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Nursing, not as rewarding as I thought...

Nurses   (3,716 Views 26 Comments)
by Wen83 Wen83 (New Member) New Member

1,267 Visitors; 60 Posts

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I am a new nurse and have been at it for 5 months. Before starting my life as a nurse, I was incredibly excited about the new road ahead of me. I knew it would not be easy, but I had no idea how much it would hurt my relationship and that it is slowly sucking the life out of me. I come home from work everyday exhausted, I'm irritable, and I just want to get in my pjs and curl up on the couch and be left alone. Some days are so difficult that I come home crying. My fiance who has stuck with me since nursing school (and we all know how difficult it is to keep a relationship during that time lol) is telling me how he doesn't like who I am anymore since I have started my new job and we are beginning to talk less. I'm not enjoy life and I am pushing others away from me. I keep hoping that everyday I go to work I will learn more and become more comfortable with things, but I find more self more miserable with each passing day. I work on a busy orthopedic/trauma unit and I'm wondering maybe it isn't the unit for me. Maybe I should switch to a different unit or maybe I'm just too new and need to stick it out longer.... I have have no idea anymore and don't know what to do. Is this normal? I've worked so hard to be here and I am not enjoying it. :trout:

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CIRQL8 has 13 years experience and specializes in Only the O.R. and proud of it!.

4,923 Visitors; 295 Posts

My wife and I moved back "home" after we were in a different city for 1 1/2 years. I took a job in the OR there (I am and was an OR nurse here, too) so we could be closer to family. Sometimes it IS the job that gets to you. My wife did not like me very much when I had that job. She tells me that I was withdrawn, mean, and irritable, and that she was on the verge of divorce if I did not either get my old job back, or figure out what was making me that way. Well, I got my old job back (this was about 8 years ago), and my disposition GREATLY improved. Sometimes it's the job, sometimes the folks that you work with (sometimes both). Only you know if it's the job, people, or something else getting to you. You can try to transfer to another unit or resign and go to a different institution. Just leave on good terms, so you can return if necessary (like I did).

I wish you and your fiancee the best if luck!! I truly empathize with what you are going through.

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pcicurn7 specializes in PCICU.

2,114 Visitors; 122 Posts

Can you be more specific? What is it exactly that is making you so miserable? Is it the people you work with? The hours? The field of orthopedics/trauma? You have to sit down and find out WHAT is making you so exhausted/irritable and unhappy. Maybe its a time management issue, or maybe you and your fiancee have really just grown apart, and the job is just a way to divert your issues...either way, you need to evaluate the situation carefully so that you can figure out a plan to be happier.

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21,306 Visitors; 6,487 Posts

Don't give up, try another unit or another area of nursing. Nursing is such a versatile field because there are SO many things you can do with a license.

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2,300 Visitors; 104 Posts

Trust me, I feel the same way!! I graduated in August with my LVN and I work on a busy Med/Surg unit, and I feel the same way when I come home, tired, irritable, headaches, etc! I get so sick to my stomach the night before I go to work. In my situation I think it's the floor I am on, we don't get much support from Management, and staffing is aweful, and the Orientation period is a joke!! I am in the process of transferring to another floor, and if I don't get the transfer I'll be looking for another place to work. I'll be starting the RN program in July and I really need a less stressful environment to work in, if it exists!! Good luck to you, and my advice would be to try and find a different area to work in and see if that helps!

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3,418 Visitors; 205 Posts

Some days I think I'd really rather slit my wrists than go to work ....

I had the same sort of problem with my first nursing job. It stressed me out to the point that my hair was falling out and I was vomiting every day before going to work. My husband and I were fighting all the time. I didn't know what was making me unhappy ... was it my husband and our relationship or was it my job? I took a 6 week leave of absence from my job and things with my husband improved dramatically. So I figured it was my job.

I found another one. And I didn't like it either, so I'm now on my third job. A lot of my co-workers sign up for extra shifts all the time and stay late and come in early and seem really delighted to be at work. I don't understand that. I only do what I absolutely have to, no more. Nursing is not the extraordinarily rewarding career I thought it would be when I was in nursing school. I have a job that I can do, that I'm fairly good at, and that I can tolerate, but nursing is just not really a passion for me. I can't imagine nursing for 30 years. Ugh.

