Specializes in Currently: Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

So nurse of 12 years here and I’m in need of some advice. I’m starting to have some real anxiety about dealing with people....not just my patients. I went in to nursing because I really use to love to learn about other people. Now I think I could go the rest of my life without meeting another person.

I just can’t see anymore sadness. The 24 year old mother of 3 who came into the ER to find cancer EVERYWHERE. The 60 year old dad who just became a father 5 years ago who got pancreatic cancer. There are many, many, many more stories like this that I have experienced. I had a religious friend say to me once something along the lines that I must be so lucky to see miracles every day. I have seen one patient in 12 years that I would call a miracle. Most of them are just sad, complex, and demonstrate repeatedly to me that time is short. Which brings me to my next issue. I may be experiencing some sort of PTSD from my patient population, or over empathy, or some sort of burnout. But I can’t bring myself to find it so important to fill out all this effing paperwork or waste several hours of time after work to get it done. I still do it all to the absolute best of my ability because I can’t stand the thought of a patient having issues getting something because their dumb insurance company would deny it due to my lack or charting, but charting is an absolute waste of my time here on earth and does jack *** for people’s health.

I can barely bring myself to find it important to go to work. Who are we helping? The pocket books of the hospital administrators? I spend 25 minutes with a patient and family doing home health, 35 minutes charting it, and then, while talking to doctors and looking up patients info while on the phone, drive to my next appointment and try not to die on my way there. All so I can try to get home on time (my territory is an hour away from my house, not my choice and have ask repeatedly over the last 2 years to be moved closer) and spend a smidge if time with my family. Which is near impossible because of the other administrative crap I need to get done to be ready for the next day. Honestly I didn’t find floor nursing any better. I can seriously see why people find suicide easier than this bull. But I have a baby and a husband that I support so I can’t take that route. Yes I see a psychologist. Her thoughts are that my expectations of what work should be are skewed like every millennial and that once I get to the right expectations I won’t feel this way.

I doubt it. I’ve felt this way about work since I’ve started. I hate being told where to be and what other people’s expectations I have to attain to keep employment since I started. Can I do it? Yes. I can do it and be successful at it, but I still think of it as a horrible waste of time due to all the bureaucracy one must do at ANY job to do right by others. Nursing just made it worse because I know how small our time here is and I can’t get all those people out of my mind that I saw leave with so much unattained in their personal life due to having to make money. Just absurd and stupid that we let employers do this to us.
That is all.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

No quick fixes here, but it does sound like you need to make some changes in your life. A job that is burning you out plus a baby at home and a husband that you support (does he reciprocate in support of your needs?) is a lot to take on.

It sounds like you work in home health which has a reputation for being the most documentation heavy type of nursing. Look around and see what else nursing has to offer.

Sounds like you are battling some major depression. Are you on any medications for it?

You may need to get away from home health care. Nursing is mentally hard a lot of the time. I personally have had several hard cases recently that made me question nursing all together. I feel like I’m too soft for it some days. I love the science and medical part of my job, but the emotions get me.

I battled depression years ago and it was difficult. I learned a few things. I have to take care of myself first. I make sure I get adequate sleep each night. I go to bed and wake up at the same time each day even on my days off. I also exercise a lot. I used to hate exercise, now I’m a gym rat on my days off.

Keep up with your appointments with your doctor and see if maybe your meds needs changed. It’s a trial and error thing. Good luck and I hope you get through this!!