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Personal trauma making me want to leave nursing?

Posted

Specializes in Long-Term Care, Med/Surg. Has 3 years experience.

Hi all,

I recently had a daughter who was stillborn at 33 weeks. No reason, it just happened out of the blue. After further investigation, she had already been passed away at my last OB appointment 3 weeks before I went into labor and they didn’t notice. I developed a uterine infection as a result. I was told the lack of movement was normal in the 3rd trimester. I recently went back to work on a med/surg floor and just hate my job now. I can’t stand being around sick/dying for another second. I feel like nursing is making my PTSD/anxiety/depression worse. Did anybody leave nursing after a horrible personal experience? I just don’t know what to do now. It takes everything I have to not call out each and every shift, even though it’s only 3 times a week.

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 39 years experience.

You are still grieving, you returned too early. Take some FMLA while you decide. I hope you are in counseling, or at least in a Grief Support Group. There are groups specific to lost pregnancies, ask your OB. There are also other areas of nursing that may give you a break from floor nursing. Just take some time.

I am sorry for your loss💜. I can understand why being at bedside can be unnerving for you. Perhaps exploring your feelings with a therapist will help. If you don’t have insurance there are also free services available.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I understand how you feel. After I lost my father, I could not handle being around illness and death. Every little old dude I took care of... brought back the pain of my father's illness.

Take some time off to work through your grief. You may or may not be able to return to the bedside. You would not have to leave nursing, just the bedside.

Best wishes.

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 9 years experience.

There are other nursing jobs that aren't direct care for medically ill. There is psych nursing, although with your trauma listening to people complain about mundane "issues" may be trying, too.

Also clinics, doctor offices. Perhaps even dialysis (although those patients can be pretty ill).

If you have other kids, perhaps school nursing, seems like a lot of people love that position. It may be hard if you have no kids, though, with the grief.

A coworker of mine had a stillborn very late, too. She changed units when she came back to work. A friend lost one of her twins at about a week old. I'm very sorry for your loss. You probably still need some more time to grieve. Take it. Get help if you can.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Dialysis? EVERY ONE of them is ill (and in some stage of dying unless they get a kidney)---and it's a strain to see them die so often. You see them 3 days a week; get to know them and their families. And then they die.....

If you have not worked in dialysis, don't think it's easy and the patients are not very ill. Not true.

To the OP I am very sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself. I worked in OB; I know a loss of a baby is horrific and you never get over it.

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 9 years experience.

On 5/16/2020 at 6:11 PM, SmilingBluEyes said:

Dialysis? EVERY ONE of them is ill (and in some stage of dying unless they get a kidney)---and it's a strain to see them die so often. You see them 3 days a week; get to know them and their families. And then they die.....

If you have not worked in dialysis, don't think it's easy and the patients are not very ill. Not true.

To the OP I am very sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself. I worked in OB; I know a loss of a baby is horrific and you never get over it.

I didn't mean that dialysis patients aren't ill. I work in hospitals, and yeah, those patients can be quite ill. But the setting may be different. If she doesn't like bedside, perhaps changing settings may help.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

I am so sorry for your loss and I can't even imagine what you are going through. I agree it might be a good idea to take an extended leave or look into areas of nursing that are more preventative care/working with healthy patients, even if just temporarily. Maybe primary care, outpatient surgery, Telehealth triage, public health, etc. I know covid is making hiring different but I've seen some postings for these type of jobs. I wish you the best and I hope you will be feeling better with time.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

I am so sorry about your baby. I agree with the others; it's just too soon. I think no matter what kind of nursing you do, it's going to require emotional energy that you just don't have right now.

If you can financially swing it, I vote for extended leave. Care for the caregiver.

Wishing you peace and healing.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby. I lost a newborn 36 years ago and I still ache for her. It's not something you get over; you get through it, you get past it, but you never, ever get over it. The grief will lessen ever-so-slowly with the passage of time, but you need to give yourself time to mourn. Don't put the grief away too fast. Feel your feelings---it truly is OK to not be OK. Rage, scream, cry, pound pillows...it's not FAIR!

I agree with other members who have advised you not to worry about going back to work at this time. If you can manage it, use FMLA (if you've been at your current workplace for a year or more) and get some help sorting it all out. The Compassionate Friends is an excellent organization that literally saved my life once. Look them up online to find a local group if you can.

I wish you peace as you go through this terrible time. God bless you.

Heartbeat2BLPN

Specializes in Long-Term Care, Med/Surg. Has 3 years experience.

Thank you everyone for the sweet comments. I have only been at this job for 2 months now...I did not work while pregnant and foolishly thought I should go back after 6 weeks. This is my first hospital position in the largest system in the state so it's not a bridge I can afford to burn. Each shift is getting a little easier...and I know I still love/hate my job and wouldn't be happy doing anything else. And so sorry to everyone here that could relate to my grief. It feels good to vent sometimes especially to those who get it. Med/surg is more frustrating to me than my background (LTC) because many people have minor aches/pains and act like their world is falling apart. I want to say if only you knew how much pain I had! I am still struggling...my support group was canceled due to the virus. So I'm just trying to make it through each day.