I am stressed out !! And I know why now !!

  1. Honestly, I do like nursing. I like the OR, I like Post Operative, I enjoyed my peds and psych rotations in school. But I dread work, and I thought I was the only one until now.

    Since my second semester of school though I've been wanting out of nursing. I got great grades, love pathophysiology, nursing theory, pharm etc, etc. But as soon as I'd get into a clinical setting I'd get upset and nervous. I'd have trouble recalling things. When my instructor tended to be supportive, I had no problem answering their questions, and using what I learned in nursing school. Put me with a difficult instructor and BLANK, BLANK !! I had a really bad experience my first time in med/surg. My teacher set me up, and the other students started talking behind my back because he would only favor the students who would share negative information. He tried to convince me this was ok but I told him nicely tha I didn't agree with his philosophy. I told him we should learn to helpl eachother and work as a team. There were students in my clinical who had it so easy, easy patients, easy assignments, if they didn't know what they were doing he woudl walk them through it etc etc. If I messed up my first time doing something he would not help me, but he would intimidate me. I remember the first time I ever did a dressing, I brought an extra strile pack. I did not put my forceps in the Garbage, but he said I had. I cheerfully stated I had another pack and he said rudely, "well then we'll be here all day". If he could see me he'd never talk to me, but he'd STARE at me, making me feel uncomfortable. He got people from the hospital to come chat with me at lunch time and stuff, (I would ask them if they knew of nurses who could tutor me in the clinical skills area because my teacher was unable to spend extra time with me) and without me knowing they knew each other he used them at the end when I tried to appeal his decision to fail me. I repeated the course, and my self confidence was shattered !! I have no idea why he did all this, all I know is that since then I've had a really hard time dealing with my fears. I don't feel as if I can trust anyone. I've had lots of wonderful instructors since then who tried to build my confidence, and were willing to put in time to help me instead of watching me drown. But, I didn't get a job with those types of people, and it seems to me, from what I see on the board, that there's more toxic environments rather than positive ones.

    Now that I've started my first real nursing job, I feel the same way, the fear and stress are always there. Its like I'm living in a nightmare. I know there have been times and I have been in work/clinical situations where I've really done well and enjoyed myself. Yet there is always this nagging fear that I'm just not cut out or good enough to be in nursing. I posted about what its like working in the OR with older nurses eating their young. I am feeling as if I've aged twice as much in the past 6 years since I started my nursing program, than I ever had before. I'm depressed, I'm feeling financially unstable, beause I feel like any day I'm going to be found out and get fired or one day I just won't be able to continue anymore. I constantly feel like I'm going to die, an then I get frustrated because I'm nto sure but I want to die. I don't know how to handle it when my preceptors are rude to me, and I hear things from the manager, which I never heard from my preceptors/ other coworkers.



    After reading all these posts and threads I realized something, its not just me though. I was wondering if there were places I could work, as a nurse with little experience, where the stress levels (at least on a political/coworker level) would be less. I've considered dialysis, doctor's office (very little jobs in vancouver and toronto though and much less pay), community health (need to finsih my degree still) etc..

    I've even gone so far as to consider becoming a transcriptionist (working form home if possible), or just a MOA. But I can't really afford to do all that. I'm 30, in debt, no savings or anything. I was waiting to finsih nursing school because I thought at that point I would have a secure income and slowly start building. But now I feel like I've lost.

    Please Help.
    Last edit by sandlewood_nurse on Feb 22, '07
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    About sandlewood_nurse

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 71; Likes: 21

    36 Comments

  3. by   checkb
    OH, honey! Try to focus on you and your patients. Feedback from others is important, but try to use only the constructive, useful criticism. There are some out there who will try to beat you down, for some reason it makes them feel more secure in their twisted little way. Where were you when you had the best times in nursing so far? That's where you should try first.
  4. by   sandlewood_nurse
    I do focus on the patient, but I'm having major depression and anxiety due to the politics. If one person doesn't like you, you are blacklisted. I am starting to really not like nursing because of all the stress from the coworkers (whom we deal with very closely in and OR).

    I enjoyed community (but still need to finsih degree so not easy to find a job there), peds and psych. I considered diaylsis as well but I don't know what the stress is like there. Thanks for your message btw.

