Tired of toileting, docs, and pt dependency

  1. I have been nursing for 7 months now (age 33, second career). Today I absolutely HATED my job. I hate the way docs talk to & perceive nurses, being chronically understaffed on our floor, constantly ambulating pts to the bedside commodes or cleaning up their feces/urine in bed, dealing with needy families/pts & unnecessary dependency, all of the phone calls, having to discharge a pt without the correct MD orders written or without social work having been consulted (MDs are clueless about what pt's need arranged for discharged, or how pts are even going to follow-up with care without the right insurance), having missing drugs in pyxis, and all of the rush rush rush.

    I was inspired in nursing school, but now absolutely hate the reality of this job. I've learned a lot & feel competent, but I'm beginning to not care so much about the pts. They are really annoying much of the time!

    Big question -- are other areas of nursing REALLY that much different than med-surg? Can I really choose another area where there are fewer of the aforementioned problems & greater job satisfaction? Please don't tell me to change fields -- I can't afford to right now, and I also don't want to see all of those years of preparation wasted for nothing.

    Need advice!
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    how long have you been hating your job? was today an isolated incident are have you been generally unhappy? if you don't like pt. dependency then i would suggest getting into an area of nsg. that they're not so sick...you're not ltd. to floor nsg. as for the docs, there's a few in every bunch, no matter where you go. you don't have to leave nursing, there are so many avenues to explore. best of luck.

    leslie
  4. by   gizzy76
    I have felt the same way many times and then something will happen with a patient that will make it all worthwhile for me.

    Maybe you need to search through your day and see if there was something memorable about it or someone who touched your soul (even if it was small).

    Maybe public health nursing would be good for you, or even home care if you feel that working on the floor isn't for you in the end.
  5. by   angel337
    i don't work the floor because of all the reasons you just mentioned. i am in ED and i can't imagine doing anything else right now. it is hectic at times but the patients are in and out. no baths to worry about, bedside commodes etc.. Most people get burned out quick in med/surg and some love it. i think you should stick with it because you almost have a year in and you can get hired for other specialties a lot easier having med/surg under your belt. if you just can't take it any more, look at you hospital postings and consider putting in for a transfer. good luck. you'll be fine.
  6. by   jbro
    i really enjoyed critical care, the patients are more dependent, but you only have one or two and you call the shots, no getting of bed, but bed baths and chux pads, most of the docs are more respectful in icu, i felt appreciated. the families can be a big issue, mostly with unrealistic goals, but you only have to see them once or twice a shift on a closed unit, i'd say its a lot different than medsurg, but it has it's problems, it could be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak, but who knows. you know, i don't think i've ever talked to a person who enjoyed working on medsurg
  7. by   Renee' Y-Y
    A teaching hospital + ICU or ER...best case scenario. Much more of a team environment with the doctors & nurses...in addition to what has been said above.
  8. by   susanmary
    Last edit by susanmary on Jan 14, '05
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Susan mary gives good advice. I feel for you. MAYBE it is time for a change. I wish the best to you.
  10. by   RN_Amy
    What about anaesthetics/recovery room nursing... and perhaps even theatre?

    The good thing about this area (why I love it!) is that you don't have to deal with patients' relatives or families and/or any social issues... as you are only responsible for the care of the patient just before, during and just after their operation.... and if a patient is conscious enough to pass urine/use their bowels...... they are awake enough to be discharged to the ward! ... so minimal bed pans and definately no bed baths!

    I have also found that doctors, nurses and other staff in theatre have more of an idea of everyone elses role and are more courteous.... It is a more organised than the wards and the hours are great (I work 5 days a week... no night duty, no weekends and never finish later than 9 pm!).

    A background in surgical nursing and enthusiasm is a great start to get into this area... (although it can be rather tricky.... !)
  11. by   susanmary
    Last edit by susanmary on Jan 14, '05
  12. by   Repat
    Operating room -
  13. by   CIRQL8
    YES - the OR!! I love it!!


    Please don't read into this - but you tend to love what you are good at and you tend to be good at what you love. Has some to do with ability, but much to do with the desire. Don;t give up cause of one incident, or even because of one incident here and there. If that were the case, we'd all leave nursing!! Give it a chance. The great thing about nursing is - there are alot of different types!! Try something else if you want (like the OR), but, you may not like the OR, the ED, Psych, or ICU (etc) as much as you like med-surg. Then again, how do you know until you try??

    It's all a double edged sword.

    Like newbies find out - I can't get a job w/out experience, but I can't get experience w/out a job!!

    Smile.
  14. by   roxannekkb
    Quote from lady_jezebel
    I have been nursing for 7 months now (age 33, second career). Today I absolutely HATED my job. I hate the way docs talk to & perceive nurses, being chronically understaffed on our floor, constantly ambulating pts to the bedside commodes or cleaning up their feces/urine in bed, dealing with needy families/pts & unnecessary dependency, all of the phone calls, having to discharge a pt without the correct MD orders written or without social work having been consulted (MDs are clueless about what pt's need arranged for discharged, or how pts are even going to follow-up with care without the right insurance), having missing drugs in pyxis, and all of the rush rush rush.

    I was inspired in nursing school, but now absolutely hate the reality of this job. I've learned a lot & feel competent, but I'm beginning to not care so much about the pts. They are really annoying much of the time!

    Big question -- are other areas of nursing REALLY that much different than med-surg? Can I really choose another area where there are fewer of the aforementioned problems & greater job satisfaction? Please don't tell me to change fields -- I can't afford to right now, and I also don't want to see all of those years of preparation wasted for nothing.

    Need advice!

    There are many areas of nursing, so don't feel that you are stuck on a med/surg floor. I never worked med/surg, despite the urging of my instructors that you "have to" when you start out in order to learn the skills. Nonsense. I went straight to the NICU. Never worked med/surg.

    Everyone has offered great suggestions. ER, OR, recovery room. NICU is good because the patients are tiny. You do need to deal with families, but some of the other problems you describe aren't applicable. There's also working in a doctor's office--patients in and out quick, no bedside commodes! There's clinics, there's telephone triage. You can do home health--the list goes on and on.

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