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Help! Should I file for Unemployment???

Nurses   (3,954 Views 9 Comments)
by JjoBsn JjoBsn (New Member) New Member

1,856 Visitors; 28 Posts

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Hello all,

I don't know where to start with this. I've had a rough start to my nursing career and I find it difficult to talk about it, but I'm in a rut and I need help...so here goes nothing...

I was fortunate enough to land a job at a leading hospital shortly after graduation. I started my new grad program in an intense ICU. It was a great hospital system and I had wonderful preceptors; however, I would have horrible panic attacks and bursts of anxiety most days when I went to work. The attacks were so bad that I found it difficult to concentrate, focus, and perform well on the job. I hated the fact that this was happening so I tried everything I could to get a handle on my severe anxiety including employee counseling, medications, and even time off. :crying2:

Unfortunately I had another serious attack on the day I returned to work due to the sounds of the monitors alarming combined with the image of the very sick patient I had, and my lack of confidence I guess. Ugh!

I tried to remain calm but my preceptor could tell that I wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time. I finished out the shift but was told that I'd have to meet with the unit director the next day. After meeting with the director and yet another week off I was informed that this was perhaps not "the right unit for me." I hoped to be transferred to another unit but they claimed they were unable to find another position for me in another unit as we were already halfway through with all the new grad programs and there were no open positions..so essentially I was left without a job at that facility. When my manger called to tell me the news she said she would put it in the system as a "mutual separation" as opposed to me being fired or having quit, so that it would be easier to return to that facility in the future if I ever chose to....?

This occurred back in February and I never applied for unemployment because I thought one had to be fired to qualify...not to mention I also slipped into a severe depression and didn't do anything to help my situation for months...

But now that I still haven't found a new full-time job and am running out of money I'm thinking that maybe i should have applied for unemployment...Am I eligible to apply for unemployment since the unit I was on wasn't the right fit for me or vice versa? Is it too late to file a claim since I haven't worked there since Jan/February?? Is it even worth filing for it at this point? Should I be worried as to what my former employer would think?

I know this all probably sounds silly, but any advice you could offer would be helpful... Please & thank you!!!

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

346 Likes; 8 Followers; 141 Articles; 247,063 Visitors; 9,530 Posts

Absolutely, file for unemployment benefits. You may have to wait a few weeks for the Employment Division and your hospital to determine your eligibility, so file ASAP. If they want to fight it, an investigator will call you and ask you questions regarding your separation and what you did to try to resolve things; however, from the sound of things you did try to make it work and simply couldn't, which will likely mean winning your case. (The Employment Division people are pretty good at listening to the employee's point of view, so don't be afraid to tell them what you've told us.)

The requirement is that you continue to look for suitable work (emphasis on suitable for you). If you haven't kept records of your work search, start now so you have something to show them when and if they ask for it. You may even be able to claim some of the previous weeks that you've been unemployed, but only if you were physically and mentally able to accept any or all job offers made to you.

Good luck to you. I know what it is to have post-traumatic stress from a nursing job; in fact, I went through that five years ago and took several months to find another job because I needed time to heal. I was much healthier for the time off and much better prepared to deal with pressure and stress. You probably will be too. :hug:

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Annamarie_RN works as a Registered Nurse.

1,990 Visitors; 21 Posts

I am so sorry your having such a rough start to your nursing career. I am sure you will find a place that is the right fit soon. I currently started, fresh out of school, at a local hospital on the Medical floor. I am so glad I didn't start on IMC or ICU. I still feel stressed going to work but starting in the ICU would give me a panic attack too.

To answer your question...the best place to get all the right answers would be your local state job service office... the place where you would apply for unemployment. You can to an employee there and get all the right answers. You might even qualify for other govt and state aid to hold you over until you get another job such as food stamps, medicaid, etc. Don't think of it as a hand out. Rather something to keep you on your feet until you get another job. I wish you all the best and take comfort in knowing you are not the only one who gets nervous at work. It takes time to feel comfortable with our skills and knowledge.

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233 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,230 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

I was out of work for over two months before I filed for unemployment. It is never too late to file a claim, but in my state the amount of benefits you collect are based on your earnings of the previous 18 months. The longer you go without earnings, the higher the chance you won't qualify or the lower your benefit. Don't worry now about the characterization of the separation, the unemployment people will determine that. Just apply and hope for the best. But quitting disqualifies a person in my state. I would insist that I was about to be fired, to put more of the onus on the employer rather than let it look like you just woke up one morning thinking you didn't want to work for them anymore. Good luck.

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1,856 Visitors; 28 Posts

VivaLasViejas, AnnaMarie, & Callioter3:

Thank you so much for your responses. You don't know how much I appreciate your kind, encouraging words and advice!

It helps tremendously to know that there are other nurses who understand and have gone through this. I'll definitely apply for benefits right away as I use this time to heal & find a position better suited for me.

Thank you all and have a great week! :-)

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applewhitern has 30 years experience.

3 Likes; 25,258 Visitors; 1,871 Posts

Please have your thyroid checked. I used to get anxious and have panic attacks that started after 15 years of ICU nursing. It turned out I had Grave's disease; I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't understand why I would get so nervous at work. Now after treatment, I am fine and never have panic-attacks or anxiety anymore.

:nurse:

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PostOpPrincess has 19 years experience and works as a Ubermom.

11,848 Visitors; 2,211 Posts

Please get help. Please.

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233 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,230 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

Please get help. Please.

Yes. You do not want this to be an issue on your next job.

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1,549 Visitors; 15 Posts

cal:

Are you in a state where there is TDI?- in 5 states, RI is one, there is a thing called temporary disability insurance. It will get you through times like this. I would, in any event, file for any kind of unemployment you can get. I would RUN, not walk to my doctor, and be examined. Usually, with a good doc, you will stay out of work, and probably get some medication. I'm not a doctor, but something is going on, and there is no shame in having a panic disorder. It is usually treated with something like Paxil and serious talk therapy with a good LICENSED therapist. Believe me, I've seen miracles, and people turn around and go to work. But, it is a process, and you need to accept that you deserve the help!..Now go get it. xoxoxox Di

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