Ive lost all faith in the medical field. Please help!

  1. I am a nurse on a med-surg floor in Kentucky. I cant take my job anymore. I dont even know if I want to be a nurse anymore. My best friend (who worked on this floor until a month ago) was there to visit her mom who was a patient. She had been in the ER numerous times and they kept sending her home. They finally admitted her the other night. Well, she coded. When they got the crash cart..... IT WASNT STOCKED! They couldnt get an IV on her and didnt have the supplies to get a deep-line inserted. My friend called me crying because her mom died, I called to ask if I could take off to be with her (I had just left one funeral and had 2 more to go to), they YELLED AT ME. Well, I went to work and sat at the nurses station and cried for an hour before being able to do any work (this pt was like my 2nd mom).
    Another occasion....I had a patient who had ascites BADLY. He had a dobhoff with TF and IVF's (total almost 300 ml/hr), plus on a regular diet! He wasnt on a low Na diet or restriced fluids. By the time I came on shift, his lung sounds could be heard all the way down the hall. He was begging me to do something. I checked stomach residual and did NOT put it back in him, was supposed to but he was overloaded. I called the doc approximately 20 times, no kidding. I finally demanded an xray of lungs to check lung status and an xray to determine dobhoff placement and a f/c. I also got some Lasix IV. I turned off TF's and KVO'ed the IVF's (no order for that, but it was my nursing judgement). The doc wouldnt come to floor, the charge nurse wouldnt go with me to see this patient. The doc FINALLY came to floor at the time this pt coded (he ruptured internally and it all came out his nose and mouth). The doc turns and walks out of room! We stabilized him enough to get him to ICU, but they didnt do anything, no tests or anything. He died 30 minutes later.
    Another episode... A man had an open appy. He got majorly infected. When he questioned the doc, he had been 30 hours without antibiotics (wasnt my pt, btw).
    People come into this hospital with minor health probs and end up DYING! I live in a small community with only 1 other hospital, which is worse than this one. This is the only place to work unless I want to drive 1 1/2 hours one-way to get to a new job. What would you do? I have to work tonight, get off at 7:30 am tomorrow morning and then have to turn around and go back at 3:00 pm. I wont get any sleep. Are all hospitals like this? From what I've seen, I dont ever want to get sick! I need advice BADLY.
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    what a nightmare!!!
    other than keeping meticulous nsg notes, you really need to consider if you can afford to continue working there.
    any job, including a longer commute, has to give you better peace of mind than the hellhole where you're working.

    part of the problem we nurses have in acquiring the respect we deserve, is we continue to put up with these heinous working conditions and environments.
    get the hell out of there and don't look back.
    this goes beyond substandard care.
    best of luck.

    leslie
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    I feel your pain.I was at the point you are at now, got fired , then decided to fight back, even if its in my own feeble way. I am no longer in healthcare so I dont fear being blackballed( I already am). I dont know if this nightmare healthcare system CAN be fixed, but if we give up trying, then what? People like you who have a empathetic personality have a truly HARD time in this field, so sad, isnt it what we would want in the nurse who was caring for us or our loved ones? I truly feel like weeping for you and all the healthcare workers who have to continue to work in such conditions. Maybe there is a special place in hell for those that perpetuate this system.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Dec 30, '06
  5. by   MarySunshine
    Could you care for a local individual as a private-home health nurse or work in a doctor's office? Is the far away hospital paying slightly better so that you might be able to work there but go in less often (i.e. two days a week instead of three)? I would not work in that hospital as you describe it. I'm sorry about your friend's mother's death.
  6. by   wolfgirl
    Is there any reason why you can't relocate? There are tons of good hospitals out there--yours sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel! I would get out of there yesterday--even if it means working a job you're not particularly crazy about for a while. Have you thought of travel nursing? It would give you an excellent opportunity to work in different environments without making a committment. And the good part of it is, most of the time, you're only there for twelve weeks, so if it's insane, it's temporary! I thought about doing it myself, but I have a house and three dogs and for me, it's not practical. And, furthermore, when you do get out, I would seriously consider contacting some state regulatory agencies about the deplorable care being delivered at that institution.

