I want OUT!!!!

  1. 6
    Ok, here's the story. I don't want to put too much detail into this story due to my idenity.

    I am a new grad and accepted a position in an ICU. I have had several preceptors and I just don't think nursing is for me. I've come home every single morning in tears, worrying about what I didnt get done, wondering how I performed as a nurse the night before. I cry before I have to go to work and last week, I actually vomited before I went into the hospital.

    I am always stressed out and all I do on my days off is sleep. I snap on my family and I don't want to be bothered. One preceptor told me she didnt think I am a good fit for the ICU and I should consider another field of nursing. I was crushed! I can feel really good about something I've caught (like a change in an assessment or abnormal lab values) and then I'm told something like I need to relax and not "jump" and call the doctor at every "little" thing. This has really caused a blow to my self confidence as a nurse and I really question my ability as a nurse and if nursing is really for me.

    Last week, I was told by a coworker that I don't "socialize" enough and that I'm "antisocial". I don't want to sit around and gossip about people. I try to read protocols or study my drips, or try to get my paperwork done for the dayshift so I dont have a "list" of things that I forgot to do when I come in the next day.

    I hate it. I hate the culture of nursing. I really don't think I want to be a nurse anymore. I have been desperately searching for another job, any job so I can leave. I fear for my license and I fear for my patients. I fear I may not "catch" something and it may cause my pt to die. I struggle with my nursing judgment. I fear I may make a mistake and kill someone. I want out. I can't take this anymore. I'm having nursing dreams and I've lost 5 lbs from not eating because I have no appetite. I'm still in orientation and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing they will fire me after I get off. I want out before they do. I can't take this anymore.
  2. 87 Comments so far...

  3. 6
    {{{{afrocentricRN}}}}

    You don't need out of nursing. You need to see you PCP. Maybe.

    My first year as a nurse was horrible. It's still not easy. Even some of the CNAs have what I consider to be superior clinical assessment skills because they've been watching these types of patients for years while I have not.

    Ask your co-workers for opinions before calling the doctor. When they tell you you're obsessing about "every little thing" just smile and say, "Probably. I'm not confident enough yet not to."

    And relax. You are doing well.

    Oh, and as to the one who thinks you're anti-social? So what? One person thinks you're anti-social. But when everyone IS relaxing for 10 minutes at least stand nearby.

    canoehead, pixiegalsmom, wooh, and 3 others like this.
  4. 2
    Well you must have done something right to be offered a position in ICU as a NEW GRAD. I can understand that you want to do everything right - that shows that you are a conscientious individual(a very good quality for nursing)! Things do get easier with time once you've learned the ropes. But if it's going to impace your own health, you may want to see what other areas of nursing might be a better fit for you. Have you considered home health or hospice? Good Luck in your quest!
    Bre14 and lindarn like this.
  5. 6
    Quote from SuesquatchRN
    {{{{afrocentricRN}}}}

    You don't need out of nursing. You need to see you PCP. Maybe.

    My first year as a nurse was horrible. It's still not easy. Even some of the CNAs have what I consider to be superior clinical assessment skills because they've been watching these types of patients for years while I have not.

    Ask your co-workers for opinions before calling the doctor. When they tell you you're obsessing about "every little thing" just smile and say, "Probably. I'm not confident enough yet not to."

    And relax. You are doing well.

    Oh, and as to the one who thinks you're anti-social? So what? One person thinks you're anti-social. But when everyone IS relaxing for 10 minutes at least stand nearby.

    That's the thing. I DO ask my coworkers for their opinions before calling the doctor. And this is what I was told.

    I was also told to "relax and try to have fun". I'm really trying but when I am told mostly constructive feedback, it's hard for me to relax in fear of I may be missing something.

    Last week, I had a really good preceptor. My pt's heart rate dropped to the 40's, BP 80's/30's and no pulses. My preceptor called for help and asked for the code to be called. I automatically asked for the crash cart and jumped on the bed and started compressions. The pt was brought back. My preceptor said I did very well in that emergency. I felt so good about being a nurse THAT night. Then I come back the very next night with a different preceptor and then I question my ability as a nurse all over again.

