Only been a nurse for 4 months - page 2
Hi All!, I know there are a lot of posts like mine, with people saying they're burnt out, etc., but I've only been a nurse for 4 months, and I already feel this way. I work on med-surg, but we are... Read More
Jan 16, '07Occupation: Emergency Department Specialty: ER/Ortho-Neuro-Med-Surg ; From: US ; Joined: Sep '04; Posts: 11,171; Likes: 3,262Let me put it this way:
At the hospital I work at: For all intents and purposes - a "new grad" is considered a "new grad" for at least two years of full time floor work!
And I'm talking regular gen-surg floors - no CCUs!
My mantra for coping?
"Somedays you're the bug. Somedays you're the windshield".
Jan 16, '07Occupation: Pediatric RN, ICU coordinator Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in PICU, surgical post-op ; From: CA ; Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 424; Likes: 187Quote from ncriverratIf you're working in an ICU-like environment and feeling this stressed, maybe you're not an ICU nurse. I came into the ICU as a new grad and have loved it since day one ... the other new grad who started at the same time as me quit after 3 weeks. I think ICU, or environments similar, which it sounds like you're involved in, is a place you're born for. Considered switching to an area with less acuity?I work on med-surg, but we are more like a ICU step down really. We have some complex pt's that demand a lot of care...
Jan 16, '07Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 2,937; Likes: 2,387I hear ya! I really didn't like floor nursing in school but figured I had to do it. I really didn't like my preceptorship and felt pretty darn incompetent, but darnit, I WASN'T going to quit! I bit the bullet and was very proud of all the progress that I made, very much taking it one day at a time. Well, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the hospital decided for me by not continuing my employment at the end of my preceptorship (no warning, by the way, like what I needed to work on). So at least you're doing better than that!! I'm currently working in a health-related field, non-clinical, and have my sanity intact. I've kept my license active and am still reseearching other possibilities.
People say there are so many different avenues in nursing but now that I've been there (as opposed to researching the position, shadowing, etc), most nursing positions do not appeal to me. I realize that I like office jobs - and I mean like with a computer, not patients! It sounds like that's not your cup of tea since you're interested in parks and rec, but it does take life experience to realize what you enjoy, what you're willing to work for, and what you'd rather avoid at all costs.
Four months is a short time in the big picture and if you can hold out a little longer and still don't like it, then you can tell your hubbie and mom with clarity that you really did give it a fair try. It might be easier to handle the stress knowing that it's only for a little bit longer (like 2 months).
If that still sounds like too much, maybe you can ask about working part-time. Seriously! Your manager would probably discourage it, but ultimately it should be better than having you quit! Imagine having more decompression time. That way, maybe you can better judge how you feel about the job as you might not be as mentally and physically worn out. And it might you give you time to research other options while still getting experience and getting a paycheck.
Or is there a unit that works 8 hr shifts? I function better on those than with 12 hr shifts. (I'm assuming you're on 12s since they're so common, but you didn't say)
Some people work better under stress and they'll suggest just plowing through. Other people don't and need to make choices that fit THEM.
Good luck! One day at a time!
Jan 16, '07Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 93; Likes: 68When did you start to dislike nursing? Was it while you were still in school? Was it after you began working? If you liked it while you were in school, maybe it's just a combination of factors.
1. Night shift is not for everyone & can wreak havoc on every body system. When I worked nights for 2 years, my body aged 5 years and I was never able to catch up. That was 23 years ago and I'll never forget how awful I felt as long as I live.
2. Your unit truly sounds like "baptism under fire" and combined with not ever getting enough rest or being in synch with the rest of the world, it's enough to push anyone over the edge, especially someone new to nursing who's still trying to develop her routine & skills.
3. No one at home has ever experienced anything like that combination and can't really appreciate your stress level.
Try to see if you can't change that toxic combination by changing either the shift, the unit, or possibly the hospital, even if it means driving to a nearby town. If you can modify one or more of those things & still don't like it, then you probably really would be happier doing something else.
Good Luck to you!
Jan 16, '07Occupation: PCT Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 81; Likes: 15You already seem convindced that you need to leave the field, and that's ok because you are the only one that can make you happy. My only advice is to make sure that you are sure and that emotion isn't getting the best of you. You don't want to look back and have a bunch of "what if's" hanging around, because that can be just as toxic in the long run.
