My career has been marked by one main constant - change! Can change really be constant? Read my story and decide for yourself.
I started my career as a home health nurse. I was really happy with it for a while because I got to spend one-on-one time with my patient and I made (what I considered at the time) good money. But after about a year, I was looking for something else.
Home health nursing was wearing me and my car out. I was putting about 600 miles on my car every week and I was working about 80 hours a day. My poor husband told me, "I feel like I live alone because you are either at work or working at home." And he was right! I had a huge territory, and I saw 7-10 patients a day. I was constantly being asked to pick up extra work because there were not enough RNs. This got old, and besides, I became a nurse to work in a hospital.
This led me to my second job: working on a cardiac step-down unit. I loved this too! My job was 10 minutes from home, I didn't have to bring home any paperwork or documentation, and (what a privilege!) I was given health insurance and paid time off. I thought I was in heaven (again).
So what happened? I was working with some really snooty nurses who didn't like new people at all, it seemed. This made me feel sort of lonely for 36 hours a week, and my pay actually went down.
My husband and I had always wanted to do travel nursing, so I got signed up with an agency and off we went! That was a really fun time in life, filled with so many adventures, good pay and more choices. Travel nursing is full of change: a new hospital every 13 weeks. This was good for me. I guess I'm sort of gypsy at heart. I loved moving around all the time. I loved the change. Every new place was a new start and by the time I started being temperamental about the hospital, it was time to go and start over again.
What could possibly go wrong, you ask? Well, living in an RV or a hotel most of the time started feeling cramped. I missed my (grown) kids because I was away from home so much of the time, and about this time I was also feeling really burned out in hospitals.
To give myself a new change, I decided to go back to home health. Here is my current problem. Working in home health requires being available 5 days a week to make enough money. I thought it would be a good trade-off for the reduced stress compared to the stress level I was feeling hospitals. But it has been less than 6 months and already I am tired of working 12 hour days 5 days a week. I am tired of having to call doctor's offices on my days off. I am tired of working all day in the field only to come home and have to document, answer emails, call patients to set up my next day, and I'm tired of being tired. I miss having 4 days off every week.
Yes, I have applied and been offered another hospital job. Will this make me happy this time? I sure do hope so.
Before the comments start - I have considered other types of nursing. I have looked at and applied to many non-hospital and home health jobs. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get an interview for a single one. Additionally, I really do love 3-12s, and I have only seen that in hospitals. I realize that I am going to have to accept the fact that no job is going to be perfect. I think I've done that. I hope I've done that.
If I am to be 100% honest here, I know that working for myself is the only answer that is going to make me feel satisfied in the long run... and I am working on it