Good Bye to Nursing for me... - page 12

Well, the start of a new year and I'm kissing nursing good bye after only 5 short months. I graduated in may and started at a hospital in august. My very first preceptor was a nightmare, on my... Read More

  1. by   changeagent1
    Hi there,

    Boy, can i appreciate your position (the originator of this thread). I have been a nurse 30 years and my first two jobs were similiar to yours. there are always going to be those people that make life miserable. (i don't know why nurses eat their young, but they do).

    The best response, when you are ready to try again, is find another field of nursing. med-surg is one of the most difficult areas. after about 5 years of nursing i was ready to leave it, but then i was working on my BSN and discovered it as a profession rather than a job.

    i went into pediatric intensive care, had a lousy preceptor, but loved thejob. once we got the preceptor part worked out, i loved it. but then i went to work in Quality Assurance. and let me tell you, i found my nitch. i love investigating and collecting data to improve things for nursing. there is always soemthing going on. I have been fortunate to have a career with several managed care organizations and thus have worked in several different states. i have had to travel for my position. I have had the opportunity to teach.

    QA is all about improving things which is what nursing is all about. it is usually a monday through friday job and is different every day.

    Nursing is a great career because you can do almost anything you want to do with it. you can be in a hospital, clinic, outpatient, ambulatory, ER, ICU, OR, office, managed care, case management, nurse call line center, insurance, occupational health, school nursing, teaching, pharmaceutical sales, pharmaceutical drug safety, and a whole plethera of other opportunities. if you are an entrapaneur, you can create your own nursing speciality.

    don't give up on your first year. there is too much out there to try. start with baby steps. volunteer at a free clinic. get a feel for other areas. join professional organizations and talk to experienced nurses. get a real prespective before you give up. go for it. and good luck.
  2. by   bt-jrsygrl
    Sorry to hear about your experience. However, as an older student I have to tell you that in every job there are the people eaters. I come from a sales and marketing backgroud in management and have had to peel more than a few younger workers off the ceiling who were trying to get away from their co-workers. I don't care how big the nursing shortage is, these people need to be dealt with.Also this behavior towards other nurses has to have a affect on their treatment of patientsas well. A leopard can't chage their spots that easily!!. Nursing at least has many options and jobs available. Take a break but hang in there. Good luck to you!!
  3. by   RN75
    Quote from kstec
    This may anger some people but it is not intended too. We (most) nurses go into nursing because they came from some type of dysfunction in their childhood, so they want to take care of people and feel that we are making a difference. But why in the world do we go into a profession where we are overworked, underpaid, no appreciated, have noone on our side, and ultimately are expected to act above human standards? I'm trying to figure it out???????
    I've been reading through these posts and this statement caught my attention. ATLAST someone has pointed this out! The first time I heard this concept, was in my first semester in Nursing School 13 years ago, in "Fundamental's of Nursing." We had the police department speaking in our class. It was a female police officer who told us that most nurses (not all), were physically or sexually abused, (or both), so they grew up with this need to feel we can make a difference. Immediately, I understood the underlying reasons I was becoming a nurse. However, I felt ashamed and almost embarrassed that someone in class might know everything that happened to me growing up! Then, I looked around and wondered how many in this huge class went through similar experiences I did. No one said a word in that classroom. But in my heart, I knew the policewoman was right.

    The question is: "Why in the world do we go into a profession where we are overworked, underpaid, not appreciated, have no one on our side, and ultimately are expected to act above human standards?" I'll tell you a few possible reasons why. Maybe we are trying to prove something. Maybe we are trying to subconsciously persuade the abuser (in this case, hospital administration replaces the perpetrator in the home) that we are valuable and deserve better. Sounds like an oxymoron; however, we may be setting our life circumstances up to repeat the same cycle as an effort to convince the abuser he/she is wrong to regard us this way, in hopes they will suddenly change their minds and love us as human beings should be loved.

