1. Right out of nursing school I landed a job as an ER nurse in level 2 trauma center. However, my fiance works as a teacher/coach who loves his job in a town an hour away from where I work. I initially thought that I could tolerate the 1 hour commute for a job that I worked fairly hard for to gain experience but am quickly realizing how burnt out I am getting from driving 1 hour each way on top of 12-14 hour shifts. There are job openings in a critical access hospital in the town that we currently live in. My question then is do I give up a job that could earn me tons of experience but an hour commute or a job 5 minutes away with potentially less critical care experience?
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    About prw1217

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 2
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   thoughtful21
    Hi! I can't give you any real advice, but I do understand how hard it is to commute! I've been commuting for many of my clinicals during nursing school, and it gets very difficult after several 12 hour shifts in a row! It doesn't feel healthy, and I'm not even sure it's safe.
    Is there a way you could stay with a friend or rent an apartment in between shifts, and drive back home on your days off? (Not ideal, I know! But wanted to throw that out there.)
    A critical access hospital is a great place to work! You get experience in a lot of different areas, including ER. Maybe, because of your experience, the critical access hospital would ask you to be one of their main ER nurses. But, it might not look good to switch jobs so early in your career, and it would probably be hard for you to give up the ER job that you love! It's a hard decision for you!
  4. by   amoLucia
    I don't see anywhere you comment how much you LIKE (or DISLIKE) your present job except for the commute. If you DO like your current job, then you REALLY need to consider all your PROs & CONs.

    A one-hour commute is not terribly terrible (unless some miserable bad weather driving)! There are things to do that can make commuting time more relaxing and/or industrious. You may have to make some serious selective adjustments re home chores and leisure activities. Nobody died from dirty dishes in the sink. And shopping can wait until the weekend.

    You need to maximize your OFF-THE-JOB home time to utilize that time to its best advantage to re-vitalize yourself. And that includes taking physical care of yourself (good sleep hygiene, good nutrition and hydration, exercise, decompression, etc).

    There will be more changes to come as you and BF continue your lives. How does he feel about your changing jobs because of the commute? Is he able to provide the support and understanding that you need now. How's his travel? Might he be adding to your distressed feeling?

    To me, it sounds like you really like the possible opportunities that you have where you are. Interview if you feel you want. But new changes are a lot like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates.

    Sorry I'm not more definitive but it's your decision that you'll have to make. Good luck.
  5. by   Mavrick
    Do your best to turn "commute" time into "off work" time. I believe in music therapy so a subscription to Sirius was my solution. I could pick tunes that helped me transition from a crappy work day to a rockin' ride home. Some people I worked with liked the audio book option.

    What finally turned me off to commuting was I couldn't always count on an hour to myself. Traffic could make or break. Sometimes I could get to work in a half hour but I always had to leave an hour for the commute cuz sometimes it did take the full hour. I so hate being late, I suffered through getting there way too early.
  6. by   turtlesRcool
    Is there a reason the two of you can't live somewhere in the middle? A 30 minute commute for each of you seems like a fair compromise to keep you both in the jobs you love.
  7. by   prw1217
    Thank you all for your advice and insights! Definitely gave me more to think about. We considered somewhere in between, but there is one town that is very very small and no options to rent. We ultimately decided we needed to live in a town that one of us worked in and since he teaches and coaches, he would have to drive most weeks, 5-6 days/week so we decided to stay in the town he works in.

    I do enjoy my job, but the hospital is very very short staffed (I'm sure the case everywhere) and most days I don't get off until about an hour and a half after I'm supposed to. We as a unit have very little support from our director/manager/CNO and 4 nurses that have been working there for 15+ years have recently quit because of how frustrating the conditions have been, all saying that this is the worst that it has been.

    I think the main thing that is holding me back from applying to the hospital in the town that I currently live in is that I have only been with my current job for a little over 6 months. I'm nervous that working at a job for a short time and then leaving wouldn't look good to future employers.
    Last edit by prw1217 on Jan 28
  8. by   prw1217
    Podcasts and jamming out are getting me thru the commute now. I'm so scared of when I get tired after work and have to drive home. It's all country driving and very boring so podcasts have been a saving grace.
  9. by   FullGlass
    Quote from prw1217
    Podcasts and jamming out are getting me thru the commute now. I'm so scared of when I get tired after work and have to drive home. It's all country driving and very boring so podcasts have been a saving grace.
    I live in California, so long commutes are common here. No one would bat an eye at 1 hour each way.

    I did a have gig where I had to work in San Francisco 4 days a week, when I lived in Los Angeles. I simply rented a spare room from a friend 4 days a week, then drove home to LA on weekends. It didn't cost that much. You might want to look into something like that. In addition, look into hotels near work to find a decent one with a good rate for nights you are really tired or if the weather is bad. The hospital probably has a preferred rate with hotels in the area. It is good to have that option, even if you seldom use it.