My name is Scott. I'm an 18-month-old nurse; I've been a federally employed nurse at a facility in Gainesville, FL. I've run into a rough spot in my fledgling career; now my confidence is shaken and I'm finding difficulty landing my next career job. At this point I am not sure if I'm even doing the right thing by trying to get another nursing job.
Although I believe I'm a good nurse - competent, intuitive, compassionate - I ran into the problem of poorly managing my own stressors. As a result, my stress management on the job degraded until one extremely stressful day I got into a heated argument with another nurse behind our nurse station. As this was not the first behavior problem I had encountered, coupled with the facility's new-hire, 24-month probationary employment policy, I was summarily dismissed.
I know that personal stress management is my own responsibility, and I've truly learned that lesson the hardest way possible...being fired is a whopper of a wake up call. But now I'm getting the sinking feeling that I have blacklisted myself. I am frustrated and I am scared. I spent alot of time and effort achieving my ASN and license. All I want is another chance to prove that I learned my lesson and that I can be a positive asset to a health care team.
I am frustrated because I have neither committed nor been charged with a crime, but it's hard not to feel like I'm being treated like a criminal. It's not like I was palming or doing drugs, or even drinking on the job. The frustrating part is that there are protocols in place to rehabilitate a nurse who has been caught with substance abuse issues, yet there is nothing for a man who was showing overt signs of stress/burnout that led to behavioral events which resulted in my dismissal. I never hurt or mistreated my clients, I just didn't know how to handle my stress appropriately.
I also know that I can't be the first nurse in history to have a similar problem and/or experience. I have come to the conclusion, after counseling, that I might be ready to reach out and find others who can offer some insight into their own experience. I am hoping that, in doing so, I can learn more to help me resolve my inner conflicts so that I will become a better person and a better nurse.
Thank you all for reading my post. Please share with me your comments, criticisms, advice, or experiences. I will leave my email available, too, unless it becomes shamelessly spammed. Thank you again for reading and thank you in advance for any sharing you may have.
:uhoh21: Scott :uhoh21:
Apr 1, '04
1) your primary mistake maybe in taking all the blame yourself - what exactly were your "stressors"
2) How did the other staff treat you?
3) How was your time managment and what expectations were put on you??
BTW I read
I'm an 18-month-old nurse;
and thought - he is doing OK for an 18 month old
- first smile of the day??
Apr 1, '04
What are you doing now to address these i, ssues? It seems like you need to take some time for yourself, stress or anger management, time management, counseling etc... Don't blame yourself for everything. This situation can be used to your advantage too. To your next employer: yes - I had a problem, but this is what I've done to address it and I'm ready to handle the next challenge. Good luck! You can do it!
Apr 1, '04
The ability to manage stress under unbelievably stressful conditions is paramount in nursing. You stated that you have a history of "behavior problems." This is a red flag. What kind of behavior problems? Before you attempt to continue nursing, I would encourage you to get some professional help. Did your former employer (federal government?) offer employee assistance programs? Stress management classes? With a history of difficulty managing stress, was this reflected on your evaluations; if so, what did you do to increase your coping skills?
Clearly, you own your behavior. No matter how stressed (and I certainly don't know the circumstances) management will react when nurses have "heated arguments" in earshot/view of patients/visitors. Think about it. I would get a copy of your personnel file and, after some reflection and professional help (don't do this when you are emotional) -- write a simple, positive letter for your file regarding the positive learning experiences you had while on that unit, and a very simple statement regarding that you are striving to master better stress control through classes, etc. Period. Then close that chapter.
Take some time to work on yourself, don't make excuses or point fingers -- in otherwords take responsibility for your actions. Your temper and behavior got you fired. Whether there are programs in place for alcohol, etc. -- doesn't factor into this -- it's like apples & oranges. Perhaps it's burnout, perhaps nursing isn't for you -- or the specific unit wasn't for you.
There are a multitude of stress management classes out there. This will take some time ... be kind to yourself ... but step back, reflect, and get some help. Good luck
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