CONTINUED IN WHAT IS THE MAJOR REASON Why are they all leaving? - page 14

What conditions would cause so many nurses to leave? Our ER has been losing friends fast. Why is there such a large turnover in nursing? I'm going to school, yet I talk to many RN's who are looking... Read More

  1. by   Simplepleasures
    Ronna and Midlife RN , I am with you.I have just been accused of being bitter and told I should look for another profesion.Well yes I am bitter rightfully so, any nurse would be bitter should they have gone through what I did and many other nurses on this forum. After 27 years of being in this field I have left it, BUT that does not mean that I am not going to try my dam---to make things better for the nurses who have come after me, including my own daughter who is an RN in the Navy.If we are going to continue to view each other as the enemy and fight amongst ourselves, the true enemy, CORPORATE GREED, will continue to keep us in the place we are now in. Until a very negative /unfair/ illegal work action happens to you ,you dont realize the extent of the corruption out there.I keep singing the Union song, I dont know if that is the answer or if we nurses need to get a strong law passed to protect our reporting rights.So, yes I am bitter , but I am channeling this energy toward the goal of restoring our wonderful profession back to the noble one it once was.
  2. by   Mulan
    Quote from MidlifeRN
    I agree with everything you've stated. The job took a toll on me to the point that I got so depressed that I had to leave. I picked this profession because I care about people, as do most who have chosen this profession. After spending 8 yrs in Med-Surg. 2 in ICU. I finally had to come to terms with the reality of the conditions. I have thought for a long time there should be a nationwide strike, then what would all the consumers, doctors and administrators do? This is the only way things are going to change...We have worked hard in school to obtain our licenses. Why are we any different from other professionals. If this were going in a corporate office it would be the top story on the evening news. People not being able to take a break to pee! Doesn't that sound rediculous! Sad but true. Does the American public know that there lives are on the line? Guess not otherwise we would'nt be in here ********!!!!
    Yes, you're right, a nationwide strike, there is power in numbers, and in what area other than healthcare do these working conditions exist, nowhere.
  3. by   Ronna
    I have a confession to make. Do you wonder why I have so much time to read these forums and threads? Because I cant make myself go to work. After 13 years of nursing, doing everything except ER, helped deliver 2 babies, I'm scared to death. I think about work every minute of the day. I look at the clock to see how much more time I have before I have to clock in. My anxiety grew so that it has overtaken me, which has caused depression, or the other way around, now I need a trip to the psych. and have seen a counselor. Suck it up and get on with it, I have for the past year and I'm tired. But not dead. I've taken necessary steps to get my head out of my ---- and get on with life. My life is nursing and I'm not gonna let them get away with taking it away from me. I can actually talk about it today without total breakdown. See, I'm getting better already, could be medication too, not really what I wanted but there are chemical imbalances ya know, ha ha, well, not really funny but. I don't have to work for a while so I can quite worrying about where to put the leads, how to push Cordarone and how to start an IV when your trembling. Ok, I'm finished for now, thanks for listening Ronna I hope nobody I know reads this, my name is not really that common.
  4. by   Loca
    The nursing shortage is no joke. The Administrators, Managers and powers that be need to be part of the solution. Staffing by numbers does not work because of the need to adjust for acuity--I work in a nursing home and it isn't uncommon for me to have 61 residents and one LPN working with me (last night)--I refuse to give substandard care and also refuse to cut corners on charting etc. I work 2-10PM and last night came home at 1 AM--guess what first thing I did is hit the bathroom (no breaks)...Now, I have worked in a hospital and find they have their own set of problems which are of a similar nature. I find that some of the nurses who don't burn out are giving substandard care, hurrying through treatments (or not doing them)...skipping out on assessing etc. Do we want all the squeaky wheels to find new professions when they are the nurses who are adament about doing their job and doing it right? Do we want all the quality to leave the field of nursing so those who have found ways to compensate for the poor conditions by being poor nurses can be the ones who are left to care for us one day?
  5. by   rclink
    Brothers and Sisters in service:

