Can anyone relate?

  1. Or have input.

    I'm a 30 y/o mother of two. I have two very young boy's. I'm only working contigent.

    I totally love the concept of nursing. I'm an excellent nurse. Very knowledgable and patient. I love caring for people. I love interacting with patients, visitors, Dr.'s and other ancillary staff.

    But I dislike the condition of hospital's. Every year there's something else for R.N.'s to do. They have changed our matrix a few times. I have gotten more and more patients. Have to do more and more.

    I've always felt I can't give the care I'd like with the staffing. Even when there wasn't a nursing shortage...staffing wasn't that great. Sure it's gotten worse. But in the 8 year's I've been a nurse....it never has been picture perfect.

    I always dread going to work. The 2 day's before I don't sleep well. And the night after it's awful. I get mildly sick to my stomach. I've had rashes that the Dr. says is stress related.

    I've worked at different facilities.

    My dh says get out of nursing. I tell him I want to be a nurse. As I said I love the concept. And I always think I can't leave the nursing field. I want to continue advocating for these patient's. I will never work full-time again. But I want to work 24 hours a week when the kids are in school.

    But than I think is nursing what's best for me and my family.

    I don't know. Has anyone seen brighter day's....when there was better staffing....you could actually give care to patients. In the back of my mind....I always hope it'll get better.

    Can anyone relate? Is there something else I can do nurse related but not floor nursing. (I currently work step-down)
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Hello askater,

    I have been a RN for almost fifteen years now, and I can somewhat relate to what you are experiencing as a nurse. The best advice I can offer you is this: DO NOT ALLOW THE SITUATIONAL FRONT OF NURSING TO DISCOURAGE YOU FROM BEING THE BEST NURSE YOU KNOW HOW TO BE!!!

    When I speak about the "situational front" of nursing, I am referring to the politics and red tape of nursing that "NURSING MANAGERS" seem to think should be every nurses utmost concern during their eight to twelve hour shift when in reality, our utmost concern should remain to be "the patient".

    Nurses, as a whole, need to take a few steps backwards, look into the eyes of their patients, and realize why we are really calling ourselves nurses. There are entirely too many "nursing chiefs" and not enough "nursing indians" working in nursing today because almost every nurse who tires of performing direct patient care looks for a nursing management position, or they go to sales. Too many nurses today think that patient care is beneath them, therefore they leave bedside care and pursue management positions. The only thing a megadose of nurses in management creates is a megadose of paperwork created for floor nurses to do.

    In some cases, TOO MUCH EDUCATION makes one think they need to be "IN CHARGE" pushing paperwork, delegating orders, AND managing their nursing peers. In my humble and professional nurse opinion, THIS is where the field of nursing has gone sour. As professional nurses, our management skills can and should be used in the area of providing direct patient care, teaching our patients and their signigicant others how to care for their sick loved one after discharge (if that be the case), and in dealing with the many physicians whose paths we cross during our assigned shifts who need to respect us for our professional management abilities, regardless of what level of education we have obtained as RNs.


    askater: do not begin to view nursing as a hotel maid position as many other nurses might have us to believe nursing is becoming...it most definitely is NOT!!! Instead, view nursing with your heart, exercise your professional nursing skills and professional management skills in every realm of caring for your assigned patients, their family members, and including dealing with other ancillary hospital staff (doctors included).

