Is it me? Foolish mistakes, don't want the responsibility anymore - page 2

I've been an RN for ten years, am 55 years old, and have worked in various types of jobs. I have always suffered from anxiety, depression, low self esteem. I have been a part time clinic float for... Read More

  1. by   LouMauler
    I've only been a nurse for a year, and I'm already making dumb mistakes. This week has been the worst. I used to question everything, which was good cuz I didn't make mistakes. But then I think my confidence went a little to high and I though I knew what I was doing. Apparently I didn't and 2 of my patients lives could have been on the line because of it. I didn't get in trouble because "technically" it was in the orders, but I feel so much guilt and anxiety about it, I'm not eating or sleeping well and I constantly feel sick. My family and friends keep saying I did what I was told and deemed to be right, but I can't stop mentally punishing myself for it. I want to quit and go back to my old job with less responsibilities.
  2. by   wishiknew
    Dear LouMauler, only another nurse can understand what you are going through, and I certainly understand. We go into this profession because we care so much, but our caring and sensitive nature sometimes seems to do us in. I once witnessed a doctor give a pain injection to the wrong side of a patient's lumbar area. He said 'you get a two for one', then just carried on with his day. That would have destroyed me. EVERYONE makes mistakes and believe it or not that is what makes us good nurses because you KNOW our conscience will never allow us to repeat the mistake.
    The problem is, that most of us take it so to heart that it ruins us. Especially those of us with depression and anxiety. It's a conundrum.
    I, too, am looking for a different type of job because I know I am very intelligent, which is very sad for us because if we worked in an area where people thought it was ok to ask questions, we would rock!!!
    I was reported, just ONE example, because I hadn't given a B-12 in a few years and I was 99% sure it was IM, not SQ, so I asked another nurse to be certain and she reported me to my supervisor.
    Hang in there, and like everyone says, see a therapist, because alone we can't see the forest thru the trees. Do what is best for YOU. But never forget what a caring and special person you are. Best of luck. I keep all nurses in my prayers.
  3. by   stdntograd06
    I can relate to so many of these responses. I am a relatively new RN (been one for a year now). Before that I was an LPN for 6 years. I find myself questioning a lot of what I do, asking my seasoned coworkers for assurance on things I'm sure I should be confident on. One example is when to call the MD. I'm not a "smooth talker" when it comes to talking with the docs, have never been. I'm more of an introvert than an outgoing person and I believe that is a lot of my problem, along with my history of anxiety and depression.

    Lately, I've found I have little desire to go to work, feel completely exhausted and when I do go to work, I feel so rushed to get things done on time. My time management has a lot to be desired and I find I have difficulty prioritizing my work. I work nights but would actually like to get on days but I'm afraid my "scatterbrained" work ethic would cause me to fail on days. I know I should see a psych doc but also afraid at the same time that my depression and anxiety would be "on my record" and reflect poorly on my ability as a nurse.

    Some days I feel I should leave nursing and do something else but I don't know what else I'd do. I don't really have any desire to do anything else (therein lies my problem with depression). My own PCP told me I'd be good at hospice but I'm not going there. I took care of my dying mother for 5 years (including her PEG and trache care) and have no desire to do that day in and day out again. Working in an office would be nice but most offices now want MA's or LPN's, not RN's.
  4. by   wishiknew
    Hi stdntograd06! Thank you for your response. Your entire second paragraph could have been written by me! I am currently working in a clinic, but I did the third shift floor nurse thing too. I still despise going to work. If I have three days off, on day one I am already stressing about returning to work. I recently applied at Kohls department store,(lol, what a change) as I am getting out of nursing for now (God willing) and hoping to find something I ENJOY doing, even with the huge cut in pay. I will, of course keep my RN license active.
    I am very concerned about money, especially because I want to do therapy, but I also want to enjoy and have less stress in my life. I hope I'm not trading in one huge set of stressors for another, lol.
    Take care of yourself and stick with the therapy. I can't WAIT to start mine. I sincerely hope you find peace. I am amazed at the difference you and others who wrote made in the relief I feel of not being alone. Thank you so very much!
  5. by   sam1971
    Would going back to school help at all? Maybe for respiratory therapy or radiography? Maybe those positions would be more suited to an introvert? I would think they would have less responsibility. Or you could look on craigslist for home health positions. Sometimes those positions are really just looking for someone to watch over a vented patient and are pretty low stress.
  6. by
    Do you have a primary doctor that can help with a prescription? I know you are going to see a counselor but they can't prescribe. I saw my counselor for 5 months before I could get an appt with the psychiatrist. Yet an inmate has to be seen within 24 hours, go figure.

    If insurance is a problem, do they have a sliding scale until your insurance kicks in?

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been a nurse for 20 years and couldn't work for six months last year due to depression and anxiety.
  7. by   CrunchRN
    See a neuropsychologist who can figure out through testing if this is a memory related disorder vs physical vs depression vs many other things.