OK, maybe I've been reading the wrong Threads....

  1. I had no preconceived notion of WHAT Nursing was when I went back to school at age 30. Twelve years later, this is what I've learned about Nursing:

    Nursing is NOT a Fairy Tale...there very often is no "happily ever after." Yes, there are many times of great joy and accomplishment... but you're never given a guarantee.

    Nursing is HARD... as Nurses we face countless situations and crises each and everyday. Many of these have no solutions, no happy endings, no logical explainations. We deal with people who are not at their finest hour; they're scared, angry, confused, disillusioned and looking for something/someone to lash out at for their misery.

    Nursing requires FLEXIBILITY... we have to think fast, act even faster, be all things to all people all at the same time, react to changes in patient status quickly and expected to make the right decision.

    Nursing demands that we think OUTSIDE the box...that means looking at our Profession as more than just assisting a delivering mother, suctioning a trach patient, titrating a drip in ICU, to include educating family/friends/physicians/each other. To expect that the "typical" patient very likely will become "Atypical"... and at the worst possible time... and to accept that this happens, because it is entirely out of our control.

    Nursing is not about CONTROL...see above. You can't MAKE the COPD or PVD patient stop smoking, you can't MAKE the diabetic adhere to their diet, you can't MAKE the at risk mother-to-be follow doctors orders that can help ensure a safe, successful delivery, you can't MAKE the substance abuser abstain and you can't MAKE a new nurse not do all those things that new nurses do that make us all roll our eyes.

    Nursing is NOT 9-5, Monday thru Friday, Holidays Off...it is on occasion not spending your days safely cloistered in your specialty "niche"... because sometimes...even though you don't know everything about other areas of Nursing... you CAN provide a certain amount of care... care that would otherwise be unavailable at possibly a crucial moment on that Unit you've been asked to go to.

    Nursing requires COMPASSION; for our patient's (compliant or not), physicians, New Grads, families, ancillary personel, administrators, TPTB AND each other.

    Nursing requires TEAMWORK...even when you don't want to be a part of the team.

    Nursing is FRUSTRATING...and the best any of us can do sometimes, is to simply remember why we're where we are... and know in our hearts that today we did the best we could do for THAT particular day...and do this even when we don't feel like it, even when we sense something is unfair.

    Nursing offers OPPORTUNITIES... to make change in a patient's status, to comfort a grieving family, to realize changes in policy/protocol/procedures because we believe in what we do and we know that our actions can lead to an improvement in our Profession. Nursing offers countless opportunities for ourselves....

    Nursing is REWARDING... when miracles do occur...we're here to witness them in all their Glory.

    Nursing requires an Open Mind and an Open Heart...

    We need to support one another...regardless of what circumstances or situations brought us into the Profession called Nursing. We all come to this place with our own gifts and talents...and we need to ENCOURAGE each other so those gifts and talents may shine. We need to ACT in a Professional manner in dress and in conduct so that others around us will know and SEE the Professionals that we are.

    I'm not suggesting ANYONE just lie down and take what they're handed at work without question... We need to promote what needs promoting and work hard to rid our workplace of what needs to be removed. But there are those times in our Profession, as in Life, when we need to say "OK... today isn't the day to challenge this or that...today is a day to be the best Nurse I can be and face the other challenges at a more appropriate time."

    Choose your battles...time and place. Make those times of battle count and don't make EVERYDAY a battle. No one wants to work with someone like that. If you're argumentative on a regular basis, you're wearing out your co-workers... and your goal, however admirable and just, won't be heard.

    I appreciate and respect the opportunity this site provides for everyone to voice their opinon... TO VENT THEIR FRUSTRATIONS and to share their joys and victories... their fears and sorrows. I hope those of you who read this post will respect and appreciate my taking this opportunity to share my own views, and to read between the lines of my message. And if I've ever offended anyone on this site, my apologies... sometimes I feel the need to vent too.

    I love nursing... I admire and respect Nurses... and each and everyone of us deserves more recognition than any of us will ever get.

    Be kind....

    Peace
    Last edit by Fgr8Out on Jul 22, '02
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  2. 54 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Preach it sister! (standing ovation) Very well written, and respectfully noted. :kiss

    We aren't in a beauty pageant or an award winning movie, we are in a occupation that means getting grimy, dirty, sweaty, and often times feeling completely unappreciated in the process. The only shooting and shining star in the realm of nursing is the benefit of seeing what we do for patients by treating them, and hopefully making them better able to live a more productive life when discharged from our care. Great job Lori! :kiss :hatparty:
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 20, '02
  4. by   pebbles
    I love your post, Lori... agree with most of it.

    but this is also a place to vent too, and that is good. Letting off steam and all that.... we all need that from time to time.

