burn out, bullying, new nurse blues, affecting my relationship and mental health - page 2

by tareija

6,599 Views | 20 Comments

Hi all, I am a relatively new nurse, graduated in 2012 and working at my first job since last fall. I am a RN and I work on an acute inpatient psych unit. I'm having a few challenges related to work, sorry if this is a bit... Read More


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    Yes, lack of staff and time is a universal nursing experience. I had 25 years in my most recent hospital job and I struggled to get the bare minimum done. You will find you will learn which corners can be cut.
    Too many tasks, not enough time... it's the situation NOT you.
    Bullying is also every where. New nurses must prove themselves... it's the pecking order.
    Find humor any where you can... it got me through.
    When I worked psych, I always thought...."they've given ME the keys and let me out every night? Little do they know
    lumbarpain and chevyv like this.
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    Duplicate threads merged as per the TOS
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    I have been a nurse for almost a year now in a large urban Trauma 1 930-bed hospital. At first I thought being on nights would help give me time to learn and grow as a new nurse and for a while it did. But the shift and switching between days/nights has ended up affecting my mental and emotional health in a horrible way. I cry whenever I'm not at work. I am negative and pessimistic whereas I used to enjoy all the little things in life. I now tend to make mountains out of anthills! Which is not my norm.

    I think the wacky sleep schedule paired with the stress (5-6 patients per nurse) has been hard for me. The problem is that day shift is so coveted and only the experienced nurses who have been on my unit for 3-4 years work exclusively days. Plus days come with their own set of stressors.

    What you mentioned about the job stress affecting your relationship with your partner hit home for me. I have a wonderful boyfriend who moved across the country to be with me...and yet I can feel myself pushing him away. I am so unhappy and I can't articulate my feelings; I sometimes wish he could just read my mind. I feel like I'm taking my work unhappiness out on him. I feel very downtrodden and while I love nursing at its core--I love critical thinking and seeing patients get better and actually making a difference (a month ago I identified compartment syndrome symptoms in a young patient with a tib-fib fracture/IM nailing which resulted in an emergency fasciotomy...that felt really good)...but I don't think I can handle this--this being poor staffing, negative comments from management, sicker patients, nurses complaining and criticizing each other--for much longer.

    I hope everyone finds their happiness! Thanks for listening.
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    You should try signing up with some agencies or just look for a new facility alltogether, or look for a clinic job. your workplace environment doesn't sound like it will improve.

    I once had to go on sick leave and remember one coworker who was nastily whispering to another coworker, speculating on why i was going on sick leave. Nasty b! Well she looks like a miserable and overall ugly soul so glad i'm not her! It's terrible to be abused by people who are supposed to be in the business of helping people get better. But i guess they're just in it because it's a solid paycheck, and not because they care. There are some good people and coworkers out there, you just don't seem to have a decent number of them at your workplace.
    I've also had issues of venting out a lot of my frustrations of work to my partner, and i feel like it has a negative effect on the relationship. Which is why I realized i need to start coming to this site and contributing to have a new sounding board for my frustrations. I also have tried talking about to another former classmate who is a nurse as well. It helps spread out hte frustration to several ears, so your partner doesn't have to hear about it constantly. It can be bad to hear always negative news from one's partner. Imagie if you heard him complaining every day about ****** coworkers. It's important he sticks by you, but we also need to realize to not dump all the load onto our partners and find different outlets. Ultimately your long term plan should be to put in applications elesewhere and make a plan to get out of that job. But short term for now, you need to ventilate your frustrations on nursing forums to let off the steam, while you are in the process of fixing up your resume and looking for a better place to work.
    Life can be really ****** and frustrating. Hope you find a better more positive environment.
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    You should try signing up with some agencies or just look for a new facility alltogether, or look for a clinic job. your workplace environment doesn't sound like it will improve.

