Ready to Call it Quits

  1. I have been wrestling with this for a long time now, but I think it is time for me to get out of nursing. I really hope that I will be able to escape this torturous career and get back into school. If only I knew then what I know now then I would never have entered nursing school to begin with. I know that many here are going to disagree with me and tell me that nursing is the most pure and rewarding job in existence, but I could not disagree more. Nursing as a whole is one of the worst careers out there in my opinion. Most of us are expected to provide pt care, clean the floor/unit, take out the trash, answer the phones along with doing anything else that pops up during our shifts. I am not one of the people that loves their job so much that I am willing to do these other chores with pleasure. I work ER and find that the majority of the pt's are rude and unappreciative for the care that we provide, not to mention drunk or doped out of their minds. I am just not sure what this world is coming to. People seem to be getting dumber by the minute. Every day I am amazed at the ever evolving stupidity of the people that I deal with on a daily basis.

    I personally hate going to work and hate the job that I have to perform. I have worked as a staff nurse and as a traveler and I find that the people are pretty much the same anywhere I go. I know that many people go into nursing for the exact reasons that I did..... Job stability along with the ability to work three days a week and make decent money, however it just isn't worth it. Perhaps if I get away from the bedside I will feel better, but I doubt it. Nursing along with anything to do with healthcare is the most backstabbing, stressful and unappreciated work that there is. Nobody ever wants to focus on the good we do, only the occasional mistake that someone makes, or they want to blame the nurses and doc's for whatever complaint that they are suffering from. Sorry about the long post and the ranting, but I feel like I just had to vent. Being a nurse isn't as great as it is made out to be in school. People can sugar coat it all they want, but real world bedside nursing is miserable.
    Last edit by whontime on Dec 24, '07
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Martinette
    I totally agree.

    Nursing has more bad points than good IMHO. It's a shame too because it doesn't need to be that way. If nurses had decent management, support, a safe number of patients, authority and respect it would not be so bad. I would really enjoy the job if I had a small number of patients and some back up. I am sick of having 20 patients at one time who demand one to one care and get nasty when they don't get it. Meanwhile management is cutting the numbers of nurses etc etc. They should have to take the abuse from the patients.

    It could be a very rewarding job in the right environment. I am looking at getting out. More money won't get me back in but guaranteed small nurse patient ratios would.
  4. by   whontime
    I tend to agree with many of your comments. Some of the many reasons that I hate nursing are what you are describing. I hate having to play nurse, housekeeper, fix it person and unit secretary all at once. I took a job as a nurse, not jack of all trades.

    I also feel like nurses deserve a little bit of respect. People in general tend to be rude and unappreciative. Most nurses that I know do the best that they can with what they have to work with. On top of it all administration expects us to act like we are working at a 5 star hotel... Need your pillow fluffed? Would you like another 2mg of dilaudid for your chronic pain condition that we see you three times weekly for (and that you never follow up on)? Not to mention that we will be chastised for even considering rocking the boat in any way. I once worked a job where I was given a drug screen anytime that I said a remotely hostile word to a coworker (one because I told another nurse that I was pissed that she left a pt in the lobby with 3rd degree hand burns for 1.5 hours).

    I am sure that every job has it ups and down, but I am more miserable now than at any other point in my life from a career standpoint. All the long night with no breaks/lunch, constant high patient load and torturous pt's/coworkers have pushed me to the brink. It is back to school time for me at this point. I will encourage everyone that ever speaks to me about nursing school to investigate it very well before enrolling.

    Quote from Martinette
    I totally agree.

    Nursing has more bad points than good IMHO. It's a shame too because it doesn't need to be that way. If nurses had decent management, support, a safe number of patients, authority and respect it would not be so bad. I would really enjoy the job if I had a small number of patients and some back up. I am sick of having 20 patients at one time who demand one to one care and get nasty when they don't get it. Meanwhile management is cutting the numbers of nurses etc etc. They should have to take the abuse from the patients.

