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Any nurses that have felt similar? Or any social workers with advice :)


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Thinking about leaving my job in nursing to pursue social work

 

Hey! I’m a nurse on a busy surgical ward. I’m only nearly a year in about to complete my grad year. I love helping people and I love how social and fast paced my work is, I chose nursing because I’m very passionate about wanting to help people and be there for them in a time of need. I feel terrible saying this but I honestly just feel like a slave most of the time, and I’m starting to resent my job and not enjoy it. Most shifts it’s so hard to even find time for a quick break and so many time’s I won’t get to eat my whole shift. I love helping people but I’m just not sure if ward work is for me.

I’m thinking about going back to uni next year and doing something in social work, it really interests me and I think I would love being able to help people and be there for them and it might be physically better on me? Idk I’m not good with words but if there is anyone that has gone through a similar career change or is in the social work field and could let me know if they love it and why that would be awesome :) thank you

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If you were to pursue a graduate nursing/nurse practitioner degree, you could get into psychiatry or another specialty. Social work is another direction rather than building on what you have. Why not research this better if you are getting burned out from bedside nursing.

I’m starting to resent my job and not enjoy it. I’m thinking about going back to uni next year and doing something in social work.
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LOL sounds like my life when I have to solo parent or right now during the quarrantine but I don't feel resentful or like a slave -but I get the nonstop cleaning with no break and having to address others' needs constantly. I love what I do though. Social work has its own kind of work like that so it depends what you would do with the degree.

 

Loving to help people means also being ok at least with the hands on work, grunt work, dirty work. It's a balance!

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LOL sounds like my life when I have to solo parent or right now during the quarrantine but I don't feel resentful or like a slave -but I get the nonstop cleaning with no break and having to address others' needs constantly. I love what I do though. Social work has its own kind of work like that so it depends what you would do with the degree.

 

Loving to help people means also being ok at least with the hands on work, grunt work, dirty work. It's a balance!

 

Thanks for the reply. Yeah I’m a solo parent as well lol. I feel bad using the word slave! I really do enjoy the dirty work, I love being there for people in their time of need but sometimes I feel so overworked that you can’t actually work as well as you want because you have a million tasks to get done and end up feeling guilty for things you couldn’t do etc. I would probably enjoy it more if the hospital I worked at had better nurse to patient ratios.

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If you were to pursue a graduate nursing/nurse practitioner degree, you could get into psychiatry or another specialty. Social work is another direction rather than building on what you have. Why not research this better if you are getting burned out from bedside nursing.

 

Thank you! Yeah I am thinking of looking into mental health nursing as well. I did really enjoy my mental health placements when I was studying and it was a very different pace compared to the surgical ward I work on now. I enjoyed actually having time to spend with the patients and actually feel like I met their needs. Definitely going to continue doing my research so I can make the right choice for further study :)

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Apply to work for the VA. Your workload expectations are sliced in half - plenty of time for yourself, and you make six figures. As a social worker, expect more work, more red tape, and lots of disappointment, and little pay.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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Thanks for the reply. Yeah I’m a solo parent as well lol. I feel bad using the word slave! I really do enjoy the dirty work, I love being there for people in their time of need but sometimes I feel so overworked that you can’t actually work as well as you want because you have a million tasks to get done and end up feeling guilty for things you couldn’t do etc. I would probably enjoy it more if the hospital I worked at had better nurse to patient ratios.

 

I solo parented a lot and still do but I am married - I'm not a single parent sorry for the confusion. I have been overworked many times in my life so I get it. I agree that a job change might help.

 

Thank you so much for all that you do.

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Depending on where you are located, you can function as an independent practitioner with just a couple years for a grad degree in nursing. Social work is an entirely different field and would require an advanced degree to do anything anyway. You would be better off looking for master's degrees (often 2 years) rather than starting from scratch.

 

Also look into your employers education/tuition assistance programs. Many will help with further an education but not changing fields. You would make much more money and not work in med/surg nursing. You also need to review your jurisdiction's license requirements and your field's credentialing process.

I am thinking of looking into mental health nursing as well. I did really enjoy my mental health placements when I was studying and it was a very different pace compared to the surgical ward I work on now.
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Have you discussed the workload with peers or those in charge?

 

Have you had an appraisal at work?

 

You might want to seek feedback from others before you decide to quit.

 

In my work , there are people who can cope with a higher workload than others.

Some lack organisational skills , others need more training , others simply aren’t suited to the job.

 

Ask your employer what they think?

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Have you discussed the workload with peers or those in charge?

 

Have you had an appraisal at work?

 

You might want to seek feedback from others before you decide to quit.

 

In my work , there are people who can cope with a higher workload than others.

Some lack organisational skills , others need more training , others simply aren’t suited to the job.

