Quitting 4 months into nursing? - page 2

So I wrote a few months back about how I had 3 weeks of orientation and was feeling overwhelmed, not getting breaks most of the time etc... I hate this job. I was going to say I hate nursing,... Read More

  1. by   LadyT618
    Quote from barbie90210
    [font=book antiqua]i think the key is that the job will never change. some people are just too stubborn to quit - but maybe should have because they are definitely not happy. some people cannot quit because of family and benefits, etc. some people resent that they have spent so much on their education and find out what it is like in the "real world". i think you should follow your instincts. if you cannot change the situation then you have to change yourself. it's not easy. you have to be able to respond instead of react. it takes confidence, maturity, and a lot of self esteem. that kind of change takes time. for a younger nurse it may be truly overwhelming. i'm not advocating being a quitter but you also can't quit on yourself by resigning yourself to be stressed and unhappy. there are nurses that have been doing this for a long time that feel exactly as you do but they haven't quit. the reasons are varied and i have listed some of them above. the best thing in my opinion is to quit while you still have options. there are so many posts here of nurses saying they are "looking for a way out" of hospital nursing and can't find it. they have a certain level of income and are "used" to the role. i think you should do what you know is best for yourself. it's true your orientation is probably not the best so you may want to look for another position with a more comprehensive orientation. however the floor work will not change. your response to it will (hopefully) change and that will decrease your stress. some days it will be a little better and some days it may be a lot worse. you may benefit by finding some sort of support group for new nurses in your community - or creating one. do what is best for yourself! :icon_hug:
    :yeahthat:
  2. by   augigi
    I definitely agree that 3 weeks orientation on med-surg for a new RN is not enough. It's no wonder you feel overwhelmed! Even experienced nurses feel overwhelmed at times, so it's going to be worse for you.

    Having said that, with all the time, money and effort you've invested in nursing, I wouldn't advise you to quit yet. You are a beginner at this point, so everything is harder. It DOES get easier. Regardless of your ward, it gets easier with experience. I agree 100% with Wooh, who posted some great tips for you. Another thing I find helpful is writing down a list of tasks I have to do (meds, dressings etc) and then I can schedule other things in.

    Learning to tell patients they'll have to wait for non-essential things is also an important skill a lot of new nurses haven't yet developed. It's not "mean", it's just essential. You have to prioritise your time, and noone can do everything for everyone.

    Please talk to your manager or clinical teacher, who should be able to help you with time-management skills. Get a book on the topic, or read some info on the internet. There are lots of ways to help out with this. Give yourself a break, and give it a chance before you move on.
  3. by   rach_nc_03
    From someone who, because of health problems, had 4 jobs in her first year in nursing, believe me when I say that leaving a job after a few months is not the end of the world. It creates challenges, yes- but it's not impossible to overcome.

    You're 36, so I'm assuming you had other work experience before nursing school. Look back on that experience, and think about the strengths and weaknesses you saw in yourself then. Were you great at analysis, but not so good at multitasking? Wonderful at finding new ways of doing things, but not so hot with following orders without questioning them? (Not accusing you of these things- these are some of my own self-discoveries.)

    Do you have any sort of career center in your community, or one affiliated with your school? Even a session or two with a therapist just to help you clarify your feelings and goals might help. For that matter, you may have a friend, family member, or clergy who can help you work through this process. I would recommend you talk to at LEAST one person who *isn't* a healthcare worker while you're doing this- we all have our biases. Someone who's been happy in med-surg for 15 years may really believe you should stick it out, when that may just be the wrong option for you.

    You mentioned that you don't have to work right now. Personally, i think you should take advantage of this and really find out what you want to do. There will be some employers that frown on this, but others who will respect your decision to find the area where you can provide the best nursing care possible.

    My last two years, to put it bluntly, have sucked. Five surgeries, a husband in the army stationed 8000 miles away the entire time, finishing nursing school, and starting my career. The most important thing I learned through this whole process is that work is NOT the most important aspect of life- not even close. Work should never be something that makes you miserable- and it DEFINITELY shouldn't be something that makes you unhappy when you're not even there!

    Do what's best for YOU. If it takes leaving this job and taking some time to figure that out, do it. To pull out an old (but true) cliche, life is way too short to be miserable.
  4. by   Wash31
    Quote from mariedoreen
    So I wrote a few months back about how I had 3 weeks of orientation and was feeling overwhelmed, not getting breaks most of the time etc...

    I hate this job. I was going to say I hate nursing, but I don't. I love my patients and I love being their nurse. What I don't love is being overwhelmed with too many responsibilities, not being able to have time to double check orders or think about what I'm doing etc... It's like I'm racing around putting out fires from one patient to the next and have no time to give them quality, SAFE care. Certain skills still freak me out, I'm not great at IV starts for example and foley caths on women are a challenge for me... some of the staff are supportive when they have time, some are pretty condescending...

