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after last night I don't want to be a nurse anymore

hahah, ok, I am kidding. I DO still want to be a nurse but last night was BY FAR my worst night ever. about 3 weeks off orientation now, had 4 pts on 3 -11 shift, two of them new surgical patients, one MRSA patient who requires a lift to get up, one other patient who had to go down for ultrasound and the ultrasound dept. was calling every 5 seconds. I cried right there of the floor, for the first time because I got an order wrong and I was frustrated with myself and with everything. Had to walk off the floor and go into the bathroom for a few moments.

I am doing the best I can and I suppose that's all I can do. I just wonder when it'll get better. I would say 50% of my shifts are good ones but then that other 50 %, when they are bad are really bad. Got out of there last night at 1:30AM. FUN, FUN.

I work tonight too and I was hoping they would call me for an on call shift today but of course I couldn't be so lucky. They called me yesterday but I didn't take it...I should have but of course you can't see into the future.

I feel sick going into work today.

Well, I have to get going. Thanks for anyone reading my rant and listening to me vent.

FUNNYGIRLRN specializes in ER, Psych.

I completly understand where you are coming from. I have been working as an RN for approx 14 weeks now and I had a terrible night a few days ago. I had tears behind my eyes all night long. When I walked out in the morning I said that is it! I can't take it anymore. Of course I am not quitting but I just wonder when things are going to start getting easier.

I just finished my 1st week of floor orientation. I haven't had a REALLY bad day yet, but it's all been mostly miserable feeling. From other forums I read on here, mainly the "are any of you thinking of quitting thread", it doesn't sound like it gets too much better. But I guess we've got to give it our best for at least a little while, since we worked so hard to get here. It's a well known saying that your first year is usually always the worst. I'm on a med/surg floor right now, and all I can think of is doing my time, and what other area of nursing can I apply for next--cuz I"M NOT staying on this med/surg unit. Hope it gets better for you!

TigerGalLE specializes in ICU, Med/Surg.

I am almost 2 months off of orientation. I know exactly how y'all feel. I have 50% good shifts 50% bad and i mean BAD shifts. I work on a busy medsurg floor and I usually get out around 7:30 (I work 7a-7p). But the other night i left at 9:30. The whole day was bad. We were short a nurse so I ended up having 7 patients that day. With 2 discharges and an admission at 6:30! grr. It was awful and since we were short no one could help me. And I hadn't charted all day. Which I learned my lesson on that one. Never do that! But I didn't have time to chart! When I sat down to give report I just burst into tears. I've cried more in the past few months than I ever have in my life.

I still have good shifts though. And I do feel like I manage my time well.. My coworkers are very supportive and think I'm doing great. But sometimes as soon as I get into my car after work I just start to cry. Can I do this? How can I live under this type of stress for the rest of my life?

Yesterday JCAHO was at our facility. My DON came to me and said they are going to chose a pt that will be admitted to our floor and trace them. JCAHO wanted to see our entire admission, transfer, hand-off routine. And she happily said, we've talked about it and we think you'd be the perfect person to sit down and talk JCAHO through the admission process!! WHAT?!? ME?? I've only been off of orientation for a month and a half!!!! She told me to get some confidence and that i'd be great.

So after her telling me that, I went to check my charts.. I had 2 discharges and a pt going to the OR!!! great.. I wanted to cry.. but i didn't. I discharged my patients. JCAHO came... we talked... it wasn't too bad, my DON said I did great but I was so nervous and stressed.... Then I continued on with my day, which turned out nicely...

Anyways I'm going on and on here. I think we have just chosen a stressful profession. We can do this though! right?

Roy Fokker specializes in ER/Trauma.

I'm back to work to noc

I've just finished working 3 12s back-to-back.... 7 patients each noc (averaging 2 confused, 2 post ops and 2 fresh admits and one "continuing").

Each of those nocs have lasted 16 hours a piece - thanks to high acuity and lack of time for charting. If you had run an EEG on me at 4 am today, I swear my brain would have shown "no activity". Brain feels like it's been run over by a freight train :bugeyes:

I feel your pain....

suzy253 specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

About last noc: worked 3-11, mandated to work 11-7 and one of my patients coded at about 6:50 am. this is me...only not smiling.


Tweety specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

It's just one of them days. We all have them. Sometimes we have days like that back to back to back. Then it gets exhausting.

Been there and done that. But 16 years later here I am. :)

Daytonite specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

I think stayingoutoftrouble is not a good name for you. More like gettingintotrouble seems more appropriate. After having rough days where you are breaking down into tears you want to take call?