    I believe one of the reasons that we lose Nurses in the ER or any area of Nursing, is because we EAT OUR YOUNG! I have been a registered Nurse for 12 years and I see how we treat one another. Why would anyone who desires to be a Nurse, want to be treated in such a way. I have met some of the most caring, compassionate Nurses treat their peers with such contempt. Want to increase retention and ensure our profession is filled with AWESOME people? Start treating others as you would want to be treated, and for those of you who do not participate in this awful behavior, God bless you and Thank You from the bottom of my heart!
  6. by   dorselm
    Yesterday I received my notice "Congratulations you have been accepted to the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing". I don't think I was able to come down from my cloud until I went to this thread. I am ready to cry literally. I have tears welling up as I write this. You see, I have been an accountant for 9 hellish years. Well first I worked in payroll and then for the past 4 years I was a true accountant. I hated sitting at a computer all day working figures in my head. The part I did like was when I was working in payroll as a garnishment processor. I would try to help anyone that I could. I got ridiculed big time by my co-workers who said that I should be a social worker. I talked to God and asked Him to direct me to where I was meant to be. He said I was meant for nursing. When I researched nursing about a year ago, I used to go to this site and read so many posts on why nurses loved their jobs. So I was so excited to be joining a profession loved by so many. Then in September of this year, my mother was hospitalized. When I went to pick her up to go home, there was a nurse who came in to take out her IV. I forget what her title was but it wasn't RN however, she was an RN. I asked if she was an RN and she said yes, so I happily told her I was getting ready to go to nursing school and she said in the rudest voice "WHY???" She then said you couldn't pay her enough money to go to Med-Surg and that they were worked like dogs and were treated like that. It wasn't time to take out my mom's IV so about 4 hours later, another RN came to take out my mom's IV. This time it was a guy. I said the same thing to him as I said to the prior nurse. He said "Are you serious". I would think of doing something else if I were you.
    I am truly sick and saddened and totally scared out of my mind. I have bought books to prepare me for nursing school. I am learning about drug calculations and abbreviations and everything to prepare me but I fear that I am walking into a major disaster. I know you guys are speaking from your hearts about your experiences but my Thanksgiving will not be good. I don't know what to do. I will be stuck working in a hospital because the Shadyside School of Nursing has a Tuition Forgiveness program in exchange for 2 yrs of service at UPMC. Can anyone provide any comfort?? Can you at least tell me what would be a good place to start in nursing?
    Thanks and God bless you all for the stuff you had to put up with. I pray that you all are blessed with better work environments.
  7. by   oneLoneNurse
    Interesting, dorselm, one of my burgh friends' ex's just graduated and is faced with the loan forgiveness package from UPMC. The way he tells it they are working her. Nurses eat their young. I wouldn't let this loan forgiveness thing be an ironclad contract. Its not worth it. I would initially take their money, BUT when it comes down to it: some other facility will pick up the tab for you if you pass the program, but are not happy with the UPMC diggs.

    There are soooo many openings in nursing that it is all random. You may be fortunate and get to work where someone will take you under their wing and show you the ropes. On the other hand you may not have that opportunity. Just look out for yourself and evaluate if you are being given what you need. If you are not: leave. I know the burgh is almost a monopoly UPMC shop: so it will be harder there to leave.
    Last edit by oneLoneNurse on Nov 22, '06
  8. by   Dixielee
    I have seen this phrase several times in this thread and I would like to know exactly what it means? I have of course heard it over the years but never could really see it. I have always tried to be supportive of young nurses, be a support and resource. Most other "older" nurses I have worked with do the same.

    I think the problem comes when you are a staff nurse and are barely keeping your head above water, have your own heavy patient load, and are trying to stay organized....then you are expected to be a preceptor for a new grad. It does slow you down when you have to teach someone else how to be a nurse. This is a management induced problem, not the fault of the preceptor or the new grad.

    A preceptor should have a lighter load in order to be there for the orientee, at least in the beginning. As the new grad gains more confidence and ability, then they can begin to take more and more responsibility and the preceptor can back off and let the new nurse take flight. Unfortunately, this is rarely the situation.

    Just one incident..... in our very busy ER, I was asked to precept a new RN. Generally no problem, but we were slammed that night(nothing really new). I was trying to let him do what he could, (he is past the simply shadowing point) but it was slowing everything down terribly. At one point there were several patients that needed discharging and a very sick respiratory distress patient came in for another nurse. I just told my orientee to go stand in the corner and watch the emergency while I discharged the patients. It would have been OK except we have 5 new grads being oriented, and they were all there that night and the same situation was being played out across the ER.

    None of the older nurses were mistreating or resenting the new grads....we are glad to have them, but administration makes huge mistakes in the way these things are handled.

    So I think if anyone eats their young, it is not the staff, but the managment who put everyone into impossible if not dangerous situations.

    I am thankful for our new grads, thankful that more men are getting into nursing. I think having more men will improve things over the years because administration typically listens to them more than to women. Sad, but true. But I will take the improvement any way we can get it.
  9. by   MajorAl
    Quote from Epona
    Just to touch on a few things the last person commented on...

