doubting yourself as a nurse

  1. 0
    I am a new nurse. I have been working on the floor for less than 3 months and lately I just feel like I can't do this. I cry when I come home and I've made a few mistakes that make me feel like I am the most awful nurse in the world. Some days I think I do it. But some days I come home and wonder why I became a nurse. Will this feeling get better? Is this normal?

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 3
    I have been told that it gets better. Frankly, I don't know if I am going to make it that long. I often come home crying, I am rotten to my husband and can't stand myself for it, and worst of all, on rare occasions, I have been short or gruff with a patient or a family member. I am tired of chasing down meds from pharmacy, searching for PCTs, loading copy paper and toner myself in the fax and copier. I am fed up with screeching unit secretaries who take six cigarette breaks a day (when I can't even get to the bathroom more than once) and would't put stickers on blank order sheets or progress notes and put them in the chart if their life depended on it. Though most of my fellow nurses are wonderful, I am sick of those who thrive on making comments that are mean spirited, exaggerated and only serve to erode self confidence. I know that there is no job out there that is perfect, but at the risk of being a terrible whiner, my current position is also hell. I am looking, but the market in my area seems to be at a standstill. I don't necessarily expect sympathy, I know there are alot of us out there in similar spots, but it sure does feel good to vent.
    ceciliamh, strawberryfields, and BriRN like this.
  4. 2
    Good question.....Normal? I would hate to think it is, but I know lots of us sure feel the same way! Been out of school going on 2 years and still have times when I want to pull my hair out (joke! Im already bald!!) Same situation for me, too many high acuity patients, not enough help, most people sympathize, but nothing changes. I melted down awhile back over the stress and feel like I learned something along the way. Ive got to take care of myself. During shift, I try to get off the floor, if even for a few minutes. I also will stop and park my butt in a stairwell for a couple of minutes and focus on just deep breathing and getting my mind back to the moment. I dont take any shifts I dont absolutely have to and when I leave I try to visualize actually taking off the stress and concerns of the day before I get out of the elevator in the carpark. When Im off, Im off. I have started getting a massage a couple of times a month, drive around (relaxes me) and play loud music on the car radio - I sing my A** off and feel better almost instantly (I like Bob Seger, Garth Brooks and Golden Earring - sorry, Im old...) Bottom line is to make it, youve gotta take care of you, find ways to beat your stress and focus on the game. I work with a guy who tells me each shift we work together "welcome to hell!" Mentally I approach work like a major fight or a conflict. Am I sure Ill stay in the field? Nope, lifes to short to do something I really hate. I will give it hell until Im sure Ive got to go. I work with some great folks and get some real feel good from some patients.

    I hope things get easier for you. I am sure you are a great nurse and are doing a lot of good. Its tough right now, hopefully only temporarily. Maybe you want to look at a different type of nursing, LTC, Peds, rehab or something like that. I think lots of nursing has to do with finding your nitch and feeling good about what you do. Hang in there and be tough. Lots of us feel just the way you do on any given night. Often I just want to make it through the night and get out the door!!! Sorry for the rant, just know lots of us are pulling for you!
    twinkletoes53 and BriRN like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from smwiller
    I have been told that it gets better. Frankly, I don't know if I am going to make it that long. I often come home crying, I am rotten to my husband and can't stand myself for it, and worst of all, on rare occasions, I have been short or gruff with a patient or a family member. I am tired of chasing down meds from pharmacy, searching for PCTs, loading copy paper and toner myself in the fax and copier. I am fed up with screeching unit secretaries who take six cigarette breaks a day (when I can't even get to the bathroom more than once) and would't put stickers on blank order sheets or progress notes and put them in the chart if their life depended on it. Though most of my fellow nurses are wonderful, I am sick of those who thrive on making comments that are mean spirited, exaggerated and only serve to erode self confidence. I know that there is no job out there that is perfect, but at the risk of being a terrible whiner, my current position is also hell. I am looking, but the market in my area seems to be at a standstill. I don't necessarily expect sympathy, I know there are alot of us out there in similar spots, but it sure does feel good to vent.