    I love nursing! I do not like the bulks of paper work that are shoved down our throats each shift to have done in a certain time frame. I have never allowed the paperwork to clutter my thinking when it comes to caring for my patients. I always put my patients first...paperwork second. FOCUS on your patients, their family members, and the task before you in making your patients hospital stay as healing for them as possible, and if management gets on your case for not meeting their paperwork deadline, tell them they can always get up from behind their desk and do the paperwork for the nurses who happen to be doing what "real nurses" do...take care of their assigned patients. NO NURSE will ever lose her/his nursing license because they fail to get the paperwork done in twenty four hours or less, BUT a nurse WILL lose their license if they fail to provide safe and efficent nursing care to their patients. KEEP THIS STATEMENT IN MIND and you will always love nursing. If you are ever threatened with being fired for being the patient advocate that you are, let them fire you. They will have to pay your unemployment during your days off until you are reemployed anyway. If you quit, you cannot collect unemployment.
    Last edit by live4today on Nov 24, '01
  4. by   BeachNurse
    There are many other things you can do in the field of nursing. I understand that you love what you do, but not the environment.
    I was in your shoes two years ago. I decided to leave floor nursing when the opportunity arose. My job is just as rewarding and fulfilling. In the time I have been off the floor, I have not ONCE dreaded a day at work. I am much more relaxed and have many fewer butterflies in my stomach these days. I work 7:30-4 hours with no nights, weekends or holidays. I have posted this several times, but I will say it again because really think that it suits me and my family.
    I am your age and have two sons. I will never ever get back the time that I have with them now. One of my children has been seriously ill most of his life. NO JOB is worth missing out on things with my kids. Furthermore, my husband and kids deserve more than a stressed-out worrywart for a wife and mother.

    Follow your heart. If you choose to go the non-bedside route, there are jobs in nursing research, case management, and consulting. These jobs are out there if you just look. Good Luck!
  5. by   hoolahan
    HOme Health Nursing. Click on my link to my web site to find out more about it.

    Renee, very well said, all up until you lumped all BSN's into the same generic mold. Not every BSN is interested in management. MY BSN program spent time in management, but way more time about community nmursing, which has, in all truth, helped my Home Health nursing practiuce quite a great deal. And I was a ADN for the first 20 years of my career. I went back so that, yes, when my back gives out, I can do some desk work, though I never said I would enjoy that more!! Maybe in another 20 years I will need that desk job, but so far so good, I have a nice mix. I work weekends for the VNA, weekdays as a Home Health Aide supervisor, and odd days in the ICU's for agency here and there.
  6. by   micro
  7. by   thisnurse
    i felt the same way as you so i left nursing for a while. i came back after five years and ive found that although i dont have the time to give the care id like to, i can still give excellent care.
    and i do. i love what i do and cant imagine doing anything else.
    i dont want a job where i dont interact with patients. sometimes i look at my manager and wonder if she ever misses that.
  8. by   purplemania
    That stuff about BSN's is crap. All the nurses on my unit are RN.s Some have a BSN and some don't and the duties are identical for each. The only thing my BSN got me was an extra $1.10/hr. A little jealous are we??
  9. by   wrkoutgirl
    Hi Askater. Even though I am "a new grad" I relate you greatly. I became a nurse b/c I love helping people, advocating for my pts and making the difference. Bed side Nursing is very hard for numerous reasons specially the ones that you Askater and Renee mentioned. It is almost like you have to choose between doing required loads of paperwork which a lot of times doesn't even make sense and most of the times no one will even take the time to read. The system of charting and paper work that my institution has is very unclear and inconvenient. I also feel limited to give important information in my charting while filling out spaces and data totally unrelated to my patient's condition. My daily motivation and goal is of putting my pts first and advocating for them even for little things as if each pt was my mother, father, grandparents, child and so on. I find myself spending a lot of time going back and forth calling the MD, the dietician, the social worker and the list continues. I see other nurses watching me as the "new kid in the block" going nuts about this little problem of this pt (as they would call it) instead of catching up w/ charting and this and that. Well, as Renee says THE PATIENTS SHOULD ALWAYS COME FIRST. There is a great number of nurses that I have met during clinical days in nursing school, my job as a nursing assistant and my few months as an RN. I honestly feel sorry for many of them who are either burned out (no excuse any way) or simply chose the wrong career. These are the ones who claim to have "excellent time management skills". Spend 2 minutes maximum doing am assessment or round and spend the rest of the time taking care of gossip, reading the RN classifieds, or charting. They always leave on time and do a lot of overtime b/c they don't go home so tired of running around anyways. I pray to God that if I ever become negligent of my pts, careless, or burned out, to please take my profession away. I need to go home every night knowing that I made a difference in my pt's hospitalization and difficult time. My goal is not to be able to go home happy that my boss likes me and it is almost time for my next pay- check.
    As some of you may have noticed even though I try to write as best as possible, English is my second language. This does not take me from thinking that the word NURSING is miss used and over estimated for a lot of "nurses" who use this profession of heaven as a job not a mission. I love my pts and I hope that as I acquire more and more experience I will be able to combine my compassion and my knowledge to my pt's interest and well- being.
  10. by   micro
  11. by   live4today
    Hoolahan,