    All of these things are probably normal for a new grad so I've hung in there telling myself that with time it would all get better. But the reality is I look around and I see experienced nurses stressed and running too. This is not the kind of job I want. I am not happy in this environment and I really don't think I will be.

    How bad does it look to a future employer for me to quit hospital nursing after 4-5 months? I'm thinking of looking for a clinic position, something with a different kind of stress load to it. At some point anyway... I don't have to work right now and would like to take a "break" between jobs if that wouldn't look bad. Mainly because I live in a rural area and there are very limited options here, so I may end up not working until we move to a more populated area in about 12-18 months.

    Any thoughts?
    I might sound a little harsh, but don't take it personally. Don't ever forget where you were in life before your career. You have made it through school, and now you need to start using your common sense. You have done your book work, be proud. Now you need to start blending your book skills with your common sense(survival). Don't let people, time, and everyday living stop what you have worked so hard for. Just start getting smarter. Whiether you stay or go, you will have to deal with some level of stress no matter what. Personally, I would rather have to struggle at a job that has the world to offer, than struggle at a convience store with no pay or future at all. If I were you, I would adjust myself to dealing with this cruel world ASAP, and be thankful that God saw you through as far as he has.
  5. by   cjj0603
    Hi, Mariedoreen,
    I'm sorry you're so unhappy. I'm just finishing up orientation in med surg, and there are things I don't like: the patient load is difficult, way too few aides, some obnoxious doctors, patients who think it's a hotel, family members who think their loved one is the only patient you have, repetitive redundant paperwork, gossip, catty nurses, obsessive-compulsive preceptors, etc. However, I like nursing itself and I even like the variety in med surg. So I guess I'm asking you is it the basic profession you want to get away from, or the surrounding work environment? Is there anything you enjoy or get gratification from? If you think you want to be a nurse somewhere, I would stay where you are for a year unless they actually kick you out. Since you don't have to work right now, what about reducing the number of days you work? Maybe running ragged for 2 or 3 days a week is manageable instead of 4 or 5.
    Anyway, I know that sinking feeling when you have spent so much time and money on becoming an R.N. and then wonder if you made a mistake.
    Good luck, no matter what you decide to do.
  6. by   RNSacht
    I just want to say the I myself am only 9 months into a new grad job on telemetry. My new attitude is you can only do what you can do. My motto #1 is Keep the Patient SAFE and #2 Protect your license (cover your A$$) Before I leave I make sure to check ALL the days orders, a quick check of the labs (even if they arent due just a double check again safety) and check my MAR. If my patient did not get a bath, he is safe and Im not going to court. If a patients family complains to management because I did not fill the water pitcher on time, again he is safe and Im not going to court. If a patients bed is not changed again safe and NO court. I try not to get too tied up in these little bullsh#$ complaints that tend to drag us down and burn us out. Unfortunately I do not think nursing is what it used to be (back rubs, baths, etc) I wish it could be but there is so much legal issues now and I just think safety and no court. I hope this helps, I do not want to burn out in a year either!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. by   carol72
    I want to thank you for your honesty with respect to your strengths, weaknesses & feelings about your position. My suggestion would be, first of all run (how fast can you run) from this position you have chosen. I would look for a position in clinical research/clinical studies/trials. These positions are business hours, no weekends ect. You could use this as an excuse. Be honest, who wants to work on holidays? If this is not interesting to you, have you thought of a specialty like ophthalmology or derm? I worked in ophthalmology for 18 years & would be happy to share my experiences with you. You could check out www.asorn.org
    Again, I am happy to share any & all of my experience with you. Best wishes
  8. by   yumaRN1990
    I agree with many of the statements and ideas that Wooh had. Your preceptorship or oreintation was so short and I understand your frustration. Give it some time, it takes 6 to 8 months sometimes even longer to begin to feel comfortable. Ask for help, ( I don't know why nurses tend to eat thier young), if you are not able to get help from your fellow nurse, ask your charge nurse. I am the charge nurse on a busy med-surg floor and it is part of my job to help others. It doesn't matter what it is, it could be to start an IV or answer a simple question, sometimes just answering someone simple questions is the biggest help of all. I say don't quit yet, use your floor resources for assistance and ideas. If you still feel you can't work on med-surg, check out other departments. I also saw another good idea and that was to cut your hours for a while, that might help to give you a good prespective. Whatever you do, I hope that it is the right decision for you, and your are the only one who can make that choice.
  9. by   lorster
    Wooh, this is excellent advice and I should have been constructive to Mariedoreen. Organization is key in being a successful nurse. A lot of times if the patient knows what to expect and those expectations are met by the nurse, there won't be so much running, unnecessary trips here and there and your shift will go better. I stay with a strict routine like Wooh and always try to think a head and an initial assessment at the beginning of your shift will lay the groundwork for how the rest of your shift will go. The more you know about your patient, the more on top of the game you will be. There are many areas of nursing and the unit where you work may not be the right one. If you have a love of this profession, do not give up after 4 months. I understand what it is like to live in a rural area, there are not as many options. I graduated with a nurse who found that she hated bed side care and went into pharmacutical sales and loved it and her nursing education came in very handy. I have spent 18 years of my life being miserable on my job and that is far too long. I am making the change for good after the holidays so that no more of my life gets wasted being unhappy. Please research your options before you throw in the towel. Good luck and keep us posted.
  10. by   BSNtobe2009
    Hey, my daughter's, nanny's sister (if that makes sense <wink>), got her RN, worked 3 months, and some doctor threw a temper tantrum on her and she slapped him across the face and walked out on her job.

