Is it just me?

  1. Ok, so I am a new nurse (I know, you've heard that before) of 7 months on and oncology/med-surg floor. I love my patients, and well some of my co-workers. But I am starting to wonder if maybe I just don't want to do this anymore. Let me explain.

    I have the same complaints many others have...long hours, hard to work with PCA/CNA, heavy load of patients from beginning to end, etc. I work woth adults and I'm tired of doing my work and the work of the PCA/CNA. I don't mind helping when I can, but come on already. :angryfire Oops, let me focus. I am not sure I want to continue working with 200-300 lb. patients that medically are heavy, then heavy physically. I get chewed out by families, doctors, heck the housekeepers are probably mad at me on some days!! Anyhoo, I am really having something inside say that there has to be more to this nursing thing, but how do I find that?

    Some of my friends (other newbies) told me to just get through my 1st year, then decide if I want to go elsewhere. Ok, I hear that. But I thought oncology was that place. Now, I'm not so sure.

    Is something wrong with me? Has anyone else felt this way? Maybe I'm just reacting to current situations. I don't look forward to going to work anymore. I go to work because I have to, and because I hope that today will be different. I like that I have other newbies with me (we comfort one another) But they all feel the same way.

    HELP!!!!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   SandraDeeRN
    You're not alone. I work med surge heart failure stroke and feel the same way. I've been there for two years and I'm transferring to the OR next month to try something different and see what else is out there. I get frustrated with the family memebers the most I think. They really can make or break your day and don't seem to think you know what you're doing and it gets old real fast. We don't go to their work and follow them around and complain. Working med surg gains you lots of experience though so it is a good place to start out when you're a new nurse. Try talking to your HR department about other options that might be open. Shadowing on other units like the ICU or something else you're interested in is a good idea. There's also home care nursing, but I think you need at least two years med surg for that, at least where I live you do. There's lots of different options out there. If you feel that way after seven months, it's most likely not going to change. I say explore your options and find what makes you happy. Good luck!
  4. by   leslie :-D
    hindsight and experience have taught me that you would probably benefit from reserving judgment until after your first year is over.
    granted, by now you can get a feel for what the work environment is like and it probably won't change.
    what can change, however, is your perspective.
    maybe in 6 mos, you'll have your routines down pat and so, won't feel as overburdened.
    if after the 1st year, you're still feeling this stressed, then it's time to have a talk with your nm and see if you can't come up w/a plan that will benefit everyone.
    if you opted to have this talk now, i'm afraid your nm would encourage you to wait until your year is up.

    it does get better, i promise.
    even when it's hell, it's still a better hell.

    leslie
  5. by   meownsmile
    that last line was well put earl.
    I think all new nurses feel overwhelmed and discouraged. I did too and still do. I get up in the morning and dont want to go, but i do. I get there and hit the floor running and the day goes by and its done. Until the next one. You do have some decent days mixed in with the bad ones. Sometimes they just come in groups. Hang in there.
  6. by   NurseyBaby'05
    A change of shift might make things a little easier. I wound up switching to straight nights so I could leave a lot of the everyday bs where the sun does shine. I'm just not there with it. :chuckle Fewer docs, family members, tests and the like. The pace is a little less hectic, but you trade-off by not having the same resources that you would working during the day. As for getting chewed out, who cares if someone is "mad" at you? You're not there for people to like you. I think Leslie has a good point. A bad floor may still be a bad floor, but your perspective may be a little different when the newness wears off. You'll be able to better differentiate how much is you being a new nurse and how much of it is toxic environment.

    I started out on a bad floor, but like you, I thought it was just me. My best friend is also a nurse with a few years under her belt. She was able to help me shed some light on my situation. She knows my faults and is loyal, but not to the point of blindness where I'm concerned. So when she said, "Honey, it's not you. It's not because you're new. It's a bad floor. You gotta get out of there.", I took her seriously. I put in a transfer after I had been there eight months and it went through after I had been there close to eleven. So while it's good to wait, if a place is truly unsafe and toxic, you may do well to get the h#$% out of there. You just need some input from a few seasoned nurses you can trust to help you discern which to do.
    Last edit by NurseyBaby'05 on Jan 22, '07
  7. by   Diva Nurse Dani
    Thanks everyone for your input.

    Though I want to run for the hills and not look back, I will put in my year and see where I'm at then.

    And in fairness, maybe the particular specialty is part of my dismay. At one time, I couldn't wait to become chemo certified. Now I want nothing to do with it. I do seem to gravitate to my hospice patients (and their families) so I have that idea in the back of my mind. I need a year experience to try that. And I know they have openings.

    I had a seasoned nurse keep telling me to get my in my year and then go and try other departments. Her rationale was that we don't know anything about nursing or the opportunites available until we get out there in it. MAybe she was right (though I wondered why she kept telling me this, I always told her I liked the floor I was on).

