Unsure if this is right for me...

  1. Hey everyone! I am a fairly new nurse. I have almost 2 years of experience. I work in rehabilitation/ therapy hospital nursing and hate it. I work 12+ hour shifts, night shift. Of course when I first started I was nervous and scared. I had a wonderful preceptor that trained me well and now I am totally comfortable with the computer work and charting we do. But I absolutely hate my job. Its nothing like they described when I hired in. We were told the patients were able to do therapy 3 hours a day, 5 days a week and they usually discharged home. Total LIE. Many of our patients are brought in by the liaisons to fill a bed so the liaisons can get their bonuses. Night shift gets the crap end of the stick. We always have 3-5 more patients than day shift and way less staff which makes our jobs much more difficult. Day shift usually has 4-5 nurses on the floor and at least 3 techs plus all the nurses in management offices to "help" if needed (which, yeah right, like that would happen). At night we maybe have 2-4 nurses and maybe 2 techs if we are lucky. Usually one works half a shift or we sometimes dont have any techs at all. With the patient to nurse ratio on nights being 10-12:1, its difficult to care for these patients when sometimes 7 or 8 of them are total care. Recently, we have had many nurses and techs quit especially from night shift. I have been moved to the other night shift since an RN quit, which is fine, but I am now the only RN on the med cart and we are required to do all assessments on patients at night as well as all the other dozens of tasks required. We dont have respiratory therapy or wound care at night so we do all that as well. LPNs can pass medicine only according to our policy, so RNs have to do most of their tasks as well. Obviously the LPNs dont leave this job, but 90% of our RNs are completely worn out. I do a good job and do get complimetented by patients and even had great scores on our annual evaluation recently, but some patients wear me out and I dread going into work every time I have to work. We are completely short staffed so me and the other night shift RN are working crazy schedules with little to no breaks. Recently my manager mentioned that I may start training to be charge nurse to rotate with another RN. I told her that would be fine, but I really dont even want to do it. I think it looks good that I will attempt to take on a leadership type role, but I hate my job so much that I dont want to stay. My 1 year contract was up in September, so I'm not required to stay anymore. I've applied to some other jobs but this is my only nursing experience. I'm working on my BSN now and will graduate May 2019 so I think that will help but I feel like I've wasted my time majoring in nursing. Some days are better than others but no day is a good day. When I get 9 patients for my shift instead of 12 I'm happy. It's so much med-surg/ ICU/ psych work and I've gotten some experience but nobody in management seems to care except for our manager. She has been trying to get staff in but cant. I cry almost every day I have to go to work and sometimes tear up on my lunch break if I get one. I recently got married 2 weeks ago and being on opposite shifts as my husband, we have barely seen each other. We are going to try and have a baby soon as well and I know I cant handle this stress if I do get pregnant. Most of our patients have psych issues, which I can handle, but alot of them are so mean and lazy. And I'm not talking about ones that really are incapable of caring for themselves. I'm talking about ones that are mod independent or minimal assist that just wont try to do anything for themselves. I feel like I get taken advantage of sometimes because I'm laid back and dont get bent out of shape but its taking such a toll on me. I know some may say I need to find a different job but sometimes I question if I should even do nursing anymore. I feel defeated. I get along great with my coworkers but most of our techs and even some nurses are lazy and don't do their job well even if we have said something to them so that leads to being the nurses fault if something isn't done. And I know it is my responsibility to make sure everything gets done but it's hard with 12 patients and everything I have to do. I'm very organized and great with time management and feel like I do my job well but management never seems to care about the good that the nurses do, only the bad. Not that I want a gold star, but it's nice to feel appreciated every now and then. I know this was a lot to read but I needed to vent! Thanks to whoever reads this and I'll be very appreciative for any advice or comments you post! Sometimes I think it's good to just get something off our chests!!
  2. Visit hannahkathy123 profile page

    About hannahkathy123

    Joined: Oct '18; Posts: 7; Likes: 12

    23 Comments

  3. by   hherrn
    "Unsure if this is right for me..."

    Why are you unsure?

    I have some concrete advice.

    1- You don't like your job. Find a new job.
    2- Use paragraphs.
  4. by   hannahkathy123
    Thank you so much for that incredible advice.
    This really helps confirm my feelings towards people in general. I really just needed to vent and thought I'd get some encouragement and get all this off my chest.
    P.S. I am on my phone, so I didn't assume people would want this written research paper style. Next time I'll be sure to space my thoughts into paragraphs and post my references APA style.
  5. by   hherrn
    Quote from hannahkathy123
    Thank you so much for that incredible advice.
    This really helps confirm my feelings towards people in general. I really just needed to vent and thought I'd get some encouragement and get all this off my chest.
    P.S. I am on my phone, so I didn't assume people would want this written research paper style. Next time I'll be sure to space my thoughts into paragraphs and post my references APA style.
    Skip the APA format. But, read what you wrote, and you will see- it's hard to read.

