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7 months and I can't do this anymore.

Posted

Specializes in Current Higher Ed RN and Part-time OB L+D. Has 5 years experience.

I am a 40yo who switched careers to nursing after a long previous career in nothing related to nursing. I absolutely dread going to work each shift. I feel so inadequate and... sure, I realize that I'm new, however, this constant cheering on by other staff to stick it out a year isn't encouraging and I was a pretty strong, no BS person in my former career. I am drained. I work in a high-risk facility and deal with so many problem patients, deaths, STAT everything, etc. I am hyper-aware of how litigious this area is, and I'm always waiting for a patient to pounce or my manager to scrutinize my documentation. I received an orientation with inconsistent preceptors, feel there's always something I didn't learn daily and overall, in my past career, I would have been well on my way to good at this point. I spent so much money re-educating myself for a BSN, and I feel like I made a huge mistake. I'm trying to see if I can find a middle ground of a more administrative position or perhaps something in an office. I don't even care what specialty anymore (L+D was what I was in love with in nursing school), but I want a normal outside life again and could care less what specialty. The hours are crushing my health and my family notices how drained I am, impatient, angry and fed up, which makes me feel so defeated and embarrassed. I don't know what avenues are even out there for a newbie that are slower and less stressful, or is this it for me? This is nursing, suck it up and deal? I'm at the end of my rope here. I need some advice from anyone. Ready to just cry each shift, but I need to bring home a paycheck and hide my discontent.

smallnurse10

Specializes in L&D. Has 5 years experience.

I'm sorry it's been tough, but I think it is fairly common to feel this way when you are new and working in a high risk facility. I also started in a high risk facility and felt this way for a good year. It does get BETTER, trust me. I worked in the high risk facility for three years and now I am working as a traveler in a small facility that does 20-30 deliveries per month and it is night and day different. If L&D is truly your passion, then I don't think moving to another specialty will make you any happier. I love L&D but am much happier in the low risk facility. L&D nurses are in high demand so once you get a little more experience you will be able to go anywhere you want. Just hang in there a little longer :)

L8RRN

Has 5 years experience.

I felt a lot like you do when I worked on a med/surg floor right after graduating from a RN program. It was fast paced and I managed to make it through a year but NEVER enjoyed it (and would never want to do it again). I started my nursing career at 37. I am now a case manager and LOVE what I do. Some tell me they would never want to do what CM does, but I love how I get to think out of the box and problem solve. I do discharge planning and utilization review for a large hospital. It is "stressful" but a much different kind of stress and one I can deal with. Nothing I do will kill anyone and I don't go home second guessing my day and what I may have missed. I get to help patients and families and take pride in my role in their lives. I can finally say I am happy as a nurse. I hope you find a way to use your knowledge in a position you love.

queenanneslace, ADN, MSN, APRN, CNM

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife.

"I am a 40yo who switched careers to nursing after a long previous career in nothing related to nursing. "

ME TOO!

"I absolutely dread going to work each shift. "

I HEAR YA!

"I feel so inadequate and... sure, I realize that I'm new, however, this constant cheering on by other staff to stick it out a year isn't encouraging and I was a pretty strong, no BS person in my former career."

Oh, don't even get me started about it. My "tone" my directness, my abruptness - all of these things have been relentlessly criticized. Oh, so in nursing, the only appropriate mode of communication is some obscure passive-aggressive style of communication? I'm working on sweetening up my demeanor so my direct form of communication doesn't offend others. Whatever. Personally, I prefer directness.

" I am drained. I work in a high-risk facility and deal with so many problem patients, deaths, STAT everything, etc. I am hyper-aware of how litigious this area is, and I'm always waiting for a patient to pounce or my manager to scrutinize my documentation. "

No kidding.

"I received an orientation with inconsistent preceptors, feel there's always something I didn't learn daily and overall, in my past career, I would have been well on my way to good at this point. "

Inconsistent preceptors seems to be a standard of nursing training. Who doesn't enjoy inconsistency, contradiction, and general non-consensus about the way things are to be done? Truthfully, I never imagined health care to be as sloppy as it is. It's a bit frightening.

"I spent so much money re-educating myself for a BSN, and I feel like I made a huge mistake."

