Post # 1
Hi Bees – I know there are lots of us who hate our jobs. i just need to vent. i work in a psychiatric emergency room (locked unit, part of a regular, very busy level 1 trauma center ER). I have been an RN for 4 years, i have worked in psych the whole time (except for 6 months where I was on a trauma/surgery floor, and I loved it)
I had worked in the psych ER for 1 year when I switched to trauma/surg. After 6 months on that floor, I was engaged and one of our friends and her kid moved in with us. She is in nursing school. The home changes as well as the need for more cash (in the form of more OT) for the wedding spurred me to go back to the ER. That was a year ago. I now work 3 12 hour shifts which is awesome. Most of the people I work with are great. Management sucks. The doctors, mostly, suck. The CNAs, mostly, suck. People are lazy. The other RNs in the rest of the ER dump pts on us constantly who really don’t need to be there. Patients have no entertainment or stimulation while they are in our care (no TV, books, ipods, etc) we don’t even have tray tables because of the safety risk with suicidal and psychotic patients. Patients often wait 2-4 hours for a psych evaluation to determine if they can be discharged or if they need to be admitted either voluntarily or against their will. Sometimes they wait as long as 12 hours when psych clinician staffing is poor. There is nothing I can do to make patients more comfortable. people flip out all the time because they are frustrated with the system. So am I.
We also get all the drunk people that EMS/PD pick up in the city. They’re lots of fun. If you like getting yelled at and degraded and dealing with piss-pants and people who really don’t give a shit about themselves. I’m burnt out. I’m sick of all the BS with these same pattients over and over again. The other day a atient attacked me. I was unharmed, but scared. scared not only because i was taken by surprise, but also because it took every cell of my being not to fight back like a damn ninja. i could’ve kicked that person’s ass to next tuesday.
Last night, I crawled into bed, exhausted. Then I laid there for an hour, wide awake, anticipating the workday today. This morning I woke up an hour before my alarm from a weird dream which I don’t remember anymore. I then began ruminating about my workday and how much a dreaded going in today. I had a panic attack/pity party. i called my Fiance and my Mom, and my BFF. I called in sick. I hyperventilated and cried so hard my stomach hurt. i felt like I was going to throw up as soon as I had breakfast.
I have been looking for a new job for months. anything but overnight, and not less than 32hours. This is why I became a nurse- variety, job security, etc. where are all the frigging jobs that fit my simple criteria?!?!?! Oh yeah, there’s the NELRP program I am involved in. they pay 65% of my student loans over two years as long as I work at one of the “designated critical shortage facilities” in the area. I’m now looking at hospitals an hour away, which would involve getting a license in a different state. WTF job!?!? I hate you!
Thanks Bees 🙂
Post # 3
I must say I find your writing comical!
DAYUM! Well I can’t believe as a nurse there isn’t more flexible options for you…..?!
How much of a hassle is the job in another state gig?
Post # 4
Burn out for professions such as nursing is so common. Is there anyone you can talk to about managing burnout? I had to do this (am a social worker) and ultimately it lead me to find another job. Granted, I”m not happy now, either, but it’s better than what I was doing before.
If you are experiencing symptoms like you described, you need to talk to somebody! There are also a ton of books about burn-out. When is the last time you took a legit break?
Post # 5
Are you able to maybe get a week off or something? Because that will give you a break from everything atleast temporarily
Post # 6
I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I’m glad you wrote it… because I thought I was the only RN out there that just can’t stand my job. I’ve worked ER for many years, ICU, and I’m still working on the inpatient units. The variety keeps me from throwing down my badge and walking out, but I’m about as close as you can get to that point. Working ER I felt the same way as you do about safety concerns, etc. Now, I still feel the same way working anywhere in the hospital. We have staff members getting attacked all the time, and nobody is around to help and we aren’t allowed to truly defend ourselves. I’ve been looking for jobs like crazy, but they either want new grads for cheap or they are on hiring freezes. It isn’t the job it used to be, where you could always count on finding another position so easily. *sigh* I feel your pain all too well.