    Or maybe it's because we simply repeat the cycle of abuse because it's familiar...we're comfortable in it. Maybe because we do not have a healthy self-esteem, therefore we fear authority figures. Therefore, we utilize coping mechanisms such as passive-aggressive behaviors thereby failing to assertively speak out against abusive behaviors. These coping skills perpetuate the sad state of the Nursing Environment. I wonder how the "mean preceptor" would react if the student nurse assertively addressed her. And if this first step didn't change her behavior, then why not report it to the Nurse Manager and so forth? I assure you, I spoke up to my Nurse Manager when she publically said something inappropriate. Earlier, I told her I would work 2 extra evening shifts, but called in. She knew why I didn't come in and called me at home. I told her I didn't appreciate her show at the nurses station and I am considering transferring out of her department. She promptly apologized and asked for another chance. My point is, "We train people how to treat us" once we become adults.


    There is something very interesting about the question: "Why in the world do we go into a profession where we are overworked, underpaid, not appreciated, have no one on our side, and ultimately are expected to act above human standards?" This reality mimics and recreates very similar experiences and set-ups we experienced as abused children. I see it, and maybe some of you here will too. Nurses are expected to act above human standards just as a child who was used for some sick adults pleasure and rage. It's really no less in Corporate America.

    I have been out of nursing for a year and a half. And I have practiced in multiple venues of nursing as well, from Med-Surg, Ortho, Uro, Cardio, Oncology, PCU, antepartum, postpartum, newborn nursery, NICU, etc. I was also a Charge Nurse on a busy and stressful Med-Surg Unit. If the general public really knew how the hospital was run in my area (which is a very popular hospital and even has TV commercials) they would be shocked. The single most, and blatantly obvious reason there is a nursing shortage in hospital settings nationwide, is a result of greed. Otherwise known as the "Botton Line." Money, moolah, pay-ola. Administration, pharmaceuticals, physicians, insurance companies, are all the major players who make a huge profit off the sick and dying. Very sad, indeed, is it not? But it's a reality. There are however, some hospitals who begin their mission of healing for the right reasons, but insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies make it almost financially impossible to care for the sick in a respectable and loving way.

    Either way you slice it.....it all trickles down from the top. The people who make the 6 figure incomes by all the worker bee's.

    Solution? I have a few. I am a little person, but a very observant, astute, inquisitive, RN with some miles behind me and seen alot. I have seen the wrong people in upper, middle, and lower management and believe me, it really is a "good ole boy" policy between them. The cliche, "Birds of the feather, flock together" is very true. I even witnessed a nurse I knew years before she became a nurse, who was a very sweet person, who when became a Nurse Manager, morphed into a total witch. Talk about WHOOOA!!! Blew my mind to watch her. She was never my manager, but she knew me, and I could feel a sense of hesitation from her in speaking to me in the same way she did others.

    Anyway, just my two cents, in terms of this particular statement.
    Last edit by RN75 on Jan 10, '07
  4. by   musicalnursynurse
    Hi there.
    I know teachers and custom is to go to med surg units but that is can be where some nurses eat their young especially days. (depending on the team... it often gets better when you get more experience) keep your license and look around. I did the whole med -surg thing ER as a floatbut started in post-partum its a more positive teaching oriented area that yes at times can be crazy....but not all the time (it certainly has ebbs and flows) when you deliver observe how the unit works if it is something you would like. similarly pharmaceutical firms hire nurses for call centers, to work as a rep presenting meds to physicians..etc there is research lots of areas just think what do YOU want not just what a new nurse should do.
    I never liked nor would I survive a med-surg unit, where I was I never got to know my patients and felt unsafe. I do however have a great interest in he surgeries themselves and took a position in he operating room, which is grueling in its own way (and you would have to wait to go there untill after you are done breastfeeding) its nice because it is a teamall with their roles working for a patient. It is stressful because anything can come in, anyting can happen, but wow when you see a patient with a gun shot wound lodged in his brain come in for a craneotomy and then see him interviewed on the news a month or so later when no-one ever thought he would survive WOW!

