Very Unhappy With My Career

  1. I've been a nurse anesthetist for 12 years and I absolutely HATE my career choice. I dread going to work each day. I'm tired of the arrogant surgeons, condescending and controlling anesthesiologist and the constant rushing in the OR at the expense of patient safety. I've seriously considered changing careers all together however I'm making more money than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. I'm not sure if I'm on the correct website to discuss this but I just can't get anyone to listen to my frustrations. Most people think I'm crazy to be so unhappy in such a "pretigious" and "lucrative" career. I absolutely love taking care of my patients but I just feel that everyone else is working against me in this process. Income aside, I'm absolutely miserable and not sure what to do. Does anyone else out there feel the same way? Is any other CRNA out there as dissatisfied as I am with there career? Please let me know. Thanks for your time.
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  2. 49 Comments

  3. by   CathyRN06
    I've been a nurse for 13 years and I understand how you feel. I've worked in ER and ICU and have felt similiarly. I considered getting out of nursing entirely but instead, I'm trying a different specialty.

    Unfortunately you are working in one of the most difficult units. Surgeons are known for their "God" attitudes. I feel for you but unfortunately, I don't have any answers.

    Take care of yourself, try to find something outside of nursing that you could look forward to. Best advice I could give at the moment.
  4. by   Nupe4sleep
    Cathy:

    Thanks so much for your kind words. At least I know there are other nurses out there that are also unhappy with their careers. I'm a divored father of two and I focus all of my time away from work on my children. They are also the reason I've continued my career as a nurse anesthetist. Thanks again for your thoughts.
    Last edit by Nupe4sleep on Oct 7, '06
  5. by   ChocoholicRN
    I don't really know much about the CRNA programs and the qualifications and training, so i'm trying to help you based on general experience. Have you thought about maybe switching to another hospital? Granted, anywhere you go you'll find those doctor's that put themselves on the highest pedestal, but at least this would give you a chance to see what else is out there before giving up. Or what about a private office? Depending on your location, there are doctors who perform out-patient surgeries and most likely need anesthesiologists. They may also pay more since its a private practice and not a hospital. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!!
  6. by   ethelbsnrn
    Finally!

    I have been lurking around trying to find a CRNA who is unhappy with his career. I don't believe that all CRNA's out there are satisfied with their career choice. There must be someone..and now here you are.

    I, myself has doubts of entering this field. What if at the end of the program I will find myself UNHAPPY. How about the student loans?

    I am eager to see what others (those who are in the field for 10-20 yrs) will say.
  7. by   jwk
    Quote from Nupe4sleep
    Cathy:

    Thanks so much for your kind words. At least I know there are other nurses out there that are also unhappy with their careers. I'm a divored father of two and I focus all of my time away from work on my children. They are also the reason I've continued my career as a nurse anesthetist. Thanks again for your thoughts.
    Are you married to your current employer? If not, CHANGE! There are 1000's of anesthesia jobs out there - far too many to remain in a crappy position for any length of time.
  8. by   piper77
    Hi Nupe:
    First, let me say "i understand!" and can empathize with you...it is absolutely MISERABLE to feel stuck in a job that you hate, and feel as though you are stuck in and cannot leave. It sucks!

    A little about me so you know where I am coming from: dad of 3, RN for 25 years, SRNA for 2...so while I have not been practicing anesthesia long...I have a little insight into what you are talking about.

    I too wondered if this was the direction I wanted to go in, and the negative aspects you mentioned were precisely the ones that gave me pause.

