How do you guys do it for so long?

Updated | Posted
by pinkdoves pinkdoves, BSN Member Nurse

Specializes in Pediatrics, NICU. Has 3 years experience.

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Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 10,084 Posts

13 hours ago, pinkdoves said:

I think this is why I am so miserable...most other people have husbands, kids, etc...I am a single 23 year old girl who goes to an apartment alone ? it's so depressing I hate this job 

I was 23 years old in 1980, worked at a Children's Home as a Houseparent and EMT, also for a Volunteer Emergency Corps. The Houseparent job was like, 2 or 3 days on and 2 or 3 days off.

When I decided that I didn't necessarily want what others had- a spouse, kids, social life- I became okay with my situation. I would go as far as to keep the lights off in my apartment on Saturday nights so people would think I was not at home and leave me alone.

In 1984, when I became an LPN, I figured it was time for me to settle down, buy a house, get married, and did so before I turned 30.

That's when my life really got complicated and it all snowballed from there.

It all turned out for the best, not having kids and even going through two divorces. I'm retired, live in a nice little house in the country with my medical nurse wife Belinda, and our animals. 

But I sometimes wonder if I had not complicated my life with seemingly superfluous endeavors and just worked on being okay with who I was, what I wanted, and not what I believed others expected from me. 

 

speedynurse

speedynurse, ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 544 Posts

7 hours ago, Davey Do said:

I was 23 years old in 1980, worked at a Children's Home as a Houseparent and EMT, also for a Volunteer Emergency Corps. The Houseparent job was like, 2 or 3 days on and 2 or 3 days off.

When I decided that I didn't necessarily want what others had- a spouse, kids, social life- I became okay with my situation. I would go as far as to keep the lights off in my apartment on Saturday nights so people would think I was not at home and leave me alone.

In 1984, when I became an LPN, I figured it was time for me to settle down, buy a house, get married, and did so before I turned 30.

That's when my life really got complicated and it all snowballed from there.

It all turned out for the best, not having kids and even going through two divorces. I'm retired, live in a nice little house in the country with my medical nurse wife Belinda, and our animals. 

But I sometimes wonder if I had not complicated my life with seemingly superfluous endeavors and just worked on being okay with who I was, what I wanted, and not what I believed others expected from me. 

 

I think this holds a lot of truth. Our society has weird expectations that a person should be married at a certain time, have kids at a certain time, be in a certain job or role in an x number of years. Why? What purpose does this serve?
 

Everyone has challenges in life and sometimes those challenges mean that life and the usual societal expectations have to change. Life isn’t a race and everyone doesn’t have to meet the same goals or roles at any point if it’s not right for them.

LibraNurse27

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 9 years experience. 972 Posts

Are you working in Pediatrics? If you love working with kids there are jobs in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Inpatient Peds/PICU/NICU can be super stressful, but what about outpatient Peds? I got to see tons of Peds pts from brand newborns to 18 year olds when I worked in community health, and I loved it. It was busy but not crazed hospital busy where you feel like you're drowning.

There were few emergencies, but we stabilized and called EMS, didn't deal with super sick or terminally ill children inpatient Peds. I couldn't handle that. Shout out to those who do, you are angels = ) There are a lot of options in nursing, and you have that magic year of experience. Some nursing jobs don't require pt contact. Look into community clinics, Telehealth, utilization review, insurance, research, home health, PACU, school nursing. What is it about nursing that you hate? The pace of hospital nursing? Violent pts? Seeing sad things? I made a list of things I wanted in a job, must haves, must NOT haves, and things I didn't want but could tolerate. The "self care" stuff helps, but if you are severely depressed and lonely, counseling and seeing your pcp may be good ideas, in addition to the walking and knitting LOL 

@Sour Lemon Self Care is a huge industry/buzz word here in the Bay Area. One day after my super sweet covid pt got intubated I checked my email to see the daily self care suggestions from Administration. Apparently all I needed to do to forget about all the death and disease I'd seen for the last 10 months was drink some tea! Very helpful advice, wish I'd thought of it sooner 

vintagegal

vintagegal, BSN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 3 years experience. 248 Posts

I read allnurses late at night when I can’t sleep, second guessing every decision with painful accuracy. 

