Frustrated with having to work


I am a nurse at a BMT unit. I have worked here for 11 years. I work 3 12 hr night shifts in a row then have 11 shifts off. That is my schedule ... 3 12 hrs shifts on. 11days off.

My problem is I am burnt on on working. Not necessarily on being a nurse. Just working. I hope I don't sound like a whiner. I just want to stay home and be a mom and a housewife. It is so hard to leave home. I know this is totally unreasonable.

I have to work. Everyone in the world has to work. But in my lizard brain I cannot let go of the, " oh I don't want to go to work". I have actually called in sick so often I think am am starting to get a bad reputation. This makes work even more difficult.

Part of the difficulty of me not wanting to go to work is:

1. Nursing is all policy and procedure. I feel as if I don't get it all or don't remember it all. Ecspecially working partime. Plus so many things change at my unit feel don't know all the changes from week to week. And I feel like I should know more than i do as I am a senior nurse. Knowing what to do for a crashing pt is getting more difficult for me, not easier. Grrr...why is this?

2. I am having a hard time dealing with difficult patients. Whether they be mean, demanding, rude or whiny. I just can't effectively handle them any more with out gritting my teeth and screaming silently in my head. Patients family members can alsobemore than I can deal with. It did not used to be like this, but it is now.

3. I want to stay home

Does anyone else HAVE to drag themselves to work because they have no choice to not work?

Changing jobs is not the answer. Where else am I going to get this schedule with no weekends and no holidays required to work,

No where that's the truth. Besides it's not this job that frustrates me it's any job.

I keep telling myself in today's job market I'm LUCKY to have a good job. Plus I provide the health insurance for my family.

How do you make yourself go to work? Or are you like most of my co workers and going to work is easy, no problem. I wish that were me.

klone, MSN, RN

14,586 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Oh yes, I'd much rather stay home with my family in the evenings, watching TV, tucking kiddos into bed, etc. I don't think you're unique there. Once I'm at work, I'm fine. It's the leaving that's hard.

What I've found is that the longer of a stretch I have off between shifts, the harder it is to go to work. I used to work 6 on, 8 off. The six were REALLY hard to do, and I couldn't enjoy the whole 8 because by about day 5, I was thinking about having to go back to work, and feeling dread. When I have only 2-4 days off between shifts, I appreciate my days off a lot more, and have less difficulty going back to work.

Otherwise, no great advice for you.

allnurses Guide

NurseCard, ADN

2 Articles; 2,847 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I'm kinda in the same boat... have to work, would rather stay at home, I provide health insurance for the family, etc.. plus I'm the breadwinner; my husband works for just about 4 dollars over minimum wage.

The difference is that I would **KILL** for your schedule!!!!! Right now I am working 5 night shifts a week and am miserable.

JB2007, ASN, RN

554 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Med-SURG,STICU. Has 5 years experience.

No there has been times (months at a time) that I had to drag myself into work. I just forced myself to suck it up and go in. The only thing that changed that for me was getting a new job. Things were new and exciting for my again. Good luck and I hope things get better for you soon.

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

8 Articles; 2,543 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

How much vacation time have you accumulated? It sounds like you need one.

I was very much in your boat a few months ago. I took off a couple of weeks for vacation, and I returned with a new attitude. Granted, it didn't take long for me to be dragged into the melee of the unit, but I was ZEN CALM for about a month. I also gained new found strength to get up and go to work in the morning after I read so many posts on this website about nurses not being able to find work. Imagine your job being cut, and the horrible domino effect that your life would take...worried about paying the mortgage, anxiety over not having health insurance for you and your family, seeing your savings dwindling and having to not only look for jobs near you, but also having to interview, fill out a million apps, going through hospital orientation again (that alone makes me get up and go to work with a CHEERFUL smile!), learning a new system, unit, people, unwritten rules...I could go on. You get my point.

It is hard to go to a job when you are in the situation of "have to". But the alternative is not pretty..."desperate to pay bills".

Flying ICU RN

460 Posts

Two things keep me going, my family, and the thought of going to places like this.

Hang in there!



116 Posts

I feel exactly the same as you!!! My husband actually just started a job that I would not have to work and I was sooooo excited! Then guess what...this new job doesnt offer insurance! Ugh! I only work 2 12 hour shifts a week so I also feel like a big whiner when I complain to people. I work night shift, maybe going to days would be better? There is something sooo depressing about leaving your family at dusk! :o. I agree with a previous poster that the longer time I have between shifts the harder it is to go back. Maybe you should not work all three in a row? I don't know, lets play the lottery!!:rolleyes:


1 Article; 5,758 Posts

I think a lot of it has to do with your schedule. Three shifts and eleven off is just tooo weird. You never get into any groove except the one that likes to be home. I have worked one day with three off and then one day with two days off. Loved it. Some of the patients were usually there from the last time I was in but I never got burned out on them. Never got much involved with unit politics with a schedule like that, another positive side effect.


116 Posts

Oh and I also totally feel you about the difficult patients and family members. I smile and bite my tongue all night then come home and scream at my poor husband for any tiny thing! I swear when I know it's my last day of working ever I'm gonna give a difficult patient and/or family member a piece of my mind! I actually laughed when I heard about that flight attendent that grabbed a beer and slid down the slide out of the plane when he had it with difficult passengers! He was just like, "peace out!" haha


375 Posts

Specializes in PACU, CARDIAC ICU, TRAUMA, SICU, LTC. Has 32 years experience.

I know how you feel; after 31 years, I have had it, but not having a second income leaves me no options but to keep going. For me, the anticipation of going to work is worse than actually working. Then, I have to say to myself, be grateful; retirement will come.

I could not work your schedule. I would never want to go to work. Eleven days off is the same as having a vacation, and I know how I get having to return to work after having a week off, never mind 11 days off! Perhaps you need to adjust your schedule; you would be able to keep up with p&p.

I can appreciate your frustrations with families as well as certain patients. It's hard to "suck it up."

Have you considered working a different shift? Although I liked working night shift, I had to change my hours. I also called in sick frequently because I missed "quality time."

Wish I had an answer for you, but know that you are not alone in your feelings.


2 Articles; 724 Posts

Specializes in public health. Has 5 years experience.

You need to find something you are looking forward to every morning. A job is not just a way to bring home money and health insurance. Think about it, when your body and brain is fighting to stay home or be depressed and stressed out, it really doesn't matter if you have a good insurance policy because you are going to be more sick more often, and be less good at your work. It's not worth it if you put in so much energy and time working something you don't like. Listen to your gut, your brain, and your body.

Specializes in PCCN. Has 20 years experience.

I hear you- i sure wish I could stay home and just stare at a wall for some time. and be around for my son. but aint gonna happen- im the mtg payer, the health insurance payer etc. spouses job is not much above min wage, and never will be( hes been there for 20 yrs , but has no other skills. sometimes im in a bad mood over it. but i know that option will never be- and i guess it keeps me in a house.

i do wonder if its cause your schedule is sooo spread out- its like coming back from a vacation every time- who'd want to go back to work, esp since it sucks.

well, best wishes to you anyway