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 disjointed.
The unit I work on is going through a period of low morale and toxic environment. We're frequently short staffed, the acuity level of our patients (and consequently our workload) is super high, the physical environment of our unit is poor (very old and somewhat decrepit building, not really suitable for use as a psych unit.) The staff are generally quite stressed. In addition there is a level of bullying that goes on on the floor, especially of new staff. I got bullied for the first few months I was there, it has calmed down a lot now but there are still incidents from time to time. I'm sad that some of our newer hires have been getting bullied too. I try hard to support the newbies as best I can but it makes me sad they are getting picked on unfairly. Additionally the gossip and rumour mill in my work is out of control.
Management knows there's a problem and is trying to address it (e.g. doing staff education on communication and respectful workplaces), but I'm not sure how much effect it's having. I've been off on sick leave for a while and am about to go back, and am feeling stressed and anxious at the thought of returning. I am worried about getting bullied again when I am returning from sick leave.
I think I am going to look for another job. Please tell me that there are places to work where it isn't just constant stress. Another thing is, as a relatively new nurse, I find it really stressful, I feel like I am always strapped for time and don't have enough time to do all that I want to do for my patients. Some days, especially when short staffed, it feels like a struggle just to get the bare minimum done.
I've realized while on sick leave that I've become depressed, due to some stressful events in my life as well as job stress. I think I am feeling burned out. I can't believe I am feeling burned out and have been nursing for only one year. Am I doing something wrong?
Finally, this has all been affecting my relationship with my partner. He is really great and a very supportive person, but he has been concerned for some time about how much my work has been affecting me. He is also in health care (not a nurse) and has been suggesting for some time that I consider finding another job, as my unit sounds so bad. I have done too much venting about work to him, it's not healthy for either of us. Also he told me recently that for awhile I have seemed like an unhappy, negative person, and he is worried about me and also feeling a bit stressed himself about it all. Have any of you had job stress affect your relationship? I am hoping if I find a new, healthier job that I won't feel so much need to vent about work. In the meantime, how can I develop some healthier ways to cope with the stress until I can get in to a different job?