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what did I get myself into

I think I wanted to became a nurse because I had always cared for members of my family due to one illness or another growing up. I was always helping someone. I liked medicine and blood didnt bother me.

But 9 month into my first position on a tele/med surg step down and I am drowning in depression stress and wondering why and if it was the right reasons to go into nursing....I have been feeling stressed over the responsibility, lack of appreciation and constant downstaffing, yet when there are 2 of us were pushed passed ratio and budget budget budget, but still hiring more people!

I have a daughter who isnt handling the 12 hour shifts well between daycare and working one night shift, then a day shift, then back on night shift all in one week....All i do id dleep when im not there and when im there i wish i wasnt.....

Its not what nursing school made it out to be.....and everyone says you need a year before switching, but i made more money and steady at that as a server!

so my dilemma is did or does anyone else want to change careers after initally thinking they really wanted to go into nursing?

I have applied at a few office jobs, but still not sure what to do. Suppose to start my BSN in January, and now thinking i may not since im debating if this is even what I really want to do....

All good and bad welcome please!

Take deep breaths, repeat until panic subsides.

Now, step back and re-evaluate. You are describing the agnst of all new nurses. Beginning your career on a busy med-surg tele floor will SEEM overwhelming.. but you have the skills to succeed.

Give yourself some time to put it all together.

A gazillion years ago.. I felt the same way. GET ME OUTTA HERE!:arghh:

I did it, you will too.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

it will get better

RNOracle

Specializes in Primary/Urgent, L&D, OR.

I wouldn't bail on the profession just yet; not without exploring other environments, specialties, etc. It's one thing to not have that passion for nursing, but it's something else entirely if you are not happy due to it being the wrong specialty, working for a mismanaged organization, or less than optimal working culture.

It's okay if tele/med/surg isn't for you. The beauty of nursing is you can shift your focus.

Just a patient---- Don't give up, this is still all new to you and will take some time to get use too, just like with anything new you will get more comfortable as time goes on.

Whenever you have a bad shift, always remember that there are patients who respect and admire the work you do. Thank-You for doing what you do! :up:

Stcroix, ASN, RN

Specializes in cardiac-telemetry, hospice, ICU.

Yes it will get better, but no advice here is going to make that decision any easier. If you get past a year and still hate going to work, then you need to make a change, what change is something that only you can decide. In the current employment marketplace, Nursing Jobs will only get harder as we are asked to do more with less and do it with a smile.

There is no shame in deciding that nursing is not for you, if you do decide that. In fact, people that stay with a job that they truly detest are certainly miserable. We have all met such people, and I feel sorry for them. Good luck with your endeavors, and find what makes you happy.

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN.

See if your step down experience can land you a PACU job.

CardiacRNLA, BSN

Specializes in Tele/Interventional/Non-Invasive Cardiology.

That's exactly how I feel right now. I really hate nursing. Maybe it is just this particular hospital I hate. It's primary nursing, so the nurse does just about everything. And since this hospital is obsessed with their HCAHPS scores, we have to keep the patients happy which includes running to give them snacks at all hours of the night. Of course, admissions come up at all hours of the night as well. Anyway, sorry for the vent. But I think I am over it too. Some days, I miss my old office 9-5 job. I just think I did too much too fast. I graduated in May, rushed to take my NCLEX in June, moved to another state in July and hit the ground running. I am depressed, stressed and exhausted. But I feel trapped because of an expensive contract. I applaud you nurses that can do it and have done it for years. I just think I made a huge mistake.

I've been in the corporate world for decades and am a new nurse so I'm not blind to the fact that there are politics, rude people, sexism, cliques, low pay and long hours in most every career depending on the organization. That said, there are certain things I must deal with as a nurse that I never had to deal with in my 9-5.

I became a nurse to help people. And the moments I've been able to do so were as great as I'd hoped. But those moments are far and few between as I spend most of my days being yelled at by demanding patients who complain that they're going to file a grievance against me because they wanted a DECAF coffee or didn't get any salt because they're on sodium restrictions. I didn't expect to be kicked in the face while trying to change a gangrenous seeping wound. I didn't expect to hold in my pee so much that I had a near constant UTI. I didn't expect to have families excoriate me because they didn't get a food tray too. I didn't expect 12 hour shifts to ALWAYS be 13-14 hours. I didn't expect to be called to task by my boss for taking 5 minutes to talk to a patient about her grandkids. I didn't expect to have to eat naproxen like candy every day to get through the physical pain of each shift.

