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New nurse and I had a breakdown at work

Nurses   (12,002 Views | 33 Replies)
by KB4848 KB4848 (New) New

383 Profile Views; 11 Posts

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amzyRN specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

1,142 Posts; 17,034 Profile Views

The learning curve you describe as a new nurse and the stress associated with it is typical. I would just roll with it, recognize the process of learning and do my best. I would try to not be embarrassed by showing emotion. Everyone cries sometimes and it's okay. It can be more healthy than keeping it inside bottled up. With that said, it's not safe to work when continuously sleep deprived, especially when you're on your own. Additionally, the stresses of family life combined with a new high-stress job and adjusting to working nights will cause exhaustion. I would try to ground myself so that I could get clarity around the situation.

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ButterflyRN90 has 5 years experience and specializes in Renal and Telemetry.

1 Article; 534 Posts; 8,225 Profile Views

You have put too much on your plate. Now is not the time to be taking additional classes. You need to learn how to be a nurse .... first.

Hope you realize that night shift is messing you up. It sounds like you have FANTASTIC support from management

Best wishes, let us know how it's going.

Those classes are mandatory

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Have Nurse has 25 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg/Infection Control/Geriatrics.

15 Articles; 714 Posts; 8,185 Profile Views

I think your number one problem is sleep deprivation. Shame on your inconsiderate, 9-5 educator for interfering with your much needed sleep!

Your home problems sound quite ordinary. But the sleep deprivation magnifies everything!

So true! Are you able to sit down with your husband and share what you've been experiencing? He needs to understand that it takes some time to find your way into a workable routine. Also, you need to step up and tell someone when you are just too exhausted to function safely.

Your little one will adjust with time, and so will you. Don't worry about the acting out. Drop her off, kiss her and tell her you will see her later and go. Kids do better with a routine. She is old enough to learn that.

It's okay not to let her make you feel guilty, Hon. (Grandma here) You're doing this for her remember?

Get some sleep, have Dad babysit for a day to let you catch up with your rest. Leave the chores alone, really. Let them alone. You need to nourish both your body and your spirit.

Sending virtual hugs and chocolate your way!

Lord, please help her know that she isn't alone. Give her rest, strength and calm.

In Jesus name, Amen.

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vampiregirl has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice.

1 Article; 683 Posts; 13,575 Profile Views

To the OP... You've gotten so much great insight and suggestions from others. The tough part will be figuring out what will work best for you. This would be one of those times that a crystal ball would be really, really helpful!

I used to be able to do nightshift no problem. Much to my surprise, I tried a night shift position earlier this year and it just didn't work for me anymore. The affects were obvious in many different aspects of my life. I eventually took a position on another shift when it became available and slowly things improved/ returned to normal.

Although some posters urged caution with your educator's and manager's recommendations/ support, I would consider the options they have presented. Obviously they see the potential in you. If YOU decide that a day shift would be better for you/ your family, then you have that option.

Good luck with whatever you decide. And if what you chose doesn't work out exactly, that is OK. You are at the very beginning of your nursing career - for many of us the beginning wasn't without challenges and we survived:)

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tinyRN72 has 7 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Cardiovascular Stepdown.

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I read your post and my first gut instinct was that you are not getting enough sleep. Then I read many of the comments, and that was said several times. After reading about your meeting and the offer to change you to a different department, I had a thought. Maybe you should ask to orient on days while you are in class. Then go to nights when you don't have to pull the incredibly long shifts to do it all. I have never worked nights, because I know that I can't handle the sleep cycle changes, but if you think it will be better for you after the daytime classes are over, maybe you should at least ask if this might be an option. If you really want to stay in the CVICU, it is worth a try. I have spent most of my career in CVSD, it really does prepare you for CVICU, so if there is an opening there, and it is days, and you think that days are better, then go for it that.

And, take care of you first - that is what makes it possible to take care of everyone else, so make your decision based on what is the best way to care for you right now.

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Estateboy has 2 years experience as a RN, EMT-P.

41 Posts; 1,022 Profile Views

A few suggestions: CALM DOWN!! You're not going to get fired for a few, new, mistakes. I'm new (just off orientation) and made plenty of mistakes and learned from each one. I was devastated when I didn't pull the right number of pills from the Pixus and couldn't go back to get more. I told another nurse and she said she did the same thing...TWO HOURS EARLIER!! NO worries.

And: talk to your spouse. Does he know how you feel? Does he know what you're going thru? He should and you need to talk to him. You will BOTH feel better about your career and your life. Don't suffer alone dear.

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AnnieOaklyRN is a BSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

1 Follower; 2,577 Posts; 34,750 Profile Views

Hi OP, sorry you are going through a tough time.

As others have said I think sleep deprivation is the number one problem. You body is trying to adjust, if it can, to being awake all night and on top of it you have demands at home that you are trying to meet, PLUS you have an inconsiderate educator who expects you to stay awake for an ungodly amount of hours. So you are in a struggle between wanting and needing sleep to wanting to fulfill the needs of everyone in your life.

