I am a new graduate RN who has been so lucky in her current job in a PA hospital on a busy intermediate/telemetry floor. ( I was an aide for about 2 years on the floor- so everyone had all these crazy high expectations for me) I have been here as an RN for about 6 months now (I've been on my own for about 2 months now- 12 hour night shift). I am trying to give it time, honestly I am. But I can't do it anymore. I have come to dread my job, I hate it when I'm there, I hate it when I'm home. I feel like I am always in a fog and my relationships and friendships are failing because of it. I can't go to the gym anymore or have time to cook healthy (which is things I used to love doing!), or do anything I once loved. I have seemed to find myself in this depression and constant anxiety. I am always trying to catch up on sleep and when I'm with my friends and family I can barely even follow the conversations I am so tired. I am always crying (at home, at work- embarrassing!-, on the drive home from work). I don't feel like I fit in on my floor (with the nurses, I am so focused on getting my work done) and I am a complete nervous wreck. I am so disappointed in myself; I am so bad at IVs, I feel so stupid on my job, all I have time to do is get my tasks done. I am so scared I am not going to notice when my patients going down the tubes or what I am going to do when that dreaded first code for me happens. When I finally do have a good day the day shift comes in and gets mad at me for not knowing something little about the patient that I didn't think to ask the day shift I got report from. I'm miserable, depressed, and at a loss of what to do. I can't quit because I need to have another job in order to do that. And if you haven't noticed the job market is not that great for a new graduate with less than a year's experience. I've discussed some of my issues with my boss but he just says "that's nursing, this is normal". I don't think it's normal to be crying almost every day and losing yourself because of it. I really don't want to go to a LTC or a SAR because I feel like it will be even worse (med passing and not having enough time for my patients) Does anyone have any words of inspiration or ideas of other places (or search terms for new jobs) to apply to?
PS. Let it be known I do not want to quit nursing, just my current job. I know nursing is for me. I love nursing, I really do. What makes my days are my patients and when I have a chance to sit down and spend time with them and not worry about all the charting I have to get done and all the medications I am behind on. I had a patient that was going to die and it was so amazing to sit there and hold her hand and make it easier for her to go. That being said I'd love to go into hospice/palliative. But it seems even for that you need > 2 years experience! I think it's really just this floor that is killing me. The patient ratios at night are crazy for patients that are so critical. Ugh. ( I don't feel like I am giving my patients all the time they deserve) That being said my hospital is very small and there are no other floors for me to transfer to.
Jan 25, '14
Quote from nichefinder
sorry I can't read all your post, simply too long. But I do get the point that you hate your job enough to cause depression. I am in your shoes right now; I dread my work and I can say with all my body, mind, and spirit that I hate the nature of my work, which is the
, I find it odd that while you couldn't find the time to read a well-written 2 paragraph post, you found the time to insert your own problems into someone else's post. If you don't read the post, then you can't possibly have insight to answer it.
OP, I know it's not enough to say that so many of us have been there, done that, but we have.
You are not alone. Plus, you likely had higher-than-average expectations of yourself since you had worked on the floor in another role and already knew your co-workers.
Some will disagree with my advice, but it worked for me. Go see your PCP. It's possible that medication can temporarily help you deal with your anxieties until you get your feet under you and your confidence returns. For what it's worth, I now look back on those Med-Surg years that I could barely get through (and used meds to help) as the most formative years of my career. Without that foundation, I could not be in the wonderful job that I am in today.
Hang in there. Give yourself a break.
Last edit by roser13 on Jan 25, '14
Jan 25, '14
Try to get a serious focus on your health and fine tuning your body to accept night shift until you pay your dues to transfer.
Become a q3 eater. Package small portions in little containers to munch on easily and quickly throughout the night. Eat a well balanced light meal for your main break.
Drinks lots of water. Night shifter workers are dehydrated constantly.
Avoid sugar loaded products and caffeine. Yes, no coffee or only in moderation at the beginning of the shift. Drink green tea which may have some caffeine. Read the labels.
Get a routine which might be simple stretching before and after work.
Drink a warm non decaf beverage and read something when you get home. Get to a quiet place or personal space in your home or favorite park and in your mind.
Make sure your shoes are comfortable. Simple as it sounds, it sets the mood for the night if your feet hurt.
Try to at least take a long brisk walk on your days off.
Once your body adjusts, your mental outlook will gradually get better.
Cut yourself some slack. You are new. Night shift people tend to be a crusty bunch at first but most will warm up to new comers eventually. Don't be afraid to ask for advice.
But, until then, focus on your body and health. Keep work at work. I don't even wear my clothes to and from work. Once I clock out, I change clothes and become who I like most. My personal space might be sitting on a beach for awhile after work and appreciating I can do that because I work in a profession which allows me to live just about anywhere. Remember you work to LIVE and not live to work.
Doing 12 hours shifts you are only spending 36 hours at work. The rest of that time is yours. Make plans on your first day off to do something in the afternoon. Make an appointment to pamper yourself. Go to the mall and window shop. Meet a friend for a movie and/or dinner or late lunch. Make a list of all the stuff you haven't done lately like a museum, the theater, a concert or some attraction in your community or nearby.
Last edit by TraumaSurfer on Jan 25, '14