    And, clearly, you don't like your job. Sounds like your reasons are valid, but that really doesn't matter. There are plenty of other jobs out there, and with some experience under your belt, you should be able to find one you like.
  6. by   Davey Do
    I understand your need to vent and can appreciate your frustration, hannahkathy. Thanks for letting us know about both your need to vent and method of communication.

    You sound frustrated with certain situations but also have the insight to see that you're doing an adequate, if not exceptional, job. We all like to have recognition but sometimes recognition doesn't come. But the paycheck does. And that's the bottom line reason we work.

    When I get frustrated with my job, I check my bank balance and feel validated.

    It also sounds like you're going through some major life changes, like marriage and considering expanding your family. These major life changes meanwhile stresses other aspects of our lives, for example, our jobs.

    Venting can be very cathartic and allows us to gain a perspective. If typing to others on a website helps you, go for it. However, I find that pen & paper are more cathartic than a key board. Some therapists direct those suffering from emotional trauma to express themselves in the written word. Keeping a journal allows us to vent meanwhile making our thoughts and feelings tangible or later review in gaining a perspective on situation.

    Good luck in dealing with your work situation and congratulations on your marrige, hannahkathy!

    The best to you!

    Oh- and a belated welcome to AN.com!
  7. by   DextersDisciple
    It sounds like your job wouldn't be so bad if you just had appropriate staffing and support and worked
    Day shift. That being said- I think you should stick with nursing for now. After all you're getting your BSN in 7 months and that will Open many many more doors in regards to where you can work. I didn't like when I was opposite shift with my boyfriend either. We both are way happier and even adopted a dog now that I have a normal day schedule.

    Anyway, train for charge to pad your resume and put some applications out there. Or if you could financially afford to be unemployed for a little
    While and you aren't landing the interviews you want, you can always take time off until you graduate and have more options.
  8. by   hannahkathy123
    Thank you! I shouldn't have responded the way I did. I'm new to this and I do keep a journal. Maybe the online way isn't the best route for me. I just like insight from other people in this profession as it's difficult to talk to my husband about it because he has no clue about the healthcare world. Totally understand I need a new job as well but I live in a very rural area and there isn't a huge variety of options when it comes to nursing. Just needed to relieve some stress!
  9. by   hannahkathy123
    I apologize. I shouldn't have responded the way I did. I'm new to this and stressed out and I shouldn't have taken it out on you. I'm also very sarcastic and tend to respond that way, not realizing I sound mean. I dont realize the way it looks when I post from my phone, so I will try to indent where needed. I keep a journal, so maybe the online way isn't the best route for me. I just like insight from other people in this profession as it's difficult to talk to my husband about it because he has no clue about the healthcare world. Totally understand I need a new job as well but I live in a very rural area and there isn't a huge variety of options when it comes to nursing. Just needed to relieve some stress! hherrn
    Last edit by hannahkathy123 on Oct 23 : Reason: Add name
  10. by   hannahkathy123
    Thank you for the advice! At this time, there is no way for me to move to days but I'll keep applying for a new job. I live in a rural area so there aren't many options but I know something will come along!
  11. by   cayenne06
    Quote from hannahkathy123
    I apologize. I shouldn't have responded the way I did. I'm new to this and stressed out and I shouldn't have taken it out on you. I'm also very sarcastic and tend to respond that way, not realizing I sound mean. I dont realize the way it looks when I post from my phone, so I will try to indent where needed. I keep a journal, so maybe the online way isn't the best route for me. I just like insight from other people in this profession as it's difficult to talk to my husband about it because he has no clue about the healthcare world. Totally understand I need a new job as well but I live in a very rural area and there isn't a huge variety of options when it comes to nursing. Just needed to relieve some stress! hherrn
    Paragraphs and spacing are *critical* whether it is a message board, an email, whatever. I also re-read before I submit and try to pare it down as much as possible; I tend to be a bit logorrheic if I am not careful haha. Less is more when it comes to written communication, almost always.

    However, Hherrn was out of line; her comment was rude and unhelpful.

    I gave you the benefit of the doubt with your post, assuming you were stressed and just needed to get it all out. I have been there myself, and my heart goes out to you It's easy to say "just quit," but we all know it is MUCH more complicated than that IRL.

    I will also give Hherrn the benefit of the doubt; maybe she is tired coming off a long shift and didn't think about how her post might hurt your feelings. I think sometimes we forget that the person we are responding to is an actual human with actual feelings. Its easy to be rude online, unfortunately.