Yeah, I've never been treated with so much disrespect and like an incompetent boob as I have as an RN. It's like I put the nametag on and it says "Verbally abuse me at will." I've never been subject to treatment like that in a work environment before - and I've worked in many different fields. Customers and the general public can be abusive - but my coworkers, colleagues and supervisors all treated me like a competent, valuable, intelligent member of the workforce. Being blindly treated like an incompetent peon is relatively new to me.

" I'm trying to see if I can find a middle ground of a more administrative position or perhaps something in an office. I don't even care what specialty anymore (L+D was what I was in love with in nursing school), but I want a normal outside life again and could care less what specialty. The hours are crushing my health and my family notices how drained I am, impatient, angry and fed up, which makes me feel so defeated and embarrassed. I don't know what avenues are even out there for a newbie that are slower and less stressful, or is this it for me?"

Hey - here's the great thing about nursing. There are nearly limitless opportunities for you to work as a nurse - in many different fields and environments. Clinics, offices, schools. Heck, just another area of the hospital. Here's the good news: YOU HAVE OPTIONS. Get the H out of L&D - it sounds like a toxic environment.

"This is nursing, suck it up and deal? I'm at the end of my rope here. I need some advice from anyone. Ready to just cry each shift, but I need to bring home a paycheck and hide my discontent."

Sometimes I cry before my shift - that really seems to help. Just get it all out prior to going in to work. Then I don't have to do it while I'm there. This might sound like I'm joking, but I'm not. I tell myself every day "If x or y or z happens again, I will quit." I do promise myself that, because there is only so much verbal abuse and jeapardization of my professional license that I will endure.

I had to read and re-read your post because except for a couple of details - I could have written the exact same thing myself.

My biggest piece of advice or information for you is : YOU HAVE OPTIONS. Apply to other jobs. Apply to clinic RN jobs. Apply to any other area of the hospital. Apply to a different hospital. Apply to home health positions. You have a lot of options as an RN. You don't have to stay in a sucky situation. You don't.

I wish you luck! Don't beat yourself up for changing your career goals - and for not LOVING L&D. Peshaw. Take stock, look around and move on. There's something better out there for you.

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 7 years experience.

Career changer here...My first nursing job was on a Stepdown ICU and thought it was going to kill me. I wanted to leave the nursing profession due to the stress. But with the many applications I put out with my 6 months experience at the time, I was going nowhere. I had no choice but to stick it out and got better mentally. What use to stress me out in the beginning became one of my great assets. I didn't lose my cool when stuff hit the fan. However, I still wanted out when I hit my year and luckily the opportunity came when I was able to transfer to Postpartum. It was more of my pace and much happier here.

I knew L&D would be just as bad so I was never interested.

You can try Postpartum, home health, school nursing, public health, and with more experience case management.

Sent via iPink's phone using allnurses

I, too, could have written that same exact post after 7 months of working in the hospital. I left the hospital after 7 months to work for the Public Health department and worked there for 4 years as a high-risk infant follow-up nurse (home visits, which I loved). I was also an RN Health educator at the hospital, teaching newborn care, childbirth classes, and providing tours. Now, I am a school nurse and absolutely love everything about being a school nurse (the kids, the hours, the SUMMERS! ). I never regret leaving the hospital! There are so many other options as a nurse, so just start looking around and seeing what is out there. Life is too short to be so miserable as a nurse:). You didn't make a mistake by becoming a nurse---you are just not where you need to be!

CardiacRNLA, BSN

Specializes in Tele/Interventional/Non-Invasive Cardiology. Has 5 years experience.

I am most likely going to quit my hospital job. Like you, I am a career changer. I know people say to stick it out, but I just don't think I can. I have only been working like 4-5 months and I already went on medical leave due to being hospitalized b/c of stress. Maybe I am not as thick skinned or a strong disposition, but I don't know. I can't see myself doing this for another 7-8 months without being hospitalized or falling apart again. However, there are so little prospects for a grad with little experience that I may just give up nursing altogether and go back to admin work. I just feel like a complete failure.

I am most likely going to quit my hospital job. Like you, I am a career changer. I know people say to stick it out, but I just don't think I can. I have only been working like 4-5 months and I already went on medical leave due to being hospitalized b/c of stress. Maybe I am not as thick skinned or a strong disposition, but I don't know. I can't see myself doing this for another 7-8 months without being hospitalized or falling apart again. However, there are so little prospects for a grad with little experience that I may just give up nursing altogether and go back to admin work. I just feel like a complete failure.

