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First year nurse. Thinking about leaving field altogether.

Nurses   (11,861 Views | 99 Replies)

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Hey y'all. I've been a nurse for almost 9 months now and I'm seriously considering leaving the profession altogether. I graduated in December of 2018 and was ecstatic when I got a position as a new grad RN in a med surg residency program starting July of 2019. Packed up all my things and moved three hours away to a very rural community knowing no one.

From the moment I started, I struggled heavily, mostly due to anxiety which I was clinically diagnosed with two years ago and take meds for. I made a lot of mistakes and was constantly on the radar of my nurse educator and supervisor. Two months later, I got called in to my boss's office and she let me go over lying to my preceptor over charting something which I didn't. They felt as if they couldn't trust me anymore.

My options were get fired or be forced to resign. I was devastated. Moved back home to my parent's house and began looking for a new position.

Luckily, I landed another job in a psychiatric rehabilitation facility. Even before starting nursing school, mental health was my passion. I knew I wanted to work psych in the long term. I started this position late October of 2019 and lasted 3 1/2 months until Valentines day. I worked NOC's and was the only licensed staff for that shift. I was overwhelmed, had virtually no support and had to deal with toxic coworkers.

On February 12th, I made the mistake of covering an AM shift and was responsible for pulling meds from a med cart in sheets the old fashioned way and giving them to 50 patients. The next day my boss found out I made a ton of med errors and I seriously thought I was going to be fired on the spot. He gave me another chance to my surprise, but I had had enough and decided to quit.

My current position is in an acute psych facility which I started per diem in January of 2020. Here I feel like I have tons of support, charge nurses who are constantly checking up on me. I've only been called into my boss's office once in 5 months over messing up charting. I feel as if this is less hectic than my last job but I am very unhappy with it.

Psych nursing is not what I glorified it to be. What I thought psych nursing was vs what it really is is not what I expected it to be. What I feel like I really want to do is more in the line of social work or clinical psychology.

On top of all this I screw up constantly and have this fear of getting fired every time I step into the hospital.  Today, I made a med error and sort of freaked out and stormed outside the patient's room after realizing I gave meds to the wrong patient. My coworkers tried to comfort me but now I feel like they feel like I can't be trusted.

I'm starting to think nursing is just not for me.

I'm fed up, burned out and I've come to the point where I just don't care anymore and I feel numb. I've had 3 jobs in 9 months which says a lot.

Opinions?

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BlueShoes12 is a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU, Stepdown, Trauma.

113 Posts; 1,884 Profile Views

Are you following the five medication rights? And are you verifying your patient's identity prior to giving meds? 

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9 Posts; 1,002 Profile Views

It was an urgent situation. Received report that they traded beds and forgot. No, I didn't ask for his name this time which I should have.

I have this guy feeling I'll get called in to my boss's office tomorrow and get the axe.

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

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28 minutes ago, adeogayg said:

Hey y'all. I've been a nurse for almost 9 months now and I'm seriously considering leaving the profession altogether. I graduated in December of 2018 and was ecstatic when I got a position as a new grad RN in a med surg residency program starting July of 2019. Packed up all my things and moved three hours away to a very rural community knowing no one. From the moment I started, I struggled heavily, mostly due to anxiety which I was clinically diagnosed with two years ago and take meds for. I made a lot of mistakes and was constantly on the radar of my nurse educator and supervisor. Two months later, I got called in to my boss's office and she let me go over lying to my preceptor over charting something which I didn't. They felt as if they couldn't trust me anymore. My options were get fired or be forced to resign. I was devastated. Moved back home to my parent's house and began looking for a new position. Luckily I landed another job in a psychiatric rehabilitation facility. Even before starting nursing school, mental health was my passion. I knew I wanted to work psych in the long term. I started this position late October of 2019 and lasted 3 1/2 months until Valentines day. I worked NOC's and was the only licensed staff for that shift. I was overwhelmed, had virtually no support and had to deal with toxic coworkers. On February 12th I made the mistake of covering an AM shift and was responsible for pulling meds from a med cart in sheets the old fashioned way and giving them to 50 patients. The next day my boss found out I made a ton of med errors and I seriously thought I was going to be fired on the spot. He gave me another chance to my surprise, but I had had enough and decided to quit. My current position is in an acute psych facility which I started per diem in January of 2020. Here I feel like I have tons of support, charge nurses who are constantly checking up on me. I've only been called into my boss's office once in 5 months over messing up charting. I feel as if this is less hectic than my last job but I am very unhappy with it. Psych nursing is not what I glorified it to be. What I thought psych nursing was vs what it really is is not what I expected it to be. What I feel like I really want to do is more in the line of social work or clinical psychology. On top of all this I screw up constantly and have this fear of getting fired every time O step into the hospital.  Today, I made a med error and sort of freaked out and stormed outside the patient's room after realizing I gave meds to the wrong patient. My coworkers tried to comfort me but now I feel like they feel like I cant be trusted. I'm starting to think nursing is just not for me. I'm fed up, burned put and I've come to the point where I just dont care anymore and I feel numb. I've had 3 jobs in 9 months which says a lot. Opinions?

