Last year, I left an ER job and went back to ICU nursing at a smaller hospital much closer to home. The ER job was a 90-mile round trip (360 miles/week), and was night shifts. Although I had worked nights prior to that, this job resulted in my wife and me seeing each other for about 1/2-day each week (this closely resembled the situation in my first marriage). She was tolerant of it, but then she is not one to complain much anyway unless things get really bad. Beyond that, I found myself being abrupt with people and more cynical than I could imagine. Must be I was not happy in that job. On my way home on the day I left that job, I called my wife at her office and invited her to lunch, something we had not been able to do in about a year
. I told her at lunch that I was officially between jobs, but not for long enough to take a vacation
I was seriously considering another line of work when a very good friend (a RN with whom I worked in a nearby ICU and had gone to work for another hospital in the area) e-mailed me one day and suggested that I apply at the ICU of the place where she is working. I initially passed it off as something for "maybe later" until she e-mailed me again and told me she had just given that hospital's recruiter the lowdown on me and that I should talk with this recruiter right away
, and I did. After interviewing with the ICU Director, it was a done deal
Present and past co-workers, as well as other friends, tell me that I seem much happier now, probably because I am happier. I am now doing three 12-hour night shifts/week with some overtime, and am also doing per diem at another hospital ER when I have the time.
Getting back to basics at home has not been easy, but it can be done. If I have learned anything, it is to never let the job push the marriage around.