    I once had to go on sick leave and remember one coworker who was nastily whispering to another coworker, speculating on why i was going on sick leave. Nasty b! Well she looks like a miserable and overall ugly soul so glad i'm not her! It's terrible to be abused by people who are supposed to be in the business of helping people get better. But i guess they're just in it because it's a solid paycheck, and not because they care. There are some good people and coworkers out there, you just don't seem to have a decent number of them at your workplace.
    I've also had issues of venting out a lot of my frustrations of work to my partner, and i feel like it has a negative effect on the relationship. Which is why I realized i need to start coming to this site and contributing to have a new sounding board for my frustrations. I also have tried talking about to another former classmate who is a nurse as well. It helps spread out hte frustration to several ears, so your partner doesn't have to hear about it constantly. It can be bad to hear always negative news from one's partner. Imagie if you heard him complaining every day about ****** coworkers. It's important he sticks by you, but we also need to realize to not dump all the load onto our partners and find different outlets. Ultimately your long term plan should be to put in applications elesewhere and make a plan to get out of that job. But short term for now, you need to ventilate your frustrations on nursing forums to let off the steam, while you are in the process of fixing up your resume and looking for a better place to work.
    Life can be really ****** and frustrating. Hope you find a better more positive environment.
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    Thanks so much everyone for your input. I went back to work recently after being on sick leave. For the most part it is going not too badly. The unfortunate thing is that actually most of my coworkers are quite decent, there's just a few bad apples who are huge bullies and bad nurses and they make a lot of problems for everyone. My first few weeks I didn't work with those staff, and I was surprised actually at how well things were going. Then the last few shifts I worked with those staff and it was such a night and day difference. I was so tense and anxious and upset by the time I got home from those shifts. One of my friends I work with is being actively bullied, and I took the decision to finally go to our boss about what I have observed with these staff. My boss was pretty good about listening to my concerns, we will see if anything comes from it. They are aware there is a problem and that it has been going on for a while. I have started to talk to other good staff about my concerns, and they share them, we're talking a lot about how to make this a better place to work again. Hopefully that will be somewhat effective. A lot of us are tired of the bullying and nonsense, we want to take good care of our patients and having a toxic environment interferes with that. I am feeling a bit more hopeful. I still need to work on not venting to my boyfriend, but it's getting easier. Part of the reason I'm struggling is that I was quite idealistic coming in to nursing. I really care about my patients and wanted to become a nurse to help people. I'm sort of shocked and disappointed that some nurses can be so toxic and mean to coworkers and uncaring towards their patients. I don't understand how or why people become that way.
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    Unfortunately this is the world of Nursing...the demands on you are tremendous...and between your personal life and the lives of your patients you are sandwiched between them both.....if you feel it in your heart that this is interfering with your mental and physical well being by all means seek something else IN NURSING that will alleviate most of the pressure.....mind you.....even office work can be a pain in the butt.....but....dont give up your license....you may be sorry down the line.....I wish you the greatest luck in pursuing your dream job........its a rough world out there...nothing is getting easier......I have been a LtC sub acute Charge RN for over 20 years....and have been seeking to find something new, enjoyable and rewarding since....and havent any luck.....but that doesnt mean you wont have any.....Good luck...wish you the best fellow nurse!!!!!
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    Thank you lumbarpain. I appreciate the perspective of more experienced nurses.
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    Bullying happens to seasoned nurses too - sometimes being the "new nurse" regardless of how long one has been a nurse brings out the worst in some coworkers - if you can't/don't want to find another job my only advice is to only interact w/the bully types when necessary and preferably with someone else around. Unfortunately those types of coworkers - the bully, mean ones, will never go away. But don't make their problem yours.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    I agree totally with feeling burnt out. I have been working on an orthopedic unit now for almost a year and a half and feeling burnt out.

    The patient demographic on this floor consists of many elderly patients with a wide variety of co-morbidity and extensive past medical histories, many of which include dementia. Many of these patients are incontinent and are high risk for skin breakdown. To some people the staff ratios seem pretty normal, but due to the demographic we care for, poses many different barriers to care.

    Staff is stuck working 2-3 hours after shift to catch up with the days work. Management is well aware of the situation and refuses to bring in another staff member to help alleviate the burden on nurses working with the increased acuity patients on the unit. None of the staff members feel supported on the unit by management and sadly people are rethinking their career choices in nursing.

    My days off are spent in bed, literally recovering from the shifts I've previously worked. The 12 hour shifts have turned in 14-15 hour days and I understand that patient safety comes first but I think facilities really need to address and stress the importance of safe working environments for their staff because without the staff who will provide safe nursing care?

    I always wanted to be a nurse and I finally accomplished it but after feeling the reality of nursing I'm not convinced that this is what I want to be doing, don't get me wrong I love my job and love caring for people but I mean just the stress and demand required is not worth it to me.

    Many nurses have told me that this is a unit management problem and that I should seriously consider going to another unit as other units do not run like this and that there are many other units were staff is supported by management.
    Marshall1 likes this.


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