    All that being said keep your eyes open think about what you like, don't give up, the beauty of nursing is that there are some many facets and you are not stuck to work in a hospital its not for everyone...and I think its sad that many new nurses feel it is necessary to "put up" with 1-2 years of med surg jut for the experience.

    Best of luck and hope that you have a wonderful pregancy
  5. by   charlabsn06
    Maybe it is my age (jaded 30's ), or the fact that I had a career family, etc. before going into nursing. Maybe I knew what to expect because of working in the hospital setting (everything from admissions, HR, operator, unit clerk to CNA) for many years before going to nursing school; or the fact that I came from a long line of nurses (grandma, mom, sister, aunts)...Whatever the case, it never failed to amazed me that those who have never seen first hand the way "nurses eat their young" were shocked by it. I am not condoning the behavior, like healer27 says herself, 'it is what it is.' It helps to recall that nursing is built on the military model, and not just for timekeeping. There is a definite hierarchy (rank system, if you will) that is not overtly encouraged, but is nevertheless accepted as common practice. The DON's, Managers, and CN's are all nurses! They experienced it too. :trout: They overlook it for the most part, because it is how we are "initiated" into the profession. The students in my program who had it worst were those who had never seen the inside of a hospital until the first day of clinicals. They kept trying to question the seasoned nursing staff on why things aren't done exactly like we learn in school! At one clinical site, there was an all out war between the students and nurses on a particular unit. I kept thinking to myself, someday they will learn....

    I don't mean to sound so glum about this issue, I know this is a wide open profession, where you can find your niche in a variety of settings. I just happen to agree that our perception of other people can play into how we are treated by them. In other words, if you believe that there is a 'cloud of mean people' following you around, you are going to be mistreated. That is in any field, any setting, anywhere. Don't allow yourself to be victimized, stand up for yourself, and show some of the tenacity you obviously possess in order to have made it thusfar!!

    At any rate, good luck with whatever you choose!
  6. by   healer27
    In response to RN75 I just have to say I'm in agreement with you on alot of points.
    I've always WONDERED myself if the general overall public was more educated on what nurses do and what there days are like (a true representation not some fluff filled peice with nurses sitting around talking like they have all the time in the world) if this would cause CHANGE in nursing. Does the public realize all we are responsible for when dealing with 8 pts? That you don't get to take a lunch, eat, drink or pee? REally it's pretty ridiculous.

    To be honest, prior to attending nursing school and then working on the floor I had no idea how tough it could be. And most relatives outside healthcare would make statements like "oh a 12 hour day" it must be great to work 3 days a week instea of 5. Do you get a looong lunch then? And when I would tell them that if I got the chance to pee all day it was a miracle they'd look at me in shock. I'm sorry but it doesn't have to be this way and it shouldn't, I think many people would feel better if they had time to refresh themselves during the day, and had more time to really care for each pt. I can't tell you how bad I felt numerous times having to "rush" people or cut people off (in the most polite way possible) when they probably just needed an ear to listen.

    The other thing and this is slightly off topic but forgive me is the use of cell phones on the floor? Really necessary? honestly again, 1) how is this when it comes to infection control and 2) how does it affect pt safety when your pulling out meds or in the middle of setting something up and the (*(!! phone rings, even if you don't answer its still and interuption. Again just ridciulous from my point of view? How many years did hospitals go without cell phones? and now we HAVE to have them? pplleeeasssee

    Just my 2 cents..
  7. by   gan2ar
    I'm very sad to to learn about such a negative experience. I've been a preceptor my self but nothing like what you described. Those are the kind of nurses that discourage others, students alike, from the nursing profession. They probably forgot the were newly grads once, perhaps the were born with the degree and the experience attached to the placenta. Wish you were my preceptee, i'm sure your experience would have been much more pleasent and quite a learning experience. I will never forget I was a nursing student and a young grad once!.
  8. by   ncrachuj
    I am so sorry for your terrible start, but you will be a great nurse as you know now, how "not" to treat others. We need you in Nashville, we have a great team here and are having a hard time finding people like you. Our Nurses are very kind, I have been here one year and was treated great, I in turn am very happy for any additions we get to our staff. We are very happy when we get a new team member. We are looking for a good LPN if anyone knows someone.
    Hang On Your Getting Stronger
  9. by   lasko
    I love being a nurse because they are a lot of options. Hospital nursing was not for me. I was stressed everyday in the CCU. However, I found the EP lab exciting. I also worked in offices, did telephone triage, utilization review, and now I work as a legal nurse consultant. There is a lot that can be done with a degree in Nursing. If you ever decide to go back. Explore different opportunities available to nurses. Education is a possibility for nurses, there are wellness nurses, community health nurses, school nurses. You have invested a lot to become a nurse. If you decide to come back you may want to explore your options before applying for a position in the hospital.

