Do you think it is healthy to stay in nursing when it exacerbates anxiety? - page 2
I've been clinically diagnosed with depression at age 13 and took AD and anti-anxiety meds off and on. For the most part I was able to cope but working in bedside has exacerbated my sx. Since... Read More
Jul 19, '12I totally understand. I quit hospital nursing two years ago, and I've been able to decrease my meds quite a bit. Now I'm on a small dose of Zoloft. I went into home IV infusion nursing. I work on my own, have a flexible schedule, and deal with easy patients. No 12 hour shifts, office politics, and exhaustion. Try clinic nursing or even telephonic nursing. I wish I had left the hospital long ago, and I can safely say I will never go back.
Jul 19, '12i did case management for insurance for a long time, and don't go into it if you think it will be stress-free. any system that is driven by money will never be that. lots of performance marks to hit, lots of quotas to fill, supervisors under pressure to keep their units humming and profitable. might be just right for ya, because it's a different kind of stress, but it's not a quiet little lovely garden walk.
Jul 19, '12I agree totally with billyboblewis. Why did you become a nurse in the first place and how was your clinical experience at the bedside? I've been a nurse for 36 years and I started out at the bedside and always loved it. I'm a Director of Nurses now but I went through my "right of passage" to get here. I agree that perhaps you should reconsider nursing. It's not for everyone, particularly bedside, and there is no shame in admitting that. I don't think there are any "dream jobs" in nursing either. Each job has its own stressors and issues to deal with. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you!
Jul 19, '12I have to disagree.
I had worked in hospitals for 13 years before I became a nurse. On the units!
However, by the time I graduated I knew bedside nursing was not for me. I have been a non-bedside nurse now for 20 years and done a good job with my positions. The bedside is just not for everyone, but does not neccesarily mean you need to reconsider nursing.Last edit by CrunchRN on Jul 19, '12
Jul 19, '12Hi All,
Back from my meeting. Still have my job but was given a verbal warning. I have to stop "complaining" and get out with less than an hour overtime each night. All in all it could have been worse. The assistant nurse managers gave me a lot of suggestions and were really supportive. My floor manager was a little bit nasty but that is OK.
I could not disagree with them but I know I need to start seriously looking for a less stressful job. I have only been a nurse for 3.5 years so I am not sure where I will look. I wish I was better with inserting IVs because I think I could find a job away from the bedside easier. It is a shame that I can't deal with the stress because I love my patients (most of them- haha) and love to do everything I can for them.
Jul 20, '12I have to say I do enjoy bedside nursing, what I dont like are the politics and patients who treat you like a servant. I started as CNA and became an LPN after about 4 years, my back couldn't take the manual labor so much anymore. I had my share of meltdowns even as an aide, that job is demanding. As a nurse I had to put my time in and get the necessary experience (unfortunately) before I coul specialize in anything so I worked at a nursing home. I don't know what it is about some women, nurses, whatever, defiantly didn't help me as a new nurse, but luckily some did. I worked overtime against my will, I had more patents then I could handle, I had aides that laughed at me when I asked them to do something. I thought maybe I shouldn't have been a nurse. I don't handle stress very well at all. The tears just come flowing out when I feel overwhelmed and that doesn't look very professional to say the least. I did my time and made it out alive and went right into home care. The job is more and less stressful at the same time, in different ways. I feel competent because my agency ensures that you are comfortable before you go out on a case but when a kid throws a mucus plug that has a trach and turns blue in a matter of seconds it's scary. Your it in home care but I feel that I can handle it. Sometimes it's tough, parents an be somewhat overwhelming as well. I am currently in school for my RN and I plan on going into ICU ASAP. I'll try it, if I can't hack it I'll move on. I have my fair share of genetically acquired mental illness as well, most of the time I keep it under control but sometimes I get the reality check I need to keep me on my toes. I just hope I can hold it together in the future. Good luck to all my nurse friends, it is a tough job but remember why you chose to become a nurse, don't lose that feeling, there are still good people out there :-)
Jul 20, '12I've only been a nurse for a little over a year but it definitely can be stressful. I've never really been diagnosed w/ clinical anxiety or depression but I know I have struggled w/ both at various times of my life, especially anxiety. Not to the point that I can't function (in fact many people would probably never guess I have such an issue) but it has definitely affected my quality of life. I agree that bedside nursing can definitely exacerbate my anxiety at times but the more experience I gain the more I learn how to better handle stressful work situations.
I think it took getting out of school & actually becoming a real nurse to admit to myself that I needed some help handling my anxiety. (Just admitting it was such a huge relief.) So I have started getting acupuncture treatments several times a month & have found this very, very helpful. I have also started seeing a psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy about once a month. This has also helped me a lot. I have been amazed at how therapeutic it is to just have someone to vent to who isn't emotionally invested in my life. Unlike my mom, husband, or friends, I don't have to worry that my psychologist or acupuncturist is going to go home & worry about me & I don't have to feel guilty or worry about offending them with anything I say. If your insurance pays for either one or ou can afford it on your own (mine pays for psychologist but no acupuncture), I would strongly suggest some counseling &/or acupuncture. Both have helped me a lot.