    Take a bathroom break. I know this many sound tough, but YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE of YOURSELF TOO. Unless it's a life or death situation, I am sure the patient can wait a few moments while you use the restroom. Same for eating, you should take at least a 15 min. break to sit and eat a sandwich. You are no good to your patient and fellow staff members when you are tying your legs and about to fall over from low blood sugar. That helps no one. YOU HAVE TO TAKE A FEW MOMENTS FOR YOURSELF. I have read on this board where nurses take care of everyone else BUT themselves. Yes we are in this to help people, but we have to remember to help ourselves too! You just have to make the time. Period. If the other staff members give you a bunch of junk over taking a 5 min. bathroom break or 15 to wolf a sandwich... get out. I am sure there are other places to work where employees are valued. It may be a challenege in the nursing industry, but I am sure decent places do exist. Stand up for yourself. I will. I have read that is one of the traits of nurses.. that many don't stand up for themselves. In the end you have to NURSE yourself too.

    Good luck and hold your head high.. because YOU are worth it.

    Thanks to all the nurses!!! E



    Well, I am a RN with 35 years of experience and I agree. You have to take a break and take care of yourself. I have been a supervisor and I always insisted on my Nurses taking their breaks. If your coworkers won't cover for you, call your supervisor and demand help. Talk to your supervisor about a hostile work environment. Take care of yourself first to take care of your patients. When I was in the Army, the hardest thing I had to train new nurses to do was take care of themselves first so they would be ALIVE to take care of their patients. Sometimes tough love is the only way. Take care. Alan
  10. by   OC_An Khe
    Major Al...well said and very true.

    Beside everything that posters have said about taking care of yourself there are two comments that I would like to add to this thread.
    First, you are legally entitiled to those breaks under state and federal law. Companies and hospitals have been fined large amounts of money and paid significant back wages to employees who didn't receive their breaks (mainly meal breaks). Just contact the state and/or federal labor departments and file a complaint. Be specific when you do.
    Secondly if you don't want to take the first route you need to realize that the abuse will continue. Abuse requires two parties; the abuser in this case the hospital et. al and the person(s) being abused, the nursing staff. You can only be abused if you ALLOW yourself to be abused. In effect by not doing anything about the abuse you are giving the abuser PERMISSION to continue their abusing ways. And beleive me they will.
    You can also look into unionization, job changes, bring up safety issues to risk management, have HR look to workers comp. claims, leaving the unit, employer, and profession. But as one poster already said we don't want the best, most concientious, and reliable member of the profession to leave.
    You really just need to fight and stand up for whats right for the individual nurse and profession first. In this regard the patient has to come second because in the long run the patients will be better served by adequate staff that enjoy being on their floor and being able to fully practise their professsion.

    Army Medical Corp motto Conserve the fighting strength.
  11. by   acadia
    This is probably a huge mistake on my part, but here I go. Epona, you are correct in stating we have to take care of ourselves, having lunch going to the bathroom, that really does sound good in theory. Honestly with the patient/staff workload, the paperwork, the regular meds, tx`x, the MD orders, ordering meds, assisting CNA`s, talking with family members, then, someone falls, or develops chest pains,the phone is ringing, prns to give, oh my just remembering it all is still so frustrating to me.
    I wanted to be a nurse all my life, started as a candystriper back in the day, worked as a CNA 15+ yrs. Finally had the opportunity to go to school to be an RN, my dream. Also single parent 3kids (one 14mo old) I still grad. with honors & I only add that part to show how much I loved what I was doing, learning. Then came work; as a CNA we were always short staffed so I rarely took lunch/supper break. It was a given. As an RN I never took breaks on shift but I put my foot down when it came to a meal .5 all of it. I needed that time not to eat, no to STOP re-eval my list of the day, what was left to do, what was I not going to get done. It gave me the time to clear my head and plan what was left of my day, oh yea and go to the bathroom. I was the charge, tx, med nurse for my floor with 2 sometimes 3 CNA`s. I never got out on time charted standing up or in a room with someone dying so they knew someone was with them their last hrs. in this life. The admin. just keeps adding more and more that needs to be done, new assessments to do (well someone has to look at them) state regs the pharmacy and monitoring certain meds. I could go on and on.
    I was told many times I wa an excellent nurse, good asessment skills, and the ability to stay calm in chaos.I always had a calm approach with my patients no matter what the situation was, knowing to act stresed would only heighten everyones anxiety. Anyway I burnt out totally. I had been in geriatric (which I love esp. geriatric psych.) mental health and crisis intervention,taught the state CNA course, worked as a prison triage nurse, I still have not found my niche. Actually instead of any flames I woulld greatly, really appreciate any input in finding a niche in Nursing because I do still love the concept, it is trying to do the impossible day after day, no support that wiped me out. So I do welcome constructuive, educational input.
    Epona I wish you only the best of luck in your new career, I hope you find nursing what you need it to be for your happiness. I do miss the patient contact, being on the floor etc. Life is way too short to work like this under these conditions. Just my 2 cents. cadia as an aside, one place I worked, mandatory NO overtime, we nurses punched out and then would do our documenting, when we complained management would not hear it. So guess what we nurses did, yep. Care not documented is care not given, and I`d be damned. but I hated being treated like that. ditti inglein I woiuld say I am bitter as well. It is wondered why there is a shortage, hhhhhmmmm let me stop and count the reasons, sadly, very sadlry. acadia
  12. by   tddowney
    "When I was in the Army, the hardest thing I had to train new nurses to do was take care of themselves first so they would be ALIVE to take care of their patients. Sometimes tough love is the only way. Take care. Alan"

    I come to nursing by way of fire and EMS, and the first lesson drummed into us was "you can't help anyone else if you go down."

