I am 9 mo post graduation w/ a BSN (and prior BS in education). I thought I would love L & D nursing. I am working at a high-risk, high-volume hospital with a short staff. I LOVE my patients and working with them but the stress is overwhelming. I am afraid all the time. My body won't adjust to nights and working the weekends and holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's) is a bummer. I have to apply for vacation 6 mo out and I am always being the called the days I am off. I feel guilty when I say no because I know what it feels like to juggle so many patients.
I would like to go to clinic nursing but have heard from so many older nurse friends to stay at least 1-2 years. I would leave my position not feeling entirely competent and colleagues tell me to that things will get better by 1 year. I am afraid to leave and afraid to stay.
I would like to go to clinic nursing but I don't know if I am giving up too soon. Did you some of you wait it out for 1 year and you became more confident and comfortable. I don't want to give up a job that many new grads are wanting. I had to work hard to convince the manager to hire a new grad and many of our hospitals won't do it until you have 1 year of MBU experience. I just don't know what to do and was hoping someone could give me advice on staying or going to another floor or clinic nursing.
For some background, I have volunteered with families for 6 years assisting with birth as labor support. I went to nursing school
knowing that my only pathway was L & D. Yet, here I am 9 mo later wishing that I had not even considered nursing. Can someone give some advice?
Thanks so much,
Oct 20, '06
I think you might want to give it a bit more time. It took me about 2-3 years to feel truly comfortable as an L/D nurse. If after a year -18 months you still feel this way, maybe then, it's time to re-examine your options and perhaps, change specialties.
IF after a year of working in your unit, you just can't stand it, you COULD always try working in another OB unit in a different hospital. The working environments and climates do vary by location/hospital and not all are bad and horribly stressful places to work.
Now, if you feel you are truly burning out, (and it sounds to me you are)---try taking a little vacation, if at all possible. ( knowing you have to request it in advance). Also you may try taking some classes or attending some conferences related to our specialty. I have often found these "breathe life" into our nursing practices and really give us a chance to network and exchange ideas as well as frustrations with others who understand.
LEARN TO SAY NO or not answer the telephone. You are NOT obligated to work your butt off to cover holes or shortfalls in staffing. You need time off to regenerate, recharge and refresh. Make sure you take it. If you must, then unplug your phone when you are off, or at least don't answer it. If you don't pick up, no one can beg or twist your arm to come in!!!! JUST SAY NO to excessive OT and working on your days off.
Also one possibility would be to consider going into childbirth education and/or teaching. Maybe you would love that....and it would take you away from the bedside.
One cautionary note: You may want to be aware MANY dr offices and clinics do not hire RNs at all, but hire mainly LPNs or MA's. Check around before you quit to see if there are openings for you and also make sure you can take the almost-certain paycut that would follow in doing so.
Take care and I am sorry you are having a tough time. I feel for you.
Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 20, '06