Has Nursing hardened you? - page 16

by ThePrincessBride

18,603 Views | 154 Comments

Simple question: Has nursing hardened you? I'm currently a student, and I have noticed that some of the older clinical instructors are very cold, harsh and indecent towards some of the nursing students, myself included. I know... Read More


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    So, I was wondering, to all the nurses out there who have been in the field for a long time, how has nursing changed you as an individual? Have you found yourself becoming colder and more detached or more warm and compassionate?

    Sometimes if you find yourself becoming harder and more detached it can be a clue to look for a different setting. I consider myself a friendly, nice person in general, but I had a job that made me very unhappy. One day a new nurse started, and when he was brought into the nursing lounge to be introduced NO ONE said hello. We all just kind of looked down at the table. It was a real turning point for me, because I realized how unhappy I was working that particular job, and I was becoming angry and resentful. I have never been the type of person who didn't greet a new employee.

    I applied for a new job, and I am back to my old self again. I think sometimes it is important to remember that nursing has many different areas to work in, and it is ok to find something that makes you happy.

    Also, as far as toward the patient, I don't necessarily feel colder, but I certainly contain my emotions. I wouldn't be a very effective nurse if I spent the day in a state of emtional upheavel. I worked peds onc/bmt, so I think in that sense I might appear colder. I am pretty good at not crying, and saving it until I am alone.
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    Quote from The Princess Bride
    No. Haven't left the building. I have gotten and very great posts, but some posters have proven my point, sadly.But I am taking this in and I appreciate all of the responses and insight.I think people also misunderstood me. I never stated nursing was easy. It is hard. Why some people have called me a "little student" with "stars in her eyes" is confusing me.
    I think it's the innocence of youth. Little meaning young.....stars in your eye....innocent. We all were where you are.....young, innocent, excited at the prospect of life. I know when I started nursing I was living at home.......I was very young when I graduated high school and didn't drive until I started college. I have never really seen a penis...... let alone touched one.....when I started school. I was in for quite a shock. That was a long time ago.

    I think years on the front has definitely changed me. I am not one of the "hardened ones". There are those with burn out, compassion fatigue....whatever you want to call it, and maybe they need to leave or retire. But you can't judge the whole bunch after a few rotten apples are found.

    I think there are different areas of nursing that lead to faster compassion fatigue than others. I think other professions aren't as vulnerable...but given what we see and deal with every single day and be overwhelming. Nursing right now is in rough shape. Families are struggling, losing their homes, lost their retirements. They are having to work longer hours and not break even......they are being brow beat by administration to do twice as much with half of the resources. It is very easy to stand on the outside, look in and make judgements. It's a tough world out there.....

    Those nurses aren't paid to be nice to you.....unfortunate but true. You are an added burden that they frankly.....just don't have the reserve to nurture your hurt feelings. Some nurses are downright mean...I admit it. But a majority aren't ..........but they are resentful of the demands placed on the by the powers that be and that they are powerless to change.

    While your enthusiasm is to admired....remember that the reality of the profession you have chosen isn't a pretty one. Don't forget that you don't know what else they have on their mind...whether at home or at work and they just don't have the reserve to be perky. You clinical instructor may even have a history with these nurses and they resent her.....not you. I worked for a place one that cut the normal staff when there were students on the floor....thereby increasing the workload on the staff. That didn't foster a positive vibe either.

    Many new to the profession choose to be nurses because it is recession proof (NOT) and have little interest in being a good nurse/student and are very draining on the system.

    If they are mean....consider the source and remind yourself of the nurse you don't want to be. Good Luck!
    wooh, amoLucia, not.done.yet, and 4 others like this.
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    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    Simple question: Has nursing hardened you?

