My Reasons For Avoiding The Acute Care Hospital - page 2

I've been asked the same question by members of, real-life coworkers, and even some of my own family members: "Why aren't you interested in working at a major hospital?" My... Read More

  1. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from TheCommuter

    To be perfectly blunt, I know my personality is not compatible with acute care. I’m a mellow type B girl who does not like responding to codes. I dislike dealing with changes in condition. I detest taking off orders that constantly change on the whim of the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician‘s assistant. I cannot stand constantly performing procedural skills such as IV starts, Foley catheter insertions, nasogastric tube drops, or blood draws. I despise having to drop what I'm doing to address a stat order. I do not look forward to constant interaction with physicians, families, dietary staff, visitors, RT, and other people.

    Some uninformed people insist that real nursing only takes place inside the walls of the acute care hospital setting. People can think whatever they darn well please. As long as I’m happy, secure, and comfortable with the work I’m doing, that’s all that matters to me. Patients outside the hospital setting need nurses, too.
    What's interesting to me is the variation of practice within different nursing environments.

    When I graduated from nursing school I consciously rejected acute care employment for many of the reasons you listed. I took a job at a correctional facility and found myself doing all of what you listed above - but without the backup a hospital provides. Many of our nurses at the prison went to the local hospital because they said the pace was too much at the prison. They liked med/surg at the local hospital because they said the pace of work was better. A couple joked they could "rest" in med/surg compared to our prison jobs.

    Now I work acute care psych and find this hospital job is nothing compared to my previous non-hospital job.

    I really don't care about uniformed nurses who think real nursing takes place inside a hospital - their narrow scopes and perceptions don't concern me.
  2. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    Commuter- You have done it again.... Put my feelings into an article. I was told to start off in a hospital because "that is the right thing to do" as a new grad. Even though I had previous LPN experience prior to becoming a RN, I had a really hard time adjusting to the hosptial setting.
    Stat orders, codes, critical labs, call lights, all memebers of the disciplinary team, rounding, and etc. It was overwhelming. I think I'm a mixture of A and B personality, mostly b though.
    During my time in ICU, I thought this was just normal new grad blues but I was wrong. Working in ICU nearly drove me into an early grave. I was drinking wine almost 3-4 times a week, taking ativan, and just really really depressed. Ofcourse my co-workers didn't help with creating a hostile environment. I came to the realization that this specialty and type of nursing is NOT for me and doesn't fit my personality.
    To test my theory, I interviewed and shawdowed at another ICU and felt the same way.
    I typically like a routine with an occassional code to keep me on my toes. In ICU, I felt like I was putting out fires all day long. I have an offer pending for the ER, my husband tells me I shouldn't take the job because he knows my personality does not fit one of the ER. I agree with him, however I need a job.
    I'm praying I get into PP or NBN. I think I would be excel in that area.
  3. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I'm tired of ER,ICU nurses thanking they are God. I used to hear my ICU co-workers put down every single specialty in the hospital. I would get so offended. Specialities are not a one size fits all. Everyone has their own unique gifts and talents that contributes to every area of nursing.
  4. by   Ntheboat2
    Quote from OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I'm tired of ER,ICU nurses thanking they are God. I used to hear my ICU co-workers put down every single specialty in the hospital. I would get so offended. Specialities are not a one size fits all. Everyone has their own unique gifts and talents that contributes to every area of nursing.
    That's so weird. I don't get it. There are a few specialties I would never, ever want to work in but I really don't think about them at all...much less put down the people who work in them. That's just...odd.
  5. by   PengiRN
    Quote from Ntheboat2