    I edited my post to include "All Nurses" on the management front so as not to offend the various levels of nursing education. I apologize to you, and any other nurse who thought that I was totally down on four year grads as that is certainly NOT the case. Thanks for enlightening me on the changes I needed to make in my post.
  12. by   askater
    Thanks for all the responses!!

    Beachnurse can I ask what nursing position you have? Also what's a nurse consultant?

    More responses welcomed. Also if anyone has been in nurse 15 years or more...I really am curious of the changes you've seen good or bad. I've only been in nursing 7-8 years and I've seen a lot of changes.
  13. by   nursedora
    I've been in Nursing for about 15 years. I chose to be an LPN, and I chose to stay an LPN. I believe I'm as much a Nurse as an RN or BSN, I admit my license doesn't allow me to some things an RN does, however, I can relate to this post. As an LPN, my last Nursing position was Charge/Medication Nurse in a skilled Nursing facility,in the beginnings of my Nursing carreer, I did see better days. Days when CNA's, LPN's, and RN's alike did bedside care together for the good of the Pt. Then it dwindled to CNA's and LPN's doing the bedside care, and the RN's doing all the medications, IV's, and paper work. Now, I see one LPN on the unit, doing Charge, Treatments, Medications, and some bedside care, along with relieving the CNA's lunch breaks. Nurse/Staff/Pt. ratio for a 48 bed unit being One LPN, three CNA's, 48 total care Residents.

    I have put up with Drs. refering to LPN's as Little Pretend..., I have put up with RN's telling me I'm less than a Nurse because they have to "do it all anyway, you LPN's are just a waste of time..." I have put up with other LPN's belittling the profession and being ashamed to call themselves a Nurse because they aren't an RN. But I still love being a Nurse, and I'm poud of my profession.

    I got burned out quickly over the past 4-5 years. And I left Nusing for a while. I'm now working as a Developmental Instructor with a not for profit organization for the Mentaly/Physicaly challenged. The change is doing wonders for my home life. I come home with a smile now rather than a scowel. My time off is spent being happy and relaxed rather than aprehensive about going back to work, and watching the caller ID when the phone rang, because it would be the Nursing Secretary calling for coverage.

    I'm sure other's have the same story. I also know it doesn't have to be this stressful. I have worked in another state,the facility was a small rural hospital/LTC, not a lot of money, but the Administrators, and "higher ups" respected the employee's. Everyone, all Nursing staff, Houskeeping, security, Drs., Dietary, everyone. That isn't always so, and from what I see, that is where the burn out comes in when your Administration and "higher ups" are too concerned with "looking good" and forgetting about the grunt work people doing the work.

    Before I left the SNF, we got a new administrator, his first and lasting priority, was getting the floors polished. No recognition toward the "people issues." Today, no one notices the floors, what they see is the ratio of staff to residents. I felt bad, and still feel bad, for leaving. That doesn't help the Nursing crunch any. However, what good am I if I'm going to a job that I'm burned out in? I'm also an EMT, and one of the first things we are taught there is to take care of thy self first, so you can take care of your Pt.

