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I don't think I want to be a nurse anymore
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8 Posts

Posted:  20-Feb-2014 11:57
I am a Staff Nurse who has been qualified just over 2 years and currently work on an oncology/haematology ward, prior to this I worked on a general medical ward. I was extremely unhappy working on the general medical ward, used to cry before going to work and would dread going to work everyday . I'm slightly happier on my current ward but still get that sense of dread when going to work and when I'm at work I rarely enjoy my job. I feel that I don't have that same amount of compassion and patience with patients that I did when I first started. I just don't think I want to be a nurse anymore but just don't know what else I can do? I just wondered if anyone had any ideas on other options?

8 Posts

Posted:  21-Feb-2014 01:29
You are not alone. Are you in a position to emigrate? Maybe another country may suit you better as a nurse. What about community work? Do you want to remain in a caring role or break away completely? I assume (though may be wrong) you're young-ish. In which case you have plenty of time to retrain for something else. It is difficult and jobs are scarce. Do you need, really need, to maintain your current level of income? While nurses whine a lot about wages one only has to look on a site like Directgov to see we're well paid in comparison to many of the other jobs out there, so if you want to get out completely you may have to accept a drop in wages.
Try agency work. Much better paid and no office politics or cliques. You go in, do your job, and forget about it. Also you get plenty of variety and far less paperwork to do. I find working on the same ward very quickly becomes grindingly tedious. The faces change but the job remains the same day in day out.
Only you can decide what you want to do with your life but if you're unhappy then I'd say, if you're able, make the change sooner rather than later.

16 Posts

Posted:  27-Feb-2014 10:24
Kcrz I've stood exactly where you are now in relation to my career and in fact I've been there a few times.

I left Oncology feeling exactly the same, burnt out, feeling so tired all the time from the relentless shift pattern and the really sad situations patients come into Oncology with often knowing that at some point they are going to die and after a lot of suffering.

Oncology nursing demands all you have and comes back for more. I wonder if what you are feeling is a natural reaction to that experience, perhaps self protection from all the sadness?

I felt I had nothing left to give my own life, I felt like an empty vessel. It was only when I'd had a long weekend away had a lovely time and recharged my batteries that I realised I just could not face going back. I took some sick leave and then started a new job.

Virtually since day one I had been saying to my ward manager I didn't feel supported but though a very knowledgeable Oncology nurse and brilliant with patients, that was as far as it went as a manager and she couldn't put enough distance between herself and her staff nurses. In fact in the two years I was there I think I could count on one hand the amount of direct conversations I had with her.

There was also huge pressure on all nurses including newly qualified to have their chemo package completed within a certain time frame else there'd be disciplinary action taken against you, even if you didn't feel confident/competent.

It was at the time when the NHS had a big clamp down on jobs, even newly qualified nurses were not getting jobs.

I took a step out of the NHS and returned to practice in Learning Disability [I'd worked in LD before training]. It was just so refreshing to look after people who had a life and so rewarding.

I had a few years out of the NHS before going on the District, which is easier than ward work but as with anywhere else is not utopia.

I'd suggest that you get an appointment with Occupational health, to me it sounds like you're very stressed and depressed and having been there despite your best efforts it can play on your mind to such an extent that you make a mistake, which may lead you down the path of disciplinary.

Occupational Health may suggest referring you for counselling through your NHS trust or taking some sick leave. Speak to your own GP and request being signed off with stress.
Both RCN & Unison offer counselling which will give you some support.
Id suggest you seek out a clinical supervisor outside your area of practice to enable you to reflect on your practice and find practical solutions to problems. Often when trying to explain to others how things work in your area of practice the problem will suddenly pop up at you and you gain insight into what the solution is.

I'd also do some written reflection using a good in depth model such as Johns or which ever model suits your style of reflection.

Those things will help you step outside of your feeling and examine what is making you so unhappy.

There are plenty of roles that require nursing qualification without directly nursing.
Consider Occupational Health, teaching health & social care in colleges, teaching nursing students in the schools of nursing. Perhaps consider changing area of practice, maybe mental health, learning disability, midwifery or working with the elderly.

But try and understand exactly what you are reacting to before leaving otherwise your problems will just follow you.
Good luck and come back when you feel the need.[8D]

0 Posts

Posted:  11-Mar-2014 15:31
Hi If you are looking for a change I am looking for nurses to work in a luxury care home environment in the UK in many locations, or in Dubai/Western Australia, if this is of interest then please contact me on 02089162152 to discuss and ask for Lara.

2 Posts

Posted:  13-Mar-2014 15:59
Totally agree. Feeling undervalued and burnt out. And not seeing the pay bump to make up for it. I was in your situation onece. What I did was speak to my manager, and I was happy to find out I wasnt alone. It is really good to have your supervsior and collegue support and fell like your apart of a goal. NHS today does not want to loose any of the nursing staff, so they will listen.

1 Posts

Posted:  08-Apr-2014 18:02
Have you ever thought about doing some locum work? this way you get to pick and choose when and where you work! Must be better than how you are feeling now! I know some really really good agencies where I have worked for years

4 Posts

Posted:  30-Apr-2014 12:57
As squonk asked, do you still want to be in a caring role? Hypnotherapy is a really good profession to be in and I know several nurses who have qualified in hypnotherapy. With your nursing qualifications you would be able to do a Fast Track course and be fully accredited in 3 months.

0 Posts

Posted:  31-Jul-2014 19:14
Hello, everyone...I have the solution for anyone who feels this way. Email me for info if you want a change....you be glad you did.

