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Not Loving Being a Nurse

Posted

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

I feel like a failure. I busted my hump to attend nursing school at night and on weekends for 4+ years while I continued to work full time at a job I loved. Graduated, passed the NCLEX on the first try, life is golden, right?

I hung onto my previous job for 18 months after getting my license. Waited 9 months until I got my first RN position. I did PDN for a little one and it was so mentally taxing, being alone for all those hours while he slept and no adult interaction. I left that position after about 18 months and took my current one in a rehab facility. I love that I'm getting to use my skills and get to actually TALK to people 12 hours every shift, BUT, I feel like I'm constantly second-guessing myself on everything I do. It doesn't help that some day shift nurses like to second-guess, arm-chair quarterback what I do as well. Management is very cliquey and I am too old to play those games. Honestly, I come home every morning I work thinking "what did I miss, what did I forget to tell in shift report, who didn't I call in the middle of the night to update on something?" It's far too stressful for me. I KNOW being a nurse is stressful, but I hate bringing it home with me every single day.

So now I'm thinking that its not the jobs, it's nursing that I don't like. I haven't even told my husband how I feel (not that he'd EVER judge me, but I just feel like I'd be letting him down.) I am applying like crazy to get out of hands on nursing, please wish me luck that something comes my way quickly! I'm hoping that the glut of nurses are looking for hands-on positions and the options will be a little more open for someone like me who's thinking the exact opposite!

vintagemother, ADN, CNA, LVN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele.

You mentioned several things that resonate within myself, as a new grad nurse who is also an older career changer. Yes I have days when I wonder why I chose to do "this".

One thing that *really * helps me to not feel like I left things undone is to use a "brain sheet" that I use to check off items as they get done. That way at the end of the day I can review my sheet to make sure the most important things were indeed dive. I start making sure my brain sheet is going to be completed at about the halfway mark of my shift.

Another thing that helps me not to be stressed is to plan to get everything done before shift change. Having a rushed shift change and rushing when I give report makes me feel like I forgot things and then I feel bad.

Another thing I do is to try very hard to consider whether not doing a certain task is going to make my coworkers mad or is going to get me in trouble with the board. Quite frankly, I make the choice sometimes, like last night, to not do certain things that may make my boss or coworkers mad, but that hopefully keep me in the clear with the board--if that makes sense.

I work with a few crazy nurses and a few awesome ones, depending on where I work that day and which shift. I just make sure to try to cover my arse.

Each day I try to pray to God to help my mind be competent, my feet be quick, to have favor with my coworkers and patients and my bosses. To help my hands to do a good job, too.

I also try to take tine to be thankful for my job and the income it provided--which is pretty good.

Nursing is very stressful to me, too. I don't think I was prepared for the amount of stress I'd have to endure as a nurse.

I hope done of this helps you!

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

VintageMother, thank you SO much, your response does make me feel not alone! I do implement some of your suggestions, like writing everything down, I have 3 different colored inks I use and think I'm pretty organized in that regard. My "problem" with that is that we do 3 day weekends so what I've passed on to the Sat and Sun nurse A, is old news by the time nurse B follows me on Monday am---an she is a big armchair quarterback!

I follow procedure and policy to the best of my ability and training, but for instance, I got in trouble because a resident fell and I did not contact his emergency contact person. Well, he's his own POA and he asked me NOT to call his son. I think to the example that I'm my parent's POA, if something happened down the line and my brother or sister got a call from their care facility someday, they'd say "why are you calling me? My sister is my Dad's POA!" And in this case, the resident is his OWN and didn't want me to call! So now I'm told that EVERYBODY has to have somebody called if anything happens to them (fall, fever, low/high blood sugar), their wishes be damned if they are their own POA.

I do plan out my night according to tasks, the CNA's laugh at me about this "Oh, Bucky is taking her break a little earlier than usual, she must have some labs to draw this morning!", so that I can get everything done and actually be sitting and ready when the next shift comes around the corner. It is a VERY rare thing for me to leave something for a day nurse to do (resident X hasn't had his Synthroid yet because he's in the shower room, resident B wanted to have her eyedrops when she is actually awake and takes the rest of her pills before breakfast--these are lubricating drops, nothing glaucoma related!).

