I love being a nurse. But some days there are so many reasons why I could walk away without looking back. Here are 12 reasons why I sometimes want to walk away from nursing.
1. Management scares me (sometimes). I know they don’t mean to scare me. But management can be a scary beast, epitomizing “big-brother.” Sometimes we’re left wondering what they’re thinking. Are we doing a good job? Are they looking for a reason to fire us? There’s a 50/50 chance… at least in my mind!
2. I can’t remember what it’s like to have a normal life. We work long hours. Our schedules are usually not set, they are constantly changing. We’re frequently on-call. We are usually required to work alternating weekends. I can’t remember what it’s like to be off every weekend, or to not wonder if I’ll be needed at work, or asked to come in. I don’t want to have to plan out my schedule months in advance. It would be nice being home when my kids get off the bus.
3. My body hurts.everything.hurts. My knees don’t feel the same, my back always feels like it has taken a beating. At least once a year I get shoulder pain and my hip is all jacked up. I’ve had plantar fasciitis at least 6 times, my doctor has already warned if I get it again he’ll recommend surgery. And my legs hurt. As I’m writing this, my feet are throbbing.
4. Everything changes… all the time. This isn’t a bad thing, it just makes for a very unsettling environment. You can’t ever really settle down because there’s always something to do. This is the biggest motivator to walk away from nursing.
5. I’m scared to make a mistake. Not only can we lose our jobs, lose our license, and go to jail, but we could seriously hurt someone if we make a mistake. Unintentionally hurting someone is every nurse’s worst nightmare. I could never walk away from nursing regardless of the fear however.
6. Patients are presenting with more and more comorbidities. Patients use to be sick, but now they’re sick-sick-sick. Everyone has high-blood pressure and diabetes (including me). Practically everyone has a BMI that’s too high (including me). When did it become so difficult to take care of our patients?
7. It doesn’t feel like the most trusted profession. Everyone always says that nursing is the most trusted profession. And to that, I say to who!?!? On a good day, it feels like everyone trusts a nurse. On a bad day, everyone is working against us. And I’m not talking about the patients…
8. I want to want to take care of my family. By the time I get home after a long day of an emotionally and physically demanding day, I don’t want to take care of my family. I don’t want to cook, I certainly don’t want to clean, and I don’t want a single person in my house to ask me for anything. I want to want to come home from work and take care of their needs because I haven’t been taking care of everyone else’s all damn day.
9. Stress is making me gain weight. And that explains the belly fat.
10. The hours are long. Forget 12 hours a day. I have to leave for 40 minutes before I’m actually supposed to be there and I can’t leave until I’m finished charting. Think more like a 14-hour day. No wonder everyone’s tired when they come home from work…
11. I never know what other people are thinking. Everyone needs to be transparent. Tell me you need help. Tell me you need me to improve on this. I’m not a mind reader.
12. I’m not aging gracefully. I look at my hands, and they look like they belong on a person 10 years older than I am. Constantly washing my hands has not been good to my skin. I have worry lines and my whole body feels like it’s falling to pieces. Gone are the days of me wanting to work out before work (or after!).
But at the end of the day being a nurse is amazing and I could never walk away from nursing.