For those that have left bedside nursing. - page 2
Just curious. For those who have left bedside nursing: Where did you go? What do you do now? Do you enjoy it? Do you miss bedside care?... Read More
Feb 23, '02RN kitty--enjoy being home for now. I left bedside nursing in 1995. I did some teaching and then had my 2 boys. I stayed home with my youngest for over a year and then the bill police started asking for their money--so I had to go back to work.
I love my job now. (I loved my job with neurosurgical patients also) I work cake hours 8a-2:30p. I am paid much more than I was as a staff nurse. I teach at the LPN level-but I get to do clinical on my old unit. So it is like keeping my foot in the door but not getting it slammed on. No more weekends, and 12 hour night shifts. I am not missing my children at Christmas so I can run to work.
I sometimes feel out of the loop, like the thread about the lasix shortage. But I am sleeping at night and have no law suits against me. So life is good.
Feb 23, '02Phantom,
I left the clinical setting (sorta) in Sept. 2000. Went into continuing education. I teach BLS, ACLS,..... and coordinate additional programs. I really enjoy the desk and new computer, also. I got to admit, I wasn't working any holidays or weekends prior to taking the education job. I worked registry. I chose when and where I worked. Last year I had a couple financial "needs", (like extra vacation money) so I worked some extra shifts. 5 to be exact. The extra $ make it nice to go the KAIBF. (Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta) The few shifts let me know I can still do the job. I do miss some of the nurses I used to work with all the time. Now when I need to see them, I go out to the facility and buy them milkshakes. Company pays!
Feb 23, '02I left nursing in the Spring of 1997 due to a right arm injury. I am trying to return to nursing, but can only work with patients I don't have to lift, unless that patient weighs less than ten pounds --- newborn nursery is safe for me to do, and I've worked it before, so no problem lifting those patients.
Feb 26, '02I have a friend who recently hurt herself and she also has a ten pound wt restriction. It is terrible our livelihood depends on being able to be wonder woman.
Feb 26, '02I'm enjoying this thread immensely because it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to go back to the bedside either. Nice to hear how others have handled the transition away from the bedside.
And Phantom, I so agree. It is hard to accept the truth that once we're injured we are no longer needed---hospitals are afraid of us if we have any health problems they fear may end up as a comp claim. My friends in their 50's relate they feel like they're an old horse at auction when they apply for a job--they expect someone to check their teeth next...LOL!Last edit by mattsmom81 on Feb 26, '02
Feb 26, '02I left bedside nursing on a tele unit about 2 1/2 years ago. There are very few things I miss...most being the assessments, skills, and direct patient contact. I don't miss the exhausting 12-hr shifts, too many high acuity patients to take care of and not enough help, or being too tired to interact with my own children when I got home. I have worked in a county health dept for the last 2 1/2 years full-time with all my holidays and weekends off and we have pretty darn decent benefits; I'm not complaining at all on that end. They are better than the hospital's! My pay was initially lower than that of the hospital but thanks to our union it's becoming more comparable to the hospitals here. I'm also able to work a part-time job in telephone triage for one of the hospitals here in town. It's OK...still allows me to use assessment skills...but I have a hard time sitting for 8 hours so I only work every Saturday.
In short, don't really miss bedside nursing enough to go back...unless things improve as mentioned by one of the above posters!
Feb 26, '02I left NICU after 15 years due to back injury. I couldn't take leaning over those isolettes anymore. I tried to go back after my surgery but the pain was too much to handle.
I have a desk job now at the same institution. I was in the right place at the right time. I'm the Newborn Screen Coordinator plus about a hundred other things. I teach Neonatal Resuscitation, do outreach programs etc, etc.
Do I miss bedside nursing? I agree with NurseDennie.....who wouldn't? I put in PICC lines, was always in charge, was a resource person. There wasn't a patient that came through the door that I couldn't handle. It was wonderful to be doing a job that I knew I was good at. And besides that, I loved those babies!
But I love the hours, less stress, no weekends, or holidays either. My heart will always be in NICU but this old body is happy in front of the desk!
Feb 26, '02PhantomRN, I left hospital nursing over 10 years ago and have done clinical and public health. Do I miss bedside? Nope. I actually am mostly a stay at home nurse/mom. It is the best job I have ever had, but, money is very tight right now. Would I return to the hospital? Not unless I have to. I work in a peds office (4 whole hours a week, oh my) to get my hands-on fix and teach in schools occassionally. Nursing is terrific, there is so much we can do with our expertise! And just like our profession, there are many different kinds of us to go around. People actually told me I would be bored at home raising three kids-get real!! I love being the one to drive my kids to school, volunteering in the schools and being the one who gets to see my 4year old's face light up when I go get him. Nursing will always be there, the kids wont. I am very blessed to have that option. And yes, I did mourn the loss of a terrific job to stay home, but, I have no real regrets. I don't suspect you will either.......VS
Feb 27, '02I left hospital nursing last August for good after 33 years. I mostly worked nights--12 hrs. the last few years. I simply felt too old to continue to do it. I do home care now and I love it. 8 to 5 Mon. to Fri. no weekends, no holidays, no call right now because one of our nurses has a back injury and all she does is take call. My patients vary from the elderly to young adults and children with disorders such as M.D., C.P, and spina bifida and at-risk newborns who only need a few follow-up visits. I caremanage approx. 35 patients, make skilled and supervisory visits, supervise home health aides and homemakers, put everything on paper (lots of paper!!!) and now into the computer. I need to work at least 10 more years before I can retire and I'm afraid 12 hour nights in the hospital would have killed me. This is not to say I did not enjoy it, I just couldn't do it physically anymore. I did have to take a cut in pay; I was working agency the last few years and making premium pay for nights. Fortunately, I have an empty nest now, so my expenses are less. I think, for better or worse, home care is going to to be the wave of the future--there are not going to be enough nursing home or assisted living beds in the world (let alone the U.S.) for the baby-boomers (that's me).
Feb 27, '02I too have left bedside nursing, 3 yrs. ago. My exp. was L&D. I miss the moms and the babes!! But I don't miss the nights, weekends, and Holidays one bit. I took quite a cut in pay, but it was worth it. Now I'm managing a Family Planning clinic and I like it, but I miss the adrenalin rush of a busy L&D shift, am I crazy?? There were nights I cried going in to work and going home, how can I miss it so much? Anyone else??
Feb 27, '02I left traditional bedside nursing to become a Nurse Practitioner. Sure, much more responsibility but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've got a collegiate relationship with my precepting physician, my own staff and am very autonomous in what I do.
Feb 27, '02Kudos to all of you for doing what is right for you. I'm nearly at the end of my med-surg-tele threshold. What's holding me back is that I work with GREAT nurses and aides -- we're all very supportive & treat each other great -- very low turnover on my unit. But the stress of such critically sick patients, being charge nurse with a full patient load, and dealing with all the beaurocracy and paperwork is overwhelming. I'm casually browsing the newspapers, work bulletin board, and web sites for the next step, but I'm not sure what that is. Yes, I care about my patients. But I'm a human being, wife, and mommy first.
So.....the whining has stopped....I'm going to be another ex-floor RN. God bless you all.
Feb 27, '02To leave bedside nursing is not an easy decision to make. Yes, I am getting or am completly burnt, but I spent 5 years in school to get the degree that allows me to work at the bedside.
It really dont seem a waste- to not use the degree at the bedside- but It does feel different[?]. Maybe because we have it drilled into our heads from nursing school that floor nursing is the light at the end of nursing schools dark tunnel.
Without question, there is a lot of pressure to stay a floor nurse from nursing itself.