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Hate My Job But Feel There Is No Way Out

Updated | Posted

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

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Just wanting to know people with more life experiences take on my situation. I work on a busy general medicine floor and absolutely have come to hate my job. I have managed to tough the job out for about a year and a half (new grad). Honestly, I am amazed and somewhat proud of myself for even managing that with my anxiety. I had hoped that with time my anxiety would get better but it feels the longer I am there the sicker, heavier (gaining lots of weight) and more miserable I feel. I work a ton of nights between my two jobs so feel like I rarely even get to see the sun and have no motivation to do anything but watch TV. I definitely want a way out but it is easier said than done. The patient assignments have gotten ridiculous with how short staffed we have been, on night shift nurses who are supposed to have 6 patients sometimes take on 12 patients (an entire POD with IVs, climbers, drug withdrawals, etc) with a nursing student extern. It's gotten so bad people have started to message our union about unsafe conditions but were sent back an e-mail saying that we are allowed to work outside our scope due to the current pandemic. 

I have posted a few times on here and recently made the decision to move away from bedside. I've had such an awful experience with bedside, I doubt I will ever return. I am feeling so frustrated because for the past month I have been applying and feeling like I am getting nowhere. I have applied to several more office-based jobs or jobs out in the community such as vaccine centres as people on here recommended. I have had a few messages back all stating that I needed more bedside experience which was crushing.

The only really positive lead was my manager who stated that he would hire me for a clinic at the hospital that works Mon-Fri 8-4 (but more like 8-5). This sounds like the best-case scenario for me, but the problem is that he says a position likely won't open up for another 6-10 months. I asked if he would consider me still for the position if I went to a temporary job for 6 months and he said he would so long as I stay on casually. 

I am at a loss of what to do here. My parents think I should stick it out for another 10 months at my current part-time hospital job with my other strictly nights casual job.  I am going to be honest in saying that I can't imagine how much sicker I will feel and how much I will mentally struggle. It's been bad enough living like this for a year and a half I can't imagine going through another 10 months. I would definitely be open to working at the hospital unit casually if I could find a better job that would take me part-time somewhere else. But all of the less stressful jobs people on the site have mentioned (clinics, offices, etc) won't seem to hire me until I get at least 2 years of bedside nursing. 

Did anyone else feel they were locked into 2 years of bedside nursing? Are there any other positions someone could recommend that would be lighter on me mentally or have more regular hours? I just feel so stuck and frustrated. 😞

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

You sound like despite what your parents advise you have made your decision. I don't blame you. I made the move away from bedside years ago and am much happier for it.

You have to look out for your physical and mental wellbeing. Do what it takes!

Any idea what your dream would be if you were to leave bedside?

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I can understand your parents trying to encourage you to stick it out for a while longer. They've watched you work hard to get your degree, work through a very challenging first year in the field and they want what's best for you. You're really only six months from two years experience, but if you can't do it, you can't do it. You know your physical and mental health better than anyone and you have to make that a priority in order to provide care for others. I'm sorry you've had trouble finding another position in nursing, where I live there seem to be openings everywhere, but I'm not sure about positions away from bedside. It sounds like you're in a very difficult position, unfortunately many people have found themselves in assignments over the past year that wouldn't have been acceptable previously. A very difficult time to come into nursing, you've done well with what you've got. I hope you can find something else soon. In the meantime, if you can, cut back on some hours so you can enjoy some time for yourself, especially as the weather gets nicer. Try to spend time with family and friends, not thinking about work, and even getting out and walking will be good for you. If your employer has an employee assistance program, try finding someone you can talk with about all that's been going on, it's a lot to process. Take care of yourself, things will get better. 

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Do you really need two jobs? That might be part of the problem, are you getting adequate time off for self-care, sleep, exercise, healthy eating? I have also had more than one job for most of my adult life, I think there was a period of 3 years when I had just one job, but then I was also in grad school. LOL. Seriously, if you can drop to one job, I would. 

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Night shift is your main problem. It will mess with your mind. Don't work two jobs! If you have 1 1/2  years experience, you can find something else.

Quit the second job and use that time to search. I got away from the bedside with an agency job. It was in utilization management. I got lucky. Keep applying to anything and everything. You can also get A FMLA to minimize your hours.

Best wishes.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

On 5/28/2021 at 9:34 PM, Aliceozwalker said:

I had hoped that with time my anxiety would get better but it feels the longer I am there the sicker, heavier (gaining lots of weight) and more miserable I feel. I work a ton of nights between my two jobs so feel like I rarely even get to see the sun and have no motivation to do anything but watch TV.

Yours is an elephant which needs to be eaten one bite at a time, Aliceozwalker, so I took the first bite here.

Anxiety will not be decreased by pursuing a physically and mentally unhealthy lifestyle.

I got through 17 stressful years working straight MNs at Wrongway Regional Medical Center by  staying on a schedule, eating right, exercising every day, and pursuing my bliss, which rejuvenated me both on my days off and while working.

