Problems with the aging nurses

  1. 1
    Hello Community!
    While this post may seem a little insensitive for some, others can totally relate. I shouldn't have to verbalize "age has nothing to do with the ability to do the job". But, as of recently the aging nursing population has refused to step down from the high paced work place environment when they clearly can see they're no longer fit to run with the 20-late 50's crowd. This is not to say some beyond their late 50s aren't able to hold their own, but I have a charge nurse who is well into her 70s who refuses to stand too long, assist patients with immobility issues, hell**excuse me** she refuses to work with patients with anything cardi related.
    The question is: when will nurses accept like with any other field you have to know when your body has had enough of the? While we need nurses, of course, are we that desperate that we place the burden on others to ration with the census?
    lindarn likes this.
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  3. 68 Comments so far...

  4. 12
    As a nurse in her 60's I feel qualified to comment. I can run with the best of 'em.
    When I no longer can.. I would NEVER expect special treatment.

    That issue sounds like .. you need to document.. document.. document and take it as high up the administrative ladder as it takes.
    fiveofpeep, GrnTea, imintrouble, and 9 others like this.
  5. 49
    while you may have a valid concern about your cn, i would caution you against stereotyping all nurses of a certain age, as each and every nurse is unique in their abilities and presentation.
    i'll make a deal with you:
    if you resist from condemning all middle-aged nurses as incapable, i will resist from condemning all 20-somethings, as cocky, arrogant, and short-sighted.

    deal?

    leslie
    ShayRN, MaryAnn_RN, GrnTea, and 46 others like this.
  6. 13
    Quote from leslie :-D
    if you resist from condemning all middle-aged nurses as incapable, i will resist from condemning all 20-somethings, as cocky, arrogant, and short-sighted.
    Well, (s)he does not seem to view the middle-aged nurses as 'aging.' The poster specifically mentions the '20 to late 50s crowd' as the age group who can keep up with the pace of floor nursing. Therefore, I conclude that this person is specifically referring to nurses who are 60 years of age or older as the ones who are 'aging.'

    Anyhow, stereotyping anyone is wrong. In fact, the nurse who moves at the fastest pace at my place of employment is in her late 60s and in better health than many of the nurses half her age.
    LTCangel, imintrouble, NurseLoveJoy88, and 10 others like this.
  7. 12
    I suspect many nurses will have to work longer because they have to.
    The "high paced work place environment" describes about 90% of nursing jobs available; often there is nowhere else to work.
    Artistyc1, GrnTea, cathy54, and 9 others like this.
  8. 10
    Quote from griffinchet
    Hello Community!
    While this post may seem a little insensitive for some, others can totally relate. I shouldn't have to verbalize "age has nothing to do with the ability to do the job". But, as of recently the aging nursing population has refused to step down from the high paced work place environment when they clearly can see they're no longer fit to run with the 20-late 50's crowd. This is not to say some beyond their late 50s aren't able to hold their own, but I have a charge nurse who is well into her 70s who refuses to stand too long, assist patients with immobility issues, hell**excuse me** she refuses to work with patients with anything cardi related.
    The question is: when will nurses accept like with any other field you have to know when your body has had enough of the? While we need nurses, of course, are we that desperate that we place the burden on others to ration with the census?
    Some like me can't handle it anymore and I, for the most part,am out of nursing. I have seen nurses in their eighty's run rings around the twenty year old's. It all depends on the Nurse. As long as they are sharp and the administration allow it. They can go until they drop dead. I had a fifty year old nurse drop dead right in front of me. They can be a resource at times because you don't get to be old being a fool. I've seen people that I have graduated with in high school died at half my age. One day you will be faced with old age too. It's hell. I remember that song "My Generation' by The Who. "hope I died before I get old" . For the nurse that you speak of, to quite Nursing is to die. Hope you never have to make that choice.
    cathy54, Lovely_RN, imintrouble, and 7 others like this.
  9. 15
    Someday, the whippersnapper OP will be "the older nurse." I wonder if she'll shuffle off when here younger colleagues gripe that she's too slow, can't lift, etc.
    MaryAnn_RN, cathy54, imintrouble, and 12 others like this.
  10. 10
    One of the best nurses I ever worked with was 76 years old.
    cathy54, LTCangel, imintrouble, and 7 others like this.
  11. 18
    While the OP certainly displayed a lack of tact and understanding ... she does raise a valid point. In every field (not just nursing) there are people who can't acknowledge that they don't have the ability to do a good job.

    That's true of every age group, not just the older people. There are young people who clearly lack the judgment to be responsible for the well-being of others. There are people of all ages who are either too imature, too stupid, too uneducated, too distracted, too tired, too over-extended ... too lots of things to do a good job ... who keep trying rather than just throw in the towel and give up. When they succeed at their endeavors, we call them "heroes," "role models," "high achievers," etc. and praise them for their perseverance in overcoming their hardships. But when they don't succeed, people like the OP trash them.

    Learning how to work with people as they struggle ... and helping them succeed ... or helping them realize it is time to quit ... is at the heart of interpersonal skills. It is a big part of the "art" of working with people.

    If you really think your collegue is unsafe, then you must document those unsafe practices. If she is not doing her fair share of the work, that should also be documented so that management can deal with it. They may be well of aware of your collegue's weaknesses -- but also aware of key strenghts that she brings that you are unaware of. Use your interpersonal skills to discuss any safety concerns privately with your manager and go from there.
    GrnTea, LTCangel, Hoozdo, and 15 others like this.
  12. 18
    In my 50s here and able to keep up with the best of them. If it were possible I would retire on the spot. I think many nurses would. In the past year two of my 50-ish co-workers dropped dead. Both fantastic nurses.

    But the economy is awful and a lot of older workers, in every profession, need to keep going. The fact is that young people have so many more options to support themselves whereas older professionals would not have a snowball's chance in h*** of finding another job or source of income if they were to quit whatever job it is that they are hanging onto for dear life.

    What happens when you are old and have no income? Kind of hard to sofa-surf at that age.

    So until the economy gets sorted out I wouldn't count on those older nurses stepping aside, however much they wish they could.

    Lots of other things to be said on the subject and I'm sure others will have more to contribute, for my part I just feel very, very tired of seeing all these posts on this site where we try to pull each other down.
    cathy54, LTCangel, Hoozdo, and 15 others like this.


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