I need help from my fellow PICU nurses. I graduated last November and began working (my fist nursing job) in March. When I began nursing school I knew I wanted to be a peds nurse- but I never thought I would be a PICU nurse. My orientation was a very short 8 weeks. A week and a half of that was classroom work. I am working nights now, so I wonder if that is part of my problem. However, I don't love my job. There are some days I don't even like my job. I find it to be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. I don't expect everything to be fun and games- however- these kids are sooo sick. I do find joy when one of these really sick kids gets transferred to a regular floor and then gets to go home. But every one of those kids, I see so many chronic kids who have absolutely no quality of life and lay there in a coma like state. These kids are trached, g-tube, and never even open their eyes.
I guess what I am wondering is- is what I am feeling normal for a new PICU nurse? I am torn between possibly finding a job that WILL make me happy vs. the commitment I made to my unit when I accepted this position. My manager told me that it takes her one year to recoup the costs of hiring a new employee. I honestly don't know if I can last a year!
Did anyone else feel this way when they started as a new PICU nurse and if so- did it get better?
I should also mention that even though I am a new grad, I am 37 years old and I have an eight year old son of my own. I also have about 8 years of experience as a retail manager- also a very high stress job in a completely different way.