The Cons of Nursing

  1. What are some of the Cons of Nursing? Anything that you have to do or that really disgust you?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   maythen
    For me I feel like I wasn't emotionally prepared for what I was getting into. I tend to get the "problem patients" because I'm the new girl (graduated in December). So I get the super high acuity patients and frequently admit high acuity patients too. On any given shift I can assume that at least one of my patients will be in some sort of restraint (or should be for their own safety), at least half of my patients will be confused (as in screaming cursing biting), and that anyone who doesn't fall into that category is going to be swinging from the call light at least once an hour thinking that I'm their personal slave. Oh, and also at least half of them are incontinent.
    I work nights and it's a smaller facility, which means I'm often down the hall all by myself with no other nurse in yelling range and administration has decided in their infinite wisdom that night shift doesn't need any techs or support personell.
    So I spend my entire shift up to my elbows in feces, I don't have any help no matter how acute my patients are, and my hospital keeps insituiting new "customer sevice" policies that eat up huge amounts of my time and make me feel like a fast food worker. I'm now supposed to check and document every hour on every one of my patients about pain. And I'm no longer allowed to leave the room without saying "Here at (my hospitals name) we want you to be very satisfied with your experience. I have plenty of time right now. Is there anything I can do for you?"
    I knew that being a nurse was going to be hard work. I'm ok with that. What I didn't expect is that I was going to have to fill every roll just because I work nights. Nor did I realize I would be required to work an entire 12 and a half hours without any breaks or a lunch, but be required to sign out for a half hour unpaid lunch that I never actually go on because my hospital wont pay for a break relief nurse. I actually got in trouble the other day for going to the bathroom.
    And I didn't expect the nightmares. I didn't expect to wake up screaming because I can hear my patients in my head. "I hate you." "You're a terrible nurse" "You're trying to kill me. You just want me to be in pain" "I don't want you. You're too fat to be a nurse" "I want one of the pretty girls, not this fat cow" "Get out of my house you lazy *****" "It's your fault I'm sick" That's just a small sample from last nights shift.
    I didn't realize that no matter what I do or how hard I try it's never going to be good enough. Nursing school was hard. Often I felt I was being emotionally abused by my teachers. To be perfectly honest, if I knew how miserable I would be I would never have become a nurse. But now I feel like I can't let down all the people who supported me through school. I'm getting older. I can't afford to go back to school and try again. I'm so desperatly unhappy and overwhelmed. But I'm stuck for it now.
  4. by   nursemichelle
    I'm so sorry you've had such a bad experience, no one deserves to have to be spoken to like that. Just remember that you are a valuable, special person and just let those awful words slide right off your back and into the bedpan!!! Good luck to you!
  5. by   angel337
    maythen, when i read such horrific stories as yours all i can say is OH MY GOD!. there is another post on this board with someone going through the same thing. is it possible for you to transfer to another unit with lower acuity? have you considered ED or OR. if i had to deal with that on a daily basis i don't think i would be a nurse either. and then you got written up for going to the restroom? that is crazy. i believe your first nursing job will shape the rest of your career and that why it is so important to go to a unit or specialty that you like. i always tell people to try ED or OR because it is COMPLETELY different from floor nursing. i will be praying for you.
  6. by   Annabelle57
    Get out of there, Maythen! You're worth a whole lot more than that! Go someplace where you're appreciated. You can't really control what a patient says to you, but if you're in a ward or even a different facility where your employer values you, you're going to be under a lot less stress, and you will be a better nurse to your patients. I don't doubt for a second that you're already a wonderful nurse, but remember that anyone forced to work under crappy conditions will have their performance suffer to some degree... but it's not your fault! I wish more employers would respect and cherish their employees (esp. RNs) rather than force a lot of bogus policies on them and make them miss lunch.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but with this nursing shortage, I don't doubt you could find a better job pretty quickly. Hold your chin up and remember why you got into this profession in the first place... and then pursue a place where you can do just that.

    You have my support and prayers - be strong, my friend.
  7. by   Katnip
    Maythen! You poor thing. Get out. Move, commute, whatever you need to do. That is a serious problem waiting to happen.

    To answer the original poster: Cons:
    Dealing with unreasonable patients and having management back them up. Rare where I work, actually.

