Is it Med/Surg.. is it nursing.. is it me?!

  1. So I'm in my second year of nursing. I worked one year in LTC and am in my 5th month of working on a med/tele unit. And it is all too much!! I recently started seeing a psychiatrist because I have been so depressed/anxious/etc. I have hx depression/anxiety anyway, but I feel like this exacerbation is definitely job related.

    I know there are absolutely no "stress free" jobs in nursing, but I'm wondering if I should try to get some kind of home health or hospice or something until I'm feeling more grounded mentally? My career goal is to go into NICU though, so I really need my magical year of acute care experience and I'm almost halfway there. I just don't know what to do. All I know is that I definitely can't give to others until I take care of me, you know?

    Taking a break isn't an option, going per diem isn't an option, I'm a single mother so I absolutely need income and benefits. I am working with my psychiatrist on a medication regimen and healthy coping mechanisms, but as we all know that all takes time. I'm less than two years in and I'm already feeling burned out. Anyone been here? What did you do? I've searched the forums extensively and I keep reading "once you find your niche, you will like nursing again." But HOW?! It seems like it will be impossible to get into L&D/Mom/Baby/Level I Nursery.. ANYTHING that will get me closer to my goal of NICU anytime soon. And heaven forbid I get there and find that it's just as bad.

    Any words of support or advice would be appreciated. I've talked to friends and family but they don't have the same perspective as another nurse
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    What does your psychiatrist say about your situation? Granted, he's not a nurse, but if he's anything like my p-doc, he knows something about burnout. I think it's safe to say that most healthcare professionals have been through it at least once in their careers.

    You are smart to consider your next move before you jump into something that might (or might not) be worse. It sounds like you're aware that you're not in a good position to be making decisions which could affect your entire career, and job-hopping is generally not helpful in advancing. If you can, try to stick it out at your current job until you've got at least a year under your belt, and keep seeing your doctor and working on your depression and anxiety. Home health and hospice are stressful too, and they probably wouldn't bring you closer to your goal of working with newborns since those jobs most often deal with folks at the other end of life. (Yes, there are some kiddos with trachs or vents, but the vast majority of HH/hospice cases are elderly.)

    You could try private duty nursing working one-on-one with a child who has multiple medical problems, e.g. vent, quadriplegia etc. Depending on the size of your area, these jobs may be few and far between and they almost always require experience in those areas. But it's worth exploring.

    In the meantime, keep taking your meds and using the coping skills you're learning. Wishing you the very best.
  4. by   applesxoranges
    I started looking for a new job 3 months into being a new nurse in an ICU. I found my new job five months in (four months on orientation) and gave my two weeks notice. I spent seven weeks on orientation at my new job and I love it.

    If I were you, I would begin scoping out the requirements for positions that you may want to work. Do you need your BSN? Do you need your NRP? Do you need pals? Do you need ACLS and start working on those. If you want NICU, NRP may be one that you need. Begin looking internal and mapping out the requirements. Can you take part-time assignment?

    What about getting into an ICU and then looking at going back to school for neonatal NP? It's risky since you may realize you hate the NICU without working there.

    I personally am looking at going back to school for midwife in a few years but I do consider doing family NP first and then getting a midwife certificate.
  5. by   UpennRN
    Hi Bronze. I can totally relate. I am miserable on my medsurg floor and have sought therapy for this. I was diagnosed with depression. I cry all the time, have anxiety attacks before work, and think about work on my days off.

    Your friends and family won't understand. Mine don't. When they tell me to "stick it out" and "don't quit" I get so frustrated!

    I would try to stay for a year so it doesn't look bad for resume reasons. I am in the process of meeting with recruiters for outpatient positions in my health system. My sanity is way more important.

    I am also interested in womens health but in my hospital, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get into!

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