New nurse and I had a breakdown at work

  1. Hello all,
    I'm a new nurse and this past weekend was just a disaster for me at work. I'm still in orientation and I'm working in the CVICU. I went in Friday night just already not wanting to be there. For the past week I've had a lot going on at home and I've just felt extremely exhausted and burned out. Either way I really wanted to just try to put my week at home behind me and get ready to go into work and do my best for my patients, but it just seemed like I couldn't focus at all and I kept making mistakes left and right and I finally just broke down and started crying and my preceptor let me take a break to go calm myself down. I made t through the night but I just felt like I was on the verge of tears all night. I went back in the next night and the same thing happened an hour into my shift so I talked to my charge nurse and decided to go home for the night. I'm just totally embarrassed because I usually have no issue leaving my personal life at home or with being told I need to correct something if I'm doing something wrong but I just broke down this time. I've been feeling completely and totally exhausted/stressed and wake up with migraines. It's been really hard for me to adjust to working weekend nights and manage my family/home life on the days I'm off work. I think when I started crying at work it wasn't because my preceptor was getting on to me it was because I felt like I was failing my patients by not being in the right head space to be there. I just feel lost at this point and I don't know where to go from here. This job means a lot to me and I worked so hard to get through nursing school because this is truly what I'm passionate about doing with my life. Between adjusting to working weekend nights and having classes to go to and feeling like a failure as a mom and then constantly feeling like I'm not good enough to be a nurse I've just sunk myself. Even more so I feel completely embarrassed I cried at work not once but twice. Please any advice would be helpful on what I can do to get out of this rut.
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    About KB4848

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 11; Likes: 29

    33 Comments

  3. by   pixierose
    (((Gentle hugs)))

    You're a new nurse in challenging environment, adjusting to nights - the first year can be rough so give yourself some credit. Plus, balancing being a working mom can be a challenge.

    Whatever is causing you so much anxiety at work, you need to determine how much headspace to give ... and you do need to leave it at the door (and pick it back up when you leave). It's hard to give advice when we don't know what it is. Is it childcare? Working mom guilt? Lack of help at home? Exhaustion?

    You can't be 100% to everyone - your patients, your family - without giving some to yourself.
  4. by   KB4848
    Quote from pixierose
    It's hard to give advice when we don't know what it is. Is it childcare? Working mom guilt? Lack of help at home? Exhaustion?
    After working my last shift last week I had a class I had to attend until 12 that afternoon and then go meet with educator so I was basically up for 24 hours by the time I got home, and through out the whole week I was just exhausted because wasn't able to adjust my sleeping schedule to be up during the days on my days off like usual. On top of that my daughter, who's 4, has been crying every morning all of a sudden when I drop her off at school and acting out at home for attention. Also, my dog has been sick and it's not looking good. I just feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends and I'm just completely exhausted. I basically went from graduating nursing school to studying for NCLEX to starting orientation for my job, and in the middle of all that we moved into a new house. My husband was so good and supportive through out nursing school and I thought when I finished and started working I'd be able to manage our home again like I used too, but with all the classes I have to attend outside of working my regular shifts I'm just constantly exhausted and feel guilty. My stress levels are at an all time high and my tank is just empty.
  5. by   Emergent
    I think your number one problem is sleep deprivation. Shame on your inconsiderate, 9-5 educator for interfering with your much needed sleep!

    Your home problems sound quite ordinary. But the sleep deprivation magnifies everything!
  6. by   pixierose
    Sleep deprivation *does* make everything 1000x worse, OP. This will pass.

    A tearful 4-year old at drop off can make that mom guilt so much worse. But she will be fine. I am sorry about your pooch - I hope he gets better soon.

    You have a lot of new beginnings on top of the exhaustion. It will even out eventually. But you need to think about how to get through the present. Most importantly, you need sleep! Being up for 24 hours ... even an experienced nurse can get tearful!
  7. by   ButterflyRN90
    Quote from Emergent
    I think your number one problem is sleep deprivation. Shame on your inconsiderate, 9-5 educator for interfering with your much needed sleep!

    Your home problems sound quite ordinary. But the sleep deprivation magnifies everything!
    Actually scheduled classes during work week is normal for me. I had to take an 8-5p class then go to work 6:30a-8pm to then practice and study and go back to class 8-5p to then repeat the cycle. The level of acuity is what creates this disconnect between sleep and work.
  8. by   dream'n
    (((hugs)))

    It's so stressful being a new graduate nurse just starting out. You will find a rhythm to your personal life and work. You, your family, your child, and the dirty dishes will survive this.
    Last edit by dream'n on Sep 24
  9. by   chare
    Quote from ButterflyRN90
    Actually scheduled classes during work week is normal for me. I had to take an 8-5p class then go to work 6:30a-8pm to then practice and study and go back to class 8-5p to then repeat the cycle. The level of acuity is what creates this disconnect between sleep and work.
    Not the situation the OP faced. Working and going to class on different days of week, but all on the same shift, isn't comparable with working a 12 hour night shift, going to class to 1200, and then meeting with with her educator.
  10. by   ButterflyRN90
    Quote from chare
    Not the situation the OP faced. Working and going to class on different days of week, but all on the same shift, isn't comparable with working a 12 hour night shift, going to class to 1200, and then meeting with with her educator.
    I've done the same. Once orientation is done all the craziness stops, at least for us.
  11. by   Lil Nel
    Yes, definitely, HUGS!!!

    Being a new grad in an ICU situation is stressful. Add education classes, on top of computer modules, you probably have to complete every week, and working night shift, and you are bound to crack at some point.

    Be kind to yourself.

    Do something nice for YOU.
  12. by   KB4848
    So I went and spoke to my educator and she also had me meet with my manager and they seem to think the solution is that nights just aren't for me and they don't have any spots available on days. So they want me to take these next two days and think about what I want to do wether I want to stay or talk to HR and be moved to a completely different unit. I've only been working nights for 10 weeks, I don't feel as though that's enough time to determine if nights work for me or not. I've put everything into this job and I don't just want to quit. I'm so torn now and my educator told me that she doesn't want to see me burn out and that she's heard nothing but great things about me and sees how much potential I have yet I feel like they are pushing me to just go, "yep! I can't do nights send me somewhere else!"
  13. by   Chrispy11
    Maybe get some sleep before you give HR an answer. CVICU is not easy and there's a lot to learn. Certainly not in the time you've been there. Do you dislike the job or just the hours? Don't want to see you give up such a great opportunity just because you're sleep-deprived.
  14. by   Lil Nel
    Quote from KB4848
    So I went and spoke to my educator and she also had me meet with my manager and they seem to think the solution is that nights just aren't for me and they don't have any spots available on days. So they want me to take these next two days and think about what I want to do wether I want to stay or talk to HR and be moved to a completely different unit. I've only been working nights for 10 weeks, I don't feel as though that's enough time to determine if nights work for me or not. I've put everything into this job and I don't just want to quit. I'm so torn now and my educator told me that she doesn't want to see me burn out and that she's heard nothing but great things about me and sees how much potential I have yet I feel like they are pushing me to just go, "yep! I can't do nights send me somewhere else!"
    Yes, it appears as though they are offering you a soft landing, should you choose to leave CVICU.

    The facility has clearly made an investment in you, and so they are willing to to move to another unit, so they don't lose you entirely.

    Do take the next few days to think carefully about what you want for your near, and distant future.

    Maybe do CV Progressive go a while, and then go back to CVICU.

    Stepping back to deal with your present, will allow for a better future.

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