The passion to work is gone

  1. I work at a Level 1 Trauma Center's ED for the past 3 years going on 4. But for the past 8 months I've noticed I've been getting more irritated with the physicians whining and acting like divas/being more verbally abusive to me in general whenever I'm in triage or charge. My coworkers have gotten cliquier and I feel more and more excluded, to the point I feel like people talk **** about me. They 2nd guess my triage, get on my case when staffing is **** and think I have a magic wand that can fix things. Leadership things I do an excellent job and tell me the moment you get put into those situations because of the position I've been assigned. For being there for only 3 years I've become one of the more senior nurses, for some reason the nurses more senior than me no longer take charge anymore.


    When I'm not in charge, I just don't have that passion to take care of patients anymore. I'm not getting the satisfaction of making them feel better and taking care of them. When I get floated out of the ED to the observation section, where it's like floor nursing I still have the same problem. I feel like I've lost my passion/place in nursing and I'm nearly a year away from finishing my MSN to become an NP. I can't leave my job due to tuition reimbursement plus I have bills to play like many others. I have no idea what do do with myself. I've always believed the moment you don't feel like you have that enthusiasm or drive to take care of patients, it's time to step away because that sense is important to take care of patients.

    What should I do? Strangely working 3 days a week plus clinicals from school is enough for me to start breaking down. I can't drop to part time because there's no openings.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Emergent
    My advice is to count your blessings and stop whining. Nursing can be like relationships, the passion can be more intense in the earlier times.

    That's why it's better to view nursing as a way of putting food on the table which is interesting.

    Try to cultivate the ability to be detached. Gratitude is another useful attribute.
  4. by   JKL33
    Quote from Catch22Personified
    When I'm not in charge, I just don't have that passion to take care of patients anymore. I'm not getting the satisfaction of making them feel better and taking care of them. When I get floated out of the ED to the observation section, where it's like floor nursing I still have the same problem. I feel like I've lost my passion/place in nursing and I'm nearly a year away from finishing my MSN to become an NP....

    ....I've always believed the moment you don't feel like you have that enthusiasm or drive to take care of patients, it's time to step away because that sense is important to take care of patients.
    Okay, hear me out...I always feel motivated to do a good job. But...no one can ooze emotion from every pore 24/7 for days and years on end. My personal experience has been to have that kind of passion and satisfaction wax and wane. It's not possible to live on an adrenaline high forever or a passion-for-helping-others high. I can imagine your obligations and stressors are making you a bit physically and emotionally tired right now, but I think it would be a mistake to second-guess your place in nursing at this juncture. It is okay, in my humble opinion, to experience stretches where your contribution is simply to provide good, solid care to every patient you touch - - remember, that too, is compassion.
  5. by   Davey Do
    Wow, thanks Catch, Emergent, and JKL!

    Your posts helped me to identify and gave me a good kick in the pants!
  6. by   ChryssyD
    Wow, 3 days a week PLUS clinicals is stressing you out? No way. Some days I feel like I should get a medal for surviving 12 hours.

    Hang on. When you're tired and stressed everything irritates you so much more and more easily. ER is high-stress, and being in charge is always hard--you're where the buck stops, and when the $#!% hits the fan it always blows your way. You've got one more year, then you're on to a whole new set of problems. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth, and tough it out. You can do it!
  7. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Emergent
    My advice is to count your blessings and stop whining. Nursing can be like relationships, the passion can be more intense in the earlier times.

    That's why it's better to view nursing as a way of putting food on the table which is interesting.

    Try to cultivate the ability to be detached. Gratitude is another useful attribute.
    It is much better to be disaffected while one gets a paycheck to cover living expenses than to be unemployed.
  8. by   Nurse'sDaughter
    PLEASE HELP! My mother has been an LPN for almost 45 years. She is 64 years old, very active and passionate about the future, but is trapped in nursing. Going back to school is not really an option (no time/money) and she fights as hard as she can to find some other career where she can make the money she makes now (enough to live on but not support a good quality of life) and which brings her joy, but she has been scammed and let down and lied to and I am afraid she might give up. This might be too personal, but my mother is my best friend. She is a compassionate, creative and hard-working woman who has raised two children on her own (by choice and for the good of all of us) while she attended college and worked to support us. She deserves happiness and some semblance of freedom. Is there anyone out there who has some idea or inkling of wisdom that might help me help her? I would greatly appreciate any advice.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Nurse'sDaughter
    PLEASE HELP! My mother has been an LPN for almost 45 years. She is 64 years old, very active and passionate about the future, but is trapped in nursing. Going back to school is not really an option (no time/money) and she fights as hard as she can to find some other career where she can make the money she makes now (enough to live on but not support a good quality of life) and which brings her joy, but she has been scammed and let down and lied to and I am afraid she might give up. This might be too personal, but my mother is my best friend. She is a compassionate, creative and hard-working woman who has raised two children on her own (by choice and for the good of all of us) while she attended college and worked to support us. She deserves happiness and some semblance of freedom. Is there anyone out there who has some idea or inkling of wisdom that might help me help her? I would greatly appreciate any advice.
    Where I live, Costco pays comparably to LVN, but the trick is to get them to hire a person who is 64.
  10. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from Emergent
    My advice is to count your blessings and stop whining. Nursing can be like relationships, the passion can be more intense in the earlier times.

    That's why it's better to view nursing as a way of putting food on the table which is interesting.

    Try to cultivate the ability to be detached. Gratitude is another useful attribute.
    Am I the only one who thinks that is a bit harsh?

    This sounds like a classic case of burnout. Obviously you're committed to your current job through your tuition reimbursement, but maybe you could consider a couple of these ideas:

    Could you switch to another unit within the same hospital system without disrupting your tuition reimbursement? It sounds like your unit may have a workplace culture problem (nurses vs. physicians, staff vs. charge, etc.) Would you be able to get a fresh start on a different unit while still pursuing your program?

    I'd definitely try to see a therapist, especially if staying in your current position is inevitable. Your employer likely has an Employee Assistance Program, which offers a few free counseling sessions. Burn-out and feeling trapped in a job can definitely be catalysts for anxiety and depression. They may be able to help you develop coping strategies and perhaps figure out your next steps moving forward.

    This is a big stretch, but perhaps you could take a personal leave of absence to recharge? This would be harder to do (you'd have to convince your employer as well as your school program, plus find a temporary job to support yourself like waitressing). Still, if you're in serious need of a break, you might be able to make it work. While volunteering abroad, I took a 'volunteer' position bartending at a party hostel to get a free bed and meals; it was the most fun I ever had and gave me a mental break during nursing school. I've known nurses who took a leave of absence to volunteer for the non-profit Mercy Ships in Africa for a couple of months (though this is not paid). If you can swing it, temporarily stepping away might help you recharge and get a fresh perspective.

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