Leaving the bedside as a nurse for a management job was quite possibly one of the worst things I have ever done.
Now that I have returned to the bedside, I feel nervous, anxious, worried, and doubtful. And it sucks. Big time. Things as simple as an IV push medication have become anxiety-provoking. I am afraid I’ll forget something, forget everything, forget to chart a detail, forget to draw a lab, forget my brain at home.
Yes, it’s true. I have forgotten how it feels to be a confident floor nurse.
I have bit my tongue for quite some time about my stint in management, but when I look back upon that brief experience, I don’t have much to feel good about. I felt awful going to work almost every single shift. I never once felt that I was making a difference.
I felt like I was checking boxes.
I felt like I was patching the bursting dam with bandaids.
I felt isolated. As a matter of fact, so much so that only working weekends and nights meant I never once met my direct manager after she had been on the job for six months. Not. Once.
I felt like I was espousing ideals that were no more rooted in reality than a magical unicorn.
I felt like I was becoming increasingly alienated at the bedside, through no fault of anyone but the job itself.
The biggest regret I have about that position is that it’s two years of my life and nursing career I cannot get back. To those who manage, my hat is off to you. You are better than me.
Fast forward to today, and I sit here awaiting my shift tonight. I am filled with trepidation and anxiety. Why? Well, because the bedside is all new once again. I almost feel like a new grad in some respects. The time management, the education, the feeling of being new once again sits front and center in my brain.
Sometimes I just wanna be a secretary again….
I can only hope that as I wind down this orientation that I’ll have that epiphany, that moment of clarity where I realize that it’s all gonna be ok, and that I’ll muddle through these moments only to emerge on the other side a better, stronger, more confident floor nurse.
One day at a time.