i'll offer my two cents.
- large number of available programs with different entrance requirements : while this is great for several reasons it is also confusing to keep track of!!
while this is true, not all of them are easy to get into. some are competative with long waiting lists
- varying shift hours: yes, i think 12 hour shifts are great but lots of people don't like them. while there are options for employment elsewhere, lots of times there are reasons why people can't leave and have to put up with a new shift hour bracket that they don't like.
in some places, new grads aren't offered a lot of choice. it's nights and every other weekend, and holidays. but sooner or later you're going to find a schedule that works for you.
- your schedule varies from the rest of the world: yes many, myself included, like the idea of working 3 days a week and being considered full time. still, the rest of the world doesn't work on that schedule! so, great that you work 12 hours monday tueday wednesday, no one else does!! or if you work weekends you would never see anyone really other than your family as what social events happen on a tuesday night? not many once you become an official adult!!
- overtime: not so great when it is mandated, or when you have people calling you day in and day out to work extra shifts. basically, working even when you don't have to.
i don't work in a facility that mandates, so i'm lucky. it's nice that when times get hard, or i'm saving for something that overtime is usually available.
- dealing with the lack of respect from everyone else. yes, many doctors/other medical professionals are great but there are still the few that believe foolishly that nurses aren't important and treat them like scum. plus society doesn't really get what nurses do.
i've never been treated like scum and i've never felt disrespected. people really don't have a clue, but that's o.k. most of the time when i say that i'm a nurse to strangers, they are neutral or respectful.
- the whole "sexy nurse" stereotype. because sure, you all wear hot low cut white halter dresses to work.
- always something to learn...this can be intimidating. you never "know it all" and are therefore never really an "expert." can be hard to feel competent!!
it takes almost a year to feel competent. it is indeed a learning experience. we have to constantly educate ourselves on new treatments, drugs, etc.
- teamwork aspect of nursing...not so great if your coworkers aren't helpful or are the type who "like to eat their young."
most of us are good people.
- lack of support from management...rules that just don't make sense or don't work in reality (if any of you were to call the doctor everytime you suspected you should you would all get yelled at i'm sure!!)
this is true. sometimes budgetary considerations outweigh every other issue.
- lack of opportunity to sit. self-explanatory.
- money: nurses are underpaid!! while the money may be good it isn't in compared to the duties of the job!!
it's a decent middle income for an associates degree. but at the end of a 12 hour shift that turned into a 14 hour shift, with an aching back and feet, i do feel underpaid. lol
- can't check in with friends/family (or use the bathroom whenever you want) like in other jobs. someone at a desk job, lots of people browse the web and post on forums and shop and do other things on company time....yeah that would never happen in nursing. plus, even teachers and other professionals...between classes teachers can call home and check in on their families. nurses can only do that on breaks, or once in a blue moon by getting special permission.
- general negativity by other nurses: this is something i think every nurse should work on. gossip and general cattiness runs high when working with a lot of women....this is a self-inflicted problem that i urge all of you (and will try to remember myself in the future). please try and stay positive!!
- insane amount of paperwork. comes with the territory. nothing can be done about it, and its not going to reduce anytime soon!
- nursing is not a glamorous job. it's not pretty. you deal with bodily fluids on a regular basis, and are made to touch things other people would run away from.
- you don't get the credit. let's face it, a lot of the times, if something goes right with the patient the doctor gets the credit and nurses are forgotten. however, if something goes wrong the nurses get yelled at for it by the patient because they are the ones standing there. still, there are the patients that will thank the nurse. even if they don't, you have to know that they thank you in their hearts!
- getting yelled at for things that are not your fault by everyone: management, your patients, patients families. if the doctor is late or if you are tending to a gazillion other things that made you late for the one patient...the story doesn't matter you'll get yelled at.
i'm lucky that in 17 years i've never been "yelled" at.
- the inability to provide quality care to your patients because you are given too many patients.
a major sorespot with me.
- getting desensitized. i have noticed this since i started being a caregiver. the first suicide attempt that we had at the facility...man...i bawled my eyes out for many nights and was like "omg the world is so unfair" and it upset me for a very long time. after we had several suicide attempts, the last time that it happened towards the end of my shift, i was able to go home and celebrate a good friend's birthday. while i still cared for the patient, i had in a way become hardened. and i'm not sure that it's a good thing.
that's not necessarily a bad thing. we can't self-actualize and nuture ourselves if we get too involved and cry for hours on end.
- the ample opportunity for mistakes. there is so much to keep track of that the likelihood of errors is high. and the consequences dire.
- the fact that your job is to care about others.
agreed. you have to care about people, whether they are gangbanger murderers or not.
sounds like you do have a reasonably good grasp on what nursing is and isn't. good luck to you.