Newly licensed BSN Grad here. Got my license 10/2018, in Florida. Didn’t secure a job until early 2019.
I graduated at the top of my class, Cum Laude- the only one to graduate with honors(!) as a member of 5 honors societies and special recognition for 500+ volunteer hours in an animal shelter while I studied as an undergrad.
I have a long-standing history of generalized anxiety, major depression, suicide attempts x3, PTSD, and cerebral palsy related to preterm birth and subsequent brain hemorrhage. I am currently in counseling and have been on and off for almost half my life, cumulatively.
I work in a busy med-surg unit whose main focus is Cardiac observation (pre/post ablation, pace maker, etc), but we are still a med surg unit, so we get all kinds of random cases too. I work the night shift- and let me also state that I have great charge nurses and helpful staff and my anxiety is NOT related to being a new nurse or fear of mistakes. I know I can go to my team, and when i am unsure, I ask, no matter how minor it may seem.
My anxiety stems from 2 things. The first being, I feel like I have no control. No matter how much we do right, management is up our butts— the white board wasn’t filled out fast enough, you didn’t take your break/took it too late into the shift- but they send home nurses between 11pm—1 am and redistribute the assignment, throwing 7 patients at us, and then wonder why we can’t take our breaks. Maybe because I had to do 2 admissions and also do the admission that day shift didn’t finish! Most days, I dread going to work. I did not understand our call out sick policy and I ended up working with a 101.1 degree fever, three days in a row, sick for 2.5 weeks. I ended up reporting to a shift, so short of breath that I got sent to the ER... but I felt like I couldn’t call out because I misunderstood our policy (I thought we had to make up any/all call outs, but it’s only for weekends, but you only have 4 call outs available per year without getting points, whatever that means...). I am also in a 2 year new graduate contract that demands money if we quit or get fired- so finding another job feels like an unattainable option... I feel like this job doesn’t allow me to take care of myself or have control in my life. I feel like I’m drowning- I am scared.
The second reason being, i feel my depression creeping in- almost as bad as it was when I was at my worst and attempted suicide following an abusive relationship and surviving 200+ counts of rape and violence. This job feels just as mentally, physically and emotionally draining as that period of my life. I don’t even feel like a person when I go to work. I feel like a body, who is merely there to perform tasks, and more tasks, and more tasks. I often get heavy assignments. Total care patients and patients who are combative- being disabled (CP, as mentioned above) makes both of these situations hard because my risk for injury is higher. I’m easily knocked off balance by a 280 pound actively drunk guy, but he was assigned to me... so I took care of him as best I could without getting kicked/knocked down. I’m anxious before every shift. There are days I dread getting out of bed, or even being alive. It’s horrible because I have a lot in my life to be thankful for and I’m loved by my family, boyfriend, and friends... but this job. Jesus. It’s sucking the life out of me. And it’s a battle I don’t want to lose. Does anyone out there have advice? I’m trying to get into grad school so I can stay optimistic while I ride out the remaining 20 months of this contract- but sometimes the idea of staying at this job feels like I’ll be pre-signing my death certificate. I don’t know how much more I can take this. I really. Really. Need any wisdom, please