Thoughts on being a nurse

  1. So this thread might already be out there, but I couldn't find it, so I figure it's time to ask again

    What's your favorite thing about being a nurse?

    Least favorite?

    Do you like being a nurse overall?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   rnin02
    Honestly, I'm beginning to dislike being a nurse. There are many reasons for this, the politics of it, the paperwork involved, and lots more. I've switched from adults to babies, so maybe my dislike will fade some, since there is so much new to learn, maybe I will get distracted Things I like: truly helping a patient who really appreciates it, getting that feeling you've made a (positive) difference for them. And even helping families who are grieving, and somehow finding the right things to say and do that helps you "bond" a little with them and you know you've helped them somewhat with their grief. Least favorite things, probably too much to go into! Honestly, I hate working with coworkers that treat the techs/aides badly, I absolutely hate that, and I have no respect for nurses who do that. The techs have to have one of the worst jobs in the hospital, they do so much (at least the good ones) and they deserve respect just like everyone else! Well, I could keep going, but that's probably enough!
  4. by   lorster
    The only thing I like about being a nurse is the paycheck I get every other Friday. I can see nothing I like about being a med surg nurse. It is exhausting. There is never a thank you by management. The patients and doctors are difficult to deal with much of the time. The hours are terrible. It is hard, stressful work. This is one of many reasons we have a nursing shortage. I'm tired of hearing these nurses say that they love their jobs because honestly, on med surg, I don't hear that very often. And many would quit in a heartbeat if they could get paid more elsewhere. And, the pay isn't really all that great either for the responsibilty that this profession lays on us. Now I read in other threads that male nurses make more than female nurses. This makes me sick and mad. I'd like to hear more nurses be more honest about how they really feel about their jobs. You can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig. All the lipstick in the world will not fix this profession that is mostly made up of women. We lack the backbone to fix it and get what we deserve in pay and benefits. Lets face it, we are pitiful and the hospitals we work for...know it.
  5. by   clemmm78
    There are very few jobs in this world where you can make a real difference in someone's life. I work in palliative care and I make a big difference. I help my patients and I help their families and friends. I provide the most intimate of care with the utmost of respect. I hold hands while some die, I hold grieving relatives and friends. I bathe the bodies afterwards, again with the utmost of respect for the person that was.

    I can help relieve the severest of pains, I can help ease the anxiety and psycholgical anguish. I can make a difference and I do with every shift I work.
  6. by   incublissRN
    I like my job because of the experiences I have with patients. It's very rewarding at times. The frustrations I have with my job such as paperwork, difficult coworkers or patients, hours, etc. are present to some degree with every job. I enjoy my job enough to tolerate the frustrations, and when I don't enjoy it any more then I will switch to some other area of nursing.
    Last edit by incublissRN on Jan 27, '07
  7. by   HealthyRN
    The thing that I like about my nursing job in the ED is the potential to contribute to saving a patient's life. I can think of many examples in which it can be very rewarding- such as stabalizing a trauma patient or sending an acute MI patient to the cath lab within 30 minutes. However, the paycheck comes in close second! When I think of the overall positives and negatives, the negatives of my job far outweigh the positives. The nice feelings that come with the knowledge that you contributed to a patient's survival can only go so far, especially when you don't feel valued by management or the vast majority of the patients that you try to help.

