Never understood nursing - page 6

I know this is my first post on your forum, and I am a guest here. But I hopefully can get some answers to a problem that has seemed to plague me since I started practicing in medicine. I am hoping... Read More

  1. by   begalli
    Quote from SkateBetty
    Take your pregnant ER patient as an example. "One nurse refused to place an IV in a patient because she said the patient was a drug seeker and she was not going to take the "risk of a needlestick putting an IV in someone who she didn't feel deserved it". I don't know a single nurse ridiculously stupid enough to open her pie-hole and say a patient doesn't deserve drugs she is seeking, and refuse to even start the IV.
    I can absilutely see a nurse judging a patient and coming to the conclusion that an IVDA doesn't deserve pain meds. Absolutely wrong, but I can see it happening.

    I might, maaaaaybe try sticking the patient once that's it - and I wouldn't even try that hard. I can see refusing to stick an IVDA for an PIV. The reason would be because it's futile and I would fight tooth and nail over this. The patient needs a central line due to the fact that their veins are shot, literally.
  2. by   jb2u
    Well I have worked MANY jobs...Army, diesel mechanic, car sales, shipping receiving clerk, retail manager, warehouse manager, medical assistant, sorter, transporter, unit clerk, cardiac monitor tech, cna, and courier. In every job I've heard people complain and be unhappy with their job or other depts. I've always talked to everybody. Janitors do not feel respected by management. House keeping in the hospital does not feel respected by the Nurses/MD's, etc. My point is I treat everyone as an equal because WE ALL ARE. When I was a warehouse manager, I always would go to the employee breakroom where the other warehouse employees ate, while the other managers ate in the office with other managers. I had everyones respect because I treated them as equal (because we are). My point being people normally respond based on how they "feel" that they are treated/respected. I'm sure that you have had some bad experiences and I'm glad to know that you are now happy at your current hospital.

    That being said, let me help you understand nurses and nursing. It is a truly giving profession. It is not one of financial excess, admiration by the public, private parking, private dining rooms, parent-in-laws lighting up when they find out your a nurse, and general respect for your hard earned education. It is a job where Nurses provide the most intimate of care, one in which even a lot of families will refuse to provide. It is one in which they may think that that iv drug user, prisoner, etc...may not "deserve" such care..BUT they provide it anyway!!! They get verbally and physically abused by pts, pts' family, and yes, some times MD/PA's. They, however, still provide that much needed intimate care. They struggle to provide outstanding, professional care while at the same time trying to battle shortages that cause unsafe conditions for their patients and leave little time for the very thing that drew them to nursing...PROVIDING INTIMATE CARE! To sit and talk with a patient, to hold the hand of a family member of a dying pt., to clean the pt that can no longer clean him/herself, to help a pt regain that which can be regained, and to help the pt deal with that which can not, to let the pt that feels all alone know that "I am here for YOU." They do all of this because they are truly caring individuals. They do not get paid near what they are worth. They by all means are intelligent and capable of persuing a medical degree, but that is NOT where their hearts are. They want to be a NURSE. Nursing begins with caring. Nursing is about caring. And Nurses are human. Sometimes the lack of respect, long hours, short staff, and other headaches get to them, but they always come back because deep down that person that cares so much is still in them. They just get frustrated because they know that the business of medicine many times gets in the way of their ability to provide the care that they so much want to give! That is what Nursing and Nurses are all about.

    I thank all of the Nurses out there for giving your all inspite of the many, MANY obstacles that you all face everyday. I thank you for caring enough to go into a profession, not for the glory, but because you want to care for the patient as a whole.

    Sincerely,
    Jay
    Last edit by jb2u on Aug 15, '06
  3. by   leslie :-D
    i don't think nurses are all angels of mercy: that would be 1 end of the spectrum.
    the other end of the spectrum: beastly, problematic, defiant, disrespectful power-mongers- obviously this too, is an extreme.

    and that's why i struggle with this thread.
    the problems the op has encountered with nsg, seems to pull to the other exteme in the aforementioned spectrum.
    we all know there are some beasts out there, that work as nurses.
    but to encounter so many?
    it's just not credible.
    i would be interested in knowing what all these other nurses had to say about this pa- how did he come across? what was their impression?
    there are 2 sides here.
    we are only hearing one.
    but i am glad to hear that he has found a place of employment where he feels welcomed.

    leslie
  4. by   SkateBetty
    Quote from begalli
    I might, maaaaaybe try sticking the patient once that's it - and I wouldn't even try that hard. I can see refusing to stick an IVDA for an PIV. The reason would be because it's futile and I would fight tooth and nail over this. The patient needs a central line due to the fact that their veins are shot, literally.
    What could you possibly be talking about? The question of the IV is not technical in nature but has to do with which medicines may be given once it's placed.
  5. by   PACPhD
    Quote from JazzyRN
    I must admit I tend to agree with SkateBetty, these stories do seem quite unbelievable.

