New Grad burnout or Do I just need time to adjust?

Posted
by denicola.c (New) New

Hi guys,

I'm a licensed, working RN who graduated in May with my ASN. I recently accepted a job working with special needs kids. I'm also continuing for my bachelor degree which is another 2 years.

Right now my schedule is jam packed, and I feel like my manager is still trying to cram shifts in. I'm really scared of becoming burnt out. I LOVE my job, but with school and commuting it's really taking a toll on me- and it's only been two weeks.

I have a two hour commute (round trip) for school three times a week. Two of those days, right after my class, I run to work a short 3 hour shift. I'm usually home by 7pm, but at that point I'm starving, exhausted, and mentally fried. Two of the other remaining days of the week I'm working 8 hour shifts. I'm also going to be starting another 8 hour shift, leaving me with essentially half a day off (since I have clinicals that day). The remaining day I have to be on campus from 9 am to 7 pm because its the only way I could fit the class in.

It doesn't seem like a lot, its really only 25-30 hours a week, but combined with school I really don't know if I can handle it. I see friends during my classes, but my boyfriend goes to a different school and frankly I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to see him with his schedule- I really don't want to jeopardize our relationship just because of my busy schedule. I'm very introverted so it takes a toll on me when I'm around people all day at school or work and don't have time to just sit with myself so to speak.

I'm torn because although I still live with my parents so I don't really have to work a lot, I still want to so I can gain experience. I have massive driving anxiety that developed due to a car accident after I had made the decision to work and commute to school, so that also really upsets me, specifically when I'm driving after dark. I don't know whether I should suck it up and try to adjust for a few more weeks, or talk to my manager, or drop a class or something. I don't want to fall behind with school work either. I'm just at a loss of what to do.

If I do talk to my manager, I'm very shy and a huge pushover so I have a really hard time saying no, like most grads. I just don't know what to say. I would feel really uncomfortable asking if I could drop a shift because they hired me to work, so... If anyone has any kind of advice I'd love to hear what you have to say! Thanks!

WKShadowNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 21 years experience. 1 Article; 2,077 Posts

You said that you have a hard time saying no, and I get it. I'm very much one who likes to please. But your well-being and success as a nurse and student must find a balance.

Cut back your hours, only pick up extra if you can (like you're on a break between semesters) and take care of YOURSELF. You won't be any good to anyone else if you don't participate in self-care.

(I should know, I worked myself into an ulcer and insomnia.)