Don't want to be a nurse anymore

  1. 0
    I have been having a tough time at work lately. I have been working a lot of overtime b/c we are understaffed. The money is great but the stress is getting to me. I work on a high acuity floor and I love my patients, but when I have a problem I don't want to talk to the management. They seem to not understand sometimes and I don't really trust them enough to tell them things. On my days off I do nothing b/c I am so exhausted from work. My stress has increased so much that I am becoming more depressed and going over in my head what I did wrong that day (or what I percieved to do wrong). I feel like I give 100% to my patients, but am just losing the reason why I got into nursing. I don't want to show that I am stressed in front of my patients, but sometimes its hard to hide it. Can anyone help who has gone through this?

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  2. 17 Comments...

  3. 11
    Yes, I've BTDT. A lot of us have. I recommend a few days off.

    Turn off the phone, you may not use the phone at all on the first day. Sleep and hang out in your underwear the entire first day. Watch chick flicks. Have food delivered (NOT pizza!).

    The next day, have someone take you (don't even think of driving, let someone else do it) to the park or to the beach, get out in the fresh air, away from people, and just walk around until you can express three distinct sentences that have absolutely nothing to do with work.

    Go out that night with some friends and do something social.

    The third day, catch up on your housework and phone calls. Do not answer any calls from the hospital or from coworkers.

    Repeat prn till your sanity is restored and you have enough energy to go back to work on a saner schedule.

    Last edit by Angie O'Plasty, RN on Apr 7, '09
    VanessaRN, lovescapeRN, symphie, and 8 others like this.
  4. 0
    are the stresses that bad in the nursing profession? i am trying to get into the profession and you are trying to get out of it. is there anything else that i should know about the profession beside the stresses you mention?
  5. 3
    You really need to stop working so much OT. I know your job will pull the guilt trip on you and cry about how short staffed they are but you are not obligated to work so much. Nursing is hard, stressful work, and you need time off to recuperate between shifts. Use your caller ID and don't answer when they call you because it's not your fault that they don't hire enough nurses to staff the place properly.
    NeoNurseTX, Orange Tree, and letarn2b like this.
  6. 1
    I agree with the others. As a nurse with over 30 years of experience who has spent a lot of that time working with new orientees, I have seen your situation many times. You need to recognize your limits and live within them. Establish a more healthy lifestyle -- beginning with the establishment of a healthy balance between your work life and your personal life.

    Decide ahead of time how much overtime you can reasonably work and/or want to work. Volunteer for those extra shifts at times when they are convenient for you. Then "just say no" to all the rest. When asked while you are at work, simply say that you have other plans that would be difficult to change. When you are at home, screen your calls and don't answer the phone if it is work requesting you to work extra.

    To maintain positive relationships at work, you may have to be a little flexible and be willing to pick up a little overtime here or there -- or be willing to switch shfts ocassionally. But you should not have to do so all of the time. You should be able to maintain some control over when and how often you work. Take ownership of your schedule don't let yourself be pulled all over the place by people who just want to get as much work out of you as they can.

    If you have a little vacation time saved up, you might need to use a little of it now to recover. Consider it an investment in your health and long-term quality of life.
    NeoNurseTX likes this.
  7. 0
    Stop working OT. Just do your scheduled shifts. Don't answer the phone if work shows up on the caller ID. Let the answering machine pick up. Don't return the call until it is WAY too late to go in for the shift, if it is a call to work OT. It sounds like you need less time there.
  8. 0
    Remember, the fact that the floor ibeing understaffed is their problem, not yours.
    If they ask you to stay over, just say you cant today and like everyone else has said, dont answer the phone. They will do what they have to to get the patients covered. If that means calling in others who do want to work or calling in the managers, they will do it. :heartbeat
  9. 0
    I concur with Bx_RN2B and GooeyRN.

    You're taking too many OT shifts. Stop or limit yourself to 1-2 OT shifts per month. You need time to recover. From your posting, it does sound like you are well overdue for a vacation in order to recharge! Turn your ringer off when you sleep. Use your caller ID to determine whether to answer the incoming call. Don't let them guilt you to take on OT.

    Sounds like the staffing shortage is issue for your unit. Perhaps with the lack of resources to do OT, your manager may realize the need to hire more people. You need to focus on yourself first and foremost. Otherwise you will not be able to help others. Good luck!
    Last edit by TX_TeleRN on Apr 14, '09 : Reason: spelling error
  10. 0
    I refuse to work over time ever. I'm poor and I need money, but I figure I need to learn to live within my financial means. It sucks because I barely have money from week to week and I spend most of my time at home. However, I have had a whole lot of time to think about my finances, get things better organized and see where I can get to with what I make. I don't like my job (I like taking care of my patients...doesn't mean I have to like my job). Take some time, figure out your financial situation and excatly where all this extra money is getting you. Your just out of school and you are going to be in debt for a while, don't sweat it.
  11. 0
    Lay off the OT!! I might pick up ONE shift here and there but I value my sanity and leisure time more than the extra $$ on the paycheck.

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