That makes me kind of sad because, like you, I worked really hard to get to be a nurse. It's disappointing to find out it's not all I thought it would be. sometimes, though, things just don't work out like you expect.

Try a different job. Try several. But don't torture yourself if nursing ends up not being for you. There are millions of other things out there that you can do ... you could even stay in nursing but get out of direct patient care.

Best of luck!

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6,064 Visitors; 541 Posts

I really feel for you! I felt the same way after getting my first nursing job. I hated myself for deciding to go into nursing and not doing the research as to what the career really is about and I let my anger spill into other areas of my life. At one point, my fiance told me that he no longer wanted to marry me because of the person that I had become. We eventually worked through it and are now happily married. I quit my job in the ER after 10 months and I now work as a community educator. I am much happier now and I actually enjoy going to work. My job involves no patient contact, and it is in a much different setting than acute care. I suggest that you try finding another nursing job: a different unit, hospital, etc. Look into options outside of acute care if you think that is the problem. I knew 5 months into my ER job that I wasn't happy, and although I did feel more comfortable at 10 months, I still didn't like the job. Good luck!

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3 Followers; 95,957 Visitors; 36,552 Posts

There have been studies about the letdown when new nurses encounter the real thing. Most of us realize that we were entertaining unrealistic expectations. Sort of like the letdown that many couples encounter after a short time following their marriage. One thing to remember is that you can find this basic dissatisfaction in just about any job at any time. Take the advice of the other posters and thoroughly evaluate what is bothering you. Then decide upon one change at a time until you reach something you can live with. Please don't go into another job expecting instant happiness though. It might happen, but more likely will not. Also, tend to your physical health. An exercise program can help a lot. You will probably find that a change in nursing area every so often will be what you need to make nursing workable for you. You might even find the area that you can get passionate about. Good luck.

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1,875 Visitors; 132 Posts

:banghead: DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!! Don't we all feel like knocking our collective heads on a board (don't you just love the smiles?!?), because God knows, I have. I've been in the medical field 21 years, 14 or which have been nursing, the rest was as an ORTech. It can be the worst thing you have ever done, and the best thing that you have ever done-----it depends on the year, day, time, ect. Change floors, change hospitals, change specialities---ANYTHING. But DON'T give up yet. Ya know, sometimes we have to try on three or four different styles of shoes before we find the right one!! You can do it!!

's RN

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Agent99 has 11 years experience.

1,291 Visitors; 57 Posts

Sorry to hear of your situation. :(

I've also become very irritable, etc. I switched to part time. I hope it gets better.

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incublissRN has 10 years experience and specializes in CVICU, PACU, OR.

4,508 Visitors; 286 Posts

Does your hospital offer an employee assistance program? If so, consider going to a counselor to evaluate your feelings. I had similar feelings after I graduated. I wanted to sleep all the time, cried a lot, wanted to stay in my pjs. I went to a counselor and was on some meds for awhile. I realized that I HATED being at work and I finally transferred to a new unit after 6 months and it slowly got better.

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Natkat has 8 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in dialysis.

13,036 Visitors; 861 Posts

It kind of worries me when I read posts like this.

I'm trying to cope by telling myself that I'm not doing this to get my needs met. That is, I don't expect that being a nurse will make me feel better about myself. I'm not trying to satisfy an urge to help people or to make a difference.

Mine is more of an intellectual pursuit. I love medicine and having to deal with people is just part of what I have to do to work in a field that I love. I don't expect that people will be thankful or happy. I expect that they will be cranky, demanding and unappreciative. I hope that knowing that in advance will help me deal with it when I get my first job.

I realize that there will be an adjustment period and I hope I can ride it out until I find my niche. I expect that for several months I won't feel competent. But I hope that eventually I'll get stronger and the good days will outnumber the bad.

But if that doesn't happen I could always do something else.

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