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How do you guys do it for so long?

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Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 2 years experience.

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I've only been a nurse for a little over a year and I have hated it since day 1. People told me it would get better. It did get better once I got used to things, but I still genuinely hate this job. I don't think acute care is for me.

The thing is I feel like such an outsider. So many people I speak to love bedside nursing. A lot of people I know just changed to SWAT (float pool) to make more money...nursing just has such a large toll on my body: lack of sleep, running around, barely eating...

I just don't get what I'm doing wrong here. There are also a lot of nurses I know that are in grad programs and are leaving the bedside once they graduate. I just feel so stuck because I don't want to do any of this...I used to be so motivated with my career and now I just don't care about nursing. I don't know what to do. I've been miserable for SO long 😞

I look up other jobs but I'm never qualified enough for them. Sometimes I do apply but there's so much competition. I feel so stuck and miserable 😞 I hate being a nurse. I have even looked up engineering programs and business degrees because I hate nursing. Does anyone else feel similarly?

I feel the EXACT same way as you, you are not alone and trust me many new nurses feel like this. 

Davey Do

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

How do you guys do it for so long?

Through not expending energy on multiple endeavors & pursuing spiritual and other mentally/emotionally healthy endeavors. 

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg ED, LNC, COB. Has 51 years experience.

I’m c DaveyDo on this one. I have never, ever prioritized my job over my life. When you find things that replenish your head and heart the way those stupid cosmetic ads say they replenish your skin, you’ll be able to look at work as no more a necessary evil than flossing or an annual gyn exam. You do it, you go do something more better, and gradually your actual life reaches primacy over your work. You’ll never get rich (I haven’t, for sure) but like they say, nobody ever lay on his deathbed and mused, ”I shoulda spent more time at work.”

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

I at one point invested in my job. Now, I see it as just a job. I do it and go home. I don’t love nursing, but it is generally a financially stable job. I hope to eventually go into a field of nursing that I am truly passionate about, but right now I plan my vacations, go on hikes, etc and leave work at work!

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

On 4/28/2021 at 12:30 PM, Pepper The Cat said:

I drink a lot

You beat me to it Pepper.

On 4/28/2021 at 12:30 PM, Pepper The Cat said:

I drink a lot

Funny you should say this. I was in a class one time where the vast majority of attendees were new grads. We had a section on "self-care" (barf) and had to go around and say what we did to relieve stress. After endless answers of walking, reading, knitting (insert eye roll for all of these) with the instructor smiling and nodding enthusiastically it was my turn and I kind of lost it. It went sort of like this..."you know what nurses do to deal with the crap they go through? That's easy, look at the back 20 pages of your board's quarterly newsletter where they list the disciplinary actions. That's where you'll find what nurses do. We drink and divert drugs, over eat, are sexually promiscuous or go home every night and assume the fetal position. We yell at our kids, we get divorced and we commit suicide. Those of us who manage to hang on are dying a death by a thousand cuts. Then we go to work for companies that pay lip-service to self care by dinging us for calling off and providing things like massages that only management can attend because we are too busy, you know, taking care of patients all the while patting themselves on the back for taking such good care of their "family" of employees. No human being can see the things we do and not be affected by it down to our very souls. Look around this room. Just a few months ago most of these nurses were in school and they dealt with stress by partying and we do nothing to teach them anything different. I mean come on...what 21 year old deals with a kid being scraped off the pavement by taking a walk? We offer our young nurses nothing tangible in the way of handling this very new kind of stress and wonder why so many throw in the towel before they've had a chance to succeed. The sad truth of it is that most of us experienced nurses are sucked so dry we feel we have very little to give so the cycle continues." Yeah, I spent a minute in my boss's office after that little rant but I still believe it's true and I have no idea how to fix it. To the OP, I'm sorry you hate it. I wish I had words of advice for you but I don't. Well, except maybe go for a walk. 😉

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time. I genuinely feel bad for new nurses as I have seen the work conditions deteriorate over the years. The only thing I would say is keep trying to find a job within nursing that you might like or might be less stressful. Some nurses find that niche and some never do so who knows but you just started so I would at least try. At the same time assess your personal situation and see what is possible re: more/different schooling, career change etc. Nursing was my second career so I was pretty much stuck so just had to make the best out of it, which I did. Good advice to not get too invested in the job and prioritize your life instead. Good luck!

