I think I might hate nursing

  1. As of right now I'm still just a CNA. I've been moving along pretty smoothly with my experience as a CNA. I began my career in a LTC facility and before the first year was over I acquired my CNA2 certificate which helped me to land a job in a hospital part time. As of today I am still working both my LTC job and on the med-surg unit at the hospital and I plan to pick up shifts in other units like ICU and PACU so that I might have a more well-rounded experience in the nursing world. The thing is I have already become bored with both of these jobs. I always feel like I'm busy at the expense of being productive, like my body is in motion but my brain is asleep.
    I thought that maybe once I become a nurse, hopefully after nursing school, that I would have more to think about and to focus on but as I watch the nurses I work with it seems that mostly what they do is pass meds and do whatever to fill the time in between med passes. Even in the hospital I see nurses on their phones playing Candy Crush once they have all their tasks finished.
    I've also met quite a few nurses, young and old, who are tired of nursing. Some of them even hold other part time jobs so that they don't have to pick up more shifts in the facility.
    So I guess what I'm asking is; is there more to nursing than just passing meds?
    Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong and I hope I haven't offended any nurses. I'm on this forum to learn so I appreciate any feedback anyone has to offer.
    Thank you all.
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  2. Visit Lexi256 profile page

    About Lexi256

    Joined: May '17; Posts: 11; Likes: 9

    26 Comments

  3. by   LovingLife123
    Where are all these places where nurses get to play Candy Crush? And who still plays Candy Crush?

    I have no time in my day to look at my phone. I'm too busy assessing, charting, titrating, cleaning, turning, transferring, and admitting patients.

    Meds are the absolute smallest part of my day unless it's a drip.
  4. by   LovingLife123
    I did get a 30 minute break today, at 1600. Only because my coworkers were kind enough to do a couple of tasks for me.
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Lexi256
    As of right now I'm still just a CNA. I've been moving along pretty smoothly with my experience as a CNA. I began my career in a LTC facility and before the first year was over I acquired my CNA2 certificate which helped me to land a job in a hospital part time. As of today I am still working both my LTC job and on the med-surg unit at the hospital and I plan to pick up shifts in other units like ICU and PACU so that I might have a more well-rounded experience in the nursing world. The thing is I have already become bored with both of these jobs. I always feel like I'm busy at the expense of being productive, like my body is in motion but my brain is asleep.
    I thought that maybe once I become a nurse, hopefully after nursing school, that I would have more to think about and to focus on but as I watch the nurses I work with it seems that mostly what they do is pass meds and do whatever to fill the time in between med passes. Even in the hospital I see nurses on their phones playing Candy Crush once they have all their tasks finished.
    I've also met quite a few nurses, young and old, who are tired of nursing. Some of them even hold other part time jobs so that they don't have to pick up more shifts in the facility.
    So I guess what I'm asking is; is there more to nursing than just passing meds?
    Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong and I hope I haven't offended any nurses. I'm on this forum to learn so I appreciate any feedback anyone has to offer.
    Thank you all.
    I have an "easy" job and still don't have time for games. In any case, CNA work is more physical and observable than nursing work ...and passing meds is more observable than many other nursing functions.
    I tend to cluster my care around medication passes since they're timed. I may look like I'm just giving meds, but may also be assessing and doing/planning other things. As a student, I thought that CNAs did everything and nurses didn't do much. I was dead wrong about that one, and you may be too.
  6. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from LovingLife123
    And who still plays Candy Crush?
    I still play Candy Crush.
  7. by   Silly_Sally_RN
    I agree with Sour Lemon when she states that CNA work is more physical and observable than nursing work. Some of my coworkers who were CNAs before coming nurses have said that as a CNA, they didn't realize how much the nurse had to do. I have had a discussion with my co-workers how CNA work is more physically demanding while RN work is more mentally demanding. Not saying that there aren't physical demands on the nurse or vice versa.

    I believe nursing is an art and a science. The science stuff is easier to see - the meds were passed, the blood sugars were checked, the dressing was changed, etc. The time spent with the patient listening to their concerns about a new cancer diagnosis, reassuring the drunk patient going through withdrawals that no one is dead/he didn't kill anyone, or spending a little extra time listening to the lonely patient who has no family is not as measureable. There are no boxes to check to say we did it and when you are in the room, your co-workers don't know what you are doing with the patient.

    Unfortunately, I feel like people forget about the art or are more concerned with doing the bare minimum job expectations. I struggle when my co-workers are sitting behind the desk, playing on their phones, while I am still running around like a madwoman. I doubt myself - am I doing something wrong? Why am I so slow? But then I think, "No, I'm not doing anything wrong." When I am with my patients, I am practicing the art and the science. I feel I would be giving inadequate care if I didn't stop to listen to my patients and their families.

