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anyone else feel kinda lonely in this job?

Stress 101   (10,907 Views 18 Comments)
by bennyRN bennyRN (New Member) New Member

bennyRN has 1 years experience and specializes in General Medicine.

836 Visitors; 13 Posts

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So I'm a new grad for just about 6 months on an insane med-surg floor in a huge nyc hospital. I am so incredibly grateful to have gotten a job where I did, and survived for this long, and surprisingly I kindof like it (even though I was one of those who swore I'd never touch med-surg with a 10 foot pole). I've gotten loads of amazing experience already, work with incredibly supportive coworkers, and feel so accomplished just to have made it this far.

I feel like I should be really happy at this point, but really I just feel kindof lonely/isolated from the regular world, and its starting to wear on me. I'm still living at home with my parents in the suburbs to save money, but also because I don't really have a roommate to get an apartment with (I dont want to live by myself, I need company or I'll go nuts!). None of my high school friends are around anymore, and I thought I'd be meeting new friends at work to hang out with, but on my floor nobody ever seems to get together - we all live very spread-out, and most people have families and whatnot at home. To top it all off, I'm working 12 hr nights, have had a hard time adjusting, and nobody on the outside really seems to understand my bizarre schedule (except my family, thank God).

I basically depend on my parents and 16 year old sister for a "social" life and support system. My mom is an RN too so shes pretty much my lifeline at this point for venting about work, but she works days so I hardly see her as well. Plus at 23 I feel I should be a little more independent, but this job is just so stressful it feels impossible not to revert back to childish dependency on mommy and daddy. I took care of myself no problem for 5 years in college btw, but this job takes the meaning of stress on a whole new level (again, something my non-RN peers have a hard time relating to).

Is there anyone else new to nursing who is feeling lonely this way? I know the social situation will eventually change. I love this job, but I hate the way it affects my everyday life. Please someone tell me I'm not alone in feeling like this!!

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Zaphod has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU-CCRN, CVICU, SRNA.

5,816 Visitors; 181 Posts

I understand. This job, especially nights can change you and make you depressed. Since I started nights I have been waking up at 2 AM on days off, never sleeping more that 3 hours and am super cranky. What helps is thinking that it is not forever. You WILL get your experience and either move to days on your floor or find a different nursing job with better schedule. Lucky you are still young and have time to enjoy social life later. Work on getting your career in check and everything else will fall in place. Hugs.

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rierie has 14 years experience and specializes in Adult Care- Neuro ICU, Ortho, IRU, Pedi.

1,827 Visitors; 57 Posts

Nights is killer if you are a single girl. I suggest finding things out of work to occupy your time. This is going to sound crazy but when I worked nights I really enjoyed on-line dating. I could browse the guys in my home at weird hours of the night and I met some very interesting guys and their friends.

It does get lonely, feel like you work like a dog and even if you do have someone that listens they really don't get it unless they have been through it. One day a patient will say something sweet to you and it makes up for this hard work. A good compliment can get me through 6 months or so!

It is tough putting up with night shift for too long. I did it for 7 years and it jacked up my health and sleep. Find a good nurse friend and vent away to each other. That helps. I also roomed with a girl while she was in nursing school and it was helpful because she didn't party and I understood her drama. We are best friend to this day. She calls me all the time to vent and ask opinions on work and guys!

Good luck

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dodoy is a BSN, RN and specializes in Renal/Hemodialysis.

1 Article; 7,577 Visitors; 208 Posts

Your drama is just like mine. I work 6 days a week from Mondays to Saturdays, and on-call for emergency HD's on Sundays. Damn. If I may ask, is this your first job? If it is, then I think you should hang on for a while til you can put something up on your resume.

As in my case, it's my first job so I have no choice but to continue this (knowing the career market's so tough these days). Damn. I wish we'll be granted some sort of social life to unwind.

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bennyRN has 1 years experience and specializes in General Medicine.

836 Visitors; 13 Posts

Thanks for the words of encouragement :) im still looking for someone to get an apt with but there are a few prospects now so we'll see what happens. online dating...thats an interesting idea, maybe ill give it a try. I've finally started to feel a little more comfortable in my solitude, but i still dont want to miss out on all the fun of my 20's! 8 months down on my crazy floor, 4 more to go till i can apply for other units...time flies!