    Too many patients, not enough staff and not enough time to take care of it all.

    Disgusting? I'm trying to think. I used to gag just thinking about sputum. Now, it's no biggie. As far as gross stuff you get immune pretty fast.
  8. by   maythen
    Quote from Annabelle57
    Get out of there, Maythen! You're worth a whole lot more than that! Go someplace where you're appreciated. .

    I live in a pretty rural area. Out of the three local facilities two are owned by the same company (one of which I work at) and they both have the same policies and managerial tenets. SO changing to the other one wouldn't change anything for me. The other facility is in MAJOR turmoil and has been for over a year now. It's a very unhappy place and has been in the process of being sold for over a year. Having worked there as a tech I knew it wasn't a supportive or safe environement. The nurses who've managed to keep their jobs during the crisis managed that through a ruthless CYA and back stabbing philosophy.
    My husband is currently finishing his own degree and has a little over a year to go. Once he graduates we're getting the heck out of here. I keep telling myself that it will be different somewhere else. I just have to stick it out untill he's done with school. There isn't anywhere in commuting distance besides those 3 hospitals that will take a new grad. There are less acute places like long term care and rehab. But they all require a minimum of one year experience in an acute care facility.
    I just keep telling myself I can survive anything for a year. I just need to keep sane and safe while I do it. Thank you for the supportive words. I needed them.
  9. by   Hopegirl
    Reading this almost brings me to tears. Right now, at 27 years old (same as you), I am working on my prereqs for nursing. And the more stories I hear like this, I seriously get teary-eyed. I can't bear to hear the disgusting things that people say, or how awful you are treated. It scares me so much, and I have been looking into med school for this very reason. It's such a shame, because before coming onto this forum, I thought that we had reached a time in history when nurses are respected, paid well, given great benefits (union?), etc. But the more posts I read like this, I start to question my decision that I was once SO excited about.

    I agree with the other postings though, that you should look to the ER or OR. Many OR nurses particularly, seem so happy. You deserve more, so much more, and don't stop until you get it.

    Blessings!
    -j
  10. by   Jennerizer
    Wow...after reading that, you make it seem like the nurses at my hospital are spoiled. Actually though, I think you are truly being taken advantage of & the nurses at my hospital are more of what the norm is. They usually have 5 patients---6 at the most & a tech (who does a majority of the workload). I hope you move on to something better than what you're dealing with now.
  11. by   rosemadder
    RUN and RUN ...do not look back...leave immediately!!! That is not the norm. I have had the exact opposite experience since becoming a new nurse as have many of many classmates at 5 different hospitals. Get out now!
  12. by   Havin' A Party!
    Hurtin' feet if you're on the floor!
  13. by   smk1
    maythen how long have you been working as a nurse? is it possible to do some agency work instead of the crap you have to put up with now? look in the paper for someone needing home care or private duty nursing. If your hubby only has 1 year left of school , maybe you can work in a different capacity (not as a nurse) for that year and just stay on PRN at your facility. You sound as though you need to get out of that situation fast! Try to really look at your options and see if it is worth it to stay in that nightmare job. Only you know what is possible, but get creative and try to get out of that stressful enviornment, with mean patients like that, if something goes wrong i could just see a report being filed against you and your license being in jeopardy.
  14. by   trekker76
    These experiences do suck. Even more so if you take them personally. Work with your co-workers if they are taking advantage of you. Set solid boundaries. Set boundaries with the patients as well. Did you take psych nursing in school? I did and it helped immensely. As a person, I haven't been good at drawing boundaries in the past. LOTS of people who become nurses have this problem--that whole caring for strangers thing. Phych nursing clinical and a great prof. taught me more than I could say about boundaries. It may seem harsh and uncaring, but drawing boundaries with those who are taking advantage is best for everyone. As for the mean patients--do they know better? Are they responsible for their behavior? If so, draw boundaries and don't take it personally. If not, draw boundaries and don't take it personally.

    Seriously, you will come up agianst this kind of stuff almost everywhere. Here's a good book to start with:
    The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense [font=verdana,arial,helvetica]by Suzette Haden Elgin

    Good luck and take care.

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