    Quote from checkb
    OH, honey! Try to focus on you and your patients. Feedback from others is important, but try to use only the constructive, useful criticism. There are some out there who will try to beat you down, for some reason it makes them feel more secure in their twisted little way. Where were you when you had the best times in nursing so far? That's where you should try first.
  5. by   MagicalThinking
    I can't give advice on the professional aspects of your problem, but the emotional concerns me. I really think you should talk to a therapist about how you have been feeling. My sister used to be constantly overwhelmed about a situation she was in that went on for a long time and her therapist helped her see better ways of dealing with it emotionally. I think these issues of self-doubt and traumatic instructors may go deeper than they may seem. I go to a therapist myself so i don't see it as a sign of weakness, just reality really. The second thing is to get into a career, nursing or not, that makes you happy. I hope someone here can shed light in that area for you. Good luck :icon_hug:
  6. by   checkb
    Quote from checkb
    OH, honey! Try to focus on you and your patients. Feedback from others is important, but try to use only the constructive, useful criticism. There are some out there who will try to beat you down, for some reason it makes them feel more secure in their twisted little way. Where were you when you had the best times in nursing so far? That's where you should try first.

    Have you considered speaking to your school's or hospital's mental health clinician about this? You could have an easily treatable minor situational depression/ anxiety disorder. I'm the poster child for that. Everything you are feeling is VERY familiar to me.
  7. by   sandlewood_nurse
    I have a job now, I've graduated. I work in the OR. I have a psychiatrist but we don't talk much about work. I think I will bring it up next time. I started going to him for a different reason. But I have a feeling that even that stemmed from what happened the second semester of nursing school. I have periods where I feel fine, but as soon as I'm about to start something new (like a job), I get anxious, I start losing sleep etc. I'm glad someone understands. I was in a car accident last spring and havne't been back to work since then. I want to go back but I'm anxious as I had a couple of difficult people to work with, and I tended to have to work with them quite a bit. So things would be great, because most of the coworkers were fine to work with, and then one day I'd be working with the difficult nurse and I'd get reported for something, or a couple times I blew up after the case was over. I'm worried that I will go back and I won't remember my skills that I learned, and I will have to go through the same hell again.

    I suppose I really just wanted out of nursing, but I realize now that maybe I need to consider other areas of nursing that I can deal with, such as community. I am a diploma nurse however, applying for universities right now. I'm hoping that once accepted I will have better chances of getting a job in the community, or someplace where its less stressful. Anyone have any suggestions other than community ?

    Quote from checkb
    Have you considered speaking to your school's or hospital's mental health clinician about this? You could have an easily treatable minor situational depression/ anxiety disorder. I'm the poster child for that. Everything you are feeling is VERY familiar to me.
    Last edit by sandlewood_nurse on Feb 22, '07
  8. by   nurse_nan
    I read your post multiple times trying to find every nuance that would give me a clue as to what has got you so upset that you would throw away years of education that you presumably loved away because some coworkers aren't being buddy buddy. It was all about a bad experience in nursing school? Is that what your post said?

    Maybe you need a little perspective. I'm 48 years old. I'm feeling pretty stressed too now but here is my situation. I've been a patient care oriented nurse for 25 years. Sometimes I had great coworkers, sometimes they were backstabbing b's. I never got my satisfaction out of how well I did being the social butterfly at work but rather how my patients felt at the end of the day. I can't do patient care any more because I have a herniated discs in my neck that make my dominant arm unreliable to lift with. Sure it probably happened because of 25 years of lifting but I can't prove it so I'm on my own. I switched to a job in Information Systems (which I like a whole lot more than I ever liked patient care) but pays less so that leads to financial strain. Not to mention that these jobs are not a dime a dozen so if I ever lose this job or want to relocate, I may be in a world of hurt.

    My 13 year old daughter went for a sports physical last OCtober and had a HR of 130's so we've been back and forth to doctors and found out she needs a cardiac ablation but finding a hospital with an EP lab whose anesthesia department will do it on a 13 year old is proving to be a nightmare. Unless of course I want to pay for it out of pocket. Sure, I have $5,000 laying around to pay for a procedure that should be covered by my insurance but may not because we have to go out of network. Now my ex-husband (my daughter's father) went in to the hospital on Monday and has been diagnosed with inoperable lung and brain cancer. So within 3 months my daughter won't have a father. She's feeling pretty stressed because her daddy won't be there to see her graduate from 8th grade in May let alone share high school, college, marriage, grandchildren, or any of the other things that a girl wants from her dad. I'm feeling pretty much stress because I don't have her father to help me with decisions regarding her treatment.

    My last living grandparent died in December. My dog is old and feeble and needs to be put out of his misery but I can't make that decision right now because of everything else. The storm in December took out the power and a huge number of trees which will mean major landscaping expense in the spring to repair damage. I could go on and on.
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Feb 22, '07
  9. by   sandlewood_nurse
    First and foremost, I am very sorry about your cicumstances, and your daughter and husband.

