Friday, February 26, 2010

Something's Gotta Give.

I woke up this afternoon two hours early with a horrible case of stomach cramps. I dread going in to work this evening.

It's not just the assholes I have to work with (and believe me, there are plenty more); it's the fact that I'm stupid at night. I make obvious mistakes and forget things and feel foggy. I am not safe at night.

Dammit! I'm a veteran nurse who's worked with this patient population for eight godforsaken years. This bullshit about being put on nights to develop time management skills is just that: bullshit. I should not, with the seniority I have and the experience I bring, have to work in an openly hostile environment with people who actively undermine each other. I resent that nobody's said anything yet, as far as I know, about the bullies and the racist bastards that populate the hours between 1900 and 0700.

I'm getting sick. I always feel like I'm getting sick. I can't eat, I don't want to sleep during the day any more, and I haven't seen the sun in two months. I'm sitting here typing this out in a fog, tears running down my cheeks, wondering if it would be worth it to get a written warning if I called in.

I need a cuddle. I hate sitting here sobbing, dreading going in to a job I used to love.


Crazed Mom said...

Hugs and love being sent your way. The undermining and back biting is soooooooooo hard. Junior high is over and healthcare workers should as a team. I know they don't but they should.

I sincerely hope it all improves soon!!!!

'Drea said...

I know I'm stating the obvious but the stress is probably making you sick.

Hang in there.

I do believe in karma/justice but don't know why it takes so long at times.

I hope that you'll get another shift soon...

L said...

Oh, I am so sorry, Jo. I hope this does not go on too long.

geena said...

Jo :(

I used to cry almost every night before going in. I had to buy Pepto Bismol for the first time in my life when I was working nights.

Some of us just aren't cut out for it. I hope you get to days soon!!

Julianne said...

It is worth it. You have so much to offer even in this foggy, forgetful, and downcast state of mind. You are a nurse. They are nothing but people with the wrong attitude.
Your are 'Head Nurse'


Allen said...

My free advice (I'm not a lawyer, but I watch Law and Order):

1: go to HR, make formal complaints about your hostile workplace,

2: tell them it is so hostile you cannot work there, and make sure they know you're aware it's the corporations' problem to fix, not yours,

3: tell them that because of the stress you're crying, contemplating in to coming to work, etc, and will need to take paid leave to deal with the stress caused by your hostile work environment

4: make sure your complaint is put in writing, by them or you, and it's in your file.

A smart corporation will now know they have a significant problem and face a truly ugly suit if they fail to act. It should Make Things Happen.

5: better yet, get a lawyer, then do the above at your lawyers' direction. There are attorneys who specialize in workplace harassment. Which it sounds like you have an astonishing case for.

So, you have options beyond being miserable. Exercise them.

Dr. Alice said...

Keep your chin up. These guys are A-grade jerks, but this is a temporary phase. And you are a very good nurse.

I consider myself conservative, but your description of what goes on during those night shifts made my jaw drop. That's something I simply can't get my brain around. No wonder you're hating the night shift, it's totally understandable.

AfterGirl said...

Hugs and prayers are going your way!

Lori said...

I worked nights for seven years and I don't know anyone who isn't a little foggy on that shift. We are fighting our body and it shows.
I hope things change soon. When I read of your feeling sick and crying before work I was reminded of myself before I quit. No job is worth that. Take care.

Kimberly said...

I echo the above. And remind you, FWIW, that you will not feel this bad forever. I promise.

me said...

Sending you a cuddle & a hug ~

susan said...

Somethings got to give.

Anonymous said...

Everything will be ok. Just calm and breathe...

Just My 2¢ said...

Sorry to hear about the lousy work environment. I'm currently finishing a night shift (6pm -6am).

Hate to point this out, but it sounds like somebody in authority has banished you to the land of misfit toys. I know personally that it is completely possible to be very competent and end up alienating some manager.

Is it possible to find an ally that can help you mend the necessary fences?

Anonymous said...

I ditto what Allen said. You have the right to work in a non hostile environment and someone in management needs to be made aware of this. I know that you don't need me to tell you this but this is a problem that needs to be fixed. As I said it is your RIGHT to work in an enviornment in which you don't feel harassed, degraded, verbally abused....I could go on but I think you get the point.

You are an awesome nurse and deserve to be treated as such.

I'm sorry you work with such jerks.

Nighthawk said...

I am neither a bully or a racist but I DO work nights. And I'm at the top of my game because I enjoy nights, cool things happen at night. If you don't like your job or shift get a new one. This is not a communist country. Staying put and whining is just stupid.

Marjorie said...

First of all, I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. Why this unprofessional behavior is tolerated in hospitals, when it isn't in other businesses, is beyond me.

I agree with what Allen said. It's time to take action. Your body is giving you the sign!

After being beaten down day after day at work, I've seen intelligent, independent people start believing that they are powerless. They forget they can take action. They also forget they have a choice to stay or go. It's like battered wife syndrome.

My close friends and family pretty much held a mirror in front of me when I was stuck in a similar situation. When I couldn't recognize myself and the person I had turned into, I started exploring my options. Unfortunately, management and HR @ that hospital were known to be ineffective, so I opted for finding a new job.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Remember that you have power and that you are worth fighting for.

Take care...

Becca said...

Oh, honey. Biiiig hug. Tell Max I said to take care of you.

Things will get better, I promise. They are hard and miserable and downright shitty right now, but they will not stay that way. You're under a cloud, and sooner or later you will pop out from the edge and into glorious sunshine again.

Oh, and talk to a manager about the racists. You don't need that, nor does the hospital - not to mention the patients.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.

I'm a PCT and I had this exact experience, actually, when I was on days. Nights are exhausting, however. I'm currently in nursing school and for a while I was working FULL-TIME nights and doing class/clinicals. It was miserable.

Anyway, it unfortunately seems to be a common theme in nursing, where ever you go. :-/

If it means anything, I'm rooting for you, despite the fact that we're complete strangers. I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago, and after being discouraged, when I read your blog I feel better.

Keep on keeping on. :)