That could have been me! My first job, I worked on a Med/Surg floor for 4 months and left. I was never sure if I was doing the whole job, properly, and that safety was an issue. I wanted to give more to my patients, but was reprimanded for doing so. Every time I spent too much time with a patient, I am denying another patient care. So what do you do?
I am a older, earned my RN at age 47. I found a job 3 miles from my home and got myself together. I worked for a year in a residential psych facility for kids and absolutely loved it! I've raised my own, so it is extremely rewarding to help other families come together again. BUT… if I stay in psych, I will be a psych nurse. I hadn't been a nurse long enough to set all my skills; so what do I do?
I want to give CARE to my patients. Really and truly take care of them and be sure they are safe, stable, and happy when I leave them. I want to ensure continuity of care. This led me to home health. I LOVE home health. I can do all of the above & more. I work Monday through Friday and on call once a month. I finish Friday's charting on Saturday morning… at home. I am the hands, eyes and ears (and nose) of the MD and call orders in to them. (Embrace the SBAR! No one wants to hear rambling stuff.) The patients are happy and safe, the docs are covered and glad to keep patients out of the waiting room and ER. Sometimes we convince patients to go to ER when it's necessary; it's part of the safety issue. I can spend 30-60 minutes with a patient to address their problems. I may see the patient weekly, more or less, depending on the problems. Coordination of care is easy with the right team of PTs, OTs, STs, MSWs, etc. We work with wound centers and get to do wound care, which was very limited in hospital setting, as was phlebotomy. I still get to work with O2, trachs, catheters, IV antibiotics, etc. so my skills are good and current. I love to teach & have the time to do it now.
I told my Home Health Exec Director I would "do right by" her if she gave me a chance. I know my nursing, gave the valedictorian speech at graduation, and am old enough to know what I DON'T know and to ask. I feel from here, I could work anywhere, but I have no desire to work on a hospital floor again. Ever. And for those of you who do, my hat is off to you. I was running around so much, there was barely time to think. Send your patients home and let home health continue their care so they don't end up back with the same dx you sent them home with. No one is going to get paid for that in the near future anyway.
That's how I solved my hospital-nursing dilemma. Just know that in nursing, there is a job for every type of nurse. Everyone has their strengths and there is a nursing job for yours! Hope this helps someone.