In Need of Serious Help

  1. I have posted on this website several times (before, during, and after nursing school). You all have been wonderful with quick and excellent advice. However at this point I must be real.... I HATE NURSING. I have not even been in the field a year yet... have had several jobs and have not finished orientation yet for any of them.
    As a grad nurse, and as the few weeks of working as a new RN, if I worked 5 days a week I came home crying 4 of those days. I have been treated for depression for the past 6 years... it was controlled before becoming a GN and now it is out of control. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, about nursing that I enjoy... please don't hate me for saying that because it is the truth. I've been on med/surg and surg floors and it is ALL the same... constant running around, getting yelled at by doctors, getting yelled at by patients, no time to eat or use the bathroom, exposure to HIV, smells out of this world... but mostly what bothers me is the constant running around and never having a grip on anything.
    Nursing was never my choice of a career... indeed I love learning and reading about medical/biological stuff and diseases but as a new nurse THIS was rarely tested, but what WAS tested was how many different directions I could be pulled in without cracking. And I have had several breakdowns... thus what they say, "God will never put on you what you can't take..." is totally false for me, sorry if this offends anyone.
    To add insult to injury, I started seeking work outside of nursing, something calmer, and low and behold once they find out I WAS working as an RN I'm assaulted with a barage of questions, skeptical looks, and NEVER getting the position. People attack me and say, "With THAT good of a pay check, what was wrong with you?" And I keep telling people that you could be making $200.00/hr but when you're miserable and crying at work and crying at home it is totally not worth it.
    At this point I can't get a job in any other field (stores in the mall will not even hire me) and I know I must return to the field I despise, a field that gives me grief, that if I know I must work the next day I spend the entire present day dreading tomorrow. I have no job and no health insurance.
    I don't smile anymore, I don't laugh, I can't carry on a decent conversation... I feel trapped because I have not been able to gain employment in anything. Clinics and doctor's office are also out of reach because they "want 2-5 years of nursing experience" which always means "hospital floor" experience... that which I hate.
    For those of you who have (or know of someone who has) left nursing to pursue another field, HOW in the world did you do it?
  2. Visit pnurseuwm profile page

    About pnurseuwm

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 164; Likes: 8

    28 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    i think that you need to return to the md that treated your depression..if you are on meds you might need to change them..not all meds are good for anyone..what you need to be in the care of a professional

    nursing is a hard job...esp hospital nursing...there are different avenues of nursing but i don't believe that you should put your self in a stressful situation right now

    many people enjoy being a student..it is something that they are good at and a course is finished and it is behind them..a job is not like that it is coming in to work every day until you feel like your job is a rerun

    i hope you find what you are looking for
  4. by   Jules A
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    i think that you need to return to the md that treated your depression..if you are on meds you might need to change them..not all meds are good for anyone..what you need to be in the care of a professional

    nursing is a hard job...esp hospital nursing...there are different avenues of nursing but i don't believe that you should put your self in a stressful situation right now
    I think this is excellent advice. Please seek some help and I would bet that when you are feeling better things won't look so bleak. Good luck. Hugs, Jules
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    First things first: You MUST get treatment for your depression! Nothing else in your life is going to work until you deal with this basic issue. Your employer may have an EAP (employee assistance program); ask your Human Resources people about this. It's free, confidential, and can be invaluable in helping you sort out what's eating at you.

    Also, there are free clinics in almost every city or town of any size; oftentimes they will help you obtain necessary prescriptions as well as referrals for free or low-cost mental health services. In addition, a number of pharmaceutical companies have programs for people without insurance, and when all else fails, there's good old Wal-Mart, which just put in place a $4.00 maximum on some 200 of the most popular prescriptions. So, there IS help for you if you can't afford to go to your regular MD or pay for meds.

    Secondly---Hospital nursing these days seems to be, more than anything, designed to separate a nurse from her sanity. I'm about as determined (OK, stubborn) as they come, but I just about lost my mind after 3 years of M/S nursing which was, as you say, more about how many directions I could be pulled in and how much stress I could take before I cracked. Well, I DID crack---basically had a nervous breakdown in my NM's office---and quit my job nine days before Christmas, without another job lined up. Scary........but do you know, I was able to draw unemployment benefits even though I'd quit, because both the physical and mental strain were so extreme that I'd had no choice.