 

Ask your employer what they think?

 

Thanks for the reply! Yeah most of the girls I work with feel the same with lack of support I guess and feeling run off their feet. It’s been worse the last couple of months due to covid and the hospital being very disorganised. I was meant to have an appraisal awhile back but it kept getting put off. I’ll speak up and re ask my manager about it.

I feel like I can cope with a heavy work load, I managed very busy restaurants for years whilst studying nursing and I always get everything done and am organised but now I say it maybe I can’t actually cope with the thought of it and knowing every day I’m heading into a very busy non stop day. Thanks for making me have a think!

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Depending on where you are located, you can function as an independent practitioner with just a couple years for a grad degree in nursing. Social work is an entirely different field and would require an advanced degree to do anything anyway. You would be better off looking for master's degrees (often 2 years) rather than starting from scratch.

 

Also look into your employers education/tuition assistance programs. Many will help with further an education but not changing fields. You would make much more money and not work in med/surg nursing. You also need to review your jurisdiction's license requirements and your field's credentialing process.

 

Thank you so much! I will look into this! :)

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I would not go into social work. The pay that you're used to as a nurse (assuming you are a registered nurse) is way, way more than you'd ever make as a social worker. I know, I know, life isn't all about the money but we are talking about a significant downgrade here in terms of compensation. I've seen a number of social workers go from social work to nursing, never ever the other way around.

 

If social work interests you, with your experience, see if you can apply to some nursing "care coordinator" jobs. If you have a good amount of hospital experience, you can work in these jobs. It's not social work but you definitely work closely with patients and their families to coordinate different angles of their care and resources they will need once they leave the hospital. I could see you enjoying it.

 

Bedside nursing is a drag - terrible ratios, back-breaking work, and you get way too much piled onto you and when something goes wrong, you're the first to be blamed.

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Thanks for the reply! Yeah most of the girls I work with feel the same with lack of support I guess and feeling run off their feet. It’s been worse the last couple of months due to covid and the hospital being very disorganised. I was meant to have an appraisal awhile back but it kept getting put off. I’ll speak up and re ask my manager about it.

I feel like I can cope with a heavy work load, I managed very busy restaurants for years whilst studying nursing and I always get everything done and am organised but now I say it maybe I can’t actually cope with the thought of it and knowing every day I’m heading into a very busy non stop day. Thanks for making me have a think!

 

Is a surgical ward not quieter due to covid given that elective surgeries have been postponed internationally?

 

No hospital is really organised to deal with covid since it was neither predicted or expected?

So the organisation is happening on a daily basis . And it depends on all staff to be patient and see it through.

Help where possible.

 

Are your feelings perhaps external to your job? And more covid related?

 

Keep a personal record of your start and finish times of your shift plus breaks.

 

And definitely pursue that appraisal. But do be prepared for both positive and negative feedback. It’s all about understanding your role , your immediate employers role and differing expectations.

 

Good luck!!

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Is a surgical ward not quieter due to covid given that elective surgeries have been postponed internationally?

 

No hospital is really organised to deal with covid since it was neither predicted or expected?

So the organisation is happening on a daily basis . And it depends on all staff to be patient and see it through.

Help where possible.

 

Are your feelings perhaps external to your job? And more covid related?

 

Keep a personal record of your start and finish times of your shift plus breaks.

 

And definitely pursue that appraisal. But do be prepared for both positive and negative feedback. It’s all about understanding your role , your immediate employers role and differing expectations.

 

Good luck!!

 

It was quiet for like a week back in March but we have been getting a lot more trauma patients from other public hospitals, idk why. And we just get all the gen med patients still. And quieter can be worse because it isn’t actually quiet you have the same patient load and your patients are as unwell as usual but there are just less nurses on the floor. It’s actually better when the ward is full. Our elective surgeries started back up last week as well.

 

Yeah I have been having a think and I’m fair sure it’s just surgical nursing that isn’t for me. I enjoyed oncology a lot more and I think covid on top of it has me really not enjoying it.

Thanks for the advice!

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So.... I'm not sure if you will be less over-worked as a social worker. They seem to have a lot going on too. I would talk to your manager about if it's possible to balance the workload, but I'm not sure you can do that during a pandemic. :( Is there another wing you can be transferred to? Sorry, I don't know a ton about nursing, but I am sure you are being overworked at this time. Is there an additional certification that you can get that would help you get transferred to a less-busy wing?

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Thanks everyone for the advice! I appreciate it! I’ve thought about it and reminded myself why I got into nursing, I think my passion just doesn’t lay with surgical at all. Once I fishing up graduate year in a couple of months I will get back into oncology/ end of life care or mental health. My passion is definitely with them and I know I’d never feel overworked doing anything for those patients.

Thanks again guys!

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