I AM thankful for my job, please don't get me wrong. I worry that I'm going to second guess myself right out of the door though. I'm waiting to get talked to because I call the Dr's TOO much to report things, but I don't want to take any chances after the last incident!!!

Thanks for this post

It's making me second guess myself and my decision to attend nursing school in the fall...

The first year of any type of new nursing is overwhelming. You will get your groove.

You need to learn to close the door on the facility when you leave it, and don't think about it again until you walk in for your next shift.

Just as an aside--if a patient makes their own decisions, and tells you that they do not want their family called, you have to abide by that. If that happens in the future, I would say to charge--Patient doesn't want family notified--and ask that she either speak to the patient then or take that responsibility on--patients/residents have a right to privacy.

Sounds like you are organized, have a good system in place--you will find that you will be in a place where you will not care what people are saying--a nurse that hasn't been on in 2 days really doesn't know what is happening in that moment.

Don't let them get you down.

If you are seriously considering other options, I would look at what kind and how long of experience you need to have in order to do what you would like (like case management for instance). Make that your goal if that is where you want to be. Look at the internal job opportunities in your current company even.

Best of luck to you!

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Thanks for this post

It's making me second guess myself and my decision to attend nursing school in the fall...

i don't want to scare you!!! I'm sure you will kick heiney and take down names :)

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

The first year...or two is daunting. But yes...you do second guess yourself. A LOT. I have driven home and then called in and asked...Did I do? Did I chart? Did I give? I have awakened from a deep sleep panicked because I thought I forgot something. Over the years that has gotten less and less frequent. Nursing is unlkie any other profession. There is so much on the line. I have to admit with the job climate like it is...administrations are less and less supportive and that is a shame. It makes the job harder. ((BIG HUGS))

kmclark

Has 22 years experience.

When you work these weekends haven't you noticed that there are fewer people to deal with over the 24 hrs? I don't know why, but there seems to be a huge disconnect with the weekend staff. I always thought the communication should be great on the weekends due to you have to reporst to fewer people. Less doctors, less PT, OT, etc. I used to work Mon- Thurs nights. I would report to the weekend nurses and get the same problems I passed along on Friday mornings most Monday nights when I got back. Lots of places have no one holding the weekend staff accountable and they think they can do or not do whatever they want. Of course, there all always the nuses that you give report to that you know will follow up with what the patient needs. Some people are here for the paycheck and I am sure you have figured out whom they are by now. Stick with the nurses that have your back and you make sure you have theirs. If I leave a IV bag almost empty you can bet your butt it was a day from hell. I used to alway stock my cart and come back to an empty one. I would tell the person, please refill the cart. Usually once you feel comfortable calling behaviors things will start falling into place. Don't try to be the super nurse. Treat the patients like you would want a nurse to treat your family. If you have to get management involved that is ok too.

It's funny how nurses are looked at with disdain when they say they're doing it for the money.

EVERYONE is working so they can make a decent living...

Plumbers, accountants, cashiers, can all admit that they are working to make money, not necessarily because they're in love with their line of work... but the minute a nurse says he/she is doing it to make a living, suddenly they're the devil

I'm not saying it's ok for nurses to behave ***** and obnoxious to patients... I'm also NOT saying that you should be a nurse if you can't treat people with respect and compassion when they're in a state of vulnerability, but there's nothing wrong with being a nurse for the paycheck and the financial security.

Again, I will say resoundingly that nursing isn't for everyone! And there has to be a very patient compassionate side to the nurse, but let's be honest- we all need money to live

IMHO

Edited by CantDecideUsername

why did you go to nursing school if you loved the job you had before? not asking in a critical way, just curious.

if you want to keep doing nursing, everyone else in this topic has great practical suggestions for how to cope with the stress. if nursing isn't for you, it's ok to make a change and do something else!

I can certainly see myself being an extremely apprehensive nurse... I tend tonget nervous when I'm responsible for other peoples well-being

But there are many many areas in nursing that doesn't require a nurse to be in the situation you describe:

Legal nursing

Working for insurance companies

Working in a school as a school nurse

Working in a doctors office

These are just some examples

Good luck!

