Quit nursing home job and having regrets... :/

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    So I just quit my nursing home job while still in the probationary period and I'm having some regrets. I'm not writing this in an attempt to elicit sympathy or coddling, just wanted to vent, I suppose... I also realize that ultimately, I have no one to blame for my decision to quit but myself, and I'm accepting full responsibility for my actions.

    I suffer from underlying anxiety and depression issues that have been plaguing me for a while now, but I'm not sure of the best way to manage them. I've tried a few different medications with unsatisfactory results. I also lost my dad in 2011 and just lost my mom in December, and am still dealing with the grief and aftermath of these losses. I probably wasn't in the best mental or emotional state to begin hunting for a new job just yet, especially one as stressful and demanding as being a CNA, but did so anyway against my better judgment.

    I applied to a few places and got hired at the place I did my clinicals at. Initially I was excited but quickly became stressed and overwhelmed at the fact that I was slow and inexperienced and yet had so many people to care for. I did, however, feel that I was surely and slowly becoming better at it. I was the worst aide ever at first but honestly, the last shift I worked I felt like it was finally starting to click. I had all my people cared for and washed up, finished all my work in a timely manner, etc; I still had a ways to go but was starting to get the hang of it. If I had kept up, I might have even blossomed into a good aide and been an asset to the team and an advocate for my residents. So what happened?

    Well, I was having some difficulty with my co-workers. My supervisors and the nurses were kind and supportive enough, firm when they needed to be, of course, but still generally professional and polite. They encouraged me to keep my head up and work hard no matter how insecure I felt or what others said about me. It was the other aides I had the problem with. They had maybe one or two that were friendly and supportive. The others made me feel like scum of the Earth. They'd give me dirty looks, talk down to me and bash me for being slow or if I made a mistake like putting a brief on backwards. With some of them, it honestly seemed as if it were their life mission to drive out the newcomers; I say this because I wasn't even the only one they did this with. There was another girl hired at the same time as me, and one time they were in the break room just bashing on her: one aide in particular called her a "fool," saying she wasn't going to last there and mocking her because she broke down and cried the other day. (I feel like I should add, this girl also called in sick one day and never came back. It seemed she had enough of the bullying too.) I was actually told they liked to gather around and talk about me the same way, complaining about how slow and nervous I was and how I wasn't going to last here. It was hard enough adjusting to the pressure and demands of my first healthcare job without feeling like everyone was constantly beating me down, beating me down. Because I have a very soft-spoken, nervous and passive personality, I feel they probably singled me out more than the others. I'd also like to add that I was also homeschooled my whole life, so I don't perhaps have as much skill and experience dealing with difficult people as others do. I'd go home at night crying, feeling like I was so inept and would never get this. I missed my parents more than ever, to the point of wanting to scream at times. I came close to quitting several times but nevertheless, I kept going back. I didn't want to be driven out by these bullies; I wanted to prove them wrong by getting better and better at the job. I also wanted to be there for the residents and provide the best care I could to them; even now, I feel like I loved the residents and miss a lot of them.

    However, something happened that made me act rashly. A few days ago, a co-worker of mine, let's call her M, her husband comes in with some stuff of hers and asks me to give it to her, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off at the time trying to get my work done and don't know where M is, I ask another employee where I could put it to hold it for her and they said to place it on the desk at the nurse's station, so I did. I was extremely busy at work when this happened and was in the middle of caring for my own residents; I should have told M her stuff was there but I was so busy that it honestly slipped my mind. Flash forward to Saturday. I'm at my other job, my fast food job, and on my lunch break, when M calls me on my cell phone. I'm already exhausted and stressed out from having to work at the nursing home until 11 pm the night before and trying to enjoy a few minutes to relax. M is screaming at me so hysterically that I can't even make out what she's saying. She's accusing me of stealing her iPod or whatever and says that she has called the cops on me, and hangs up, absolutely refusing to even listen or reason with me. I'm understandably a little upset and shaken up afterward; I mean, it's one thing to have to deal with being bullied and talked down to when I'm at work, it's another thing entirely to be called up on my off time and screamed at, accused and threatened. I didn't steal her stuff for myself and never would, I'm not that type of person. I go home and talk to my husband about it, and he tells me to quit immediately. He says that if the bullying was bad enough before, it's only going to get that much worse from here on out and I'm going to be ganged up on, etc. and it's not worth it. I followed his advice and resigned that very day. Now I'm having regrets and second thoughts.

