My job now is as close to stress-free as you can get and still be working, but I only recently left the hospital, and there the stress had pushed me to near-breakdown level. I could handle the actual patient care, the physicians, my coworkers, and even the new computer charting we had started. What I could not handle was my manager and administration. Nothing was ever right or good enough. (not just me, this applied to all the nurses). Nothing positive was ever said. Every time the phone rang and the unit secretary answered and then said "Monkeybug, Manager From Hell wants to see you in her office." I would get physically sick. What now? was always the thought. Everyone was miserable, nurses with 20+ years experience were leaving because of the manager, we had brand new nurses coming in and trying to learn. Breaks were rare. I never, ever had an uninterupted lunch, and there were many shifts where I didn't get to pee for 8 hours.
There were NEVER enough nurses on shift. We went 5 months without a scrub tech and the minimum staffing. I will never forget the day that two of us were in the OR doing a c-section and the House Supervisor came to the door of the OR and asked "what fluid do I hang on the new patient?" What new patient?? We new there was only one nurse left on the unit (that's what happens when there are only 3 nurses scheduled and a c-section comes in, someone has to scrub and someone has to circulate), we didn't know that while we were back there THREE patients had come through the door, one of whom was 8cm and a multip. The House Supervisor, bless her, had answered my frantic coworker's plea for help and come even though she was totally out of her element in L&D. We heard later that the unit secretary and House Supervisor had managed together to get one patient on the fetal monitor, it was a first for both of them. House Supervisor asked had we called our manager. Nope, wouldn't do any good. I guess she didn't believe us, so she called her. "Why is she not answering her phone or pages??" says HS. Because it's Sunday, and Manager From Hell refuses to answer during their 5 hour long church services because that's her "time with Jesus." Gee, I was told that the nurse manager position was 24/7, but apparently that doesn't apply to her. HS was livid, but it was just the same old same old for us.
I have become one of those experienced nurses that fled. I miss laboring patients, I miss my coworkers, and I miss most of the doctors. I do not miss being treated like a waste of oxygen. When I turned in my notice, she didn't acknowledge it at all until I got Human Resources involved. You'd think years of service would at least get you a phone call when you leave. Several doctors told me that they hated to see me go, but not a word from MFH.
I'm trying to learn to let it go. I have the world's most perfect job now, and I should enjoy it, but it's hard to forget all that happened.