Posts like these are why I often discourage people from the nursing field these days despite knowing how much we need people.  

My coping mechanisms aren’t necessarily the healthiest.  I drink.  Not a lot at one time, but I do have a glass of wine 5 nights a week, 2 glasses of my day was especially hard and I don’t want to think about it.  My sense of humor is definitely darker.  But if I didn’t laugh over the crazy, I would cry, burn out and leave.

I started exercising the past year.  Not walking, but intense training.  It helps.  Another thing I started doing that I never used to do, was go out with coworkers.  I do that because they are the only ones that understand and we can talk, laugh, and cry together outside of the hospital.  I don’t do it often, but once a month is good for me.

Also, my job is a job.  That’s it.  I don’t expect some immense satisfaction or fulfillment from it.  If I have a crappy day, I get to clock out, and come home to my family.  My days off work are packed full of activities with my boys.  Baseball practice was cancelled tonight due to rain, so I have a free night, whatever will I do????  Seriously, don’t make your job your life, no matter what field you are in.  Your job is one of many hats you wear in life.  Don’t make it the biggest hat.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

19 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

Funny you should say this. I was in a class one time where the vast majority of attendees were new grads. We had a section on "self-care" (barf) and had to go around and say what we did to relieve stress. After endless answers of walking, reading, knitting (insert eye roll for all of these) with the instructor smiling and nodding enthusiastically it was my turn and I kind of lost it. It went sort of like this..."you know what nurses do to deal with the crap they go through? That's easy, look at the back 20 pages of your board's quarterly newsletter where they list the disciplinary actions. That's where you'll find what nurses do. We drink and divert drugs, over eat, are sexually promiscuous or go home every night and assume the fetal position. We yell at our kids, we get divorced and we commit suicide. Those of us who manage to hang on are dying a death by a thousand cuts. Then we go to work for companies that pay lip-service to self care by dinging us for calling off and providing things like massages that only management can attend because we are too busy, you know, taking care of patients all the while patting themselves on the back for taking such good care of their "family" of employees. No human being can see the things we do and not be affected by it down to our very souls. Look around this room. Just a few months ago most of these nurses were in school and they dealt with stress by partying and we do nothing to teach them anything different. I mean come on...what 21 year old deals with a kid being scraped off the pavement by taking a walk? We offer our young nurses nothing tangible in the way of handling this very new kind of stress and wonder why so many throw in the towel before they've had a chance to succeed. The sad truth of it is that most of us experienced nurses are sucked so dry we feel we have very little to give so the cycle continues." Yeah, I spent a minute in my boss's office after that little rant but I still believe it's true and I have no idea how to fix it. To the OP, I'm sorry you hate it. I wish I had words of advice for you but I don't. Well, except maybe go for a walk. 😉

This is all so true! I worked inpatient Onc and our unit also had palliative/hospice rooms which always had pts who were dying and usually actively dying. The stress relief offered to us were periodic 10min massages which we very rarely could take advantage of (and were only offered for about 5 months out of the 10yrs I was there, and occasionally after a pt death someone would come around and talk to us for a few minutes which usually just caused more stress at the time because of course there was now more work to do. And then, you are correct, admin would all pat themselves on the back for providing its nurses "care". Ugh!

Davey Do

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

5 hours ago, Davey Do said:

 pursuing spiritual and other mentally/emotionally healthy endeavors. 

 

3 hours ago, Pepper The Cat said:

I drink a lot

 

Well, yeah, that too.

Dry, red wine.

Just enough to keep my cholesterol within parameters.

