Gave it a year...when to decide bedside is not for you?


OK, I gave it a year. Full-time. Bedside hospital, telemetry. I still feel nearly how I did during orientation. I dread work, super anxious the night before, thinking about work when I am off, have to hold back the vomit/tachycardia when I ride the elevator to my floor. BP is up.....I've given it my heart and soul but my "cons" list is much longer than my "pros" inevitably. The part that makes the beside unbearable for me I think I have narrowed down to the unpredictability and the short-staffing and inability to sit for even a few minutes. Doesn't help that my time management skills seem to be lacking and I think the deficit is personality-related and not so much something that will "come with time". I hope, pray, that I get called off or put on delay. EVERY shift. LOL. Just doesn't seem right, this far in.

I have another PT job in ambulatory surgery right now that will pay the bills with not much leftover... I was going to drop to POOL at the hospital additionally but honestly if this feeling is never going to leave me and the hospital environment is not changing anytime soon do you think it is more appropriate for me to find a better fit somewhere else? I don't want to ruin my career but I sure as heck don't want to be miserable and exhausted anymore. :(

Don't you think I should feel different by now if the bedside was right for me?


12,646 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

Maybe it's your unit. Do you have support? Do the other nurses feel the same dread? It could be situational.

If not, and it's "just you", no, this doesn't sound like "healthy stress". It sounds like you are miserable.

I think a year is enough time to torture yorself.

Luckliy in nursing you can wear many hats.

Has 11 years experience.

I am somewhat of a "float". Don't regularly work on one floor, unfortunately, but that is not going to change anytime soon at my hospital.


12,646 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

Also, does the stress happen before your shift but once you get to the unit and start working it abates?

When I was a float, and I didn't know my assignment, walking down that hall to the Nursing Office was loooooong. But once I got to the floor and started working I was fine. Until the next time.

RNperdiem, RN

4,580 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Why not drop down to prn? It sounds like a good financial safety net to have. The vast majority of Nursing Jobs are bedside jobs, so keeping those skills viable while to try to find your place in nursing sounds like a good idea. I work with nurses who work per diem in my unit to keep their bedside skills current while their main RN job is in research or nursing informatics.

One year in one job isn't much to base your future career on. Don't limit yourself too early or underestimate what you are capable of.

Has 13 years experience.

Maybe try a new floor at your hospital. Support makes a huge difference. We are ALL overworked and underpaid. Knowing you have staff that have your back makes all of the difference. I wouldn't walk away from floor nursing after working just one position.

Has 33 years experience.

Your facility should NOT have you float during your first year. You needed stability to form your basic nursing skills.

Kudos to you for being able to "survive".. but your health is not worth it. You have a great plan! Go prn, hopefully the facility will have the smarts to offer you a stable position. If not.... organize your Job Search and apply, apply, apply. You'll be amazed what's out there.

Good luck, keep us posted.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I remember feeling this way until I began work at a different hospital and worked with a better team of people. Every person has to find their own niche and maybe yours in not in a hospital. Maybe you would be happier in an MD office, surgery center, school nursing, home health or hospice-----. I see no reason why you should not attempt another position if nothing is suitable with your current employer. Talk to HR. They may have ideas that you have not yet considered. You can always return to hospital nursing if needed.


8 Posts

I felt exactly like this at a previous job. I've never been overly confident but the amount of stress my job caused was ridiculous. My situation was a perfect storm of ongoing depression, anxiety and a job that just wasn't the right fit. Lucky for me, I had a willingness to learn, a good work ethic and I took ( and still take) pride in my customer service skills. I was moved involuntarily to a prn position in a very different department. That position led to a permanent position that I love. The type of nursing I do now is very collaborative, we communicate frequently, brainstorm ideas and everyone's input is valuable. I couldn't have imagined the difference.... Hang in there. You may somewhere that isn't a good fit. My daily outlook changed drastically when I found the right fit!

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 16 years experience.

I am finding that hospital nursing is not for me. The stress is effecting my health, my personal life, and spirit. I am worried that if I go from the hospital I will loose benefits and stability as far as jobs. I am very interested in learning other opportunities out there...any suggestions for 6 yr nurse looking for less stress but equal salary and benefits? Thanks for posting this article.


8 Posts

For a change in nursing with similar pay,etc I would suggest In home services. For me it's generally less stress. We still have time constraints but more choices as far as scheduling AND we see one patient at a time.

Has 11 years experience.

I'm not gonna lie. I am still scared of EVERYTHING! What patient I'm gonna get, discharges, admits, patients dying, blood transfusions,'s stupid! I'm like a stressed out scaredy-cat. LOL.

Problem is, and I've posted before, I've been to 3 different hospitals and floated to 7 different floors as a new grad RN. All were some form of Tele but still, different team members, etc. But other nurses float too, it's not just me, it is just how this hospital system runs. That is why I said, even if I go PRN, it won't be on one unit, it will be two specialties, 7 floors again....etc. It is so much instability that I have never really gotten the chance to "get to know" anyone. I just fly by, like a streak of lighting, panicking and taking care of my patients. I'm known as the girl that never sits down. :yes:

I just want to be happier and NOT SCARED all the time. It would help immensely if I had familiar co-workers on a daily basis that I knew "had my back". Most are friendly and helpful but only to the extent that they have time. When the you know what hits the fan, ain't no body got time. And......of course, I am SCARED of that. LOL. I can't switch to another more stable full time job in the hospital because I have my other cushy part time gig now. NO WAY will I ditch that! Here it is not so common to be PRN on one floor only, you are resource for two service lines. And even harder to find a part-time hospital gig that is not a float situation.

Anyone know anything about inpatient hospice? Like Hospice of the Valley? Same stress as hospital?