Am I Making the Right Decision?

  1. I apologize in advance for the long post......

    I have been an RN for a year now. During my first 6 months as an RN, I "loved" working in the hospital. In hindsight, maybe I just loved the "thought" of being one of those nurses who could deal with working in the hospital. Now, I just I "hate" every aspect of working in the hospital and sometimes I just want to pursue something completely different. I have even thought of stocking in a warehouse just for the sake of my sanity.

    I worked 9 months full-time on an extremely hectic Progressive Care Unit at a Level I trauma hospital and then I transferred to a smaller hospital to a Med-Tele/Progressive Care Unit so that I only had to deal with the stress for two days. Needless to say, two days ago, I put in my two weeks notice of resignation but after a night like last night(which is really not that different from any other night), I don't think that I have it any me to finish my last three shifts.

    At the top of the shift, I was passed on a new admission that had just arrived to the floor and about 5 minutes after I finished getting report for all 6 of my patients, my supervisor was coming to me telling me that I had another admission coming in from the ED. During report I get a call from the blood bank telling me to pick up blood for a patient that the day nurse conveniently didn't see in the chart and forgot to mention although the order was written at 1500. Immediately after that, I get another call from the blood bank telling me that the blood was also ready to be picked up for my new admit. Since there was only 2 NAs, we were reminded to get our own I/Os and accuchecks which four of my patients needed. With that being said, I already knew what kind of shift I would be having. I finished passing my 2100 meds around 2330 and I finally sat down around 0330 to chart my first note. I finished charting around 0650 and I finished my chart checks around 0730. Last night was sooooo bad that I almost broke down into tears which is usually something that I do in the shower before and after work. When I am at work, I am so miserable and lately, I have been letting it show. I am sick of always working short, sick of the patients, sick of their families, sick of all of these orders that are unrealistic for a 12 hour shift and sick of having to call the Dr. to get an order for something like "pain medicine" when it should have been ordered on admission just because most patients in the hospital have some kind of pain that Tylenol will do absolutely "NOTHING" for. If patient abandonment laws were not around, I would have left in the middle of the shift.

    I really don't know if I can take another second of that place. I am back in school working on my BSN so the weekend hours work great. The rate is $38/hr and for two days I make around what I would make in home care on a 40 hour work week. Before I became an RN, I worked in home care as an LPN for a little over 4 years and I have continued to work in home care PRN as an RN. Although home care can have its "unfriendly" moments, for the most part, I absolutely "love" it and I think that's where I want to stay, at least until I get my BSN. I have been wanting to leave the hospital for a while now but I keep talking myself out of it because I feel like such a failure for not being able to do "keep up" with the fast pace of the hospital.

    My question is, is it worth it to just hang in there all for the sake of having "hospital experience"?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   dollphyn
    If you are that unhappy, you definitely need to find something else. I am in the same boat as you are. I am just over a year as a RN. I have been out 2 months due to a critical illness and am now trying to get back in the groove of things. I am on a small unit that we night shifters used to have 14 patients, 2 nurses, one tech, and now are 10 patients, 2 nurses and no tech. It is horrible!! Not to mention, that me coming back, I have more experience and am going to be charge nurse tomorrow night. I am like you, I sometimes just want to cry when I am at work. I get nervous before I go into work and even after knowing I have to come back. Needless to say, I have applied for another position on another floor that I have floated to in my first year of nursing. I heard from the recruiter on Friday, but was at work, so hopefully will hear from him this week.

    From your post it sounds like you are very unhappy and you really should not be at a place that makes you so unhappy. I would have left my floor 6 months ago, but I had a year contract. Now, that it is gone, I feel so free. My advice is, if you do go to work, continue to give your best care possible, so they have no reason to say you are being insubordinate and find somewhere else that would be a fit for you. Not all nights are like the one you have been having, but most are. I just try to stay positive and remember the nights that were good, that is really the only reason why I would come back the next night!!

    I wish you all the luck in the world!! Take care of yourself.
  4. by   QueenCityNurse
    Thanks Dollphyn. I called out yesterday so I only have two more shifts to complete. In the meantime, I have until Friday to decide if I am going to go back to finish my last two shifts. For now, I am going to call my current home care agency to see if they have full-time hours available and if they do, I definitely will not be going back. I have an interview on Friday with the home care division of the first hospital that I worked for. I am praying that it goes well. I will keep you posted. Again, thanks!
  5. by   SummerGarden
    op: interesting... i could have written your post a few weeks ago... now i still get "slammed" when my shift starts with ridiculous expectations etc. but i do not get overwhelmed any more. in fact during my last shift i got report an hour late because the two nurses i was to take report from were behind… oh, and guess what? i also got an admit while getting report! i say "no" to my charge nurse and "no" to everyone else when i am too busy, which has gotten me help! i am one person and i explain it simply that i cannot be in many places at once. the fact that you had to have two admits and hang blood immediately upon admission suggest that it would have been wise to delegate the blood administration to your charge or a nurse who is not as busy. however, if acute care is really not your style, i suggest that you go with your gut and leave and return to home health.

    i do not think you will be a failure if you make such a decision. not everyone finds his/her niche in a hospital setting. i know of a few rns who graduated with me who figured out the hospital was not for them before we graduated!!!! one works in ltc and the other hospice! neither has any desire to ever work in a hospital setting and i do not think less of them. by the way, once you have your bsn you do not have to return to the hospital setting ... you can find a happy niche outside of it as well. the nurse who went straight into ltc is working on her masters this fall (she finished up her bsn rather quickly) and will be a fnp with an expertise in geriatrics someday soon. she was a cna then lpn in ltc before becoming a rn. gl to you in whatever you decide!