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Maybe I'm not a bedside nurse?

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by newRNinthecity newRNinthecity (Member)

I've been working as a new nurse for half a year. Med surg floor, mostly geriatric population. RN to patient ratio is okay, usually 1:5. Work is very physically demanding, the patients require a lot of ADL assistance on top of the medical problems they are hospitalized for. We have techs, but not enough. It seems like there is a high turnover rate for nurses on this unit. Everyone seems stressed out all the time.

I can tell that I have grown so much as a new nurse, but I have not really gotten over my new nurse anxiety yet. I like being a nurse, but the floor I am on stresses me out so much. I already feel myself burning out, and I have only been a nurse half a year. I am starting to think bedside nursing may not be for me. I have been questioning this since I started, but I don't know if this is because I am a new nurse or I really am not interested in bedside nursing. I'm more of an introverted person, and while I like talking to patients, I really don't like dealing with peoples family members. I don't like paging doctors, tracking them down, and waiting for them to call back. I rotate between night shifts and day shifts, which kills me. My job affects my quality of life and mental health. I get stressed out about going to work. I really only enjoy being at work maybe one shift in a two week period. Some days I find myself dreaming about changing careers to be a teacher or a physical therapist...or find some 9-5 desk job.

I need at least one year of experience for a job that I'm more interested in. I already feel happier when I think about transferring units at the one year mark - just having a countdown to that alleviates some of my stress.

While I'm sticking out my year on the floor (still trying to learn as much as I can, grow as a nurse, and have a good attitude), I'm looking into where I might like to go. I have been thinking about trying an Endoscopy Unit or maybe the OR. Both seem to have hours that are a little better, less dealing with family members, and lower patient ratios. Ultimately, I would like to go outpatient in the future. I don't really know much about Endo nursing or OR nursing. I can't leave the hospital until 18 months of work, because I have a new nurse contract. But I also am interested in things like correctional nursing, outpatient transfusion centers, and other non-bedside jobs. Any advice? Any recommendations for nursing fields I might explore?

VANurse2010

Has 6 years experience.

I would try finding a unit that isn't a crappy hot mess before contemplating a career change. The longer you do this, the less anxiety you'll feel.

I am not really sure why you think teaching or PT is less stressful. If anything I would think teaching is 1000x worse, because the job doesn't end when you clock out. As for PT, they require a lot more school (which is fine) and are under intense pressure to see as many patients as possible and bill accordingly. I've seen many harangued PTs in my day.

Awesomocity0

Specializes in Gastroenterology, PACU.

I think you're going to leave in any unit in which you're not happy, and things are always going to seem worse because of it. 1:5 and 1:6 for low acuity med-surg units are not uncommon, and there are nurses who are happy with that and stay there.

I work in endo (the GI lab), and it's fun. I love it. I think it's the easiest job you could have as a nurse. BUT our turnover is relatively high as well (the joys of working in a safety net, teaching hospital). I know why folks are leaving. But those reasons aren't compulsions for me to leave. Because I'm happy in the work I'm doing.

So you may go into the GI lab and love it the way I did or hate it and want to leave the way others do. I will say though that getting into the GI lab might be tough. Because we recover our own patients and deal with emergent situations regularly, we like PACU/critical care experiences. Pretty much all our nurses worked in the ICU, ER, or PACU before coming. And we have the luxury to be so picky, because everyone wants our work hours. So you might have to hop to a higher acuity, critical care area first.

I've been working as a new nurse for half a year. Med surg floor, mostly geriatric population. RN to patient ratio is okay, usually 1:5. Work is very physically demanding, the patients require a lot of ADL assistance on top of the medical problems they are hospitalized for. We have techs, but not enough. It seems like there is a high turnover rate for nurses on this unit. Everyone seems stressed out all the time.

I can tell that I have grown so much as a new nurse, but I have not really gotten over my new nurse anxiety yet. I like being a nurse, but the floor I am on stresses me out so much. I already feel myself burning out, and I have only been a nurse half a year. I am starting to think bedside nursing may not be for me. I have been questioning this since I started, but I don't know if this is because I am a new nurse or I really am not interested in bedside nursing. I'm more of an introverted person, and while I like talking to patients, I really don't like dealing with peoples family members. I don't like paging doctors, tracking them down, and waiting for them to call back. I rotate between night shifts and day shifts, which kills me. My job affects my quality of life and mental health. I get stressed out about going to work. I really only enjoy being at work maybe one shift in a two week period. Some days I find myself dreaming about changing careers to be a teacher or a physical therapist...or find some 9-5 desk job.

I need at least one year of experience for a job that I'm more interested in. I already feel happier when I think about transferring units at the one year mark - just having a countdown to that alleviates some of my stress.

While I'm sticking out my year on the floor (still trying to learn as much as I can, grow as a nurse, and have a good attitude), I'm looking into where I might like to go. I have been thinking about trying an Endoscopy Unit or maybe the OR. Both seem to have hours that are a little better, less dealing with family members, and lower patient ratios. Ultimately, I would like to go outpatient in the future. I don't really know much about Endo nursing or OR nursing. I can't leave the hospital until 18 months of work, because I have a new nurse contract. But I also am interested in things like correctional nursing, outpatient transfusion centers, and other non-bedside jobs. Any advice? Any recommendations for nursing fields I might explore?

Maybe Med surg isn't for you. If you become a teacher that is a lot more family action. If you have 24 students (probably more than that) you will have to deal with the parents or Grandparents or Guardians. Calling and emailing. PT I would assume you would still have to deal with doctor.

I used to fill the same way as a tech on a GI med surg floor and it made me second guess on being a nurse. I told myself if this what comes with being a nurse I don't want it. But I found a specialty that I like and I am more motivated then ever to get my RN. And I know I can deal with the negatives because I love my job.

Hope you find some piece and your niche!

rachelyp

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 1 years experience.

Our career is so broad you can go anywhere. I live in rural area and my choice of acute care facility is very limited. I have respect for every nurse regardless of their specialty. I dreaded my med-surg clinicals because the nurses were overworked, understaffed and the floor didn't really have much unity. I would see seasoned nurses sitting behind the nurses station while the newer nurses running around trying to figure everything out on their own. When the call light would go off the charge nurse would walk in circles looking for the nurse rather than going inside and seeing what the pt needed. I had grouped all the floors as the floor that I worked on and told myself if I have to work med-surg I needed to relocate to area with another hospital.

Making my long story short during my last semester practicum I was in the OR, things worked out and I've been in the OR from student, to nurse tech to RN.

If you do go the operating room route I just want to share with you that it is a lot different from the floor and I didn't learn anything about the OR in nursing school which lead to frustration and for this reason I think the turnover in the OR is very high. I still enjoy the work I do on most days. Depending on your hospital taking call varies from weeknights, weekends, holidays and will most likely be required. I don't even know how long I'll stay in the OR. Depending on your hospital policy maybe on your off days you can shadow the OR, Endo, Cath Lab and just see if it's something that you want to do without having to commit and being contractually stuck in a dept at your hospital.

If you want a 9-5 desk job I'm sure there are some non bedside RN positions out there but I don't know what they are....Maybe informatics, research, infection prevention specialist?..Let me know if you find a 9-5 RN specialty.

If you enjoy teaching maybe you can teach future RNs. The opportunities are endless.

I just left the bedside for dialysis nursing. I'm in an outpatient clinic for orientation, but will be returning to the hospital to do inpatient dialysis. I will be floating to different hospitals but so far (I'm only starting my 3rd week tomorrow) but it is interesting!