    Don't be afraid to continue to post! Most everyone here is supportive and kind, and will do their best to read your wall of text haha.



    Quote from hherrn
    "Unsure if this is right for me..."

    Why are you unsure?

    I have some concrete advice.

    1- You don't like your job. Find a new job.
    2- Use paragraphs.
  12. by   Miss.LeoRN
    I was in a similar situation to yours, granted, I worked 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week and my days off were never guaranteed. It was never a surprise if I ended up on the schedule on what was supposed to be my day off because they couldn't find someone to cover. And if you were on the "daily schedule" you were required to be there. Didn't matter if it was your usual day off, or if the master schedule said you were off. My facility too was a sinking ship people were bailing from. On top of that... entire units of tech's would call off and there'd be no reprimand because no one was being hired.

    On my unit we have upwards of 20 patients (on average 16-18) with 1 RN at night and 1 Tech who would constantly be pulled to another unit to cover a call off. I always put my foot down and never let my tech get pulled. I was the only unit with one tech at night; the other units had 6 ( long term units), and 3 on the other rehab unit which had 31 beds vs. my units having 20 beds. It simply wasn't fair that I was supposed to be responsible for 16+ patients on my own. It was dangerous and I refused to work if they would pull my aide. They stopped trying to pull my aide.

    I was miserable. Responsible for just as much, as well as preparing for day shift, and at least twice a week would walk into work with a 10pm admission pushed off onto me on top of everything else. My day shift nurse was lazy AF and would push tasks off onto me because she didn't want to do them; typically wound care. Like, wound vacs need to be changed at 2am. She'd be furious in the morning if I hadn't given "with breakfast" (served at 830) insulin at 6am. I tried to call out once, and she called me back to tell me I had to come in because other people had called out.

    After my nursing supervisor left, they were on me all the time on if I had "ever thought of becoming a supervisor". I had been a nurse all of 6 months at this point. I got out of there as quickly as possible. I started applying to the local hospitals, landed an interview, and pleadingly convinced the charge nurse to give me a chance. She did. I've never been happier.
  13. by   MJPN2012
    I am in a somewhat similar situation as you, so this is my story and advice. I started out as an LPN and I didn't want the responsibility of an RN. I happened upon a job in private duty home health in pediatrics and found that I really loved it. Since I loved "nursing" so much, I went back for my Associate's. I sadly mistook how different private duty is from other types of nursing. Being that I get to spend 8-12 hours with adorable kids and babies with complex, but mostly routine, medical needs.

    When I became an RN, I got a job on Med-Surg in a hospital one hour away. I also live in a very rural area. I hated working in the hospital so bad that I went prn after 5 months but worked there for 2 years. I also hated those clinicals in nursing school. So, I went on for my Bachelor's hoping that this would open more doors. I tried a different hospital and I still hated it. I hated the stress, being kind of bullied, the rude people, the worry of someone coding. When I started having panic attacks, I quit and didn't look back. I've done a ton of soul searching and found that it's just not the environment I thrive in honestly. So I never found another floor any more appealing either.

    Then, I tried regular home health nursing. I liked this but the company shut down and there is only one company that will cover my rural area (has no job openings). Where I live, the tiny hospital shut down and the doctor's office is for sale. There is no opportunity nearby for nurses, especially BSNs. Private duty HH is my in between job (still love it), but its not paying the bills easily and my drive is far. I am still happier than working in a hospital, but I consider from time to time if I could manage it again with some therapy lol. I'm also recently married w/o kids yet and husband works swing shift, so our schedules aren't in the same galaxy.

    So my honest advice is to do some soul searching. If you thrive best in a team environment, you might be well suited for a lot of jobs. I've found that I'm introverted and goal-oriented, and like more long term tasks that I can watch improve over time. The Meyers-Briggs personality test helped get me started. As for rural opportunities, there are usually nursing homes, MD office, home health, the local health department, or private duty HH. I've considered getting more case management experience to qualify for a work at home job in the future... I've written you a book, but I hope I've been some help.
    Last edit by MJPN2012 on Oct 24
  14. by   Been there,done that
    Your job sounds like it deserves a special place in Dante's Inferno. I could not/ would not do it.
    But you stuck in there for that almighty golden year of experience!
    You are being flogged like a mule for the corporate master, not surprised they want to add an additional burden of "charge" on you.

    Add to that the additional stressors of night shift, school work, a new marriage... and going for a baby....somethings gotta give. No wonder you feel defeated. You are working on too many things at once.
    Your main goal should be to find a better job... but where would you find the time?

    Please.. take some time for reflection and get yourself in a better place.

    Best wishes.

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