I have been on before, struggling as a nurse new to the world of medical nursing. I had started in psych, which I did like, but went to medical because I had interests in other areas.
After a year + in psych, I went looking for a good fit in the medical side. I had never enjoyed my med-surg rotations in school and tried to get into the specialties I was interested in, but no luck. Every interview that I went to they took a brief look at the resume and said "No medical experience?" and would offer me a med-surg job at their hospital. Long story short, I went with the least intense floor I could find, with the unit director I liked the most.
So from October to March, I did ortho/med-surg overflow nursing. I didn't really like it, and was looking at that time to move on. Our floor was abruptly changed to oncology, which I had no interest in ever doing. Our options at the time: 1. move to a cardiology floor, 2. go to the "all ortho" floor. 3. stay where we were. I chose to stay because at least I knew my coworkers and liked my unit director. I thought maybe I'd surprise myself and like oncology.
Fast forward to June. I find the oncology very depressing. I have had 2 pts so far (relatively young) on "CMO" and was told they probably wouldn't make it through the night. I'd check on them as much as I could with 6 other pts and 1 NA for the floor. The one didn't talk, and didn't use the call bell. Whenever he grimaced and held his head I bolused his PCA. I wanted to cry.
So the decision part (sorry so long). There is not much available in the way of jobs (no surprise). I have interviewed at one OR only to be told halfway through the interview that "we had 2 positions but there are offers out on them already." The only other type of nursing I want to do is OB. But no luck there either.
However, my old psych hospital is hiring. I liked Psych, but I'm afraid of what might happen to my career if I go back. I'd want to stay at least another year, so I don't look like I can't hold a job. But I'm afraid of losing the medical skills, losing any drive to try again, and being looked at by HR as "just a psych nurse." On the other hand, staying for months and months until another job (possibly) comes up seems too much.
What do you think? Will taking the psych job again kill my chances in the eyes of the medical world of ever going back?
Jun 2, '09
IMHO, yes, going back to the psych hospital will probably kill your chances of being a non-psych nurse at all in the future. It has been my observation that psych nurses use very few of the skills that are considered valuable for nurses in a more medical setting (head to toe physical assessments, IV meds, wound care, etc.). In addition, by moving around so much, a glance at your resume will tell a nurse recruiter that you don't like to stay in one place for very long (whether or not that is true, if they see a year here, 8 months there, that is what they will think). Sorry to sound harsh, but if you are trying to get into a sought after medical specialty like OB, your best move would be to suck it up and wait for an opening, then request a transfer.