Unhappy RN at LTC Avoid Extra Shifts

  1. 0
    Hello Fellow Nurses,

    I have been on this site for some time reading various topics attempting to understand how to cope with being a relatively new nurse. I have avoided putting any information about my self on my profile, and I have never posted on the site before til today. I know some of you might not like this post so I expect to catch some not so nice responses, but I probably won't reply because everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    Nursing is a second career for me. Prior to nursing, I was in the insurance claims industry for over a decade and hated it. Salary and benefits were excellent, but I was miserable because I dealt with liability issues. I never really new what I wanted to do with my life, but I researched nursing and thought it would be a great field to give me a since of purpose. I never did it for money because money was not the issue. I already had a bachelors in a non-nursing field, so I went for my associates in nursing. It was a struggle, but I earned my license in 2012.

    Unfortunately, my career is not what I thought it would be. I'm ashamed to say that I have a history of job hopping. My school didn't offer clinical experiences at LTC facilities when I was doing my program, so I kept running from them and their nurse-patient ratios. I did a 3 month stint at a hospital. I left after 3 months because I worked on a telemetry floor that the veteran nurses said was more like a step down unit. We had no aides. There would sometimes be 1-2 LPNs who worked the night shift on the whole unit who were being treated like aides. I basically provided total care to 5-7 patients. In a nut shell, I couldn't hang so I gave my notice.

    Present day, I am now back in a LTC facility and close to making 9 months with them. I started on 3-11 shift, but I switched with a another RN and took her night shift. I'm a floater and have up to 40 patients. I have one hall and take a 1/3 of another hall. Three weeks after my hire date, I knew I didn't want to be there. In the time I have been there, I only called in one time for a replacement because I was sick, and my ADON had 12 hour notice. I come to work on time, and I try to do the best job I can every time I work, but I avoid extra shifts at all cost. I live for my days off. I usually stay busy when I get off at 7:00 a.m. and stay up taking care of things I need to do. For example, when I have been up almost 17 hours and get a text asking me to work the night shift, my response is "no" or "sorry, I can't do it". I have even declined to work extra shifts when the ADON sends text three hours before the evening shift asking if I can come in. She usually does not call. She will send out a group text or send one directly to you asking if you can work.

    I no by now that I'm not viewed as a team player. I am friendly person, the residents seem to be happy with me, and I have good rapport with my co-workers. I like and respect the residents. I just don't want to be there, but I won't quit until I find something else. The facility I work is nice, computerized charting, the management team is pleasant, and for the most part the aides work with you. It's not the facility, it's me. More and more, I'm beginning to think I should have never gone down the path of nursing. I don't even want to apply for nursing jobs anymore because I don't know if it is the field I chose that is wrong or is it the niche I'm in right now.

    Prior to nursing, I had a solid job history in regards to not being a job hopper. When I earned my license, I was determined not stick myself in a miserable situation for years at a time and that is why I moved so much. My first LTC-lasted few days, 2nd LTC/hospice-3 months (poor management), 3rd job-lasted 3 months at the hospital, 4th LTC- last few days, and finally my 5th job- I have been there going on 9 months. As you can see my job history sucks, it's pathetic, and that is why I feel I don't belong in this field. If I'm wrong about that, LTC is definitely not my niche. No offense to others who love it. I care for the people but not the specialty. I definitely don't like seeing a hospice patient near death, and I can't comfort them because I'm running to get my tasks completed for all my other residents.
    In conclusion, I avoid extra shifts for all the reasons listed above. I feel very lost and not worthy of this field. I'm thankful to be alive and have work, but I just don't know how to deal with this. Thanks Allnurses and other members who may read this for letting me vent. Some of you may be ****** after reading this, I don't know what to tell you. Peace.
  2. 18 Comments so far...

