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Should I quit?

Posted
Roseann Roseann (New) New

Hi everybody,

I just found this website and I thought maybe I could get some advice ! I'm a 24 year old nurse and I qualified with my degree two years ago. I have to say I struggled through my training, not the university side of things, but the actual placement in wards in the hospital. I frequently suffered panic attacks about going to work as a student nurse and had a lot of sick leave due to stress and depression. Despite all this I qualified and got my first job in a small hospital near home. I worked as a relief nurse, ie. I worked wherever the director of nursing sent me! This included male and female medical wards, surgical day ward, a&e and sometimes theatre. I worked there for a year, but even so, I never felt confident about going to work, I always felt unsure of myself and as I was the youngest nurse in the whole hospital, I was always asking the advice of older nurses. I was afraid of doctors rounds and hated seeing a team of doctors coming towards me, I was always afraid of saying something wrong or stupid. I really cared for my patients and their families and always tried to be patient and kind-I didn't want to turn into one of those nurses that nobody wants to approach! Because I was so eager to be good at my job, I often felt that the other nurses took advantage....leaving me do all the running around while they went for a cigarette!

All the same it wasn't a bad place to work, but every now and again I did have weeks where I felt paralysed with fear about the job and couldn't physically go to work.

This time last year I was called for an interview in the hospital where I trained, it was for a position in theatre. I was delighted and got the job, having been assured I would get "proper training". I was petrified but really wanted to become competent at the job. Had I known I'd be pretty much left to my own devices I would never have taken the job. I was shoved around from theatre to theatre, desperately trying to pick up what I could. I had nobody to show me the proper way of doing things so I was really just hoping I wouldn't mess up too badly. The nurses were sly and loved to see you make a fool of yourself in front of a theatre full of surgeons and nurses. I really lost all my confidence (not that I had much to begin with) and started to miss days of work again. I started to see a counceller, who I found helpful. Gradually I began to calm myself and go ito work, telling myself there was only so much I could do. I was really vigilant about doing everything correctly and tried my best.

Then the major blow- I was told that due to cutbacks I was moving to my absolute nightmare position-an a&e nurse. The hospital had the busiest, most understaffed a&e in the vacinity. They said I was a good worker and "seemed to have no problem settling in anywhere". If only they knew!

The following week I started in my new position. I did a 13 hour shift on my first day where I was given no orientation or instruction, just a brief handover from an agency nightnurse. I didn't even know where the bloody toilets were for patients! It was a nightmare and I literally thought I was going insane. The next day was the same, except I completely freaked out and had a nervous breakdown. As I left I swore I wouldn't be going back there.

I have been out on sick leave for the last 5 weeks. I had to meet with the matron and tell her of my panic attacks and depression. An eating disorder I had in my teens has also reared its ugly head agin. I'm trying to deal with all this at the moment, but the longer I'm on sick leave the less I feel I should even be a nurse.I don't feel capable of being a nurse, I feel a complete fraud.

I will feel an absolute failure if I resign but for my mental health I feel I have to, or this job will literally kill me.

Will I get an awful reference from the hospital if I resign or can they use that against me? I am so confused and upset I don't know what to do.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :confused:

Hi Roseann:

I do understand your anxiety and stress at not being as perfect as you want to be at your job as a nurse. I am glad that you have sought counseling in an attempt to get your feelings under control so you can function.:heartbeat

Nurses are human. They can only do what they can do as well as they can do it. In the United States we are tasked to act as a Prudent nurse would so take a deep breath and do that as well as you can.

You stated that your university training went well and that it has been the clinical portion and the work situations that have given you problems with anxiety. Is this correct? If it is, have you talked to anyone to see if there might be positions that would utilize your best abilities to the maximum while minimizing your perceived shortcomings? Perhaps your school has someone you could discuss this with? Would you be receptive to yet more training if necessary to obtain a better position for you if it were available? Perhaps research or teaching?

Your education is valuable and it is my opinion that you should NOT quit before checking out alternative scenarios. There are many ways to be a nurse and the field certainly needs thoughtful, compassionate, careful, concientious nurses like you.

Good luck and good thoughts.:yeah:

NurseFrustrated

Specializes in Med-surge, hospice, LTC, tele, rehab.