Oh, try not to give up! You are not a failure. I, too, felt that way, but I was able to find a nursing position that I loved. Just keep looking and applying for positions and hopefully, you will be able to find something you like!

Isn't it a shame that so many new nurses feel this exact same way? I left the hospital after 2 years and it was the best thing I've ever done. I've been in public health for the past 8 years and I still enjoy going to work. Try looking for jobs at your local health department or state health department. The work is interesting, autonomous, relevant, and the nurses couldn't be nicer. Pay is lower, but benefits and hours can't be beat. Don't let working in a hospital make you question your decision to become a nurse. And DON'T let it take over your personal life and health. There are other options. I think everyone in nursing school goes to school to work in a hospital environment, but there is more to nursing than that :) Good luck.

smallnurse10

Specializes in L&D. Has 5 years experience.

I just want to post a follow up to my previous post. As a high risk L&D nurse, I understand your fears and frustrations because I too felt that way when I was new to the specialty. I cried after many shifts and was constantly worried about my documentation etc. Many of my coworkers were not supportive, demeaned me in front of patients and physicians which made it a rather toxic environment for someone that was learning. I didn't want those people to win because I liked being there for my patient and her family. Do you like taking care of normal deliveries, coaching your mom etc.? If you do then you do like L&D but are probably just unsure of your skills at this point. It takes time to feel confident in knowing what to do in an emergency, which will come but it takes time. If you don't love L&D, supporting your mom etc then move on. Good luck to you and whatever decision you make.

These are the types of threads that terrify me frankly. I am also a career changer and will be almost 40 when I graduate with my associate's in nursing. I haven't begun school yet, but when I read comments from intelligent people who are not complainers and are truly trying to make the best of things at a difficult work environment and yet STILL want to run for the hills, it gives me pause. Shall I turn back now before it's too late?

I originally wanted to go into medicine, but with a young family, that option is not feasible right now. Honestly, our family could really use the money that working in the nursing field would bring. My current job is not enough to feed a family on. Nursing is a relatively quick and inexpensive upfront investment of time and money (community college programs), compared to PA school or medical school. I'm hoping I am not making a big mistake and will eventually find my niche. As some of you have mentioned, nursing is a very diverse field and there should be something out there for everyone. . .

serenity1

Specializes in labor & delivery. Has 7 years experience.

I agree with previous posters....if you do not love labor and delivery, get out. If you do love it but not the high risk, try to find another job in a lower risk unit. L&D is rough. I did it and left then went back because I wanted to give it another try. I left again. It is not for me. I am in post partum and like it much better. Still busy and have stressful situations, just not the same. I no longer have knots in my stomach walking into work. Case management, health department, school nurse....those are all good options to consider as well. I feel for you. Wishing you the best. :)

Central BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Transplant..

These are the types of threads that terrify me frankly. I am also a career changer and will be almost 40 when I graduate with my associate's in nursing. I haven't begun school yet, but when I read comments from intelligent people who are not complainers and are truly trying to make the best of things at a difficult work environment and yet STILL want to run for the hills, it gives me pause. Shall I turn back now before it's too late?

I originally wanted to go into medicine, but with a young family, that option is not feasible right now. Honestly, our family could really use the money that working in the nursing field would bring. My current job is not enough to feed a family on. Nursing is a relatively quick and inexpensive upfront investment of time and money (community college programs), compared to PA school or medical school. I'm hoping I am not making a big mistake and will eventually find my niche. As some of you have mentioned, nursing is a very diverse field and there should be something out there for everyone. . .

To be blunt choosing a career solely based money is never a smart move...

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 7 years experience.

@herbie06:

I make more as a nurse than I did in my previous career. I decided to change my career due to the many opportunities nursing provides. You may not start out landing your dream job or you may realize your dream job isn't so dreamy. In this economy, yes you'll most likely start in an undesirable unit/specialty before you get to where your niche is. Nursing isn't for the faint of heart, you will work hard. Our patients will name us the most trusted profession and at the same time give us the least respect.

