Finding Happiness??? Can it be done?

Nurses General Nursing


I am new grad working in a SNF. I work two 16 hour shifts on the weekend which means I have five days off a week. To most people that would be a dream but honestly it is not. Everyone works during the week so not only am I by myself all week...I miss out on everything they are doing on the weekends. Today I am sitting here on the couch with nothing to do and I am trying to figure out why I am so miserable. I do not like my job, the patient load is ridiculous and unsafe but we all know that already. PLUS they call me everyday that I am off to work is starting to become a real irritation because the last thing I want to think about is that hell hole but I am reminded everyday. Then I feel guilty about not calling them back or saying no because really am I doing anything productive???? NO I am sitting here on the couch watching tv. I have been applying elsewhere but no such luck... I just cannot seem to find any happiness in my life. I thought that after I got out of school I would be so happy. Be making decent money (which I am) but that things would be so much more joyful. I cant seem to find any hobbies that I enjoy or can stick to. I go to the mall but can't find anything to buy. I just had thought it was going to be different.... sigh... Maybe I am just having an off day and feeling sorry for myself. I really think I need to do something fun but I cannot think of anything that I find enjoyable right now.

UGGHHH and as I am typing this they called me to ask if I can work tomorrow....:mad: Just because I kill myself two days a week does not mean I can work everyday as well!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading and letting me vent....

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

Here's some suggestions:

1) Some facilities have a "do not call" list. If you're sure you don't want to pick up shifts and your facility has one, ask to be added to it. Even if there isn't a formal one, if you make it known to your staffing office that you're not interested, they may call less.

2) Do not feel guilty about not picking up the phone or returning calls when they call to ask you to work extra. If you don't answer, they'll realize you're not interested - I don't see any reason to waste time on a call back. In fact, I would turn the ringer off on my phone during the times they usually call.

3) Keep sending out those resumes for something you like better and/or look into changing your schedule at your current job. You said you're a new grad -- after you have some experience, you may have better luck finding another job.

4) Meanwhile, find a hobby that you can enjoy for your weekdays off -- do not just sit and watch TV! Get out, go on a hike, ride a bike, take a class -- do something fun and maybe your schedule won't seem so bad after all.

Good luck!

Change what you can control.

You may not be able to start a new job tomorrow, but today you can make plans to again start doing the things you found enjoyable before attending school.

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU.

If they call you every day during the week anyway, why don't you see if they will change your schedule? To maybe 8 hour shifts on everyother weekend and a few days through the week. It seems to me that they need someone through the week too. At least with that schedule you can spend sometime with family and friends. The worst they can do is say no to you.

Like the others said get out and do something though the week. Even if it is taking a walk. Just getting out in the sunlight may help to change how you are feeling.

5 days off...gross. I would go crazy. Find more work, a hobby, or volunteer. Heck, have intercourse a couple times a day...that makes me fill better. :)

Well, you can be miserable because you work weekends, every weekend, all weekend, in an environment you dislike....

Or you can be happy you have a job, along with time to spend time with your friends during the week (do seriously all of your friends work 9-5 jobs Monday thru Friday, and they never go out for dinner or drinks any other days except Saturday and Sunday?), a job where you can learn as much as you possibly can while you apply for the jobs that you really do want.

Some of your misery is your own perspective.

I rarely feel guilty when I turn down an opportunity to work extra; I am in school part time, and if I don't have the time, I don't have the time. Plus I do a lot of other activities: routine exercise classes, reading (I am a voracious reader), knitting projects for the holidays which I work on all year round, volunteering at my kids' schools, that sort of thing.

I think you feel guilty because you aren't doing anything productive with your life on the days you have off. So, either be fine with being unproductive, or take the extra hours, or be productive. Get a hobby. Join a health club and go every day you are off. Invite a friend to a regular weeknight activity (many restaurants and bars have great specials during the week to lure patrons in on off days: wine tasting, dinner theater, etc; or you can both take a class together- knitting, karate, ceramics, whatever). Volunteer at a deserving organization: the public library, the humane society, a local low income health clinic. Not only would these provide you with some meaningful interactions, they will also possibly pad your resume, or, in the case of the health clinic, provide you with additional professional experiences to improve your resume.