    Do we work at the same hospital or is it like this everywhere?
  6. 0
    100% totally completely normal.

    Your post is a carbon copy of one I would have made 20 years ago. I felt like the biggest loser idiot in the world, wished day in and day out that I could just be a tech and not a nurse, was stressed to the max.

    Hang in there. You're a good nurse and you can do this.
  7. 0
    Quote from BriRN
    Do we work at the same hospital or is it like this everywhere?
    I was wondering the same thing. Sounds like my hospital. LOL
  8. 0
    Quote from missjay3
    I am a new nurse. I have been working on the floor for less than 3 months and lately I just feel like I can't do this. I cry when I come home and I've made a few mistakes that make me feel like I am the most awful nurse in the world. Some days I think I do it. But some days I come home and wonder why I became a nurse. Will this feeling get better? Is this normal?

    I am exactly the same right now...been in my first job as newly qualified in critical care for almost 3 months and cry before most shifts! I have been told it does get better, we all make mistakes and nursing is learning for life so not to beat myself up for mistakes (I'm a bit of a perfectionist and can't bear to do things wrong which you can imagine makes me very stressed). You are not alone in feeling how you do by a long shot!! Unfortunately I moved away from my partner, family and friends for this job so am also feeling quite lonely which doesn't help. I hope you start to feel better soon and good luck, you can do it!!!
  9. 0
    I used to feel that way, I felt the hospital set us up to fail, and I almost quit nursing. Then I remembered going through rotations with home health so I went to that company. They were looking for home health and hospice nurses and they talked me into trying home hospice nursing. I asked them if I didn't like it would I be able to switch over to home health and they said yes. Well, 10 years later I am still doing home hospice, as I finally found my niche in the nursing world.

    In the hospital, I felt like all I did was run around passing meds, hanging IV's and giving blood. I never knew my patients, never had the chance to talk to them or even know their names. Now, I feel like this is what nursing is all about, what other job allows me to get into my car, drink a soda, listen to music or a book and go to peoples homes and talk to them. And I get paid for it!!! We deal with the patients and the families and sometimes I see the pt for 20min and then spend 40min talking to families. It seems most of what we do is teaching and listening.


    Now its not easy, in hospice you either love it or get out pretty quick. You have to learn to deal with many different personalities, it can be hard on your emotions at times and the paperwork is non ending. There is also on call time you may have to do at nights and weekends, but the rewards are worth it.

    If you are not happy with the hospital, try something new before you quit nursing, or try another area because when you do find a good fit, you will be thinking "I cant believe I get paid for doing this".
  10. 0
    One of the great aspects of nursing is that you have so many options as to where and what kind of nursing you would like to do. It's a great feeling knowing that not all nursing is the same. I do believe it's a very diverse career, and suits various types of people. Good luck to everyone in your nursing career!
  11. 0
    Quote from missjay3
    I am a new nurse. I have been working on the floor for less than 3 months and lately I just feel like I can't do this. I cry when I come home and I've made a few mistakes that make me feel like I am the most awful nurse in the world. Some days I think I do it. But some days I come home and wonder why I became a nurse. Will this feeling get better? Is this normal?
    I hope since the time you wrote this things have gotten better. I am also struggling with first nursing job since graduation. I'm in home health and it's tough a lot of the time. I make mistakes all the time, whether it be with teaching or documentation. I at times feel like I chose the wrong career. I love nursing, I love helping people, but then when mistakes are made and you are constantly called into nurse supervisor's office to point out mistakes, it takes a BIG toll after a while. I've been there for a couple of months and it just doesn't seem to get better. I try so hard and spend soooo much time perfecting documentation, but it's never enough. I'm hanging on to dear life hoping it gets better and easier soon!


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