HELP. I AM DROWNING

  1. Help!! I just got licensed in August, and I am 3 weeks into my first nursing job in Psych. I hate it! The people I work with don't help each other, rather talk bad about each other. I feel like I don't know what I am doing, and that all I do is make mistakes. I had a panic attack at work yesterday because I feel like I am failing as a nurse. I just want to quit. I hate my job. I am so overwhelmed.
    Last edit by Gus0110 on Dec 30, '17
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   CrunchRN
    It always feels like that at a new job. You need to just stick with it. After 3 months it gets better.
  4. by   Apple-Core
    From what I have heard, and admittedly this is just what I have heard and not experienced, the first year of nursing can be absolutely miserable....more stressful than nursing school even. In addition, you are in what I would consider to be a high stress area - psych - so you've got that too. I am sure things will get easier as you gain confidence. I would suggest trying to stick it out at least 12 months, but keep looking for something new in the mean time...good luck!
  5. by   Oldmahubbard
    it would be helpful to know more specifically what you feel you don't know, and what are the mistakes you are making?
    Nurses only have a brief introduction to mental illness in school. I would expect that the first year would be quite a learning curve.
    As far as the co-workers, sounds like an average nursing job.
  6. by   Nature_walker
    I started in psych as my first job out of nursing school too. I am still at the same job a year and a half later. I had my days where I questioned why I work where I work. I still once in a while have those moments, but they are few and far between now. Psych is a totally different animal. It's hard when you are the new person as it seems like you won't fit in and there are some strong personalities that work with you there too. You have just started. It takes time to build relationships with the staff and learn your job as a nurse. You are in the hardest time right now. I can tell you it gets better when you gain more confidence.

    What attracted you to psych in the first place? Have you had to work up close and personal with a team like this before? I've been in your shoes! It feels like you have a million things to learn, and not just the nursing stuff. Give it more time, you will find that you are learning each day, and soon you'll find that you are part of the team and have knowledge about what you are doing.

    The learning curve is steep here. Just keep putting on foot in front of the other and soon you'll be able to look back on how far you have come!
    Last edit by Nature_walker on Jan 2 : Reason: typo
  7. by   Leader25
    I hear your pain, but please try to stick it out for 6 months and keep researching job openings.Get to know your supervisor,put your head to grind and just do it.It does get better.I worked with some real nuts on one of my first jobs,nasty cruel,always fighting with each other.
  8. by   Ambersmom
    Quote from Gus0110
    Help!! I just got licensed in August, and I am 3 weeks into my first nursing job in Psych. I hate it! The people I work with don't help each other, rather talk bad about each other. I feel like I don't know what I am doing, and that all I do is make mistakes. I had a panic attack at work yesterday because I feel like I am failing as a nurse. I just want to quit. I hate my job. I am so overwhelmed.
    Is it the specialty you hate, or just generally overwhelmed. If its the specialty quietly start looking for another position in a field you do like.
    I'm sorry the culture of your place is not supportive. Take a deep breath, review your psych nursing notes and textbook (if you still have it) and remind yourself first jobs are not forever...Make sure you make time for yourself at home to relax, debrief, and destress. Best of luck.
  9. by   lcaristi
    My advice to you is to be kind and patient with yourself. I too felt overwhelmed when I took my first nursing position. I went home and cried everyday. All the stereotypes about nurses "eating their young" rang true in my situation. I vowed I would never treat nursing students or colleagues with disrespect. I believe the lack of compassion that seems to resonate between senior nurses and "freshman" nurses needs to be addressed. After being a RN, BSN for 12 years I went back to school to obtain a Master's degree. I now am a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. It was a long and tumultuous road but I tried to keep a positive attitude. I tried to be a better mentor for those entering the profession. I am so sorry you are experiencing this kind of treatment and lack of leadership in your new position. It will be very very difficult but when someone offers you "constructive" criticism politely thank them for their "valuable" advice. Continue to use this position as much needed experience. Continue to embrace your learning. Continue to become the best at your chosen profession. Lord knows we need well qualified psychiatric professionals! Please don't give up. I am cheering for you!
  10. by   GaryRay
    I usually tell people nursing school doesn't teach you how to be a nurse, it teaches you how to pass your boards. We teach you how to be a nurse after you start working. The problem is, in school you are so focused on graduation, no one really gets you ready for what's ahead. You're going through "reality shock" everyone does. The first year is worse than school. I used to call my mom crying in the bathroom during my lunch breaks during my first year.

    It will get better!

    After a while it all just sort of falls together and you find your rhythm. If you hate your job or specialty after 6 months don't quite, transfer to another unit.

    I made the mistake of quitting my first job in less than a year to move. I figured finding a new job would be easy in a big city. No ma'am you are either a "new grad" applying for the nurse residency or as a new grad, or you are an RN1 and they want 2 years of experience. Finding a job while you still fall in the middle of these two roles is hell. They won't orient you as a new grad, but they don't want to hire someone with less experience who may need more investment.

    Stick it out until you can transfer, you may even be able to go to HR and talk about your concerns and transfer sooner. Lots of hospitals have EAP counselors you can talk to also who can give you insight on coping skills to get through the difficult times. I've even gone to them just because my unit had a lot of losses for a while and I needed someone to talk to who understood but wouldn't judge me. They assured me nurses are in there all the time for that.

    Just rememember to take care of yourself and know everyone struggles. There is no such thing as an "easy" specialty.
  11. by   TruvyNurse
    Quote from CrunchRN
    It always feels like that at a new job. You need to just stick with it. After 3 months it gets better.
    I agree with Crunch. Every new job seems that way. Just try to stick it out at least 6 months. Here in 4 months you may be going "I can't believe I almost left here. I love it!" I know I've done that before I

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