New nurse giving up on first job in med surg after 7 mos.

  1. I think I have reached my physical limit and need to resign my first nursing job in med surg but would really appreciate some help from all you you guys. I am a new LVN (49 years) old and have been working in a telemetry med surg unit for 7 months now. I am also going through menopause. I am having panic/anxiety attacks every morning when I go into work to my job. My heart is pounding, can't breathe, get an instant migraine and can never sleep the night before I go in. I am so overwhelmed on my floor. I work team nursing and have 11-14 patients. Most mornings I go in and have 9 out of the 11 or more with accuchecks and need insulin with breakfast. I immediately panic as to how I can get them all done. Then I am two hours late with all the other patient's meds because each of them has 3 - 5 pages of meds (very ill patients on our floor). I have told them I think I need to quit and they just say hang in there. I cry every night and am not there for my family anymore as I am so overwhelmed. Also I am finishing my prereqs for the RN program (3 classes to go). This job has made me question if I can even be a nurse. But I love my patients and have been told them appreciate how I have been so caring to them. If anyone has any advice, I would so appreciate it. I have to make a decision soon. I went to part time (2 12 1/2 hour shifts a week) and it still seems to be too much for me. I needed to stay a year and get experience, but I'm not sure I can handle it anymore. Thank you in advance for any help or advice. You are my heros.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   truern
    Of course you're overwhelmed!! You have a lot on your plate. Is there any way you can stop working and concentrate on your studies?? It just seems you're stretched so thin between work, school, and family and I notice you didn't mention a thing that you do for YOU.
  4. by   Tweety
    I think you need to address the anxiety and panic attack/migraine attacks, crying. Nursing the first year is stressful, but it sounds like these symptoms could get in the way of you thinking clearly and could cause a mistake.

    Most of us feel feelings of being overwhelmed.
  5. by   SandraJean
    I can sort of relate to what you are saying. I don't actually have the panic attacts, but I definately know about the anxiety and feeling of being overwhelmed. I don't know if you get any regular exercise, but I try to walk a couple miles every day on the treadmill. I can't believe how much calmer and peaceful I feel because of it. I also will meditate/pray as I am walking, tell myself that I am going to do fine once I get to work. It really does help. Anyway, I wish you the best. The first year of nursing is hard. Things do get better as time time passes.
  6. by   MimismomRN
    Thanks guys for your advice. I feel like my job is contributing to my physical problems. I have tried hormone shots, did not help and I am afraid to go on medication for anxiety because of the withdrawal symptoms. Have tried them before. Nurses at my hospital tell me the patient load is too much and not everywhere is that bad. I hope the are right and I can find somewhere else to be the nurse I always wanted to be. But everyone tells me I need to get one year of med/surg before I can get a job anywhere else? I am so discouraged.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    11 pts is way too much for one person - who else is on your team? The first year of nursing is very rough. You might want to reconsider cutting back to part-time and/or until you can get your symptoms under better control.

    Good luck.
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from MimisMomLVN
    Thanks guys for your advice. I feel like my job is contributing to my physical problems. I have tried hormone shots, did not help and I am afraid to go on medication for anxiety because of the withdrawal symptoms. Have tried them before. Nurses at my hospital tell me the patient load is too much and not everywhere is that bad. I hope the are right and I can find somewhere else to be the nurse I always wanted to be. But everyone tells me I need to get one year of med/surg before I can get a job anywhere else? I am so discouraged.
    I am 51 y/o and have been a med/surg nurse for 30 years. I am going through menopause also. (7 months w/o a period!Woo Hoo!) anyway a year ago I had to take a 3 months leave of absence because the work got to be too much for me. I was miserable, not sleeping, dreading work, biting people's heads off, etc....I started on Prempro and found alot of relief between the med and the 3 mo off. For the past year I've been working but on a PRN basis so I could chill when I needed to. I have just made the transition to HH nursing. The point that I'm getting at is that it is difficult enough working med/surg during change of life but add to that being a new nurse and being a student....no wonder you're panic'd. Med/surg is an awesome (quick) education but sounds like you need to look into a different area of nursing. With the nursing shortage not having a year of med/surg under your belt shouldn't be a problem. I hear alot of nurses love outpatient surgery centers, working in PACU. Good Luck!
  9. by   MimismomRN
    Thanks for all your advice. I want to try and stick it out, but I am afraid I can't handle it anymore. I need to get my RN as the opportunities for LVNs are not good. I am afraid to quit as no one else will want me and I will not get the experience I need. But I feel 11 -14 patients even on team nursing with RN, Tech and LVN is too much. I have 9 people on insulin some days and when I hit the floor six of them need it. Then the patients on tele are so sick they have 3 to 5 pages of meds, dressing changes, NG tubes, etc. I never sit down. I am overwhelmed. Are all hospitals this overwhelming? Even as an LVN I think this is too many patients. My directors just say hang in there, till when I drop over. I'm having SVT again and have not had it since I had a catheter ablasion three years ago. The stress is definitely affecting my menopausal symptoms as I am now having panic attacks when I get to work and see the patient load I have. Thanks for listening. Sorry for being such a complainer.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    You have too many patients. Period.

    Yes, there are places with better ratios. (Come to California - we need staff and our ratios are 5:1 in med/surg).

    My good friend is going through menopause and finally succumbed to going on HRT - she was having hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia, etc. She feels 180 degrees different being on hormones.

    Is it possible to not work while you are getting your RN?

    steph
  11. by   q12RN
    My first thought....Ativan
    Second, why not get your CNA to get the accuck? and you just give the insulin.

    I say hang in there and it will get better, youre just now figuring out what youre supposed to be doing.
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from q12RN
    My first thought....Ativan
    Second, why not get your CNA to get the accuck? and you just give the insulin.

    I say hang in there and it will get better, youre just now figuring out what youre supposed to be doing.
    CNA's where I live cannot do accuchecks.

    She still has too many patients and that won't change unless she changes jobs or quits for awhile.

    I'm hoping you can quit and concentrate on school.

    Been thinking about you for days now . . . how are you?

    steph
  13. by   angel337
    you need another job honey. period. menopause or not, if your unit is truly the way you describe it, i don't blame you for feeling the way you do. and they wonder why there is such a high burnout rate for nurses. go figure.
  14. by   MimismomRN
    Hi Q12RN, my doctor gave me xanex and I am going to try taking it (even though I don't want to) to help me get through the next several months. Thanks for the advice. Our CNAs in Calif. are not allowed to to accuchecks or any kind of meds.

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