Hi everybody,

I just found this website and I thought maybe I could get some advice ! I'm a 24 year old nurse and I qualified with my degree two years ago. I have to say I struggled through my training, not the university side of things, but the actual placement in wards in the hospital. I frequently suffered panic attacks about going to work as a student nurse and had a lot of sick leave due to stress and depression. Despite all this I qualified and got my first job in a small hospital near home. I worked as a relief nurse, ie. I worked wherever the director of nursing sent me! This included male and female medical wards, surgical day ward, a&e and sometimes theatre. I worked there for a year, but even so, I never felt confident about going to work, I always felt unsure of myself and as I was the youngest nurse in the whole hospital, I was always asking the advice of older nurses. I was afraid of doctors rounds and hated seeing a team of doctors coming towards me, I was always afraid of saying something wrong or stupid. I really cared for my patients and their families and always tried to be patient and kind-I didn't want to turn into one of those nurses that nobody wants to approach! Because I was so eager to be good at my job, I often felt that the other nurses took advantage....leaving me do all the running around while they went for a cigarette!

All the same it wasn't a bad place to work, but every now and again I did have weeks where I felt paralysed with fear about the job and couldn't physically go to work.

This time last year I was called for an interview in the hospital where I trained, it was for a position in theatre. I was delighted and got the job, having been assured I would get "proper training". I was petrified but really wanted to become competent at the job. Had I known I'd be pretty much left to my own devices I would never have taken the job. I was shoved around from theatre to theatre, desperately trying to pick up what I could. I had nobody to show me the proper way of doing things so I was really just hoping I wouldn't mess up too badly. The nurses were sly and loved to see you make a fool of yourself in front of a theatre full of surgeons and nurses. I really lost all my confidence (not that I had much to begin with) and started to miss days of work again. I started to see a counceller, who I found helpful. Gradually I began to calm myself and go ito work, telling myself there was only so much I could do. I was really vigilant about doing everything correctly and tried my best.

Then the major blow- I was told that due to cutbacks I was moving to my absolute nightmare position-an a&e nurse. The hospital had the busiest, most understaffed a&e in the vacinity. They said I was a good worker and "seemed to have no problem settling in anywhere". If only they knew!

The following week I started in my new position. I did a 13 hour shift on my first day where I was given no orientation or instruction, just a brief handover from an agency nightnurse. I didn't even know where the bloody toilets were for patients! It was a nightmare and I literally thought I was going insane. The next day was the same, except I completely freaked out and had a nervous breakdown. As I left I swore I wouldn't be going back there.

I have been out on sick leave for the last 5 weeks. I had to meet with the matron and tell her of my panic attacks and depression. An eating disorder I had in my teens has also reared its ugly head agin. I'm trying to deal with all this at the moment, but the longer I'm on sick leave the less I feel I should even be a nurse.I don't feel capable of being a nurse, I feel a complete fraud.

I will feel an absolute failure if I resign but for my mental health I feel I have to, or this job will literally kill me.

Will I get an awful reference from the hospital if I resign or can they use that against me? I am so confused and upset I don't know what to do.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :confused:

Hello. I'm sorry you are going through such a terrible time. The problem may be with the hospital you are working for. It sounds like a terrible place to work. A new nurse usually lacks in confidence and is nervous and you needed a good preceptor/trainer. It sounds like you didn't get that. I felt the same way you feel my first year of nursing. I hated to see doctors coming, etc. I felt like I didn't know anything, etc. I dreaded walking into a patient's room full of family members questioning me, watching my every move, etc. Now that I have been a nurse for over five years, all of that is so much better. It just takes time and experience. It is very hard as a new nurse.

If I were you, I would try to find a job in a different hospital and see how that goes. It doesn't sound like the place you are working is the right environment for you to grow as a nurse and be successful. If you find that wherever you work, you are still suffering panic and anxiety attacks and depression upon working as a nurse, you may want to train for a different career. You are very young still and you can do it. Nursing isn't for everyone. You don't want to spend your life doing a career that makes you this miserable. You need to be happy. Good luck to you and hugs!

DizzyLizzyNurse

Specializes in Peds Medical Floor. Has 12 years experience.

You gotta learn how to stand up for yourself!!! Maybe counseling will help you?

Also, if the clinical aspect is difficult for you, have you looked into working a job such as insurance or pharm rep or something like that?