    I however felt there was some condensending tone to what you posted. I understand that my problems are small in comparison to those of many others. My mother came to canada when she was 16 to marry my dad. It didn't work out, she was single and on her own by the time she was 25. He didn't help her at all, and she worked 18 hours a day so that we could have a decent life. In our culture at that time it was really bad for women who were divorced, and she didn't have a lot of support. I could say more but I won't go on because its her story, its my story, its my brother's story and of no concern to anyone reading this. But I've seen tough times, and I'm a hard worker, that is somethign my mother has instilled in me. WOrk hard, never give up, look to yourself before you put the blame elsewhere. Trust me after 6 years of blaming myself, I am starting to wonder if there is something better out there for me. I'm only 30, and I feel like I'm ready to die.

    Everyone handles stress differently, and I feel as if what I experienced with my first clinical teacher was quite tramatic, and has lead to my having low self esteem and unable to handle stressful situations because I feel like I can lose my livelihood at any moment. I recall when I was first in the OR, I was like a zombie, I'd put up with anything anyone threw at me. Finally I just couldnt' take it anymore. I am looking for options, I am looking for escapes (to the point where I think about death often). I have felt at times as if I am dying. When I realize I'm not instead of feeling relieved I feel even more depressed. In highschool I was a top performer, even in all my theory, anatomy and physiology classes I got top marks. Why then is it that you put me in a real life situation and I feel like a moron ? I've tried explaining to myself over and over again I'm not stupid, I did achieve a lot, but then I get drawn back into it. Honestly at this point in my life I just want a job where I can do my job (I like to work hard), but have it be less stressful in that I dont have to worry so much about politics with other workers or something that I can handle more easily due to less stress. That is why I posted this .. for suggestions.



    Quote from nurse_nan
    I read your post multiple times trying to find every nuance that would give me a clue as to what has got you so upset that you would throw away years of education that you presumably loved away because some coworkers aren't being buddy buddy. It was all about a bad experience in nursing school? Is that what your post said?

    Maybe you need a little perspective. I'm 48 years old. I'm feeling pretty stressed too now but here is my situation. I've been a patient care oriented nurse for 25 years. Sometimes I had great coworkers, sometimes they were backstabbing b's. I never got my satisfaction out of how well I did being the social butterfly at work but rather how my patients felt at the end of the day. I can't do patient care any more because I have a herniated discs in my neck that make my dominant arm unreliable to lift with. Sure it probably happened because of 25 years of lifting but I can't prove it so I'm on my own. I switched to a job in Information Systems (which I like a whole lot more than I ever liked patient care) but pays less so that leads to financial strain. Not to mention that these jobs are not a dime a dozen so if I ever lose this job or want to relocate, I may be in a world of hurt.

    My 13 year old daughter went for a sports physical last OCtober and had a HR of 130's so we've been back and forth to doctors and found out she needs a cardiac ablation but finding a hospital with an EP lab whose anesthesia department will do it on a 13 year old is proving to be a nightmare. Unless of course I want to pay for it out of pocket. Sure, I have $5,000 laying around to pay for a procedure that should be covered by my insurance but may not because we have to go out of network. Now my ex-husband (my daughter's father) went in to the hospital on Monday and has been diagnosed with inoperable lung and brain cancer. So within 3 months my daughter won't have a father. She's feeling pretty stressed because her daddy won't be there to see her graduate from 8th grade in May let alone share high school, college, marriage, grandchildren, or any of the other things that a girl wants from her dad. I'm feeling pretty much stress because I don't have her father to help me with decisions regarding her treatment.

    My last living grandparent died in December. My dog is old and feeble and needs to be put out of his misery but I can't make that decision right now because of everything else. The storm in December took out the power and a huge number of trees which will mean major landscaping expense in the spring to repair damage. I could go on and on.

    ARE YOU FEELING ANY BETTER ABOUT YOUR STRESS, SWEET PEA???!!!
  10. by   jjjoy
    OP, only you know you. You get to decide when you need to suck it up and hang in there and when you're better cutting your losses and moving on. Sometimes, we don't have a choice, but it sounds like you do in this case.

    Sometimes, you can force yourself through something and come out stronger on the other side. Sometimes, you can force yourself through something and wind up having panic attacks, stomach problems, a nervous breakdown, etc.

    You are the one who is living your life, not someone else. Someone else might feel really bad and regret it if they didn't stay in nursing after all their hard work. Someone else might force themselves to stay in nursing, still hate it 10 years later, and regret not moving on earlier.