    Like I stated earlier there are two sides to every story. For a FEW nurses to tell you that "they were gonna make your life as miserable as possible until you quit." This leads me to believe you were doing something to make these nurses dislike you. Or are we to believe that this what all these nasty nurses in this hospital tell all PAs and MDs? Im not saying that if that was the statement made, that it was appropriate and professional, but Im very certain that a statement that strong wasnt unprovoked. Please do tell the WHOLE story of what led up to that statement being made to you by a FEW nurses.

    Now this statement by the OP:

    "I have actually had union nurses tell the physicians on numerous occasions "I'm union, what are you going to do, fire me?"

    It just doesnt make sense or ring true to me as something a nurse would say, let alone MANY nurses on NUMEROUS occasions. Nursing is a distinct and different profession from medicine. I dont know of any doctor that can fire a nurse in the hospital setting. They dont have control over hiring and firing of nurses. Thats were nursing administration comes in. All nurses realize that, so I have a hard time believing that a number of nurses would make a statement such as this over and over again implying that the doctor had some authority over them keeping their job, union or not. Please respond.
    It was a hospital in Bay Shore, Long Island where two of the nurses loved to tell the director and anyone else who would listen that line. My fiance at the time was an ER attending physician. She told me one of the nurses played passive agressive with her during a code and said "sorry, I don't know how to work the paddles, you will have to come over here to do it your self". The attending was livid and demanded the ED director do something because this was typical of some of the staff. He said "she has a file over an inch thick with complaints and every time we go after her, the union backs her. We don't bother anymore. Then there was Brooklyn. That is where the charge nurse and the two others let me and the director know when and from whom they would take orders.

    And I do know that doctors usually have no say over the hiring and firing of nurses, although in one place they had some say. Regardless, the nurses seemed to take pleasure in saying that.

    As far as the nurses who's mission statement was to make my life a miserable hell, their problem stemmed from the previous group had lost it's contract and we were all new. They didn't know any of us and didn't really seem to want to get to know us. They liked the old group and decided to do what ever it took to make us quit. It wasn't a PA issue. That was the hospital where they ripped up my prescriptions and refused the LP kit. Another interesting story, they would insist that any patient who was given a narcotic could not be D/C for 2 hours. They of course would try to talk everyone out of taking the medication by threatening that the could not leave for "another 2 hours if you take this medication". I was told it was hosptial policy. I asked for the policy many times. It took about a month before the hosital nursing administrator came to the ED. She asked for "that doctor who keeps insisting on the narcotics policy". I told her it was me. She shoved the book at me and said "here, now maybe you'll believe the nurses". She was quite pissed. I read the paragraph and it said "2 hours or until the physician (or PA) feels it appropriate. I pointed this out to her and advised her that according to the policy, I could allow the patients to be D/C when I felt appropriate. She grabbed the book from me, and yelled, "that is not how we follow the policy here" and stormed away. Go figure.
    Last edit by PACPhD on Aug 15, '06
  6. by   ortess1971
    Sorry, I agree with the people who smell a troll.....
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from oONurseSharkOo
    were most of the hospitals you worked at union? if so i think therin lies your answer
    Union shop where I work and TRUST ME; we would NEVER Get away with these types of bad behaviors and doctors and APNs have a LOT of say over who stays or goes, in many cases---esp in extreme ones like these. Their input is MORE than valued by our admin. With proper paper trails and documentation, it's not hard to fire a nurse where I work. But this is the KEY: PROPER PAPER TRAILING AND DOCUMENTATION. Without these, it's hard to make a case, and rightfully so! I hate to see anyone "railroaded" out of a job by unfair mgt/admin practices.