-

I have also had a hard time dealing with nursing politics and attitudes that have caused me to second guess myself. I found myself wanting to be spoon fed just to be liked or fit in because I thought if the nurses think I need them it would sooth their egos and I could go about my shift in peace. (NOT) Trail and error and plenty of jobs inbetween I have learned that many of my over confident co workers are or have been just as unsure as me. They use the fake it until you make it, they make what they are telling you sound believable, (even when you and I know better) They also just know when not to admit to their vulnerabilities some are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Just know that over time (if they allow you to continue to work there) you too will become more confident with your own decision making process and you will care less and less about who said what about you. Just hang in there : )

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Thank you kmclark---I appreciate your words!!

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Fair question!! I did EMS for 20 years while working my previous career and it seemed like a natural progression. I knew I would not be advancing further in what I was doing without additional education and the next step wasn't appealing to me anyway. I have several friends who followed a similar progression and thought it seemed like a good idea for me too =)

why did you go to nursing school if you loved the job you had before? not asking in a critical way, just curious.

if you want to keep doing nursing, everyone else in this topic has great practical suggestions for how to cope with the stress. if nursing isn't for you, it's ok to make a change and do something else!

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Actually the insurance end of nursing appeals to me a lot! I've been exploring that option a little bit, it would have to be a 99% telecommuting position relative to where I live though---do you think those exist? That would be awesome!

I can certainly see myself being an extremely apprehensive nurse... I tend tonget nervous when I'm responsible for other peoples well-being

But there are many many areas in nursing that doesn't require a nurse to be in the situation you describe:

Legal nursing

Working for insurance companies

Working in a school as a school nurse

Working in a doctors office

These are just some examples

Good luck!

-

Hey, I don't care much for nursing myself. I love the patients - most of them, I suppose - but really, who has the time for them? Too much to do, not much time for all the nice things that nursing could be. I hit the ground running at the start of my shift, and still have trouble getting it all done. I don't even take a dinner break. There is no time. I am lucky if I get a chance to pee. I take care of 29 patients, more than half with dementia/Alzheimer's, the majority are fall risks, many with MAJOR behavioral issues. Many nursing homes today are trying to do more and more in way of treating patients in house, instead of sending them to the hospital, so I have IV meds and other such time consuming more "sub acute" nursing work to do, I don't just hand out Namenda and Metoprolol. I too go home and worry about what I might have missed or did not do....but I have friends who work in other areas of nursing and they too feel as if they are expected to do more and more in less time with very little help. When I think of getting into another area of nursing, I call one of them up and let them ***** for a while, usually changes my mind.

it does make me feel good to know that many of those I take care of truly love me, but though I hate to say it, the best reward is that big fat paycheck every two weeks. Sad, but it's the truth. I feel grateful to even have a job, cause in know there are a lot of nurses out there who don't. And really, the grass always looks greener somewhere else.

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

Are you sure it's nursing or is it maybe where you work? Not everywhere is a bed of roses, but I agree nursing is tough. I learned that the hard way when I stepped into the real nursing world when I landed my first new grad job. Although the experience was priceless, I found myself questioning if I made the right choice changing my career to nursing. I was stressed going into work and leaving and I was being effected emotionally. I wanted to quit bedside altogether, until a few wonderful nurses on my unit gave me a pep talk. I'll never forget one who assured me that as a new nurse I was being molded, which meant I was going through the fire. She was right, I was feeling the burn but it didn't kill me. I've since then moved on to a unit/specialty that I love and has given me a renewed look into what I want to do with my nursing career in the future.

Your back has to be broad and strong in this profession. The patient who is his own POA has rights and as his nurse, you were being respectful in following through with his wishes. You also have to give yourself some time to build up your experiences and knowledge-base before you stop second-guessing. Even the most experienced nurses will get a second or third opinion if she/he is faced with a challenge.

You should pursue what makes you happy and with that I wish you all the best. We are in a profession that provides a plethora of opportunities. You just may have to aggressively pursue that path. You shouldn't think you are disappointing your husband because "beside" is not the only area that qualifies you as being a nurse.

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

ipink, what you say is exactly what I'm thinking in the back of my mind--is it the profession or the position? Since I've done two different types of nursing "specialties", of course my head jumps to that its me and the career.

I still get irritated about the whole not notifiying the POA instance. The family dynamics there are lacking sorely (resident was transferred to hospital, unrelated to initial issue, son came to visit, wondered where he was. Four days into the hospital stay and none of the other family members had told him!)

Thank you for such kind words, they and all of the other responses mean a lot!!