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RN in a job funk...help!

comfortrn comfortrn (New) New

Hello everyone,

So, I could really use some advice. I started working as a full-time RN case manager for a Hospice company about 1.5 years ago. When I first started, and really for close to 1 year, I really loved my work. I felt moved and inspired by what I did almost everyday. Then, the company started to change, non-profit became very "profit driven," I came home emotionally depleted everyday, started gaining weight and having high blood pressure and major anxiety issues. I couldn't leave my work at the door, not to mention I was on salary for 40 hours per week and working 50-55 per week. So, I felt it was time to move-on. I started looking for a new job, and about 3 weeks ago, had put my 2 weeks in at Hospice, and became ready to start an entirely new field...integrative and functional medicine (doctors office.) The draw of 9-5 no weekends or holidays seemed like such a welcomed relief. Well, its been 3 weeks and I hate it! I dread going in there everyday. I have never seen so much disorganized chaos in one small space. Basically, in 9 hours I spend 40% of the time running around like a chicken with my head cut off looking for charts that are hiding under desks, in random drawers, and just downright missing. 20% is spent with patients infusing vitamins via IV or drawing their blood, then the last 40% is spent checking faxes, listening to phone messages or emails and being a go between for the patient and doctor. Nevermind that I've virtually had no orientation on what the heck I'm infusing into peoples veins or really what my role is within this office as an RN. I've done some of my own research on these infusions and there are differing opinions within the medical community about the authenticity on "nutraceuticals." On friday after work, I broke down and called my old hospice manager. She was so happy to hear from me, which was a nice feeling, and I told her I'd made a mistake and wanted to come back. This weekend, I've been applying for jobs online more closely related to my passions (hospice, geriatrics, psych.) I'm just confused on what to do now. I would like to be able to go on interviews, and obviously can't just use this companies time to call off and go on interviews (don't want to burn bridges). And, maybe I DO want to go back to Hospice. I feel flakey and all over the map right now. Would It be best to leave this current job and just work agency until I find the right and perfect thing? Would I even be able to survive financially if I worked per-diem (need to make 1800 every 2 weeks?)

I know this is long, but I'm very stressed on what to do. I'm nauseated just thinking about going into that office in the morning :( Please help!!

Edited by comfortrn
want to make title bold


Specializes in Ambulatory Case Management, Clinic, Psychiatry. Has 13 years experience.

I'm so sorry about all the stress you're going through!! I can totally sympathize with not knowing which path to take regarding different jobs. My thoughts:

-What are nutraceuticals? Is there a scientific basis for this stuff?

-Is the office/doctor you're working at well known/respected? If not, it may be easier for your to explain your leaving the job after only a month or so

-Could you find a different hospice company to work for w/less of a "for profit" drive?

-Have you worked agency before? Do you think you could make enough money?

iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

First of all you need to keep a paycheck coming in while you are working on another plan or you will add lack of funds to your stress list. My feeling from you was that you were happy with hospice (GOD BLESS YOU FOR THAT) but the volume of the work and hours and politics of the place was becoming a burden. No wonder you were stressed working 55- 60 hrs per week in such a high stress area. If you were to go back you have to find a way to limit yourself to 40 hrs per week..and only work Extra if you need or want to and not all the time. You will have so much more to give if you have taken care of yourself first. You have to find some strategies to de-stress and try to seperate work from your time OFF work. I have been hearing about the cost of health care for 30 years..I take it in ...try my best to apply it to my area of practice and do not let it ever get to me..b/c it NEVER STOPS. You can not contol that..you can only control your response to it. You need to be your gatekeeper..noone else will do it for you...I think you just need to take back some control of your work life and time and then you will get the perspective you need.

Wow! You just described my EXACT situation!! Do we know each other??? :)

I was in Hospice and Home Health for 1.5 years, and experienced the EXACT SAME THING!!!

I quit for the exact same reasons as you mention, but I found myself in a hell-job at a SNF, not an office.

Worst job I have ever worked in my entire life! On my second day of work, it was announced that the facility was being investigated by the state! I was told I was off orientation because they needed to cover the shifts. (Seriously!)

Just like you, I also called my old job back. The options were either resume the old job (with the unlimited hours and driving), or be per diem.

Long story short, I lasted 29 days at the SNF. I'm just glad I came out with my license intact.

Did I go back to HH? No. I left that job for a reason. It was a good job with good people, but my family suffered for it.

Since I have been home, my home is cleaner, my husband is happier, my son is doing better, and believe it or not, the bills are still getting paid because I am not spending money on gas, lunches, auto repairs, and I have time to cook meals and watch our pennies. Things that have been put off again and again are finally getting done, and that feels great!

I have been doing serious soul-searching as to what I REALLY want to do in my nursing career. In the meantime, I have actually found a little niche for myself in on-call work! Teaching, private care... Now that I don't have to juggle so much, I have time to job hunt for a job that will fit me and my life, and is a job I want to do and can do.

So my advice to you? If you absolutely dread going into work and feel you are in a wrong place, chances are you are! Contrary to what people will tell you, there is no dishonor in quitting a job, and more jobs are out there. (Trust me, hell-jobs will always have openings!)

Your odds of finding a really good job are better if you aren't desperate to get out of a bad one. And if you want to go back into Hospice, at least you will know what you are getting into again.

