the roller coaster ride
by Natasha Rampersad
I worked in a facility out in NY as an RN and the work hours were eight hour shifts with rotating weekends. My position was a staff nurse on nights. When I started there I was so zealous at my job I would try to do all my tasks and even lose a break here and there but never really minded. As the economy went bad the hospital closed down the unit and relocated all my team members to other units. Some staff left for specialties and othere were at a loss that they left altogether. I was enrolled in school pursuing a higher nursing degree but being displaced made us all feel sad. I had one collegue tell me she would literally be blasting her music with rock and roll to give her the zeal to complete the shift. Working with other people from other units gave us a chance to have other experiences which left some of us frustrated. Some of collegues prayed a little harder that our floor would be reopened. Our head nurse was no longer our nurse leader but tried to give us hope and courage as she was not sure what direction we were going. As for me having to shift around with people and then losing sleep, changing additional job duties when the auxillary failed to complete them started to take its toll. I became so stressed that one day I came to work and went off on my coworker, felt really dizzy, and just left the work area. I called my nurse supervisor snd requested sick time. Several months thereafter the unit reopened but not to full capacity. We the nurses were working shorthanded doing additional duties that were designed for other staff. It went on for awhile and then one day I eventually realized that I was fed up, that I felt really isolated in my thoughts. My health started to fail, I was suddenly on antidepressants and blood pressure pills. I was having dizzy spells and headaches infrequently. My colleagues were moving on in nursing and I was dreading each day being there. That zeal I felt was not there anymore. That happy feeling was no longer there. I suddenly didn't feel like fighting with the doctors to correct their mistakes or to argue with them because they were taking long to intervene in the patients care. I wanted out. I eventualy resigned and moved to another less stressful area of nursing with more autonomy. It was very hard for me to admit to myself that I had lost interest because of burnout. I have been a nurse for ten years now. I feel better now that I made this instinctive decision.
I am so grateful to God who has helped me through this rough patch in Nursing.