    The trick is knowing what is worth skipping lunch/break for.........
  13. by   traveltrash
    Quote from dorselm
    Yesterday I received my notice "Congratulations you have been accepted to the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing". I don't think I was able to come down from my cloud until I went to this thread. I am ready to cry literally. I have tears welling up as I write this. You see, I have been an accountant for 9 hellish years. Well first I worked in payroll and then for the past 4 years I was a true accountant. I hated sitting at a computer all day working figures in my head. The part I did like was when I was working in payroll as a garnishment processor. I would try to help anyone that I could. I got ridiculed big time by my co-workers who said that I should be a social worker. I talked to God and asked Him to direct me to where I was meant to be. He said I was meant for nursing. When I researched nursing about a year ago, I used to go to this site and read so many posts on why nurses loved their jobs. So I was so excited to be joining a profession loved by so many. Then in September of this year, my mother was hospitalized. When I went to pick her up to go home, there was a nurse who came in to take out her IV. I forget what her title was but it wasn't RN however, she was an RN. I asked if she was an RN and she said yes, so I happily told her I was getting ready to go to nursing school and she said in the rudest voice "WHY???" She then said you couldn't pay her enough money to go to Med-Surg and that they were worked like dogs and were treated like that. It wasn't time to take out my mom's IV so about 4 hours later, another RN came to take out my mom's IV. This time it was a guy. I said the same thing to him as I said to the prior nurse. He said "Are you serious". I would think of doing something else if I were you.
    I am truly sick and saddened and totally scared out of my mind. I have bought books to prepare me for nursing school. I am learning about drug calculations and abbreviations and everything to prepare me but I fear that I am walking into a major disaster. I know you guys are speaking from your hearts about your experiences but my Thanksgiving will not be good. I don't know what to do. I will be stuck working in a hospital because the Shadyside School of Nursing has a Tuition Forgiveness program in exchange for 2 yrs of service at UPMC. Can anyone provide any comfort?? Can you at least tell me what would be a good place to start in nursing?
    Thanks and God bless you all for the stuff you had to put up with. I pray that you all are blessed with better work environments.
    Look, there's good and bad no matter where you work. The thing is that most places you work you aren't holding a person's life in your hands -or basically holding your livlihood (your licensure) out for someone to take every time you walk thru the door into work. I'm a travel nurse, got out of the hospital staffing scene, for all of the reasons that have been stated - ethics, politics, ya-yaing, back-stabbing, 2-faced, - but I didn't get out of nursing. I would love to say "do the best you can, that's all that can be expected of you", but you know what - they (?& who is they- anybody's guess) may say it, but that's not what they're thinking. It's a scary profession - I wish I could tell you it will get better, but...I've been reprimanded for saying to a pt's family member who told me they were in nsg school, "Oh, I'm so sorry,you have my condolences" & when they asked me abt nsg I said I love my job but I hate (all of the above things I've mentioned). It's a great paying job, better in some areas than in others, but if you're going into with wide eyed wonder, just know the things being said are reality, worse in some hospitals or units than others Look, I worked on a P/P, Peds, M/S overflow unit on a 13 wk contract, we were all agency or travel nurses.We ran our a---- off, had codes, people falling out of beds, didn't have time to pee. Noone came to relieve us, no secretary @ nite, nothing, notta; But in spite of or really it was BECAUSE OF the chaos we had fun. we were zipping pass each other in the halls, calling out info to each other, & at one point it got to be so comical we started laughing so hard, that I was abt to wet my pants, so Mark ran to the bathroom, swung open the door as I ran in & because it was one of those hydrolic doors, didn't even get closed before I sat down - it was hilarious. They were horrible working conditions, but because of the staff I was with, it was great. You mentioned books, honey, all the booklearning you can get will never prepare you for what's abt to hit you in the face. Don't dispair - we're all complaining, but as you can see the majority of us are still hanging in there. We're all waiting for a solution, as someone said before if all the nurses across the nation would grow balls and stand-up & strike, we would get the attention we deserve. Afraid of losing your job? does anyone honestly think adm going to hire a hospital full of travelers or get out there & do the job we do, I don't think so - OK - that's a whole different thread. :smilecoffeecup:

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