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by withoutapaddle withoutapaddle (New) New Nurse

withoutapaddle has 4 years experience .

38 Profile Views; 1 Post

I'm struggling.

I always wanted to be a nurse. I started as an aide at my first job at a children's hospital. It was rough but I was a float so I was able to kind of see the functioning of every unit and make a semi-informed decision of where I would like to start my career. I worked as a nurse in the NICU at my hospital for over 3.5 years before I truly just ran out of steam and lost my passion for it. I loved the babies. But... The hostility of families, always being given the "difficult families because you can handle it," practitioners ignoring your pleas for your clearly septic kid, and the overall morale on the unit (which went through waves) was definitely at an all time low. I was burnt out. After casually looking at jobs for over a year, I finally interviewed for a job in the OR which felt like a good fit. I loved the surgical kids in the NICU, bedside ORs, and ECMO patients. It felt like a good idea. Fast forward 4 months... I'm miserable. The people are generally nice, but I'm not happy. I miss talking to patients and feeling like I'm making a difference. OR nurses do so much to keep the flow going and the surgery safe. It's just different from what I thought I guess. I knew there would be a lot of strong personalities, but I didn't expect to feel so frustrated. The easiest cases somehow become complicated because of the dumbest things. They have recently lost 8 of 20-something nurses, and with COVID, orientation has been rough. I feel like I'm capable of continuing and I could definitely be good at this job, but I just don't like it. 

I talked to my boss and she basically told me that staff has given a lot of positive feedback on my performance and she wants me to give it more time, but if I'm unhappy I have her permission to look for another job. As I look through job postings I can't help but struggle. I gave up what I thought was my *forever job* for something I thought I would love, and it just isn't it. So my question is - how did you find your specialty? I know that as a nurse we have the luxury of so many options. I don't know if it's lack of job postings due to the virus but I can't help but feel like nothing feels right. I'm also terrified of how it'll look to give up on a job after 4 months. Is it best to stick it out?

Sorry for such a rant. I just have never felt so lost in my career. 

Edited by withoutapaddle

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Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

19 Followers; 115 Articles; 2,169 Posts; 238,200 Profile Views

It's OK to leave as long as it's a one off, and doesn't become a pattern of short tenure. The important thing moving forward is to know what you need in a job. 

You were experiencing burnout and switched specialities, which sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't. There are many jobs you could succeed at, but aptitude does not mean passion or job satisfaction.

You are fueled by connecting with your patients and families, and you are not getting that in the OR. Before applying for your next job, make sure it ticks the right boxes for you. 

Do you love a challenge? Maybe returning to school? Are you yearning for influence? Charge Nurse or manager? Maybe you enjoy teaching, or have an aptitude for technology?

For most nurses, there  isn't a "forever" job. It changes as you grow professionally, and that's perfectly OK. That's the beauty of nursing, as you say, the luxury of so many options. 

Best wishes in your next choice 🙂




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