I knew going in that finding a job as a new grad may be difficult and it was. That was in part my fault because I was very picky on what positions I wanted to apply for. I finally was able to get into critical care almost a year after I graduated. The learning curve was steep, but I luckily worked on a unit that was new grad friendly and my preceptor was supportive.

The real world of nursing is different than nursing as a student. I realized that from day one but I wasn't interested in a 3rd career. I enjoy what I do and work with great people. Knowing what I know now, yes I still would have chosen nursing the first time around.

It's up to you if you want to continue to pursue nursing; we can't make that decision for you. Good luck!

iPink, I appreciate your respectful and candid response. I love science, working with patients, and teaching, so I think nursing is a good fit for my interests. Working overseas in areas that don't have access to healthcare is something I hope to do someday as well. I have many friends and family who are nurses, and I have also worked as a PCA and alongside nurses in various healthcare settings, so I am going into this profession with eyes wide open.

I have close friend who is a new nurse (career changer) as of a couple years ago, and she had a rough go of it as a new grad. She ended up moving out of state for half a year in order to gain some good experience in an area of the country where nurses are desperately needed and will be hired into almost any specialty in the hospital setting. I am preparing myself for the possibility that my family and I will need to move in order to get a job as a new nurse.

Best wishes to you, OP. I hope that you find an area of nursing and/or a new job in which you will feel more comfortable.

@herbie06:

I make more as a nurse than I did in my previous career. I decided to change my career due to the many opportunities nursing provides. You may not start out landing your dream job or you may realize your dream job isn't so dreamy. In this economy, yes you'll most likely start in an undesirable unit/specialty before you get to where your niche is. Nursing isn't for the faint of heart, you will work hard. Our patients will name us the most trusted profession and at the same time give us the least respect.

I knew going in that finding a job as a new grad may be difficult and it was. That was in part my fault because I was very picky on what positions I wanted to apply for. I finally was able to get into critical care almost a year after I graduated. The learning curve was steep, but I luckily worked on a unit that was new grad friendly and my preceptor was supportive.

The real world of nursing is different than nursing as a student. I realized that from day one but I wasn't interested in a 3rd career. I enjoy what I do and work with great people. Knowing what I know now, yes I still would have chosen nursing the first time around.

It's up to you if you want to continue to pursue nursing; we can't make that decision for you. Good luck!

Every nurse is not a good fit for every department. It takes different personalities to mesh with each specialty. Add in that nursing care in a hospital at least is changing weekly it seems, and there's no wonder new grads, especially more seasoned workers, are struggling with feelings. I'm a nursery nurse, have been for over30 years. I've seen nurses, new and experienced ones, come and go. For some its finding out the harsher realities. For some its the inability to fit the hours in with their families and personal lives. It is so hard to feel you can and are doing your best but worry you are not. All it takes is an unsympathetic nurse or nasty Dr to make you second think your choice and ability. Seek out the good ones and shadow them. Stand up, firmly but politely to the Drs. Give yourself enough time to really learn the area, so you can say, "yes I can do this, it's just not me". Keep your eyes and ears open for jobs that might allow you to use skills you built in your " pre-life". Above all, get in the car each morning with a positive attitude that you are one day stronger, smarter, or closer to a good decision. At the end of the day, sit in your car for a minute and replay what when down during the shift. Take a few deep breaths and leave the bad there in the parking lot. But take care of you! No one else can as well as you. Best wishes to all of you who are struggling, and know this....I was you once too. And I made it through. You can too, somewhere.

Edited by babyrn85
typo

I'm sorry you are feeling this way about work! I did med/surg, mother-baby and then came to L&D. We are a level 2, and I've been doing this for 8 months. This is hands down the hardest job I've ever had. I can't imagine learning about baby, iv's, foley cath etc on top of labor. I know some people have came out of nursing school and did well in a specialty. This would not be me. I would give it a year, but maybe if youback tracked on a surgical floor or Mbu for awhile, you would find you still love L&D. It's hard, I feel for you! Don't give up, just look at other options,í ½í¸˜

Hi

I know these post make me sad. DO NOT give up. We have been there I did a nursing change at age 49 to labor and delivery. It was tough handsome days I ask myself-- "should I stilled this" It is a special time in a women's life. I like the previous posters advice. I would go to a less critical L/D floor. You need to have days that you feel like you did a good job, to feel good about what you do. I hope it is going better