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What to do when you question why you became a nurse...and you will

Nurses Article   (4,412 Views 14 Replies 858 Words)
by Deb_Aston Deb_Aston, MSN, RN (Member) Member Nurse

Deb_Aston has 30 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Peds, PICU, Peds Onc, Nursing Leadership.

4 Articles; 1,750 Profile Views; 18 Posts

We have all had moments in our career when we question why we became a nurse. This article reminds us to remember why we made the choice, and suggests ways to inspire you to persevere and stay in the nursing profession. You are reading page 2 of What to do when you question why you became a nurse...and you will. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

2,284 Posts; 37,588 Profile Views

I'm at this point right now...sorry for the vent :(

Today marked 6 months at my current position (Med-Surg) and 11 1/2 months of working as a nurse. It started off with one of my patients deciding that I wasn't paying enough attention to his needs. He told me he was paying for me to do whatever he said to do when he said to do it, despite the fact that most of what he wanted required doctor's orders that I didn't have at that time (I got them, but not fast enough). So he complained about me to the charge nurse and DON and fired me. Then as if that didn't make the day suck enough I was given another patient (to trade the one that fired me) and I went and made my first med error and it was one that could have killed or seriously harmed my patient. I was lucky that he was okay and I'll never make that mistake again. I MIDAS reported myself and then several hours later the DON wrote me up for the error. So much for MIDAS reports being "teaching tools for how to prevent errors not reports used to punish" as we were told repeatedly in orientation.

I tried asking the DON how to put in my resignation even though I have a new grad contract and would have to pay back a bunch of money but he told me no I couldn't quit and that he wanted to work to see if I had potential. That sounds like he needs a warm body on the floor whether I'm safe or not. Sorry you are short handed but at this point I am no longer safe to work as a nurse and as it was never a calling for me but just a job (one that I've really hated for most of the year I've done it), it doesn't seem fair to co-workers or patients to keep trying to force myself to be a nurse. I don't trust myself anymore so how can anyone else trust me? Not sure how to get out of this except by turning in my license to the BON as being unsafe, but that seems a little extreme just to leave a job that I can't and don't want to do anymore.

Sorry for the long rant, I just don't know what to do. My mom is so excited that I'm a nurse but doesn't understand that I'm miserable. I cry at least once a week and I'm tired of it. Wal-Mart at $10 an hour looks so much better right now.

Sorry you had such an awful day. Mistakes happen to almost all of us, thank God the patient is ok. Please don't quit your job over one mistake. That is just a knee jerk reaction and I totally understand but don't do it! I've had shifts where I wanted to walk off the job, but the bills still need to be paid. We recently had a nurse quit her job over a minor mistake that was unnoticed by several nurses, no harm to the patient, but she decided she was a bad nurse and couldn't handle the stress so just quit. Management tried to keep her and offered her time off and counseling for stress, but she just quit. Has regretted it ever since and has been unable to get and keep a full time job since. It has been a downhill spiral of a young, experienced promising nurse who overreacted to a mistake and now is depressed, unemployed and suicidal. Please don't make the same mistake!

Take some time to regroup and if need be, get another job and then quit this one. I think your DON was very crappy to write you up. Understand its all about limiting liability on their end, probably nothing personal.

For what its worth, I made a med error as a new grad that too could have been harmful, but thankfully to quick intervention by an ICU DR that I advocated to intervene, the patient was tranferred to ICU, IV fluids were given to flush the med out and the person did fine. No harm to the patient, but I was still suspended. I've kept going and have been a nurse for over 20 years now and never made that mistake again. If you are in the hospital setting they use computerized med passing which protects from many possible med errors. It's time consuming and cumbersome, but definitely improves safety.

Whatever you do don't give up on yourself and don't quit your job without having secured another one! Definitely do not turn in your nursing license you worked hard for that. Try clinic nursing if you can I've heard that is much less stressful. Just remember tomorrow is another day. I'm sure you will never make that mistake again.

Edited by brandy1017

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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

2,284 Posts; 37,588 Profile Views

2 Cents here -

Honestly, chances are they will fire you or force you to resign the moment they find a replacement.

Do you watch Game of Thrones? If so, remember the scene where Queen Cersei ripped up a will?

Don't bother asking the DON how to resign. Read your employee's handbook; it should explain how to do it. You are not obligated to stay at any job; read the contract, pay the penalty, and bounce. Ideally, you should not quit until you have another job secured BUT you are at a breaking point and you revealed to DON that you want to resign, so... The sooner, the better, before they do something to mess with your license.

Also - are you willing to relocate? There are hospitals that will take nurses with even a month of experience, though, they (at least the ones I have come across) prefer 6 months - and you got that.

I disagree with your advice for her to up and quit. It could be very detrimental. Better to seek out stress management, look for another job and once that is secured quit. I highly doubt they are planning on firing her. The write up was just to limit liability. Please don't encourage her to make such a rash decision. See my other response where a coworker sadly quit her job over a small incident where she overreacted and now is in dire straights. I'm sure she wishes she could go back in time and change things, but sadly for her it is too late!

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