not sure if I can do it much longer?

  1. I've suffered from some pretty severe depression most of my life. I always wanted to go into nursing, did wonderfully in school (BSN), and for a long while, my job was my salvation, actually helped keep me from being too deeply depressed even in some rough times. But since the it's gone downhill. I love it, I really do......but I've been hospitalized (psych 3 times) since I started nursing, lost one job due to calling in sick too frequently......found I have difficulty with shift rotation (the shift changes mess with my mental internal clock).....tried straight nights which was great for a while, until the effect of being up all night and sleeping days began to really screw me up (leading to my first OD attempt and hospitalization). I eventually left hospital nursing, to avoid rotating....as no one gets straight days in a hospital, even those with seniority! I got a homecare job......days, M-F, occasiona weekend and weekday eve on-call, but not enough to matter. It's been a while, and getting rougher and rougher, despite working in my specialty area, which I love! The hours have gotten so long.......see patients all day till 4:30 or 5, come home and eat (since I didn't have lunch or breakfast, except maybe a granola bar), the do my paperwork, which with occasional interuption re homework help, can take up to 9-10pm, esp as we recntly changed our software, and it had made this waaaaay slower. I feel like all I do is work and sleep. No surprise I am falling into another bad depression. Seeing a psych doc, on meds (have recently been adjusted), also being worked up for GI probs, likely stress related as well. My qualm is thus: what else is there I can do, in nursing or a related field where I don't have to rotate shirts, or work long hours like I do now? I knew what I was getting into when I got my degree, I just thought I would be stronger, that I could take it. I'm not sure I can. I love the field, and don't want to leave it. I applied at an office, which seemed pretty low key, not very busy.....but it's been 2 weeks and no word. Other offices might be an option, but I know some are also very busy and intense. Are there other career optiona anyone knows of, or has tired, or is doing? I don't want to leave the health care arena, I really don't. Please, does anyone have advice for someone who needs just a tad less stress right now?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    For what it's worth:

    Give agency nursing a try if you still think you would like to do hospital nursing. Don't take any shift hours or jobs you don't want to do.

    For non-agency jobs, apply for only part time or per diem, only jobs you want to try/do, and only the shifts that suit you--with no rotations, etc.

    No more home health. If you check out that forum, you'll see that drowning in paperwork and not making enough money to make it worthwhile are commonplace.

    Look down the list of nursing specialty forums on this BB and check out the ones that you think you might want to try.

    Don't rush into anything you know you won't like.

    Best wishes
    Last edit by sjoe on Oct 11, '02
  4. by   cmggriff
    sphinx, The half man-half lion creature that turned to stone when its riddle was answered correctly. Interesting choice of names. I have no advice for you, but I want to suggest that maybe you are not just depressed. You may be bipolar. Check this out with your doc, too. And never quit. Beat of luck to sphinx. Gary
  5. by   Youda
    sphinx, you know I really feel for you. I'm so sorry it's getting worse, though. You might try agency, like sjoe suggested. Yesterday I went and applied at an agency and just about fell off my chair when they showed me the wages. I will now be able to work 2 days a week and make the same as I have been making full-time. I need the break. Take a few days off, and run around and see what's available. I know you don't have a lot of employment options where you live, but there's gotta be something better than where you are. Hugs to you!
  6. by   Teshiee
    I don't know if this would help any but when I first received my RN license I called around the area for NICU training programs and to my suprise there were quite a few and one was a week away the manager wisked me in and I was working in no time. Do you receive nurseweek? Sometimes there are hospitals that have training programs for what area you want. With this so called nursing shortage it shouldn't be too hard. I do wish you luck though. I don't blame you changing sometimes that keep su sane.
  7. by   renerian
    I just accepted a job as a case manager. I have no nights, weekends, holidays or on call. Ever think of that? Maybe you can just work part time?

    renerian
  8. by   Youda
    From the sounds of your posts, I think a change is going to be forced on you if you don't make it first (health). Don't let this job, or any other one for that matter, get you down this low, sphinx.

    I know when you're down in the pit, you start to believe that you're stuck and that you don't have any options, or that you *must* keep going. It's more likely that your mood is telling you that than reality. Take a leap of faith.

    And don't take the doctor's office too personally. It's hard to get on at a doctor's office because so many apply. You almost have to have an existing working relationship with the doc before the job opening is there.
  9. by   mattsmom81
    I agree with the suggestion to go agency for awhile. Get as much control as you can back in your life. And work less.

    Agency salary $$$ will allow you to work less which is important to mental health for many of us.

    Have you found a good counselor/therapist to help you work through this? I also agree with the bipolar observation...I also tend to overdo during periods of highs..then sink deeply into lows...it's worth checking out. Antidepressants can aggravate bipolar disorder....