I really think that nights aren't for you and that you should try to take a little break to get your focus back. After that why don't you try daylight or something less stressful. There are so many options out there for you to explore.
Just curious, did you feel this way at all in school? and Did you work in a hospital at all before you graduated?
Jan 16, '07Occupation: LPN Specialty: A myriad of specialties ; From: US ; Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 1,052; Likes: 665Quote from tulip928I agree with the above response by Tulip. But here are my two cents: While there are always other specialties in nursing to try( which you might try exploring),YOU are the best judge of what you think you like and/or can handle. Sometimes people stay with careers because of the financial investment they've put in or the good salaries reaped; all the while they are miserable. Sooner or later that misery can takes its toll....on you, others around you or both. "To thine own self be true". Good luck with whatever you decide!I don't know what to say . . . regretfully I gave it 19 months, the stress level got worse for me along with increasing short staffing - to the point I developed chest pains. Coincidentally, I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, which sort of explained the anxiety I was experiencing. It was a real physical reaction to the stress. I still have my license, but I'm no longer working as a RN. Trust your gut - there may be something more fulfilling for you out there.
Jan 16, '07Occupation: RN Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 140; Likes: 60IMO you are really selling yourself short here if you quit already.
Consider all of the time you have put into your education. The longs hours of study and clinicals...with all of the outside obstacles life threw at ya along the way.
Do you really want to cast all of that aside after a mere four months? Those here who say it will not be wasted are right, but only to a very small extent. A lot of what you learned was specialized for your career choice, and you are looking to cast aside a great deal of what you learned if you move on.
With that having been said, for your health and happiness...it is important to keep other career options open. However, do yourself a favor and first explore the MANY options you have within the field you have already been working so hard for. You have only experienced a very small fraction of what you can do with nursing. Know that even working in the same department in different departments can be a HUGE difference in perception. Then apply to that the multiple areas that are open to you as a nurse. Then apply to that the various shift choices available to you.
So hey, please try a few things before giving up. Try working days, try working at another hospital, try working a different department. Open yourself up to all of the alternatives before giving up completely on something you have invested so much time and effort into.
If it turns out that you are still unhappy and need to move on...kudos to you and best of luck. It takes a strong person to realise these things and a stronger person yet to follow through with them. Take care and hope that everything works out for you.
Jan 16, '07Joined: May '05; Posts: 1,591; Likes: 2,159Wow, that could be me! It's great to see that I'm not alone. :smilecoffeecup: I realize that nights have to be worked, but so far I am finding them to be just about unbearable. I, too, am new, and added to that stress I've been put on nights. I resolved to give this current position a year before I make any decisions to quit. Have you ever worked days? I really liked being on days. Try to find a day shift (much easier said than done, since everyone wants to work days) before you decide to give up altogether. If I hadn't worked days I would also be considering leaving nursing because I wouldn't really know that it's a whole different job during the day. Some people love nights, and everyone I work with has said that it takes a LONG time to adjust to that shift. You've made a pretty big investment of time and money. I'd give it some more time.
Jan 16, '07Occupation: returned nurse Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,236Don't bother trying to win family over to agreeing with you about what employment is doing to you. I have been married for 40 years and a nurse the same amount of time and hubby still does not get it. Bedside nursing at it's best is difficult and at it's worst it is brutal life and health busting profession. I even tried talking to therapist but they take that "all you got to do is change yourself" mantra. It is not me, it has never been me, it is the profession. How can a therapist that sits at a desk Monday thru Friday getting all Holidays off and dealing with one client at a time grasp what I go through. However, if you were having marital and other personal problems I would recommend a therapist. I am a person who has had their life together for years it is the profession that is nuts not me. The only thing that ever helped me was a nurse mentor. I have run into a few nurses who really had their nurse self together and would act as mentors. It takes a really special nurse to do this. I have met people who actually handle the whole chaotic universe of bedside nursing and still held out a hand to support me. No judgement, no self help cliche' , just a steadying hand on the shoulder and a "I know what you are going through and this is what helped me". God love them, I fall at their feet and adore them.
