Should i quit my nursing degree.

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Neurotichouse
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#1
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Ive already had one year out because of my physical health. I got better, worked in care and now should be back on a placement. I'm not on it right now as the day before i ended up having* a massive panic attack at the thought of going back on a ward. Im burnt out at work in care, having had 3 weeks off since april because of my mental health. And i really needed more. The thought of going back is giving me massive panic attacks and just general anxiety. But i cant help but feeling Im throwing away a good oppertunity and years of hard work. But at the same time i am burnt out from care and nursing in general. And i honestly dont think I'll complete the year the way i am now. Its my final year and between placement and a dissertation i dont know if i can do it. I feel so lost and im also feeling that i dint even want to be a nurse anymore. Im done with care and nursing. But in the back of my mind i feel like im failing.
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lexiegoodall0
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Unfortunately if you’re feeling burnt out already, it’s worse when you’re qualified.
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Muttly
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Recognising what you don't like or don't want to do in this life is as important as what you do want to do?

When you first started to apply for nursing I am sure you had a lovely positive ideal of having time and space to chat to people, to make people who felt in pain, scared, unwell feel better and see them get better. That has probably never gone away it is a hardcore dose of life at the sharp end that had sunk you early on in your training and career.

The reality is quite often brutally the opposite of this romantic view and not even having time to breathe with a huge case load and through put is at times completely demoralising. Placements can be very stressful because you don't always get the time to decompress if the work is full on. Be aware that if you forge through a particularly stressful placement it doesn't have to be like that all the time. You can find so many variants in nursing ie community, hospital ward, occupational health, GP surgery etc etc Some nursing is hard core, low staff levels to patient ratio, stifling heat, poor ventilation and no breaks, high staff sickness levels. Have you been on a particularly stressful placement? Sometimes the fear of the fear is worse than the thing we actually want to avoid. Talk this through with someone who is in charge of your training. You have nothing to lose if you are thinking of leaving.

I'm not going to say you are wrong for accepting that right now the thought of immersing yourself back in that environment is just overwhelming. You health comes first absolutely because that has to last you a life time, and if you disregard that you might never work again for a long time. However, knowing what made you feel so desperate in the first place is an important first step to knowing what affected you and how it affected you. Stop for a moment and pull out the bones of what went on for you. Was it the people you worked with, or the supervision (or lack of it), did you feel safe or were you expected to undertake physical tasks outside of your training and policy guidelines? Was it the relentless hours of working or shift patterns? Was it lack of breaks or the physical environment? Was it the added stress of doing academic work on top of everything? Take that time to know what aspects of the work affected you and how? Then you can know if you want to finish completely or do something to change any one of those parameters.

Can you go back to your tutor or mentor and take time to discuss your welfare, your options, your choices? Are you so badly burned by what you have experienced that the draw bridge is now up? You may be able to take a year out and return in a more positive frame of mind. That time out may galvanise your thoughts into choosing another career direction. That is absolutely right too because this is your unique journey. No one else can make those decisions for you, you have to find out your options.

Sadly when you get burn out it usually isn't just work, it is home life, study, other worries that can overwhelm and sink you. You will never know how far you have got to peering over the abyss until you have pulled back from the edge to a position of safety. But that can be a lifelong learning moment as to where your limits and boundaries are. When your mind is calm and you feel in a better state think about what you would like to do next. Don't make any snap decisions just yet and I hope with time and space you can get some perspective on what you have gone through and where you want to be next.
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