    Yes, it's true I was having problems getting along with some of the staff. But I feel like I should have done my best to stick it out and not give up in spite of everything. I feel like it would have made me a better, stronger person if I perserved; if I'd ignored the co-workers and done the best job I could and stayed there for my residents, it would have proved the bullies wrong. By quitting, it just seems like I gave up and let them win. But at the same time, what's done is done; I've already made the decision and the way to be strong now is by making the best of it. Thankfully, I still have my fast food job to fall back on and they've already agreed to let me go back to my original hours, even though it's definitely a pay cut: 7.60/hr compared to the 10/hr I was making at the nursing home. However, unlike the nursing home I am happy and treated like family there by my fellow staff and customers. It is also very low-stress, which suits me at an emotionally trying time like this.

    I also feel that maybe this just wasn't the right time for me to be seeking out another job, especially a high-stress one like working as a CNA in a nursing home. I just lost my mom and am still in an emotionally fragile state and very much dealing with the aftermath. I just don't know. I figure I'll just stay where I am for right now, give myself time to heal and another, better opportunity will come along eventually, hopefully. There are other jobs out there. I'll just try and take this as a learning experience and next time, I won't let myself be bullied around or have others make my decisions for me.

    I guess my main concern is of this affecting my future employment chances. I actually don't really plan to list this job on an application or resume since it was for such a short period of time, 3 weeks, so I wouldn't mention it unless it came up for one reason or another in which case I'd tell the truth. But I still worry that if it did, that it'd look bad quitting after such a period of time. Like I said, if I could go back in time, I would have chose to stuck it out and fought in spite of everything. But what's done is done, and I have to live with the consequences.
    Last edit by TurtleCat on Feb 12, '13
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  4. 3 Comments so far...

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    I guess we are not in the same country, but when I read your post, I just felt like whatching me, myself. I dropped out of highschool because I was so shocked by my parent's devorcing. And I was a top grade student, so the teachers always wanted more of me. But all that pressures felt like burden. So I just decided to stop going to school. But the situation went bad. I was sexually assulted when I was 5 and 7. I could forget about that when I was in school because all the schoolworks made me tired and I was a type of person who finds work and do-I've never let myself leisurely. Now I have a lot of time so it just hit me everytime. I wanted to go to university faster then others, however, I couldn't. So I got a depression and I felt like I would never ever escape from it. And then I became 18, all of my friends went to top univeraities, so I began to avoide meeting people. Every end of the SAT-actually it's not called sat in my country, but the aim of the test is same so I'll just say it sat- my friends asked me if I'm going to uni, and that was so stressful. I thought that I am not smart anymore but stupid enough to try suicide. Everthing looked bad. I always cried at daytime and when my mom comes home, acted like I was doing study or something and everthing was okay. At nights, I was suffered from insomnia.

    On the summer of my 18, finally I screamed out my parents how they made my life suck. I cried and yelled and screamed about the result of what they have done. I know that's not their fault but my whole life and my mental were falling apart. I just needed somewhere to tell my whole burdens.- In my country, if you have any records of psychiatric consults, you will have a lot of bans. so I could not go for a doctor. I tried to read a lot of books and do a self care, but it turned out to be failure. I was much above it.- Then they realized they belived me too much and I was just a kid. Anyway they got back together and decided to send me and private boarding school. There, I said I once dropped out of the highschool, just said a fact and I wanted to be honest. But then they started to bulling on me, saying "that would be the reason that she dropped out of highschool." That "reasons" was not at all reasonable. But it went on and on everday and I could not bare it so I came out of it after one and a half month.
    Then I started to study alone and got a permission letter from one of the high ranked nursing school.

    That was brief of my story and I'm different from you many part, but I wanted to give you my story to give you some advices.

    I think the whole thing is about your mind. Don't have to worry about the career problem. That happens sometimes and I know and sure that you are going to find a good place to understand you when you say what happended. As you know, now you are too fragile. What you need most is cheers.

    Tell your situation to all of the people you love. Your best friend, husband, uncle...ect. And listen what they say. They would give you a full support and say that they love you despite all of those failures you've made. Beilive it. You are such a smart and great person because I have seen so many people who fails to study alone. It's not a easy job. There are ao many distractions out there.
    And try to meey a lot of people. especially friends who can give you warm and cheerful feeling.

    And if you have some time to spare, try to visit the greatest hospitals in your town. Take a walk through the wings and see how their lives going. You can see that the old nurses' faces are shining. And imagine yourself working as a great nurse who leads her own part well than any other.