    It isn't all bad here.... I think maybe you HAVE been reading the wrong threads. It can't all be positive thinking and vibes either.... balance is the key. And I think allnurses has a good balance.

    hmmm part of what stuck out to me was the terminology you quoted... hate, etc. People just talk like that in many areas of life right now. Good or bad, it is part of language evolution. Don't ya just hate that? .....
  5. by   Fgr8Out
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by cheerfuldoer

    We aren't in a beauty pageant or an award winning movie, we are in a occupation that means getting grimy, dirty, sweaty, and often times feeling completely unappreciated in the process. The only shooting and shining star in the realm of nursing is the benefit of seeing what we do for patients by treating them, and hopefully making them better able to live a more productive life when discharged from our care. Great job Lori! :kiss :hatparty:


    I've always known I had a kindred spirit with you... I'm very glad you were the first to reply to my post.
  6. by   Fgr8Out
    Originally posted by pebbles


    hmmm part of what stuck out to me was the terminology you quoted... hate, etc. People just talk like that in many areas of life right now. Good or bad, it is part of language evolution. Don't ya just hate that? .....
    ::roll ::roll ::roll
  7. by   live4today
    Lori........:kiss I'm glad you got to vent how you feel. Nursing is a tough job. I HATE the word "hate" too....but I HATE it being used in most aspects of life, but there it is.....up close and personal in our faces everyday. Many nurses are frustrated.....and rightly so.......but I always prefer to view my nursing years as the "glass half full" instead of "half empty" even if...on occasion...they were "half empty" more than "half full". Does that make sense to you? I prefer to dwell on the positive things that nursing use to be, what nursing still IS...and what nursing will always be. It helped to butter many slices of bread that satisfied my tummy and my children's tummies so I can't knock it one bit. Finding a solution to the problems in nursing is the only way to go. Venting is good to get it out, but once it's out......what then? How do WE as NURSES turn those problems into problems being solved? :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 20, '02
  8. by   Fgr8Out
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Venting is good to get it out, but once it's out......what then? How do WE as NURSES turn those problems into problems being solved? :kiss
    Good question!!

    I guess I generally start off by asking the questions: Why being the most prevalent. "Why do we do what we do when we do it the way that we do it?"

    I get a general sense of my peers on the issues...we come to a consensus and approach our Manager with our thoughts and ideas. Our Manager, in turn, follows up with TPTB... and we're given an answer in return. Of course, it's not always a favorable answer and we're required to rethink our original thoughts and forge off in another direction.

    You and I are a similar breed in that we are Optimists... as you said, viewing the glass as "half full." The Pessimists roll their eyes at us "goody two shoe Pollyannas." But, without Pessimists, we Optimists would wind up bearing the brunt of many unpleasant tasks. Pessimists have their rightful place right along side us... keeping the Optimists from being taken advantage of, so to speak. (is any of this rambling making any sense??)

    Patience, an open mind, respect for research based data, diplomacy and just plain old "getting along" are the keys to working well together.

    OK, I'm quite obviously delusional from fatigue... LOL ... I think I'll take myself to bed.

    Pleasant dreams everyone!!

    Peace
  9. by   live4today
    You are sounding alert and oriented to me......no rambling detected. :chuckle

    Sounds like a plan......nighty-night, Lori. I'll add more to our thoughts tomorrow as right now I'm starting to see double. Sweet dreams! :kiss
  10. by   tigger2sassy
    very well said lori-- my sentiments exactly-- we need more nurses like you-- may god richly bless you
  11. by   Nurse Ratched
    I've given your post a lot of thought. I see and admire your signature tagline of "no whining." But, I don't think pointing out that there are things wrong with how the medical system is set up, particularly in how it treats nurses, can automatically be construed as whining, or not being a team player.

    In another post, someone brought up the fact that she wasn't "supernurse." It took quite some time for me to realize that for myself - not that I thought I had all the skills, but I thought that I must be all things to all people and go and do where and what I was told regardless of how ridiculous it was.

    As you put in your post, I choose my battles. I have no problem doing what is required of me as a nurse - the good, the bad, and the ugly. But there are battle worth fighting and those I will. They don't overshadow the other important things we do in nursing; they only serve to make the experience better for those coming behind us.

    Part of what may originally be construed as whining or venting here is really the start of problem solving. We are so lucky to have so many other professionals with diffierent backgrounds and experiences - we will get a huge variety of responses and ideas and food for thought when we throw out a problem. There are some bad things which may seem inevitable to us as nurses, but that may only be because we haven't hit on a better alternative yet. What better place to cast about for those alternatives?

    Thanks for your post .
  12. by   micro
    figur8out....Lori,
    valid valid valid.........

    and very alert and oriented......

    hope this thread keeps going.....
    nurse ratched makes good points also....
    this turns into problem solving......
    starts out with the individual, but grows if we come into a kind of agreement for the day to day and for the overall scheme we find ourselves working in.....

    micro is
  13. by   RoadRunner
    Great thread!
    I think "whining" is not a problem as long as it doesn't mean you've given up.
    Choosing your battles and be the best you can be that day, for that patient. That's hard but someday that's the only thing that makes me go. When, as Lori says, you realise that it's not about control or changing someone, just helping.
    Yes, that is hard.......
  14. by   fedupnurse
    Iam one of the outspoken trouble makers at work and am forever telling people to stop whining and get active and do something about the situation. I agree with most of what you said Lori. I also agree that there are far too many people in life now who wait for the other guy to fix the things they don't like in their life.
    Well thought out and written Lori!

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