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Please help, feel trapped

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Guest716906 Guest716906 (Member)

Hello, I have been a nurse for 5 years. 4 years med surg telemetry. 9 months hospice case management. I'm totally burnt out on hands on patient care. I want to work in an office. I want to work at a desk. I just cant do hands on patient care anymore. I'm applying to all kinds of hands off patient care jobs, barely any jobs are contacting me back. It's taking forever to secure another job. I want to put my 2 weeks in at this job tomorrow. I have bills but I'm about to just use a credit card until I can secure another job. I just cant work here 1 more day. I'm at my wits end. Please help 😞

18 minutes ago, Tele RN 92 said:

I'm about to just use a credit card until I can secure another job. I just cant work here 1 more day.

Yes you can.

If you hate it to the very core of your being right now, imagine what kind of desperation will befall you when your debts are out of control. Don't flush money down the drain on account of a job you hate. Really think about that--it's therapeutic: Don't grant even more control over your life to something that is already having a negative effect! I know you think that getting away from it will limit the negative effects, but that thinking only accounts for what is tangible (and overwhelming) to you right now. Don't fail to take into consideration what's realistically going to happen when you can't pay off your CCs each month and are racking up high interest and fees on top your debts themselves.

Again: Do not let something that is causing you considerable difficulty right now wreak even worse havoc in your life.

* Instead, change your thinking to protect your sanity so that you can hang in there until you have other means of income. Take some time to think about the work-related things that have been stressing you, and ponder which ones don't require the amount of emotional energy that you have been granting them. Rude docs/coworkers? That's their problem. People unhappy that they don't get what they want instantly because you can't do everything at once? That's their problem. Running all day long? Do the best you can and quit feeling bad that you can't do it all. Wherever possible, recognize situations that aren't ideal but also aren't your doing or your ultimate problem. Your role is to use your skills to make things better to the best of your ability.

* Do all the other things job-searchers must do, like getting some opinions on your resume, preparing for interviews, etc., etc.

scuba nurse, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 31 years experience.

How about school nursing? Look to sub first.

Do not quit until you have another job!

I totally feel your pain 😕 I was like for many years working on a trauma unit. Then I went part time in inpatient rehab which is much better than trauma but same old problems (short staffing, terrible nurse aides, no lunch breaks, upset families). I finally got the courage a couple of months ago to interview for a non-bedside nursing job. I have a phone interview today to learn more about it. Even if I don’t get this job, I still feel good about getting the ball rolling to find a different job. I would suggest that you get a calendar and cross off everyday that you get through work. Maybe set a goal to have a new job by the end of Spring/beginning of Summer. You can do it! You don’t want to start off a new job being thousands of dollars in debt. I truly wish you good luck!

CritterLover, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU, Infusion, peds, informatics. Has 22 years experience.

What part of the country are you in, and what is the job market like?

Have you tried looking at one of the major job boards (such as indeed) and searching for corporate type nursing jobs? A lot of the big insurance companies post jobs there. The big benefit there is that many large insurance companies don't care where you live and you can often (though not always) telecommute, so even if the job market is tight in your area you can still often find something. Make sure you check them out on glassdoor though.

Clinical liaison might also interest you -- that is the nurse from the LTC/Rehab facility that goes to hospitals to evaluate patients for suitability for admission to that particular LTC/LTAC/Rehab.

Staff development might also be a option. Or maybe look for positions with device manufacturers if you don't mind a lot of travel.

Some addiction/recovery centers use RNs to dose subutex/methodone/etc. I had always thought they used medication techs for that but I worked with a nurse who left to go do that so at least some places hire RNs. I think she was doing some counseling as well though.

If your IV skills are decent and you don't mind some direct patient care I'd encourage you to check out infusion centers. If I lost my FT job and couldn't convert my casual job to FT, an infusion center would be my first choice.

Depending on what you are burnt out on, the OR or a procedural area might not be a bad fit either.

Good luck -- I hope you find something that you enjoy 🙂 .

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

12 hours ago, Tele RN 92 said:

I just cant work here 1 more day.

Many look at quitting a job or getting fired with the same intensity as death by torture, when really, it can be a growth learning experience.

In the very least, you'll learn, "Oops! I shouldn't have done that!"

Or not.

I quit a job without having another lined up and been terminated from... let me think, here... three jobs in 37 years of nursing.

Each was truly a learning experience. There was pain, but, as they say, "in pain, there is growth".

Your mental health is more important than some soul-sucking job.

The very best to you, TeleRN!

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Please contact your facilities Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to get advice on your burnout. Many EAP provide few free phone sessions/visit. This can help you bide some time until can obtain a desk position.

Best wishes moving forward

Do not quit now. If you think it is unbearable now what do you think you will feel like when you don’t have the money for your rent or mortgage, much less utilities or food? If you must, take an emergency stress leave (time off) of a minimum of three days in addition to your days off. Get this in writing from your doctor. Rest, recuperate, steady your thinking, and start a job search. Best wishes.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

It takes some time, connections and strategy to land a non-bedside nursing position. These jobs are competitive. During the interview, you will also need to convince the interviewer that you are seeking the position for what you can do, not because you don't want to do bedside anymore.

Rather than quitting right away, can you use up any PTO you might have remaining?

