Thinking about quitting

  1. I've been a nurse for 2 years already and I feel like I hate it more with each passing day. I've hung it out this long for various reasons. First being that I was a new graduate and thought I'd get better in time. I don't feel like I have. Second, I thought nights might have been having a negative impact on me. As a result, I have recently switched to days. I hate it more so than ever. I feel overworked, underappreciated, and, most scary of all, like there is so much that needs to be done that I sometimes overlook critical information on patient's health. Most days, I feel like a chicken running around without their heads. It extends into my personal life as I obsessed over everything I did wrong and I dread going into work. There are days when I find it difficult to just get out of bed. Sometimes, I feel like quitting but this is a second career for me and I gave up a lot to be here. I love nursing because I love caring for others and I love that I learn something new everyday. But I honestly feel so burned out and depressed. I really cannot see me doing this for the next 25-30 years of my life.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Take a good vacation and get checked out by your PCP. Get started on a good exercise program and get enough sleep and the right nutrition. Your health condition could have a lot to do with your attitude. Look into trying a new nursing specialty before throwing in the towel. Once you have fixed or improved any of these aspects of your life, if a change of scenery does not help after another year or so, start thinking about what you would rather do than nursing. No sense in spending the rest of your life being miserable if you can find something that better suits your temperament.
  4. by   ruby_jane
    I am also a second-career nurse and I have days when I think I should never have gone to nursing school.

    You have two good years in acute care. Why not switch to a non-bedside job? Also pay attention to Caliotter's advice - it's good advice.
  5. by   Rocknurse
    Sounds like you need to take control. If you feel that circumstances are out of control, then try to make yourself a creature of habit and work to some kind of framework so that you don't find yourself missing something. I know nursing isn't rigid and things happen during the shift that interrupt your train of thought, but you can still loosely adhere to some kind of plan. When I'm in the ICU I make a plan for my shift. I write a grid-like list and write out the times from 7am to 7pm in hourly increments and then use a different column for each patient. Then I write down all the things I know are going to happen, for example blood sugars. If my patient's are on 2-hourly checks I'll write them in the grid for those times: 8a, 10a, 12p etc. Then I'll look in the MAR and write down any hour that meds are due and I'll check them off as I go. Now I can see at a glance when I have things due. I also write a list of other tasks at the bottom with a little check-off square next to it, for example the patient needs an MRI, or a diet change, and during the day I'll keep checking it and mark them off as I do them. That way I can see any tasks that I have to do that I don't want to forget. I have 12 hours to achieve them. That way nothing gets forgotten. Soon you'll master it and will feel more in control. You'll feel like supernurse!
  6. by   Farawyn
    Try non hospital nursing. You've been there for 2 years...maybe make the switch? What is stressful for one person is not for someone else.

    Good luck.
  7. by   OldDude
    Quote from Rocknurse
    Sounds like you need to take control. If you feel that circumstances are out of control, then try to make yourself a creature of habit and work to some kind of framework so that you don't find yourself missing something. I know nursing isn't rigid and things happen during the shift that interrupt your train of thought, but you can still loosely adhere to some kind of plan. When I'm in the ICU I make a plan for my shift. I write a grid-like list and write out the times from 7am to 7pm in hourly increments and then use a different column for each patient. Then I write down all the things I know are going to happen, for example blood sugars. If my patient's are on 2-hourly checks I'll write them in the grid for those times: 8a, 10a, 12p etc. Then I'll look in the MAR and write down any hour that meds are due and I'll check them off as I go. Now I can see at a glance when I have things due. I also write a list of other tasks at the bottom with a little check-off square next to it, for example the patient needs an MRI, or a diet change, and during the day I'll keep checking it and mark them off as I do them. That way I can see any tasks that I have to do that I don't want to forget. I have 12 hours to achieve them. That way nothing gets forgotten. Soon you'll master it and will feel more in control. You'll feel like supernurse!
    This is a good suggestion.

    It might be because my mind is starting to lose traction but I have to set reminders for many many things that are actually routine. In school nursing, to say you get distracted is the ultimate understatement. Anyway I set reminders on my Outlook calendar to pop up as well as my phone. It really frees up space in my brain to juggle other stuff during the day. Try it. Just attempting to remember everything is stressful in and of itself.
  8. by   Been there,done that
    You have 2 years of nursing experience.That opens many doors for you. Think outside the hospital box.

    Research the job boards. As an example, you could work from home for insurance companies.

    Best wishes, happy hunting.
  9. by   Crush
    Think about how you can make a change to a less stressful environment to work in. There are certainly many areas that may open up for you with having some experience.
  10. by   Green Tea, RN
    I don't know your financial situation, but why don't you be part time at work if you can afford? Just dropping 0.2 FTE makes difference. I'm just suggesting an opinion because I wanna remind you nursing doesn't have to be all or nothing. I believe one of a few good things about nursing is flexibility. It may be better to cut back hours at work and spend more time to take care of yourself. Also, I think just temporary being part time is okay to see if it improves your quality of life.
    Here is about myself. I have 2+ years of nursing experience (a year in med-surg and the rest in OR). I was chronically exhausted and thinking about the rest of my life doing the same job made me feel dreaded. I asked my manager if it was okay to be part time and she allowed me to do so. I think she thought it was better having me part time than loosing all.
    I now work on 0.5 FTE and take classes in my free time. The quality of my life is much better.
  11. by   naptimeRN
    Apply for non hospital jobs. When I was sick of the hospital after two years, I applied to outpatient positions and stayed per diem at the hospital. You absolutely should try this before you give up on nursing all together. I work at an orthopaedic surgery clinic in the PACU. No holidays, no weekends, no nights. Fast moving but not chaotic. I don't bring home any stress. I don't feel like running away on my way to work anymore. I love the patient population, the teaching involved, not having 8 patients at once, not being burned out. It's more monotonous than the hospital of course, but I'm okay with that at this point in my life. Absolutely search and apply to outpatient jobs. It may take a couple of different jobs, but you may find you don't mind it, or maybe even like it! For now, take care of yourself and try to stay optimistic. Good luck!

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