I have been a nurse for about 2 years now, but just started working at a hospital 5 months ago. Before my job at the hospital I worked with severely disabled children with complex medical needs in a residential setting. While I had anxiety and doubts during that job, it was NOTHING compared to the feeling that I have working in the hospital. In addition, I felt such a sense of positivity about what I was doing at my old job. I loved the mission of the facility, and the teamwork provided by my co-workers. I loved the long term relationships that I had there.
I have an evening float position which makes matters worse. I worry before my shift about what floor I will go to, and what my patient load will be like. I sometimes pray that they will call me out. I worry about making mistakes. I too have wondered if I should quit this position. I can totally relate to fantasizing about a mindless job. However, by the end of each night, my anxiety has decreased, and I realize that I am not half as incompetent as I make myself out to be. In fact, I have been told that I am a great nurse. If only I could remember that feeling of confidence before the beginning of my next shift.
Everyone says that it is normal to feel this way at first. I believe them, but I also wonder if the hospital just isn't for everyone. I love being a nurse, teaching my patients, making decisions with positive outcomes, and learning. I consider myself to be intelligent, hardworking, and compassionate. Still, something about the hospital environment does not promote those qualities in me. I have promised myself to give it a full year before I make the decision that it is not right for me. That way, I figure that I won't feel as if I have "given up" or "failed" but rather that I made a career choice. I plan to go to graduate school to become an NP. This experience is valuable to me and my path. I just keep reminding myself of that!
Do you have future plans or goals? Maybe you can keep those in mind. Also remember that you ARE capable, and even if you do make a mistake...so does everyone else at some point or the other.
I have realized that the field of nursing has incredibly high expectations of what nurses, especially new nurses are capable of. We all feel this pressure to be perfect, and that is an unattainable goal. I feel that we mentally set ourselves up for failure. Unlike Dr's who have years of residency to "practice" we get a 6 week orientation and are thrown to the wolves. Not safe, and not supportive.