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Burned out new grad. What non bedside job can I do?

Nurses   (1,147 Views | 10 Replies)
by Sophie212 Sophie212 (New) New Nurse

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I was promised a day position in the cardiac ICU but as they found out I was pregnant they find excuses to put me to the cardiac PCU night shift. I was pissed off because this was not something I signed up for in the first place. I was offered a position in the MSICU at night but I turned it down to go to this unit bc I didn’t want to work nights. Now that I have terrible insomnia and I feel like there is no life left in me working nights. 
 

I feel dreaded every time coming to work. There is no joy, no energy, or motivation left in me. I don’t want to end my nursing career bc I was in the wrong unit. Our unit has 68% turnover rate last year - highest in my hospital. What non bedside job can I do? I like to work 3-4 days a week, no holidays, no weekends, no calls. I like to do something that does not require a lot of critical thinking or having someone’s live critically dependent on me. I don’t think I like the ICU anymore. I want a job that I can spend more time with my soon to be born baby. Help!

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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1 hour ago, Sophie212 said:

What non bedside job can I do? I like to work 3-4 days a week, no holidays, no weekends, no calls. I like to do something that does not require a lot of critical thinking or having someone’s live critically dependent on me. I don’t think I like the ICU anymore. I want a job that I can spend more time with my soon to be born baby. Help!

To be perfectly honest, I don't think you're setting a reasonable expectation. Those types of cushy, low-stress, ideal-schedule jobs are hard to come by, and as a new grad you aren't a competitive applicant. Being visibly pregnant will make landing a job like that (or any new job, for that matter) exponentially harder; it's not legal and it's not fair, but it's true.

If you want to become a competitive applicant for a highly desirable job like that in the near future, your best option is likely to stick it out in acute care for a couple of years.

You can try casting a wide net and applying for day shift positions at other units/hospitals, or even in SNFs/LTCs/corrections; it's unlikely to land one as a new grad, but maybe you'll get lucky and find a day shift position or at least a night shift position on a more desirable unit. In the meantime, you've got to find a way to make your current situation more tolerable. I know from experience how much it sucks to stay on a unit where you're miserable, but I also know that you can get through it if you really want to. Pushing through and putting in a year will open up a lot of doors for you down the road.

Perhaps you could benefit from working with a therapist, especially if your hospital has an Employee Assistance Program (which should offer a handful of free counseling sessions). They might be able to help you develop strategies to get through your first year in acute care. They may also have ideas on how you can get better sleep. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your sleep duration/quality when you work night shift (just try searching night shift on the AN forum), and you can even ask your doctor if there are any medications that would be safe for you to take that could help you sleep. Sleep deprivation makes everything miserable, and you might find a new outlook on your job once you're more well-rested.

It's obvious from your post that you're still pretty salty about your unexpected transfer. I know this is easier said than done, but I'd like to gently recommend that you try to reframe your perspective and outlook on this transfer (this would be a great thing to work on with a therapist, just sayin'). If you start this job expecting to be pissed off and miserable, I can 100% guarantee that you're going to end up being pissed off and miserable. Even if this wasn't what you were expecting, you still have some great opportunities to learn. This job can open a lot of doors for you after a relatively short period of time (including the dream job you described), and there are plenty of new grads who don't get acute care opportunities at all. You'll probably have a much better experience if you begin this year with a positive attitude instead of starting out miserable and expecting to become even more miserable. Your first year of nursing is hard enough without bringing all of that extra bitterness and baggage to the transition.

Side note: one of the few upsides to working on a unit with high turnover is that you may be able to transition into a day shift role faster than you could on a unit with low turnover and long seniority-based wait lists.

Congrats on your baby. I know it sucks to slog through the 12-hr night shifts now, but if you 'pay your dues' on the front end, nursing can be one of the most flexible, family-friendly professions out there.

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Get your certification in case management, then apply with a large insurance company as an RN case manager. Often these positions are work from home M-F 8-5. I did this for 3 years and was able to be around for my school age children. No weekends, no holidays, no nights. BUT, I put in my time on the floor for almost 10 years and did nights for 3 before this became a reality. Don't be fooled either- once you leave bedside nursing it is almost impossible to go back unless you maintain a PRN position on a floor somewhere. Do not lose your clinical skills and don't ever let your credentials lapse. It's the kiss of death. But the beauty of nursing is there are so many different aspects you can pursue. School nursing might be a nice option for you as well if it is available where you live. Keep your options open, but unfortunately nothing can replace time and experience when it comes to landing the cushier-better-schedule jobs. Don't lose faith. They are out there.

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You do NOT need to “pay your dues” and spend 10 years slaving away in the hospital to get a nice M-F 8-5 clinic job. I got one with minimal psych nursing experience. You DO however have to be open minded with regards to both pay and prestige. If you’re OK with: other nurses lowkey judging you for not working acute care, losing the “skills” at the bedside,  taking on somewhat lower pay,  and,  with the prospect of never working acute care again, then you can find something easily. Look into governments, FQHC’s, school nursing, clinics, rehab centers, dialysis centers, psych (stressful in a different way from bedside), prison (another stressful in its own way situation, and only work for a prison if you’re working for the government, not for an agency), laser hair removal, ALFs, case management, and insurance companies. Not all of these are M-F 8-5 jobs. Start applying now and give yourself 6-12 Months. 

