Working as a nurse is not easy. Aside from dealing with impossible patients and difficult doctors, you also have to cope with the demands of the job. With all these things, it can really be tempting to just say “I quit!”.
But before you take any actions, here are five important questions you need to ask yourself first.
1. “Why did I become a nurse in the first place?”
With the demands of our work, it’s easy to lose our sense of purpose and feel stressed out. The long hours of attending to patients and the effects of short staffing can really take a toll on us – physically, emotionally and mentally.
Before you hand in your resignation letter, it’s a good idea if you can sit down for a moment and really think things through. Asking yourself why you took up nursing in the first place can help you redefine your purpose.
“I took up nursing because I really wanted to learn how to properly take care of people and make them feel well. Going out of the country to work wasn’t on my list. I think that was enough reason for me not to give into peer pressure when almost all of my colleagues resigned to work abroad,” a 5-year ward nurse shared.
2. “If I quit, what will happen next?”
Having a proper plan is very important if you’re thinking of quitting. In case you have a new work awaiting you, you should think of ways on how to make the transition as seamless as possible. It’s also helpful if you can plan ahead of time on how you’ll manage the conflicts you’ll encounter once you make the transition.
If there’s no work available yet, you have to weigh your next move as being unemployed is probably the last thing you want to happen. You can either search for a new hospital to work in or try a new job outside the nursing profession.
3. “Am I forgetting to take care of myself?”
One of the main causes of burnout is neglecting yourself. If you’ve been failing to treat yourself with a good de-stressing activity from time to time, there’s a good chance you’ll feel fed up at work.
“I was on the edge of finally calling it quits when my superior nurse gave me three free days. I went out of town and had the best time of my life after working for 6 years in the surgical ward. It turned out that she was right. I just need to take a break,” a male nurse admitted.
4. “Why do I want to quit?”
With an overwhelming work environment, it can become hard to pinpoint the exact reason why you want to leave your work. However, by taking the time to sort things out can, you can get a clearer solution to your problem.
If you are having issues with your colleagues or doctors, it’s best if you can talk it through with them. In case you’re feeling stressed out, you can ask for a few days off. Small issues like these can easily overwhelm you and if you let them consume you, then you won’t be able to feel satisfied or happy wherever you work.
5. “Are you willing to start over?”
Leaving your work can mean leaving the people you’ve been working with for a long time. It can also mean changing your routine and adapting to a new work environment. If you are ready to start from scratch, then it’s an indication that quitting is probably your best option.
“Working in a new environment is hard but it’s highly doable. You may feel uneasy the first few weeks as you’re getting accustomed to your new place and role, but it’s something that passes on quickly. If you feel the grass is greener on the other side, don’t let the fear of starting over again stop you,” an OR nurse said.
Are you thinking of quitting? What questions have you asked yourself?