Hopeless and Scared

  1. Here's my little story- Graduated Dec. 2000 - hired to a burn unit right away- I was new and nervous - small unit with strong personalities - still nervous - most nurses on ward (90%) like me and just say I need more confidence - other 10% reading to slice me up - they stay late to check my charting - go over my med charts as well - I was told that someone complained that I was too slow, and should know more - was offered our critical care course for monitored burns - took the course and failed the first ECG interpretation - went on leave from the unit and eventually after about 6 months of being off - never went back to burn unit but to a med surg floor - as soon as I was hired there, I came down with double pneumonia was off for another 2 weeks - came back - did a huge medication error and left on another leave - have now been off for approximately another 6 months - after many kind words and encouragement - apply for another job - the nurse manager asks me about sick time - I say I had a recent personal leave - (involving family - stress - terror to go back - and dealing with "major depression" and new medications- SHE WAS NOT TOLD THE BRACKETED PART) Anyway she said the job was mine unless she heard poor things about me from my previous nurse managers - last nurse manager said - she only worked 20 shifts here then went on leave - have no idea what the burn unit manager will say about my leave with her unit - I am upset - the new job manager says she is concerned about hiring a nurse who has taken so many leaves so soon in her nursing career - she doesn't want to hire a person who never shows up - I UNDERSTAND HER POINT - I too am afraid that I won't be able to hack it - in some or many ways and end up leaving too soon - I can't stop crying or worrying about it - I feel like I am an irresponsible person / nurse and that I can't be counted on - depended upon - i want so much for a "new" start on another ward but I am also afraid that I may blow this one as I have done with my previous two hospital units on which I have worked - sorry it's so long - My depression isn't a new thing - I very often feel that there is no way out of feeling so horrible and in the past have tried to just go for a long sleep. I feel so close to that now and that is why I am terrified. I too feel hopeless - that I am a disappointment as a human being, wife, sister, daughter, NURSE.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   jax
    Hello neonatal nurse,

    I'm sorry things are not so good for you at the moment - you sound like you are struggling.. Can you look after yourself first, then worry about work?

    You say you're feeling really horrible- get help now. Can you go to your family, back to your Doc?

    Once you are back on track , I'm sure work and various work options will seem more do- able. Maybe backtrack a bit , simplify... look after number one first........ all the best.

    jax
  4. by   nekhismom
    get yourself some help. NOW. Worry about the job later. It will still be there, or another one like it, in the future. You need to insure your health and safety first. Please, please, please look after yourself and get some help.
  5. by   gwenith
    You need to build a good reputation. - offer to go on casual pool but make it for med/surg only until you have your confidence back. What you described in the burn unit was classical bullying and the worst part about bullying is that it will strip your self confidence to zero. You need to talk out what happened with someone who has been through bullying and you need to identify what part of it was just them and what part of it was you wearing a "kick me" sign on your back. Then you have to find out how to get rid of that kick me sign - believe me you can!!!

    This is a great board for this kind of support so - let it all out baby:kiss
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i truly hope you tend to yourself first; you won't be good to anyone else, otherwise. please, go talk with a therapist. i'm not sure what you meant about going for a long sleep, but didn't like the sounds of it. please, take care of YOURSELF.
  7. by   Tweety
    You'll never find success unless you first envision it. Set your fears aside and imagine you being the best nurse, showing up on time every day, being a success at what you do. Allowing your fears to envision bad things just makes room for the bad things to time.

    Break it down to one day at a time. Put the past behind you.

    Best wishes.
  8. by   gij1
    I am so sorry that your career has been filled with such struggles so far. I can read between the lines that you are an excellent nurse that needs support and guidance. Were you in a new graduate program in the beginning? Also working on a unit that is not so demanding would give yourself time to build up your confidence. You are not alone with being terrified about making mistakes or not knowing what you are doing. It takes time & experience to be a nurse that doesn't have to think through every step. For God sakes you were just out of school. It sounds like b/c of circumstances you have not been yet able to build up any lenght of experience under your belt. Give yourself a break. Please look for a job with supportive, professional staff. I promise you it is out there. I know as a new grad i found a positive uplifting atmosphere to work. I knew it the instant i went for the interview. Go by your gut insticts, just do what you can do when you are ready. Baby steps is just fine. Maybe start out only 1 to 2 days a wk? Keep us posted how is goes!
  9. by   LesJenRN
    Hi there....I hope you are holding on. Things sound pretty tough. I agree with the others that you need to take care of yourself first. With the emotions you are feeling, it will be tough to be on top of your game. I have been there as far as the depression and anxiety, and all of the other crap that comes along with it. I know when I have gone through the toughest times, there was just no way I could care for others. If you are not on any meds for your depression, I highly recommend that you look into it. If you are, it sounds like they arent working and you might need to try others. If you have a good psychiatrist for medication management, who is on the ball, eventually something should work. Primary care docs are not the ones that should be prescribing unless it is for a very simple mild depression. Your confidence will come back when you're able to enjoy the life you are living..... It is just so hard to focus on the job when so many other things are going on in your head. Does this make sense? Also, when you have it all together, you can go back in with confidence and even honesty....show them what you have done to change things and that you are ready to give it your all......
    Be good to yourself!
  10. by   susanmary
    Take care of your physical and mental well being first. That being said, perhaps you should start on a less stressful floor - or work pool. There are many facilities that have different shifts/options; for example, perhaps working four hours several times a week would be good to start. You are in charge of your life and career. Don't focus on the past, take care of yourself in the present so that you are well and, in turn, will practice nursing safely. You have many options,
  11. by   jkaee
    I'm sorry to hear of the troubles you're facing right now.........but first please remember that what you are feeling as a new nurse is NORMAL. It is scary out there in the real world, and nothing like the coccoon of nursing school. There are nurses that are looking for you to screw up, and there are mistakes that will be made. The first year or so after becoming an RN are the most stressful times that you might ever face in your career. Don't be so hard on yourself.....we were all there at some point. I remember coming home crying from work at times.....just from all the stress. Learn from your mistakes, and like Tweety said, envision success, knowledge, confidence and power. Only you can do this for yourself.

