What to do? Feeling very alienated on my unit.

  1. I have been working on an acute adult inpatient unit now for nearly three years. I have been feeling increasingly burnt out and have been looking for a different job. I love my patients, I really want to help the mentally ill have some normalcy to their lives. Sometimes I feel relieved when I see a "repeat customer" because at least I know that they are still alive. I worked an outpatient community mental health clinic for three years prior to starting the job I am in now. I feel like I really know my stuff. I am one of three nurses on the unit that actually have a psychiatric nursing background and I have been working as charge nurse for quite a while.
    Our director feels the need to continuously make changes to the unit structure to make things go smoother. Only she never works on the floor with us, her day is composed of meetings and taking off early for this and that. We have staff constantly changing roles and the ones that tattle and backstab everyone get to be advanced. If you complain that you can't charge from the desk you get awarded a glamorized unit secretary position with a dollar an hour raise. You work your butt off on the floor as charge and help at the desk you get told that you cannot be a the desk for any reason, must be on the floor with the patients (not a biggie ) but they cut charge pay a dollar to pay the rn unit secretary. Then there is the "supervisor" who is always charge when she is there but never has to take patients and sits at the desk all day working on some paperwork that supposedly is necessary to the director. We have a program director who is a msw and who hates nurses she feels she is way smarter than us.
    We have great doctors but they are in fear of our program director because she has worked with the Doctor that runs our unit for years.
    So as a nurse you have no back up. Too many chiefs but nobody willing to work! My director was told by one of the busybodies on the unit that she/he heard that I was looking for another job. BANG! change of status, no longer can I be charge nurse. At that time I was not looking for another job, but when that happened I did.

    I tried to transfer to sister facility which is closer to my home to get out of the unit. I was given a new payrate, a start date, and gave my 3 weeks notice. Everything was looking up I was escaping from hell, and then, HR blocked my transfer. A "verbal" write up for attendance ( I missed five days in a years time, 3 of them from surgery) was looked at as being a write up and so I was not in good standing to transfer. But they were going to uphold my resignation. I looked for options, there are no jobs here right now except for at the sister hospital which I could not transfer to. I had to rescind my resignation. I was told that clinically I was one of the best nurses on the floor but I hav been negative ( by trying to leave)They agreed to let me, after 4 days of not knowing, but with a price. I am not on probation for a negative attitude. All because I tried to leave. Now everyone is out to get me. Everything I say has to be carefully thought through because it will be turned around, taken out of context and used against me. I can't even frown on my unit without the program director walking up to me and saying, "what's wrong now? You are frowning" Really? I mean I can't keep walking on eggshells constantly. I have to go in weekly for a recap of what I might have said or done that week that got back to my boss. I feel like I can't trust anybody, like they are looking for a reason to write me up or fire me.
    I am a really good nurse I have worked tons of overtime and have came in when the unit was short, worked nights to cover, even stayed at the hospital for a week straight to cover the floor during a big snow. I feel that I am being mistreated and I don't know what to do. I can't not have a job, and I live in a rural area so there is not a lot of jobs available. Any advice?
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    About can'twait2B1

    Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 66; Likes: 4
    Specialty: Psychiatric, ICU, MED-SURG


  3. by   sleepdeprived1
    WOW!! that sounds completely horrible and it must be difficult to go to work everyday dealing with all of this and what stress this is causing you outside of work..I know you said you live in a rural area and I am guessing relocating is not an option right now? But my advice to you would be to take anyother nursing job you can get right now-at another facility even if its a little farther drive because you cannot keep doing this to yourself even if it is in a department that you do not want to work in..because you will never be happy working there with the way they are treating you unfairly and not fair to the patients either. Im sure your a great nurse but sometimes it comes off on the patients when you are burnt out and staff interactions..I suggest u start looking for another job but in the meantime have you voiced your complaints or gone to higher up management. it sounds like it wont be taken well? but at least then you can say you have done your best to try and resolve issues. Good Luck!
  4. by   newtinmpls
    I'd be honest. Yes, I was looking for another job, feel like I need a change. Heck I'm the kind of person who volunteers to float to other units because doing the exact same job all the time is too annoying (and it's too easy to get sucked into the politics of it all). Can you afford to cut hours? Yes, start looking for other jobs, even part time ones. You clearly need the kind of break that you aren't getting where you are.

    Do you have any vacation time? Use it to job search.

  5. by   albymangel
    sounds like your work place culture is not so supportive.

    what about Clinical Supervision? do you malke use of it?

    cheers for now

  6. by   PetsToPeople
    Wow, hope you got the hec outta that swamp! Sounds horrible...
  7. by   HolyPeas
    I'm going to be totally honest with you, and this may not fly but it's just my general sense of the situation you explained.

    Right out of the gate you started explaining this like you are the only one working, like no one else does much and they get paid more than you etc, and then the final nail in the coffin was the "now everyone is out to get me" comment.

    See, things like that are very telling. The honest truth is that with very few exceptions most people dont care enough to be out to get anyone.

    I'm inclined to think that there probably is an attitude issue, but maybe not. I also understand that this post could just be someone blowing off some steam, which is also OK but I think its also important to get some honest feedback as well. Really examine what you are saying.