    You should love yourself.

    Last, if you believe in any religion, have a praying time. When I was too much suffered, I'd visited church at dawn and asked God, "what did you prepared good things for me? I know that you prepared something good for me. Please don't make this last for ever." Just another suggestion, if you believe in something.

    And I know those bad experiences are going to make you terrified sometimes, it's going to be a troumatic memory. But, don't forget the warm feelings you got from your friends, husband, and your patients!

    I know that it's not easy thing to build up a new relationship and to make it last. You can learn by your experience. Carefully observe your freind or co-workers who build up a great relationship and try to apply to yourself. You can be hurt or broken down, but all those things are going to be feel more better than before.

    Please believe yourself and hope you can say to your mom&dad that I and okay now and I become a cool professional nurse.

    That days are going to come. Love you dear.


    p.s English is not my first language so their could be some weird sentences. I hope that you got the meaning well.
    Last edit by sirI on Feb 13, '13 : Reason: copied to thread
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    Felt like I should update this to say that I may have a second chance... The DoN called a few days later wanting me to come back. Well, I'd already went back to my original schedule at my old job so I didn't know if I'd be able to. She asked about working me around my current schedule, maybe a few days a week, and I said yes... I'm scheduled for a dementia class next week and then we're gonna work out a schedule from there. I guess I must have been doing something right if they wanted me back that much... Apparently a nurse had put in a good word for me, saying that she'd never seen two newbies work as well together as one co-worker (my friend) and I did one night, and the DoN described me as "having a heart of Gold" but saying I needed to work on a tougher exterior. I really felt like a screw-up and like I was no good at the job, but that made me feel a little better.

    So if I am able to go back, and concoct a schedule that works around my current job... I'd be all for it. I'd love to be given a second chance at this job. I loved the residents and taking care of them, even if some of the co-workers were a pain... Sure, it's easy to say "just ignore the co-workers and do your job" but it's hard in a job like this which is SO dependent on good co-workers and teamwork... there were times I desperately needed help, like for a Hoyer lift in which you're REQUIRED to use two people for, and yet a co-worker would be rude and outright refuse to help me. I feel like I should also mention, the crazy co-worker that caused all this mess in the first place, I wasn't even the only one she did this to... she also went in on her off day just to scream at the girl who told me to put her stuff at the nurse's station. I'd be happy if I could work at this job for maybe 6mos-to a year, do the right thing and get some experience to put on a resume... then maybe look into moving on to home health or something similar. I love taking care of the elderly, but the nursing home environment is really stressful, I've found... both due to the noxious co-workers and the ridiculous amount of residents you'd have to care for + limited amount of time to do so in. The ratio for this nursing home was IDEALLY about 12 residents to 1 CNA for the 3-11 shift, and about 3 of those would be relatively independent so it'd be closer to 9, so that wasn't so bad... what would really make things hard though was when someone would call out and they'd be understaffed, and believe me, this would happen about every other shift, and you'd have 20+ residents to care for yourself. That kind of stuff just drove me up the wall.
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    One of the things that got to me so much was the fellow, more seasoned CNAs treating me like scum of the Earth. There were a few in particular that would just constantly talk down to me and give me dirty looks. I remember one time I put a brief on a resident wrong and the CNA came in to look at it, and the way she looked at me, you'd think she thought I was the stupidest person on Earth or something. Another would CONSTANTLY complain about how slow I was, belittling me if I took a little long on a resident or didn't get to something immediately, etc. It's like, well DUH I am a little slow, I just started at a brand new job I have NO experience in! How do you possibly expect me to be fast and perfect on only my 3rd day by myself? How do you deal with people like that?? It's one thing to just say "Ignore it" but some of these people would also refuse to help me when I seriously needed it, like for a Hoyer lift or something. How do I deal with that?

    I didn't have a problem with any of the residents or taking care of them, I loved it in fact. Even the more difficult and verbally abrasive ones I had empathy for, because I try to put myself in their shoes -- if I was sick, disabled, and unable to do anything for myself, I'd probably feel crabby and like lashing out at anyone I could, which would be my caregiver in that case. But these co-workers just stressed me out and drove me insane!! I mean, on one hand I don't want to give up and let them get the best of me, I want to be able to deal with them properly and prove them wrong, to show that I AM a competent worker and CNA when I'm given the proper practice, time and experience. But I don't know what to do.


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