Nine Lives

by VivaLasViejas Guide

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How many jobs can a nurse have in the course of sixteen years? And how many times can a career go belly-up, only to be resurrected again by a miracle of God---or just a stroke of dumb luck? Apparently, it's more than a few, as I'm still clawing and scratching to hang onto what's left of mine.....and for some reason that is perfectly OK with me.

  1. 27

    Nine Lives

    I swear, my nursing career must have more lives than a cat.

    I knew it was over when I had a nervous breakdown and walked away from the hospital I'd worked in, off and on, for five years. I knew it was over when I aggravated an old knee injury and had to have surgery that (supposedly) ended my floor-nursing days. I was REALLY sure it was over when another meltdown cost me my 'dream' job. And then, two months ago when I realized I no longer had the cognitive ability to continue in an active nursing role, I became absolutely, positively certain that my career was dead in the water.

    Now......not so much.

    It turns out that there is something left of the nurse I once was; again, I seem to have found redemption in the same old nursing home that I've loved ever since I took my CNA training there twenty years ago. All I do is weekend admissions, a little QA work, and the occasional med pass (see The Stumblebutt Chronicles for a glimpse of my efficiency at that particular task), but it fills a need for both the facility and my identity as a nurse.

    I never realized how important that was to me until I was faced with the prospect of leaving nursing entirely. I still might have to---I'm pretty limited in what I can handle---but I've decided I'm going to give it one more shot, and as long as my facility supports me in that, I'm not going anywhere.

    A major factor in this decision was, of course, not having the foggiest idea of what kind of work I'd want to do instead. I used to think that my biggest problem with nursing was in having to deal with the public all day long---if I could simply work uninterrupted for part of the day and have somebody keep patients' families out of my face, I'd have been a whiz at it. But I could be working at Safeway and still have to buy into that "customer service" mindset, only I'd be doing it for minimum wage instead of....well, what I make at my current job. So obviously there's no advantage in leaving nursing for retail.

    I also wondered about transferable skills. Despite my difficulties with concentration and multi-tasking, I'm pretty decent at computer work, and I thought about taking an office job of some sort, maybe even in a medical clinic. But again, there was the issue of being around other people all the time, and the constant ringing of the phones would have made me certifiable by the end of the first day. Scratch that off the list.

    Long story short, I simply couldn't come up with ANYTHING that was better than what I'm doing right now. Sometimes I wish it could be a little more exciting, but then I remember what "excitement" does to my disposition and my ability to focus, and I thank Heaven for the relatively low stress of my job.

    Sometimes I also wish I could just stay home and earn a living by writing about nursing, but then if I weren't practicing even in this minor capacity, I'd soon run out of ideas and have to go back to work for real. Besides, my head doctor has this funny idea that I'd isolate myself at home and miss out on normal human interactions, and for some reason he thinks that would be a bad thing. Go figure.

    So....I am still a nurse, and a nurse I shall remain for the time being. It's too much a part of me. I may not be able to do what I once thought of as the 'toughest job I've ever loved', but I can still contribute in my own small way. After all---as corny as it sounds---there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of having a patient or co-worker say "Thank you!" and knowing that at least for today, I made a difference.

    Guess you could say nursing's got its claws into me and won't let go. Meow.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 17, '13
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  4. About VivaLasViejas

    VivaLasViejas joined Sep '02 - from 'The Great Northwest'. Age: 55 VivaLasViejas has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'LTC, assisted living, geriatrics, psych'. Posts: 24,586 Likes: 33,375; Learn more about VivaLasViejas by visiting their allnursesPage


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    10 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    love it
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  6. 2
    Glad to see you're not giving up. Keep us updated on how you're doing.
  7. 4
    When I get off from the hospital, I don't watch any type of medical/nursing related shows; I don't want to discuss it at all; I don't want to hear so much as the mention of an aspirin. Yet I get on ALLNURSES every single day, sometimes logged in and sometimes not, just to see what crap others are going through or hear about those rare special moments where a nurse MIGHT have had an ok shift.

    When I'm not doing that, I'm taking THREE BSN nursing courses and frequently checking back to see if anyone has posted anything new for me to respond to. Boy, do I hate nursing!
    twinkletoes53, TrixieRN1, Esme12, and 1 other like this.
  8. 2
    That was the most honest article!! I have exactly the same time spent in nursing and the exact same experiences!! we must be soul sisters. I know how hard it has been and i'm sure you have felt like a failure at times because I know I have. But we do have the skills and experience to move forward, we just have to be realistic with ourselves and wait for the job we know we can stick with. Luckily my hubby can support me or we'd be in trouble!! thank You for your letter.
  9. 1
    Purrrfect!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  10. 1
    Needed this!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from VivaLasViejas

    So....I am still a nurse, and a nurse I shall remain for the time being. It's too much a part of me. I may not be able to do what I once thought of as the 'toughest job I've ever loved', but I can still contribute in my own small way. After all---as corny as it sounds---there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of having a patient or co-worker say "Thank you!" and knowing that at least for today, I made a difference.

    Guess you could say nursing's got its claws into me and won't let go. Meow.


    thank you Viva!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  12. 1
    I have an idea about how you feel. I cant do what I was trained to do.... due to health. I wonder where I will be in a year!
    GOOD luck and take care! Debbie
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  13. 0
    Thanks, y'all. I'm even getting to the point where I'm not minding that med pass so much. Who knows to what heights I may climb next?


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