    All the best to you!
  10. by   pmbrn22
    Wow, I do understand how you feel. 8 years ago, as a new nurse, I had two awful preceptors, one right after the other...and then the hospital nursing turned me off. Not 5 seconds did I have with my patients. One day, a dying patient asked me not to leave him, he was afraid. And I remember that I had SO much work to do, but I couldn't leave him. I was all done after that. Maybe it just wasn't for me. I have done allot of different jobs over the years, but now I am giving nursing a break. I had a great job for the last 5 years, but then we had to move to Hawaii (military) and I will never find a job like that one again.
    I miss it, and at the same time, I don't miss the stress of it either.
  11. by   ejilink
    Healer, It is a pity that things start this way with you. Personally I believe that nursing is still a noble profession not minding ed in what people say or do about it
    Remember that you did not go into nursing because of people. why then must you leave because of people? you are pregnant that is ok. just as for all other women in the job. If your decision is based on health ground, it is ok
    but if due to activities of preceptors from hell as you describe them.then you have aided them to fulfil their aim to frustrate you out of your own chosen profession
    .
    My advice now is, you must make up your mind to be happy as a nurse. No one can make you happy but yourself. Iam a nurse and iam proud to be a nurse. what about you?
    Take good care of yourself.
    Ejime
    .
  12. by   cgalio01
    Hey, I for one am not sorry that you found out early what "the profession of nursing" has turned into. You are one of the fortunate few that realized what the reality is early enough. May people don't find out till they have spent years trying to "fit in" or "conform" to an almost impossible position. I have been an RN for 37 years and have worked full time actively for all of those years minus 2 years for having children. Believe me nursing has definately changed for the worse not the better. We have taken on more and more responsibility with not much more pay and certainly less and less respect. We expect the "new nurse" to come out of school with all the experience it took us years to learn and are angry that they do not know how to do it. What do you expect? When I came out of school, believe me I knew nothing compared to what I know now. My mentors were CNA's and old (they worked with my mother who was also a nurse) LPN's. The RN's were "too busy" or "didn't have the time" to show me the ropes. But I learned thanks to the others who were really the ones too busy, they took the time to show me and teach me. I thank God for those kind souls who took me under thier wing, if not for them I would not be 1/2 the nurse I am today. The problem as I see it is that RN's took over, making LPN's feel inferior and stupid. Then they managed with their "politics" to get rid of the LPN's, at least in the hospital settings. This left them frustrated because they had to do the work and had only other RN's to work with. You know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen? The RN's want to manage but they managed to make a big mess and now they are left to not only manage but to do the work too and it is getting to the point that no one wants to be a nurse anymore. We cannot go back, which is too bad. For me I am glad that I have 2 more years of this political nonsense and then I retire. When I am asked what I will do when I retire I say, some people burn the papers when they finally pay for their homes, I intend to burn my license and never look back. I would rather scrub toilets than work with nurses again.
    Good luck to all of you out there who are staying in there. I for one am so done!!!!!!
  13. by   philippians46
    I can feel in your words that you make a very good nurse. But you're right. And it's not the nursing field that gives you a hard time. It's the people who thought they are in control which is very sad. And taking time away from it all will serve you right. Getting paid very nicely isn't all that matters, it's not worth it. Nursing field is very broad, who knows someday, you'll find a place that is for you without the obnoxious know-it-alls.

    Meanwhile, enjoy!

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