I've been an RN for about three years now and worked as an aide prior to that for a year during nursing school in the surgery department at a local county hospital.
After passing the boards I was hired directly onto the PACU floor at my workplace and would float to the preop area occasionally when needed. I worked here for about 9 months because I felt I was not learning much as far as the disease process and most patients were stable after surgery and any complications that occurred the more experienced nurses would jump in and didn't get much experience there either. I liked the job for the most part but felt I needed more exposure to sicker patients to really 'learn'.
I left that job for a float position at a nearby hospital and eventually cross trained in the ICUs. I would float to every tele, ICU and do ICU/Tele holds in the ER as well. Eventually took a permanent position in the Surgical ICU and learned a ton! It was very interesting work but slowly I just felt nothing I do really makes a difference in people's lives ..
Recently I took a job on tele floor at a hospital 5 minutes from my house and love having extra time to sleep and come home before it's dark. I left my previous ICU job because of the hostile work environment and management that seemed to micromanaged everything you could think of. My current manager said if I ever want to leave to the ICU at my current place I'd be welcome to do so after 6 months if any positions open, but I'm not so sure I want to do that anymore either. Each day seems like it's the same problems with patients; chronic conditions that aren't taken care of properly, drug seekers, people with multi organ failure from poor choices etc and family members that treat you as a servant, the endless charting that seems to have more and more 'assessments' added each month and management that puts staff last on a priority list for anything but blames then for any mishap. I don't feel like I'm making a difference at all in anyone's life, basically feel like a glorified waiter that helps prolong death.
I'm sure this isn't the only thread like this here and feel like I need to vent a bit. I try to enjoy my time off but often think if I did everything correctly at work or missed charting something and get a dreaded call into the management office. I'm thinking maybe a change of specialty but I don't know where I could go with my experience and have only been at my current hospital since March so trying to leave so soon would look bad. I've even thought about changing careers altogether but it would be difficult with a wife and child now in my life and the need to help provide.
Has anyone else felt like this? Any tips on things I can work on to maybe ease the stress? Any specialties that truly feel rewarding? I feel like I'm in a hole and can't get out.