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,878 Posts

On 4/28/2021 at 3:09 PM, 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. ?

So well written Wuzzie. Thank you for the laugh/ cry.

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 41 years experience. 1 Article; 3,836 Posts

I spent my 23rd year (of life, not nursing, ? ) volunteering in orphanages in Bangladesh and India.  Didn't spend a lot of money on myself, lived cheap, and had enough in savings to go.

Have you thought about school nursing?  there is a section under specialties that is school nurses. 

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience. 4,431 Posts

You are 23 and and relatively free from responsibilities. Use your salary to get the education needed to do something else. Why suffer or try to make something you hate fit? Just use it to get what you want. You have to work for a very long time. Move onto something else now while you can.

 

2BS Nurse, BSN

Has 9 years experience. 670 Posts

I feel very sad after reading this. I think "R" above has it right. Scale back on hours and work per diem. Most nurses need the benefits though.

LokelaniRN

LokelaniRN

Specializes in Pediatrics. 30 Posts

Two years is enough time to know if you like nursing or not. I am retired, but never liked it. It consumed my thoughts on my days off. You are young, seriously consider doing something else. It is much harder in your 40s and 50s to change careers.

LibraNurse27

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 9 years experience. 972 Posts

16 hours ago, LibraNurse27 said:

Are you working in Pediatrics? If you love working with kids there are jobs in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Inpatient Peds/PICU/NICU can be super stressful, but what about outpatient Peds? I got to see tons of Peds pts from brand newborns to 18 year olds when I worked in community health, and I loved it. It was busy but not crazed hospital busy where you feel like you're drowning.

There were few emergencies, but we stabilized and called EMS, didn't deal with super sick or terminally ill children inpatient Peds. I couldn't handle that. Shout out to those who do, you are angels = ) There are a lot of options in nursing, and you have that magic year of experience. Some nursing jobs don't require pt contact. Look into community clinics, Telehealth, utilization review, insurance, research, home health, PACU, school nursing. What is it about nursing that you hate? The pace of hospital nursing? Violent pts? Seeing sad things? I made a list of things I wanted in a job, must haves, must NOT haves, and things I didn't want but could tolerate. The "self care" stuff helps, but if you are severely depressed and lonely, counseling and seeing your pcp may be good ideas, in addition to the walking and knitting LOL 

@Sour Lemon Self Care is a huge industry/buzz word here in the Bay Area. One day after my super sweet covid pt got intubated I checked my email to see the daily self care suggestions from Administration. Apparently all I needed to do to forget about all the death and disease I'd seen for the last 10 months was drink some tea! Very helpful advice, wish I'd thought of it sooner 

Oops I just realized I meant to say @Wuzzie you and @Sour Lemon both make such good posts I confused you! In my defense ir was late at night LOL

Wuzzie

4,845 Posts

17 hours ago, LibraNurse27 said:

 Apparently all I needed to do to forget about all the death and disease I'd seen for the last 10 months was drink some tea! Very helpful advice, wish I'd thought of it sooner 

I hope you got on that tea STAT! 

Nurse2001

Nurse2001

Specializes in Med surge. Has 6 years experience. 4 Posts

Part time hours, doing the best you can at work so when you go home you can sleep because you are tired, I miss my breaks a lot but when I leave the shift I feel I did best I could so my mind can calm down, I don’t do favors or try to be liked by management, I advocate for my patients even if I get in trouble for it, my manager is trying to get rid of me now because I am just too proper with calling rapid responses.  And changing jobs often helps.  Everytime time I change  a job I  have a small feeling of excitement and that  spark of small fire doesn’t last and that’s when it’s time to move on to the next gig.  I think of my job as my exercise time, I work hard I run I don’t eat and at the end I don’t need to waste time on exercise on my time off.  I ignore bullies, I don’t talk to people at work about work, I only concentrate on my patients, I only ask for help when it is absolutely necessary.  It is still hard and I feel I want to quit, but doing all of the above helps a little bit.  Oh and Amazon Prime!  Absolute must.