    This is such a common assumption w/union shops; no nurses can be fired. SO NOT TRUE.

    I wish we could stick to facts and stop w/generalizations here. It would add so much more to the conversation and working out resolutions to conflicts. This is as true here at these boards as it is in real life.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Aug 15, '06
  8. by   PACPhD
    Quote from ortess1971
    Sorry, I agree with the people who smell a troll.....
    Yes, I am making this all up.

    I don't understand what possible rationale I could have for this. If I wanted to do some nurse bashing this would not be the place to do it. I would go where none of you could defend yourselves. And that is not what I am looking to do. I just wanted to start some dialogue on a very touch subject, and that there is a very concentrated group of nurses in a particular area who seem to have run amuch with their profession and have given it a bad name, at least to anyone who has had the misfortune of working in those hositals. I was just giving my story, I guess for some, and I hate to use the word, validation that this goes on.
  9. by   rn/writer
    Quote from PACPhD
    So what gives? I have never seen a profession where so many are hateful, unprofessional, uncaring about their responsibilities (patients) and could care less about how little they are performing their jobs. This did not appear to be the minority in any of the places I had previously worked. Have I just had the bad luck to have picked 8 out of 10 of some of the worst places?
    This quote from your original post expresses a need to let off steam and ask why there's such craziness in some people and some workplaces. Don't have any easy answers about the craziness, just the same questions you do. As for the ranting, we all need to do that from time to time.

    Having now vented, I hope you are feeling better and have come away at least a little reassured that we are not all like the nightmare nurses you described. I hope, too, that the nurses in your current workplace have helped to alter your perspective. It sounds like you've found a sense of connection with them, and it also sounds like you have been able to look at this job as the fresh start you needed.

    I doubt that there's anything to be gained by trying to convince other posters of the veracity of your accounts. Some will believe you and some won't, no matter what you say.

    It does seem clear that you have been through a stressful and difficult time, and, more important, that you are now very possibly on the mend.

    Is there anything further we can do to help you move forward and leave the bad ol' days behind?
    Last edit by rn/writer on Aug 15, '06
  10. by   rach_nc_03
    OK, here's my take on the subject.

    i don't think that, in my experiences, the percentages match up with those the OP cited, but I've been amazed at the childish, unprofessional way I've been treated by some nurses. Before you lambaste me, note that I said SOME- not all. I've not been treated badly by any of the MD/PA/DO staff members I've worked with. Is my experience the exception to the rule? Maybe so. But I've had many, many jobs outside of healthcare- and even when I was cleaning cat poop out of litterboxes at a pet store, I was never treated with the disrespect I've experienced by some coworkers within nursing.

    Some examples:

    -had a preceptor grab my hand while I was connecting some IV tubing (wasn't connected to the patient, btw) and scream, "what's your PROBLEM?? ARE YOU STUPID??" This was in front of the patient's family and half a dozen other staff members. Yes, I was connecting the tubing incorrectly. It was something I'd not done before, and I was nowhere near hooking it up to the patient.

    -as a CNA, I had a nurse scream at me for not jumping up to turn off a light a millisecond after he barked at me to do it.

    -after a night shift, I asked the day shift nurse if she was ready to take report. She looked at me, rolled her eyes, then TURNED HER BACK ON ME and spent 15 minutes telling another nurse about her date the night before. When I told her again (in a very neutral tone) that I needed to give her report, she snapped, "I'm BUSY, and you just have to wait!"

    -I had a nurse manager follow me into the bathroom- while patients' family members were in it- to yell at me for not giving an employee her annual TB test within 15 minutes of her asking for it.

    -I had coworkers on one unit completely fabricate statements I'd made, then run to tattle on me to the unit manager. When I (calmly) said I'd not made those statements, the manager told me she would always believe the other staff members who'd been there longer than me.

    -I used the word 'plethora' in casual conversation with a nurse, who then told several coworkers I was uppity and thought I was better than everyone because I used 'dictionary' words. (Her words, not mine.)

    We all know that negative experiences leave a longer-lasting impression than those that are positive. One nasty comment can make an otherwise pleasant day a crappy one. Did I have *only* negative experiences with my fellow nurses? Of course not! But at the time these incidents took place, they overshadowed any other positive or neutral events.

