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New Nurse Blues?

First Year   (457 Views 2 Comments)
by mph53953 mph53953 (New Member) New Member

245 Visitors; 6 Posts

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So I've been a nurse for a little over 8 months now. I work on a super busy, super understaffed telemetry med/surg unit. When I first started, I would feel so excited by how much I was improving, and I'd feel so excited when I'd tackle a busy shift. Now, I feel like I get very little fulfillment from my job. I don't go home feeling good about myself anymore. Instead, I go home feeling strung-out, angry and upset. I think I stopped improving. If anything, I honestly think I'm getting worse. Anytime someone corrects me, I feel like the biggest idiot in the world- no matter how minor it is. I don't look forward to work anymore. I don't feel proud of myself anymore. I recently went through a breakup and had to put my dog down, so I've been going through a rough patch in a general sense. I don't know if I'm burnt out or depressed or what but I just miss feeling like a half decent nurse.

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46 Likes; 15,960 Visitors; 950 Posts

To an extent, it sounds like you're experiencing the normal 'new nurse blues' that are common in your first year. It's tricky when you're experienced enough that some people expect you to know all of the answers but you're new enough that you still don't (to be honest, even the most experienced nurses don't know all of the answers).

That being said, what you're describing sounds a lot more like the beginning stages of depression and anxiety on top of the 'new nurse blues' stressors. Your first year is hard, especially when you have external challenges that impact your support network (like breakups, divorces, illness, losing pets, etc). It also sounds like you're experiencing the early stages of burnout, which is pretty common in newer nurses.

It's likely that your hospital has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), although it may have a different name. These programs provide employees with about five free therapy sessions per year to discuss whatever you want (work stress, home life, etc.) You can probably find it on your hospital HR website. You may also have behavioral health insurance in addition to your medical insurance. You can look on the back of your health insurance card to see if there's a phone line for behavioral health services, and they can help you figure out what type of resources are available to you (including how to set up EAP therapy sessions). Working with a therapist might help you to process your experiences, develop self-care skills, and determine if there are any other resources that might be beneficial for you.

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