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Career Change .. can't do nursing anymore :(

Nurses   (3,432 Views 18 Comments)
by sandlewood_nurse sandlewood_nurse (Member)

1,601 Profile Views; 74 Posts

I have been away from the forum for a couple months, mostly because my laptop was unavailable. So in the past couple months I have been working with interior designers. I've been working in the various departments and now I'm settled as an assistant to the Manager in a company that caters to Interior Designers. I've always wanted to do something creative, but my family pushed me to be more practical, and I went into nursing believing it was something different.

Wow!! Working at various departments, and evaluating how people work in the business helped me to realize one thing!! Yes, there are still some stressful jobs, but NO WHERE NEAR as stressful as nursing!! Every morning as I pass the accountant she's happily working away on her own (and ALWAYS CHEERFUL). I did receptionist work in a very busy office and even then I would go home FULL OF ENERGY. I am right now working as the assistant to the Manager at a resource center. The most stressful thing is proving myself at this point. I worked 10 hours with only a half hour break on Friday and I thought I was tired but then I realized that its no where nearly as tired as I would feel after even a 6 hour shift in the OR.

I spent YEARS sticking it out in nursing, thinking it would be just as stressful and people would be just as bitchy anywhere else. I was fully expecting to get attitude from dealing with some of the best designers in the city, and I didn't get it at ALL!! If someone was even pissed off about something, or stressed out, they were sure to let me know it wasn't me it was the situation. People are actually nice!! I was totally shocked!!

I've decided to stick with Nursing, on a part time basis for the time being. I've decided to apply for Psychiatric nursing and basically forget about the OR. Its so not worth it. I would have to get paid double at least to go through what I had been going through!! I am planning on going back to school to take Interior Design and Business.

I guess I thought I was too old for any sudden changes, especially since I just started working a couple years ago. But now that I see that I don't have to come home feeling like crap, feeling drained, feeling tired every night, and sick to my stomach every morning and dread going to work, why not I have decided. Life is too short to be stuck in a rut.

I want to say in addition, that if nurses worked together, and if more experienced nurses were more patient, and didn't eat their young, perhaps they would not be losing nurses. Maybe you all need to spend some time doing other stuff, changing careers to get mad about how the nursing working conditions are compared to other places. Maybe then we can make a collective decision not to play power trips, to not put each ohter down in front of other staff and surgeons, to not manipulate, to not make life miserable, and not tolerate it for anyone else. Maybe then we can work to force our employers to make better working conditions, to raise our status, to raise our salaries to what we deserve, or give us safe and reasonable assignments and work loads !!

Tired .. going to bed .. :).

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sinagbayan specializes in School Nursing/Med-Surg/ICU.

72 Posts; 1,640 Profile Views

Good luck on your new work. The fact that you are enjoying what you're currently doing means that that is probably were you belong. As you said yourself, it was your family who persuaded you to enter into nursing. And maybe, just maybe, nursing is not for you. Once again, good luck. It's never too late to find a work that gives you bliss. Follow your heart.

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74 Posts; 1,601 Profile Views

Thank you for your post and for wishing me luck. I will disagree however that nursing is not for me. I am a good nurse, and I do wish I could continue to be a nurse full time. I just don't see why I should kill myself in the process. I have always only had two passions, my first love and first passion was helping and my second passion was being creative and art. I really feel that it is the environment of nursing which has pushed me away from nursing. If circumstances were different in the workplace I would probably still be there.

I have high respect for all nurses, especially those who have done it for many years and even decades. But I have to ask, do you think the reason we put up with the unacceptable conditions because we are women and so admin and physicians think its ok to make us work in these conditions? I realize now its not ok. Just because I want to help people doesn't mean I have to demean myself by taking unfair wages, by being to made like a second class citizen, by having to prove myself OVER AND OVER again even though I"ve taken the exact same schooling as all other nurses etc etc. I guess I'm not just excited about my new career, but I'm VERY ANGRY now that I have realized that other work places are not like that!! I have taken a pay cut, but I go home feeling like I deserved what I got paid. If I even do put in extra time, its ok with me, because I go home feeling happy, and appreciated. Wish I coudl say the same for nursing. Its not that nursing is not for me, its that I don't want to subject myself to abuse anymore and unfair conditions.