    So I took two months off to rest and figure out what I wanted to do next, and by the time I was fully recovered, the RIGHT job was out there, just waiting for me. I've been at this job since February, and I've never been happier..........for me, the perfect position is as a DON in an assisted living facility; for you it will probably be something completely different. But the take-home idea here is, PLEASE don't give up on nursing entirely---there are opportunities in many different areas which don't necessarily involve being treated like a pack animal and dealing with the less attractive aspects of humanity.

    I hope this is at least a little helpful.........I hate to see nurses in the sort of position I was in, but having "lived to tell the tale", so to speak, I'm here to say that it DOESN'T have to be that way!

    Please keep us posted..........a lot of us have BTDT, and we care.
  6. by   HealthyRN
    I agree that you need to seek help for your depression before doing anything else. I can also see how nursing could contribute A LOT to the depression itself. If you feel that you are stuck in nursing, have you considered home health or a different speciality of hospital nursing? I work in the ER and it is so much better than med-surg, even though I still don't really enjoy it. Also, try applying for jobs even if the requirements are 2-5 years of experience. I got the job in the ER even though previous critical care experience or 2 years of med-surg was required.

    I am leaving the nursing profession after less than a year to go back to school for something new. Is this an option for you? I will probably continue to work part-time or contingent, but if things get too bad, I will survive off student loans as I did for my nursing degree. I don't have children and my fiance has a good job, so I am lucky in this aspect. Just knowing that this is a temporary job helps me get through each day. I also feel that I am working toward something because I am saving all of my money to continue my education.

    My prayers are with you. Please seek some help for your depression. Keep us updated.
  7. by   pnurseuwm
    Thanks all for your support.
    Went to a free clinic today and got a month's supply of meds. The whole process was not as bad as I thought it would be.
    Still in a dire unemployed mess but get mini panic attacks when I think about returning to the hospital floor (pretty much the only option for someone like me with less than 1 year's experience and never completing orientation).
    Tomorrow I'm going back out on the job hunt,this time to apply for more jobs in the mall. It is true some family members may be surprised/dissapointed in my decision but NONE of them have ever experienced nursing, and if I hear another "but the money is so good in nursing!" argument I think I may scream bloody murder.
    Any other tips for leaving nursing? Thanks a bunch :wink2:
  8. by   Tweety
    You need to take care of yourself and not worry about the "but the money is so good in nursing stuff".

    I seriously doubt you need to go back into nursing right now. You need to stablize on your meds, and find some peace of mind. Do you have to let prospective employers know you're a nurse? Jobs are hard to find as it is. Good luck to you.
  9. by   Little Panda RN
    I am sure that even without 2-5 years experience you can get a job in the clinical setting. You should know though, that they doctor who was yelling at you in the hospital is the one who yells at his office nurse when things are not going as planned. You will still have patients yelling at you and family members calling you and yelling because you have not helped their loved one. You will still get pulled in 50 directions at once. I know it is not as stressful as the hospital, but it can still be very stressful. Nursing is stressful and it takes alot out of a person.

    First and foremost take care of yourself! Sometimes taking a break and doing a totally different job, helps give perspective to who we are and what we want.