    It could be a very rewarding job in the right environment. I am looking at getting out. More money won't get me back in but guaranteed small nurse patient ratios would.
    Last edit by whontime on Dec 24, '07
  5. by   skittlebear
    I hate to admit this but I do agree with your post. I've been an LPN for about 2 years now and really wished I had chosen a different career. I've thought about persuing my RN, but I'm afraid that may make it worse...more responsibilities, working with patients who are more sick. My options are limited because I refuse to work in a nursing home and hospital work just seems as if it would be too stressful. Since I've become a nurse, my stress level has increased tremendously, and I've gained A LOT of weight (I'm only 24). Before nursing, I exercised daily and was a health food nut. I'm slowly trying to lose weight and get back in shape. I've also decided to strive for the Physical Therapist assistant program. My goals are to become a physical therapist assistant and work about 1 day a week as an LPN. I may even get my RN after becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant but only work 1 or 2 days a week. I love working with and helping patients, but nursing is a very stressful career...I agree.
  6. by   SteveNNP
    I understand what you are going through. It's the main reason I left the ER and returned to the 1:1-1:3 n/p ratio of critical care where I still enjoy working. Maybe you need a change of scenery. It might be worth trying before throwing away your investment in nursing school.
  7. by   hollyberry678
    I am a new grad working on a very stressed out station, get very little support during my shift (have to hunt for someone to help me when I need it), get comments only on my mistakes, patients and family are stressed and the nurse gets the brunt (I never realized how much, even as an aide for umpteen years). I don't think that anyone can understand this unless they have actually been in this role for a few weeks at a minimum and feel the fatigue, along with the immense responsibilty). I have come home and fallen asleep with my stethescope on. I am beginning to agree with you.

    I just wanted to make a positive comment, though, that in reading these posts on this thread, and in general, that nurses have to be the most intelligent articulate writers out there.

    I just wish that people at work would focus on the positive aspects (like this) of each other more and less criticism! You can go through a whole shift doing great, but do one thing wrong, and that's all you hear about.
    Last edit by hollyberry678 on Dec 24, '07
  8. by   mom2michael
    I used to think that ER was all I ever wanted to do - the more I do it - the more I hate it. I have even been as desperate as to try several different ER's thinking it was the employer that I didn't like. Couldn't imagine that it was the ER (joke). Then one day (actually about 5 days ago) I realized....it's the ER I don't much care for.

    I am SO TIRED of inconsiderate patients and their families.

    I'm tired of parents who bring their child in at 2 a.m. and then get angry with you when you need to X-rays and labs because precious little Billy is scared of needles and machines. Then WHY ARE YOU HERE???? I do not have a crystal ball) that allows me to see what is wrong with little Billy...that's why we need the freaking labs and X-rays.

    People who think that a fever of 100.5 is reason to WAKE UP their child and rush them to the ER. Or they had emesis x1 right after they ate 4 large bags of chips, drank 4 sodas and then had 1 bag of cookies. No kidding, I would puke if I ate that crap too.

    Or come for a problem that has been going on for 6 months, then demand chips, pop and dinner. Oh and can you find me a remote for the TV? How about a TV guide so I know what's on next.

    Also really tired of people who lie. I really don't care that you smoke pot 12x a day and no, I don't give a crap and I promise, I won't call the Po-Po on you, but it does help me treat your problems and/or issues today. Also, don't tell me you don't drink and/or smoke....you REEK of it.

    I'm tired of people who use the ER as their family doctor, urgent care or to have their drugs filled because they are too lazy to schedule an appt. for a PCP during the day.

    I'm tired of managers shoving down my throat the need to be nice to these people and heaven forbid you are *gasp* honest with patients and try to educate them....the constant worry about the stupid Press Ganey gets me in trouble all the time.

    I'm tired of doctors with egos too.

    Now I'm re-thinking my need to stay in ER forever...

    Maybe a change of scenery might be what you need? I know it's what I need....... ER has fried me cripsy lately.

