In need of a serious "rah rah" (long)


Sorry for any rambling that I may do here.

I have recently had 5 days off in a row (1 shift downsized) and I don't want to go back tonight. I have been at this job for 6 months in March, and I really want to leave (not a good fit). I have been looking, but not much available in this economy. I am thankful to have a job at all. But I have a lot of anxiety re: this job, and it is making me miserable.

I have supportive staff for the most part. But every night shift I've worked for the last few weeks have been horrible, culminating in my patient's death on last Friday morning (he was my first death, 1/2 hr after my shift had ended I was called into the code, and I left there after almost 15hrs total shift). This was my 3rd 12 hr midnight shift in 3 days. I hate staying there late to chart but I have basically been ping-ponging from room to room all night (pain meds, reposition, bladder scan, scheduled meds, etc). We sometimes only have one NA for the whole floor, and if I want my VS done now, I should just do it myself. As you can imagine, this means rare eating and peeing on 12 hour shifts. I feel guilty, because I know that I am still getting the hang of med-surg, and my time management is not the best.

I don't know what to do. Coming home late is ravaging any sleep I can get before the next shift. The midnights in general have messed up my social life, and are starting to hurt my relationship (I sleep, he's awake, vice versa). I am no where near good enough to do days (more people, more tasks). I want to transfer, but I don't know what nursing I should do now, if there's a job even open. I don't want to pick another job that doesn't work out. Then the resume won't look great.

I saw a doctor, they are going to treat my thyroid which may help. But I don't really want to go on an anti-depressant because of a JOB. I just want to kind of enjoy what I do. I do not have anxiety issues when I am not thinking about work. But the day before and the day of my shift, I just want to turn in my resignation, and go work at Border's...

Thanks for reading. Sorry so long.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,841 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

I think you're a good nurse, but I also think that Border's is ten times better than some nursing jobs. Make the choice that's right for you, but make sure you look into a less stressful nursing position before you give up.


286 Posts

I have already discovered just from nursing school clinicals that I would be absolutely miserable as a bedside nurse. I feel miserable enough during clinicals; I cannot imagine going into work every workday feeling so stressed and miserable, whatever the pay. Yes, even in this lousy economy.

P.S. I don't know if that cheers you necessarily... but I just wanted to extend my sympathy, since I suspect it's not "you" but the nature of the job itself. The nature of the beast that is bedside nursing.


61 Posts

I am still a pre-nursing student, but I can understand the feeling of uncertainty... I get it in job I am doing now as well, and the hospital enviroment can feel kind of, well, unforgiving at times. I also know well the relationship aspect of it (my hubby and I never see each other between school and work, and he can get grouchy! I think it's because they miss us a little though ;) ).

I hope you can find something less stressful, or maybe something will click into place when they get your thyroid straightened out, which let me say, was a lifesaver for me!

Good Luck! ((hugs))


88 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Med-Surg.

Thank you all so much. You know how it is... If you feel that you are busting your rear, trying to focus on good pt care, and it's still not enough...

But the support here makes a huge difference! One day at a time, right?


Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,011 Posts

Specializes in ER/Trauma.


You're story sounds EXACTLY like mine - about a year ago.

I quit that job because I ended up having SVTs @ work.

NO job, no matter what the economy - is worth the loss of your health and sanity.

I wish you peace.



88 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Med-Surg.

Thanks for your response. Sorry that you had a bad experience too (esp. with SVT!). Do you have any suggestions for "less stressful" nursing jobs? What do you do now?

I owe my hospital system 6 more months for paying for my education, so LTC, hospice, etc. isn't an option right now...


29 Posts

Hang in there! I have found that working with a good team of people that you like can make any job seem better. You may still like nursing, but just need a different environment. If you are willing to take a pay cut, think about clinic/urgent care nursing, or endoscopy, or getting into somethign specialized, like PACU. That is one of the reasons I chose Nursing, because of the variety of options that you have if you don't like what you are doing or need a change. Hang in there! You will find your niche. Rah! Rah! Sorry if that sounds cheesy, but there really IS something out there for you that you can thrive at, it just might take some time to figure out what that is.


76 Posts

Specializes in cardiac. Has 10 years experience.

Rah rah! Six months seems like forever but there is a light at the end of the tunnel...

I love bedside nursing and wouldn't do anything else. Maybe you just need another specialty. I love cardiac, our staffing ratios are generally better than med-surg and though we only have 1 CNA on nights EVER where I work, I don't mind. Lots of times it's hectic but I like the fast pace. Hang in there, you might eventually grow to like nights. I sleep during the day so I can see my family a bit before I go to work. I would say that the first day off after a stretch of 12 hr shifts is kind of a day of recuperation though, and I don't have much energy to do more than sleep that first day.


12 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

Oh Jean, I'm sorry you're miserable, but I am too. Misery is supposed to love company, right? I just got off the worst shift of my 3 year teching life. There was only 2 of us techs, meaning we had 19 patients each. I get SO depressed when our ratios are that bad, because I stop caring. I stop caring that a pt needs to be turned, that the I&O has to be done, that there's another blood sugar, that another pt is wet/pooped/vomiting/uncomfortable/in pain and completely dissatisfied with their care. When I stop caring, I start wondering why I'm doing this and why I've been in school for 3 years to become a depressed nurse. All the while, I'm about to get written up because I didn't make it to some "mandatory" employee forum that is instructing us to treat our pts like family. I really think administrations forget the 'ol cause and effect thing: appropriate staffing = happier, well cared for pts.


This topic is now closed to further replies.