New nurse and very depressed - page 2

by Socrates12358 4,818 Views | 20 Comments

I graduated in May and got my license in July. It took me until October to find a job due to lack of experience and that I have my ADN. I'm prone to depression/anxiety but its been years since I've had a major episode. I take... Read More


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    I don't think it's night shift as much as it's the patient ratio you have! 33 patients? That's obscene, especially for a new RN. I will pray that you somehow get into an acute care hospital where your patient load is usually 5-6 patients on a medicine floor. Night shift is not so bad when you have the right amount of patients. I love nights, I may never work days (which I did while I was doing my clinicals and capstone at the same hospital, and I hated the chaos).
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    Quote from Socrates12358
    I graduated in May and got my license in July. It took me until October to find a job due to lack of experience and that I have my ADN. I'm prone to depression/anxiety but its been years since I've had a major episode. I take Prozac and Buspar daily which do not seem to help. I work at a nursing home on night shift (7p-7a). I get two halls, one in Ortho Rehab and the other is long term/hospice. I can have up to 33 pts at full capacity. Since my first night there I've been nothing but a wreck. I've lost 19lbs since Oct 9. I can't sleep and can't eat. I'll come home exhausted with thoughts raving through my head of the night and patients and sleep between 1-2hrs before waking up in a panic and then have a crying spell for up to an hour. I feel completely inadequate as a RN. I wonder what they even taught us in nursing school. My husband has health problems so about 3 years ago we did a role reversal and now he is a stay at home dad. We have a 9 and a 5 year old. I also find it terribly depressing and lonely trying to sleep during the day. Our room is dark and I haves fan and humidifier to mask noises. I wake up sick constantly, either vomiting or just dry heaving. I have a doc apt on Monday to see about my meds. I'm exhausted and feel drained. I can't quit because I'm the only one making money and the job market is terrible. Please tell me it gets easier and not so terrifying. I start on my own Monday night and I want to cry.
    I think you are overwhelmed like every new grad....the first year is brutal. I am so sorry you are going through this....schools do not prepare students to be nurses any more and hospitals aren't interested in training them. Nights are a tough shift to adjust to but I have always preferred them.

    But I think you may be experiencing something more than "the usual" feelings of being overwhelmed. We cannot give medical advice as per the Terms of Service..........but I'm glad you are seeing your PCP about your meds.
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    Keep your head up! Also perhaps talk to your supervisor about taking some personal time for yourself
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    I just went through a small crisis in my life, and understand this is not advice, it's what I experienced. I can identify with the loneliness, stress-anorexia, and insomnia. I learned real quick that not eating and not sleeping on an SSRI is a precursor to more problems. The weakness and lethargy that is born out of not eating and lack of real mental and physical rest was a desperate feeling.

    What I am advising is be thorough with your Physician. I sense you really crying out, and they can help, both with a prescribed treatment, and a better perspective. I would advise more than anything else, (because I would give my right arm if someone had warned me!) don't emotionally close off from your spouse. He can be a great support, great listener, and it's not good to isolate. If you just came out of school- I know you spent years already feeling distant- nature of the beast. I let my work make me distant, and shut off, and when I realized how isolated my spouse felt- it was too late, I reached out to her 150%-100% too late. I built too many walls around myself, and demolition came too late.

    I am a new person now, despite the heaviest workload in my life. I know real peace, and balance, and the importance of my friends and family. I learned to accept the things I couldn't change- and changed what I could. I know you'll find that balance too soon, just hold tight and draw support from your friends and family- and find a nurse that seems to have it together, and get them to advise and mentor you (learn the "ropes"), not the "book."

    Seek help when you need it, and never pretend to be okay when your not. No one asks for anxiety or depression, however if can be managed, you are worth it. You put in a ton of work/study to get where you are, but the secret is out that it continues into a few months of practice, and one day you can look back on this an have a good laugh with your good friends at Allnurses about how far you've come!! hug!!

    Welcome to the Largest Community of Nurses just like you, struggling together, celebrating together, where there's always an ear, and where you are never alone to face it without your buds here
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 26, '12
    Socrates12358, Esme12, and SHGR like this.
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    Yes, it does get easier. It wasn't too long ago that I wasn't so sure of that myself (I've been working as an RN for 7 months), but everyone I talked to insisted that it was true. However, I believe a major factor is the ability to gain confidence as you settle into your practice, and environment can really affect that. I also struggle with anxiety and depression, any many shifts I would come home and just cry, convinced I had made a terrible decision and had no business being a nurse. I work inpatient on a very busy medicine unit, rotating between PM and noc. Fortunately, the culture on my floor is generally positive, and I was and am always able to get help and answers from my co-workers. That, combined with support from family and friends, has helped me get through the worst of it. I still have bad nights at work, but so do even the experienced nurses on the floor. I can see such a huge difference in my confidence level than when I first was off orientation four months ago, that I can only imagine how that's going to continue to improve every month, year, etc. It will happen for you, too. You're definitely doing the right thing by seeing your doctor. Keep looking for a new job as well. I know of fellow classmates who took the first job they were offered because of the tight market, were able to find something better after only a couple of months on the job, and went for it. I understand how awful it can feel but I hope things improve for you. Best of luck.
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    Wow we do sound a lot alike, minus the pregnancy of course. I'm glad to hear its getting better for you. I start on my own tonight and I'm pretty nervous. Luckily there are a few other nurses in the building, I would probably hyperventilate if I was completely alone. I was fortunate and got a decent amount of orientation. I love talking to new nurses and sharing experiences, concerns, etc.
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    Glad to hear that your confidence is improving, that's definitely a problem of mine. I'm trying to stick it out. I actually like the place I'm working at and the people. I find night shift to be much less hectic, I just need to be able to sleep during the day.
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    Wow we do sound a lot alike, minus the pregnancy of course. I'm glad to hear its getting better for you. I start on my own tonight and I'm pretty nervous. Luckily there are a few other nurses in the building, I would probably hyperventilate if I was completely alone. I was fortunate and got a decent amount of orientation. I love talking to new nurses and sharing experiences, concerns, etc.
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    How do you feel being on your own now?
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    It's a little better now... I haven't cried in over a week and am able to eat again. The only thing that still bothers me is the lack of support at night if I have a question or run into a problem. I'm fine passing meds and doing treatments... I'm worried about IVs and so forth since I don't have a lot of experience doing them. My doc gave me ambien to help me sleep during the day but I'm too afraid to try it if I have to go back to work that night since it makes me tired for hours after waking up. I'm still only averaging about 4 hrs of sleep during the day. If it wasn't for the support of my family and friends I would have lost my mind already.


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