    Good luck! Keep us posted!
  7. by   donsterRN
    I agree with all of the above; you need to be gone from there already. Your work environment is a nightmare. I'm so sorry.
  8. by   SherRN
    Bless your heart. Run do not walk to the next job interview. Doctors' office, nursing home, another hospital, home health or the hospital further down the road perhaps more monies there. Keep us posted please. I too am sorry for your loss.
  9. by   UM Review RN
    No, all hospitals are NOT like this. I'm horrified, in fact. Our Code carts are stocked, our nurses work together, our docs answer the phone within a half-hour (and we have resources to turn to if they do not).

    You truly need to get out of there.

    That said, let me say this gently....

    Even if a cart is stocked and the best docs in the world are there, it's not a sure thing that someone is going to be rescued. It didn't help that the cart was not stocked; maybe you should write that fact up to Risk Management so they can do a process review and make improvements.

    Please accept my condolences on your friend's mom's death. The fact that you could not take the time off to grieve properly is one reason I would not stay in this hospital.

    The fact that your charge nurse and the doc of the ascites patient did not respond in time for your ascites patient is another reason I think you should leave this hospital. You're new and you need support, you need explanations about patient conditions and treatments, you need debriefing when you lose a patient, and you're not getting what you need in order to resolve your feelings and grow as a nurse.

    As for the open appy patient without antibiotics for over 30 hours? Incredible. That definitely needed to be written up to Risk Management.


    The scenarios you describe are the reasons that some people on this Board advocate having malpractice insurance. If you have to stay at this hospital, you might look into getting some.

    You also might take a serious look at other types of places to work, if you cannot work at either of your local hospitals. There's a career forum here on this board and many of the nurses here can help you find other resources.

    Best wishes to you and please keep us updated. We care.
  10. by   outcomesfirst
    Cheno,
    I am so sorry this is happening to you!:icon_hug:. I am sorry for your loss :redpinkhe and can empathize with your situation. NO IT IS NOT LIKE THIS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sadly, there are many substandard facilities. The key is to find the right place for you. This means you, your needs, culture, work, challenge, salary. I feel you are distraught, and you have every right to be. The critical point for you is to accept this and take the time to make a plan. This will not happen over night. I urge you not to make any sudden decisions. Lacking further details, you sound vested in this institution and environment/local. Can you take some time off to get perspective? Do you have a trusted mentor at the facility or your school to talk this over with? I urge you to seek an experienced nurse that you respect and discuss the ramifications of your career, family, goals, desires etc. In the meantime - breathe, consider your immediate needs - care for your assigned patients as you were taught and plan for a better future. It is stereotypical, but nurses are STRONG, POWERFUL INDIVIDUALS and you can get through this.
  11. by   nursekatie22
    I'm so sorry for you loss and I hope you find a better situation soon!
  12. by   muffie
    [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[chenoaspirit]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

    hugs

    what a nightmare

    how discouraging

    good luck with a new life and please keep us posted

    jan
  13. by   caliotter3
    I can only reiterate what the other posters have stated, "Get out of there."
    I have been, and currently am, where you are, only difference, I'm already without the job. You need a change of environment. If not the long commute to another hosp, then home hlth (big advantage here: only responsible for one pt at a time and you have a lot of autonomy and can really develop good rapport w/pt and family), or even LTC. For all the horror stories about LTC, the residents are more stable (even if you have too many of them) and believe it or not, sometimes you can get into a facility with some teamwork. Even if you only achieve a little relief from a job change, it might be just what you need to save your mental hlth. While you look for a new position, please consider taking a week or two minimum mental hlth break between jobs. You obviously need it. Good luck, and do whatever you need to do to regain yourself!
    '
  14. by   GingerSue
    maybe go exploring - in search of another employer
    make the trip to another location, you can always relocate

    (I've done it and things worked out fine)

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