Good luck on your new work. The fact that you are enjoying what you're currently doing means that that is probably were you belong. As you said yourself, it was your family who persuaded you to enter into nursing. And maybe, just maybe, nursing is not for you. Once again, good luck. It's never too late to find a work that gives you bliss. Follow your heart.

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Rizpah specializes in LTC / SNF / Geriatrics.

121 Posts; 3,092 Profile Views

Sandlewood, Have you ever tried other avenues of nursing? With so many other specialties out there in nursing, perhaps there would be one that would fit your needs perfectly? I have worked in LTC - that's it. The stressful situations I witnessed while doing clinical rotations in the hospitals during nursing school was enough for me to know the hospital was not where I wanted to be. Is my LTC position stressful? Yes, at times. Do I get frustrated? Yes, at times. Do I enjoy my job? Yes, most of the time. Do I ever want to leave and be a WalMart greeter? Sometimes. But for the most part the love and appreciation I get from most of the residents and families keeps me going back. I like the thought of being able to make some of our elder's last days on this earth better and more comfortable - if it's within my capability. Good Luck in whatever avenue you pursue!

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Quickbeam is a ASN, RN and specializes in Government.

1,009 Posts; 10,179 Profile Views

To follow up on what Rizpah said....there are low stress nursing jobs. I have one. Was it easy to get? No...very competitive. (community health...50 people applied for my job). It pays a little less than hospital nursing although over the years regular raises have erased most of the income loss.

The people I work with are pleasant, professional and value the work I do. It is out there in nursing but sometimes you have to dig a bit.

Best wishes in whatever you chose. Good luck!

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angel337 is a MSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Room.

890 Posts; 6,295 Profile Views

nursing isn't for everyone. some people are just not cut out for hospital work. i work in the ER with wonderful, supportive coworkers and although nursing isn't the easiest job, its not the worst out there. i have worked non-nursing jobs before and i dealt with mean, crabby backstabbing people. its all relative. when you do what you like it will work for you. good luck:nuke:

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Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

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I want to say in addition, that if nurses worked together, and if more experienced nurses were more patient, and didn't eat their young, perhaps they would not be losing nurses. Maybe you all need to spend some time doing other stuff, changing careers to get mad about how the nursing working conditions are compared to other places. Maybe then we can make a collective decision not to play power trips, to not put each ohter down in front of other staff and surgeons, to not manipulate, to not make life miserable, and not tolerate it for anyone else. Maybe then we can work to force our employers to make better working conditions, to raise our status, to raise our salaries to what we deserve, or give us safe and reasonable assignments and work loads !!

Tired .. going to bed .. :).

Why do people have to keep using the phrase eat their young...???I get so sick of hearing that, and I don't even think a lot of people who use it realize what it means.

At any rate, I want to get out of nursing for a lot of the reasons you describe, only you forgot to add that, yes, the patients can be and are an issue too. A lot of the snotty nurses I have had the misfortune to meet are snotty regardless of what setting they are in. But you know, I've met some good people in this profession, too.

Wish I could do something else, but it isn't always an option, especially when you live in Hooterville, USA.

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gr8rnpjt has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Case Management.

737 Posts; 6,778 Profile Views

I want to say in addition, that if nurses worked together, and if more experienced nurses were more patient, and didn't eat their young, perhaps they would not be losing nurses.

Tired .. going to bed .. :).

Amen, sister!!!

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gonzo1 has 15 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CEN, ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP.

1,698 Posts; 23,300 Profile Views

Congratualations on finding a job you love.

I have had many jobs in my lifetime. I worked for the large phone company straight out of high school for 20 years. Talk about a horrid place to work. Mean, nasty, backstabbing, and they "ate their young" too.

