Feeling beat up in the ER

  1. Does any one else feel ,"beat up ' in the ER. It seems pt's are more there for general medical care, expect everything free such as , "can I take this blanket with me", Can I get a prescription for motrin, Can you give me a clinic referal that is near a mall so that I don't wast a taxi ride(that medicade is paying for, by-the-way, that taxi was to an infertility dr. for a 22 year old on medicade who aleady has 2 children), It seems also that pt's are more and more verbaly abusive, demanding and rude. I'm not sure if I just need a different job or, things are this frustating for other nurses. If so , maybe I need a new outlook. If anyone has any ideas let me know. I really don't want to be a bitter nurse. but it seems I'm turning in to one.
    •  
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   outcomesfirst
    I think you are right - the demands have always been there (in my opinion) but they seem to grow with the utilization. I am sorry you are feeling this - it can really drag you down. Try to not take in personal - I think the majority of patients see you as a system, not an individual. Also when ill, patients (and families) rarely show their best side. You don't say how long you have been in ED? Maybe it is time for a break, a new challenge or maybe a vacation - just to get your perspective back. Maybe a seminar or course to pump you up? Also stress outside of work can add to your feelings, as can alot of OT, holidays etc. Make time to think and take care of yourself. Good luck!
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I worked 10 years in a large inner city ER and yes the sense of entitlement is truly there. However, having good co-workers made all the difference in the world.
  5. by   CaLLaCoDe
    have you considered floor nursing? you might like the change! besides, you would be able to quickly adjust a patient to the floor with all your experience with ed documentation. i know this sounds wild, but change is good especially for quelling a potential burn out.
  6. by   elizabeth321
    You get what you put up with....I would suggest you move on to another area of nursing...if you are unhappy and less than satisfied where you are currently working...it is your respoinsibility to do something about it...not anyone elses.

    Liz
  7. by   nursekatie22
    Hopefully you find something you like. My roomie works in the ER, but she also loved ICU when she was there......just a thought!
  8. by   weekend warrior
    Hey, you are not alone. The ER in my opinion is one of the most challenging places to work in terms of conflict and confrontation. I worked there for 6 yrs, and yes like another poster said, the sense of entitlement is there.

    Yes, I realize the waits are frustrating, not getting the answer you wanted is frustrating, but getting being used as the punching bag for all their frustrations got to me after a while , and I left. And your problems that you took the day off work to be here, or you have to go pick up your child at daycare soon is NOT my problem. Use your own resources to sort out your problems outside of what is going on with your health! That is not in my job description.
    I'm sorry to tell you , that kind of thing doesn't get better. You either have to find some other way of dealing with your stress level or leave to keep yourself happy. I left. I now work in the ICU. I still miss some things about the ER, but I now come home without headaches and without frustration on a daily basis.
    I hope you find something that works for you!
  9. by   Jabramac
    Quote from outcomesfirst
    Maybe it is time for a break, a new challenge or maybe a vacation - just to get your perspective back. Maybe a seminar or course to pump you up?
    I like your advice. A vacation is sometimes a great rejuvinator, and I really like your suggestion of taking a seminar or course. I recall in the past when I have taken courses like TNCC and seem to come back to work with a different perspective. A weekend seminar might be a really good idea too.
  10. by   EmerNurse
    Yeah it does get tiring, especially in triage,where you spend half your time thinking "you came to the ER on Christmas Morning at 3:30am for a possible YEAST INFECTION?", but you can't say it. My tongue should be hamburger for all the time I spend biting it.

    On the other hand, when you get the really sick ones and you're able to make them feel better/keep them alive/ get them back from the blueberry color they showed up with... that makes all the BS fade into the back ground.

