Why I Quit My Job as a Nurse

Healthcare workers are facing an impossible task

Ellie Daforge

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Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash

I just quit my bedside job. I worked as a nurse at the bedside for past few years, but I finally threw in the towel.

My breaking point came when I couldn’t even enjoy my days off. I was constantly being texted or called asking if I could cover a shift. I put my phone on “do not disturb,” but I would still see the messages come in.

And of course when I did pick up a shift, the unit was in chaos. I no longer felt I was providing safe care. Managers would promise a bonus for coming in, but “forget” to put it in my paycheck.

I finally got a text asking me to come in because there were no nurses scheduled. None. I just called and said I was done.

The money used to be good, I think, but I hadn’t had a pay raise in two years. I had planned to work extra during the summer while people were on vacation, and use the money to hire someone fix up my house. But prices for everything shot up, so it’s more worth my time to learn to fix things myself.

And there is no staff at work. People aren’t on vacation. They straight up quit.

For a long time, I really enjoyed going in and seeing patients, and really enjoyed seeing my coworkers. Things are not the same anymore.

I worked bedside through the whole pandemic, but you wouldn’t know it. Patients and families don't complain anymore, they scream. They tell you that you are the worst person in the world and every problem they had for the last 20 years is YOUR fault.

On my last shift, a patient screamed at me until I just sat down at the nurses’ station and cried.

And it’s not just the stress. My workload was increased, sharply. Before the pandemic, we had supervisors or charge nurses who help with things. Those people quickly disappeared, leaving floor nurses to handle everything from phone calls, to making schedules, to coordinating pickup of Covid tests from the lab. Patients also required more assessments, more frequent vital sign checks.

With the endless amount of tasks, I no longer felt I was practicing safe or good care. And there was no relief in sight.

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Ellie Daforge

Article writer, aspiring YA novelist & health scientist.