Anna R. on August 5, 2020
I am almost 3 years out of treatment and moved home due to not having proper protections at work as a nurse where I was living/being burnt out and feeling it was time to save financially. I took this as an opportunity to change fields in nursing: from public health/women's health to oncology. I didn't think it would move so fast but I had a great interview and was really impressed with the manager so accepted a job in Breast Oncology (I had rectal cancer).Fast forward, I'm on my second week. So I've gone from not working since March and before than part-time for a year, to full-time (right now 5 days a week but supposed to change to 4 10 hour shifts in a few weeks), with a hour commute each way right smack in the middle of a pandemic. While this manager is providing me N95s so at least I have proper PPE the clinic is in full swing thus still A LOT of exposure, in fact there was just an exposure of at least 200 staff. This has caused much more anxiety than I anticipated. Add to that and today after seeing a patient breakdown when getting a biopsy confirming mets, I had to leave the room because I was starting to cry. I think I came into oncology too soon after my diagnosis. So the combo of commute, hours,COVID and emotional toll I am worried is way too much. I am gone so many hours I cry because I can't exercise because by the time I get home it's time to eat and go to bed and my poor dog is neglected (I live alone). I really think I made the wrong decision. Normally, I'd say I know I need to stick it out but sticking it out comes with a major health risk right now. Theoretically, I'm not immunocompromised but all these stressors can't be good for my immune system. Part-time I know isn't an option (otherwise I think that'd be the solution). My manager knows I'm a survivor. What should I do? Should I stick it out? Or express my concerns early and set a really bad first impression? HELP!!