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Miserable New Grad

Nurses   (1,248 Views 25 Comments)
by PippyM PippyM, RN (New Member) New Member Nurse

PippyM is a RN and specializes in Medical Telemetry.

99 Profile Views; 9 Posts

I started my first job as a new grad resident nurse on a medical/telemetry unit in February. I just hit my six month mark and am still completely miserable where I'm at. I thought by now it would start getting at least a little better, but I just feel more miserable with each shift. I have such bad anxiety about going into work that I cry before almost every shift. I feel a little better once I start my shift, but I still feel very anxious and overwhelmed. I know the first six months to a year is really hard as a new nurse, but is it normal to feel this way? Will it get better? As part of being a resident I have a contract to stay on my floor for one year and at the hospital for 2 years. I'm to the point where I don't mind paying the fee to break the contract, I just want to be happier. I just don't think inpatient work is for me. I'm really interested in clinic work, but would that be any better? Should I stick it out and hope it gets better? Or move on and be happy again? Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

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1 Post; 35 Profile Views

I'm sorry you are experiencing so much anxiety related to work. The corporate health care industry is so very broken right now and it can be miserable to be a new nurse. You have made it 6 months! That is a victory. I can't give advice on staying or leaving, only your heart knows the right answer to that question, but I had a conversation with an employment attorney recently who said some of these contracts for nurses might not be legal/enforceable. He said they are weighted heavily in favor of the employer at the expense of the employee and that is sketchy. If you decide to leave, it might be worth consulting with an employment attorney before paying back any money. 

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PippyM is a RN and specializes in Medical Telemetry.

9 Posts; 99 Profile Views

Thanks for your reply and advice FloridaRNBSN! I know others that have left the program and they weren't required to pay anything back. Even so, if I found a new position that I wasn't so unhappy in, paying the money would be fine by me!

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63 Posts; 795 Profile Views

I totally get how you feel. I am right there with you. Alot of people feel this way for one reason or another the first year in a job. I feel this way due to working on a floor with a patient population I am not really passionate about and because of feeling bullied by one coworker.

Are you interested in a speciality? I am TRYING to focus my energy on getting into that area. Like joining the nursing association for it, and doing extra education in that area and updating my resume. I am also looking into who I need to reach out into that area at the hospital I work at and plan on getting into contact with them soon. I am putting the energy that way to gear up for applying and hopefully transferring there shortly after my year mark.

My point is do you see your mental health improving if you were on a different unit there? Can you last a year there? If you can it really helps your future and prevents you looking like a job hopper. If the answer is no, then you need to think of yourself and talk with your manager if different shifts would help or if you need to quit. However quitting should be a last resort before looking into all other options. But you still need to take care of yourself.

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PippyM is a RN and specializes in Medical Telemetry.

9 Posts; 99 Profile Views

Thanks AxelNewRN86! I’m sorry your being bullied by a coworker, that’s awful! At this point I don’t know if I can make it a year or not. I know the way I’m going right now is not good for my mental or physical health. I work night shift, which I know doesn’t help because I have a really hard time getting sleep. But on the other hand I know I don’t want to work days where I’m at. I did most of my orientation on days and it was CRAZY busy. 

I’m really looking into clinic positions, but I have never had any experience in one so I have no idea if I would actually like it or not. 

I have a meeting coming up with my manager for other reasons, but I don’t know how to bring up how I’m feeling. 

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63 Posts; 795 Profile Views

I totally get that. I am nights too, and right now I hate it. But I also do not want to work days on my unit.

I had a friend that went straight to clinic as an RN. She loves it. It works for family life for her, which is the thing she values most. Alot of people switch to clinics in my area after they get their residencies over with. Clinics are a great option.

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PippyM is a RN and specializes in Medical Telemetry.

9 Posts; 99 Profile Views

I’ve heard clinics are a little less stressful and hectic! There are a few open positions at clinics around me and I know they are desperate for nurses. I’m very tempted to apply. 

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River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a RN.

216 Posts; 2,104 Profile Views

3 minutes ago, PippyM said:

I’ve heard clinics are a little less stressful and hectic! There are a few open positions at clinics around me and I know they are desperate for nurses. I’m very tempted to apply. 

It depends on the clinic...I've worked in some where they average 30+ patients over 8-10 hours per provider, on top of also having to do nurse procedures, PAs, telephone triage, case management, medication refills...it's not the acuity but the massive, never-ending load. It really, REALLY depends on your team. The upside is that that massive, never-ending load is limited to M-F, no overnights, no weekends, no holidays, and-sometimes-no hellacious weather if it gets bad enough that they figure none of the patients are going to show up (or if they close the roads, since you aren't really essential personnel as outpatient care).

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PippyM is a RN and specializes in Medical Telemetry.

9 Posts; 99 Profile Views

4 minutes ago, River&MountainRN said:

It depends on the clinic...I've worked in some where they average 30+ patients over 8-10 hours per provider, on top of also having to do nurse procedures, PAs, telephone triage, case management, medication refills...it's not the acuity but the massive, never-ending load. It really, REALLY depends on your team. The upside is that that massive, never-ending load is limited to M-F, no overnights, no weekends, no holidays, and-sometimes-no hellacious weather if it gets bad enough that they figure none of the patients are going to show up (or if they close the roads, since you aren't really essential personnel as outpatient care).

Thank you for your insight! I haven't heard from anyone who has clinic experience so I appreciate your input!

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River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a RN.

216 Posts; 2,104 Profile Views

9 minutes ago, PippyM said:

Thank you for your insight! I haven't heard from anyone who has clinic experience so I appreciate your input!

It's one of those "you love it or you hate it" areas...but it does allow for a more normal schedule, no heavy lifting, less acuity (therefore, in one way, less stress). The EMRs can be an absolute pain, but that's just about everywhere these days. The pay is a bit less generally, but the other aspects make up for it in my eyes.

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PippyM is a RN and specializes in Medical Telemetry.

9 Posts; 99 Profile Views

1 minute ago, River&MountainRN said:

It's one of those "you love it or you hate it" areas...but it does allow for a more normal schedule, no heavy lifting, less acuity (therefore, in one way, less stress). The EMRs can be an absolute pain, but that's just about everywhere these days. The pay is a bit less generally, but the other aspects make up for it in my eyes.

I would gladly take a pay cut if it meant being less stressed! I know most nurses enjoy the 12 hour shifts, but I have a really hard time with them, so 8 hr shifts would also be a bonus to me. 

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River&MountainRN has 4 years experience as a RN.

216 Posts; 2,104 Profile Views

1 minute ago, PippyM said:

I would gladly take a pay cut if it meant being less stressed! I know most nurses enjoy the 12 hour shifts, but I have a really hard time with them, so 8 hr shifts would also be a bonus to me. 

8 hours is great (8.5 if they make you work to make up for your 1/2 hour unpaid lunch so that you get a full 8 hours' pay)...you get there, get busy with the start of the day, before you know it it's lunch, and then the day is already half over! Then the next 4 hours seem to fly by!

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