    That's so weird. I don't get it. There are a few specialties I would never, ever want to work in but I really don't think about them at all...much less put down the people who work in them. That's just...odd.
    I don't understand, either. I know there are many specialties/settings in which I wouldn't want to work simply because I know I would not be a good fit.
    I think every nurse has a specific calling. For example, one of my nursing friends says that she couldn't handle the ED, while I state I couldn't handle rehab nursing. But I believe we are where we both need to be to be the best nurses we can be. It is too bad that acute care seems to be glorified, but I really am grateful for all of you nurses who do the less "notorious" specialties. Nursing is an art and a science across the board, no matter where you practice or who receives your care.
  6. by   citylights89
    Glad I'm not the only one to think this. I always dreaded my Med-Surg clinicals and thought "If this is where I have to be a nurse, I'm not sure I want to be a nurse." Then, I realized that I don't have to, well, unless it's my only choice. It's probably not that bad, but the patient load variances between various hospitals and units frighten me because there is always that chance that I never know how many patients I might have for the day. However, I would pick it over ICU, even though ICU has less patients. ICU is way too much. ER too. Slower paces, I say! However, I ultimately settled on OR being my specialty of choice. Go figure. I definitely appreciate the "one patient at a time" approach.
  7. by   barcode120x
    @ TheCommuter
    Totally inspired by your experience as a 19 year old working in a disabled persons' facility and enjoyed reading your thread! I somewhat share that experience. A year ago I got a hourly job as a tutor at my community college while I was talking my GE's, but it was for the disabled students programs & services. Well actually, my technical title is Student Assistant III but my job consisted of tutoring disabled students (physically or mentally; severe or not) in all educational subjects and working with acquired brained injury (or ABI) students on memory programs. Not only was it AND still is (I'm still currently working there) a great experience in a different environment, I've come to admire both the people and the care takers. I'm currently a new nursing student (I start this coming spring); however, I do want to become a psychiatric nurse in the distant future, but I definitely see myself as a nurse in the psychiatric or disabled field. I DO want to head straight into ICU when I finished nursing school since I also work in the ICU/CCU as a lift team technician (or mobility technician) and I love the "thrill" and "adrenaline" and there is always something new every day

    Just thought I'd share my experience as well hehe.
  8. by   MN-Nurse
    Great discussion of career choices.

    In the end, you don't owe anyone an explanation for doing the work you enjoy doing.
  9. by   eatmysoxRN
    I've had ICU nurses tell me that they couldn't imagine the stress of taking 8 patients on the floor. Simultaneously I have nurses who are terrible if ever pulled to the units. I have found that I'm not sure where my passion is yet, but I've been blessed with a job where I love my coworkers and get to float around frequently and experience new specialties. I love talking to other nurses and hearing about where they've been and what specialties were their favorites.
  10. by   Yourfriend2
    I have worked at 2 major hospitals in my area and they have been the worst jobs I have had as a RN. We need to listen more to ourselves and not to other people's opinions of what we should do. I have been guilty of this in the past and they were bad experiences. Great thread to read.
  11. by   amygarside
    I applaud you for your choice and for standing up for it. I wish you well and find fulfillment in what you do as a nurse.
  12. by   iliveiaminurse
    You totally renewed my faith in the nursing field with that article!!! I myself am a relatively new nurse (will be three years post boards this August), and I feel I could have written that article as well!!! I bounced around different fields post college, but after earning my degree in developmental disabilities, I took a job as a caregiver for a group home of about 12 senior's with varying types of MR/psychiatric and behavioral issues. After about a year there, I was put in a class to be a "medication associate"...and that is where the bug hit. After getting married, moving to Pa, and working in an assisted living facility for 3 years, I decided to go back to nursing school...I was ready, mature, and knew this is what I wanted (and my company paid the WHOLE thing, included my liscence and boards).

    But long story semi short, I work in a locked down alzheimers/dementia unit. 80 residents all with varying stages but all diagnosed Alzheimers, including a handful on hospice services. It's assisted we are not even close to even being at a skilled level (though...that is the direction we are heading with some new admits!!) but anyway...If I had a nickel for every person who scoffed at me, who told me that I was "throwing away my career"...I wouldn't have to work anymore!!! Here's the long and short of it...I'm happy!!! I did the whole surgery/catheters/blood draw "ohhh this is super cool" stuff in nursing school. If I have never have to flush a line or do PICC line care again, am I going to regret it for the rest of my life?? No. What I would regret is time with my residents. I have 80 grandmoms and grandpaps who may not recognize me everyday....but get me thru my day with a hug and and I Love You. yeah, i have the crazy families who get on my nerves...but the time to bond with them to the point that I had a family bring me thanksgiving dinner after finding out I couldn't travel home to see my family on the holiday. I work for a smallish company but that has great pay, amazzzing benefits, and GUARANTEED every other weekend and every other holiday off....yeah. In healthcare. On most nights I have two MA's to cover the med cart so I can get charting and what not done..and actually oversee the care of my patients (imagine that!!!)

    So I agree with the article...It takes all type of nurses to make the world go round!!!
  13. by   CrunchRN
    It has been 20 years since I graduated nursing school. I had worked the previous 10 years prior to becoming a nurse in hospitals. I am thrilled to have missed out on the whole acute care thing.