Nurses Get No Respect

  1. I have been away from the bedside for three years now. After my first week at my desk job, I realized I hated bedside nursing with a passion. Why? Because it was one of the most stressful jobs in the world, and realized we (along with Rodney Dangerfield) got no respect.
    Throw everything in the world at the nurses and then make them feel an inch tall if they could not perform as superwoman!
    Take eight or nine patients on stepdown! If anyone complains, tell them how incompetent they are!
    Discharge all seven patients you started out with on your shift, and take on eight new ones and how DARE you get confused about who you have and what they need!
    What do you MEAN you can't work another eight hour shift because your relief didn't show up and the office doesn't want to pay for agency?
    You want to take a VACATION??? What if we can't find coverage for your shifts? Well, you'll just come in to work anyway, won't you? What do you mean, H3ll no!??
    This patient's coding, this patient is bleeding out and why can't you get a coke for the patient's family next door to the code?
    I quit my weekend bedside job right after my first week at this job. A job where I was treated with respect, asked if things were understood and never treated if I was incompetent if they weren't, a place where even though the job has gotten 200% harder since I started, has never come CLOSE to being as miserable as I was on the floor.
    And by on the floor, I mean I have worked hospital, nursing home/rehabs, agency, home health, private duty. Twenty three years of that cr*p, and I had enough. Nursing has to be changed to be sure we are respected, and by that I mean, given sufficient staff to handle what is going on, nursing management who jumps in and helps out when everything is going straight to h3ll, and nursing staff recognized as being slightly more important than just pooperscoopers and wait staff.
    I loved what nursing is supposed to be. I did not love nursing as it is, at the bedside.
    Sorry, just reading all these posts from people on the floor suddenly made me have to vent about all this stuff.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   fungez
    Amen, sister! (but you're preaching to the choir). What job do you have now and are there any openings?
  4. by   nervousnurse
    Agreed with every word of your post!!!

    I'd also love to know what type of job you have now....

    The other night, I felt like I had just "had it"....ugh! I HATE it when you are sooo nice to a patient, and you
    make one TEENSY error, go ask for HELP, but even then, the patient grumbled "it's nice to have someone who KNOWS WHAT THEY"RE DOING!".....oh for goodness sakes, I KNEW what I was DOING, and in the patient's BEST INTEREST, I went and got HELP......better than some nurses I've seen who will PRETEND they know something because their fragile ego doesn't allow them to ASK someone, and WHO ends up suffering? the PATIENT....but patients don't see it that way, so I seemed incompetent to the patient and she was RUDE.....THANKS!!!!!!! .............arrrggghhhh!!!
  5. by   HawaiiRose
    Sorry Karo, but I disagree. Respect is something that is earned. Anyone who walks to a bedside EXPECTING others to act a certain way is sure to be disappointed. If you are a confident, kind and professional healthcare provider, you can have the ultimate in career and personal satisfaction.
  6. by   country mom
    I'm glad that you found a job where you feel personally fulfilled and respected; it's a good indication that you found the right job for you. However, all readers beware: not all "desk jobs" are personally fulfilling, surrounded by a loving crowd of cheering and respectful admirers, lest this degrade into an "us vs. them" conversation. Respect yourself first, and respect who you are. Even if others act disrespectful to you, at least you can look yourself in the mirror each day and like who you are.
  7. by   Simply Complicated
    Like anything else, there are the good and the bad. But I do agree, we don't get the respect we deserve. I too would like to know what kind of job you are working now!
  8. by   ittibittinurse
    I see alot of posts about flood nursing but critical care nursing has its issues. Staffing is not as it should be....no disrespect meant when I type this...but I can wing it with caring for floor patients than unit patients....unit patients are sicker than floor patients and really do require a nurse literally at the bedside, but I am finding when I work in different critical care units. I have to take 3 or 4 patients on vents, with swanz, balloon pumps, and ventric's in the head.....now they want one nurse to take two fresh CABGs post op, recover them and wean them, extubate them,etc.....yes, it is stressful...and I fee impossible....not sure how long I will stay with this job because I feel alittle overwhelmed...as for management stepping in to help out...they are not clinically sound...haven't touched patients is such a long time they do not know how to take care of patients.....thoughts or comments??
  9. by   lkwashington
    Quote from ittibittinurse
    I see alot of posts about flood nursing but critical care nursing has its issues. Staffing is not as it should be....no disrespect meant when I type this...but I can wing it with caring for floor patients than unit patients....unit patients are sicker than floor patients and really do require a nurse literally at the bedside, but I am finding when I work in different critical care units. I have to take 3 or 4 patients on vents, with swanz, balloon pumps, and ventric's in the head.....now they want one nurse to take two fresh CABGs post op, recover them and wean them, extubate them,etc.....yes, it is stressful...and I fee impossible....not sure how long I will stay with this job because I feel alittle overwhelmed...as for management stepping in to help out...they are not clinically sound...haven't touched patients is such a long time they do not know how to take care of patients.....thoughts or comments??
    I really disappointment with some management due to lack clinical experience. A nurse manager should always be ready to work the unit or just join in to help when needed. They should be able to come in when their unit is short and help. This would be how a nurse manager keep their staff. If a nurse manager unable work the unit or help; the unit is going to even shorter due to nurses leaving. I know they cant work everyday of the week. They are able to work a four hour block, help with admissions, and/or pass meds. I know of one nurse manager where I work would not help her staff on the floor. The way her staff talks about her she dont care about a lot of things. To each is own. I am going to do the best I can and cover my butt.
  10. by   NightNurseRN
    Where do you work now OP? I want a desk job!
  11. by   healthstar
    Don't respect the ones that don't respect you. You have to gain respect..it is not granted.
  12. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I work for a major insurance company reviewing claims. There are annoying moments in this job as well, but nothing like when I had was on the floor. As a matter of fact, the worst problem I have on a daily basis is getting people to send me faxes in a timely manner.

