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- Mar 30, '11 by ♪♫ in my ♥Quote from Purple_ScrubsWhat is the definition of being "in it only for a paycheck?"You can tell when someone is in it only for a paycheck...
At its foundation, the paycheck is the only reason that I do it. The second that they stop paying me, I stop showing up. If they want me to stay over but refuse to cough up the double-time, I go home. Does that mean that I'm only in it for the paycheck. Perhaps. That said, I try very hard to be a great nurse and to provide excellent care to my patients. That is, after all, what the hospital is paying me for and what the patients are "paying" for (to whatever degree they are or through whatever reimbursement mechanism is in place).
On the other hand, I will be spending 14 hours of my own time volunteering at a free clinic the day after my 3x12 NOC shifts finish. I'm not doing this out of "calling" but rather simply continuing my lifelong practice of sharing my "talents" (that is, money, skills, time, energy) with people who are in need.
I really am looking for input regarding the meaning of "in it only for a paycheck."
- Mar 30, '11 by eriksolnQuote from Purple_ScrubsTBH, I don't know where on the fence I happen to land according to the vague descriptions of "Calling vs. Job" nurses.It doesn't bother me too much that some nurses feel they had the magical "calling" into the profession, although I see the OP's point about where it can lead in terms of wages and working conditions. What really gets me is when the "called" nurses want to look down on others who chose the profession for varied, or non-altruistic in their eyes, reasons. I mean, Heaven forbid someone chooses a profession based on research and thought, or even a pro/con list like I did (GASP!)
I don't think money or the promise of employment (which isn't really true anymore anyway) should be the only reason somone goes into this profession. You can tell when someone is in it only for a paycheck, and I've seen patient care suffer because of it. But that does not mean that taking those and other non-angelic factors into consideration when deciding to pursue nursing makes someone any less of a nurse than the one who has wanted to be a nurse their whole live because it is their calling. In fact, I'd argue that the one who came to the decision based on logic and considering all factors may just have sharper critical thinking skills
I made less as a landscaper, but had a M-F job with a lot of side benefits that made extra cash readily available. I had, at one time, a boss who let me use one of the company trucks (I didn't own a car at the time) whenever I had a big event to go to or needed to get grocery shopping done. Never heard of a nurse being allowed to borrow a hospital car for a weekend. But, push come to shove.....................I do much better financially as a nurse (retirement savings, health benefits etc). So....................part of my reasons for being here are to satisfy the lower portions of "Maslow's Hierarchy".
But the draw of retirement funds alone would not have gotten me where I am. I had to work like a DOG for a long time to get my school loans caught up enough to be able to return to school. Then, for the 2.5 years I was in school, I lived by counting pennies and nickels. A "night on the town" for me was a pizza and watching a DVD. I was brought up that we should choose our careers and path in life with "community" in mind. What we do adds to the community in same way/shape or form, and we are given a paycheck in return to we may purchase necessities and w/e our heart desires. I always felt a great nurse was of value to the community. Not that there is anything wrong with landscaping, flipping burgers or running the cash register at the local gas station if thats what you can do................you too are adding your part to the community. But if you are capable of more and choose not to do so simply because you dislike challenge in life...........well then, you are cheating yourself and your "community". So, in part, I felt called to nursing because I felt like I contributed more that way. I felt I was contributing all I could as opposed to simply doing w/e to get a paycheck.
That part sounds an awful lot like how the "calling nurses" talk. So, IDK which side of the fence I am on. I guess balance with a little of both worlds is alright.
- Mar 30, '11 by Purple_ScrubsQuote from ♪♫ in my ♥By that I mean the fact that nursing is relatively well paying and (used to be) easy to find a job in is the ONLY reason the person picked it. Let's face it, we are a helping profession, and you have to have something inside of you that wants to take care of people to do this work.What is the definition of being "in it only for a paycheck?"
I in NO way mean that I would do this for free, lol. Sorry if it implied that.
- Mar 30, '11 by Meg, RNI completely agree! I'm a new nurse and disagree that nursing is a "calling." I feel like that's just an excuse for us to put up with having long hours, little appreciation, cut pay, and to be demeaned by those who think nurses aren't as intelligent as doctors. And I don't mean to sound jaded already (not even a year of experience under my belt here). It's just what I've seen in the short time I've been working. I also don't mean to generalize. Just my perspective. I feel that the OP summarizes it wonderfully.
