Should I leave nursing, or is there a better fit for me?

  1. I want to start off by saying that I'm looking for a little advice here. I'm still fairly new to nursing, I graduated with my BSN in 5/05 and will be at my job for 2 years in Sept. I started (my first and only job) on an oncology unit that I origionally loved . . . the staffing was great, the nurses seemed mostly happy and were usually great teachers. I, along with a few other new grads, started on the night shift, 7-7.

    Right off the bat, the fact that I was being hired with several others who also had no experience worried me, as I realized that there would eventually come that night that (eek!) only us new grads would be working (I was not made aware of any of this until we were all actually in classroom orientation and it came as a huge surprise). Yet, that seemed like such a long way off that I tried not to dwell on it.

    Over the past year and a half our staffing has dwindled down to the point where we can't even usually cover our own staffing for the night shift. On the entire night staff, there is ONE experienced oncology nurse (granted, we seldom have actual chemo running), ONE experienced hospice nurse . . . and a few nurses with the same experience as myself. I was put in charge (against my wishes) after being there only 6 months. The majority of the time, I find myself working the unit with nurses who have no more experience than myself. The one experienced oncology nurse, when I happen to even be working with her, seems sick of answering questions and often provides vauge and minimal answers to questions (this my also be a personal issue, not sure).

    I find myself often a nervous wreck, questioning my judgement, obsessing (in and out of work) if i handled situations correctly, second guessing if I should even be an RN. I often stay late and am the last from my shift to leave due to my obsessing and double checking myself (I'm a bit anal). I have never been told by superiors or coworkers that my abilities are lacking or need improvement, but that doesn't help much. My anxiety level on a day to day basis is very high, and I am addressing that. I hear stories of patients being harmed and lawsuits and it petrifies me. How often does this actually happen???

    The stress level of this job seems to be too much for me. I kept telling myself that I can do this, I just need more time, but I have reached the point where I feel this is long enough. My parents paid for and supported me though school, I hate to let both them and myself down by giving up. I want to at least try a different avenu of nursing before I look for a complete career change. #1 I think I definitely need to get a day position, as working nights is really getting to be too much.

    I really need some advice here. I know this is a pretty dumb question, but are there any areas that are a little less intense than juggling 6-10 oncology patients? I have though about the OR, was thinking I might like that more since it is 1:1 care. I was also thinking of psych, as I was very interested in that in school. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance. :spin:
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Cymy
    Based on your description, it sounds like it's the situation you're in, not the field of nursing or the sub-field of oncology nursing that is the problem. With two years of experience under your belt plus experience as a charge nurse, you should be able to go elsewhere to find a better environment.

    Good luck!
  4. by   shellek
    Quote from SeaShellRN
    I want to start off by saying that I'm looking for a little advice here. I'm still fairly new to nursing, I graduated with my BSN in 5/05 and will be at my job for 2 years in Sept. I started (my first and only job) on an oncology unit that I origionally loved . . . the staffing was great, the nurses seemed mostly happy and were usually great teachers. I, along with a few other new grads, started on the night shift, 7-7.

    Right off the bat, the fact that I was being hired with several others who also had no experience worried me, as I realized that there would eventually come that night that (eek!) only us new grads would be working (I was not made aware of any of this until we were all actually in classroom orientation and it came as a huge surprise). Yet, that seemed like such a long way off that I tried not to dwell on it.

    Over the past year and a half our staffing has dwindled down to the point where we can't even usually cover our own staffing for the night shift. On the entire night staff, there is ONE experienced oncology nurse (granted, we seldom have actual chemo running), ONE experienced hospice nurse . . . and a few nurses with the same experience as myself. I was put in charge (against my wishes) after being there only 6 months. The majority of the time, I find myself working the unit with nurses who have no more experience than myself. The one experienced oncology nurse, when I happen to even be working with her, seems sick of answering questions and often provides vauge and minimal answers to questions (this my also be a personal issue, not sure).

    I find myself often a nervous wreck, questioning my judgement, obsessing (in and out of work) if i handled situations correctly, second guessing if I should even be an RN. I often stay late and am the last from my shift to leave due to my obsessing and double checking myself (I'm a bit anal). I have never been told by superiors or coworkers that my abilities are lacking or need improvement, but that doesn't help much. My anxiety level on a day to day basis is very high, and I am addressing that. I hear stories of patients being harmed and lawsuits and it petrifies me. How often does this actually happen???

    The stress level of this job seems to be too much for me. I kept telling myself that I can do this, I just need more time, but I have reached the point where I feel this is long enough. My parents paid for and supported me though school, I hate to let both them and myself down by giving up. I want to at least try a different avenu of nursing before I look for a complete career change. #1 I think I definitely need to get a day position, as working nights is really getting to be too much.

    I really need some advice here. I know this is a pretty dumb question, but are there any areas that are a little less intense than juggling 6-10 oncology patients? I have though about the OR, was thinking I might like that more since it is 1:1 care. I was also thinking of psych, as I was very interested in that in school. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance. :spin:
    Bless your heart!! I do feel your pain and concern. I my self love PACU, it can be intense at times yet you are in an open room full of staff never without some-one if not everyone knowing your pt. You do not have to deal with the same pt's daily, unfortunately through the months or years if they are having I&d's of wounds or amputations. Family is not in there usually and even though it is critical care it is 1:2 pushing 3 in some states or times during change of shift per nurse. And like I said you are never left alone, PACU nurses work as a team in all the hospitals I have worked in. Pre-op if available in your hospital is GREAT too!!! Minor out-pt. or cardiac cath lab, endo lab, etc.. are GREAT also (usually a supportive available staff around @ all times) I have found when I get nervous just having somebody to ask relieves me and I am usually right-just needed extra re-assurance.....Check into those areas they are very rewarding and supportive!! GOOD LUCK!!!

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