Jan 16, '07Occupation: RN Specialty: trauma, ortho, burns, plastic surgery ; Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 2,661; Likes: 1,259Honeys don't give up! I had, may be, some similar experiences like you, I cried each day or evening after the nursing program along of 6 first months of my carrier, starting with "nursing baptism" when "doctors give me a hug" from a amputed leg in the way to crematorium, until my first promotion. I promise my self that I will quiet trauma when the doctor drop-off my first sterile scissor in the middle of surgery, I promise that I will quit nursing when my first patient died - I was impossible to keep her in life (cancer), but I am still here in nursing and believe me or not out of nursing after you realized what is NURSING and how you can help people, is the worst think that can be for a nurse! And you are a nurse! Get your self some time! Just for you: My father called me in the middle of the night (he is after a cardiac fibrillation) and asked me "You are now nurse in US, tell me how US nurses deal with patients with this type of disease, give me some advices, YOU MUST KNOW NOW!" My father is so proud of me, you mother is so pride of you, don't disappointed her! Let time to pass a little bit, you will become more confident, you will see, you will start to love nursing!
Jan 16, '07Occupation: Staff Nurse as of Jan'09 Specialty: Med/Surg < 1yr ; From: US ; Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 212; Likes: 85I know what you're going through. I am a CNA trainee and though I've only been a trainee for 4 wks, there are still days when I don't think I am cut out for nursing. I may not be a nurse yet but I was an accountant for 8 1/2 yrs and it was the most boring job I've ever had. I then decided that I would pursue my long time dream of being a nurse. So I took this job as a CNA and when I get home, I have to question whether I can come back to work and whether nursing is for me. I don't have the 4 months yet but just this little time has me panicking. I dare not tell my hubby because he surely will have me wanting to hurt him should he try to throw up the fact that I gave up an office job to "clean butts" as he sees it. I am going to stick it out and try my best to get the routine down. It's hard though coming home and my back and feet are aching. I'm not used to not being able to take a 15 min break and lunch being cut short because after you sign out someone had to use the bathroom or a call light is going off and no one is around to answer it. I think that you should definitely pray on it because if you ask God, He will let you know what needs to be done. What you do is you go somewhere where you're alone and it's quiet and you have time to talk to God. You pour out your heart and let Him know exactly how you feel. God wants us to come to Him and that is how He works on us. After you pray and let Him know how you feel, you wait. God will work it out for you. A postion with better hours may become available, you may begin to be able to handle things a little better or you may find that nursing is truly not for you and you will be able to walk away knowing that God has something better. Don't just walk away without at least talking to God and then waiting to see what He has to say. I pray that everything works out for you.
Jan 16, '07Occupation: Registered Nut Specialty: Most of it ; Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 531; Likes: 85Your critical thinking skills have led you to explore your options! Also congrats on finding this site and expressing yourself so well !!! Your not alone and you will find your "center" in time, it's frustrating for you because you feel so isolated, you are tired and stressed out. It's easy to dish out this advice but here goes: Take care of yourself more than ever right now. Pamper yourself and put yourself FIRST!!!! Keep in touch, you are very brave.
Jan 16, '07Occupation: L & D Specialty: 17 year(s) of experience in trauma, critial care, ob, transplant ; Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 16I am sorry for what you are feeling. Though it has been many years, I remember having the same feelings. I stuck it out and found that it did get better. I ended up transfering to a different unit after the first year, and found that I had just started out in a unit with a level of stress I wasn't ready for. I have sinec gone back to that unit where I began 17 years ago and am totally happy there. Certainly, you have to be happy at home. I encourage you to do some soul-searching regarding the arguing at home and unhappiness. I, too, had the same issues. What I found was that I was actually not very happy at home. This, combined with the stress of a new career and job that are extremely stressful, excelerated the unhappiness at home, but certainly wasn't the cause of it. Make sure you aren't using your unhappiness at work as an excuse for the unhappiness at home. Is there an underlying problem that has surfaced as a result of the stress you are feeling at work? I sure hope this makes sense. Just wanted to share my experience. Ultimately, do what makes you happy. There are other areas in nursing that may be more interesting for you. Just consider all options. It is very hard in a small town. I am in eastern North Carolina and have worked in those small towns. It isn't easy to find your way. Good luck to you! God Bless!