Your stethoscope, I mean.
After months of unrelenting pressure at work---a job I've loved for 2 1/2 years---and the sudden onset of severe anxiety attacks which almost put me in the hospital this week, an awful realization is beginning to dawn on me that maybe.......just maybe
......it's time to think about getting out of this profession for good.
There is something fundamentally WRONG about having to resort to PRN anxiolytics just to make it through the workday. No one should go for weeks on 4-5 hours of broken sleep each night, if even that much. And no one deserves to be so stressed by what she does for a living that she becomes too paranoid even to call the psych NP for a few days' worth of Klonopin until she's in near-hysterics and sobbing uncontrollably into the phone.
This has got to stop.
I know it's no better anywhere else, and in fact have worked in environments that were far worse. It's just that I've been through this over and over and over and OVER again, and I am no longer certain that I can---or even want to---take much more.
And I wonder: Is this
what I asked for when I signed up to become a nurse? I've dedicated 20 years of my life to this profession, and for what? To have such impossible demands placed on me that I couldn't meet them all if I worked 100 hours a week? To be the sacrificial lamb when things go sideways during a bad survey? To be unable to do even three-quarters of what's expected of me without benefit of benzodiazepines?
The handwriting is on the wall......I'm beginning to think I'm done. Not today, not tomorrow---I don't even have a Plan B right now---but it's only a matter of time. And I need to get out before I lose what's left of my marbles, before I get too old and used-up to start over again. AGAIN.
So, for you retired nurses and those who've left the profession for less-stressful pastures, a simple question: how did you know when it was time to call it a career? What did you do (besides panic at the idea of being without a steady income) when you took that last, desperate step into the abyss? Most importantly......how did you get your groove back??
I need to know. I've still got some semblance of fight left in me, but it's going fast.