Nursing has been a HUGE disappointment

  1. I am a new nurse. I have been working for 6 months as an RN. I keep questioning what did I do? I don't understand how we can work so hard to get here. Most days I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. There's all the emphasis on the patients and their rights and safety, but no one cares if the nurse eats, drinks, or goes to the restroom. She's expected to be in 5 places at once, have a great attitude, smile and be compassionate, even if there's urine running down her leg. 30 minutes is deducted from my time, for lunch. It doesn't matter if I get the lunch or not.

    So, how ethical can nursing as a whole be, when they treat us like animals? There are nurses at top of the hierarchy. Actually, I wouldn't allow my animals to go without food, water, and relieving themselves from time to time. We're still human beings.

    I dont one know how to make it better. God knows I pray for a change, patience, tolerance, and even a better attitude. I still find myself regretting my decision. So, what do I do? I am in med surg. I don't want to be here, but I have no confidence that my feelings will change even in an area of interest.

    I am approaching the end of my first semester of my MSN degree. I keep thinking I should go back and get a degree in something else so I can leave, and never look back. I am already in debt for this crap.

    I only know of one union hospital in the area and I've applied, but no one wants to hire a new nurse. Funny, I had 4 job offers before graduating, but I can't get one call back on hundreds of applications now.

    Nursing shouldn't be a choice, it should be a sentence.
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   JBMmom
    Wow, I'm sorry to read that you're so appalled by the position you now find yourself in as a nurse. Were your clinical experiences so different from your experience now? How did you expect that it would be different? As far as the points about getting something to eat, drink, go to the bathroom and get a lunch- you're right that no one is going to "offer" you that time. You need to learn to take it yourself, no one's "letting" you go without the basic necessities. Goodness, no one expects you to urinate on yourself so you can get someone else their pain medicine. You're still new and working on time management, you need to find a minute to get a drink and use the bathroom. Yes, there's an emphasis on patient satisfaction, and you are expected to provide care in not only a competent manner, but with a positive tone. Certainly if I or my loved one were patients, I wouldn't want a nurse that projected the attitude of hating her job, it's not really the fault of the patient that they are there and need care. I hope that you're able to find some good in your job, otherwise you might be right that looking for something else is best for you.
  4. by   SaltySarcasticSally
    I think many, many new grads feel what you feel. Floor nursing as a whole isn't the happiest place to work in right now.

    I had 8 years LPN experience before my RN so while the nurse as servant business is not new to me, the way hospitals run in the most asinine way is. Its like they are run by people who have no common sense. Prime example is that when our support services do not do their job, the floor nurses and PCAs are to do instead. Transport not making it there in a timely manner? Now we transport our own patients all over the hospital. How bouts fixing transports problems and not putting it on the floor staff's lap?

    Over half my floor are new grads that want to leave at the 1 year mark, including myself. Not because I want to move to a better floor but because I'm never working in acute care after a year an am going back to ambulatory care that I did as an LPN. Every job has its cons but there I always got a lunch break and felt like I could do my job well.

    Sad thing is, I would actually love floor nursing and feel I would one day be really good at it but I refuse to keep being the root of the hospitals problems and solutions for longer than necessary...