    Stupid may give me job security, but hearing a very sick one tell me how much better she feels - THAT is why I keep coming back. That and one amazing team I work with!
  11. by   CritterLover
    Quote from emernurse
    yeah it does get tiring, especially in triage,where you spend half your time thinking "you came to the er on christmas morning at 3:30am for a possible yeast infection?", but you can't say it. my tongue should be hamburger for all the time i spend biting it.

    on the other hand, when you get the really sick ones and you're able to make them feel better/keep them alive/ get them back from the blueberry color they showed up with... that makes all the bs fade into the back ground.

    stupid may give me job security, but hearing a very sick one tell me how much better she feels - that is why i keep coming back. that and one amazing team i work with!


    i have to pretty much agree with this post. supportive coworkers, especially supportive superviors, are key. you need good coworkers that share your frustrations over the bs that comes in and gets strewn about. you need supervisors that undertand that turn-around time isn't everything, and who take the complaints from the dissatisifed patients who had to wait for 6 hours with a scratch -- oops, excuse me -- "laceration" -- for what they are worth.

    of course, it also helps that i only work in the er 16 hours a week. maybe that would help you? a second place to work that is different, that will allow you to earn extra money in a different setting. (if money and overtime are issues). i think about going back to the er full time quite a bit, mostly because my other job is pretty boring. but then i remind myself that when i work full-time in the er, i am a royal *****, and even i don't like myself very much!

    beyond that, i really try to focus on the reason we do what we do: the patients who really need to be there. those who are having an actual emergency, be it major or minor. the ones who work the system will eat you alive if you let them. but the ones who truly think they need to be there -- even if they didn't actually need to come to the er -- are the ones i try to focus my energy on. the new parents that come to the er in a panic because their infant has a temp and won't stop crying -- a great opportunity to teach and help. the ones with minor issues, such as fractures, lacerations, that you can fix and send home. and the ones who are deathly ill, but drive themselves to the er anyway (and probably wait 2 hrs to get through triage), all the time insisting "honey, i'm not that sick. you need to go see that baby that is crying" -- all the while tacching away at 170 bpm. those are the people that you need to focus your energy on.

    i came to er from icu, and i know i don't want to go back, though maybe that kind of change would be good for you.

    actually the more i think about it, my best advice to you would be to find a second, part-time job in a different area. it may help you appreciate why you went to the er in the first place. or, it may lead to a new career. ouptatient nursing -- home health, urgent care, infusion centers, occupational health, school health, same day surgery -- are probably all places that would give you a different perspective, and would love your er background.



  12. by   outcomesfirst
    Quote from EmerNurse
    Yeah it does get tiring, especially in triage,where you spend half your time thinking "you came to the ER on Christmas Morning at 3:30am for a possible YEAST INFECTION?", but you can't say it. My tongue should be hamburger for all the time I spend biting it.

    On the other hand, when you get the really sick ones and you're able to make them feel better/keep them alive/ get them back from the blueberry color they showed up with... that makes all the BS fade into the back ground.

    Stupid may give me job security, but hearing a very sick one tell me how much better she feels - THAT is why I keep coming back. That and one amazing team I work with!
    I really like this response. ER nursing is probably one of the easiest and most difficult nursing experiences. It has it all! And it requires all!
  13. by   banditrn
    I think that attitude of 'entitlement' pervades every area of nursing these days - I ran into it in ICU, on the medical floor, and most recently in Ambulatory Surgery.

    It's just part of our world today - I always tried to focus on the ones who were delightful to take care of, and not dwell so much on the others.
  14. by   anne74
    The ED has a majorly high burnout rate - and for good reasons. I've never worked in the ED, but I've experienced the whole "entitlement" thing on the floor - and I know it's even more pervasive in the ED. I would get so fed up!

    You should think about trying something different - but I wouldn't suggest a med/surg floor. There's major burnout there too - I lasted there 7 months and got really tired feeling like a waitress and putting up with angry family members who would set up camp in the room and make comments on your performance, question everything, etc. If you have an annoying patient on the floor, they're yours for 12 hours straight, and then usually for 3 shifts in a row.

    I recently moved to the PACU and it's glorious! Families are rarely allowed in there, my patient ratio is no more than 2 at a time, and I have the patient on average for 2 hours, and then I send them up to their rooms or home. All I do is make sure they breathe, don't bleed out and I manage their pain. Most of the time they're too zonked out to start trouble. I always get lunch breaks and there's often downtime between patients. It's the dream nursing job. I feel like everything I hated about nursing has now been removed.

close