    So, you see, you're not alone, you just have to find what works for your self preservation.
  14. by   live4today
    Askater,

    I am just a few months shy of being in nursing fifteen years! The changes I have witnessed since my clinical days in school until now are: (1) there is less emphasis on patient care and more emphasis on politics and redtape (by management, not nurses in general). (2) HMO Insurance Companies have superceded their level of authority in the health care field, putting patients' preventive health measures on the back burner, as well as placing a dollar sign to whether this or that patient receives the necessary treatment he or she might need. (3) MONEY TALKS, so if a person does not carry private health care coverage and have extra money to boot in preventing themselves from getting sicker before their illness is noted, patients end up being admitted much sicker than in the past years of nursing. (4) PAPER WORK, PAPER WORK, PAPER WORK!!! There is entirely too much paper work instituted in the nursing profession today compared to the paper work nurses use to deal with in years past. (5) There is a lot more hostility noted among nurses today than in the past when nurses could really be the nurses they desired to be after graduation. The hostility nurses have is obviously from the overload of work, the poor salary increases over the years, being recognized as the professionals that we are, and be trusted to perform the patient care that we passed state boards to do. Any anger and hostility nurses have is "understandably right" to experience, but what we are doing with our anger is the problem.

    To address the anger and hostility that is present among nurses today, we should direct that negative energy into positive energy, band together and fight for our own rights as well as our patients rights to have the nurses caring for them that we all want them to have. We are allowing management to divide us as nurses when we are the ones who truly have the power to make the changes necessary in nursing today. Turn the floors around in the hospital to make a statement that "nurses are back", and we are back to stay by: (a) stop tolerating what management dishes out (b) refuse to put managements paperwork before total patient care (c) refocus our attention where it needs to be (d) bring decentralized nursing back to the units where each unit has it's own nurse manager who has the authority to hire according to the needs of their unit, who does their own interviewing, who has their own budget for the needs of their units, who schedules unit meetings/ceu training/cpr training/ekg training, etc., on their unit for their staff. I have tons of ideas that I know if I were given a unit to manage, my unit would supercede any that exist today because I've been in nursing long enough to see nursing go from being a respected profession among hospital staffing and management to one that simply "jumps when management says jump".

    NURSES, we can bring nursing back to where it is safe, rewarding, respected, and recognized if we want to. Fear of being fired is a natural occurrence on any job, even a job we like as things happen in life that create change when we least expect it. When David slew Goliath with a stone from a slingshot, he was most definitely afraid, but he had courage, and that is what helped him to overcome his fear and become victorious. We can become victorious even in the midst of our fear. NO WAR IS EVER WON WITHOUT FEAR, yet soldiers have the courage to fight war in the midst of their fear. We, too, can be the warriors that our soldiers are. There is more than one kind of war to be won in our nation, and there is a major war being fought in the field of nursing today, and nurses are only losing because we are afraid to fight back, stand together and be counted and respected for our profession.

    There are plenty of nurses in management who would love to see these positive changes take place in nursing. Not all management is bad. I have worked for Nurse Managers who truly do care about their staff, and I have worked for a few who could care less about their staff as long as they pull their own paycheck every other week. TO THE NURSE MANAGERS WHO CARE: PLEASE do not allow the political arena around you on your job to supercede that which you know in your gut to be the right thing to do for your staff and for your patients. You, too, must muster up the courage to make the necessary changes that need to be made in order for the nursing profession to return to a respectable and rewarding profession.

    The only shortage in nursing today is the shortage of brain power to heal the nursing profession. Nurses, we have the brain power necessary to make the changes we are all screaming about that need to be done.

    I love nursing so much that it hurts me to see what has happened to our profession over the past fifteen years. I am drafting a letter to send to the "heads that be" in Washington DC so that our profession can be restored to what it use to be. We can't simply look to others above us to fight our war, nurses, but we must fight our own battle in nursing if we ever expect to see a major turn around for the betterment of ourselves and our patients, and health care as a whole.

    Sorry so longwinded, askater, but nursing is a very passionate area of my life, and there is nothing I wouldn't give to see it return to the healthy respectable profession it use to be...actually it still is, but it is just smothered with too much politics, redtape, paperwork, and a megadose of management intereference in the wrong direction. Let's not forget the damage HMO INSURANCE has done to our profession, either. GO NURSES!!!
    Last edit by live4today on Nov 25, '01

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Can anyone relate?