So unhappy, then a huge life change--is this a sign? - page 2

by wannabecnl

2,474 Visits | 14 Comments

I just graduated from nursing school and immediately started a job in a cardiac surgical stepdown unit. I spent many days in orientation, which was fine, but then I got to the unit. It is just not what I want to be doing. I... Read More


  1. 1
    I am so sorry for your loss. I sympathized with you on every level. I've been in a specialty that I haven't gotten fully adjusted to over the last year. My intent was to "stick it out" for 6 months to 1 year. It's been a year and I still feel the same as before. However, I have learned fairly alot. Still, I do not feel fullfilled at all. I know this because like you, some days I dread going in to work. And not in the way of "tiredness". On the other hand, you've just gone through a big life change. So this could be adding on to the feelings of not wanting to be in the unit. Regardless, take some time off. How ever much you feel you need. If after that time, you still feel unmotivated to go to the unit/nursing. By all means, find your happiness. Take care!
    gaylarn4 likes this.
  2. 0
    You may need to talk to someone- your EAP is an option-it could help. So sorry about your mother. We all have different strengths in our "emotional constitution". Do what is best for you-talking to someone non-nursing might help to see things in a different way or which path may appeal most to you. Stay strong
  3. 0
    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother...give yourself time to heal to make any changes if you can.
  4. 1
    Just an update:

    I resigned from my job about 3 1/2 weeks ago, and it was the best decision I could have made. I had gone back, wanting to give it a try, and while the first week was okay (mostly class and reorienting), the second week got increasingly worse until I had a panic attack on the floor and decided to cut everyone's losses. Thank God it did not happen in a patient's room but rather while getting report. I have taken the intervening time to plan and hold my mom's memorial, sleep, talk with a counselor, and manage my anxiety, not to mention my daughter's. I was still in orientation, so the schedule was brutal, leaving no time to manage estate stuff (in 8 consecutive days, I would have been off 1, possibly a weekend day, because of training classes in addition to shifts). It was not fair to the unit for me to string them along, especially when I did not want to be there anyway and couldn't say when I would be functional again.

    I have to say that I initially bristled at some of the replies people had left, but I realized I had not given you all the details. I also know that even with all the details, some will continue to think I took the easy way out. Nothing about this has been easy. My mother died at my house (she lives out of state). I found her body. I did CPR on her. I tried desperately to keep my children out of the room and away from her body. I watched the funeral people drag her through my tiny, circuitous hallway. I have to go into the room where she died to work on this computer every single day. This is not a poor-me tirade; I am giving myself permission to say it was horrible. I know she is lucky that she died quickly where she felt safe and not tethered to all the crap we put on our patients, but that doesn't take away the mental image of her lying there, an image that will not leave my head.

    Yes, I am incredibly blessed to have this supposed luxury of quitting a job. Just not having tuition payments going out the door is a financial improvement, but please realize I never had that luxury while my husband was in school, no matter how much my jobs sucked. I have been there, and I'm sorry if some readers are there now and are stuck in jobs they don't want. I thank God every day that I have a chance to recover from this. Please also realize that I am now just another new grad without a job, so when I do go back, who knows what my chances will be to find a job that makes more sense?

    Ask yourselves: would you want a nurse who is always one step away from a panic attack taking care of your loved one? Of you? Do you want to work with that nurse?

    Finally, thank you for the encouragement in your replies, both to stay and to leave. I gave your advice a lot of thought, and it helped me to decide to try and ultimately to stop.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  5. 1
    Thank you for updating us. You have gone through hell in these past weeks, and you deserve nothing less than all the compassion and support you can get. Consider me one of your supporters. Gentle hugs and prayers for you today and in the difficult days yet to come.
    wannabecnl likes this.


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