Sure, I had sexism and the old boy network and demands to cater to the whims of management but I had a small modicum of control over my day and was allowed to have a cup of coffee. I could vent with coworkers at lunch if I had a horrible day and get a breath of fresh air to regrip.

My eyes have been opened to the fact that nursing is a business. I wanted to really make a difference but the constant "customer satisfaction" mantra and incessant drilling by administration over HCAHPS seems to make my bedside nursing job simply meeting unrealistic demands by complaining patients at the expense of the truly lonely, sick and hurting ones.

There are the same "My husband KNOWS so-and-so" or "we pay YOUR salary" from customers that you get in the corporate world, the same politics, the same cliques, the same overtime demands. So if nursing is truly not about caring for someone and making a difference, I might as well work in the corporate world where I can pee, call in sick if I need to and eat more than a two packs of saltines in 12 hours.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

amen leekaye

What you are feeling is normal, I do not know of one nurse who feels good about nursing when starting out. Nursing school cannot prepare us for this! We graduate, pass NCLEX, and get a job thinking we know everything we need to know to succeed, then within mere minutes on our first shift we realize we know nothing at all. Time management skills used to be a goal to accomplish, suddenly time management meant managing the concept that you have no time--for anything! You worry about keeping your patients safe, getting your charting done, not making deadly mistakes, and how bad your feet hurt EVERY DAY! You deal with rude nurses, ruder patients and Drs who treat you like the gum they just scraped off their shoes.

BUT-It gets better! If you are lucky, like I was, to have a great preceptor, that is half the battle. You ask questions (never be afraid to ask questions--but try not to ask the same one twice) in a professional manner that proves you want to learn and start earning the respect of the Drs and nurses. The patients even get better when they stop sensing your fear. You also learn--and the more you learn the better you feel about your career. Your skills improve, you start getting your charting done in time to actually get to go to the bathroom during a shift, and you learn to wear compression stockings and good shoes.

I started a support group with other new grads at my facility and having that support helped more than you can imagine. If you haven't yet met them, form the support group with your classmates who are in the same boat as you are. Having them to vent with makes all the difference in the world.

All of that said, your schedule needs work! There is no way your body is going to ever get used to mixed day and night shifts, you need to be on nights OR days. You need to speak to the NM and tell her that you need this. Your health will suffer, your family life will suffer, and your job will suffer if you don't do this. Night shifts are not a real big deal, you learn to stay up late when you are off, and sleep during the day every day and your body will get used to it quickly. You sleep when your child is in school and have a normal life in the early evening. You work 12s, you have 4 days off a week, family life can co-exist with nursing!!!

You worked hard for this, don't give it up yet!! If you do decide later that hospital life isn't for you, then clinics, Drs offices, LTCs, SNFs, and school nursing are all options. The beauty of nursing is that you can work anywhere!

My first day of orientation was early Sept, I have just under 3 months under my belt and I feel totally different now, Time and learning really does make it get better.

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

All of that said, your schedule needs work! There is no way your body is going to ever get used to mixed day and night shifts, you need to be on nights OR days. You need to speak to the NM and tell her that you need this. Your health will suffer, your family life will suffer, and your job will suffer if you don't do this.

While this may sound like good advice, there are a lot of nursing workplaces where there is no such thing as straight days or straight nights. Mine is one of those. We have only a handful of people whose schedule is all days or all nights and those who do have a doctor's note for accommodation - the rest of us rotate between the two. Our administration is very inflexible on this, so anyone who wants all days or all nights will trade away the shifts they don't like for ones they do. (Not the best solution, but it's really the only way.) So to recommend that a brand new nurse confront their nurse manager and inform him or her that s/he must give the new nurse a permanent shift might backfire. People who have done something like that have been "guided" into a position on another unit or forced to go PRN. Perhaps a better approach would be to meet with the manager and ask if the schedule could be adjusted so the flipping is minimized. Flipping is hard and you never "get used to it" but attracting negative attention over it isn't wise either.

SoaringOwl

Specializes in Med-Surg and Neuro.

