Time to throw in the towel...

  1. 2
    Well, today was the third time in six years of being a nurse that I either cried or was on the verge of tears. I'm a male nurse and I am NOT ashamed of this. I was on the verge of tears for two reasons. One of my patients had brain surgery more than a decade ago and recently had her first seizure and collapsed. She expressed her fear as well as her sadness due to her mother's recent passing. Since my father passed away a year ago and, as a travel nurse, I'm unable to spend the holiday with my mother, I easily empathized with my patient. In addition, I was discharging two patients and transferring one patient within 30 minute sof one another. One of these patients perseverated on something that, frankly, wasn't veru high on my priority list due to his impending discharge. I politely and calmly stated, "I am one nurse with two hands." Well, that was NOT the right thing to say because he ultimately said to me, "If you cannot handle the stress, maybe you shouldn't be a nurse." Well, I don't particularly like nursing. So, maybe he's right. I'm tired of taking care of non-adherent patients. I made a sacrifice to earn a graduate degree in public health and, as a bedside nurse, I am not living up to my potential. Thank you for listening. I think it's time to bid this (usually) thankless job adieu. Happy Thanksgiving!
    nursel56 and anotherone like this.
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I've cried like...at least 4 times in 2 years ha. Usually because I was stressed and overwhelmed, once because of an unusually gory code. If you never cried I would be worried. We are after all people. Right after my dad died I thought every tall 60 year old man looked like him and had some of the same personality traits as him....and I would cry a little. Every ETOHer I get now I think of him and I really want to treat those patients with a lot of love... Try and refocus the energy into something that makes u a better nurse instead of making you doubt urself! You seem like a good dude
    AWanderingMinstral likes this.
  5. 4
    I know I don't post much and what I do post I gripe about being unhappy. Have you started looking at other avenues? I know everyone says hang in there, have activities outside work etc. But if work stresses you out then it is hard to focus on anything else. You may have a hobby but then comes the time for you to go back to work.

    I finally had to realize that there are other things I can do with my nursing degree. I'm going back to school to expand on that degree. You don't have to be unhappy. Have a plan in place. Trust me knowing that I will be doing something different helps me go in to do direct patient care. It isn't for everyone and I'm one of those nurses who doesn't like it. But I'm doing something about it.
  6. 6
    I have worked in both nursing research and health insurance and they were both reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally boring. I realized, at both 25 and 35, that I want to do good work and see the world. Having been a Peace Corps volunteer about a decade ago, I applied to Doctors Without Borders and, after the application and two interviews, I was accepted. So, I think I'm going to do that and, hopefully, it will be a springboard for something bigger and better in global health. Thanks, Newbie and doe, and I hope that you both had wonderful Thanksgivings. I was at work.. : )
    VivaLasViejas, anotherone, poppycat, and 3 others like this.
  7. 0
    Good for you. Congrats on getting out of bedside nursing. It's got its high points, but it is an awfully draining profession. I hope your new career path works out well for you.
  8. 3
    Bedside nursing was really demoralizing for me a lot of the time. I love the critical thinking of nursing, and the opportunity to apply critical thinking in a caring capacity. However, as a bedside nurse, I felt a great deal of pressure to push the critical thinking aside in favor of tasks- fetch this, fluff that, wipe this, empty that- and to do those tasks as quickly as possible and with the utmost of compassion. I am not a tasky nurse. I'm a big-picture nurse. I hated being a tasky nurse, and often felt relegated to the same role of a waitperson, housekeeper, or personal assistant rather than a healthcare professional.

    I am much more content in my role away from the bedside. I do direct patient care, which I definitely want to do, but there is little to no role ambiguity. It is far more satisfying for me.

    I haven't completely ruled out bedside nursing in the future, but if it ever comes to that, I will enter into it with a whole different attitude than I did as a new grad.

    Wishing you luck in your future endeavors! DWB sounds exciting! Keep us posted on your adventures!
    marsy82, Cranberrygirl, and anotherone like this.
  9. 5
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    Bedside nursing was really demoralizing for me a lot of the time. I love the critical thinking of nursing, and the opportunity to apply critical thinking in a caring capacity. However, as a bedside nurse, I felt a great deal of pressure to push the critical thinking aside in favor of tasks- fetch this, fluff that, wipe this, empty that- and to do those tasks as quickly as possible and with the utmost of compassion. I am not a tasky nurse. I'm a big-picture nurse. I hated being a tasky nurse, and often felt relegated to the same role of a waitperson, housekeeper, or personal assistant rather than a healthcare professional.

    I am much more content in my role away from the bedside. I do direct patient care, which I definitely want to do, but there is little to no role ambiguity. It is far more satisfying for me.

    I haven't completely ruled out bedside nursing in the future, but if it ever comes to that, I will enter into it with a whole different attitude than I did as a new grad.

    Wishing you luck in your future endeavors! DWB sounds exciting! Keep us posted on your adventures!
    Thank you, Stargazer, for the supportive response. You articulated exactly how I feel about bedside nursing. It's a matter of completing a list of tasks. I've found that you can complete 99 of 100 tasks and it's the one you didn't do (well enough) that negates all of your other efforts. It seems like it's never enough...whether you're made to feel that way by a patient, a co-worker, or an administrator. I am confident that I will NOT miss the bedside. Be well!
  10. 0
    I could really feel the frustration in your post. I can't really give any good advice because I am at a crossroads myself. I just wanted to wish you the best in whatever path you choose. Do something that you can be passionate about, that brings you a sense of accomplishment, something you don't dread. Take care!
  11. 0
    Although I have no social life and often feel like an emotionless zombie, your post reminds me why I hated day shift and prefer nights. ( less interactions with pts,visitors and staff and chaos). In general, less oppurtunities to feel "not enough for only doing 99/100 fast enough" I hate the feeling of even thinking about giving into a whiny customer (sarcasm) over what is actually the priority. Or having some uneducated moron imply or say i am a bad nurse for not getting ice cream fast enough. ugh a few times i have felt on the verge of tears at work due to frustration and feeling overwhelmed . Mostly i just get annoyed and have to control not tears but a snappy comment!
  12. 2
    Please tell us what it is like being part of Doctors without Borders. That sounds really interesting.
    texasmum and Sadala like this.


Top