    I'm currently a student, and I have noticed that some of the older clinical instructors are very cold, harsh and indecent towards some of the nursing students, myself included. I know some PCAs. One certain PCA, a 31 year old nursing student w/military experience, referred to some of the nurses on her unit as " cold *******" and said she was afraid after many years of working in the field (after graduating and passing the NCLEX, of course), she will end up just like them. Many of the other nursing students have voiced similar experiences, saying that many of the nurses on their unit were just rude or plain cold.

    This is NOT to attack nurses, but after I had a dentist appointment, I noticed a stark contrast between the happier, less stressed out RDHs from the overly stressed and very cold nurses that I have come across. This is NOT to say that all nurses are like this, I have met some really nice ones (and a couple of really lovely clinical instructors), but in general, the longer one has been in the field of nursing ,the colder and less compassionate one becomes...from my observation. Statistically, 1 out of every 7 nurses will end up with a drug/substance problem (according to my lecture notes)...could it be d/t the stress of nursing?

    So, I was wondering, to all the nurses out there who have been in the field for a long time, how has nursing changed you as an individual? Have you found yourself becoming colder and more detached or more warm and compassionate? Has nursing made you depressed? And finally (and most importantly) do you regret nursing?

    I have found that I have lost apart of my confidence and self-esteem, and nursing seems to have an ugly side to it that really is disappointing. Quoting someone I love, "Upon visiting your nursing school, I have never met a more hostile, unwelcoming, cold environment and I can only imagine what you go through when I'm not around." And this person is fifty.

    Again, this is NOT an attack, but just an observation and things I've experienced first hand and have been told, and I'm wondering about this!
    i have loved nursing more bacause it has made me to be more compassionate.i love my work even though i had tough times during my studies n my practicals.i over looked all those things and worked very hard to achieve my aim............
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    i have loved nursing more bacause it has made me to be more compassionate.i love my work even though i had tough times during my studies n my practicals.i over looked all those things and worked very hard to achieve my aim............
  5. 1
    Quote from Esme12
    I think it's the innocence of youth. Little meaning young.....stars in your eye....innocent. We all were where you are.....young, innocent, excited at the prospect of life. I know when I started nursing I was living at home.......I was very young when I graduated high school and didn't drive until I started college. I have never really seen a penis...... let alone touched one.....when I started school. I was in for quite a shock. That was a long time ago.

    I think years on the front has definitely changed me. I am not one of the "hardened ones". There are those with burn out, compassion fatigue....whatever you want to call it, and maybe they need to leave or retire. But you can't judge the whole bunch after a few rotten apples are found.

    I think there are different areas of nursing that lead to faster compassion fatigue than others. I think other professions aren't as vulnerable...but given what we see and deal with every single day and be overwhelming. Nursing right now is in rough shape. Families are struggling, losing their homes, lost their retirements. They are having to work longer hours and not break even......they are being brow beat by administration to do twice as much with half of the resources. It is very easy to stand on the outside, look in and make judgements. It's a tough world out there.....

    Those nurses aren't paid to be nice to you.....unfortunate but true. You are an added burden that they frankly.....just don't have the reserve to nurture your hurt feelings. Some nurses are downright mean...I admit it. But a majority aren't ..........but they are resentful of the demands placed on the by the powers that be and that they are powerless to change.

    While your enthusiasm is to admired....remember that the reality of the profession you have chosen isn't a pretty one. Don't forget that you don't know what else they have on their mind...whether at home or at work and they just don't have the reserve to be perky. You clinical instructor may even have a history with these nurses and they resent her.....not you. I worked for a place one that cut the normal staff when there were students on the floor....thereby increasing the workload on the staff. That didn't foster a positive vibe either.

    Many new to the profession choose to be nurses because it is recession proof (NOT) and have little interest in being a good nurse/student and are very draining on the system.

    If they are mean....consider the source and remind yourself of the nurse you don't want to be. Good Luck!
    When I was a student, the hospital where we had clinical would do the same thing. "Oh, we have students tomorrow, so we don't need Mary or Jane."
    Esme12 likes this.


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