to receive your notice. Put it in writing with a copy to HR.

Get some advice re the notice period, but there is no way on this earth they can hold you to a 2 month notice period without a written contract.

MudCity Sun 25-Oct-15 15:51:46

Hand in your notice to whoever is covering for your manager.

This is appalling, bullying behaviour. You need to get out, and, if you can, report it.

Congratulations on finding a new job!

RoseWithoutAThorn Sun 25-Oct-15 15:53:21

Someone has posted nearly the EXACT same thing before on here.....

Viviennemary Sun 25-Oct-15 15:54:22

I'd ask to change wards. This kind of thing goes on far too much. I've heard about new junior doctors being given a hard time by those bullying nurses. I agree about thinking carefully before reporting as you are so new but on the other hand this is why this type of behaviour carries on. They cannot enforce notice if you don't have anything in writing. Let somebody else blow the whistle.

MsRamone Sun 25-Oct-15 15:54:23

Yes it was me rose! Things have escalated somewhat since then

RoseWithoutAThorn Sun 25-Oct-15 15:57:53

Last time I read was you were being advised to hand your notice in. You can hand your notice into HR, you don't need to do it through your Manager.

Wolpertinger Sun 25-Oct-15 15:59:12

Your posting is v familiar - have you posted this before?

Are you in a union? If not - join one! And get some proper advice about how to proceed.

Yes you can hand in your notice when your manager is on holiday. No they can't stop you having your accrued annual leave in your notice period. And your notice period seems really long for an HCA in a probation period.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 25-Oct-15 15:59:21

Probation is a trial for both sides. Email Hr with notice NOW. Just I am leaving on X date .. no more. Ask for an exit interview.

eastwest Sun 25-Oct-15 16:07:40

I'm not a nurse but just had to say this is so awful. I'm so sorry. I do have relatives who've worked in the NHS so have some idea of the stress it can be at the best of times. I hope you can get the heck out of there and that they manage to sort it out for the sake of the patients if nothing else!

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