I have been reading posts from this subject for quite some time because I have been struggling with this issue since I got hired in October. I completed school in May of '12 and looked for jobs for months and months with constant rejection emails. I finally found 2 jobs in acute care settings that I had my choice of where to work!
As a student nurse doing my senior practicum I traveled to Denver, where I'm from, to do my internship at a very prestigious hospital in the state to try and increase my chances of getting hired after graduation. While I was doing nights and traveling between classes I really did not enjoy my time on this unit. I had a great preceptor, but knew that this unit may not be where I want to be. It is a cardiac intermediate care unit, and it just wasn't the right fit at that time.
When it came time to apply for the new grad program I was able to interview in the ED, which is where it's been my dream to work. Unfortunately because of the sheer amount of number of applicants, I didn't get it. I had to wait a few months to re-apply to the program, pass NCLEX, etc.
I was chosen to interview in the unit I did my internship at, and got hired. I was ecstatic to have a job, and this is a great semi critical care unit to start on. Once hired, I had a lot of anxiety which is normal. But I had some bad experiences with preceptors. Nothing blatantly horrible, more passive aggressive-esque kind of stuff. I latched onto one preceptor and she has been a great resource. I had a bad, unfair review and then went to nights which does not seem to sit well with my body.
I had such extreme depression and anxiety before my night shifts, I lost 15 pounds, stopped talking to my family, all very uncharacteristic. My family and I were worried. I figured once I was done with my night rotation things would get better. Or at least off orientation things would get better. False. I cry every day.
My final review was great, good feedback from preceptors, and now that I've been on my own, I've had patients and families give be amazing feedback that does help, but I cannot get over my sheer dread for going in. I can't enjoy days off, I've been prescribed Ativan for my days off for anxiety and constant crying, and I just don't know what to do.
I know that I need to put my time in, because it sounds like the 12 hour acute care setting is not for me. Theres nothing I can put my finger on that I don't like, I just don't know if it's because im so young and fresh out of school that it is a hard transition. I don't want to quit because I've worked so hard to get here, but I can't live like this. Help!
Quote from NRS86
I'm so glad to see someone feels the way I do. I dread going into work everyday. I am also worried I made the wrong decision going into nursing and I am in way over my head. I keep reminding myself I just need to make it through one year and then I can start looking for other positions not in an acute care setting. I don't feel like acute care is for me either, I just feel incompetent and overwhelmed. I also have anxiety most of the time worrying about my patients, even on my days off and I cant enjoy my days off. I feel bad because I know I am very lucky to have a job, but I complain about it 90% of the time, I almost hate it. I just don't know if this is normal for new grads or if I really shouldn't be doing this.
i actually laughed hysterically out loud when i read your post. i think i have said your exact words at least once a week for months.
i really USED to be a normal person, now i sound so negative all the time.
a few more techs and someone at the desk to handle new Dr's orders and new admits etc would fix everything, but alas, everyone is cheap.
Last edit by BrendaH84 on Apr 21, '13
: Reason: added quote