Most want an easy answer without having to work for it, so if more information is desired, I'm regularly around.

On 5/28/2021 at 10:34 PM, Aliceozwalker said:

I work a ton of nights between my two jobs so feel like I rarely even get to see the sun and have no motivation to do anything but watch TV.

Not sustainable for most people. What are the specifics of your other (casual) job? Setting/# patients, etc.

Don't even worry about your manager and what he might or might not do maybe 10 months from now. This is an acute situation if you are taking care of upwards of 12 patients "with a nursing student extern" (who is not in any way, shape or form actually staffing that load). You don't want to burn bridges with your manager but you are right, something's gotta give.

 

On 5/28/2021 at 10:34 PM, Aliceozwalker said:

But all of the less stressful jobs people on the site have mentioned (clinics, offices, etc) won't seem to hire me until I get at least 2 years of bedside nursing. 

Granted, that's what you've heard so far; that rationale may or may not be the primary reason (for example they may have hired someone else or....anything). Point being keep applying to everything that remotely interests you and see where it takes you.

I asked about your 2nd job because how bad is it? Can you increase your hours there and go casual at your part-time h-hole job?

Get to your PCP and make sure your mental and physical health is optimized as a matter of urgent priority.  Inertia/ambivalence/anxiety/depression/exhaustion/some degree of hopelessness - all of these things are weights, but just push through and do the basics to take care of yourself, like getting some professional help. Just do that first step.

You have options, don't despair. This really, really is not hopeless. You'll be okay.

Hang in there. 💮

 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

On 5/28/2021 at 11:00 PM, SmilingBluEyes said:

You sound like despite what your parents advise you have made your decision. I don't blame you. I made the move away from bedside years ago and am much happier for it.

You have to look out for your physical and mental wellbeing. Do what it takes!

Any idea what your dream would be if you were to leave bedside?

I'm definitely leaning towards a clinic attached to the hospital. The hours at those clinics are Monday to Friday, 8-5 or so. Definitely better for the work-life balance and you get hospital pay. 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

On 5/29/2021 at 4:51 PM, JBMmom said:

I can understand your parents trying to encourage you to stick it out for a while longer. They've watched you work hard to get your degree, work through a very challenging first year in the field and they want what's best for you. You're really only six months from two years experience, but if you can't do it, you can't do it. You know your physical and mental health better than anyone and you have to make that a priority in order to provide care for others. I'm sorry you've had trouble finding another position in nursing, where I live there seem to be openings everywhere, but I'm not sure about positions away from bedside. It sounds like you're in a very difficult position, unfortunately many people have found themselves in assignments over the past year that wouldn't have been acceptable previously. A very difficult time to come into nursing, you've done well with what you've got. I hope you can find something else soon. In the meantime, if you can, cut back on some hours so you can enjoy some time for yourself, especially as the weather gets nicer. Try to spend time with family and friends, not thinking about work, and even getting out and walking will be good for you. If your employer has an employee assistance program, try finding someone you can talk with about all that's been going on, it's a lot to process. Take care of yourself, things will get better. 

I don't necessarily want to quit nursing as a whole, especially since I took a year off after high school so I could graduate from this degree loan free. 😞 I'm finding that there are a ton of positions available but all are on either the ICU, other medical floors or nursing resource team moving to different acute units. There are 18 NRT positions available at a nearby hospital for example which is insane and definitely the highest it has been. It's like a whole ton of nurses are moving away from bedside or quitting which is making getting into clinics a bit harder. My unit alone is short 3 nursing positions. I'll have to keep applying and hope I can get into something that fits. I would be willing to wait a month or two for the right position but 6-10 is simply too long. 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

On 5/29/2021 at 8:12 PM, Pixie.RN said:

Do you really need two jobs? That might be part of the problem, are you getting adequate time off for self-care, sleep, exercise, healthy eating? I have also had more than one job for most of my adult life, I think there was a period of 3 years when I had just one job, but then I was also in grad school. LOL. Seriously, if you can drop to one job, I would. 

I honestly had my other job as well since it is a much lighter workload and 8hour shifts. It is also in the area of focus for my masters if I did decide to go through with being a nurse practitioner (palliative care). When things were really bad it is probably what helped me stay on my current unit while still making a living wage. I would only take the part-time hours given to me at the hospital and then fill my schedule up to 36-48 hours with the other job. The problem is that my other job is all-night shifts exclusively. So I tend to either work two weeks of nights or jump back and forth which really messes up my sleep schedule as the time changes can be very rapid and multiple times in a week. While I do like my other job's workload and patients, I will eventually quit due to the nights only issue. 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

On 5/30/2021 at 6:42 AM, Been there,done that said:

Night shift is your main problem. It will mess with your mind. Don't work two jobs! If you have 1 1/2  years experience, you can find something else.

Quit the second job and use that time to search. I got away from the bedside with an agency job. It was in utilization management. I got lucky. Keep applying to anything and everything. You can also get A FMLA to minimize your hours.