To answer your question. . .it takes about a year to "get better". That's one of the reasons this forum is probably been named First Year in Nursing.

You shouldn't be working extra shifts. I have a big problem with the facilities who think it is OK to let brand new employees, let alone new grads, work extra on call shifts. It puts your probationary period in danger. If you make a serious error of some sort, even when you are working an extra shift, it's still on you and you could put your employment in serious jeopardy. You need the time to relax, re-energize and assimilate what you experienced and learned after each day of work. Part of the reason a job has a probationary period is for the new employee to learn the facility's way of doing things. I'd be highly suspicious that this facility may be taking advantage of you.

SteveNNP specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic).

I chuckled when I saw the title of your thread. I also was heavily involved in the "First Year of Nursing" forum.... It seemed like every thread was titled something like "will this never end?" or "I hate nursing" or ?questioning why I became a nurse." It really does get better. You find your groove and things go more smoothly. If I had a dollar for every time I stayed until 2130 charting or cleaning up the chaos from my shift, I'd be rich. Just try to stick it out, you've only been out for a few weeks! You can't expect yourself to be Flo Nightingale from the get-go! Just focus on practicing safely, and who cares about staying late! they'll get more and more infrequent as you develop your time management skills and get used to the workflow of your floor. Best of luck!


Some words of advice...

Do NOT work overtime or extra shifts. Learn to say "no" and when you're off, you're off. You need that time to decompress. If you have a hard time refusing a call to come in to help out, then screen your calls. IF you want to work extra for a little extra cash (and trust me, it is little), then do so sparingly.

The hospital is a 24 hour facility. You do NOT have to do everything every day you work. Yeah, you don't want to be one who never gets their jobs completed, but don't allow anyone to tell you that you "have" to stay over to do tasks that they themselves can pick up the ball and do. Anyone with any level of experience will tell you that we all have to pass things on to the next shift at times. You'll get better at prioritizing and being more efficient with your time as you continue on.

Don't take it home. Hard to do, and I admit I do so myself at times, but do try to leave it at the door. Without meaning to sound crass here, or diminish your contribution, the hospital was there long before you arrived, and it will be there long after you're gone. In other words, put it in perspective. There are going to be days you feel like crap, and wonder why you ever chose this profession; then there are going to be days where you're sure there is nothing you'd rather do. Remember the good ones, celebrate the small victories, and don't beat yourself up over the rest.

During the day, take a full lunch break. Thirty minutes away from your job, off the floor and without discussing what's going on with your patients. And try to fit at least one other 15 minute break in, too. Again, you must do this to decompress. And don't tell me you 'can't' do so. Thirty minutes out of a 12 hour shift isn't going to put you behind. Unless there is a true emergency (code) going on, there is no reason you cannot take a scheduled lunch break. If the charge nurse tells you that you can't, then you need to take that up with the manager, and work your way up the ladder if necessary.

Plan to take the break at a specific time and do your best to leave at that time--- or within 15 minutes or so. Make a quick sweep of your patients before you leave, inform them that you are taking your break and ask if there is anything you can get for them that can't wait for the next 30 minutes. Tell them you'll be back on the floor in 30 minutes or so, and then leave. Turn your pager and/or phone into the charge nurse, then go to the cafeteria, go sit outside, whatever. But get something to eat, and get away. You will be surprised what a little glucose and a break can do. You may think you don't have time for this, but you'll find you are in better shape to actually care for your patients, have more energy, are less emotional and more patient, and work much more efficiently. Seriously.

[/end soapbox rant]

I'm sure I'll think of more, but those are the biggies.

dansamy specializes in Going to Peds!.

I pick up an extra shift about once every 5-6 weeks. Sometimes they call me to come in for 4 or 8 hours, which isn't too bad. I've been doing it mostly because I want the extra exposure for new experiences, but if I had a really draining, exhausting shift and they call me the next day to work extra, I don't answer.

Before I started traveling, I was the 7p charge on the oncology unit. I had many a new grad who thought that if they were called to work extra, they HAD to come in. I wasn't too popular with the higher-ups for telling these kids that they most certainly did NOT have to work extra, and that they needed to learn to say "no".

It was a bit selfish on my part as well. I'd much rather have extra patients to care for, than to have to watch out for an over-tired, stressed out (read: potentially dangerous) new nurse. And the ones who learned that lesson early were the ones who survived their first years and hung around, too.

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