    The thing I like the least about nursing is the work environment. This encompasses a lot of the things that I could go on and on about. The impossible staffing ratios, increasing responsibilities accompanied by decreasing staff and resources, workplace violence, lack of lunch breaks and restroom breaks, etc. Overall, I don't enjoy working as a staff nurse, but I am keeping an open mind and I hope to move outside of acute care someday.
  8. by   chelli73
    Quote from lorster
    The only thing I like about being a nurse is the paycheck I get every other Friday. I can see nothing I like about being a med surg nurse. It is exhausting. There is never a thank you by management. The patients and doctors are difficult to deal with much of the time. The hours are terrible. It is hard, stressful work. This is one of many reasons we have a nursing shortage. I'm tired of hearing these nurses say that they love their jobs because honestly, on med surg, I don't hear that very often. And many would quit in a heartbeat if they could get paid more elsewhere. And, the pay isn't really all that great either for the responsibilty that this profession lays on us. Now I read in other threads that male nurses make more than female nurses. This makes me sick and mad. I'd like to hear more nurses be more honest about how they really feel about their jobs. You can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig. All the lipstick in the world will not fix this profession that is mostly made up of women. We lack the backbone to fix it and get what we deserve in pay and benefits. Lets face it, we are pitiful and the hospitals we work for...know it.
    Wow...that is pretty harsh IMHO. Yet bitingly honest, I respect you for that. However, there are many other careers out there that pay WAY more than nursing and are just as accessible (more?) as a nursing education. Believe me, I thought about a different education/career path many a time, but my heart and mind were determined for some reason (Jesus) to become an RN--a professional nurse. I also happen to LOVE med-surgical nursing because of the challenges it brings on a day to day basis. Speaking of backbones, I always look at nurses as the BACKBONES of the healthcare industry! I am sorry that you feel that way, and although I know you are not alone in your opinions, I still want to be a nurse for the rest of my life! I look at it as the primary work of humanity. Everyone in this world is a nurse, from the first boo-boo we get at 5 yrs old that we clean with wet tissue to talking with our doctors about our plan of care for health issues we all face as we age. Its 2007, one can change careers as quickly as I type this internet post. There really is no need to put lipstick on that pig, just go and get a better set of lips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. by   chelli73
    BTW...my thoughts on being a nurse: LIKES vs. DISLIKES--
    LIKES:
    I like the idea of having chosen a career that allows me to care for people which follows the laws of Jesus whom I carry in my mind, heart, and soul; and which also affords me a financial stability for myself and my three children which follows the laws of the land (or landlord, whichever you prefer!)
    I like the process of validating (VALIDATION IS THE KEY TO ALL HUMANITY) my patient's concerns about their health, looking them in the eye and listening to them and then perfoming even the most minute form of care (I wish I could make ALL of their problems disappear) to make them more comfortable.
    I like the challenge med-surg nursing brings, there are so many millions of things that I have yet to learn about the disease process, the healing process (the human body is TRULY amazing to me), and even the business of healthcare. Faxing someone's Medicaid eligibility so that they can receive the treatment they so desperately need is very fulfilling to me (I am weird like that!) and I like that kind of paperwork!
    Did I mention how proud my three kids are of me!? I have set an excellent example for them. Being an 8th grade dropout with 3 kids by the age of 18, to a college graduate with a degree in one of the most difficult programs in Chicago, IL...pretty good comeback, I'd say....
    I like the respect that I have truly earned from my friends and family who watched me struggle through school. And most of them have figured out that I am NOT going to give them medical advice other than my stock answer: GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR! If I have to look at another rash....
    DISLIKES:
    Preceptors/nurse trainers/nurses who have forgotten what it is like to be a "Newbie"....My brain can only grasp so much info at one time, the pt/inr level is what? TPN needs to be hung at 8pm? Its already 8:30pm!!! Call the doctor and say what? "Vital signs are: afebrile98point01873and120over70"...huh? All I heard was afeeb!!! SLOOOOOOW down, please!!!
    Why does the cafeteria have to close so early? I am gonna be hungry later!
    Smelly breath--I can handle blood, pee, poop (less than a chuckful anyway), vomit, even sputum--but bad breath makes my eyes water!!! Post-op breath, forget it!!!
    I dislike management that treats employees like little kids behaving badly. We are all grown-ups here, come on....At my last job (unit secretary), every week there was a meeting about how bad we all were doing, and something about some low scores? Great morale booster--NOT!!!
    An admission arriving at the beginning/end of my shift. YUCK! Throws my whole day off if I don't hustle!!!!
    Family members who call and ask, "what happened?" or, "how is he/she?"--WHO ARE YOU? and more importantly, WHO IS HE/SHE!!?? I imagine them picturing (is that a word? I am overtired) an empty unit except for one room with their family member and ten nurses and doctors sitting by the phone when they aren't with their family member!!!! Performing surgery and x-rays all in that same room!!!
    Nurses who get hung up on various issues, such as what school one went to, or what degree on holds. Come on people, get over it!! I just had an ignorant nurse tell me that she heard my nursing program was shut down "years ago". Yeah it was. I taught myself nursing at the college for 3 years. I am an imposter--alert the authorities and get a raise!!! NOT!
    I could go on, but such is life. Nursing is very much parallel with everyday life. There are ups and downs with everything. That's part of the challenge to me and I love it. Talk to me in 20 years, I might feel different, but then that could be the case with ANYTHING. Marraiges end sooner. People sell their cars sooner. For now this is what works for me. Continued success to all who take nursing to heart. It is more than a paycheck.
  10. by   moyz
    Hey! Thanks so much for your thoughts on nursing. All of the things you said were things that I assumed were issues (and positives) of nursing. I used to work in a medical staff office (made sure docs had the paperwork/credentials to work at the hospital) and then a nursing staff office at the same hospital. I definitely felt that the hospital was extremely respectful of the doctors and that the nurses were taken for granted. Think about the parking reserved for the doctors....I have never seen parking reserved for nurses. Why can't the doctors walk the extra distance to the hospital? (And it's not because they have to rush in to save someone's life!). I think that hospitals need to really start figuring out ways to make the nurses who work there happier. If nurses overall felt more appreciated, the nursing shortage wouldn't continue to get worse and worse every year.

