Exhausted from Covid

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Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 19 years experience.

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20 year nurse, working full time ICU during Covid. I'm emotionally and physically exhausted.  Wanted to do FMLA for a break but got a lot of pushback.  Now I just want to quit and never go back.  So lost as to how to proceed.  I have almost perfect attendance.  

All the nastiness from patients/families who can't get meds that don't help is a cause too, and then there are the hitters and kickers.  I am old enough for retirement.  just thought I'd work a little longer.  Now I cringe at the thought of my next shift.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,483 Posts

4 hours ago, gonzo1 said:

 I am old enough for retirement.  

I'm relatively sure you know what my advice would be, gonzo, but we all need to make our own decisions, follow our own path, and be true to ourselves.

Ralph Waldo had some great advice of which I took:

"There is guidance for each of us and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word."

The best to you, gonzo.

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 36 years experience. 1,764 Posts

I am retiring because of Covid. I am done. Emotionally, mentally, physically. 
I now dread going to work. 
Retirement, here I come

hherrn

2,436 Posts

If you can afford to quit, I support you.

If not, see if you can scale back, or do a less stressful RN job.

As far as FMLA pushback. 

I am taking a month off in the fall.  I have great boss I can be straight forward with.  I let her know that I won't be working for a month.  My preference is FMLA.  If not, I would just bleed off 100% of my earned time till then and quit giving months of notice.  When I get back from my trip, I could easily find a local travel gig for three months to make up for any lost benefits, then re-apply for a job.  In my opinion, the second option would be a stupid and expensive way for the hospital to manage the situation.  Either way, I will be in a kayak in the bottom of the Grand Canyon in the fall.

morelostthanfound, BSN

Specializes in CVOR/General/Transplant Surgery, and cat herding. Has 30 years experience. 276 Posts

4 hours ago, Davey Do said:

Ralph Waldo had some great advice of which I took:

"There is guidance for each of us and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.

Davey, I’ve never heard that quote but absolutely love it!!  Thank you for sharing 

gonzo1, ASN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 19 years experience. 1,735 Posts

Fortunately I can afford to quit.  And I can always get another job if circumstances change drastically.  Honestly, I'm looking for permission to just call in and say I quit.  I stepped down from ICU a couple of months ago and took an easier job with less patient interaction.

But they keep force floating me back to ICU and it makes me sick physically and emotionally to work these shifts.  We are incredibly short staff and I can't take it anymore.  

hherrn

2,436 Posts

15 minutes ago, gonzo1 said:

Fortunately I can afford to quit.  And I can always get another job if circumstances change drastically.  Honestly, I'm looking for permission to just call in and say I quit.  I stepped down from ICU a couple of months ago and took an easier job with less patient interaction.

But they keep force floating me back to ICU and it makes me sick physically and emotionally to work these shifts.  We are incredibly short staff and I can't take it anymore.  

I don't think there is anybody here would not support you in this.

If you think there is an arrangement that would work for you, you could offer that as an option.  But, that would require you to stick to your guns, and not respond to the BS guilt trip. (not sure this is your strong suit)  Something like this:  "I am done working in the ICU, and looking at the possibility of retirement. I'll let you pick the date- It will be the day after you float me to the ICU."

Then, 12 hours after they float you, dance your way out of the hospital singing "take this job and shove it" ala Dolly Parton.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,041 Posts

I am so sorry you are having such a horrible time. If you are financially able to quit and want to then by all means just do it! If on the other hand you want to take FMLA and see how it goes then do that, not sure who is giving you pushback but your employer has no choice. You get the paperwork signed by your MD, give it to HR and you are done! Don’t worry about your employer bc they certainly don’t worry about you. Even if you are unable to obtain FMLA if you are not bluffing your employer ( and you aren’t) just tell them what you need from them or you will be quitting, simple. With all the staffing issues I can’t imagine they would let you go, but then again they have been known to be vindictive so who knows, but if you are going to quit anyway might as well give it a try, you literally have nothing to lose. 
I am sorry that the environment has deteriorated to this point! Wishing you well in whatever you decide!

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,941 Posts

On 1/10/2022 at 3:46 PM, gonzo1 said:

But they keep force floating me back to ICU and it makes me sick physically and emotionally to work these shifts.  We are incredibly short staff and I can't take it anymore.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through and I completely understand. I've been in the ICU about four years and I'm finding these past couple months are really starting to drain on me as well. We're almost always tripled now and with the multiple drips and everyone behind closed doors due to precautions I'm just waiting for someone to die because an infusion of a pressor runs dry or because we don't hear a vent disconnect alarm in time. 

Push back from patients and families about what they feel we should be doing is getting to be excessive. Patients are refusing one treatment and demanding another. 

If you're in a place to move on, best wishes and God speed, you've done what you can. You have to put yourself first because no one else will. Take care!

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

I was there last July. I had battle fatigue. I quit and took time off to mentally recover. In October I started working 2 days a week at a farm store as a cashier. Soon I'll be adding to that working as a home infusion nurse, for walkie-talkies who need occasional infusions for their autoimmune diseases and other, similar situations. 

If you're old enough to retire, definitely do so! I'm now semi-retired and loving it!

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,766 Posts

Why is this even a question?  If you are old enough to retire, do it.   You will have some time to reflect and plan what you want to do next.

Peace.

 

gonzo1, ASN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 19 years experience. 1,735 Posts

Thanks for all the advice.  After talking to my PCP today I went home and sent an email to my immediate supervisor and HR.  I did something I never imagined doing, but I wrote a nice short email thanking them for the time I worked there and stating I was putting in my notice resigning immediately.

So I guess we will see what happens, if they keep my PTO and whatever, but I knew I couldn't go back.

Infusion nurse sounds awesome.  I'm going to take 6 months and see how I feel.  I might stay "retired".