Did you truly enjoy being a RN?

  1. ... I mean by the time you got to CRNA school were you burnt out from nursing in general or are there aspects of it you miss now since your a CRNA? I'm asking because I'm soooo burnt out. I still give my patients good care, but am tired of the mundane non-thinking tasks such as cleaning up pts, turning them, making sure they eat, playing secretary (non stop family calls), ect, ect, ect... I want to focus on more technical things like IV starts, titrating drips and saving a pt during a code. Did any of you feel this way when you were on the unit before CRNA school?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Jo Dirt
    I'm dealing with a similar feeling. I work in LTC and feel like I'm in a rut. The work is so unchallenging and monotonous and while I know a LTC nurse's job is important it is drudgery to me. I told a coworker last night I was going to have to go back to school or something, because I feel so unfulfilled with where I am in my career.

    Yes, I know happiness comes from within, I'm just not content working what I see as a piddely job that isn't leading to anything but fallen arches and and a worn out back.

    I need to feel like I've got a future and I'm going somewhere, if that makes any sense.
  4. by   Bonnie Nurse
    I understand what you mean. I didn't go to CRNA school, but I had plans to do the ANP with a concentration in diabetes. I was so tired at the end of nursing school, and since then, I've been in two different ICU settings. I left my first job because my day had been reduced to many mundane tasks that someone else could do, thus freeing me up to concentrate on patient's meds, etc., but that the hospital was too cheap to hire. It was the old stepping over dollars to save pennies attitude on the part of management. Good help for tasks that don't need special training frees the RN up to THINK about her patient's needs and communicate well with families. My conversations with families are not as well informed ( inadequate time to read history and notes) nor as long as I would like for them to be because I'm worried about the ever increasing list of tasks that need completing before shift end. It makes me want to go for the ANP, but I'm so exhausted I can't seem to combine school and work.
  5. by   wlb06
    These comments kinda worry me as a future nurse about to start nursing school. I do have general plans to do something more advanced like CRNA, but what if I don't wanna go back to school.

    This will be my 2nd degree so I hope I am making the right choice and get something out of this one, because the 1st one I got basically nothing that would help me career wise.

    I don't want to make a similar "mistake" twice.
  6. by   stanman1968
    I loved working the unit, If there were such a thing as an intensivist ARNP that made good jack and had autonomy that would be the job. As it is CRNA is often a lot of fun too. I love Peripheral nere blocks and regional anesthesia. I love OB it is usually so happy, but when it is not it's really not. I think there are parts of every job to like the key is to focus on those if you cannot then time to find something new.
  7. by   SuperSleeper
    I absolutely loved, and still love, being an RN!

    Of course, there were the little things that I could have done without, but all-in-all, this career has been extremely rewarding for me. I think a big part of it is where you work. I don't know what the ICU settings were like for others, but in mine, it was constant thinking interrupted by the occasional sudden fulll linen change.

    Even working with the families wasn't too bad. There were some I would like to have strung up by their toes, but not many. I enjoyed figuring out their "ways" quickly in order to attempt to come across as friend instead of the enemy. There was a joke in my unit that my PR skills were so good, I could get the pope to convert to Judaism if given the chance.:chuckle

    I agree, though, about the physical aspect of flipping those 300 pounders regularly. My back couldn't do it anymore. A common misconception is that CRNAs don't turn pts. They do. There is just more help. I am very excited to be moving in to an arena where I can focus one-on-one with my patient right there and manage everything while being "in the moment" as opposed to constant distraction.

    I think that if you are not challenged as an RN, it is definitely time to continue your education and move on upward. There are way too many options in nursing to stay in one place an allow yourself to be miserable IMHO.

    Good luck in your journey.

    SS - RN, SRNA
  8. by   CerebralCRNA
    Quote from SuperSleeper
    I absolutely loved, and still love, being an RN!
    You took the words right out of my mouth, you can't be a CRNA without the RN
  9. by   Designer NP
    I know you can't be a CRNA without the RN, but I bet you would be offended if you had to work in the traditional ICU RN capacity with all your education and training now. Back to my original post.... I just wanted to know if you got burnt out doing things on the unit before you pursued your CRNA and if that was the reason why you went back to school.
  10. by   SuperSleeper
    I wouldn't say that I'd be offended. I'd be a little ****** that I had all the extra training in NA school and it didn't move me up. But that's a different emotion.

    On that note, though, I have a friend who is a CRNA and loved the unit so much that she PRN's in one...as an RN. We don't lose the nurse in us, most of us just choose to do something else with it. Many people do get burned out on the unit and decide to move on at that point. Many embrace the experience knowing that it is a time to learn what is necessary for advanced practice. Every journey is different.

    As for me, I was burned out on the politics of management vs. staff, but not the actual nursing. If they would just let us all take care of our patients without distracting us with piddly-crud all the time, all would be better off for it. IMHO. I was not truly burned out when I left.

    I hope that answers your question to some degree.

    SS-SRNA
  11. by   Designer NP
    Thanks for the honest response. I too am tired of all the piddly stuff from the higher-ups among other things. I'm working my way through my BSN to apply for CRNA school...It's a long road and I've got a lot of work to do...
  12. by   armynse
    I couldn't have taken another day at the bedside. I had succumb to total burn-out. I loved working in ICU early in my nursing career. However, once the challenge was gone, I just didn't like what I was doing anymore. Toward the end of my days at the bedside all I could think about was saving my back from a career-ending injury brought on by a 300 lb pt. I start CRNA school in a little more than 48 hrs. On those nights when I'm exhausted and feeling like I'm running on fumes...I will remember that 340 lb vent-dependent pt with C. Diff, MRSA, VRE, Acinetobacter, etc...and, it will be back to the books for me.

    Army
  13. by   Designer NP
    Thank you for the honesty...I can't stand the bedside! Do you have any tips for an aspiring SRNA since your starting school soon?Congratulations by the way.
  14. by   armynse
    Much like you, I couldn't stand being at the bedside. However, my disdain for what I was doing didn't really begin until after I found out I was accepted to CRNA school. However, I had grown tired of the political crap being dished out by mgmt about 4 months before I actually applied to school. The thing that worked for me is that I harnessed all the negative energy I was feeling and turned it into something constructive. I stayed at the bedside way too long, if I had stuck with my gameplan I would be graduating from CRNA School later this year. However, in the interim, I was enjoying being an ICU nurse. Yes, there was a time when I looked forward to going to work and I would pick up extra shifts without hesitation. At any rate, once I decided enough was enough, I used that negative energy and I began studying for the GRE. I studied for 4 weeks and I blew that test out of the water. Concurrent to that, I was researching schools and financial options that would allow me to keep my house and put my daughter through nursing school while I attended school at the same time. Long story short, I decided to return to active duty Army and attend school for FREE!! Now, I have an apartment in San Antonio and I can afford my mortgage as well. Because I'm on active duty, I am enjoying full pay and benefits which means that I have medical coverage for myself and my 2 kids...er, uh, they aren't kids anymore, they are young adults. Also, I paid my daugher's summer school tuition 3 days before I moved to Texas. The best advice that I can give you is to devise a plan and stick to it. Don't let anyone or anything distract you from your goal. Tell yourself, after having a horrible shift at the bedside, that what you are doing is jumping through one of the many hoops on the path to anesthesia school. Good luck in your endeavor...

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