Published Apr 27, 2014
I was previously a Nurse at HUP for 3 years. And I was never so unhappy in my life. I rotated day shift and nights randomly. I felt like a zombie and my personal life completely deteriorated. I left that job and am seriously considering changing careers. I wonder if maybe it was just the hospital/floor. Or if I truly don't have what it takes. Has anyone been through a similar experience?
Rotating days and nights would ruin nursing for me and I haved loved my long career. I had to do it for the first 5 mos in what the hospital called their internship where I went through month long rotations back and forth. It was horrible. None of my body functions worked right and if I tried to have a life, that made it worse.
I guess you have to try to imagine the core part of the job but done on a reasonable schedule. Would you find satisfaction then?
Or maybe your current position is task oriented and you like problems solving and analytical work?
My job (home care) has gone through many changes between reimbursement issues and continuously increasing patient acuity, (My hospital patients in my first job used to bring in their pink nightie sets to lounge in on their 7th hysterectomy POD, things have constantly changed!) but I'm impassioned about the core aspect of my job. So much so that if I could ditch the paperwork and didn't need an income, it would remain a passion of mine. I love the interaction with my home patients and being able to walk in the door and start resolving issues that are overwhelming to the patient and family and watch their anxiety visibly go down. And healing wounds is my 2nd passion which is a majority of my care.
I have always been able to make a work situation doable because I love the underlying job. Sometimes that means some creativity which you can't always do until you've proven yourself valuable with experience and performance and sometimes you have to find an organization that allows creativity and flexibility though I've found it within both smaller and larger companies as long as the individual dept head has enough decision making capability.
So that's how I would consider leaving nursing. First I'd figure out if I even like being a nurse, then I'd work on the logistics.
Randomly rotating days and nights? That will cut your life short and trash the quality of it meanwhile. As you've already noticed. It's very hard for new nurses with limited experience to figure out what issues are endemic to nursing and which ones are institution-specific. A lot of people think they weren't cut out to be nurses because they can't live on a hamster wheel. Med-surg and LTC can be particularly brutal.
Find something with a regular shift, even if it's nights. When your circadian rhythms aren't constantly flip-flopping, it will be easier to figure out if you need a new job or a new career. Good luck.
Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN
I've rotated my entire career. I knew I had shift work going in and learned to adapt.
It is what it is.
morte, LPN, LVN
but it isn't healthy. now, if you are talking about long periods of time on each shift, not so bad, but not rotating thru all three in weeks, not months....
I've rotated my entire career. I knew I had shift work going in and learned to adapt.It is what it is.
Yes, the more time you get to spend on one shift, the better. It was the word "random" that jumped out at me. But what works great for one person will kill another one. What works during one period of your life may later become impossible. If the randomly changing shifts are doing you in, find something with a more predictable, if not regular schedule. It may make all the difference.
I think that that was definitely at the core of the problem. I was on a Cardiac Step Down unit. Which is pretty similar to a med/surg. I definitely need to feel like I'm problem solve to feel purposeful. It was a lot of just following orders. In nursing school I really enjoy L&D and the ER because I felt like I was actively problem solved. However, my nurse manager made me feel like I couldn't handle my floor, so I feel like going to a more critical floor would be a concern. But I think that was just her projecting her own things one to me. Do you think if I didn't enjoy a Med Surg setting that I can enjoy a L&D setting?
There was no pattern to it what so ever. It would be tuesday wednesday day shift, sat and sun nights, the follow thursday day....It felt like torture.
My first job, had to rotate day nights every two weeks for two years. On days, I slept only 5 or 6 hours a night. On nightshirt rotation I slept 14 hours during the day, did NOTHING but sleep between shifts during those two weeks. (no family at the time). This was doing 5 eight hour shifts, so I would need the weekend days to get things done or get myself turned around for the upcoming day shift schedule. Not fun. I feel for you.
applesxoranges, BSN, RN
Try another position or even going into a clinic or outpatient setting. Not all units are the same, even the similar units like ER. Some ERs are super dysfunctional and some run like a well-oiled machine. Seriously. So look into switching into a new position whether it's a new unit, new company, or even a different line of nursing.
I have read your post with great attention. I know that NURSING is the greatest profession. But you say that when you in this job, you was not happy. Can i know that why you it was happen.By the way, If you not really feel happy in this job, sure, you should leave it. Because when man does not happy from his heart, she /he can't prosper in this profession.
I think you should hear your heart and do what you want.
I was in a "variable" shift when I started as RN on a supposedly magnet university hospital. I got ill because I could not sleep well. My fellow nurses said I should try Ambien as it does them wonders. I didn't because I did not think it a wise idea to medicate myself just so I can tolerate an unfavorable work condition. I left and went to another hospital. Changing a career is drastic. I suggest you try to eliminate the aspects of your current job that makes you unhappy first. Then really examine yourself "why" you are unhappy. Good luck.
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