    And the person who stated respect is earned - indeed it should be. But when nursing management treats all nurses as though they are expendable, like kleenex, and burdens them with workloads that are dangerous to both patient and nurse alike, I think there is sufficient evidence that they are not even trying to treat the nurses with respect. And when the nurses say oh wait a minute here, Fred! We are NOT taking NINE patients a piece on step down, you need to get us some more help up here and they act like we are kindergarteners who can't color in the lines, well, that is just not acceptable to me. And its not just me, and its not just the places I have worked. I see it daily on all nurses, as well as from nurses I know in other positions.
  13. by   melek23
    OP I couldn't agree with you more. You summed it up well. I left my previous career of eleven years to become a nurse and enter a respectable position. What many of us in the health care industry don't consider is that every expert was once a beginner.

    In nursing it is frowned upon when we don't know something. I remember being at a job for three days and I asked a fellow nurse a question, her response was very abrupt and condescending. I have never heard of lateral violence in any other profession besides nursing (please correct me if I am wrong on this).
    I don't believe in staying in a profession that makes me unhappy and I also am considering many different avenues in order to move away from bedside nursing.

    My former CEO's response to an employee complaint was that life is about choices, you chose to be a ........ and I chose to be a CEO. I thought about this statement for awhile and I realized his point. He is absolutely right we can't control other people's actions but we can control our responses and (re)actions to a given situation. Unfortunately this involves many nurses moving away from the bedside.

    I would like to leave off with this quote "Time spent criticizing others is time wasted improving yourself."
  14. by   BabyLady
    I couldn't disagree with the OP more.

    Especially when according to the Gallop poll where Nurses were listed as the NUMBER ONE most respected profession every year since 1999, with the exception of 2001.

    Every day, a family member thanks me.

    Every day, a co-worker thanks me for helping her.

    Every day, I have a positive interaction with a physician.

    Every time someone asks what I do and I tell them I'm a nurse, their first response is "Wow, that's a tough job, but rewarding."

    Yes, there are crappy bosses sometimes, co-workers that are difficult, the occasional bad family member or difficult patient.

    I can assure you, every profession has it's "moments"...but the only thing that is making me what to leave the profession is not my manager, or the physicians or the patients or families...it's the other nurses.

    We are our own worst enemy in this profession...no question in my mind on that one.

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