Nurses as day laborers (rant) - page 2

I was replying to another thread on the paltry pay we receive for working the weird hours we do, and it occured to me that, as a professional who holds so much responsibilty, my pay "bonuses" are... Read More

  1. by   RNOTODAY
    I agree with the OP. I have become very disenchanted with the whole nursing profession, period. Yes, many professionals feel devalued, overworked, but the professional livelihood, and LICENCES (because not all even have one) are not at risk. If a teacher has a bad day, she is irritated, a student gets upset, whatever... and that usually is the extent of it. If a RN has a bad day, a PERSON could be physically hurt, or even die, and your responsible. WE have to give life saving medication, but if we miss a wrong calculation written by a medical doctor , and we give the ordered dose/med, and something happens? Its our butts in a sling. Emmense responsibility, zero authority, zero autonomy. But, I am not saying anything any of you dont allready know.... If I knew of a field that would grant me at least $20 an hour with good benefits.I would run to it in a second.... but for now, I am looking for the least nursing job I can find. If my daughter wants to be a nurse, I told her she can pay for it herself. .....
  2. by   AfloydRN
    The last time I complained on here about the mass amounts of responsibility we are given I was told of course you assume responsibility for 10 patients and if you don't want to you shouldn't be a nurse. You cannot safely and adequately take care of 10-12 post-op/ post cvl patients every day and not miss something. Someone gets slighted. It's simply not safe. Our manager looks great though.. we are always below budget!
  3. by   RunningWithScissors
    My base pay is 65,000/year and that is working 36/hrs/week and taking 4 weeks vacation every year. With overtime I was able to make 87,000 last year and because of the flexible schedule and having 4 days/week off I was able to actually take 7 week long vacations. I dont think police,firemen, lawyers are afforded that much time off because their schedules arent as flexible as ours.
    Kymmi, I don't know where you are working, but honey, sounds like you're in shangri-la.

    We do accumulate ETO, but can only take it once a year; most of it gets used up standing by on availabilily, not real "vacation time".

    I don't know who pays that kind of wages. Either you're miscalcuating, or unionized.....probably you are living on one of the coasts where a 2 bedroom 1 bath house goes for a million dollars. In that case, your wages aren't comparable to the mainstream, just inflated to match your area.

    Flexible scheduling here means you flex to the employer's will, not otherwise.
  4. by   Jennifer, RN
    I agree with OP.
    I work my a** off, overtime and call shifts, and managed to make 50K this past year. But, w/o the OT, my yearly earnings would be at least 10K less. My husband, who is a high school teacher, has better and cheaper insurance through his job than I do WORKING IN A HOSPITAL!!!! We get 2 weeks vacation time a year, but told if and when we can use it. I work 12 hr shifts w/o eating or peeing most of the time, am verbally abused by our "customers" daily, and not respected by doctors or management. And the public thinks that all I do is wipe butts for a living. I now have chronic back pain and an anxiety d/o, which I didn't have prior to becoming a nurse.
    As soon as my kids are all in school, my plan is to go back to school for another degree and get the heck out of nursing.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from clee1
    There are more and more men entering nursing all the time.

    Just relax, honey. Give us time and we'll fix it.

    (tongue planted firmly in cheek....)
    And men are quitting the profession at TWICE the rate as women. I guess that means that many of them are not up to the task.
  6. by   theofficegirl
    Quote from RunningWithScissors

    As for what I would do if someone handed me the $$ to go back to school and all obligations were met, I'd go to law school in a heartbeat. And I'd make a darn good lawyer at that.
    You might make a darn good lawyer. But don't jump ship too fast. Law school is more "who you know" than "what you know". Even getting into a law firm as a paralegal is impossible if you don't know the right people.

    Then again, this might vary state-by-state.

    Like we nursing-types, I have a friend who's been interested in law since she was a kid. Circumstances put her in college at around age 26, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and scored high on the LSAT (Law school entrance exam). Seven schools turned her down because she doesn't have an endorsement from a highly respected Attorney.

    I'm really not trying to discourage anyone, but this is just one example. I have known more people trying to get into law shool on their own merit, only to be passed over for a "C" student who's daddy knows the assistant state attorney.

    It's pathetic. At least nursing (to my knowlege) doesn't work this way.
  7. by   kate1114
    Quote from theofficegirl
    You might make a darn good lawyer. But don't jump ship too fast. Law school is more "who you know" than "what you know". Even getting into a law firm as a paralegal is impossible if you don't know the right people.

    Then again, this might vary state-by-state.

    Like we nursing-types, I have a friend who's been interested in law since she was a kid. Circumstances put her in college at around age 26, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and scored high on the LSAT (Law school entrance exam). Seven schools turned her down because she doesn't have an endorsement from a highly respected Attorney.
    My husband is currently finishing up law school (YEAH!!!) and didn't have the same situation. He looked at the averages for GPA and LSAT and applied to many schools. He didn't get into schools that had lower acceptance criteria, including a school from which I have 2 degrees and for which his Grandfather was a donor! He did get into a school in another state (the only acceptance out of about 7-8 applications). We moved and the rest is history.

