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Struggling...please help

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I've been a nurse for about 7 months. New grad on a colorectal/urology/facial surgical floor. Fast paced and have learned a lot in my time. The problem is, I hate my job. HATE IT. I cry most days after work and dread the hours leading up to having to clock in. I have anxiety and depression and I have gotten to the point that I am having to drink or take sleep aids to get any rest. I am miserable and my family and my boyfriend have noticed. Is there any way I can turn my nursing degree into another job? Will things get better? Has anyone else gotten to this point so quickly? I feel like a failure for wanting out so soon but I can't help it :(

sandytoes

Has 1 years experience.

Can you pinpoint what exactly you hate about it?? Is it the pace? The population? The hours? The unknown (aka you have so much more to learn and it is stressful being a new nurse!). No support on your unit?

I have good support from my coworkers. I hate nights but I mean, of course. I don't know. I don't care for the population and I'm getting to the point where my insecurity makes me feel like I can't do anything. And I don't want to work a job that makes me this upset.

Oh do I feel for you! I felt the exact same way in my first RN job. I was on a fast-paced surgical inpatient floor where I worked 12 hour nights. I cried before my shift, after my shift, and on my days off. I would sit in the parking lot and have to give myself a pep talk to walk into the building.

The best advice I can give you is to make friends with your coworkers! Having that support at work makes a world of difference, and you will feel more comfortable asking questions or asking for help. You said that you have learned a lot in your time, and I do not doubt that one bit! You will cherish this experience, no matter where you go from here. I still cherish my experience from my first RN job, even though I didn't like it.

My opinion for you is that it does and will get better for you. There will be a time where you will be at work and think, "oh wow, I'm actually doing this and I'm rocking it!" But if you don't want to wait until that moment, there is nothing wrong with finding a new area for you! I don't think you need to leave nursing, but maybe try a different area. Ambulatory nursing, OR, school nursing, PACU, or even education or insurance stuff. The great thing about nursing is that there are so many different fields of nursing, you are bound to find one that you love! Keep your chin up. It does get better!

Try a different setting. I worked for several years in a geriatricians office. I wore regular clothes, worked 4 days a week, no weekends, no holidays. It was a fun and rewarding job that I didn't mind doing. I did a lot of paper work, phone calls, diabetic education, phlebotomy, and explained patients test results. After 5 years I am now working in the hospital in med surg to gain more skills. Give yourself a break and try something different.

I have considered getting into an office setting...wondering about the degree of pay cut I would have to take for it í ½í¸” Thank you so much for your feedback!!

I made a little less money at the office than I do at the hospital ( 5 dollar an hour difference) but felt over paid for the actual work I was doing. I was also able to take a lot of unpaid time off to travel and I had plenty of time to finish my bsn. Also as a young person it was great to be able to go out after work without showering, and never miss a weekend, to me that was worth the lower pay.

I also feel that I learned a lot working closely with doctors. I am more prepared to be a floor nurse because I know all my medications, understand labs, and know the treatments for chronic conditions, wound care expirence, good assessment skills, and have more confidence than I would have as a new grad.The things I am learning at the hospital are technical skills, emergency situations, and time management.

Our stories are very similar. I've been a nurse for a little over a year and my first job was on a very busy inpatient surgical/trauma unit. I learned so much but rarely (if ever) left on time and rarely (if ever) had more than 10 minutes to eat lunch in a 12 hour shift. After 7 months of feeling exactly like you do, I left. I've read a few stories on this site of people who felt exactly like I did and you do after even a year and a half. I think your choice has to include certain factors such as whether you can afford to leave this job, do you rely on it for benefits, will you eat at night with a roof over your head, etc. If you can stick it out until the full year - that's obviously ideal... but I have found other work in nursing after leaving in under a year and you will too. There are so many options! I haven't worked in an office but have a close friend who does - she made about $10 less than me at the office. She's now a school nurse and makes about $6 less/hr. That'll vary by location of course, but it will likely be a pay cut. Best of luck.

One other thing - I never was super close to my coworkers. We didn't really have a lot of time to talk for starters, and I also lived 30 minutes away and wasn't willing to really get together with them outside of work (plus didn't have the energy). There was a tight clique on the floor too which I was not part of - so always felt like an outsider. Not feeling like I had solid support also contributed to my decision to get out.

I love my coworkers actually...they're the only piece keeping me sane at this point. I'm trying to stick it out to my year so I'm not blacklisted from my hospital system but I have no idea what my next move will be...I can't keep doing this.

" I am having to drink or take sleep aids to get any rest."

This is a pretty big warning sign. Look for a new job ASAP.

Swellz

Specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown. Has 6 years experience.

I struggled for my first year and a half, maybe two years. The pace, the emotional toll it takes to work with such sick patients, the feeling of inadequacy because everyone else got the hang of it sooner - it was paralyzing.

Are you taking your breaks at work? Are you leaving the floor for some fresh air, even for five minutes? Are you eating and drinking enough at work? Are you spending time with non-work friends? Do you journal? See a therapist or just talk to someone who can listen (and not judge)?

I recommend you stop drinking. It's not a judgemental thing, but it can be a slippery slope so just take a break from it while you are so stressed. I stopped when I was struggling with work for awhile. I started distracting myself before work by exercising and having a good book for the train ride, so I was starting my day on a positive note. When I was trying to sleep, I would count from one to ten, starting over whenever I had a work-related thought. It was tedious but helped. I still do it when I'm not at work and find my thoughts drifting there. I had a rotating schedule so I forced them to give me longer blocks so I wasn't constantly losing days to switching my sleep schedule. In retrospect, I'm surprised I had to fight so hard for that, but I did and I didn't take a schedule I couldn't tolerate. Maybe nights isn't for you. Definitely hang out with non-work friends. Work friends become family, especially when you go through all this together, but we tend to talk shop when we are together. Hanging out with non-work friends means you can be social and not rehash traumatic experiences at the same time.

I don't believe you'd be "blacklisted" in your hospital system if you left after six months. I know we all talk on here about that golden one year of experience, but honestly, I needed two years before I was competent anyway. If it is healthier for you to leave, leave, but keep in mind you may struggle at the next job too. Its about a healthy balance. Try to take a day to chill, and then try a few coping mechanisms and see if they help. You're not alone in this struggle.

Scarlettz

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psychiatric. Has 4 years experience.

Do you ever get the opportunity to float on another floor in the hospital? Or do you have a specialty that you are genuinely interested in? I had some anxiety, fears, and uncertainty when I started out as a nurse but never so extreme. You are just about at the point where you should be able to transfer to a new floor or get a new job. But, I encourage you to explore what you want to do so not to hop around to different jobs in a short period of time.