    When I was still working in these environments- which were clearly toxic (they all happened at 2 facilities)- I felt that most nurses must be bitter, nasty people, and I questioned my decision to enter the profession. After being away from them for a while, and working somewhere with professional, respectful coworkers, I gained perspective.

    Was it coincidence that my interactions with colleagues were more pleasant in a place where nurses were well-compensated, respected, and treated as professionals? I don't think so.

    I think that my experiences- and probably those of the OP- illustrate a fundamental problem within healthcare. Nurses are, by and large, overworked, underpaid, and disrespected by patients, families, coworkers, management- pretty much everyone. My friends outside of healthcare were appalled at the paltry salary that hospital nurses are paid for such a high-stress, difficult job. Compound that with unhealthy physical conditions (never getting lunch breaks, standing for 12 hours, inadequate assistance with lifting and moving patients), and it's not surprising that some nurses are surly, nasty people.

    But is that an excuse for the behavior? Not at all. Sadly, though, we all know that it doesn't take much for one toxic coworker to pollute the entire environment.

    I believe the OP's accounts. I don't think the nasty, unprofessional nurses he's encountered are representative of nurses as a whole; I *do* think that they- and their ilk- contribute to burnout among other nurses, the 'nurses eating their young' phenomenon, and the lack of respect given to nurses by others.

    How can this be fixed? I'm not sure- but it's going to take a shift in how we view ourselves, and how we treat each other- and everyone else- in the workplace.

    To the OP, I'm glad you've found a good work environment. When you encounter one of these types of nurses again (and you will), take them aside and try to find out why they're acting the way they are. You seem articulate- speak to them with respect, and see if you can get to the root of the problem. At worst, you'll tick them off and they'll continue to be nasty and rude with you- so, nothing lost. But maybe, you'll make them reflect on their words and actions, and they'll change a bit.

    Imagine what could happen if just *one* toxic coworker you've had (and I'm speaking to everyone here, not just the OP) changed their attitude and behavior a little bit?
  11. by   mercyteapot
    It sounds to me as if what you don't understand is the attitude and behavior of certain nurses. It really doesn't have much to do with not understanding nursing.
  12. by   happymedium
    I have been an RN for three years, and can relate to alot of what the OP has written. I experienced some similar treatment by instructors in nursing school, degrading, demeaning, offensive behavior. In my first job out of school I experienced this in my first job on a med/surg unit by the other nurses, some of the cnas and ancillary staff. I was never rude or degrading to anyone, all I can figure is there were out to "eat their young". I worked in the position one year, then changed jobs to my current one. I am sad to say I am now working in toxic environment that was much worse than the original place. It is unionized and has had some difficulties which I am sure have added to the toxicity, however this in no way excuses the behaviors and the attacks and bullying I have had to endure. I am sorry I stayed there for the past two years, it has been a huge mistake. I thought it best to try and gut it out, but it has only gotten worse. To those who don't believe this is possible, do an online search of toxic workplaces, bullying bosses: there are numerous books and websites on the subject. The stress is horrible and real. Why would anyone want to make ups something so unpleasant is beyond me. I am currently seeking employment else where and am waiting for the word so I can give my two week notice. I only hope I can survive this experience without any more physical or pyschological damage.
  13. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from happymedium
    I have been an RN for three years, and can relate to alot of what the OP has written. I experienced some similar treatment by instructors in nursing school, degrading, demeaning, offensive behavior. In my first job out of school I experienced this in my first job on a med/surg unit by the other nurses, some of the cnas and ancillary staff. I was never rude or degrading to anyone, all I can figure is there were out to "eat their young". I worked in the position one year, then changed jobs to my current one. I am sad to say I am now working in toxic environment that was much worse than the original place. It is unionized and has had some difficulties which I am sure have added to the toxicity, however this in no way excuses the behaviors and the attacks and bullying I have had to endure. I am sorry I stayed there for the past two years, it has been a huge mistake. I thought it best to try and gut it out, but it has only gotten worse. To those who don't believe this is possible, do an online search of toxic workplaces, bullying bosses: there are numerous books and websites on the subject. The stress is horrible and real. Why would anyone want to make ups something so unpleasant is beyond me. I am currently seeking employment else where and am waiting for the word so I can give my two week notice. I only hope I can survive this experience without any more physical or pyschological damage.
    Personally, it isn't that I don't believe such things can happen. I just don't believe that they are unique to nursing.

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