    There were a lot of law schools that he didn't apply to because of their reputations. If he hadn't made it into the tier he wanted, he was poised to go for another round of applications to less selective schools.

    So it very well may have been the schools she applied to. I was shocked at some of the schools he *didn't* get into, since his GPA was so much higher than the average. OTOH, I have a friend who knows someone who didn't get into my husband's school, and she jokes that my husband took his spot.

    Law school admissions are a bit of a mystery, but it's sad if she tried once and then gave up. References are important, but all of my husband's references were from his professors from his bachelor's degree. He did a lot of research and discovered that many times people apply to up to 10 schools and if they are lucky they get into 1.

    It's not always favoritism, but it gets pretty tight when you have a lot of very intellegent, high achieving people who all want the same career.
  8. by   ben123
    Quote from caroladybelle
    And men are quitting the profession at TWICE the rate as women. I guess that means that many of them are not up to the task.

    May I ask where you got your statistics from.
  9. by   JennieO
    I think how you feel about your nursing compensation depends on where you live. My full-time salary with differential is $92,000/year. I am not at the top of the pay scale either. This is not per diem. I get good medical, dental, pension and approx 5 weeks of vacation per year. This salary allows most of us to work part-time which is a feature many professions do not allow.
  10. by   burn out
    I know that this may sound stupid but I really believe that it is the root of the problem as to why nurses are not valued by the hospital, patients and even doctors. When you look at a patients bill everything is itemized from lab and xrays to a bar of soap but yet no where do you see a charge for the nursing care they receive. How do we know our true value if there is no dollar amount applied to our service? How can we justify out work? Most hospitals pay their nurses from lab fees and room/board (sounds close to prostitution). Until nursing is costed out on the patients bill no one will know the true value of nurses.
  11. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from RunningWithScissors
    Kymmi, I don't know where you are working, but honey, sounds like you're in shangri-la.

    We do accumulate ETO, but can only take it once a year; most of it gets used up standing by on availabilily, not real "vacation time".

    I don't know who pays that kind of wages. Either you're miscalcuating, or unionized.....probably you are living on one of the coasts where a 2 bedroom 1 bath house goes for a million dollars. In that case, your wages aren't comparable to the mainstream, just inflated to match your area.

    Flexible scheduling here means you flex to the employer's will, not otherwise.
    I don't think she is miscalculating or unionized. Come to Arizona and work where there is a REAL nursing shortage. A 2 bedroom 1 bath house is not a million dollars and that kind of wage is very doable with one year experience! Or check out Nevada - another state that needs nurses badly.
  12. by   rn/writer
    My base pay is 65,000/year and that is working 36/hrs/week and taking 4 weeks vacation every year. With overtime I was able to make 87,000 last year and because of the flexible schedule and having 4 days/week off I was able to actually take 7 week long vacations. I dont think police,firemen, lawyers are afforded that much time off because their schedules arent as flexible as ours.
    If I worked full time, I would be in this same range with about the same amount of vacation time.

    This salary allows most of us to work part-time which is a feature many professions do not allow.
    Agreed. The ability to work part time is a rarity and can offset some of the negatives.

    Another positive aspect is the ability to change specialty areas. After 3-5 years of residency, docs certainly don't have this option. Heck, you don't even have to have direct patient contact. There are jobs in Utililization Review and Quality Control and other such positions that are completely insulated from working with the public. Of course, those jobs have their own headaches.

    So many people put in long hours doing grueling work in unpleasant or even hazardous conditions for less than half of what I make. I'm mostly happy with my current job, but then I don't work med/surg.

    If you can't stand what you're doing (either because of job description itself or because of an impossible patient load), the money is a secondary issue. They couldn't pay me enough to do some jobs.

    Conversely, if you like what you're doing, but the pay is substandard, that is another can of worms.

    Unionization may solve some of these problems, but it's certainly no quick fix.

    A big thanks to those of you who are looking for ways, both practical and political, to fix the problems. And a thank you to those of you who can and do set limits on the extras you will do to offset the need to hire more staff. I understand that not everyone is in a position to refuse, but the more we resist being spread thinner and thinner, the more likely that management will have to look elsewhere for real solutions to understaffing.

    One thing we can all agree on: there are no easy answers.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Good post Miranda - :flowersfo

    I work part-time in a small rural hospital and make $40,000, give or take a few $$. I take 3 weeks in the summer to go to Vietnam on a medical mission. I do not make as much an hour as the hospitals pay 70 miles down the road in the "big city".

    I also qualify for insurance, however it is costly.

    I'm too old and set in my ways to put up with some of the stuff people post on here. Understaffing. Patient ratio problems. Etc.

    Everyone has a different story - in a way maybe that is one of the good things about nursing - the diversity and chance to change your life if you don't like the job you have - there is another one out there that is better.

    steph

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