I graduated in May 2012 and was accepted into a competitive critical care internship that would then turn into a job on a critical care floor. Long story short, I hated all of it from the beginning, but I knew it was a big deal to have been accepted so I stuck it out in order to add it on my resume for future career opportunities. Critical care is not for me, plain and simple. I have lost 15 pounds in the past month from stress, sleep on average 3 hours a night, and my anxiety has gotten to the point that I have panic attacks when I even think about going into work. I have met with counselors through the EAP, and have appointments to work out some sort of therapy to help the anxiety. However, that is not going to change the nature of the work that my floor expects me to do. So I am in the process of trying to get a transfer to an outpatient clinic, doctors' office, etc. in order to have a slower pace while my anxiety issues get worked out. That being said, I only have 6 months experience working as a registered nurse, and I cannot stand to hear people tell me, "stick it out for one year, then you can do what you want". I understand that within the nursing field, new grads are expected to put in a year or two in med surg or tele in order to become more competent. However, I see no reason to waste that much of my time being unhappy, especially when it has taken a toll on my health, even if it gains me experience. I cannot make it through one more shift, let alone another six months. This also complicates my quitting process. I fully understand that two weeks notice is the best and most respected way to go about leaving, but I physically cannot bring myself to carry out more shifts. My counselor suggested I give a two weeks notice with limitations--such as I can only complete the shifts with a preceptor or through working on a project--so that they decide if I could be helpful in those ways. Chances are, they'll let me go on the spot, but at least I tried to maintain a good professional reputation. The main reason I am posting this is because I know a lot of new grads feel overwhelmed. I needed a reminder that I am in control of my job choice, so maybe this can serve as one for someone else. While it is risky in this job market, I need to consider what is best for me. Any stories related to my situation would be much appreciated!
Jan 9, '13
I have not found a position in nursing yet, but my friend did not like his first position as a nurse and he also knew within 6months. He worked for a large hospital and was able to transfer to a different floor. After he completed his 'year' of experience he found a job elsewhere, where he is much happier.
Point is maybe you can transfer within your institution? maybe?
Jan 10, '13
I agree. I think finding another specialty within your facility will be a better choice? And you have to ask yourself what is it that you don't like in your job? Is it the manager? Coworkers? High stress levels during shift? Hate 12 hr shifts and what 8 hr shifts? You have to think that way so you know what you want or don't want in your next job choice.
Jan 10, '13
I was in the same position as you with my first nursing job but it was on a rehab unit. I was working two 8s and two 12s, being required to work two night shifts every week. Half of the time I had up to seven patients, with no CNA, and it seemed like everyone wanted to go to the bathroom, get into the bed, and have a pain pill at the same time. Plus I was being pulled to med surg units without receiving an orientation, which was hard since I did not have a med surg background. I expressed my concern to the clinician who only said, "If there's something you don't know how to do, ask the other nurses to help you!" The lack of sleep I was getting made me very fatigued and turned me into a zombie. I was also angry because it was like when I wasn't working, I was sleeping my days away. I would wish that I would get sick or get into accident just so I wouldn't have to go in. I finished my six month probation and was unsuccessful at transferring to another unit or hospital. I couldn't take the stress any more, so I finally left and went into LTC. It felt like a huge burden was lifted off of my shoulder. Having a balance between work and personal life is very important. I would really love to have acute care experience, but since then I have had no luck in getting another job at a hospital. I didn't not have any disciplinary issues and I have over a year experience, so I don't know. Often I think about how miserable I was at my first job and how grateful I am now to have a job that offers me more pay and flexible hours. I hope you are able to make a decision on your job situation. Life is too short and your health and well-being are priorities.
Jan 12, '13
This sounds similar to a post I made a couple of days ago. I am on a med tele floor and as much as I appreciate the things I am learning like time management, prioritization skills, and good assessment skills, I do not really think its best fit for me in the long run.
I have asked to leave the floor because I don't think it's a fit for me and I get very anxious while at work. Part of my anxiety was time management but I have asked other nurses what to do to work on it and it's been helping a lot!
My specialty of choice of course is women's health with the rest of the world. But I am telling myself to try and stick it out for 1 year. So that I will have those skills previously mentioned to take with me to labor and delivery or postpartum and I will have knowledge that other nurses that went in as a new grad won't have.
If you know what specialty you want try and think of things that you may gain from your current job that may help your career later that can help you feel like its worth staying just for a little while longer. If you just can't find anything or you just can't say that OR is where you should be I think moving within the facility as previously stated is a good option.
I am having to remind myself that I am still human and I still have to take care of myself first and that there will be bad days. However if everyday for you is a bad day it just may be time for a change.
Jan 12, '13
If the floor is not for you, leave. Your health is more important. However, you will need to force yourself to stick it out for 2 weeks in order to provide the required notice, and be considered for future positions. Despite how you're feeling, tell yourself you CAN handle 2 more weeks.
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