    I'll keep you in my prayers, Sphinx. (((HUGS)))
  10. by   P_RN
    Sphinx. I understand all too well. I worked in a physicians's office for 7 years; 6 days a week ;sometimes 10-12 hours a day.

    Our 1/2 days Wed and Sat usually ended at about 4PM. I loved it. I hope you find a fit in a job that you love. Keep up with the counseling and urge your doctor to tweak the meds as much as is necessary.
    Good luck.

    P
  11. by   rncountry
    If you don't mind I wonder where you are that rotating shifts are a norm? I live in Mid Western Michigan and no place around me does rotating shifts anymore. I did find it to be a norm in Hawaii when we thought VERY seriously of moving there, the rotating shift thing is one of the biggest reasons we gave up on that idea. I couldn't handle that and neither could my family.
    Like others have suggested I would look at agency, I have done agency work when I couldn't take anymore and it worked wonders for me. Have thought seriously of going back recently, because I have been so angry and overwhelmed with the wound/infection control job I have been doing. I am taking a wait and see attitude for myself right now because I have been promised things will change where I am after I gave a resignation letter at the beginning of this week. Told them I am giving it a month to see if things actually do change. If not then I am agency bond again.
    Let us know how things work out for you.
    Helen
  12. by   smiling_ru
    Maybe school nursing.
  13. by   smiling_ru
    Research nursing with a pharmaceutical company. Although it might require a lot of travel.

    Industrial nursing, large companies, doing workmans comp injuries etc.

    Prison nursing, stable hours, no call etc. May be stressful though.

    A diet clinic that utilizes nurses, low stress, no call.

    There are a lot of options out there, look hard for one that fits. You will find it.
  14. by   sphinx
    Wow, I must say, I am surprised how many responses I got between going to bed, and dragging my sorry self out of bed at 11am this morning! I'l gonna try and address what some of you mentioned.
    First, for those who mentioned agency nursing, that's an interesting idea. A question though.....in my original post, I mentioned how I lost a job (ie, was fired)....this was from a large hospital that is part of (at least 1/2) a large health network system in the area, which has narrowed my empotment choices by a lot. If I worked at an agency, would they be able to place me at one of those places? Would I have to disclose I was fired? My last two jobs I did not, I stated I left my first job due to health reasons, which is true. And from what I understand, when they call former employers, the former employer is not allowed to tell them much more than when you worked there. Anyway.....

    A couple mentioned perhaps a dx of bipolar.......its been explored that perhaps I may have bipolar type 2. No one has decided if that is true........I have, for the past few years, always taken some form of "mood stabalizer" as part of my cocktail, as an adjunct. I am currently taking Topamax, along with the max dose of Wellbutrin SR. Topamax is fairly new in mood disporders, but has worked well for me so far, and is the one that was recently upped, now we wait and see. I've tried others, some with yucky side effects, most didn't work (Neurontin helped, but I gained a ton of weight).....

    renerian, you mentioned your job as a case manager, is this like, for an insurance company? What kind of setting can you do this work in, and how does one get into the field. I'd think with homecare experince, that'd help, having carried a caseload and all, manging most aspects of their care......

    For those that mentioned therapy/counselling. Well, currently, I do have a psychiatrist. I've had problems finding a complatible therapist. I had one for several months, and we never clicked, plus her hours were limited, it was more stressful than not, trying to get in to see her, with my schedule. I'm currently looking for someone new, but the availalility of the therapist, and being able to work it into my schedule is still a trick........also, I'm looking into not seeing a CSW, but a psychologist at least.

    rncountry....I live in the finger lakes area of NYS. It's a decent sized city, and as far as I know, all the hospitals rotate shifts. Not all have you rotate through all three, a lot have gone to either D/E or D/N. If you are lucky and there's a spot, you can get a straight shift, but only eves or nights. I did straight nights, and liked it a lot, but in the end, it made my depression much worse, screwed with my circadian rhythm and all. I always liked eves, but with 2 school ages kids, I don't like it, because I don't get to see them on days I work eves......and one of my kids is only with me 3 eves a week due to custory/visitation issues, and I've not found managers to be flexible about that, and I've gone weeks where I've seen him only one night a week!

    And smiling_ru, thanks for the great idea, some I'd never even thought of. How do you go about breaking into some of those fields? It's not like things you see advertised, and I don't know anyone in some of those areas......do you just get out the phone book and call around, make contacts that way?

    Well, thanks for the idea......if anyone else has more, keep 'em coming......weekends are surprisingly low for me, because I obsess on how fast they go, crazy, I know. So-I'll be around.

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