Feeling Bored

Published

I have been a nurse for almost two years now. I spent the first year as a new grad on a medsurg/tele/oncology unit. That unit was wild. I learned something new almost every shift and almost every patient was a difficult case. My mind was always working. However, that job was physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausting. I'd go home and cry for hours and sleep for 15 hours after a shift. I would have horrible anxiety before work and have panic attacks. At my one year, I quit after I accepted a pediatric nursing job. I THOUGHT it was my dream job. I used to be a preschool teacher and I absolutely love kids. However, it's been almost a year and I'm SO bored as a pediatric nurse. I see the same thing every shift and 9 times out of 10 I have nothing to do on shifts for a few hours. Now, this doesn't sound bad and I love my job so, so, so much. But, I truly thrive when my mind is working and I am in busy situations.

So, because I have felt bored, I have been picking up shifts on the progressive care units. However, I have this feeling like I need to keep doing more as a nurse. I want to go back to school. I want to work in the ER. I just keep wanting more. Does anyone else feel like they are missing something out of nursing? Should I just sit still for a little and enjoy the calm? I feel stuck! help!

cinlou, BSN, MSN, RN

1 Article; 221 Posts

Specializes in Emergency and Critical Care. Has 45 years experience.

try joining a float pool. Never stop, keep trying new things, don't let yourself go stagnant, be active in shared governance, do as much as you feel comfortable doing without it becoming too much.

I found floating was awesome, the staff was excited to see you there to help, you usually had a fair assignment, you did not have to get caught up in the politics, and when you were done you left for the day knowing you did the best you cold do that day, and the next day you had something new and exciting.

TriciaJ, RN

4,295 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 42 years experience.

You feel like you need to do more? Where does that feeling come from? I think I would sit with that for a bit to see if I could get some clarity.

A poster on another thread was told that leaving critical care would essentially turn her brain to mush. I think there is a lot of elitism in nursing and the feeling that we should be always seeking bigger challenges.

Try to figure out if your restlessness is from wanting life to be a bit more interesting or believing you should be doing brilliant things. Just remember that it's your life, your career, and every patient is as deserving of your care as any other patient.

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice. Has 7 years experience.

You're feeling ambition. It's a good thing and it's coming at the right time for you.

Take advantage of this feeling and let It push you forward in your career.

You could explore other specialties or go back to school as you have already mentioned.

What feels more interesting?

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

2,776 Posts

Specializes in school nurse. Has 31 years experience.

What kind of facility are you in that you would have hours of free time on a shift??? ?

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 10 years experience.

Maybe you can move to a higher acuity within Peds if you enjoy Peds. Like progressive care, Peds ER or ICU. And if you love your job but just feel the need to do something more “impressive”, stay where you are! It’s great to find a job you love. But if you are truly feeling bored and unfulfilled, the good thing about nursing is there are so many specialties to try ?

TriciaJ, RN

4,295 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 42 years experience.
21 minutes ago, Jedrnurse said:

What kind of facility are you in that you would have hours of free time on a shift??? ?

And are they hiring? ?

adventure_rn, BSN

1 Article; 1,544 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

Here's the thing that most people don't realize about peds: there is a huge variation in acuity and census depending on the type of hospital you work for, much more so than with adults. In adult med-surg, you'll generally see similar populations whether you work in a community hospital or in a large academic referral center. In peds, your experience is far more dependent on your hospital because the most complex kids are automatically diverted to Children's Hospitals. I've worked in academic hospitals where the sickest kid in the PICU is on ECMO with an open chest and continuous dialysis, and I've worked in community hospitals where the sickest kid in the PICU is on 2 L high flow nasal cannula.

Your post makes me wonder--are you working in a smaller, 'non-Children's-Hospital' with a single general peds floor? If so, you're probably going to see a smaller range of illness and relatively healthy kids. If your hospital has a PICU or peds ED, you could ask to cross-train to those areas; however, they probably still won't have the same variety or acuity that you'd see in a true Children's Hospital. Depending on your hospital, you may find that even in the PICU/peds ED, you see a lot of repetition (GI upset, upper respiratory illness, etc.) because the sicker kids are all automatically transported to big referral centers.