Just my 2 cents...

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Three weeks is not enough time to assess the new position.

Everybody feels that way during the first few weeks. You have not learned your role yet, or the routine of the office.

It IS a concern you were not oriented. Apparently the docs feel a nurse is a nurse is a nurse... and we can walk into any situation and fulfill the role.

To me... it sounds like an exciting challenge. You are learning about alternative therapies, how to run an office, etc.

You also sound like you are up for that challenge. You are researching the therapies and I bet you can also organize that office, once you realize what needs to be done.

Give yourself some time to acclimate. Don't go back to what you KNOW ..because you feel comfortable with the KNOWN. You ALSO know that it wasn't working for you .

Good luck whatever you decide, keep us posted.

Wow! Thank you so much everyone for the honest replies. Ivyleaf; nutraceuticals are using nutrients that are found in the body (CA, sodium, glutathione, vitamin B ) in order to treat certain ailments. Yes, there is research on it, no it's not all FDA approved. The office I work for is highly respected within a certain population of where I live (the very wealthy, lol.) I have applied to the 2 other hospices, and am awaiting responses. As far as agency work goes, yes I have done it, and no, I probably couldn't survive on the funds. @iluvivt; I really liked what you had to say. It really resonated with me, because deep inside I realize that this is what I need to do, no matter what job I'm in...take care of me! I did start a workout regimen and am trying to eat better. Burlshoe114, your situation in the SNF sounds awful! I would have been freaking out. You are very lucky that you have been able to take time for yourself and your family at home. Unfortunately, I can't do that because I am the breadwinner. Best of luck to you finding what it is you want to do :) And, been there, done that, I do see what you are saying, but I'm finding office work boring and somewhat uninspiring. I'm also not a fan of the clientele. I seem to prefer taking care of the sickest of the sick, and most of these patients are healthy for the most part. Maybe I'm still too new of a nurse (5 years in) and haven't quite had my fill of insanity yet, lol. In any case, thank you all so much and I will let you know what happens...:heartbeat

iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

keep us posted..and yes I tend to be a typical giver. I have learned that I need to be in the equation too. I am much better nurse if I pay attention to what makes me happy and then do it. I have also learned that I can put some things aside for awhile. So what if you have 8 loads of laundry and your shower needs to be scrubbed. If you need some "you time"...TAKE IT..even if it means going to a movie in the middle of the day and getting a big bag of popcorn. I have had a housekeeper since 1983...2 years into my nursing career b/c I began to realize that I could not work constantly and maintain my sanity. So YES..put yourself on the list and instead of becoming a burned out nurse..you will continue to grow professionally and be able to give of yourself.


Has 1 years experience.

I just started working at a SNF and I feel your pain! I love nursing, but everyday since I started working I feel anxiety ridden & unhappy to go to work. In our short stay one nurse gets 4/5 patients & the other 1/5 plus desk nurse role. It's unfair since the one w/the patient workload still has to do all the paperwork desk work for all 4/5 of the patients. In a regular day I have 25 patients, giving meds, assessing, calling MD, charting on all 25 pts, talking to fam/other HC providers regarding patients, faxing, putting in orders, doing treatments, etc etc. We don't take breaks, lunch is not lunch..it's clocking out & in 30 mins later while working like a dog to attend to 25patients in 8hrs..I can barely eat my power bar! The administration discourage overtime, so you work like a dog for free. All the nurses call in sick or are just so stressed you can feel it throughout the room. I was a new grad trying to a job somewhere, but now I wish I didn't look the SNF route. The staff is treated so poorly. Everyday I'm forgetting the reason why I went into nursing, it's impossible to give all 25 patients the care they deserve. I was recommended to this place by a fam friend & now i wish i never even applied. Currently, i'm still on my 90 day probation period. I have 2months left. What would be appropriate steps to resign? I already feel myself getting burned out and I feel this place is very unhealthy for me...

I took a position earlier this year, a M-F, no weekends/no holidays/no call - 8-4:30 in a clinic setting. The positive is, there is less stress than in a hospital, the hours aren't as long, the pay better BUT as you've pointed out, working in a small clinic can be maddening for a variety of reasons, there is NO room for advancement where I work & doesn't sound like it would be where you are either..that may not matter to many but it's good to have that option, also, clinically, going nothing but asking questions, taking vitals and maybe a blood draw or EKG here and there is not going to keep my skills up or desireable to other employers. The M-F gets old fast...nurses, and I was one of them, don't appreciate the time that working 12 hr shifts allows you - more days off etc. As iluvivt posted...you have to be your own gatekeeper wherever you work. I agree 100%. Many of the nurses on here seem to take their work home w/them..literally or emotionally - am not saying you should not care but a-hole doctors, lousy coworkers, mean bosses, demanding patients - just ARE and are always going to be. For me personally, I don't foresee myself in this M-F gig a year from now. For me, it doesn't really work with how I want to balance my life so..at some point, I will most likely go back into the hospital setting on a part time or PRN basis. Where I live, there are no agencies and the facilities around where I live do not and will not use them so that limits me a great deal. If it weren't for my spouses job I'd gladly relocate to a better, more nurse diverse/friendly area but until then..I'll stick w/the M-F and keep an eye out for something else better suited. I'm glad you are doing the same. I hope you find it soon. Good luck.


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