    I do try to be more outgoing because I am an outgoing person by nature, but when you hear so much gossip and negativity about everyone's job performance, it makes it hard to open up and talk about nothing other than work. As a new nurse, I already have zero confidence and then to hear the more experienced nurses talk about someone else's nursing abilities just really makes me think what they are saying about me behind my back. So, I try not to give them nothing to talk about, no matter how many questions I ask.

    Thanks for the advice about seeing someone. I actually have an appointment with my therapist after the new year.
    Last edit by sirI on Dec 26, '09 : Reason: quoted edited post
    NursePiggy, blueheaven, sharpeimom, and 3 others like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from pixiegalsmom
    Well you must have done something right to be offered a position in ICU as a NEW GRAD. I can understand that you want to do everything right - that shows that you are a conscientious individual(a very good quality for nursing)! Things do get easier with time once you've learned the ropes. But if it's going to impace your own health, you may want to see what other areas of nursing might be a better fit for you. Have you considered home health or hospice? Good Luck in your quest!
    I actually thought about Hospice, as I have had an experience while working in the ICU with withdrawing pt care. That was so emotionally draining for me. Then I was thinking can I do that all the time? Then I'll have nothing left to give to my own family.

    It's just so hard. I've never been faced with a challenge this hard in my entire life, including raising a teenager.
    sharpeimom and lindarn like this.
  7. 5
    Be friendly and non-specific. "Yes, my Christmas was lovely. I got an iPhone." SImple, easy, safe.

    Hang in there. You sound like an excellent nurse and so much depends on your preceptor. And changing preceptors a lot is hard on anyone. They all (humans) have different personalities and expectations.

    Nursing is incredibly tough. But the confidence will come with time. Look at how you jumped on that crash cart and pulled up those ACLS skills and knowledge! You go, girl!
    Valerie Salva, sharpeimom, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  8. 1
    I felt the same way while I was on orientation, it was an adult med-surg unit. After a year, I transferred to a different unit. I was confident with my ability, but being on orientation always places you on an uncomfortable situation, my opinion... Once you start working independently, you will feel better. You will work at your own pace, can call the doctor anytime your want to; but don't forget to always ask your colleague when in doubt.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 2
    Quote from SuesquatchRN
    Be friendly and non-specific. "Yes, my Christmas was lovely. I got an iPhone." SImple, easy, safe.

    Hang in there. You sound like an excellent nurse and so much depends on your preceptor. And changing preceptors a lot is hard on anyone. They all (humans) have different personalities and expectations.

    Nursing is incredibly tough. But the confidence will come with time. Look at how you jumped on that crash cart and pulled up those ACLS skills and knowledge! You go, girl!
    Thanks! The thing is I took it upon myself to take an EKG class to really know my rhythms. Part of that class was a pre-req to ACLS which I take next month. I knew when I seen my pt's HR dropping, I either had to call for Atropine or the crash cart.

    I do make small talk here and there. But I don't really talk about my personal life. Everyone seems to talk about their husbands or boyfriends and I don't do that. If they are not talking about that, they are talking negatively about other nurses and/or doctors.
    lindarn and SuesquatchRN like this.
  10. 6
    Quote from afrocentricRN
    The thing is I took it upon myself to take an EKG class to really know my rhythms. Part of that class was a pre-req to ACLS which I take next month. I knew when I seen my pt's HR dropping, I either had to call for Atropine or the crash cart.
    And you question yourself. Silly. You are an excellent nurse, evidence and knowledge driven.

    Just hang in there, stay aloof from the gossip, and learn. And stop second-guessing yourself.

    canoehead, sharpeimom, teeniebert, and 3 others like this.
  11. 1
    just wondering... is it the 'norm' in your department/facility to have a different preceptor every day??? we are assigned to ONE preceptor while on days, then ONE at night. someone can not be a preceptor til they go through a course also. the right preceptor makes all the difference! is there a way to talk to your NM and train with the one nurse who you are confident with??
    lindarn likes this.


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