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I can't handle the heat....

Posted

So maybe I should get out of the kitchen.....

This is a long rant so I apologize.

I'm starting to think I don't have enough compassion to be a nurse.....I don't have the stress management skills to be a nurse....I'm only 23 and have worked as an RN for five months and I feel like I've lost all my compassion and drive to continue in the nursing field......I must not have had much to begin with.

I know I'm not the only new grad RN struggling but I can't seem to handle the stress. I got out of prison nursing, after 4 months, because of a poor orientation and being put in dangerous situations. I got hired at a SNF and was given 5 days of orientation and thrown out to sink or swim with 25 patients(I work on the rehab side of the SNF). I've been there a month and already want to quit. Between med pass, charting and treatments I already have to run to get everything done. Plus I get interrupted nonstop by family, doctors and unexpected stuff. I don't know how to process it all.

I cry going to and coming from work daily. I dread work so much it's like the anxiety never stops. I have no friends from work or in the area to hang out with to get my mind off of the anxiety. I live by myself in an apartment 4 hours from my family and friends. I moved for the prison job after 9 months of unemployment after graduation but now I regret it.

This is how i feel and think(yes i know its not good): It seems all my patients complain nonstop and are never satisfied. It's like they think they are my only patient and not one of 25. I get so impatient waiting for these old people to take their dang meds.....they move at a snails pace. There is this one patient of mine with dementia who screams "help" nonstop....All I do is give her ativan around the clock.

There is another dementia patient who nonstop cries over every freaking thing that happens....she drives me nuts! The families expect their loved ones to be treated like the most important pt in the entire facility.

My patients deserve a nurse who cares and has compassion which I know I don't have. Maybe I should have been an accountant......

Rant and pity party is now over....

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

Between med pass, charting and treatments I already have to run to get everything done. Plus I get interrupted nonstop by family, doctors and unexpected stuff. I don't know how to process it all.

Have you considered night shift? Less family and doctor interruption on that shift at least.

I'm working PM shift from 1430 to 2200....but after later due to paperwork....because I don't have the option of working the night shift being new since a RN who's been there for years works night.

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience.

I don't know. I feel the same way. I don't think it is a lack of compassion or being a bad nurse. You've just realized that there are just too many demands and not enough of you to go around. This is exactly what has me down about the bedside. Every day I think the same thing....how can I really truly like these patients when I feel like they suck the life out of me. Many pretend to understand but are clueless anyway because let's face it, you are the most important person to you, right? I feel so bad when I forgot this lady's water or meant to bring this patient a blanket...I really didn't mean to....I just have so many things to do and the demands, phone calls, interruptions never end. I am only human. Nursing is just a career where you have to be OK with saying to yourself "I did the best I could do today". I know, as you probably do, that you give 150% every day. Somehow you have to end up being OK with that...OK with the feeling of being frustrated ALL THE TIME. I'm just so tired already! How nurses do this for 30+ years I just don't know.

RunBabyRN

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

What kind of nursing do you WANT to do? Most of us don't want prison or SNF work, but we take it to work until something better comes along (hand raised). I don't think it's a lack of compassion. I think it's two crappy jobs back to back. Nursing is definitely overwhelming, but there ARE positions out there with better training, more support and different populations. Are you still looking for other work? I recently started at a SNF myself, but I haven't stopped looking for an acute position. I'm trying (some days are better than others) to focus on the positive, that I'm keeping up my skills and building my resume and gaining supervising experience as a RN, but there are definitely days that I cry and am BEYOND frustrated. I graduated more recently, but already the Job Search and working in non-acute settings are wearing on me.

I have a classmate who is going to be an AWESOME nurse somewhere. She did a new grad residency (unpaid) at a local hospital in the ICU, which is her desired area of nursing. The environment at this hospital is VERY unsupportive (which I knew already and this is why I won't work there), and when I saw her later, she said that they offered her a position, but she was unsure about what to do, because she was having such a miserable experience there. She said it was so bad that it made her question her desire to work in a hospital. I told her that this hospital has a terrible reputation among healthcare workers in the area (I've worked in healthcare here for about 8 years, and in other places for over 10). I told her not to let one bad hospital ruin her career goals. I don't know whether or not she accepted the position. I hope not, for her sake, but with the market the way it is, she probably did.

The take home message is that there are good nursing environments and bad and everything in between. If correctional and long term care nursing are not your goals, you are not likely to be happy there. Go easy on yourself, and try to be patient (I know, easy to say). Keep looking elsewhere, and if you haven't already, work the connections you can.

Good luck!

Schedule regular mini vacations of two or three days off in a row. Besides giving yourself a chance to decompress, you will have the added psychological advantage of having something positive to look forward to. If your supervisor gives you a hard time about this, tell her that the mental health breaks are necessary for you to stay at the job. Or, you can do like some people do, call off for your own "mental health" breaks. And don't forget to do the other things: good health habits, lots of good exercise, eat right, sleep right, keep other positive things in your life. The better you learn to cope with this period in your life, the better you will be able to cope with future difficult life situations. Best wishes.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I know it doesn't decrease your patients' demands - but it sometimes helps to try to gain a better perspective. All 'customer service' jobs are stressful. I have a friend who became a 2nd career nurse after being laid off from her executive admin job. While she was 'between careers', she filled in with retail jobs at a major department chain. Sheesh - the experiences she had to cope with. I had no idea of what goes on in dressing rooms until she told me what she had to cope with in that area... I can't even imagine getting my pay 'docked' because of customer thefts in my area.... like she did. Nasty bosses. Horrible customers. And all for minimum wage.

sourapril

Specializes in public health. Has 5 years experience.

sounds like you were not the right place with the right people. I would say keep trying, apply somewhere else. Nursing shouldn't be all stress and no fun. :) Good luck to you.