    It sounds like you just recently started working so it might be too soon to decide to opt out of nursing altogether. Decide if you can find a way to make peace with your current position one way or another. If you can, give yourself another few months to learn what you can and then reassess if you want to stay or leave. If you can't and you just have to get out, take a break and remind yourself how much you have to offer a GOOD employer and try again somewhere else, maybe something else.

    Do what you need to do to feel satisfied that you've done enough. It doesn't matter if everyone agrees with you or not. There will always be someone out there who will criticize your choices. But they are speaking from their experience. You have your own experience, it's your life and it's your choice.
  11. by   sandlewood_nurse
    Thank you Joy,

    I hate giving up and I do believe it makes people stronger so I stuck through it. I stuck out the school (which at times was really great), and I stuck out the job (I felt I had no choice because I was new).

    I suppose at this point I'm not ready to totally give up on nursing. I spent lots of years and money and hard work to get to where I am. But in many ways I am starting over again. I suppose what I need is some feedback regarding different areas of nursing.

    Things I thought I might enjoy/ be less stressful for me:
    - Psych/Community Health (the more I think about it the more I'm drawn to psych, especially because I always thought it woudl be great to eventually get into childhood/adolescent psych)

    - Peds becasue I enjoy working with kids and am VERY VERY PATIENT. I don't have any of my own, and I have been thinking I can't have kids, I'm having certain S&S (lack of periods for three months) and abdominal pains. Yes I went to the doctor as well as hospital they couldn't find anything wrong so far and have brushed me off. I would like to take care of kids even if its as a nurse. I love kids and I want to do something that makes a difference in their lives even if I am unable to have children.

    Dialysis and ICU: 1 to 1 ratio is good, but high stress I heard in these areas so I'm not sure.

    Quote from jjjoy
    OP, only you know you. You get to decide when you need to suck it up and hang in there and when you're better cutting your losses and moving on. Sometimes, we don't have a choice, but it sounds like you do in this case.

    Sometimes, you can force yourself through something and come out stronger on the other side. Sometimes, you can force yourself through something and wind up having panic attacks, stomach problems, a nervous breakdown, etc.

    You are the one who is living your life, not someone else. Someone else might feel really bad and regret it if they didn't stay in nursing after all their hard work. Someone else might force themselves to stay in nursing, still hate it 10 years later, and regret not moving on earlier.

    It sounds like you just recently started working so it might be too soon to decide to opt out of nursing altogether. Decide if you can find a way to make peace with your current position one way or another. If you can, give yourself another few months to learn what you can and then reassess if you want to stay or leave. If you can't and you just have to get out, take a break and remind yourself how much you have to offer a GOOD employer and try again somewhere else, maybe something else.

    Do what you need to do to feel satisfied that you've done enough. It doesn't matter if everyone agrees with you or not. There will always be someone out there who will criticize your choices. But they are speaking from their experience. You have your own experience, it's your life and it's your choice.
  12. by   jjjoy
    Is there a children's hospital nearby? My experience with them is that nurse patient ratios are better than with adults as there's more acceptance of patient's needing time and attention. The overall environment can be more supportive as these facilities often try to foster a collaborative environment between staff, patients and family. Of course, I can't say every facility is like that.

    Keep on keeping on!
  13. by   sandlewood_nurse
    Thank you. I will definately look into that. I recall really enjoying my peds rotation, but of course my instructor was really supportive.

    Quote from jjjoy
    Is there a children's hospital nearby? My experience with them is that nurse patient ratios are better than with adults as there's more acceptance of patient's needing time and attention. The overall environment can be more supportive as these facilities often try to foster a collaborative environment between staff, patients and family. Of course, I can't say every facility is like that.

    Keep on keeping on!
  14. by   gr8rnpjt
    sandalwood nurse,

    I feel bad for you and I am glad to hear you already are seeking professional help. It does sound like you are not getting your bang for your buck because there are a lot of issues that you should be discussing and maybe you are not. So, I think you should open up a lot more to get your moneys worth from they psychiatrist. It almost sounds like you have PTSD from what happened in school. I think you should discuss more with him/her. also, I don't know what options you have in canada as opposed to usa. I work in the insurance arena. very low stress. if possible, could you move to the US?
    A couple of years experience is all you need to get a desk job in insurance companies, or Dr offices. With your O.R. experience, I would think a plastic surgeons office would be a good place to work. (just brainstorming here) Is community health the same as home care? I would think home care would be a better option as well. I don't know if that other poster was trying to make you feel bad, but please, know that there are people reading your post who feel the same way as you do, and are in the same boat. Perhaps your post has helped them to think about getting help and changing jobs. Keep your chin up, and good luck to you

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