    It must have been a good move, b/c she went to work for an insurance agency and fast forward 25 years later she's making over $250,000 a year as the Vice-President for the Insurance Company

    There is nothing wrong with doing what your heart tells you is right, but it might be WHERE you are working or the type of nursing you are doing. I could never do adult nursing, and I know that. If it's an emergency, I wouldn't let someone sit there and die, regardless of what the situation was, but I would take a look at that first before you quit nursing.
  11. by   SMARTY_RN
    Quote from mariedoreen
    So I wrote a few months back about how I had 3 weeks of orientation and was feeling overwhelmed, not getting breaks most of the time etc...

    I hate this job. I was going to say I hate nursing, but I don't. I love my patients and I love being their nurse. What I don't love is being overwhelmed with too many responsibilities, not being able to have time to double check orders or think about what I'm doing etc... It's like I'm racing around putting out fires from one patient to the next and have no time to give them quality, SAFE care. Certain skills still freak me out, I'm not great at IV starts for example and foley caths on women are a challenge for me... some of the staff are supportive when they have time, some are pretty condescending...

    All of these things are probably normal for a new grad so I've hung in there telling myself that with time it would all get better. But the reality is I look around and I see experienced nurses stressed and running too. This is not the kind of job I want. I am not happy in this environment and I really don't think I will be.

    How bad does it look to a future employer for me to quit hospital nursing after 4-5 months? I'm thinking of looking for a clinic position, something with a different kind of stress load to it. At some point anyway... I don't have to work right now and would like to take a "break" between jobs if that wouldn't look bad. Mainly because I live in a rural area and there are very limited options here, so I may end up not working until we move to a more populated area in about 12-18 months.

    Any thoughts?
    Hello I just joined this community and I am happy to be here. I would love to give you a bit of encouragement. I myself just graduated in May 2005 and I started off doing a 6 mth internship in surgery and then I tried 6 mths of med-surg and telemetry. Finally I am back in the surgery and I am very happy. I started feeling the same way you did when I first graduated. Just try out a few areas and see what you feel more comfortable with. Thats the great thing about nursing, there are so many different jobs you can do. Everyone is not interested in the traditional med-surg type of nursing.........Don't give up please,,,,,,! You have some powerful knowledge....Good Luck and keep us updated........

    SMARTY_RN:spin:
    Last edit by SMARTY_RN on Nov 4, '06
  12. by   truern
    Quote from augigi
    Learning to tell patients they'll have to wait for non-essential things is also an important skill a lot of new nurses haven't yet developed. It's not "mean", it's just essential. You have to prioritise your time, and noone can do everything for everyone.
    That's probably right up there in my top five problems with time management. On my unit the nurses carry phones that the patients can buzz thru on. It's such a PIA to wait for the phone to connect to the room that I usually just go see what they need (and sometimes it NEVER connects). 9 out of 10 times its something they needed the tech for but I end up doing/getting/whatever.

    Even worse is just trying to get a tech to answer their phone
  13. by   RNLifesaver
    I certainly wouldn't quit "nursing"- but it might be that the particular position or specialty area is not for you. I did home care for 2 months and realized that I did not care for case managing! I don't really know anybody who can know EXACTLY what they want to specialize in right after school. When I graduated, I wanted to be a flight nurse. In all the years I have been in nursing, I can't tell you how many times I have changed my mind as to what I wanted to do!!

    Certainly, the skills you are learning on a medical floor are extremely VALUABLE! If you can hack it, I would stay until you are competent in it. However, if you are going in to work feeling miserable- find something else. You only get one life to live. YOU have to be happy.

    That is the beauty of our field! When you want a new challenge or a different experience, it's there. You are always a nurse!

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