Post # 7
I’m sorry you’re feeling this way just now. I can understand your frustration when all you want to do is the job that you trained for (actually caring for people!) but the system fights against that desire. You’ll find something better that works for you…but in the meantime – what about having a ‘routine’ for when you get home? For instance immediately change clothes/go for a walk/spend half an hour doing something you enjoy so that there is a clear distinction in your mind between ‘work life’ and ‘home life’. I’m trying this just now to see if it helps me ‘trick’ my mind into winding down a little…x
Post # 8
My mom is CONSTANTLY being admitted on to those floors. When I have to go and see her or supervise her there, I am always so grateful for the nurses and staff who have to deal with her and the rest of the charges. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a nurse and working in this super challenging sector.
Post # 9
I know your job is the reason for all your stress and I know you have to work and I know even the healthcare field is crunched during the recession. That sucks because it’s stuff you can’t change, even though you need to.
Do you think going to the gym or taking a yoga class would help alleviate some of your stress? Go after work so you can de-stress before bed.
Or maybe try meditation. Meditation never works for me cuz I’m too hyper but some people swear by it. My Mom is a nurse and she does “meditation” which she described as taking a 2 minute break where she just focuses on her breathing. All she concentrates on is her breathing pattern. Breathe in through your nose, slowly. Breathe out through your mouth, slowly. Just think about your breathing. She used to get stress migraines from being overworked and those have gotten better, plus her blood pressure had gone down. I know it’s not for everyone but can’t hurt to try.
Just wanted to add: Thank you for what you do. I know you don’t always get the recognition you deserve (I worked in a level II trauma center for 6 years so I get it) but trust me, you really are helping patients, even if they aren’t communicating it to you.
Post # 10
I have no real advice, since I’m not an RN, and can only imagine the stress you go through an a daily basis and I really admire you for the work you do….
I just wanted to send you hugs, because I feel like you kinda need em right now 🙂
Post # 11
At the big hospital where I work (not in nursing), we have a person who is in charge of a retention program for nurses. It’s really important to our company to keep people on and help them to find the best fit. I know a number of nurses who have burned out in their area of practice and the retention program helped them get transfers to places within the hospital that were a better fit for what they needed. We also have a FREE counseling program run through the hospital, where employees can go confidentially. When there was a Grand Rounds presentation about these things about a year or so, I was surprised to hear so many people say things like “I didn’t know we had that!” or ask for the retention department information.
Are there any options within your hospital you could examine, any help you could get from HR maybe? Good, experienced, caring nurses are so hard to find. Someone outside of your department may be very interested in bringing you on board.
I came to work here because I wanted to work in the healthcare environment before committing myself to nursing school – and it didn’t take me long to learn that nursing is NOT for me! It’s a rough and often under-appreciated field and I hope you do not feel bad or guilty for having the feelings and anxiety you’re having. I hope you feel better soon – and in the meantime, as a frequent ER patient, THANK YOU for being the kind of person who can work trauma and psych.
PM me if you’re ever planning to move to Missouri. ;o)
Post # 12
I see a lot of stressed out nurses and doctors when I have to go to hospital appointment with my mom and aunt. Then I go home and forget about it….
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for all the patience you endure from all the patients out there! Hope you find something less stressful to you.
Post # 13
I think you need a break; like a 2 week break. I’m a pharmacy intern, so I don’t deal with untreated psychotic patients or trauma, but I understand that patients can be a huge PITA and source of stress, especially when you are REQUIRED to behave a certain way and follow certain protocols. You can’t just tell a screaming patient to “calm the fuck down!” or somebody threatening you to “back the hell off!”.
All I can say to you is that I have had a job that I felt this way and the hate and burnout just kept building and building. I kept stewing in it, and never realized that I was feeding into my negativity and just making it worse for myself. I think you need to take a week or two off, and try really hard just to let go of all the bad stuff that has happened in the past, and try to give yourself a fresh outlook, otherwise you will bury yourself in negativity without even knowing it.
Maybe you could try to get a transfer to another floor/department either temporarily or permanently?
Post # 14
@ohmybears48: Thank you so much. You actually made me tear up a little. I don’t know the last time someone said thank you.
Post # 15
Post # 16
@sweetcrackers: Thank you soooo much! I hadn’t thought of trying to get somewhere through HR or retention or my supervisor. I’m going to set up a meeting ASAP 🙂