    However, I actually think the advice you have received already - even from the non-anesthesia providers, is pretty good. Just like there are many ways to put or keep someone asleep..there are many cultures in healthcare organizations. Sounds like you may be involved in one that is rough to work with. In my 25 years in nursing, I spent much time researching organizational behavior and personal job satisfaction (weird work for a nurse, ain't it?).. You seem to be at a crossroads where a decision soon has to be made, one that is intensely personal. As with all personal decisions like this, it sometimes helps to get non-biased help in sorting though your feelings and options; I myself have used a career counselor (and paid quite a bit for it, too!) that was very, helpful. It was worth the time and effort to find someone that was a true counselor, and not a kid with a degree in HR who wanted to give me pat answers....I found somebody with a clinical degree and experience who helped me work through some of the issues facing me...for instance in your case - is it the work environment that you dislike, or the work? Do you enjoy being a clinician, constantly upgrading your skills in a demanding profession? Do you like your patients to be more awake than most of yours are . Or, is it merely the environment...the pressure to turn over cases...the arrogance of surgeons (and attending MDA's)..or even nursing staff? Is YOUR personality suited for this work environment? You know that, as people have already said, there is much latitude in the culture of OR environments. You will likely find others that are much "friendlier" to CRNA's. But it's probably wise to acknowledge that this era's economics will always put pressure on turnover times, and arrogance, stupidity and downright meanness have existed in every profession in every institution and organization I have ever worked in...and trust me, that is quite a few. So, my opinion...just my opinion....is that this is a GREAT time for you...a time for some deep soul searching (and some hard work)...so that you might sort out what is best for you and your family. You have invested much in your profession; why not invest a little more to find someone who can guide (not direct) you through this process to enable you to find a job that takes with you the career investments you have made and leaves behind that which makes you crazy. Figure out whats important to you. And ..Godspeed and Good Luck on the journey!!
    All my best - piper
  9. by   Intubator
    dear very unhappy,
    I have been a crna for 7 yrs., I am fortunate that i love what i do. part of my happiness, i believe, is because i am creative with my work schedule. i work 2 10 hr shifts a week for my benefits in a trauma center, the other days of the week i work in a small community hospital with a pretty laid back attitude. we are fortunate to practice during this time of extreme demand for crnas, this i believe gives us an incredible amount of flexibility. be creative!!! there are many opportunities for crna solo practice. try something or someplace new. if the clinical practice itself is the reason for your unhappiness, maybe you need to step back from your present situation and make a change. maybe you could explore a career change and look into sales or crna education. good luck
  10. by   santhony44
    I'm not a CRNA either, but I think you've had some good advice.

    If you're in or near a rural area, consider working for smaller community hospitals. I've known a couple of CRNA's who did this- worked 1-2 days a week at small hospitals. You wouldn't be dealing with the same people day in and day out and would get some variety.

    Or, as someone suggested, maybe a diagnostic center- I've seen CRNA's do anesthesia for EGDs, colonoscopies, etc.

    Good luck to you!
  11. by   cheat25
    I am glad to hear your post, but sorry that you are hating your job so much right now. I have a few suggestions. You could follow the advice of the others on this website and look for other jobs at smaller hospitals. You could possibly get a job at a larger hospital that has a pain service, or you could teach. Sometimes, changing your role entirely from care provider to educator can really bring back the feelings that got you in thi profession in the first place. I do not know about the requirements to teach at a master's level. It may be a pay cut. Good luck!- cheat25
  12. by   mvanz9999
    An excellent post to show it's not always the money. If you're miserable, it doesn't really matter how much you make.

    That being said -- I'm also not a nurse, but I think it might be good to work at an outpatient center. I'm not sure about plastic surgery. I don't know if they use CRNA's. My mother spent many years as a scrub nurse for a plastic surgeon and she loved it.

    I think it would be an excellent idea to explore non-hospital areas.
  13. by   badgernurse
    Quote from Nupe4sleep
    I've been a nurse anesthetist for 12 years and I absolutely HATE my career choice. I dread going to work each day. I'm tired of the arrogant surgeons, condescending and controlling anesthesiologist and the constant rushing in the OR at the expense of patient safety. I've seriously considered changing careers all together however I'm making more money than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. I'm not sure if I'm on the correct website to discuss this but I just can't get anyone to listen to my frustrations. Most people think I'm crazy to be so unhappy in such a "pretigious" and "lucrative" career. I absolutely love taking care of my patients but I just feel that everyone else is working against me in this process. Income aside, I'm absolutely miserable and not sure what to do. Does anyone else out there feel the same way? Is any other CRNA out there as dissatisfied as I am with there career? Please let me know. Thanks for your time.

    Peter Gabriel once said that he was sick of singing "Shock the Monkey" so he wrote new songs and eventually got into writing soundtracks. He's still in the same field. Maybe it's time for you to write a new song. The culture of one place of employment vs another can be dramatic. You love what's important, the care of the patient and it sounds like you might be fighting advocating for your patient. Is it really your career you dislike or the culture of your current job?
  14. by   coopsc1
    To the writer of the post....

    Is there anyway to private message you or send you an email? I am thinking about switching careers to become a CRNA and I would like to ask some questions about your job/career.
    Thanks, SC

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