Will this job be permanent overnights? Will you be able to switch to a more normal shift as some point soon? If not just keep in mind you may never adjust to nights and may have to put up with this for a year or so until you can try and find a different job with normalish hours.

My suggestion is this. You talk to your nurse manager, preceptor and educator and let them know that if they expect you to work nights that you need to be allowed to sleep the following day, and not expected to try and sit in a class exhausted. That is not conducive to learning. Also I would ask if you could be initially precept in the day or evening, as nights is clearly not allowing you to learn effectively because it is a new sleep pattern for you. This would allow you to better understand what and why you are doing what you are doing, and to come up with a routine which will mean less stress when you do start nights. It sounds like your manager and educator are just not getting it, and they wont unless you have a chat. I would talk to your preceptor in a private area and let her know that you are not normally this emotional, but the lack of sleep, as well as all your other commitments have just over whelmed you. I would also apologize for getting emotional, because although most of us have cried at work (myself included) it gets awkward for the other person and I think this is appropriate.

I am not sure how long you have been on orientation, but I have been orienting to a new job for the past week and a half. I can relate to some of your post. I went from waking up at 6 and driving ten minutes to my old job, to waking up at 340 am, commuting 2 plus hours (I take public transit), and to taking care of pediatric patients only. Last week and part of this week I was literally so exhausted from the change that I could barely stay away and wasn't really learning effectively for that reason. My brain's only focus was on when it could go back to sleep. On top of that I had a preceptor that had a different teaching style that isn't effective for me (which means I may have to ask for a different preceptor, no stress there :/ ) She brought me nearly to tears Monday, not because she was truly bother me, but because of my total lack of restful sleep and the added stress of learning a new job. Fast forward to yesterday, totally different preceptor, and a much more relaxed one that isn't so type A. My body maybe has finally adjusted to the new sleep and commute schedule. I actually went to work feeling rested (despite only getting 6 hours of sleep, sometimes it is truly quality and not quantity). Last week I felt completely exhausted even on my days off, and today I don't feel that. Although I am still not sure I wlll keep this job, as I am not sure it is worth the long commute, which will be even worse in winter, it is getting better day by day and I won't rush to a decision to leave.

The point of the last paragraph is to let you know that you probably will adjust, your family will probably adjust, yes even the four year old. Please talk to her, four year olds have enough understanding that you can have a conversation with her about what is going on with mommy and that you have a new job etc. Obviously keep it at a four year old level and don't put your stress on her, but just explain the changes that are happening in her life. Her changes in behavior is more then likely her four year old way of reacting to the stress and change she is experiencing. So although you feel totally over whelmed with life right now, it will get better. It may be next week, or a month from now, but weather the storm and hang on tight. I didn't weather the storm about 7 years ago and gave up a job that was awesome because I got scared and frustrated by change and it was to easy to revert right back to my old job. I regret it almost everyday because I have not been able to get another job in that same area, and that is technically where I want to be. Don't be me. Be you and keep chugging along, and if you have to cry cry, but keep it private. Go for a walk, ride your bike, take a jog, and spend days off with the family after you have adequate sleep. Take care of yourself, because if you don't you cannot take care of others effectively.

Annie

Edited by AnnieOaklyRN

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1 Post; 53 Profile Views

You are not alone! I have been a nurse for 24 years and we all feel guilty about outlr family being home without us while we work nights. I have tried all other options including school nurse job, hospice, home heakth and clinic work but i always go back to nights. It does work best for ur family if u set a routine and have ur so in line with bedtime and school work etc. u must somehow put all things aside each night to do ur job! It will get better! Hang in there!

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11 Posts; 383 Profile Views

Wow, thank you all so much for your input and comments! I really appreciate it a lot. As an update I went to my manager and told her I decided it would be best for me/my family to switch to a weekend day shift. As luck would have it there was something open in the step down unit so I'm really happy to have all this resolved. When I told my little lady that mommy isn't going to work nights anymore her face lit up like a Christmas tree and I knew I made the right choice immediately. I know I won't have much time with her at night but it will be better than the no time I had at all working weekend nights sleeping during the day and waking up and going straight to work at night. Also, being a new grad I think the step down unit will be a really great place for me to learn without as much stress as the ICU, I realized I'm not a failure but more that this just wasn't the right time for me to be there and maybe one day I will be.

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Ddestiny has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Post-Surg, Oncology, Psych, Family.

1 Follower; 264 Posts; 7,459 Profile Views

Wow, thank you all so much for your input and comments! I really appreciate it a lot. As an update I went to my manager and told her I decided it would be best for me/my family to switch to a weekend day shift. As luck would have it there was something open in the step down unit so I'm really happy to have all this resolved. When I told my little lady that mommy isn't going to work nights anymore her face lit up like a Christmas tree and I knew I made the right choice immediately. I know I won't have much time with her at night but it will be better than the no time I had at all working weekend nights sleeping during the day and waking up and going straight to work at night. Also, being a new grad I think the step down unit will be a really great place for me to learn without as much stress as the ICU, I realized I'm not a failure but more that this just wasn't the right time for me to be there and maybe one day I will be.

Wow, that sounds like the perfect compromise! So glad it's worked out so well for you. =)

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