What would you consider as an urgent situation? The only reason I ask is I am an ER nurse......and the main situations that I would consider as urgent/emergent and bypass the 5 rights or not scan meds is for anaphylaxis/severe hypotension/STEMIs/etc. If the patient is not dying, then it is OK to slow down a little bit. I am not saying this at all to make you feel bad, but just to let you know that a minute or so slower is completely acceptable and safe. Does your facility use an EMR scanning system? I personally love these systems - it has helped me tremendously when I am in a hurry.

Also, I have had my ups and downs in nursing as well. I think nearly everyone does. However, if you really prefer social work or psychology work, why not try hanging onto your nursing job long enough to go to school for one of those? There is nothing wrong with not liking nursing. I am actually a second career nurse.....first was a paramedic which I did like, but the pay wasn't great and I wanted to possibly try other fields, so sort of "fell" into nursing.

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528 Posts; 2,381 Profile Views

"I made a ton of med errors."

Yeah, I think it's time you go into a new field.

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9 Posts; 1,002 Profile Views

Straight to the point but the sad part is I agree with you. E

Errors have been minor so far no one's been harmed, but eventually my luck will run out.

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Numenor has 8 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Internal Medicine.

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17 minutes ago, Elaine M said:

"I made a ton of med errors."

Yeah, I think it's time you go into a new field.

Probably not a good idea to go into a field with more responsibility though LOL. I saw a post on here once saying how they made med errors and were super stressed about being a bedside RN. Then they talked about being a NP....LMAO. Yup totally less stressful.

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336 Posts; 5,318 Profile Views

On 5/12/2020 at 10:44 PM, Elaine M said:

"I made a ton of med errors."

Yeah, I think it's time you go into a new field.

Constant med errors and lying to staff are huge problems that suggest the demands of this career are just not a good fit with your personal situation. I can totally empathize with feeling scared and anxious as a new nurse in some less than supportive positions and  can see how a pre-existing anxiety disorder could cause your a lot of problems. But it's just not acceptable to routinely make errors especially when you're not doing basic things like asking a name/checking a wristband. I would strongly urge you to get yourself out before you cause some actually harm (assuming you haven't already).

If you're interested in psych, as you mentioned, counseling or social work might better alternatives for you. They are likely (social work especially) to look favorably on your training as a nurse. I would also urge you to make sure you are taking care of your own mental health. I know it can be hard with everything else that is going on but you really are not going to  be able to help anyone else if you cannot help yourself. You mentioned you were on medication but you might want to considering talking with your provider about whether or not your current regimen is meeting your needs. You might also want to strongly consider therapy to help develop coping strategies to deal with the inevitable anxiety that is part of life and/or to get to the root of your present struggles. 

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30 minutes ago, Numenor said:

Probably not a good idea to go into a field with more responsibility though LOL. I saw a post on here once saying how they made med errors and were super stressed about being a bedside RN. Then they talked about being a NP....LMAO. Yup totally less stressful.

Less responsibility. Social workers dont pass meds and Psychologists cant prescribe meds at least in California. 

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5 Followers; 37,752 Posts; 104,558 Profile Views

Why don’t you try taking three days off to rest? When you return, don’t make any med errors for the shift. Successful. Good. Next shift, don’t make any med errors. Continue in this fashion one foot in front of the other. Stop with the obsessive negative thinking. As it is, you are not giving yourself a fair chance. You can look for a better fitting job when you have settled in this one. The world won’t stop if you calmly and rationally decide that psych nursing is not for you. 

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

15 Followers; 3,873 Posts; 42,340 Profile Views

I wish I could be more encouraging but the trail of med errors greatly concerns me.  A med error or two, especially for a new grad, falls into the **** happens category.  But a "ton of errors"?  You're not practicing with due care and attention.

At this point, all I can suggest is either some sort of remedial nursing education  (I'm wondering if your school failed you) or yes, just get out and think of something that doesn't involve actual sick people and attention to detail.

Best wishes, whatever you decide to do.

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9 Posts; 1,002 Profile Views

Let me clarify. By "errors," I mean incorrectly charting something or forgetting to do something. I've caused three med errors since I've started. One was getting meds mixed up between two patients. At my old facility, we pulled medications from sheets of 30 or so meds, put them in a med cup and put them in little cubby holes for 50 patients. It's a metal rectangle with 50 holes which each patient's faces by them. They then line up at the nurse's station and hand them their meds. We  had no med scanner. Not the safest way of doing things.  Accidentally put one patient's cup in another person's cubby.  Another was giving Zyprexa instead of Zyprexa Zydis. The one today was accidentally giving a patient Seroquel which the doctor didn't seem too concerned about and later gave me a one time order for. The patient ended up doing better with the medication vs never having gotten it at all. 

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