Jul 20, '12Thanks for all the support. My plan is to go to nights then eventually part time while I finish RN-BSN-msn. I still want to give post-partum a try before leaving bedside then I'll probably want to teach.
Jul 21, '12There are places for every nurse and bedside is only one of many. It doesn't make you a failure because you don't care for bedside nursing. Acknowledging that you need to make another choice is healthy. I disagree with billybob and cienurse!
Jul 21, '12Nurselacey's universal acceptance of ALL nurses is kind, generous and totally accurate. If we were all the same, there would be no one to care for patients in X, Y, or Z areas of health care. I am all about being one's own person and finding the right "fit" in like and work.
To everyone else who struggles with anxiety and depression, either on the job or off, I say: keep on keeping on and don't give up. Ever. The sun will shine again.
Thank you for this blog; so helpful in so many ways!
Jul 23, '12I worked in bedside nursing for years, also home health/hospice and now in a clinic setting..like others on here depression and anxiety have been an almost constant companion of mine since I was a teen..and as others have pointed out, moving about in nursing is nothing to be ashamed of..I realized long ago and have accepted that I will never be a person who works at a place for my whole career. I became burnt out on bedside nursing..mainly because, at the time, I was taking care of people in the hospital and someone who was chronically, then terminally ill at home. There was no break. Ever during this time. After the personal situation ended, I was exhausted beyond reason and knew I needed to get away from the hospital enviroment.
I went from working 12 hr shifts to a M-F 8-5, no weekends/holidays/call, great salary, close to home..but.....as others have pointed out, there is draw backs to this..much less time for usual, everyday errands, scheduling routine doctor/dentist appt's is difficult to near impossible because their hours are the same as where I work, medication would be extrememly helpful as would therapy, but again, it's not an option when those professionals work the same hours as I do and our lunch break is 30 min so going during lunch is out.. the work itself is not hard, in fact, I am not clear as to why an RN is utilized at all..the work it not challenging, very much the same thing everyday with little to no variation... other than vitals no real nursing skills are utilized. My spouse, who works shifts, and I go nowhere like we use to - day trips etc. because there are only 4 days out of a month we are off together and those are weekends which is when I do my "catching up." I like the people I work with but it's a small clinic and like everywhere, you have those that complain/gossip so I avoid that because I want to laugh out loud sometimes at their complaints that they have 8 people to see for the DAY to go over medications and take vitals.
I will stay where I'm at unless or until, I can find something part time in a hospital setting. I do not want to work FT on "the floor" but I do not want to continue M-F either - for me, I can't risk PRN so the balance would be for me 2 days/wk, 12's hr - that would give us the income we need, keep my skills up and allow me to get some of my personal life back. I just wanted to undrescore, as others have written, every job has it's positive and negative..the trick is to find the one best suited for YOU that tips the scale to the "more positive" direction. Good luck. Hope you are able to find something soon.
Jul 23, '12I used to have terrible performance anxiety, but over time I got over it. What gets me is the stress of dealing with altered mental status patients. That is the most frustrating part of the job. I've been taking low dose elavil for migraines and all I can say is I feel worlds better! I feel so much calmer and relaxed and it also got rid of the little aches and pains of my feet/ankles I used to struggle with! I know they always push prozac and serotonin drugs for everything under the sun, but good old fashioned elavil amitrytpiline works for me and doesn't trigger migraines that the serotonin class meds do. I only wish I had started taking it sooner and most important it has really cut my migraines like nothing else I've tried so far!
Jul 27, '12I have been pondering the same thing myself. The anxiety in nursing did not hit me until my exH decided he wanted a divorce when our first child turned 6 months old. Even though I had come off maternity leave 4 months prior and went per diem 2 days a week, I had to go back full time. Raising an infant, dealing with an affair, and divorce at the same time, gave me anxiety issues that weren't present before. For a while, my work was my escape.
I'm 4 years throught this mess, but realize my anxiety at work has become exacerbated. I am finding I have enough stressors on the home front, the stressors at work, which I now bring home with me in my new position are making me a crazy woman. Where as I used to pop a xanax 3 times a week, it is now daily.
I've seriously considered recently leaving the field to a much less stressful job. Only problem is, this is my profession, I can't go back to school and start a whole new career and I need to make a certain amount of money for me and my daughter to live. So....... Not an option.
I do have aspirations to win the lottery. I probably should start playing though.
Didnt mean to hijack, but I was going to actually start a thread with the same topic. I understand how you feel and I can relate. The stress of nursing is very high. And if you are like me who worries about others all the time and work isn't just work, it could be worse