I miss floor nursing...I think?

  1. Hi,

    I started as a new grad on a CVICU step down unit and stayed there about 2 years. The floor went through a lot of changes while I was there as many floors do. Our manager left and after that many people started to leave. We had an interim manager but they ended up not taking the job. So we as the staff felt like no one wanted us. We ultimately had to "fend for ourselves". There were days where we had 5 patients with no techs, most of the patients with multiple drains (chest tubes, NG tubes, abdominal drains, etc.) with cardiac drips, insulin drips. With no support from a manager we had to support and help each other.

    After working in that environment about 6 months, I got burnt out. I decided to take a job as an oncology clinical research nurse M-F no weekends or holidays. I thought I would love it! Well that ended up not being the case. After being here about 4 months, I am pretty bored! It is pretty much all paper work and rarely patient interaction.

    I think back to the floor and I miss it. I never thought I would say that, but I do. I miss the rush, I miss the patient interaction and feeling like you made a difference in that patient's life. I often think back to working on the floor and wish I never left. Should I go back or should I hang in here and see what happens? I don't like the idea of working weekends and holidays again but I would rather do that than not make a difference in a patient's life.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Every job has its advantages and disadvantages. You have to decide which set of advantages/disadvantages you want to live with for the next few years. Only you can do that.

    Few jobs are "perfect" in the true sense of the word. Which set of problems would you rather live with? If you go back to inpatient staff nursing, will you be all crabby and irritable in a few months? Are you really willing and able to tolerate the disadvantages of that job? How will you feel when you have to work weekends, holidays, etc.? Are you just remembering the positive aspects of your former job ... or are you really prepared to deal with the negative aspects. If you are ready to deal with the negatives, then there is nothing wrong with going back. But be sure you are not just "longing for the good old days" while focusing on the positive aspects that seem appealing now because you miss them.

    If you are not really prepared to deal with the negatives as well as the positives ... maybe you need to find other ways of finding more fulfillment in your current situation. Perhaps talk to others and ask them where they find the fulfillment in the job. Or perhaps you need to find more fulfillment outside of work. Or maybe you need to look for some other job -- option #3.

    It's OK to go back ... but don't do it just because option #2 (your current position) didn't turn out to be as wonderful as you had hoped.
  4. by   prnqday
    Girl I could have written this post myself. I left the floor 6 months ago to pursue case management. Mon-fri , no nights weekends or holidays. Well I miss the bedside and asked my old boss of I can come back. People think I'm crazy but like you I miss the rush , and patient contact. I'm so bored and often find myself falling asleep at my desk. I also miss the 3 day work week. So I'm hoping to get back soon. I just don't think I'm ready to hang up my stethoscope just yet.
  5. by   tshunni
    That is how I am feeling- not ready to hang up my stethoscope yet. I feel like the job I am in now would be great after I have had my time on the floor, but not right now. I hope if I do go back to the floor I don't regret it...
  6. by   Been there,done that
    You don't have to return to a chaotic nursing unit to fulfill your need for patient interaction.

    There IS a happy medium... go find it.

    Best wishes.
  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from tshunni
    That is how I am feeling- not ready to hang up my stethoscope yet. I feel like the job I am in now would be great after I have had my time on the floor, but not right now. I hope if I do go back to the floor I don't regret it...
    You may regret it if you don't...
  8. by   prnqday
    Well I'm sure if I do go back I will have my good days and bad. However, it will be worth it. Like you said, maybe later in down the line a mon-fri, desk job may suit me but for now, I wanna get back to the floor .
    I work in post partum by the way so it's a happy medium. Some days are crazy busy but I love love love it!
  9. by   Phil-on-a-bike
    I volunteered (Yeah, I know) for extra duty as part of our hospital's "Winter Pressures" measures last november. It's not unusual here in the UK.

    It meant leaving my cushy desk and going to Acute Medical Admissions. It was full-on, non-stop, and clinically challenging.

    But... it was brilliant fun.
    Clinical skills got a good workout, I got up-to-speed on changes since I last did ward nursing, put myself in management's good books, and the night shift & weekend payments were a nice bonus.
  10. by   RNNPICU
    Think back to your first 4 months as a new nurse. What were those like? Were those first few months all happy, easy. etc/ Give yourself a little more time to adjust. You have to change the mindset about M-F. You are just using a different set of assessment skills. In some down time, start reading more articles, think about your research as a whole. Look at the projects as needing that attention-to-detail assessment, Depending on how much autonomy you have, maybe do a quick assessment on patients.

    If you became burned out once before, it likely will happen again.
    Seriously, change your mindset, don't compare the jobs because they are very different.
    Give yourself a little more time, it is possible if you go back, it may not be as you are remembering now.
  11. by   Swellz
    What about a per diem position and pick up a shift every week or every two weeks? I know it's a lot of hours/days to work but maybe that's a good option to try out before leaving your current job.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    I feel your pain. I had a cushy teaching job with no weekends or holidays. I loved the teaching; hated the schedule and never got to participate in the really fun train wrecks except to drag a student in to watch. In one semester, I was back to the ICU and part-timing as a clinical instructor.
  13. by   KindaBack
    Quote from Phil-on-a-bike
    But... it was brilliant fun.
    I just *love* hearing Brits talk... We rebels just don't use your language with the beauty and nuance that y'all do.
  14. by   KindaBack
    Quote from tshunni
    a job as an oncology clinical research nurse
    Which I personally would hate... though floor nursing would also suck for me.

    I'd hang tight for awhile and keep your eyes open.

    The per diem suggestion proffered by a previous poster is a good one, and a way to keep your clinical skills current.

    Too long away from the bedside and it can be a challenge to get back.

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