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Husband Died—Looking For Low Stress Job Recommendations

Updated | Posted

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The title pretty much sums up my situation.

My husband died suddenly 5 weeks ago.  We have no children.  I need to go back to work in order to pay bills.

I am a recent nurse graduate.  I haven't even taken my boards yet.  I started a good job  on a great unit.  I was there for only 1 month, still orienting, when my husband passed.

I work on a cardiac/ thoracic/ Covid step down.  While my patient load is low, it can be very stressful, including many codes.  My husband coded twice before he died.  I don't think I can participate in any codes.

I am exhausted from my grief.  I am deep in the middle of "widow's fog" where I can barely remember if I took my medication or fed the cat or locked the door.  I do not think I will be safe to go back to work on a step down unit.

Ultimately, the question I have is, can anyone suggest any low stress nursing specialities (inpatient or outpatient) that would hire and train a new grad?  Before all of this happened, I was ambitious, curious and driven.  Now, I just want a job that I can punch in/ punch out/ go home.  I would really like a remote job, but I know that most of them require at least 1 year of bedside experience.

I know this is going to be a stretch, but I could really use some guidance, suggestions, help, etc.

Daisy4RN

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

I am so sorry for your loss!! The type of jobs you are looking for will be difficult to obtain without experience. I believe all hospital jobs are stressful but maybe you could find one less stressful and get that experience. Is is possible to go back to your hospital? Maybe talk to your manager and HR, explain the situation and see if they have anything to offer (affiliated clinics, out pt infusion, case management etc that would be willing to train). I would also try Home Health, they usually require experience but some will train, although it would not be a punch out and go home position it still might be less stressful. Also, I would just start looking at online search websites for jobs and see what is out there in your area. You may also need to take your boards ASAP or at least have a scheduled date before you start applying. In the meantime maybe you could look for non nursing jobs to help pay the bills etc. 

This sounds like a difficult situation and I hope it gets better soon. don't forget self care is also more important than ever right now (body, soul and spirit).

Hope everything works out and again I am very sorry for your loss.

Thank you so much for your reply.  These are very good suggestions.  

I've actually been doing a lot of research on outpatient dialysis nursing.  I have over 3 years of home hemodialysis experience with my husband, as his caregiver (I did all of his machine setup, monitoring, assessing, administering medication via IV or Subq).  I feel like that might be a good fit for me.

I will definitely be looking at those other niches you suggested, too.

I have had to reschedule my boards twice because of all that has happened.

Thank you, again, for your kind words. 

Daisy4RN

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

Dialysis sounds like a good place to start!

Good luck!

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

So sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the stress of losing your husband while dealing with a new career and trying to study for your board exam. You have some good advice already I just want to wish you all the best. Take care of yourself!

I can't imagine what you are going through, but you have my condolences.

Can you tell us the current situation with your employer? Are you on some kind of leave?

I agree that it is worth asking if it is possible to be placed into a different setting for now. Try to take your boards as soon as you can, as the ability to earn a nursing wage is better than lots of other options for trying to keep yourself afloat financially.

What do you have in the way of emotional and grief support? You need that, too. Do you have family nearby/supportive friends/counselor, etc.?

I am sorry things are very rough for you right now.

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, I don't have any family where we live.  His family is about 500 miles away.  My family is about 600.

I've started seeing a grief counselor.

My supervisor and manager have actually been amazing.  They are trying to do everything they can to make sure I can retain this job.  I do not want to disappoint them.  I just got off the phone with them and may try going back for a short time to see if I can actually handle it.

I really have no idea what I am doing or what I am supposed to do from one minute to the next.

Daisy4RN

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

If you think you are able to deal with the old unit that would probably be your best bet as they are willing to work with you knowing your current situation. Talking to a grief counselor is a good idea as they can assist you in processing home and work issues (including the codes) now, and that will arise as time goes on. Hopefully you can at least talk to family over the phone as needed also.

Not knowing what to do is normal in this stage. It takes time to process and work things out, give yourself some time! 

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC.

My condolences also for your loss.

Have you checked in with your facility's EAP counselor? Maybe some suggestions poss. You do need some time to regain your equilibrium.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

You definitely need time. I speak from the experience of having been widowed at age 40. In my case I had a 3 yr old and toddler, plus older kids, which although that is a heavy load, it's also a distraction and comfort. 

Best wishes and (((hugs)))

SmilingBluEyes

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

2 hours ago, Daisy4RN said:

Dialysis sounds like a good place to start!

Good luck!

Dialysis is anything but" lower stress". I am always fascinated when people suggest this. It's been one of the most stressful jobs I have had in nearly 25 years as a nurse. I have seen several nurses leave after only a few weeks and go right back to the hospital.

OP---- I am so sorry for your loss. I really am. You need time to grieve and go through some of the stages before making major decisions in your life. Please continue counseling/therapy and let the professionals help you through this. . My heart goes out to you.

Daisy4RN

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

53 minutes ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

Dialysis is anything but" lower stress". I am always fascinated when people suggest this. It's been one of the most stressful jobs I have had in nearly 25 years as a nurse. I have seen several nurses leave after only a few weeks and go right back to the hospital.

Well alrighty then, I stand corrected🙄.

(Although, I did mean this for the OP (not in a general sense as being low stress) as she had a little experience with HD and thought is sounded like a good fit.