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Ado Annie Ado Annie (Member)

Losing my mind -- help me find it?

Career   (419 Views 3 Comments)
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Y'all. 7 years in and I have got to do something besides med/surg nursing. No judgment, please. I am compassionate and I take good care of my patients and often end up loving them but sometimes I think that if I have to help another little old lady to the potty I will go absolutely out of my mind.

Partly this is because I moved from the big city/ teaching hospital to a small rural hospital last year. But mostly it is because I'm tired. Tired. It's not so bad when we have a tech. I happily work alongside someone to do all this lifting and pulling and cleaning. But on my own... sheesh.

I always thought I'd like to work with kids and if I don't at least try it I will always wonder if I would have loved it. The closer hospital that has peds has never even interviewed me (except for an IT position that they did not offer me). I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for the longer drive to another hospital.

So, I don't know. I'd try peds med/surg. I'd try ICU (I can titrate drips and think it's fun). I'd try a clinic if I could make enough money. But I'm drop-dead tired and bored with my current job. Help! What's your niche? How long did it take to find it?

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I think your thoughts on trying a new specialty sound perfectly reasonable. If that is what is available and you are interested, then pursue them.

But maybe there are some other things you could do to help yourself out (-- and that might help you revitalize your professional life). Maybe you should address that "tiredness" before interviewing for a new job in a a new specialty. If you appear "old and tired and burned out," in an interview -- that is not very attractive to a hiring manager. And "faking enthusiasm and energy" is harder than most people think.

Have you been taking some time off to do things that refresh you? If not, you should give that a try. How is your personal life? Do you have stuff that you do on your days off that refresh you and help you to enjoy life. Sometimes, taking a single-day vacation to do something YOU really want to do for yourself (like once per month) can do wonders for your mood. It gives additional meaning to your work -- you are working to fund your great personal life. As they say, "You should be working to live ... not living to work."

Are there some professional opportunities that might liven up your work-life that would build on your expertise in adult med-surg? Maybe some projects to work on, committees to make quality improvements, etc. that might get you away from the bedside a little and add a little variety to your day. Such things might also make you eligible for promotion -- and would certainly make a you a more attractive job candidate for any other job (in any specialty) that you might apply for. Are you certified? If switching specialties doesn't work out -- or if you think switching to another adult med-surg type of unit (or adult ICU), it might help if you were certified. And doing the review and getting the certification might give you a boost (both mentally and as a candidate for other career possibilities.) Sometimes, simply having a new project or goal to focus on helps me stay emotionally engaged in my work. And building on the expertise you have developed over the years has its advantages to starting all over again at the bottom of another specialty.

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Thank you for the thoughtful response. Yes, I was tired. And it had been a stressful few months of family life due to my stepson's mental illness and the death of my father (who we were caring for). Yes, it makes a huge difference to be more fully rested, to find time for activities that I enjoy. At this time, my stepson is in a better situation, I am mourning my dad but in a healthy way, and have activities and projects that I'm excited about, even though the time to do and enjoy them *is* limited because of the nature of this job. I still think I'll try something different in the not-too-distant future but for now I am shying away from life-changing decisions. I do appreciate that you responded, and that your response was compassionate and well-thought-out. Thanks again!

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