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

1 hour ago, Wuzzie said:

Funny you should say this. I was in a class one time where the vast majority of attendees were new grads. We had a section on "self-care" (barf) and had to go around and say what we did to relieve stress. After endless answers of walking, reading, knitting (insert eye roll for all of these) with the instructor smiling and nodding enthusiastically it was my turn and I kind of lost it. It went sort of like this..."you know what nurses do to deal with the crap they go through? That's easy, look at the back 20 pages of your board's quarterly newsletter where they list the disciplinary actions. That's where you'll find what nurses do. We drink and divert drugs, over eat, are sexually promiscuous or go home every night and assume the fetal position. We yell at our kids, we get divorced and we commit suicide. Those of us who manage to hang on are dying a death by a thousand cuts. Then we go to work for companies that pay lip-service to self care by dinging us for calling off and providing things like massages that only management can attend because we are too busy, you know, taking care of patients all the while patting themselves on the back for taking such good care of their "family" of employees. No human being can see the things we do and not be affected by it down to our very souls. Look around this room. Just a few months ago most of these nurses were in school and they dealt with stress by partying and we do nothing to teach them anything different. I mean come on...what 21 year old deals with a kid being scraped off the pavement by taking a walk? We offer our young nurses nothing tangible in the way of handling this very new kind of stress and wonder why so many throw in the towel before they've had a chance to succeed. The sad truth of it is that most of us experienced nurses are sucked so dry we feel we have very little to give so the cycle continues." Yeah, I spent a minute in my boss's office after that little rant but I still believe it's true and I have no idea how to fix it. To the OP, I'm sorry you hate it. I wish I had words of advice for you but I don't. Well, except maybe go for a walk. 😉

Well.....I actually can’t say I have done any of those things 😂 But I did get a good laugh out of the brutal honesty! I do know I have found the vast majority of companies treat nurses like we are very easily disposable as employees. So in all honesty, I know use this perspective to my advantage! I rarely answer work texts, I don’t ever offer to pick up a shift (unless it’s to help out a coworker because I do appreciate my team!), and have stopped going to all the stupid “fluff” committees and nurse appreciation things. I don’t want an appreciation breakfast.....I would rather have a raise 🙄

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 35 years experience.

There are 3 types of shifts.

1. you go home and have a coke. ( or a glass of wine)

2. you do home and have a rum and Coke,(2 glasses of wine) 

3. you go home and a straw into the bottle of rum. ( the whole damn bottle of wine)

🥂😀😷

 

Edited by Pepper The Cat

1 hour ago, Pepper The Cat said:

There are 3 types of shifts.

1. you go home and have a coke. ( or a glass of wine)

2. you do home and have a rum and Coke,(2 glasses of wine) 

3. you go home and a straw into the bottle of rum. ( the whole damn bottle of wine)

🥂😀😷

 

I had a night a couple of months ago where I drank the whole damn bottle.  A particularly painful death when I showed up for 3 of 3.  Pt had been following commands for me, but had brain death over night.  I was shocked.  
 

I don’t always have the healthiest coping mechanisms like I said.  But three days away from the job and spending time with my family helped.  And detaching myself from the situation in those 3 days also helped.  A big part of me wanted to go back for the donor walk.  But I knew that wasn’t healthy for me.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I have worked less than full time hours for years and years. It gives me the rewards of working, financial benefits, but limits my exposure.

Per diem work means I never have to join a committee, am in charge only in emergencies, and I get to enjoy meaningful work out in the world, but only one or two days at week. I went per diem for childcare reasons. The kids are grown, but I like my freedom too much. 

I am lucky to work in a unit that while busy at times, has a reasonable workload, a free charge nurse with no patient assignment, a transport nurse for ICU patients, IV team, a manager who cares and strong coworkers. I haven't missed a lunch break in years. 

Less than full time hours in a quality unit, a life outside of work and reasonable expectations have benefitted me.

SmilingBluEyes

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

I have scaled back on spending and on hours. I have been a nurse nearly 25 years; retirement is not too far off. That's how I have done it.

Davey Do

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

2 hours ago, Pepper The Cat said:

damn

 

26 minutes ago, LovingLife123 said:

damn

Damn!

I mean, "Darn!"