Peds is a very diverse specialty with a huge range of acuity; there's so much to learn about specialized areas like heme-onc, cardiac, neuro, etc. If you have the opportunity to work at a large referral center there are tons of specialties with their own great learning opportunities, especially if you work in an academic facility. Unfortunately, if you don't live near a hospital with specialized services, you may find that the patient population and interventions are relatively predictable and run-of-the-mill, even in the higher-acuity specialties like PICU and peds ED.

If you are confined to your current hospital, you could ask to be cross-trained to the PICU or peds ED (if you have one). However, you may find that within your current hospital, you have more variety and opportunities for growth within the adult population.

Also, are you working night shift? (That seems more likely with the several hours of downtime...) If so, you may find that you're busier and have more learning opportunities on days. There's usually way more going on: more families to work with, more time that kids need to be actively entertained, and more learning experiences during rounds and specialty consults. Just a thought.

PeakRN

547 Posts

Specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.
On 2/21/2020 at 11:58 PM, jellybean570 said:

At my one year, I quit after I accepted a pediatric nursing job. I THOUGHT it was my dream job. I used to be a preschool teacher and I absolutely love kids. However, it's been almost a year and I'm SO bored as a pediatric nurse. I see the same thing every shift and 9 times out of 10 I have nothing to do on shifts for a few hours.

No offense but if you have nothing to do as a nurse on a peds unit for several hour you aren't really a peds nurse. There is always a kid that needs help with homework, another disease to be studied, an infant that would benefit from holding, and so on.

Has 5 years experience.
39 minutes ago, PeakRN said:

No offense but if you have nothing to do as a nurse on a peds unit for several hour you aren't really a peds nurse. There is always a kid that needs help with homework, another disease to be studied, an infant that would benefit from holding, and so on.

Thanks for the input! I’m a night shift nurse on a low acuity med surg floor. Not much to do after midnight when everyone is asleep and parents help with babies...

Has 5 years experience.
2 hours ago, adventure_rn said:

Here's the thing that most people don't realize about peds: there is a huge variation in acuity and census depending on the type of hospital you work for, much more so than with adults. In adult med-surg, you'll generally see similar populations whether you work in a community hospital or in a large academic referral center. In peds, your experience is far more dependent on your hospital because the most complex kids are automatically diverted to Children's Hospitals. I've worked in academic hospitals where the sickest kid in the PICU is on ECMO with an open chest and continuous dialysis, and I've worked in community hospitals where the sickest kid in the PICU is on 2 L high flow nasal cannula.

Your post makes me wonder--are you working in a smaller, 'non-Children's-Hospital' with a single general peds floor? If so, you're probably going to see a smaller range of illness and relatively healthy kids. If your hospital has a PICU or peds ED, you could ask to cross-train to those areas; however, they probably still won't have the same variety or acuity that you'd see in a true Children's Hospital. Depending on your hospital, you may find that even in the PICU/peds ED, you see a lot of repetition (GI upset, upper respiratory illness, etc.) because the sicker kids are all automatically transported to big referral centers.

Peds is a very diverse specialty with a huge range of acuity; there's so much to learn about specialized areas like heme-onc, cardiac, neuro, etc. If you have the opportunity to work at a large referral center there are tons of specialties with their own great learning opportunities, especially if you work in an academic facility. Unfortunately, if you don't live near a hospital with specialized services, you may find that the patient population and interventions are relatively predictable and run-of-the-mill, even in the higher-acuity specialties like PICU and peds ED.

If you are confined to your current hospital, you could ask to be cross-trained to the PICU or peds ED (if you have one). However, you may find that within your current hospital, you have more variety and opportunities for growth within the adult population.

Also, are you working night shift? (That seems more likely with the several hours of downtime...) If so, you may find that you're busier and have more learning opportunities on days. There's usually way more going on: more families to work with, more time that kids need to be actively entertained, and more learning experiences during rounds and specialty consults. Just a thought.

I work at a hospital with just one peds floor. So we are super low acuity and just general med surg. I definitely I want to move to an all children’s hospital!

17 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

What kind of facility are you in that you would have hours of free time on a shift??? ?

A hospital with just a small peds unit! Super low acuity and just basic med surg!

Wuzzie

4,896 Posts

If you want to stick with peds you’re going to have to move to a tertiary pediatric center to get more complex cases. There really is no other choice.