New RN; I want to quit my job already.

  1. 1 Hello,
    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. Help.
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  3. Visit  irishlynn5 profile page

    About irishlynn5

    Joined Jan '14; Posts: 14; Likes: 14.

    56 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  DavidDudley profile page
    7
    Sounds like you would feel a lot better if you were on days and able to get a full nights rest. Reading about how your feeling reminds me of how I felt when I was working nights.

    That being said, it's normal for a lot of nurses to absolutely hate their first job. I hated my first 4 jobs but am in love with my 5th and current job. As bad as my previous jobs were, they were stepping stones for me. Likewise, being on tele is a great stepping stone no matter how bad it is. Pay your 1 year dues and go find happiness on a different floor at a different hospital.
    sweetf, Nola009, fganther, and 4 others like this.
  5. Visit  nichefinder profile page
    0
    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 medsurg.

    I simply do not like the nature of bedside care, the meaningless paper works, patient requests that seem so worthless of my time; I want to go into an environment where a nurse and the team needs to do something or else patient may die; like ER, ICU, cath/gi lab, OR, etc. But if you dislike bedside care like me, don't go to ER or ICU. Anyways, it seems that hours are very important for your satisfaction too. Lots of departments have 8hrs-5days/week jobs. I know you or I just haven't found our niche, and I know we will find our place. Be strong!
  6. Visit  Been there,done that profile page
    33
    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 medsurg.

    I simply do not like the nature of bedside care, the meaningless paper works, patient requests that seem so worthless of my time; I want to go into an environment where a nurse and the team needs to do something or else patient may die; like ER, ICU, cath/gi lab, OR, etc. But if you dislike bedside care like me, don't go to ER or ICU. Anyways, it seems that hours are very important for your satisfaction too. Lots of departments have 8hrs-5days/week jobs. I know you or I just haven't found our niche, and I know we will find our place. Be strong!
    There are no words to fully describe how rude /disrespectful that was.
    You couldn't spend the additional 2 minutes to finish her post, yet felt you could not only advise, but do some of your own venting.
    Belle7788, CLoGreenEyes, ICUKeesh, and 30 others like this.
  7. Visit  Been there,done that profile page
    11
    Thinking the night shift is your main problem right now.
    You are describing the signs and symptoms associated with shift work. I am grateful and astonished by those who can work nights.
    Please talk to your doctor, these are very real and serious symptoms.

    As there is no where else to transfer to, I am hopeful that your manager will realize that you need to go to days.
    I am also grateful and astonished by nurses drawn to hospice. Check into agencies , find one that will treat you well. You are MUCH needed out in the field.

    Good luck, please keep us posted.
    corizrf, EagleMe, icuRNmaggie, and 8 others like this.
  8. Visit  TU RN profile page
    4
    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 medsurg.

    I simply do not like the nature of bedside care, the meaningless paper works, patient requests that seem so worthless of my time; I want to go into an environment where a nurse and the team needs to do something or else patient may die; like ER, ICU, cath/gi lab, OR, etc. But if you dislike bedside care like me, don't go to ER or ICU. Anyways, it seems that hours are very important for your satisfaction too. Lots of departments have 8hrs-5days/week jobs. I know you or I just haven't found our niche, and I know we will find our place. Be strong!
    If someone dislikes bedside care, why should they avoid ER or ICU? While this is also considered "bedside care," it's very different from the type of care provided on a medsurg floor.
  9. Visit  dudette10 profile page
    2
    You've got the double whammy of night shift and being a relatively new nurse. Each of them on its own can be difficult, but together, it can be horrendous. I'm hesitant to just say "go to days" because I'm really not sure which--the night shift or being a new grad--is affecting you more.

    Can you take some time off to refresh yourself a bit? I did about a year ago, and it did wonders for me and my attitude toward the job. There are a lot of threads about handling night shift, so maybe you can try some of those techniques first. If you are able to determine it's mainly night shift causing all of these problems (and not mainly the fact you are a new grad), then ask to switch to days.

    Good luck!
    LadyFree28 and sallyrnrrt like this.
  10. Visit  irishlynn5 profile page
    1
    Im just really stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is a wait list for the day shift D;
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  11. Visit  roser13 profile page
    3
    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
    Nichefinder, 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
    sweetf, wheeliesurfer, and LadyFree28 like this.
  12. Visit  Overland1 profile page
    8
    Quote from dudette10
    You've got the double whammy of night shift and being a relatively new nurse. Each of them on its own can be difficult, but together, it can be horrendous...
    That is something about the Nursing profession that is difficult to understand, much less justify. We take new nurses and put them on a shift in which resources are fewer, and opportunities to do and learn many procedures are almost non-existent. How many inpatients need to be prepped for the OR or cath lab during the hours of 1900 and 0700? In most places, probably few (if any). Then, when the new nurse goes to day shift, that person is starting from near the beginning.

    Would a day shift orientation not be a better way? Upon completeion of such an orientation, a night shift would not be too bad - it may even be a refreshing change (i.e., no administrative people running around and in the way) and would allow for more hands-on patient care.

    I fully realize the day shifts are a "plum" assignment often reserved for more experienced nurses, but "because we have always done it that way" is really a bad reason to continue doing what may be the wrong way.
    corizrf, Niandra, wheeliesurfer, and 5 others like this.
  13. Visit  shaynurse53 profile page
    2
    Hi it sounds like first off you have the night shift blues. I have worked the night shift for a while you dont have the chaos of families and its quieter but there are other stressors. second u have to learn time management that works for u on the unit,and it will be different for when u were an aid. Get a detailed report even if the other nurse expresses frustration this is your time to ask all you need to know regarding your patients. Then walk to that room with each nurse to visualize each patient . Third starting on a floor where u were an aid is a big no no,with those high expectations there are those that would be happy if you failed including your nurse manager. Whatever u do dont ever let them see you defeated cry at home. Go into your job with your head held high and confident you know the books but you have to learn to apply find a senior nurse u trust and when u dont know something ask.
    LadyFree28 and sallyrnrrt like this.
  14. Visit  shaynurse53 profile page
    2
    And as far as going to hospice its a much slower pace and u might do well with it and don't always sell yourself short you are a skilled and efficient registered nurse apply for those hospice positions and if they really need someone experience wont matter. Take an IV course this will help you with IV's. The more certifications u get the less that experience will matter
    LadyFree28 and sallyrnrrt like this.
  15. Visit  TraumaSurfer profile page
    18
    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


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