For me I feel like I wasn't emotionally prepared for what I was getting into. I tend to get the "problem patients" because I'm the new girl (graduated in December). So I get the super high acuity patients and frequently admit high acuity patients too. On any given shift I can assume that at least one of my patients will be in some sort of restraint (or should be for their own safety), at least half of my patients will be confused (as in screaming cursing biting), and that anyone who doesn't fall into that category is going to be swinging from the call light at least once an hour thinking that I'm their personal slave. Oh, and also at least half of them are incontinent.
I work nights and it's a smaller facility, which means I'm often down the hall all by myself with no other nurse in yelling range and administration has decided in their infinite wisdom that night shift doesn't need any techs or support personell.
So I spend my entire shift up to my elbows in feces, I don't have any help no matter how acute my patients are, and my hospital keeps insituiting new "customer sevice" policies that eat up huge amounts of my time and make me feel like a fast food worker. I'm now supposed to check and document every hour on every one of my patients about pain. And I'm no longer allowed to leave the room without saying "Here at (my hospitals name) we want you to be very satisfied with your experience. I have plenty of time right now. Is there anything I can do for you?"
I knew that being a nurse was going to be hard work. I'm ok with that. What I didn't expect is that I was going to have to fill every roll just because I work nights. Nor did I realize I would be required to work an entire 12 and a half hours without any breaks or a lunch, but be required to sign out for a half hour unpaid lunch that I never actually go on because my hospital wont pay for a break relief nurse. I actually got in trouble the other day for going to the bathroom.
And I didn't expect the nightmares. I didn't expect to wake up screaming because I can hear my patients in my head. "I hate you." "You're a terrible nurse" "You're trying to kill me. You just want me to be in pain" "I don't want you. You're too fat to be a nurse" "I want one of the pretty girls, not this fat cow" "Get out of my house you lazy *****" "It's your fault I'm sick" That's just a small sample from last nights shift.
I didn't realize that no matter what I do or how hard I try it's never going to be good enough. Nursing school
was hard. Often I felt I was being emotionally abused by my teachers. To be perfectly honest, if I knew how miserable I would be I would never have become a nurse. But now I feel like I can't let down all the people who supported me through school. I'm getting older. I can't afford to go back to school and try again. I'm so desperatly unhappy and overwhelmed. But I'm stuck for it now.