    My thoughts are with you!
  10. by   rnexpectations
    You state " nursing was never my choice for a career". Did you take up nursing to please someone else? You also said you like to study and read the medical stuff. Research is a great way to do both. Prayers and best of luck from someone who started nursing with Florence!
  11. by   mtngrl
    I have not enjoyed nursind either. I have tried hospital, Dr's office, and now I am doing the least nursing I can, which is "meds only" nurse for group homes. It's just a few hours, and that's all I do and then I go home as soon as I finish. Of course, I do not make much money this way, since I get just a few hours a week. But it is all I can stand basically. I went through the "I'll apply to stores at the mall" phase when I was in the hospital and hated it so much. Luckily I found this job (which does pay more for 12 hours than a 40-hr min. wage job). But I do want to totally quit nursing one day. I don't like the liability of the profession. And how no place ever has anough help. And how I'll go home and stress the whole night about my day. Etc Etc. I recently went to real estate school and got a license. That's actually something I've always had an interest in. BUT it will make you broke before you make any money......so don't do it if you don't have around $2000 at least to spend. I hope to succeed in it and if I do then I'll let my nuring license go. I'm not going to be one of those persons that keep their RN license active in case their new job doesn't work out. I don't want to go back to nursing so why keep it active?? I do want to say I have geat admiration for all nurses! Especially the ones getting run ragged in the hospitals.
    It is perfectly ok to not like the profession you thought you would. Lots of people go to college and think they know what they want but then hate it. You don't know until you do the job.....school is NOT the job. My sister got a full scholarship to a private college for teaching. She taught one year, hated it, and went to be a rad tech. She had to pay back that scholarship but that didn't stop her, she was unhappy as a teacher. Now she loves her job. No education is a waste, even if you don't "use" it. But it is a waste to stay in a profession that makes you unhappy.
  12. by   jjjoy
    Been there, done that. I myself had to leave nursing behind more or less. I, too, get annoyed at folks who comment about how much money I could be making. Totally pointless, cuz I wouldn't last long enough to enjoy it. I hate to admit I can't do something... well, I suppose I COULD make nursing work as long as I never gave up and kept trying... but I decided that, for me, I didn't want it that badly. Looking for work was a pain, for the same reasons you give. They generally figure that no way will I stay long cuz I "could make more" as a nurse. Sigh. All you can do is keep trying - fall down, get back up - brush yourself and have laugh... and find people who will laugh with you, in a supportive way, people who don't label changing direction or finding out your limits a "failure".

    I eventually got a job that suits my personality better and doesn't drive me totally crazy. Only a little crazy. Normal crazy. Not the gut-wrenching feelings I fought while trying to making clinical nursing work. Now I hear my colleagues gripe about how much work there is or how stressed they are... I just smile to myself, cuz I know this feels so much better for me. I don't have it all figured out. I'll probably want to move on in awhile and am not sure what direction... utilize my nursing background or not? go back to school or not? Anyway, you're not alone in your feelings. : )
  13. by   RS0302
    I dont have any advice for you, but I know how you are feeling. I only worked on a med-surg floor for a month, and that was enough to make me never want to return. Now I have no idea what I want to do. Like you, I am thinking about finding work outside nursing. I just got off the phone with my mom 10 minutes ago and explained to her why I quit and why I'm not sure if I want to be a nurse anymore. Of course she was suprised and said "but think of all the money you could make! Do you know what I would do to make that kind of money?"

    So now I feel even worse, but I tried to explain to her it doesnt really matter to me how much money I make if I'm miserable. She still didnt get it. And of course she is trying to make me try something different in nursing, which I am considering. I dont think right now the hospital is a good place for me. I am considering maybe working in a clinic or nursing home. I just feel so lost.....
  14. by   kit3375
    Quote from pnurseuwm
    Thanks all for your support.
    Went to a free clinic today and got a month's supply of meds. The whole process was not as bad as I thought it would be.
    Still in a dire unemployed mess but get mini panic attacks when I think about returning to the hospital floor (pretty much the only option for someone like me with less than 1 year's experience and never completing orientation).
    Tomorrow I'm going back out on the job hunt,this time to apply for more jobs in the mall. It is true some family members may be surprised/dissapointed in my decision but NONE of them have ever experienced nursing, and if I hear another "but the money is so good in nursing!" argument I think I may scream bloody murder.
    Any other tips for leaving nursing? Thanks a bunch :wink2:
    My reply to those who say,"but the money is so good in nursing!" would be I'm sure you want someone taking care of you who's in this field because the money is so good! Money doesn't make you enjoy this profession or help you to have that true compassion for human kind you must have to survive in this field. Good luck to you. I think you're making a good decision by looking elsewhere for employment. It's not fair for you to be miserable or to the patient who can sense that your heart is not in it.

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