19 hours ago, caliotter3 said:

Do not quit now. If you think it is unbearable now what do you think you will feel like when you don’t have the money for your rent or mortgage, much less utilities or food? If you must, take an emergency stress leave (time off) of a minimum of three days in addition to your days off. Get this in writing from your doctor. Rest, recuperate, steady your thinking, and start a job search. Best wishes.

But don't put the real reason on this doctor's note.

Are you eligible for FMLA? Yes, you will have to give a reason but I don't think you can be denied FMLA if you meet the eligibility criteria. You can use the time to job hunt.

Have you thought about becoming a nurse for an insurance company? If you have current experience in Med Surg, Peds, OB, or other major specialty, you could probably do Case Management or Utilization Management.

Want to be a wound/ostomy nurse? IV Therapist? Employee Health? Occupational Health? Wellness Screener/Biometric Screener? Go on Indeed or the other job boards.

What exactly is the problem with your job? What would make it bearable?

Figure out how to cut your expenses way, way down so you can live without an income for a while if need be. Got anything you can sell? Take in a renter? Move in with your family for a while?

Work for an agency. You can try different facilities and areas of nursing that way, see if you like them.

I wish you all the best. Update us when you can.

Edited by Kooky Korky

T-Bird78

Has 6 years experience.

I feel you—and I work in an office. We have the same problems, being short-staffed, crazy patient loads, and ornery doctors. I have a coworker who leaves at lunch two days a week and one day a week at 4:00 to go to school. That puts my location short-staffed by one MA three days a week, and two of those days we have two physicians. We see 40-55 pts a day between the two doctors, and a third one has expanded their hours to have their last appt at 5:00. Our working hours are supposed to be 8:30–5:00, yet we’re still seeing pts starting at 5:00. One doc has even had Saturday hours because we’re booking so far out for pts. One doc has the “I’M the physician” attitude and doesn’t listen to input from we mere nurse peasants. I have a desk but I’m up more than I’m down. In my 8 1/2-9 hour days (five days a week with a 30 minute lunch), my FitBit shows I’m standing 14 hours a day and I hit my 8,000 step goal daily. I’ve been thinking about leaving healthcare completely. I’ve been doing this for 13 years and it gets more and more BS. Hang in there and know that you’re actually making a difference to people.

SandIsMyGlitterRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 21 years experience.

On 3/9/2020 at 12:52 PM, scuba nurse said:

How about school nursing? Look to sub first.

Do not quit until you have another job!

I am a school nurse because I was burnt out working crazy hours. I love it!! It is much more challenging that I thought it would be. I have great hours and still get to use my assessment skills all day. The school I work in has a high number of children with special needs so my skills are very useful here. I have children with trachs, caths, daily seizures, etc. Depending on the state you will work in you may have to go back to school to get your school nurse certification but it may be worth it in the long run. Hang in there! We have all felt the same way at some point in our careers. You got this!

Thank you all so much! All your responses help so much. I didn't put in my 2 weeks.. I'm trying to stay. However today I just couldn't get out of bed. I'm at work now, super late. So behind on all my charting. My caseload is so heavy today and my back just hurts so bad. These patients are all so heavy and I'm always alone at their houses turning them, cleaning etc. I think I just have to look into FMLA. I'm just having worse and worse back pain. Any advice on how I should go about this? Our company is already short staffed and has lost 2 nurses. Another one keeps calling off. I'm trying to take a break. Something is very wrong at this company 😕

46 minutes ago, Tele RN 92 said:

Thank you all so much! All your responses help so much. I didn't put in my 2 weeks.. I'm trying to stay. However today I just couldn't get out of bed. I'm at work now, super late. So behind on all my charting. My caseload is so heavy today and my back just hurts so bad. These patients are all so heavy and I'm always alone at their houses turning them, cleaning etc. I think I just have to look into FMLA. I'm just having worse and worse back pain. Any advice on how I should go about this? Our company is already short staffed and has lost 2 nurses. Another one keeps calling off. I'm trying to take a break. Something is very wrong at this company 😕

Get into see your PCP as soon at you can. If your pain is really bad, go to an urgent care. They can do some imagining and if the images are negative, maybe they can write for a few days off to rest your back. Are you full time or part time?

11 hours ago, Tele RN 92 said:

@carebear01 I am full time. And OK that sounds like a good idea

You have to decide to take of yourself, not worry about the company. If you keep enabling them to overload you, make you lift without a Hoyer lift or whatever equipment would make your life easier, you will continue to be abused.

Get on FMLA immediately and take care of YOU. Don't let them beg and plead and cajole and promise you the moon. Be firm and take care of YOU.

Google FMLA and read up on it so you know the law.

Ever thought about teaching Nursing or being a public health nurse?

@Kooky Korky Thank you. I actually went to work today and ended up hurting my neck, so I will go to the doctor and tell my manager. Hopefully I can have some time to recover. I'm pretty upset tonight though. I pushed myself too far and now my back and neck are killing me, it's not worth it. Hopefully I can have some time off and land a new job by then. But if not, I just have no idea. I don't think I can go back after this. I feel so abused and taken advantage of. My old job in med surg tele made me feel like this as well after 4 years. I just want a normal job where I don't have to kill myself.

When I experienced similar feelings, I cut my hours back and worked casual on a few units. It gave me a break and I learned new skills. I discovered what I liked and what I didn’t . I did not suffer financially.

The bigger bonus was how welcomed I was to go to these other units! The staff went out of their way to be friendly and helpful.