Best wishes.

My other job is strictly 8 hour nights, which means I work either a ton of nights or flip back and forth frequently. I'm trying to do 36-48 hours a week on average with ideally 40 hours a week. I have been searching every day for the most part, so hopefully, something will come up. I will eventually need to leave my other job, as while the job itself isn't the problem the all-night hours are definitely not helpful. 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

13 hours ago, Davey Do said:

Yours is an elephant which needs to be eaten one bite at a time, Aliceozwalker, so I took the first bite here.

Anxiety will not be decreased by pursuing a physically and mentally unhealthy lifestyle.

I got through 17 stressful years working straight MNs at Wrongway Regional Medical Center by  staying on a schedule, eating right, exercising every day, and pursuing my bliss, which rejuvenated me both on my days off and while working.

Most want an easy answer without having to work for it, so if more information is desired, I'm regularly around.

I definitely think I need more routine. Since I have two jobs, one of which is strictly nights, I jump around times frequently. I tend to either oversleep or undersleep frequently and eat at completely different times due to my weird scheduling hours. That is definitely my reason for wanting an 8-5 job for a while. I don't mind working weekends, I do mind how often and severe the frequent shift changes are on my body. 

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

51 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

Not sustainable for most people. What are the specifics of your other (casual) job? Setting/# patients, etc.

Don't even worry about your manager and what he might or might not do maybe 10 months from now. This is an acute situation if you are taking care of upwards of 12 patients "with a nursing student extern" (who is not in any way, shape or form actually staffing that load). You don't want to burn bridges with your manager but you are right, something's gotta give.

Granted, thats what you've heard so far; that rationale may or may not be the primary reason (for example they may have hired someone else or....anything). Point being keep applying to everything that remotely interests you and see where it takes you.

I asked about your 2nd job because how bad is it? Can you increase your hours there and go casual at your part-time h-hole job?

Get to your PCP and make sure your mental and physical health is optimized as a matter of urgent priority.  Inertia/ambivalence/anxiety/depression/exhaustion/some degree of hopelessness - all of these things are weights, but just push through and do the basics to take care of yourself, like getting some professional help. Just do that first step.

You have options, don't despair. This really, really is not hopeless. You'll be okay.

Hang in there. 💮

 

My second job is definitely the easier of the two. I am the only RN at my other job assisted by two PSW staff for a maximum of 6 patients. It is palliative care so no IVs but there are CADD pumps and lots of SC injections. The two issues are that my second job is strictly nights due to contracting and I currently make at least $2 less an hour with little room for an increase as it is a nonprofit. Basically, two companies provide nurses for the workplace. One has a contract for day/evening nurses and the other for night nurses. The day/evening contract companies positions were and are all full, so I accepted the night position. Honestly, if it wasn't for this job helping me achieve my goal of 40 hours a week or so of work I would have quit my hospital job. No way could I do the hospital job full-time based on the workload. 

My second job did offer me full-time and part-time. The issue is of course then I would be doing all nights and be taking quite a hit financially. I would also not be practising my IV skills which are important in the first years of nursing. 

I think my solution is to keep applying for other jobs, as sadly I don't think either is sustainable long term. 

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

Nights in itself is hard. I didn’t mind nights too much the first go around. The second was miserable. I was exhausted, an emotional mess, and physically sick. If you need to make a change, then go for it. Day shift is an entirely new perspective. 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 5/28/2021 at 10:34 PM, Aliceozwalker said:

I rarely even get to see the sun

Oh! I worked plenty of  nights to squirrel away money for a house...nothing special of a house but it was going to be my own. the cafeteria only had donuts during the night shift, and I loved the sugar!

BUT every sunrise if I could, I would look out the window to see the BRAND NEW DAY. The city I lived in had a lot of crime in the east end.....but when the  sun rose it was beautiful

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

Have you looked into school nursing in your area? We have our own stress, but it has reliable hours and you can leave work at home on Friday and be refreshed for Monday. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

On 5/30/2021 at 6:22 PM, Aliceozwalker said:

I'm definitely leaning towards a clinic attached to the hospital. The hours at those clinics are Monday to Friday, 8-5 or so. Definitely better for the work-life balance and you get hospital pay. 

 I would say, go for it. I hope you find your way to peace and mental/physical wellbeing. Usually clinics pay much less than hospital nursing does. THIS sounds promising!

Aliceozwalker

Specializes in Under 4 months of nursing..

On 6/2/2021 at 11:38 AM, lifelearningrn said:

Have you looked into school nursing in your area? We have our own stress, but it has reliable hours and you can leave work at home on Friday and be refreshed for Monday. 

So, I think school nurses are a lot more common in the States than in my country. I actually did do a search and apparently, there are no school nurse positions within 150km from my house. I also never had a school nurse available until I was in university. The area I live in has also publicly announced that it will no reopen schools physically until September due to COVID. It's a great idea, but in my country it doesn't seem to really be the norm or I would definitely apply.