    This is me "sucking it up"
  8. by   whartonjelly
    Night shift is where I learned the most. More time to review the charts and understand what the doctors were plannning. Less distractions. Family members are always going to be in a near p anic state so you have to tolerate them on any shift. I became closer to the nurses on the night shift. I have been anurse for over 30 years. still working. mostly eves to stay away form the confusion of day shift.
  9. by   GingerSue
    you might like rehab - can be a positive atmosphere

    or home visiting nursing - you're out there on your own
  10. by   Calgon-take.me.away
    I've been a nurse for going on 13 years now. Did a 6 month in med-surg just to try it out. Hated it,,,,,hated hw patients were shipped in and out, felt as if i was on the receiving end of every drug seeking, attention seeking, needy, whiney, patient out there. So, went back to my first love, LTC, where I spent 21 years as a CNA at. Ya have to follow your heart. You have to sit down and figure out where you are happiest at,,,not where you will be making the most money. Like I have always said, if digging ditch for $5 and hour makes you happy, well, go out there and be the best ditch digger there ever was. My brother, lives in Miami, makes $$$$, has the boat, the beach house, the car, the trips, and is absolutely miserable with his job. HATES IT!! I try and tell him, but he is so focused on his "stuff". Loves the expensive suits, loves the vacations, but is unhappy. You only get one shot in this life,,,,this is not a practice run. You have to strive to find your calling, why you are here, why you became a nurse. It may take awhile, you sound young...so give it a shot, and when you find your purpose, AND YOU WILL, you will know it,,,and the peace and joy that you have in fufilling your calling will be soooo worth all of the frustration that you are going thru now
  11. by   caliotter3
    There are so many areas in nrsg, and so many opportunities. Many nurses stay in an area and change areas when they truly feel that dissatisfaction that says change. You can find your area that brings you passion for the rest of your career or you can change areas often enough to keep your work life satisfactory and challenging. Don't give up anything unless, for some reason, it becomes unbearable. Give it some time.
  12. by   nursemary9
    Quote from NurseyBaby'05
    A change of shift might make things a little easier. I wound up switching to straight nights so I could leave a lot of the everyday bs where the sun does shine. I'm just not there with it. :chuckle Fewer docs, family members, tests and the like. The pace is a little less hectic, but you trade-off by not having the same resources that you would working during the day. As for getting chewed out, who cares if someone is "mad" at you? You're not there for people to like you. I think Leslie has a good point. A bad floor may still be a bad floor, but your perspective may be a little different when the newness wears off. You'll be able to better differentiate how much is you being a new nurse and how much of it is toxic environment.

    I started out on a bad floor, but like you, I thought it was just me. My best friend is also a nurse with a few years under her belt. She was able to help me shed some light on my situation. She knows my faults and is loyal, but not to the point of blindness where I'm concerned. So when she said, "Honey, it's not you. It's not because you're new. It's a bad floor. You gotta get out of there.", I took her seriously. I put in a transfer after I had been there eight months and it went through after I had been there close to eleven. So while it's good to wait, if a place is truly unsafe and toxic, you may do well to get the h#$% out of there. You just need some input from a few seasoned nurses you can trust to help you discern which to do.


    Hi

    Everyone has given you such good advice here.
    I have been a nurse for 40 years plus!! I really didn't think I would like it, at first. But, I actually do love it. However, that being said, I'm nit sure I even liked it right at the beginning.
    Like everyone says, Give It Time!! At least a year. Then--you can, perhaps, find a different setting or a different specialty or a different shift.
    Maybe Hospice Nursing is for you or even Home Health. I have done Bedside Nursing for so long & do love it---but I work nites!!! I love the fact that the Bosses aren't here as well as most families & most Docs!! All the Noise on the Day Shift would make me INSANE!!!
    I also did Home Health for about 10 yrs. I LOVED that also---you can kind of make your own schedule & also spend real, quality time with your patients & families.

    The thing I love about Nursing is that you have so many Options----if you don't like one thing, there are many other things to go to.
    Explore your options; take your time; give yourself some credit. The first year is SO STRESSFUL!! You are just getting out there & just getting your toes wet!! You'll make it!!

    Let us know how things go after a while.

    Mary Ann
  13. by   wonderbee
    It's all just more education in the grand scheme of things. Try being consciously aware as you go about your day of the areas of your process that bring you satisfaction. What one thing that you did or saw in your nursing day stands out the most as the thought you'd like to remember before your head hits the pillow? Think about the gifts you bring to the nursing table that are unique to yourself. You say you gravitate toward hospice patients. There may be something there. I really believe the first year is like a paid education where we learn about where we fit and where we don't. Stay open and focused on where your compass wants to take you.
  14. by   kat911
    Like others have said, fininsh up your first year then try some other areas. Find out what you do best and what you like most about Nursing. Then find your niche. I have worked many different areas over the years and have no regrets. I am getting ready to change jobs again. After 28 yrs still look forward to new opportunities. You don't have to have just one area you like, you may want to try different things over the years. There are so many opportunities for nurses and more will develop over the next 10-20 years. Think of the possiblilites!!

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