- Mar 30, '11 by needshaldolWhen I went into nursing, a zillion years ago, I had no idea of what the salary was. I did not think of myself as some sort of Angel in White or that it was a calling. Who was I calling? Who was I answering to? I have no clue what that "calling" is. I just liked people and liked helping people and thought it would be a good fit.
Now after so many years, so many changes, the job really remains the same. We were always running around, little breaks, etc. Now we have so much more "tasks" to do to comply. Hospitals are big business. Do not believe that a "non-profit" is such. The profit is huge.
We are always "reclaiming our Profession" every day. I do not see much change around the corner. I know I must have it somewhat better in CA as we have a union. Our pay is better, yes, but we still deal with abusive patients, and management who are just doing their job which is to save money, so that they show "good numbers" and get their bonuses. How come they do not publish their pay? Our contract is open to everyone who wants to see it.
- What paycheck? My unemployment check for 12 weeks at minimum wage or less? that paycheck? after almost 20 years of outstanding service until the end, naturally, according to them. I'm trying to unify in my own selfish way, I guess, by sharing my trauma.
Without protective rights for our jobs, no paycheck is coming. To me this is what 'reclaiming our profession' is about, not whose decision making process is sharper or why we completed our nursing studies and years of work in the field of nursing.
Sometimes it seems we get so competitive and caught up in the little pictures that it leaches our ability to really unite as one group of professionals, and then sometimes we miss the big picture entirely in the process, which is that regardless of who or what is supposedly 'better', we are in this together, whether we like it or not.
We need to get along and get together as one. We need to fight for better job protection and security, better staffing, better pay and benefits, and better non-violent, non-bullying workplace environments. There should be zero tolerance for bullying in the workplace. It is a form of violence, period.
Yes, that would be nice to see the administrators pay? Why aren't more nurses administrators I wonder? We need to administrate ourselves.Last edit by wondern on Mar 30, '11
- Hmmm, maybe that doc thought I was one of those dern 'call' nurses.Last edit by wondern on Mar 30, '11
- Mar 30, '11 by needshaldolWondern,
Don't know where you live but it seems people will always complain about salaries. I work 32hr/wk and gross over 100K in California. But some days, it feels not worth it. When I read that some are being paid $18/hr I blinked hard! How is that possible? Our cna's make more than that.
At this point in my career, I am a good nurse, professional, care for the patient, and do the job as best as possible....but I am doing it now for the money. Where else can I make such a salary? Due to our salary, few nurses leave our hospital until retirement. No "calling" here.
- That's awesome, needshaldol! I hear the cost of living there is very high. Still $100k does sound good. I made a little over half that with continual OT, and ~20 yrs. exp. I had topped out there.
Obviously, your hospital is doing something right to retain most of it's nurses through retirement. I had a lot of friends there, more on the acquaintance level, really. I miss them sometimes. That was my plan too, after so many years at the same place, to retire there, but some others had other plans for me that seemed to work out real well for them.
The harder I tried to get along the worse my work environment got it seemed. At the end it was really all fun and games, that's short for torture. I just wanted to do my job without constant childish bullying games supported by management.
I brought up salary not really as a 'complaint' but more as a unifying factor because I feel many nurses are underpaid for the work they do.
- Mar 30, '11 by KnitWitchWhy can't nursing be a calling and a profession? Hear me out here.
When I decided to get into nursing it was because I discovered that I had a certain set of skills and aptitudes with regards to critical thinking, problem solving and instinct/intuition. Never has any other career fit my skill set so well (and I've had four of them!). In that way, yes, I feel like I'm called to be a nurse.
If you want me to use my critical thinking, my problem solving, my intuition and my countless hours of hard-earned knowledge, well, that ain't free, honey! Like anyone with a skill set who is a part of a profession, you're going to have to pay me in order to have access to all those things.
I think you can be called to a certain profession -- or, if you hate the word "called" like I'm starting to, have a particular aptitude for a profession -- and still be a PROFESSIONAL, who has the right to a reasonable salary, reasonable working conditions, and to be treated as a valuable and knowledgeable part of a team.