I think happiness is a choice. Of course, there are exceptions (medical issues causing depression), but I think for the most part, we choose to be happy, just like we choose to be grumpy.

Turn off your phone or make their call ring as silent. Volunteer somewhere. Get a hobby.

I've been unemployed for 2 years. It's easy to feel miserable when there is nothing to do and you feel like you contribute nothing to the world. That's why until I find a job, I volunteer, and I have quite a few hobbies.

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing.

As the previous poster said, happiness isn't something you find. Happiness is something you create, or it is a state of mind (perhaps a little of both) depending on how you look at it.

Can understand how you feel but having a job should be enough to make you happy in these tough times.

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

I have been in exactly your situation. I worked weekends, made stellar money, but I could not really enjoy it because I was missing out on weekend outings with friends and family. I felt very isolated.

For the most part (there are exceptions, and I recognize this) people like to be around other people. This is generally a happy thing for us as humans. There is a reason why the most severe punishment in prison is "solitary confinement".

Change your shift, first off. See if you can meet with your manager on one of your days off to discuss it. I think you will be a lot happier when you can spend your weekends with those that you love. When I went to regular day shifts, I was SOOOOO much happier. I felt like I had my life back again.

It is refreshing to be social, and we all want to feel that we have a bond with others who understand us. It is validating in a way.

I hope that things come together for you and that you realize happiness again. I agree that happiness is what you make it, but the combined isolation that you feel with the job that you don't really get much satisfaction from is bound to make you unhappy.

My hugs to you!

Patient load is rediculous and unsafe this is is true and still there is nothing being done about this. Why should one nurse have to take care of so many residents. The facility where I was working not only wanted meds to be administered on such a short time (In my state these hours were made up by the education dept)but also to do wound care during the med pass(infection control issue) Meds were to be placed on one cup at a time and make sure you don't mix certain meds when you are ready to crush them,stay with the resident until meds are taken, take pulse and BP prior to meds. Pick up meds ordered by MD(via phone) stay with residents during lunch, hand out passes to the residents family, translate if you know another language, 24hr report and nurses notes. Perhaps all correct procedures yet do the morans at the Ed dept ,joint commission , state board of health and the facility ever stop to think how much this puts pressure on the nurses. There is no shortage of nurses just that nurses are looking for something else to do to save them from becoming insane. I wrote to the state board of nursing who has seen this go on and lets it go on. As per the union they just care about dues not nurses. This short period of time to do everything under the sun is why nurses make so many mistakes and dearly pay for it. This is why some nurses that will tell you they have finish their med pass in such a short period of time are not being true to themselves and very unfair to the resident. I remember going into a room with another nurse and the resident stated" you did not give me my meds yesterday". I could have done it in 1 hour(one supervisor stated I have nurses that complete the med pass in 1 hour) but then I would not be fair to all residents. I would even have to make complains about the roach invasion, on lack of cups and spoons for residents use, lack of chairs in the facility's nurses station(nurses notes were done standing up most of the time) Do we really have time for our residents? Is this quality care? Will nursing homes be a thing of the pass for some when family members that love these residents smarten up and hire a VNS to take care of them at them at home.I have taken the liberty to write to all this state depts and organizations they should have been nurses in SNF prior to making up all these rules. The sad part is some worked as nurses yet how quickly they forget. when time is limited safety becomes an issue. A mistake on a resident this resident can be you or I If we don't change this situation. To the nurse from SNF think about what you really want to do while you have all this time in your hands. I truly think nursing needs to change we need to all get involve and stop accepting what's wrong for right. A nursing home is not a bad place to work it is just the people that are running it that need to change their attitudes and learn to appreciate their nurses by just accepting that they are human beings not punching bags. A message to the state begin to consider your nurses or else pretty soon you will have none then you will really have a nursing shortage.

I agree...I am a prospective nurse and I HATE my job now in PH. I gave it 5 months and now I am looking into nursing ABSN programs, collecting info, going to info sessions and trying to figure out the next step. I volunteer, I run and I have made a point to reach out to a friend every week to get together for a happy hour, a dinner, a museum visit or even just a good phone call if they are far away.

Inhale, exhale, make a plan. Keep applying, join a gym, take up a hobby, get in touch with friends, keep busy and focus that things will get better and you will be happy. Get a new schedule or turn off that ringer on your days off.

You will be okay.

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