    Take some time off of work, get some counseling, therapy or meds if it's needed....and when you go back to looking for a job you can tell your interviewer the steps you have taken to get yourself back on track (if it's brought up). Unfortunately, you probably will have to acknowledge the problems you had at your last job, but showing your future employer that you acknowledge your past mistakes and learned from them will put the odds in your favor. No one likes to see "Miss Perfect Nurse." We all make mistakes.

    Put all of that behind you. Take care of yourself. And when the time is right, get back out there and be a nurse!
  12. by   gypsyatheart
    Wow, I am so sorry you are having such a hard time! Some of what you're feeling is normal...the "new nurse" anxiety. Unfortunately, I think things have escalated to a point, in your mind where you are almost numb with fear and anxiety! That is not good. Like Tweety said, you need to get control of those feelings, gain your confidence, realize that you do have the potential to be a good nurse. A huge part of this is how you think and perceive things. You may need some short term counseling and if your anxiety is bad enough, maybe a short term course of anti-anxiety/depression meds to help you through this.Take care of you, talk to your doc. Nursing is here, and will be. If you start a new unit feeling like this, I'm afraid you'll be setting yourself up for more anxiety....possibly.
    After I had my feelings/thoughts, etc under control, what I would do is look to one of those new grad internship programs. A lot of hospitals have them...the are very training intense, and you spend say 3 mos on a unit, learning and working, then rotate to like units. This way, you are learning to be a good nurse, and getting exposure to new areas, all the while in a "new grad" program. That's one option. Most nurse recruiters/HR has the details.
    Either way, good luck to you.
  13. by   neonatal_nurse1975
    I have been off for approximately 6 months and have been taking meds and receiving therapy (psychiatrist) and feel that neither has helped. I DO NOT want to be thought of here as a whiner, please don't think that of me, I write my troubles in these posts because you are all nurses and you don't know who I am, so your opinions are honest and open. I know that I have low self esteem in my day to day life and especially in nursing but I have lived with this for 28 years now and I think I am just stuck with it. My self confidence has never been good. The reason I wanted to tell you this is that within the last six months I have not been able to "feel" better and when I hear you say that I should take more time off and take care of myself I feel like more time off won't help.

    From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for your kind and supportive words. I have one close friend in "real" life and she just doesn't understand and doesn't want to talk about it with me. SO I DO APPRECIATE YOUR TIME spent responding to me.
  14. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from neonatal_nurse1975
    I have been off for approximately 6 months and have been taking meds and receiving therapy (psychiatrist) and feel that neither has helped. I DO NOT want to be thought of here as a whiner, please don't think that of me, I write my troubles in these posts because you are all nurses and you don't know who I am, so your opinions are honest and open. I know that I have low self esteem in my day to day life and especially in nursing but I have lived with this for 28 years now and I think I am just stuck with it. My self confidence has never been good. The reason I wanted to tell you this is that within the last six months I have not been able to "feel" better and when I hear you say that I should take more time off and take care of myself I feel like more time off won't help.

    From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for your kind and supportive words. I have one close friend in "real" life and she just doesn't understand and doesn't want to talk about it with me. SO I DO APPRECIATE YOUR TIME spent responding to me.
    the first thing that comes to mind is that you're not on the right meds. i was a total basket case (very anxious) up until i started taking an ssri. now i have a feeling of being able to cope without anxiety. there were other meds that did NOT work but unfortunately antidepressants take a while to kick in.
    i think it's time for you to switch. and if you don't feel a therapeutic connection to your therapist, time to switch them too.

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