2 Posts

Posted:  12-Aug-2014 15:59
Practice Nursing....

2 Posts

Posted:  07-Dec-2014 04:00
Oh bless... I completely understand. In fact I am doing my last bank shift as we speak, I made my definite decision to avoid wards for good, tonight. I came on this surgical ward for a first time as bank. It was clearly an effort for my colleagues to show me around. I began the shift, no proper stock, things disorganised, obs machines not working properly, no plugs, no space, demanding patients complaining of things like 'dont like the size of my canulla dressing, do something', no clear instructions on which pt is going for a procedure, who is NBM, who mobilizes and how... One third of pts was actually missing from the handover sheet in the first place, the rest was handed over like 'betty no changes, we all know her'. When I said we don't, I was looked at as if I was to shush since I am not permanent. At one moment I was doing an ECG, one patient was complaining of the light, another two were shouting, one was upset because of the noise, another jumping off the bed, I heard 'nurse nurse' from every corner knowing pts want me specifically because I try to pay all my attention. The bell was set off, relatives looked at me as if I was completely stupid and incapable, no gloves, obs machine broken, pt crying and deteriorating, phone ringing, a colleague told me off for not giving a drug which wasn't actually due, doctor was upset because pt pulled cannula out again, the time was running out for meds to be done and then one of the nurses made a remark that I dont do anything. I mean... I work 6 - 7 days a week and our unit manager gave me outstanding feedback for my work. I am told to take holidays because I hardly ever do. In my heart I know I do my best. I am sick myself, my heart races, more then a half of my hair fell out and even my GP was shocked and accidentally said 'God that's like chemo' when she saw me pulling a handful of hair out in one go. Lately I had some traumatic things happening, my husband left when I lost my baby girl. I am also just a human being my goodness! I came to the UK with no English and worked very hard to be where I am today. I trained myself to serve. I used to love helping vulnerable people and see them progress, I had quite naive ideas about the NHS. But now I feel apathy and frustration. Lack of patience and compassion even. I can't concentrate, I forget. Wanting to do things thoroughly made me become one of those vulnerable people and nobody cares, the demand continues. I physically cannot be a nurse anymore, the system broke me. The harder I tried, the worse it became. But I am scared to let go, this is all I know.

2 Posts

Posted:  07-Dec-2014 04:08
Lucy Lockett - just read your post. THANK YOU!

3 Posts

Posted:  16-Dec-2014 23:28
Well, if experience has taught me things, it's that if you're unhappy with what you have, then find something that will make you happy. The area shift from a different setting might be strenuous for you that you find the change of environment like a cold shower from. If possible, try to rotate to other wards if you have that option. What I've noticed here in your country is that the burden of caring for your patients rests solely upon the nurses. A different ball game from where I came from mind you, and I thought we had it worse back there.lol

Take a break, have a kitkat if you will. Don't lose that sense of caring that you have, it's the only thing that (some of) your patients might get.


3 Posts

Posted:  28-Dec-2014 14:29
I can totally relate to this. I myself left nursing in 2011 for 2 years and have recently returned, well one year on now as I simply missed aspects of care. I am in mental health and think that options are quite limited in terms of different fields, and am working as a care coordinator at the minute - hands down hardest job I have ever had in terms of stress.

As Bonandrey said, dont lose that sense of caring - the real reason that most people chose the field in the first place. good luck in your path of choice, whatever it may be :)

1 Posts

Posted:  03-Jan-2015 14:33
To original poster know exactly how you feel. I have been nursing now for around 10 years on the same acute medical ward. I have seen lots of changes and have always managed to cope, but recently with less staff and the change in patient type I am finding things extremely difficult.

At times I wake up in the morning and think 'omg i just can't do it again' and somehow manage to drag myself into work to yet again another exhausting and thankless toll. At the end of a 12.5 hr shift that can often extend to 14 hrs due to short staffing means your way behind on buckets of paperwork that you can't possibly leave. You are made to feel guilty that you haven't stayed a few hours longer unpaid because the next shift is woefully understaffed.

When I am on my days off I am so physically and mentally exhausted I am unable to function in any normal manner in respect I literally have no energy to do basic things like put clothes in washing machine or clean the house or even more sadly take my 6 and 3 year old's to the park. I can't remember doing that for a long time now I am simply too exhausted. I have considered cutting down hours but an unable to due to mortgage commitments and sometimes feel that my family would be literally be better off if I was dead because then at least the mortgage would be paid and they would have my pension to help support them. How sad that your life comes down to this because the job you love has been made so difficult its impossible to do. of course if you are sick because they have run you into the ground you are also hounded and made to feel life a thief, there is never any mention about the hours they have stolen off you in unpaid work you are forced to undertake.

Original poster, I would advise you never to get to the point like me where you feel you would be better off dead and find something you can enjoy. Even if that means leaving the country or getting out of nursing all together.


3 Posts

Posted:  21-Jan-2015 16:10
Hi all, if you are currently unhappy in your role dont be! I am here to help, please send your CV to clairew@harrietellis.com

I currently have roles in the private sector around the UK who are recruiting. I will ensure we work closely together to find the role you will be happy in. I build excellent relationships with my clients and their wards to ensure the best environment is there for you ready to start your new role...

We are currently running incentives till the end of January, if you are the be successful at interview you can expect a bonus in your first pay!

I look forward to your contact and getting to know you! I was a student nurse once myself and found recruitment was more for me. Being unhappy in a role is not your future...
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