I don't know. I feel the same way. I don't think it is a lack of compassion or being a bad nurse. You've just realized that there are just too many demands and not enough of you to go around. This is exactly what has me down about the bedside. Every day I think the same thing....how can I really truly like these patients when I feel like they suck the life out of me. Many pretend to understand but are clueless anyway because let's face it, you are the most important person to you, right? I feel so bad when I forgot this lady's water or meant to bring this patient a blanket...I really didn't mean to....I just have so many things to do and the demands, phone calls, interruptions never end. I am only human. Nursing is just a career where you have to be OK with saying to yourself "I did the best I could do today". I know, as you probably do, that you give 150% every day. Somehow you have to end up being OK with that...OK with the feeling of being frustrated ALL THE TIME. I'm just so tired already! How nurses do this for 30+ years I just don't know.

Yeah I have a huge amount of respect for nurses who have been in the field for a long time. It's a stressful job and I have no idea how some manage it so well.

What kind of nursing do you WANT to do? Most of us don't want prison or SNF work, but we take it to work until something better comes along (hand raised). I don't think it's a lack of compassion. I think it's two crappy jobs back to back. Nursing is definitely overwhelming, but there ARE positions out there with better training, more support and different populations. Are you still looking for other work? I recently started at a SNF myself, but I haven't stopped looking for an acute position. I'm trying (some days are better than others) to focus on the positive, that I'm keeping up my skills and building my resume and gaining supervising experience as a RN, but there are definitely days that I cry and am BEYOND frustrated. I graduated more recently, but already the job search and working in non-acute settings are wearing on me.

I have a classmate who is going to be an AWESOME nurse somewhere. She did a new grad residency (unpaid) at a local hospital in the ICU, which is her desired area of nursing. The environment at this hospital is VERY unsupportive (which I knew already and this is why I won't work there), and when I saw her later, she said that they offered her a position, but she was unsure about what to do, because she was having such a miserable experience there. She said it was so bad that it made her question her desire to work in a hospital. I told her that this hospital has a terrible reputation among healthcare workers in the area (I've worked in healthcare here for about 8 years, and in other places for over 10). I told her not to let one bad hospital ruin her career goals. I don't know whether or not she accepted the position. I hope not, for her sake, but with the market the way it is, she probably did.

The take home message is that there are good nursing environments and bad and everything in between. If correctional and long term care nursing are not your goals, you are not likely to be happy there. Go easy on yourself, and try to be patient (I know, easy to say). Keep looking elsewhere, and if you haven't already, work the connections you can.

Good luck!

Yeah, I know most peoples ideal work environment isn't a prison or SNF. I would love to work in the operative room but jobs from new grads in the OR are scarce. I am actively applying elsewhere at the moment. Best of luck to you in your career and Job Search. The world of nursing is a tough place.

Schedule regular mini vacations of two or three days off in a row. Besides giving yourself a chance to decompress, you will have the added psychological advantage of having something positive to look forward to. If your supervisor gives you a hard time about this, tell her that the mental health breaks are necessary for you to stay at the job. Or, you can do like some people do, call off for your own "mental health" breaks. And don't forget to do the other things: good health habits, lots of good exercise, eat right, sleep right, keep other positive things in your life. The better you learn to cope with this period in your life, the better you will be able to cope with future difficult life situations. Best wishes.

Thanks. I am aware that I don't have very good stress management and I know it's a skill that takes practice which makes it frustrating. It's hard when my 8 hour days often turn into 10 hour days because I'm so behind on my paperwork due to all the interruptions throughout my shift. My supervisor wants me to clock out and finish my paperwork but I refuse because I'm not going to spend my time working for free. In a couple of months we are going to salary instead of hourly pay unfortunately. My supervisor can't understand why the average turn over rate at the facility is 4-6 months.....I sometimes feel that management are overly oblivious to things.

I know it doesn't decrease your patients' demands - but it sometimes helps to try to gain a better perspective. All 'customer service' jobs are stressful. I have a friend who became a 2nd career nurse after being laid off from her executive admin job. While she was 'between careers', she filled in with retail jobs at a major department chain. Sheesh - the experiences she had to cope with. I had no idea of what goes on in dressing rooms until she told me what she had to cope with in that area... I can't even imagine getting my pay 'docked' because of customer thefts in my area.... like she did. Nasty bosses. Horrible customers. And all for minimum wage.

Yeah, I worked at target for four years while attending college. Yeah I encountered a lot of demanding and rude customers and the management wasn't all that good either but it was a lot different from the stress I'm feeling now. This job is a whole different level of stress.

Thanks guys. I am actively applying for jobs in a hospital. I am really trying to stick with it but for some reason I feel like I'm falling apart. I now realize I have a lot about myself I need to improve to better manage my life and career.

RunBabyRN

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Yeah, I know most peoples ideal work environment isn't a prison or SNF. I would love to work in the operative room but jobs from new grads in the OR are scarce. I am actively applying elsewhere at the moment. Best of luck to you in your career and job search. The world of nursing is a tough place.

New grad jobs in general are scarce, but keep looking. From what I understand, there are certifications you can do for OR that might help. I don't know enough about the specialty to be able to elaborate in a helpful way, but I'm sure if you do your research (and check out the OR nursing forum on here), you can get started in the right direction. Getting med/surg experience would be great for you, and would look good for trying to get into the OR.

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience.

In a couple of months we are going to salary instead of hourly pay unfortunately. .

OMG!! RUN!!!!!!!! No way. :(