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Feeling tremendously sad!

by Windshadow Windshadow (New) New

I am fairly new to this site. I'm a night nurse on a med/surg floor and have now been there for almost a year. I like my job okay, but don't love it. Most nights before going to work I feel nervous, but I'm not really sure why. I don't feel like I connect with any of my co-workers that well and generally don't feel like I have much support. I realize that not feeling connected to others I work with shouldn't determine whether or not I like nursing, but I feel so alone. I think that I'm a very nice person- but maybe just a bit reserved around others (I always have been). I have a hard time with small talk and getting to know those I work with on a more personal level. I am always offering my help and try to be a strong team member, but it seems like the sentiment isn't reciprocated. hmmph...guess I just needed to vent.

I work at the only hospital in town- and I'm not sure that any of the other units are any better (seems like each have their own unique politics) :o

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I can understand the troubles of a reserved person. It is time to plot a strategy that works for you. Do you have a social life outside of work? Do you get along with your family and see/call/email on a regular basis? Any friends need some attention before the friendship lapses? Do you have a signifigant other who gets less attention since you started on nightshift? Nights takes a toll on normal interactions.

While some people have friends at work, most of these people you chat with are "work buddies". Work buddies provide company, but will not substitute for real friends. When you leave the job, you leave them behind.

Only you know what will work for you. Perhaps you could look for a day position on your floor.


Specializes in LTC, Sub-acute, correctional.

Boy, I felt exactly how you describe at my last job. Tried to be nice, tried to joke around, but everyone was wrapped up in their own misery and griping about everything all day. It became depressing quite fast. Having had a very good relationship with the nurses at the job before that, I knew what I was missing and decided to return. My guess is, some places you click, and some you don't. Being as this is your first job, you don't have any other reference point. Can you offer to take extra shifts and float to other units, just for some comparison? Yes, the work we do is important, but the older I get, the less tolerance I have for sticking it out in a lousy environment................

Joe NightingMale, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med surg, cardiac, case management. Has 4 years experience.

I understand how you feel. I tend to be a reserved person too, and I find making friends can be tough. Both of the above posts make good points.

It could be that you might need to work on feeling more comfortable in social situations, learning to meet new people and making small talk. You can find books on the subject, but a better way is to find situations where you can meet new people and practice these skills. It could be at a church, or a volunteer organization, or some other sort of group. Don't worry or get impatient with yourself if you feel awkward, just try to relax and remember that the more you practice the easier it will get. And if the anxiety or sadness gets bad, don't be afraid to seek out some professional help. It doesn't mean you're a failure or unbalanced, and it can be very helpful in changing behaviors.

It could also be your work situation. Night shifts may make other relationships harder to establish. And if the people you work with aren't friendly or don't share common interests, it can be difficult. One reason I'm switching from biology research to nursing is that, unlike my co-workers, I have little passion for research. And that lack of a common interest makes establishing a relationship more difficult. That, and the fact that research attracts people with high intelligence but poor social skills....

So look at both possibilities, and know that many people (myself included) share similar challenges. But it's possible to change both yourself and your situation. I myself have come quite a way, though I still have quite a way to go. I'm confident I can do it, and I believe you can too.

Good luck!


Has 20 years experience.

here's my input:

If you're looking for friends - volunteering is a good idea, or take an art class, join some interest groups (writing, reading, through museums), take cooking classes. My own experience is that people are sociable - but you have to be where the people are

I also am painfully shy, don't like small talk, am easily bored, feel not very part of the group, although I feel well-liked enough. The thing is, though, I know it will only take 1 incident to change that. People are so fickle. I have intentionally stopped being very talkative in recent years because I don't want to hear my business repeated to me from someone I never shared it with.

Maybe Nights is not good for you - you might be sleep-deprived, which I found made me depressed. Maybe you need a transfer or, as suggested above, some type of change in your personal life. I found that, at menopause, from around late 40's to early 50's, I was very sad. I was bored, sad, lonely - lost my parents, a brother, and our last child left home, plus I was going bald and growing a beard! :lol2::uhoh3::rotfl:

I guess my advice would be to take stock of your life and see what changes you can make. Maybe a little travel? Back to school? Take up a new interest, such as work on a political campaign or whatever interests you and helps you meet new people.

I pray you will find some relief. Please consider a counselor if you think you are seriously in trouble.

Joe NightingMale, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med surg, cardiac, case management. Has 4 years experience.

Sorry, one final comment I forgot to make:

Let's admit it, making friends, like losing weight, can be very hard to do in these times. Social connections aren't as strong as they once were, and people are so busy with their jobs and their lives and move about so much. Far different than when people would grow up, work, and die all in the same small town.

So don't get discouraged, meeting people can be tough. And find out what works for you, which places and activities give you the best chance to make a connection.

Once again, good luck.

Nights attracts people who are a little more off-center than days, I think. I certainly prefer them to days. ;)

How about a switch to evenings?

nightmare, LPN

Specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

Nights attracts people who are a little more off-center than days, I think.

I think you've just described me ,Sue:lol2::lol2: It is important to have a good working atmosphere on nights because there are fewer of us and we rely on each other more,teamwork-wise.I hate it when there is a bad atmosphere,it can make it a very long night!:uhoh3:

gt4everpn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Licensed Practical Nurse.

i can relate, i don't find it hard to make small talk but when i'm new to people or an environment i am painfully silent, the only time i make small talk at work is when the cna's or other personnel talk to me! i know i should talk more but i'm a new nurse and my concentration is strictly on my work, first times for any and everything are hard, very, but everyone has their difficult starts in some area, this just happens to be yours, work at it, practice makes perfect!!!

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