Job Uncertainty, help!

  1. Hello all!

    A little backgroud on myself:
    I graduated in May 2011 with my BSN. My first nursing job was as a full time float nurse and an amazing experience. I was able to float to various units including telemetry, surgical, ortho, medical, and acute rehab and learned a great amount. After 6 months the director of the ED asked that I come work for here and I very gladly accepted. I fell in love with my job more than I expected and was content professionally.

    Personally, I needed a change for different reasons. When a friend of mine asked if I'd move with her to California I jumped at the offer. A month later I was on a one-way flight with a job offer to work on an Oncology unit. This floor is mainly surgical oncology with occasional chemo patients and medical overflow. I love being a nurse, spending time with my patients, getting to know their stories, and always strive to make them smile during my shift.

    However, this has also proved to be a problem for me. Often times we get end-of-life patients, where their surgeries are more palliative than anything else. We can have these patients for months at a time. I get SO attached and involved, and it's beginning to wear on me. I just went back home for the first time since moving here, and I kept finding myself wondering how my patients were doing. I would love to be one of the amazing, strong, caring oncology nurses, but it's too much for me. Don't get me wrong, I am very compassionate and care very deeply about my patients and the care I given them, but therein lies the problem.

    I have been on this unit for 4 months now and am unsure of what to do. Do I talk to my manager (who is my friend's aunt) and ask to be moved to a different unit? Do I search for another job altogether? I am worried not only about the fact that it could make things awkward since I know her personally, but also because I don't want to be a job-hopper.

    If anyone has any advice, similar past experiences/posssible solutions, ANYTHING please help!

  2. Visit NurseK426 profile page

    About NurseK426

    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 21; Likes: 7
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in ED, ICU


  3. by   owlRN01
    If anything, I think I would be more comfortable to talk with someone I know personally about something like this. I know she is your boss but she is human too. I am sure you are not the first nurse to have issues like this in oncology. I don't pretend to know what it's like to work in oncology because I never have and I don't think I am strong enough for it. You sound like an amazing nurse that enjoys getting to know her patients. I would try and stay within the same hospital system if possible, I think it is easier to find a job that way than starting cold. I would really say something though because you can't have this effecting your care and bringing you down. You need to be able to take work off your mind when you go home Good luck!
  4. by   Spika RN
    Wmassnurse I do have some advice for you but before I tell you I will give you my back ground so you know I am not blowing smoke. I have been an oncology nurse 3 years now and before that I was a oncology nursing assistant for 6 years (took my time going through school). I have seen other nurses like your self who get really attached to patients and when they pass it hits them really hard, I will be first to admit that I have also been guilty of that. This does not mean you are not cut out for oncology, I think about my patients constantly when I do anything away from work, you have to have a certain level of emotional attachment to properly care for an oncology patient.

    But if you are finding your self being worn down to much it might be better to get a different area in the same hospital system, also I would talk to your boss/ friend I am sure she could probably help, also I found chaplains that are staffed in the hospital are very helpful and kind to nurses because they are not only there for the patient but for you also. I hope this finds you swift and helpful, feel free to pm if you can with any other questions
  5. by   NurseK426
    thanks so much for your words of kindness they helped me to have the courage to speak directly with my boss about this, and she was very understanding and encouraging! I'm not sure what the future holds, but it's nice to know there are options