    I do think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that nursing was traditionally a "woman's" job, and prejudices (and sexism) still abound. As the nursing shortage gets more extreme, I wonder if the hospital administrations will start recognizing they need to treat nurses better or if it will just get worse with the administration trying to stretch the nurses even thinner. My guess is that they will start relying on people who are less trained to do a lot of the extra work, rather than giving the nurses some love.

    These are just my thoughts on nursing from an outsider's point of view. I'm sure there are many nurses who feel very appreciated by the administration (and I'm sure there are many administrations appreciate their nurses), but it seems that the majority of nurses don't feel that recognition.
  11. by   kate1114
    Quote from moyz
    So this thread might already be out there, but I couldn't find it, so I figure it's time to ask again

    What's your favorite thing about being a nurse?

    Least favorite?

    Do you like being a nurse overall?
    My favorite thing has to be making a difference in people's lives. I know it's cliched, but if I can ease their pain, help them find peace, and advocate for their needs, then I really feel like I have made a difference and that helps me feel good.

    Least favorite has to be some of the people I've worked with over the years. I have worked with some terribly negative hateful people in some toxic environments. If I cannot help change these environments, then I leave. It's just not worth the aggravation to deal with people who are lazy, complain all the time (but never try to help the situation), or incompetent. Also, I'm fairly new to working with resident doctors, and find them either a delight or a challenge. We have some really interesting ones on this rotation . I wonder how some of them even got into med school!!!

    Overall I enjoy being a nurse. At several points in my career I've decided I wanted to leave nursing. At those times, I gave myself a time frame in which to leave in case I couldn't alleviate the situation, and in each case I've stayed. My ways to alleviate the situation have included talking to staff/management to improve the situation, taking on additional challenges to stay motivated, and changing to a new area of nursing. I know that there are some areas of nursing that do not fit my personality, so I stay away from them. If you hate nursing and hate your job, that will filter into other areas of your life, also. My best friend's mother was a nurse when I was growing up and told me repeatedly that she hated being a nurse and that we should all do something different with our lives. I love her to death, but I can't imagine why she is STILL working on the same unit, 20 years later . I just think that's setting yourself up for failure and stress.
  12. by   kate1114
    Quote from chelli73
    Did I mention how proud my three kids are of me!? I have set an excellent example for them. Being an 8th grade dropout with 3 kids by the age of 18, to a college graduate with a degree in one of the most difficult programs in Chicago, IL...pretty good comeback, I'd say....
    YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats on your excellent comeback! That is so incredible! You and your kids should definitely be proud!
  13. by   Jennifer, RN
    In the ED we see the best and worst of society, which allows me to put my life in perspective. I enjoy making people feel better, watching them leave the ED BETTER than when they came in, maybe not well, but better.
    I like the flexibility of nursing. I can work full time without putting my kids in daycare, though my husband and I are both sleep deprived most of the time. To the poster who was disgruntled about med-surg, try a different floor. I was very disgruntled when I worked on the floor, but once I switched to the ER, I was much happier. There are a thousand different jobs in nursing, there is no need to stay where you are unhappy.
    I dislike working with negative people, people who want to slide by by doing the absolute least amt of work.
    I dislike the stress that can come with the work, I dislike the non-stop pace without breaks. I dislike managements apathy to us nurses not getting breaks.
  14. by   TazziRN
    Quote from lorster
    I'm tired of hearing these nurses say that they love their jobs because honestly, on med surg, I don't hear that very often.
    Why are you tired of it? I'm sorry you dislike nursing so much but that doesn't mean that everyone else has to. I do love my job and most of my coworkers in the ER do also. I like the feeling I get when, like yesterday, I managed to get two 1:1 critical pts transferred out within an hour of each other and made a 3-yr-old boy with hemorrhagic UTI smile because the "magic stuff" I gave him made it painless for him to void. I like the feeling of satisfaction I felt this morning when I did a follow-up on the four-month-old I transferred out to a pedi PICU and found out he was downgraded this morning because he's doing so much better. I enjoy nursing so much that my daughter sees it and wants to go into nursing.

    I dislike the non-urgent pts we get in the ER who get upset because they get bumped to the end of the list in urgency.

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