At a crossroads

Nurses General Nursing


I've been a nurse for 18 years ( actually more like 20). I've worked in the same hospital for 16 years. I've worked in my current department for about 11 years. I've always had anxiety about nursing. Lately, I've felt very small and insignificant in my position. I am sensitive, but have noticed a lack of respect from some of my co-workers including some of the techs.

Despite reassurances from management, comments I hear directly and second hand are hurtful. These are not directed just at me, but also at my co-workers who work in the same position. Many of the nurses I work with already have their BSN degrees. Personally, I don't want to invest the money to continue in a profession I don't like.

A few years ago, I tried working in an Urgent Care. I felt I was good at it, but the hours were too long and I felt some anxiety about sudden changes that kept changing without seeming well organized. I left on good terms and was told I could return. I stayed for a year, but kept my job at the hospital.

I signed up for School nursing sub, but hesitated to do it because there was 0 training. On my own time, I shadowed another nurse, I have done it once. I liked it, but there is the expectation you know what to do paperwork, etc having never done it before. And the fear of learning as I go is overwhelming. I feel I have some excellent skills, including bedside manner.

Most patients seem to appreciate my efforts, but what overwhelms me most is the lack of respect from my co-workers who mostly work in the main ED. I understand that most of this is me, and I would say all of it is perception. Any good feelings that I have about a daily accomplishment are overshadowed by a negative comment or a disrespectful attitude. I have actually applied for a job with a significant pay cut, not even in nursing.

I have lots going on at home and the job situation and at times I just sit and cry thinking about everything. I am not suicidal, just down about everything being so negative.

1 Votes
Specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

The user name you chose for yourself kind of says it all. I don't think this is a nursing problem, but quite possibly symptoms of anxiety or depression. I highly recommend that you consider talking to someone (counelor/therapist) to sort out your feelings. You say you have a lot going on at home. All the more reason to seek help because your loved ones at home are probably struggling as well. I wish you the best.

6 Votes

I'm a very sensitive person also so I totally understand and can relate. Unfortunately, people are people and in almost every job that I have ever held (outside of nursing and within), there always seems to be the same personality types including the toxic coworker(s). Also, like you, I also prefer workplaces that are organized and the expectations of the role are clear. Personally, I would focus on finding as low stress a job as possible and as nursy above suggested, focus on some 'you time', including therapy. Take care of yourself first and foremost!

3 Votes

Than you for the responses.

To the private message sender.

Thank you so much for your honesty. I do realize much of this is internal. I meet with my other two coworkers and we vent which helps, but also reinforces not all my feelings are internal. I truly do work with some toxic people, and some lovely ones. I've honestly been trying to control my anxiety. And I am having success. I was a little flustered by the note about my anxiety and depression effecting my family. To be honest at home I am my strongest, ...My spouse is a heavy drinker and I have teen, so they are effecting me, not the other way around. Lol, not so much. I am very strong at home for this reason and take on many responsibilities. I am sure this is a root of the work place effecting me more than I would like. I have wonderful friends outside of work and it is such a contrast. I don't need or want to be besties with my work mates. I just want respect. In Dec I subbed for a school and I cannot tell you how many kids I saw. The principal thanked me for coming and said that is why we need a real nurse. I felt great and the next day in the ed I was giving report after a super busy shift with no lunch as usual, and nurse literally cut me off and didnt want me to finish when I stumbled to find a word. That is a small example. It is hard to contemplate leaving, I am an IV queen .and I worry about losing my skills, and taking a pay cut. I am going to have to find a balance in this. Thank you

1 Votes

Cutting someone off while they are giving report is unprofessional and rude. That's on them. For some reason, you're choosing to make it about you and be personally affronted and hurt by it. You "just want respect," not an unreasonable desire, but are becoming depressed and anxious when you don't get it. I'm not sure the problem is with your co-workers, or your work place. Nor do I think changing jobs is the answer; you'll find disrespectful jerks and a rude co-worker or two just about everywhere.

Maybe instead of working on finding a place where everyone is respectful and polite, you could work on not taking disrespect and rudeness personally. In this day and age I'm afraid being treated consistently respectfully and decently is too much to ask if you need it to feel OK about yourself. Sad commentary on today's work environment, but that's what I see everywhere.

5 Votes
Specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.
On 1/6/2020 at 1:34 PM, Downhearted said:

I was a little flustered by the note about my anxiety and depression affecting my family.

Downhearted, we actually have a lot of things in common. I too had a spouse who drank too much. I had to be in control at home and take on all the extra responsibilities. You may be in control at home, but believe me it is taking a toll on you and your family. Stress can be really insidious, affecting you in ways that you don't even realize. And believe me your teen(s) is affected by your spouse's drinking.

I also was an IV Queen. During my career as an infusion specialist, I've placed about 10,000 PICC lines. Then I went to ICU (big mistake), got completely burned out and switched to school nursing with the big fat pay cut. Have not regretted it for one second. There are so many different nursing options out there, so what if you "lose your skills," you will gain many new ones.

I still highly recommend that you find someone to talk to. Maybe even something like AlAnon, and maybe Alateen for your teen. They are readily available and free. Having been there, I really can feel your frustration. Good luck.

2 Votes

I didn't mean my child is not effected by the drinking, of that I am aware. And yes that is what I'm saying, the stress at home is effecting how I respond to adversity at work. So yes, it is a little much to deal with it in many aspects of life.

1 Votes
Specializes in retired LTC.

Don't fret too much re clinical skills. Something like bicycle riding, you'll not forget.

Other posters have offered you some good responses, esp to care for yourself.

(I was an IV queen too. An RN on NOC freq has to become IV certified. I started so many IVs - if you give me the equip now 10 years retired, and I'll prob get it without problem.)

2 Votes

I had a job interview yesterday. I understand that every job will have its own turmoul. It is much closer to home, but a pay cut. No weekends. I feel strongly I need a fresh start.

1 Votes
Specializes in Progressive Care, Sub-Acute, Hospice, Geriatrics.
17 hours ago, Just me. said:

I had a job interview yesterday. I understand that every job will have its own turmoul. It is much closer to home, but a pay cut. No weekends. I feel strongly I need a fresh start.

I also had an interview this week and I got the job. However, I got a very bad impression of the management during the interview. Its a pat cut, but it is sooooo close to home. However, its more days to work which I am not used to their shift changes. I am not sure, but I am leaning to not taking the job at all.

1 Votes
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