    So yes, disappointing is the best word to describe acute care right now. But there are other options so try to keep that in mind until you land a new job. It is great experience although a disheartening and draining one at the same time.
  5. by   msannaa7711
    Last night I was asked to sit one to one with the patient. I asked for a break for like 3 1/2 hours so that I could get something to eat and drink and go to the bathroom. If I took the time myself, I would probably be in pretty big trouble .
  6. by   msannaa7711
    I manage well when I am not assigned 1-1, Which seems to happen pretty often. on the floor I have my time management so that I can go to the bathroom, have a bite to eat, and my patients are going without for me to do that . Yes, my clinical experience was different
  7. by   Rocknurse
    I'm not sure what you were expecting right out of the gate. Nursing has been good to me....I am grateful for it. Yes some jobs have been harder than others but there are many, many places you can work besides the place you're at. I've been in nursing longer than you and where I work I can arrive and leave when I want, drink coffee all day, take vacation whenever I want, work from home, and a myriad of other perks because I earned it. I paid my dues, earned my stripes and dedicated decades of my life to nursing and worked my way up the hierarchy. You start at the bottom and you keep working and climbing until you get where you want to be. Nursing has afforded me a career, money, travel and all sorts of things that I would never have gotten if I hadn't entered this profession. Stick at it and aim where you want to be. You don't just start out with the perfect job and you can't expect to have the perfect job right away. Nursing is hard but if you know how to navigate the system you can do very well and find a great work/life balance.
  8. by   JBMmom
    Quote from msannaa7711
    Last night I was asked to sit one to one with the patient. I asked for a break for like 3 1/2 hours so that I could get something to eat and drink and go to the bathroom. If I took the time myself, I would probably be in pretty big trouble .
    Well, sitting 1:1 is a completely different ball game, that's not your regular nursing assignment and you do obviously need to be relieved for breaks. I can understand the frustration with that situation, but is it happening that often? Why are nurses sitting? And if you call the nursing supervisor, you should definitely be able to get your break.
  9. by   Crush
    Quote from JBMmom
    Wow, I'm sorry to read that you're so appalled by the position you now find yourself in as a nurse. Were your clinical experiences so different from your experience now? How did you expect that it would be different? As far as the points about getting something to eat, drink, go to the bathroom and get a lunch- you're right that no one is going to "offer" you that time. You need to learn to take it yourself, no one's "letting" you go without the basic necessities. Goodness, no one expects you to urinate on yourself so you can get someone else their pain medicine. You're still new and working on time management, you need to find a minute to get a drink and use the bathroom. Yes, there's an emphasis on patient satisfaction, and you are expected to provide care in not only a competent manner, but with a positive tone. Certainly if I or my loved one were patients, I wouldn't want a nurse that projected the attitude of hating her job, it's not really the fault of the patient that they are there and need care. I hope that you're able to find some good in your job, otherwise you might be right that looking for something else is best for you.
    Exactly. The first year is certainly the hardest. I recall feeling horrible at times cause no breaks ( but I always make sure I am getting at the very least breaks to go to the bathroom ), no lunches. But, I learned to carry hard candy in my pockets that I could sneak now & then just in case, or have a granola bar available to take a bite of if possible, etc. Get creative with your work environment.
    Quote from msannaa7711
    Last night I was asked to sit one to one with the patient. I asked for a break for like 3 1/2 hours so that I could get something to eat and drink and go to the bathroom. If I took the time myself, I would probably be in pretty big trouble .
    I assume you meant you waited 3 1/2 hours to ask about a break. Sitting with a patient in a 1:1 situation is different of course. If your co-workers were ignoring you so as to not help you then they are very good co-workers. Perhaps you could make your needs known in a different manner next time, or have a pre-arranged plan made during report? Could you ask for help and then offer to reciprocate later? Communication with team mates is key. I do hope you find some things that you do like about your job soon though and wish you the best.
  10. by   msannaa7711
    I wondered the same thing myself . Why are they paying an RN to sit there one to one? I'm spending about a shift a week doing this lately. I've never called the house supervisor and asked for a break, but maybe that's what I need to do .
  11. by   Crush
    Why would you need to call the house supervisor for a bathroom break? Why not ask a co-worker for help as they walk by or at the start of your shift say something?
  12. by   msannaa7711
    Umm no, I asked from 12:30 and was relieved around 4:15. About 1:30 I was told just give me a little bit longer. At three I was told I'll be in here in about 30 minutes.
  13. by   msannaa7711
    Of course I asked three times and it took 3 1/2 hours for someone to come and relieve me. Also, I was floated to a floor I had never been to.
  14. by   Crush
    Oh dear, that is awful. In that case, if no one is coming to help you then that is not acceptable. I know when I float I am treated very well by the unit cause they appreciate my coming to help. If I am sitting for a 1:1 staff usually asks if I need anything as they walk by. In this case, yes I would call the supervisor or charge nurse. Be sure to document no lunch too.
    Last edit by Crush on Nov 15

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