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Did I choose the wrong profession? Horrible Anxiety

by Nurse061816 Nurse061816 (New) New

Hey All!

So I'm a new grad (graduated in May 2016) and I've been working on a med/surg floor since. So about 8 months. In nursing school I had moments of doubt where I just didn't like what I was doing. But I pushed through because I believed it to be the stress of it all.

I worked on my floor for a year on nights as a tech before graduation and hated it. Just because I haven't ever been able to stand being a tech. Now that I'm a nurse I was ok working on days. I had my preceptor and I enjoyed being at work and learning. Since moving to nights (7p-7a) I have really struggled with my anxiety. I cry before work and have horrible panic attacks thinking about what is coming up for my shift. It's made me call out a couple times. There are sometimes at work I feel like I literally have no idea what I am doing and then when I give report I feel like I total idiot when I don't know the answers to the oncoming nurses questions. I'm recently pregnant and have pregnancy brain and on top of my anxiety I had a nurse really fumble me up and it seemed like I had no idea what I was talking about during report. I knew the information all shift but when she began to judge me and I'm not even joking LUAGH at me I immediately just fell into this dark hole. I even look online for new jobs and I hate working night shift. I've spoken to my supervisor about it but she says there are no day shift positions available for me. What can I do!?

Asystole RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

Anxiety to that level does not sound like it is caused by the job, more that you have anxiety as a medical issue that is being triggered by the job. I am willing to bet if you were an underwater basket weaver these panic attacks would still be there.

My first recommendation is that you see a professional about it, start with your gynecologist since your pregnancy could be playing a role.

My second recommendation is to stop, think, and breathe. The fact that you reflect upon your mistakes makes me believe that you will be a fantastic nurse. The nurse that thinks they can do no wrong and does not reflect upon their mistakes is dangerous. Every Time you make a mistake, every time you feel foolish, every time you express professional self-doubt document it. Write down the issue, asses the issue, develop an action plan, implement that plan, and then evaluate the outcome.

Mistakes happen, what you do about them is the important thing.


Specializes in Pediatrics, Women's Health, Education. Has 20 years experience.

Are you sleeping well? I have found that when I worked nights I couldn't sleep at all during the day and it made me feel terrible. I had difficulty thinking straight and handling any kind of extra stress or pressure was just too much. However, if I had enough sleep everything was fine. I know for me, I simply cannot work night shift for a prolonged amount of time. I agree with Asystole, that feeling concerned is definitely a good sign, and is totally appropriate. You have lives literally in your hands, and so much to learn, so of course that's going to make anybody nervous. Continue looking for a new position and/or a new specialty that may be a better fit for you.

I actually sleep pretty well. I bought black out curtains and it basically keeps me asleep all day. I think a lot of it has to do with missing out on things throughout the day. And I rarely see my husband. I've had anxiety all my life so it's nothing new to deal with. It's just the intensity before work has gotten out of hand. I miss working for my old boss at a job that wasn't healthcare related. I felt like I made a difference where I was. I feel like just another abled body at this job. Maybe it's my environment and shift. Idk but it's interfering with my everyday life. And I know it's affecting my husband.