    Point of my story - there are a million other areas of nursing than just ER and maybe there is a better niche for you out there....a place where you might enjoy being a nurse.
    Last edit by sirI on Dec 24, '07 : Reason: Over and cleverly disguised profanity removed from a professional board
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I am so sorry that so many of our nurses feel this way. I have been out of the ER for about 18 months now and miss it every single day. Don't get me wrong; I don't care for the folks , (both pts and employees) that give us grief, but I have not found the comaraderie that I found there at all.

    However, onto solutions:

    1. Change units - as Steve said, get a change of scenery.
    2. Change hospitals if it is the culture.
    3. Move to a different place.
    4. Change shifts.
    5. Go back to school.
    6. Get an advanced degree.
    7. Join a committee at work.
    8. Go to a different type of nursing.

    I think the biggest hurdle is that if you are unhappy, YOU have to be the one to change.

    Good luck.
  10. by   RN007
    Quote from mom2michael
    I promise, I won't call the Po-Po on you ....
    :roll

    Sorry. I know this isn't funny, but it cracked me up. Thanks for making me laugh. I'm a new grad that recently switched jobs after just a few mos. I started working as a student in an oncology unit in Feb. I loved the patients and their families. It was stressful, but I was learning how to manage.

    Then we got a new VP over nursing and numbers started climbing. I knew I had to get out because I wasn't seeing my family on the days I worked. In Sept. I was able to get myself hired into an occupational health nurse job even though I didn't have the yrs of experience they were wanting. I love my new job. I miss the clinical setting, mind you, but there's virtually zero stress, time to spend with patients, and I get weekends and holidays off.

    Martinette is right and speaks of what I've always said is the reason for the nursing shortage. It's not the money, it's the ratio. I can't understand why admin doesn't get it. I offer this challenge to any hospital with the guts to try it: Take a floor or unit that's chronically short-staffed. Reduce the ratios to where an RN never has more than four pts, five max with new admit. I guarantee they would never have trouble keeping it staffed.
    Last edit by RN007 on Dec 24, '07 : Reason: typo
  11. by   outcomesfirst
    Nursing offers a world of opportunity. The wonderful thing about our education and experience is that it provides us with a unique skill set. Instead of thinking what can I do outside of nursing, ask yourself "what can I do that will let me apply my skills". Start thinking about areas of interest that may require a health care background, relationship skills, people managment, multi-tasking etc. Then search the internet, journals, newspapers and industry and see what is out there. Health advisor for a company? Team member for a software developer? Acadamia? Community Foundation? Legal consultant or researcher? Reviewer? Researcher? Pharma? Insurance - case manager, medical auditor, customer service, quality development, product development. Interview with companies just to seek information, you never know what will happen - I did this and it was a turning point in my life. These are just a few ideas. For all nurses struggling (and we all do at some point) with this issue, please consider a change of scenery - you may find a new and satisfying career, or develop a new skill set, or just re-charge your batteries. The bedside will always be there.
  12. by   FireStarterRN
    You might try a different specialty, I think ER nurses see the worst of what you describe.
  13. by   hisblueskies
    I'm glad to see so many people honestly responding to this thread. I too am sorry I went into nursing. I find bedside nursing very stressfull, frequently overwhelming and plain hard work. You can thank the insurance companies and their policies for alot of the garbage nurses go through, not enough staff, not enough ancilliary support and hospital policy to make sure nurses kiss the right bum with some of the creepiest people! Thankfully I have a BSN and am planning on grad school. Don't especialy want to go through another 2 years of school but I want to earn a decent income without having to do floor nursing. I've heard this in threads before but I can't see much improvement in nursing unless we band together and tell management we have had enough.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Dec 24, '07 : Reason: thinly disguised profanity
  14. by   gonzo1
    I love nursing and my ER job. However, I agree with everything everyone has said. It is backbreaking, unsafe work. Almost never get a break. Until nurses learn to come together and demand better working conditions it will never happen.
    Last week I watched a charge nurse completely yell at and demean one of our nurses. Had her in tears for no good reason. And the much aligned nurse just took it and wouldn't go to management because she needs the job. So sad.
    I have worked in a couple of ERs that had a great, supportive attitude. Unfortunately am not in one now. But this will change soon enough.
    Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year to all my allnurses compadres out there.

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