    I won't deny that nursing is hard. Patients are much sicker now than when I started nursing 10+ years ago. There are also more charting requirements/expectations now. It can be a struggle to balance patient-centered care with checking all the required boxes/paperwork. A couple of years ago, I reached my breaking point. While I had always wanted to go into nursing education at some point, I reached a point where I said I can't do this day in and day out for the rest of my life. That made me horribly sad. Thankfully, I'm now in a position where I do some education and some direct patient care - the best of both worlds!
  8. by   OpinionatedCNA
    I am in the same boat. I am a student who switched from nursing --> health sciences because when I became a CNA working in ltc/rehab I realized how ****** of a job nurses have (no offense). I love patient-care but I can't deal with being the one chewed out whenever someone is having a bad day -the doctor, patients, the patients family- and just being expected to take it because of "customer service." And then after that doing all that damn paperwork

    But then again one of the super good parts about nursing is that it's really hard to hate nursing if you're interested in it generally, there's just so many different types of nursing jobs out there. You're basically bound to find one you'll like, or at least tolerate while you save up enough money to send yourself back to school lol.
  9. by   AJJKRN
    Quote from LovingLife123
    Where are all these places where nurses get to play Candy Crush? And who still plays Candy Crush?
    Use the search function to look up a member named NOADLS...
  10. by   Lexi256
    Silly_Sally I totally understand where you're coming from, especially in the third paragraph. I guess I could still be working on my time management skills, but I'm like you, the madwoman still up running while it seems my coworkers have gotten done with all they needed to do. A big part of it is that I probably stop to listen to the patients more than do my coworkers. I makes me seem very slow with my work and like you I often wondered if perhaps I was doing something wrong.
    Like I said before, I really don't mean to judge the job of a nurse as I have not yet really been there but I kind of feel that being a CNA has given me a small view into nursing. I'm really glad that you've found a nursing job you enjoy. That's another thing I realize takes time to acquire and one just needs to be patient until they find what fits them.
  11. by   Lexi256
    I have no time in my day to look at my phone. I'm too busy assessing, charting, titrating, cleaning, turning, transferring, and admitting patients.

    Really there are only a few nurses I see playing games on their phones at the hospital, I see it more at my LTC job. Most of the nurses I work with are like you, busy running about helping me with the physical demands of patient care or taking care of nursing tasks and charting.
    Last edit by Lexi256 on Apr 19 : Reason: to specify the user i replied to
  12. by   Lexi256
    Sour Lemon,
    I didn't really mean to make it sound like I had the impression that CNAs did all the work while the nurses sat around. I think I have a hard time explaining my thoughts through writing, especially in these online forums.
    I know it's true that I really only see a small amount of what the nurses actually do and the rest might be a mystery to me.
    I've been privileged to work with nurses who are gracious enough to help me a lot of my CNA tasks, like turning, changing, and bathing patients, in addition to all that they have to do.
    Teamwork is a huge aspect of nursing that I am thankful to have.
  13. by   SilleLu
    I too was a CNA before I was an RN... The work of RN is more mental than physical, although I still do a fair amount of the physical care as well.

    So what is an RN doing while sitting at the computer or on the phone, other than charting?

    Reviewing labs - abnormals, trends, are labs missing? call the doctor to get orders. no result even though it was drawn hours ago? Call the lab. Result doesn't make sense? Call lab for redraw. Critical value? call the doctor for orders...

    Reviewing meds - patient getting lasix but no potassium? call the doctor. VS abnormal and home meds weren't ordered? call the doctor, enter tons of orders so you can get blood pressure under control. Medications can't be taken at the same time? reschedule meds. Medication prescribed and verified by pharmacy despite known allergy? Call pharmacy, call the doctor. Patient has new onset symptoms...review meds for side effects, call doctor for alternate treatment.

    Manager wants to know why this patient hasn't been discharged, review physician notes, see they wrote about several new orders yesterday but didn't enter orders for any of them...call the doctor to clarify, enter new orders. Patient was independent at home prior to admission, has been here 7 days and no one has attempted to get them up to a chair let alone ambulate. Get orders for PT/OT evaluation.

    Yay, patient is discharged! Get paperwork in order. Realize a new expensive medication was ordered, call Case Manager to check insurance coverage. Medication isn't affordable, discuss with doctor to come up with alternate plan. Another discharge...oops brand new diabetic and no teaching has been done, plus patient is forgetful and has little support at home...discuss with Case Manager.

    Review I/Os....looks like patient is putting out much less urine than previous day, review meds, IV fluids, PO intake. Bladder scan shows retention, get cath orders if toileting not successful. Review previous days assessments as you chart your own...this patient was alert and oriented but today only knows her name and seems lethargic, review medications administered previous 24 hours to see if there is an obvious cause...

    Honestly I could go on and on. I remember feeling the same way that you did when I was a CNA and was amazed at how much 'behind the scenes' work that RNs are responsible for. There is little time to be bored and it can be mentally challenging. Good luck to you whether you decide to go to nursing school or to follow a different path!

    edited to add: ok, I see I put a lot of "call the doctor" in there, generally anything not critical is discussed when they do rounds. I also didn't put in many nursing interventions, but there are a lot of things we can do independently too.
    Last edit by SilleLu on Apr 19 : Reason: additional information
  14. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Nursing is a very broad field with very many types of jobs. Like all jobs it has its plusses and minuses which is why we get paid every two weeks. Personally I think its a great career. It has taken me from being an aide to graduating from my NP studies in about 15 years. It's like many jobs / careers and is what the individual makes of it. Have I been around nurses who ignore there patients, complain constantly and play on their phones while ignoring their patients? U Betcha!!! I've also been around incredibly dedicated professionals who seek to help, look for solutions instead of perseverating on the same problems over and over again and have grown in their careers? Absolutely. At the end of the day the choice is up to the individual to grow in their career and seek a fulfilling position. Happiness is the responsibility of each individual adult. In my experience nurses often get stuck in jobs / life's that they hate and simply complain about the situation instead of doing something about it. Don't be one of them as we got too many already

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