First responders and frontline healthcare providers

CoastMed

New Here
Are there any thoroughly burned out, hate my job, but can't imagine doing anything else people looking for the exit but can't jump ship because you've got a family to support? If so, what's your exit strategy?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i belong to neither of the careers you mentioned, but when carpal tunnel put me out of the programming biz, i leaned heavily on the resources available through my local workforce commission. they provided both counseling and career workshops. that lead me to construction which turned out to be top notch physical therapy for the carpal tunnel.
 

Friday

Moderator
Moving from Disaster Response

20 years ago… I went to school.

I’d tried several other changes before I had a family, each time gradually shifting gears from hyper-violent to more safe-sane, but having a baby meant …a lot of things… amongst which that I now had expenses up to my eyeballs. I had to do SOME kind of work, couldn’t imagine WTF else I would/could do, and anything I was even remotely qualified to do outside of Contracting/ K&R/ NGO/ DisasterResponse? Wouldn’t even pay for childcare. I’d literally being paying to work some kind of McCrappy job I hated… which forced me to look outside of traditional “I need a job” options. So damn glad it did.

University created a middle ground, where I found new bearings.

I only had to cover 10 hours of childcare per week (instead of 50+), and writing for grants/scholarships meant that after the first year I didn’t even have to take out student loans & still cleared 50k a year after tuition and other school expenses were paid. In addition? There were student benefits up the wazoo (part of my financial aid package included paying HIS preschool tuition, and would have covered up to about half of private k-12 schooling. Neither of which I’d have been able to afford; as well as countless other things that really took that 50k and about doubled it).

It took me a couple years to really wrap my head around what I wanted to do, and how I was going to get there… but once I did? It suited me right on down to the ground, tied in the best parts of my old life, and was something I neeeeeeever could have imagined myself doing.
 

RNrecovery

Confident
I was in a similar position until recently. I LOVE being a nurse but the stress of COVID triggered my PTSD and it became impossible to manage on my own. I felt so overwhelmed and trapped. I was still able to do the job well but it got so bad that I had a plan to end my life. It was a job I loved previously but it was so bad that I had panic attacks when I got up and then in the parking lot before I could go in. I felt so struck because I couldn't imagine what else I could do with my life. I have been in health care for over half my life.

I hope you have a therapist to help you work through it all. If you don't have one, get started looking. I am not sure where you work in health care. I have found that with COVID there are new jobs. I never thought I could work from home but I ended up in a work from home job on the admin side creating policies, supporting teams with education. It took me a year to work my way out but just knowing I had a plan really helped make my former job easier to handle. I included my wife in the conversation and she surprised me with how supportive she was. She told me that even if we had to sell the house, move somewhere cheaper, etc... She wanted me happy and not tortured. It took me a long time to work my way into the conversation with her.

I am sorry you are going through this. It is awful. I wish I could help in some way.
 

caroline_13

MyPTSD Pro
I was recently in a position I hated... with no clear way out. I am making my own way, and it is gradually building. The money will soon come; I am okay for today.

It's day by day, and trust. Letting go of the big picture and logical thinking helped me.
 

CoastMed

New Here
Moving from Disaster Response

20 years ago… I went to school.

I’d tried several other changes before I had a family, each time gradually shifting gears from hyper-violent to more safe-sane, but having a baby meant …a lot of things… amongst which that I now had expenses up to my eyeballs. I had to do SOME kind of work, couldn’t imagine WTF else I would/could do, and anything I was even remotely qualified to do outside of Contracting/ K&R/ NGO/ DisasterResponse? Wouldn’t even pay for childcare. I’d literally being paying to work some kind of McCrappy job I hated… which forced me to look outside of traditional “I need a job” options. So damn glad it did.

University created a middle ground, where I found new bearings.

I only had to cover 10 hours of childcare per week (instead of 50+), and writing for grants/scholarships meant that after the first year I didn’t even have to take out student loans & still cleared 50k a year after tuition and other school expenses were paid. In addition? There were student benefits up the wazoo (part of my financial aid package included paying HIS preschool tuition, and would have covered up to about half of private k-12 schooling. Neither of which I’d have been able to afford; as well as countless other things that really took that 50k and about doubled it).

It took me a couple years to really wrap my head around what I wanted to do, and how I was going to get there… but once I did? It suited me right on down to the ground, tied in the best parts of my old life, and was something I neeeeeeever could have imagined myself doing.
Wish I had your financial instincts. Only thing I'm good at is getting insurance settlements from accidents I didn't cause.

I was in a similar position until recently. I LOVE being a nurse but the stress of COVID triggered my PTSD and it became impossible to manage on my own. I felt so overwhelmed and trapped. I was still able to do the job well but it got so bad that I had a plan to end my life. It was a job I loved previously but it was so bad that I had panic attacks when I got up and then in the parking lot before I could go in. I felt so struck because I couldn't imagine what else I could do with my life. I have been in health care for over half my life.
That's absolutely miserable. I know for a fact you're not alone there.
I hope you have a therapist to help you work through it all. If you don't have one, get started looking. I am not sure where you work in health care. I have found that with COVID there are new jobs. I never thought I could work from home but I ended up in a work from home job on the admin side creating policies, supporting teams with education. It took me a year to work my way out but just knowing I had a plan really helped make my former job easier to handle. I included my wife in the conversation and she surprised me with how supportive she was. She told me that even if we had to sell the house, move somewhere cheaper, etc... She wanted me happy and not tortured. It took me a long time to work my way into the conversation with her.
Great wife! Mine's pretty awesome too. I'm a PA. Long history, long story, but I have some crazy experience, but don't fit neatly into a box. The bulk of my experience was working in a remote bush hospital in West Africa. Daily pediatric codes, too much malaria, too much multisystem trauma, too much death, and i had too much responsibility. When i agreed to take the position, I thought I was just going to be doing some primary care stuff, you know, like blood pressure management, diabetes, maybe some intestinal infections. I had a background in critical care, emergency, and surgery, but again... not. a. doctor. But when i got there, they took a look at my CV and decided I WAS a doctor. Next thing I know, I'm the hospitalist, intensivist, ortho and trauma surgeon.