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320 Posts; 6,441 Profile Views

Also on the facebook post for this group everyone is raging on OP’s “critical thinking” statement.
 

SOME PEOPLE IN ACUTE CARE LIKE TO USE CRITICAL THINKING AS AN EXCUSE TO BULLY AND HUMILIATE  

 

I don’t work acute care. Where I work, “critical thinking” is prioritizing client needs and finding them appropriate resources. 

In the ICU world, especially as a new grad, things are different. I got berated for not “thinking critically” on my second day when I asked why we were giving protonix to our unconscious clients if it is used for GERD. How can someone unconscious complain of acid reflux or stomach pain? When I looked at MedScape, I saw no explanation for why we were giving Protonix. It literally just says “GERD” “Zollinger-Ellison syndrome” and “poetic ulcer disease”. I showed it to my preceptor and her response? “You need to look this up at home”.  I felt so humiliated. My question “concerned” her. It wasn’t until a week or so later that I found out that it is to prevent aspiration pneumonia from reflux. If my preceptor simply explained this to me instead of putting me down, I would have remembered it. I had zero ICU experience. 
 

This is just one example. 

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I often feel inferior and humiliated every time I leave work. There are a couple of good nurses on my floor who doesn’t like to call out on people, find faults and humiliate them in front of everyone....the rest are just bullies including the charge nurse. I come home try not to let this negativity affects my personal life by telling myself “this is learning experience and that this is life school - the reality” but that doesn’t help. They make me feel like I’m not a good nurse and that this is not for me. I thought nurses eat their young was a hoax but maybe I was wrong. 

 

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

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Sophie,

I of course don’t know your unit or your specific situation. However, I will say that there are many units that are VERY supportive of their young nurses and then some that are not at all. I have seen both sides from being in a few different departments and yes, if it truly is a toxic environment that that can be discouraging. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of proving yourself - work hard, try to be positive, set an example of what teamwork and being kind is. It may change the environment for the better. If not, then do your best and look for other jobs once you have the experience. Night shift is hard for those that just don’t adapt well to it. This is coming from someone that has tried it 3 different times! However, it really can be difficult to find a day shift sometimes. Ask to be on the list to move up or keep your eye out for a day position. Don’t give up on bedside nursing just yet - you may actually find a job in a different unit where you really enjoy providing direct patient care. I did!

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Sbhayes09 has 1 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Ambulatory Care.

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I got one of these cushy jobs as a new grad but you have to look outside of the hospital. My job is in our hospitals clinic float pool. I travel between family practices and specialty clinics. I work 4 days per week 8-5, no on call, no weekends, no nights, no holidays. Look up ambulatory float pool or medical group float pool and see if there's anything in your area :). 

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danasenoj has 3 years experience and specializes in Dialysis.

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Outpatient Dialysis! I’m currently pregnant as well and love my new job in dialysis. It’s totally different from acute care but still has clinical skills. No overnights, you’d be able to work 3-4 ten hour shifts a week and clinics close for holidays. Best part is you get to know your patients and actually feel like you’re helping them manage their chronic illness. 

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8 hours ago, Sophie212 said:

I often feel inferior and humiliated every time I leave work. There are a couple of good nurses on my floor who doesn’t like to call out on people, find faults and humiliate them in front of everyone....the rest are just bullies including the charge nurse. I come home try not to let this negativity affects my personal life by telling myself “this is learning experience and that this is life school - the reality” but that doesn’t help. They make me feel like I’m not a good nurse and that this is not for me. I thought nurses eat their young was a hoax but maybe I was wrong. 

 

🦊em and do what’s best for you and your family. You can find your own path or even not be a nurse at all. Life is short. Be happy and your own health comes first ❤️ I’ve been a nurse for 35 years and it pretty much sucks anywhere in acute care.  Don’t be shamed by these bullies or think that you can’t do this because you don’t have acute care. ALL nursing is equal. 

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wolfgangRN specializes in Emergency.

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Hi! First of all, I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s not right for the hospital to transfer you to another unit or schedule when that was not discussed during your interview/not in your offer letter/not in your contract.

That being said, maybe it’s not burnout you’re feeling, but more like you just haven’t found your groove yet?  When you were in the cardiac ICU on day shift, how did you feel then? If you felt happy and motivated, then maybe it’s just the unit atmosphere...you could try applying at another hospital and do a share day so you see a glimpse of how people interact with each other. If you didn’t like the unit CICU even in the shift you wanted, then maybe you can try another unit? There’s PACU, ambulatory surgery, infusion, home health, etc. lots of options even for new grads.

The schedule is entirely dependent on where you work...you could be doing MD clinic nursing - no holidays/on call but you’re there, 8hrs x 5 days a week...Or you could be in an ER with 12 hour shifts x 3 shifts a week with as much as 8 straight days off in between. You have to set your expectations in the reality we live in, you can’t always have it your way. Remember the standard work hours is 40/week.

You can also go PRN if you still wanna give bedside a shot but don’t want to be too involved, or there’s case management/utilization review but you’ll be competing with nurses that have patient-care experience. There’s also Informatics...but again, you may not get the schedule you want as they are often standard office hours.

It’s easy to say ignore the bullies, it’s absolutely horrible to be in a place like that. Try to reflect if the cause of your stress is nursing in general or just the work place you’re in and go from there.

 

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