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1,890 Visitors; 26 Posts

I hear what you and the commenters are saying. I work day 12s usually -- and some 8s -- and I still feel isolated because I can't go out and meet my friends til really late because it takes so long to get around where I work and live.

I have thought about this for a while. It seems when we're fresh out of school, we need to set up social outlets/networks/groups and it's hard because we're in the start of our careers so we're stuck working the odd shifts -- nights, usually.

I feel your pain and just wanted to add a little bit. Hang in there.

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424 Visitors; 2 Posts

I'm not single, but I know what you me by isolation. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and I have been a nurse for 10 of those years. When I first started as an LPN I was on nights for 3 years then moved to days. Well this last December I graduated form RN school and I am now back on nights and I do 12 hour shifts. My husband for the 3 years I was on nights worked days and for the last stint worked nights while I was on days. Thank God we are finally on the same shift he is an EMT so our families understand the schedules but we have no social life other then each other. Friends who do not work in a medical setting never seem to understand. Oh we can go out but no drinking because we are on call or sorry the weekend is out because I have to work.

So I understand the social Isolation part very well, but I am thankful I work in a small rural hospital and over the years have made friends that are also nurses and EMT's so we can have a social life.

So stick in there it does get better with time....:)

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1,301 Visitors; 37 Posts

I had to read your msg for myself as well. I have a salaried position which means I work on average 12 to 14 hrs a day 6 days a week- I have no life right now. I hardly see my kids or husband at this point and forget appointments with my friends. It is lonely.

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Saf1 has 1 years experience and specializes in Intermediate Care.

1,331 Visitors; 22 Posts

I've been thinking about this a lot lately too. I'm older than the OP...married, one kid. My husband works a regular M-F and my daughter is in preschool. Between the night shifts (I rotate) and weekends I feel like I spend my days off alone in an empty house and leave for work just as my family is coming home. I feel very out of sync with them. In nursing school I had a lot of friends that I could socialize with, but at work everyone is too busy to talk about anything but work. When the shift is over everyone is just so exhausted that we head straight home. This is a second career for me and I'm used to at least having lunches out with coworkers, but since in nursing we obviously can't all leave the floor at once for an hour, lunch breaks (if they happen at all) are quick and solo. I assumed when I started working as a nurse I'd make a lot of nurse friends, but that just hasn't been the case. It's very frustrating.

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14,279 Visitors; 868 Posts

I kind of understand I guess. My situation is a little different I am in my early (nearing mid) 20s, and a new grad. No job yet. But I had my first child as a teenager, then got married and had two more kids. So I have a 5 person household. I have a friend in nursing school now, that I communicate with regularly, but other than that I don't socialize much. I always thought that I would make more kind of like minded friends when I went to work in my career, but we shall see. One thing I don't want to do is miss out on my 20s, I have a major midlife crisis.

But anyway, good luck!

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598 Visitors; 3 Posts

i hear you - same thing for me. Im about 4mo in at a crazy busy and huge hospital on a med-surge floor. I planned on NICU and changed my mind at the last minute... I'm good at it, preforming well, and holding my own with much more experienced nurses. I feel like I should be very happy. I work/day evening, but I find I am also depressed and crazy lonely. I hardly see my friends, the people on my floor are so exhausted after work they all leave - none of them hang out together. I figured I would make new friends here as there are several other new nurses. Not the case... we're all too spread out and work opposing shifts anyways. I hope this gets better. I'm in here with you until it does.

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5,485 Visitors; 281 Posts

i hear you - same thing for me. Im about 4mo in at a crazy busy and huge hospital on a med-surge floor. I planned on NICU and changed my mind at the last minute... I'm good at it, preforming well, and holding my own with much more experienced nurses. I feel like I should be very happy. I work/day evening, but I find I am also depressed and crazy lonely. I hardly see my friends, the people on my floor are so exhausted after work they all leave - none of them hang out together. I figured I would make new friends here as there are several other new nurses. Not the case... we're all too spread out and work opposing shifts anyways. I hope this gets better. I'm in here with you until it does.

Have you considered getting involved in some of the hospital activities? Is there an evidenced based practice group you can join for example or something that catches your interest you can volunteer on?Considered joining the ANA and attending their stuff and networking?

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