When COVID hit, I had just arrived home. I was emotionally exhausted, and physically weak. I moved back to my home town, little rural community, and took a job in an urgent care, thinking I was gonna be able to just take it easy, treat some sniffles and ingrown toenails. But all the primary docs closed their doors, refused to see anyone with a runny nose, so my tiny little 4 room clinic became an extension of the local ER and primary care office for the surrounding communities. I went from seeing maybe 20 patients a day to seeing over a hundred a day. I wasn't ready for that. Timing sucks. Haven't really been able to come up for air since. So, I get it... my heart goes out to ya.
I am sorry you are going through this. It is awful. I wish I could help in some way.
Gotta tell ya, just saying that is meaningful. Thank you!
 

RNrecovery

Confident
That's absolutely miserable. I know for a fact you're not alone there.

Great wife! Mine's pretty awesome too. I'm a PA. Long history, long story, but I have some crazy experience, but don't fit neatly into a box. The bulk of my experience was working in a remote bush hospital in West Africa. Daily pediatric codes, too much malaria, too much multisystem trauma, too much death, and i had too much responsibility. When i agreed to take the position, I thought I was just going to be doing some primary care stuff, you know, like blood pressure management, diabetes, maybe some intestinal infections. I had a background in critical care, emergency, and surgery, but again... not. a. doctor. But when i got there, they took a look at my CV and decided I WAS a doctor. Next thing I know, I'm the hospitalist, intensivist, ortho and trauma surgeon.

When COVID hit, I had just arrived home. I was emotionally exhausted, and physically weak. I moved back to my home town, little rural community, and took a job in an urgent care, thinking I was gonna be able to just take it easy, treat some sniffles and ingrown toenails. But all the primary docs closed their doors, refused to see anyone with a runny nose, so my tiny little 4 room clinic became an extension of the local ER and primary care office for the surrounding communities. I went from seeing maybe 20 patients a day to seeing over a hundred a day. I wasn't ready for that. Timing sucks. Haven't really been able to come up for air since. So, I get it... my heart goes out to ya.

Gotta tell ya, just saying that is meaningful. Thank you!
If you can stomach it check into some of the big health care organizations. My (PA) friends who were in immediate care type clinics really got the shaft. They were worked so hard. But the PAs in clinics had it easy. I harbor some resentment both for how hard they worked me and for how hard their counterparts Work while they complained about EIGHT patients a day and minimal inbasket. That’s a big organization though and we were all so scared they would leave that we did whatever they wanted.

There are more inbasket only type roles for PAs right now. It’s not the best if inbasket makes you want to stab your eye out but….. it might give you that breather to let your PTSD cool off a bit. I was ready to take a triage line job just to take some of the pressure off. Feel free to DM me if you want any insight into what it’s like to be with the bigger organizations. I don’t want to talk about here I’m on on a public forum but we may have similar options.
 

gealach

MyPTSD Pro
Are there any thoroughly burned out, hate my job, but can't imagine doing anything else people looking for the exit but can't jump ship because you've got a family to support? If so, what's your exit strategy?

I was there, and was so far down the PTSD rabbit hole. Exit strategy was to train in something (anything!) that was laterally related skills & education-wise so it was easy enough to be spoon fed to my addled brain (couldn't handle any new info), and that I could get into classes quickly. And it all had to be done under the radar of my employer and workers comp, since I was on unpaid leave and didn't want them to f*ck it up.

I did an entire 2 year diploma in 1.5 yrs, including practicums. I ultimately didn't end up working in that field (because I hate it), but I could if I had to - it's still in my back pocket as an exit strategy. I used that as brain rehab/baby steps, and I couldn't have been successful going back to work otherwise.
 

caroline_13

MyPTSD Pro
I was recently in a position I hated... with no clear way out. I am making my own way, and it is gradually building. The money will soon come; I am okay for today.

It's day by day, and trust. Letting go of the big picture and logical thinking helped me.
To clarify: letting go of logical thinking.
 

Feather

New Here
Are there any thoroughly burned out, hate my job, but can't imagine doing anything else people looking for the exit but can't jump ship because you've got a family to support? If so, what's your exit strategy?
I just left law enforcement and took a job in healthcare as I’m in nursing school. I’m also waiting on disability which my family is pushing hard for me to get on. I feel like staying home worsens my symptoms? But working burns me out. I need to support myself for the time being and my lawyer says my disability will take another 4 months to go through. I feel really hopeless as it feels like a lose lose situation.
 

caroline_13

MyPTSD Pro
I just left law enforcement and took a job in healthcare as I’m in nursing school. I’m also waiting on disability which my family is pushing hard for me to get on. I feel like staying home worsens my symptoms? But working burns me out. I need to support myself for the time being and my lawyer says my disability will take another 4 months to go through. I feel really hopeless as it feels like a lose lose situation.
I totally have this situation: I have work (I work for myself) where I mostly work from home.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
I ended up taking disability -- worth it in the long run but a total bitch of a process

What about teaching? Lots of community colleges are desperate for people with experience to teach in first responder programs and you don't have to have a degree because it's considered "technical skills"

I did that for a while and loved it. The money isn't huge but it might be worth a look

If you are in the states check out your local unemployment office. They have an entire department dedicated to people who are currently working but want to change careers.
 
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