  3. 6
    If you show up for your scheduled shifts, then that's enough. I think I've picked up an extra shift once or twice in the past 3 years, and I get asked constantly. I don't even feel obligated to respond to the messages left and texts sent. Maybe it's the stress of responding that's bringing you down? Try just ignoring it. Being a "team player" doesn't mean that you kill yourself for the benefit of your employer.
    redmielita, LTCNS, smartypantsnurse, and 3 others like this.
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    Prior to nursing, I had a solid job history in regards to not being a job hopper. When I earned my license, I was determined not stick myself in a miserable situation for years at a time and that is why I moved so much. My first LTC-lasted few days, 2nd LTC/hospice-3 months (poor management), 3rd job-lasted 3 months at the hospital, 4th LTC- last few days, and finally my 5th job- I have been there going on 9 months. As you can see my job history sucks, it's pathetic, and that is why I feel I don't belong in this field. If I'm wrong about that, LTC is definitely not my niche. No offense to others who love it. I care for the people but not the specialty. I definitely don't like seeing a hospice patient near death, and I can't comfort them because I'm running to get my tasks completed for all my other residents.
    What exactly was the problem where you could only stand a few days in certain LTC's? To me, it definitely sounds like LTC isn't your thing. You don't like being around hospice patients and don't have the ability/time to comfort them in a way you'd like to, its never going to work out on the current road. A change in your expectations, and distancing yourself emotionally would likely help. I frequently see nurses say that operating "coldly" is the only way for them to "survive" nursing. Some people can't do it though. All I can suggest is to investigate other areas of nursing you might like. GL
    JPRN11 likes this.
  5. 2
    Quote from Pangea Reunited
    If you show up for your scheduled shifts, then that's enough. I think I've picked up an extra shift once or twice in the past 3 years, and I get asked constantly. I don't even feel obligated to respond to the messages left and texts sent. Maybe it's the stress of responding that's bringing you down? Try just ignoring it. Being a "team player" doesn't mean that you kill yourself for the benefit of your employer.
    THIS.

    My question to you is do you see yourself in another area of nursing? Have you researched working outside of facility, in the community?

    What aspects of your previous career did you like; what aspects of nursing have you researched that you could consider getting into as a nurse?

    If there's anything that you have of interest in trying, then you will make that decision to stay in nursing...and if you choose to leave nursing, that will be up to you, and that's ok too.
    Chris81 and JPRN11 like this.
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    Thanks for your suggestion, I really need to work on my stress management. I don't have a problem saying "no", but I worry about it for the rest of the day. I turned down a shift yesterday, but I accepted an extra night shift for later tonight for the first time. I found out after I accepted it, that the person I'm covering tonight had to go to the hospital.
  7. 1
    I've always worked as a means to have days off, not for something to occupy my time. I start itching for days off at the start of the workweek, whether I like the job or don't, maybe because I wasn't born genetically programmed to prefer work over pleasure. As far as OT, it really isn't worthwhile unless you also get a bonus, because of taxes. I'd rather have more time off than a bigger check, any day.

    As far as asking why a nurse would quit a SNf after a few days? AN is chock full of them, and they all have their reasons. Even if they don't last through day one. Some (read: many) SNFs are simply intolerable, unbearable, and impossible to cope with. People all have their own limits.
    JPRN11 likes this.
  8. 4
    Quote from JPRN11
    I don't have a problem saying "no", but I worry about it for the rest of the day.
    If you didn't have a problem saying no, my take is that you wouldn't worry about it for the rest of the day. And there's often a good reason to worry about saying no- lots of people get canned for refusing to be at the beck and call of their employer.

    Here's a good one: Is it better to say no, and worry about it all day, or say yes against your will, and be miserable at work for the next 8 hours? I'll pick worrying, more so if I'm worrying about it on a beach!
    NutmeggeRN, Here.I.Stand, Lola Lou, and 1 other like this.
  9. 1
    I was running away from the nurse patient-ratios. I never imagined I would be responsible for 30-40 people. The 2nd LTC, I was hired to be a hospice nurse providing total care to a handful of patients working 12 hours. Nurses who worked 8 hours would call in because they knew there was a hospice nurse there every 12 hours. Nurses would argue that you don't have enough work and why couldn't the hospice nurse take care of the hospice patients and carry a hall. There was no official hospice training, just a handful of registered nurses learning on the job. There were five of us and only one worked the hospice wing at a time. By the time, I left all had quit except for one. I think the most experienced person in our original group had one year of rehab nursing. I moved on when the hospital offered me a position. The 3rd LTC was just a very poor work environment. Hospice patients don't bother me, I just think at the end when they are on their last breath I need to be there if their family can't be with them. We don't have many on hospice at my current facility, but I definitely think they get neglected in a nursing home environment. Thanks
    BradS likes this.
  10. 0
    I have done some research but not enough. The area is rebuilding and competition is serious for relatively inexperienced nurses. Things should get better. There are different areas where I think I would be happy, and I have applied but no luck. Thanks.
  11. 0
    I worry for the reason you mentioned, "lots of people get canned for refusing". I'm all about self-preservation before I can take care of someone else that why I choose to worry about it after I say no. Thanks


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