Help! Having anxiety about job decision

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Beth,

I am a newish mom with a 16 month old baby at home. I have 5 years experience as a night shift telemetry/med surg nurse at a community hospital, but recently left due to burn out caused by higher patient acuity and ratios.

I now work at a cardiology office and have only been here for a little over 2 months. It is a M-F position 8:30-5pm. I thought it would be the perfect fit for me, but now I am already disliking my job. From day one the only other nurse in the practice bullied me 3 out of the 4 weeks of training me before I called her out on it (professionally of course.) There were constant eye rolls, huffing and puffing, tense body language, condescending statements, any question would be met with a negative/annoyed response. I never brought it up to my manager because I didn't want to cause more problems for myself as everyone else in the office seemed to like her.

Besides that I also just feel like a glorified customer service representative as I am just constantly on the phone. I knew this would be the case, but I didn't REALLY grasp how being in this environment would be. I am also alone in my own office, which I thought I would like, but it just down right... lonely. I thought I'd enjoy the "break" of working in an office setting, but come to find out it is busy in it's own way and comes with it's own set of headaches.

With having a baby at home I am also having difficulty adjusting to the M-F schedule. I get to see him at night to do our night routine, but I miss having the day with him, and 2 days of the weekend does not feel long enough. Now I am already back at the drawing board looking at other jobs.

I rather not go back to floor nursing because I am scared that in these covid times there are poor staffing ratios everywhere and I do not want to deal with that any longer. I have looked into home health nursing and although I have been told the scheduling is flexible for new moms I just don't find interest in driving all over town. I have most recently come across an OR nurse residency that I have been thinking about applying to. I think I may do well in a procedural area of nursing especially with only dealing with 1 pt a time. I know I will be working with a lot of strong personalities, but I have worked on the floor long enough to know how to deal with this. I feel like I have researched all possible options and am too scared to make a decision. Do I stay at this job a little longer although I feel like I know I won't like it? Would the OR be a good career move? Should I be concerned that I will look like a job hopper? I never thought I would be at a cross roads like this in my career. It is affecting me a lot in my day to day as my anxiety has been difficult to keep under control. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

Dear Scared,

I would go for the OR job. You will not look like a job-hopper, you will look like someone who took one job that didn't work out, and is trying to balance your work/life.

Every single thing you are saying is valid right now- staffing ratios are not stable and there's no guarantee things will improve soon. As you said, at least in Surgery, the nurse-patient ratio is controlled.

The only concerns are if you'll be happy in the OR, but you have thought it through and without having worked there before, made your best guess. The other thing is, there will be on call duty.

Finally, know that once you are trained and in OR, you are highly specialized. There will always be a job for you in the peri-operative setting, but as time goes on, not so much as a bedside clinician. 

This time with your little one is fleeting. You will not regret making your job work around your family's needs. Best wishes,

Nurse Beth





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Depending on the hospital there can be a lot of call.  Getting into procedural I didn’t realize how the call worked.  Personally, I don’t mind it unless it’s an all night shift in the middle of the week.  

Every job has its pros and cons.  You could look into something like preop in a hospital or day surgery center.  Day surgery centers don’t have on call and are usually Monday through Friday.  Lots of places at least around me are 4 ten hour shifts so you would have that extra day off.