When does a nurse recognize it's time to be put out to pasture. When does a nurse recognize it's time to be put out to pasture. | allnurses

When does a nurse recognize it's time to be put out to pasture.

  1. 7 When can I tell I'm too old to do my job? Am I forgetting to write orders, sign off the MAR, or losing my "brains", because my memory is failing? Or is it because there simply is too much to do? I'm expected to remember an enormous amt of information, and I'm finding myself dropping the ball at least once a shift. Am I too hard on myself? I still remember more than the newer nurses do, simply because some things have just become automatic. We are caring for more pts with less staff. EMR takes longer I don't care what anybody says. Computers go down, they slow down, and the program is not efficient.

    I'm just finding myself coming home more and more often stewing about what didn't get done correctly. Wondering if the mistakes I KNOW about are only the tip of the iceberg.

    Do I need to find a slower paced job? Or just cut myself some slack.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 27, '12
  2. 14 Comments

  3. Visit  1pinknurse profile page
    5
    Only you can truly answer what you believe you can handle. There are other things you can do as a nurse other than bedside or direct care. You can work at an insurance co as a medical review nurse, teach or chart auditing. I am sure there are many places that would love your knowledge & experience to utilize at their advantage.
    herring_RN, Davey Do, outside_child, and 2 others like this.
  4. Visit  NRSKarenRN profile page
    3
    Takes 6 months forstaff to learn EMR and work the bugs out... cut yourself some slack. May be time for day off breather.
    herring_RN, Davey Do, and imintrouble like this.
  5. Visit  LIZZYICU profile page
    5
    The fact that you care about your mistakes is a good quality! I think you have to sit back and analyze your mistakes. Are they actually endangering the lives of your patients, to the point that management has spoken to you sternly? Or are they small mistakes, like forgetting to sign MARS (yes, yes, still important, but not quite the same as giving someone a quadruple dose of medication, sending the wrong patient to the OR, etc... things I have seen!). If they are small mistakes, everyone makes them. It sounds like you have been a nurse for a bit now, I'm sure you've seen others make a few. Did your hospital just switch to electronic medical records? It's always a bit sketchy with computer changes at first. It's really about the stress level, and what you feel you can handle. With experience, which it sounds like you have, there are always other possibilities if you are unhappy.
    sallyrnrrt, herring_RN, Davey Do, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  outside_child profile page
    5
    I know this is an old post, but I know how you feel. I am 51 and now have plantar facsciitis and a nagging backache. From my past working experiences and now in LTAC, I am looking for something to do from home (fat chance, LOL). I am going to start home health which is quite different from when I was a LVN. Now working HH as RN means running all over the city vs as LVN keeping the same patients for skilled visits. I'm smart enough to know to only work HH per visit. Hopefully working HH will make me more employable with a managed care company where there will be no direct patient care. I tried at least 6 times to no avail. So I am almost out to pasture LOL, but have to find something else in nursing.
  7. Visit  Jules A profile page
    8
    Although I'm sure cries of ageism will be heard I appreciate the OPs thoughtfulness especially because this is an uncomfortable topic. While I agree 100% that experience brings some perks are also absolute deficits due to physical limitations and delayed response time. Unfortunately I have worked with more than a few who were unwilling or unable to recognize the signs that it was time to find a different position or, gasp, retire. If we all soul search and plan ahead now hopefully the inevitable won't be painful transition for us.
  8. Visit  Farawyn profile page
    7
    Well, imintrouble is still here and active, so I guess the question was answered!
  9. Visit  RNsRWe profile page
    7
    Older nurses shouldn't have to even THINK about when it's time to retire: nursing students and new grads will have no problem telling them!
  10. Visit  SororAKS profile page
    4
    There are always exceptions to everything, but don't be in such a hurry to see older nurses go.

    When I was new, and even when not so new, I always just appreciated those who had more experience than I. They helped me learn and saved my ass more than once.

    Unless nurses are obviously and objectively unsafe to practice, removal from practice is disgraceful and makes us look bad. Hell, how many of us have seen doctors that are very old continue to practice? Hint: Doctors stick up for each other.
    imintrouble, herring_RN, Farawyn, and 1 other like this.
  11. Visit  heron profile page
    4
    Jules - why would there be cries of ageism? Changes in stamina are a normal part of aging. So are the cumulative effects of repetitive stress/trauma. It's not ageist for a nurse to recognise that in herself and look for a less physically demanding way to contribute/earn a living.

    What's ageist is the assumption of incompetence r/t physical differences, memory changes or an assumed inability to keep learning. What's ageist is the assumption that experience is worthless in the workplace.

    You know: ass+u+me?
    imintrouble, herring_RN, Farawyn, and 1 other like this.
  12. Visit  Davey Do profile page
    3
    Performing tasks in a systematic way, keeping notes, constant communication with my Co-Workers, a good sense of humor, and adrenalin in stressful situations have been my saving graces. I've always been absent-minded, so inadvertencies do occur.

    But thanks for your comments, for I have similar concerns about my-own-self at times.
    Farawyn, imintrouble, and herring_RN like this.
  13. Visit  imintrouble profile page
    7
    I missed a lot of comments. I wrote this in 2012. How the years pass. Yes, as Farawyn pointed out, I'm still here, still a nurse, still at the same facility. I think I posted at a particularly low point, EMR implementation. I don't handle multiple crises well, and I considered learning that new trick really stressful.
    Emergent, sallyrnrrt, SororAKS, and 4 others like this.
  14. Visit  Farawyn profile page
    3
    Quote from imintrouble
    I missed a lot of comments. I wrote this in 2012. How the years pass. Yes, as Farawyn pointed out, I'm still here, still a nurse, still at the same facility. I think I posted at a particularly low point, EMR implementation. I don't handle multiple crises well, and I considered learning that new trick really stressful.
    And now? How you doin'?
    SororAKS, imintrouble, and roser13 like this.

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