But working for the phone company as an operator was a lot like being a nurse. Horrible working conditions. You sit at the switchboard that is a long line and do nothing but answer 411 calls and place long distance calls all day. Every day they count how many calls you took and you have to fall within a range to keep your job. You are not allowed to talk to the operators next to you. As a long distance operator you could be working on as many as 10 calls at a time.

You had to put up a sign and ask for permission to go to the bathroom and then they timed how long you were out of your seat and added it all up for your monthly "evaluation"

Once a month your "group manager" would take you off the board and discuss your numbers with you. How many calls you had taken and how many bathroom breaks etc.

We did have assigned break times and never had to miss a break. Also every 6 weeks you would get a 4 day weekend.

The managers would sit at their desks and listen in on your calls to make sure you were using the scripted lines that you had to use, and to make sure you weren't talking to your neighbor.

The reason I tell you all this is because when a large groug of people have to work in a very oppressed arena I think it brings out the worst in a lot of people.

You can't be mean to the people over you so you take it out on the people next to you. Just a thought.

I have worked in many locations and there does seem to be a "group think" type of thing that happens.

Some environments are just toxic, and some are nice.

Right now the ER I work in is wonderful, warm and fuzzy. I am so happy. And I feel that managemant cares.

Who knows how long this will last, but right now I am just enjoying everyday.

I am so glad I got laid off from the phone company.

I was so traumatized working for them I still have nightmares 15 years later.

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1 Article; 1,905 Posts; 15,766 Profile Views

Nursing is not for everyone. I am glad you found a job you enjoy. Nothing wrong with changes. In fact, I think allot of Nurses stay in the field and make themselves miserable instead of finding a job they enjoy.

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GadgetRN71 has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Operating Room.

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Why do people have to keep using the phrase eat their young...???I get so sick of hearing that, and I don't even think a lot of people who use it realize what it means.

At any rate, I want to get out of nursing for a lot of the reasons you describe, only you forgot to add that, yes, the patients can be and are an issue too. A lot of the snotty nurses I have had the misfortune to meet are snotty regardless of what setting they are in. But you know, I've met some good people in this profession, too.

Wish I could do something else, but it isn't always an option, especially when you live in Hooterville, USA.

You know, it's sad to say but the "eat their young" thing does exist. Is it everyone? No, but enough to be noticed. I was the type a year ago who hated that phrase and thought it was a negative generalization. I found out that it's not. The good thing is that over the years it's becoming less tolerated by younger nurses..so when the mean, cranky bitter nurses retire, maybe the incidences of this will go way down. Then again, maybe not. Women are a catty bunch-hate to slam my own gender but this is what I've experienced.:o

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118 Posts; 3,791 Profile Views

The one thing that has consistently shocked me during my twelve years as a nurse is the fact that so many nurses are unprepared for the stress of the actual job. Inpatient nursing in any setting(OR, PACU,ICU, med-surg,etc)

is quite literally a life or death business on a minute to minute basis for 12 hours a day. Commit a med error, somebody can die, poor assessment skills

and somebody winds up intubated. I don't think anyone has ever died from an accounting error or had permanent paralysis from the wrong choice in carpets

so it's understandable that many professions are less stressful than nursing. I've found that the people who come to nursing as a second career seem to grasp this much better than those who choose nursing straight out of school due to their greater life experience and maturity. Again this is only my experience. I came to nursing from the Army where I was taught that preparation, training, and teamwork would get the job done and allow you to handle the stressors of the job. I've been fortunate to have been trained by tremendously compassionate and caring nurses and to have worked with people who understand that the only way to provide safe quality care is to work as a team and to abandon the nursing school mindset that I am responsible only for my patients. I think if nursing schools would teach teamwork and cohesion rather than promoting competition and comparison the results would be far fewer shell shocked nurses and a nursing community that could change patient care for the better. Off my soapbox now and congrats on your newfound happiness.:balloons:

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