One reason I decided to become a nurse was all the possibility. You can do a lot of things in a lot of environments. I'm exploring some of them right now, having separated from my hospital job. Yes, I talk about my job like a relationship because they share many similarities. Many of us spend a lot more time with our jobs than with our partners. And as with relationships, with jobs there can come a point when something has to change.
I feel so much better physically after my cardiac ablation that I'm stunned I was able to function for so long feeling so exhausted, and even though this was presented to me as "no big deal" I'm still recuperating from, not so much the ablation itself, but the complications. I went for a walk today for the first time in months without gasping for breath and feeling like I couldn't take another step, and it was awesome! My life has totally changed.
Change is not my favorite thing. Give me a rut and I'll furnish it and move in and make it really cozy. But the health issues I've had this year have apparently given me a change of perspective. After all, one minute I didn't have a heart problem and the next one, I did. And it changed my life, eventually limiting my entire existence to wondering if I'd have the energy to get up that day. I'm therefore a lot less likely to accept the status quo and a lot more willing to take risks.
I don't know if I am burned out on nursing in general or just on the ER or hospital setting: being chronically short-staffed and overworked and exhausted, battered by patients, and bullied by other employees. However, more "seasoned" nurses have suggested that there are plenty of environments outside the hospital that I might enjoy. Or at least try for a while. I can date jobs without marrying them up front. It isn't necessarily a lifetime commitment.
So here I am, all tuned up and ready to test-drive another job. And now, every day I'm specifically aware and appreciative that I am healthy and able to work. Which is really pretty cool. Meanwhile I have plenty of writing and research projects to work on. So stay tuned.