All jobs have their down sides. I could drone on about my other career, and all the crud I had to deal with there. But when I get down, I think about how nursing is better than my old job: I have different patients all the time, so when I hate someone I don't have to deal with them for years; I get paid more; I only work 3 days a week; I work nights & weekends so the boss isn't up my behind all day; and I'm helping people.

My manager said it takes a whole year to become a good nurse. You're not there yet. Hang in a little longer, and if it's still awful, move to another hospital or department. ER, OR and PACU usually offer 8 hour shifts so you can be home with your little one more. I agree with the other posters who say not to do rotating shifts. That is asking for all sorts of trouble. Tell your manager to pick one or the other.

I wish I had a 3 day per week schedule. I had to work 5 per week, and since I was new they put me on nights. When I was hired they told me "you will rotate between days, evenings, and nights in 2 week intervals." THAT WAS A LIE. They put me entirely on nights. 5 nights per week is extremely exhausting.

I had to quit without a job lined up, because my body and mind were exhausted. I was extremely depressed.

I am now applying to daytime jobs. If no one hires me, I am going back to school. I want nothing more than to be able to sleep at night and have 2-day weekends (instead of one day off here and there). If I can't find that in nursing, I am leaving. An office job sounds like heaven compared to my old job.

While this may sound like good advice, there are a lot of nursing workplaces where there is no such thing as straight days or straight nights. Mine is one of those. We have only a handful of people whose schedule is all days or all nights and those who do have a doctor's note for accommodation - the rest of us rotate between the two. Our administration is very inflexible on this, so anyone who wants all days or all nights will trade away the shifts they don't like for ones they do. (Not the best solution, but it's really the only way.) So to recommend that a brand new nurse confront their nurse manager and inform him or her that s/he must give the new nurse a permanent shift might backfire. People who have done something like that have been "guided" into a position on another unit or forced to go PRN. Perhaps a better approach would be to meet with the manager and ask if the schedule could be adjusted so the flipping is minimized. Flipping is hard and you never "get used to it" but attracting negative attention over it isn't wise either.

It must depend on location. Where I am there aren't rotating shifts. Most new grads start on nights because it is quieter and easier to learn and because those with seniority don't want to work nights. I should have researched, but I had no idea that there are places that expect nurses to do that to their bodies.

It must depend on location. Where I am there aren't rotating shifts. Most new grads start on nights because it is quieter and easier to learn and because those with seniority don't want to work nights. I should have researched, but I had no idea that there are places that expect nurses to do that to their bodies.

Where I was working, several times a month I would have to switch around between nights, evenings,a and days. I was mostly on nights but they would throw in a few swing shifts each month and a lot of my coworkers had schedules which were "night . night . evening . evening . day . night . evening . day . day . night . evening . off . evening . off . day . night . night" And they would have 7-10 day long stretches without a day off.

It must depend on location. Where I am there aren't rotating shifts. Most new grads start on nights because it is quieter and easier to learn and because those with seniority don't want to work nights. I should have researched, but I had no idea that there are places that expect nurses to do that to their bodies.

All hospitals in my area only hire nurses for variable shifts. They will have you for nights one day, off the next day, and days for the next. So you get home from nights must stay awake all day so you can sleep for days that nights. I cannot believe that they all get away with this but it seems that they have no intention of changing this...

All hospitals in my area only hire nurses for variable shifts. They will have you for nights one day, off the next day, and days for the next. So you get home from nights must stay awake all day so you can sleep for days that nights. I cannot believe that they all get away with this but it seems that they have no intention of changing this...

WOW, I can't imagine doing that to my body! When I passed NCLEX while I was looking for a hospital job, I worked days as a tech 3 days a week, and took a private duty job 2 nights a week. After the first week, I thought I was dying. I cannot think of a single moment I felt fully awake. I am on nights now and feel great...I can't imagine ever going back to a rotating schedule.

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

Rotating schedules is a big part of the reason I have little to no interest in hospital nursing. I work in a SNF, I have a set schedule that never changes. The stress level can be high, but it is a different kind of stress from hospital nursing. For me it works and the trade off of having a schedule I like and a job I mostly like makes it worth making less money for me.

There are plenty of Nursing Jobs that are one shift only, some like clinics and school nursing are straight days and family friendly hours. OP, if you can take the hit to your wallet look into these fields.

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