Work Ethic around RN's

  1. Hello! I've been lurking on this website. What a resource!
    Am considering nursing as second career. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and am getting a CAADAC. Next step: pre-reqs, then A.D.N. I want to work at my alma mater in neuro-psych (p/t in med-surg to maintain different skills).

    I'm worried that my No. 1 frustration in the work place will also exist in the hospital environment. Over the course of my professional life, I've grown disheartened that so many people don't get details right, much less delivered on time. Maybe this laziness and inattention to detail represents a decline in the American work ethic.

    Is the hospital environment the same? Or, since the stakes are higher, do RN's feel supported by staff, peers, management, union, etc? Are RN's surrounded by people who do the job right? Or are you hard-working folks constantly trying to get the people around you to care about the jobs at hand?

    I want to work in an environment where people possess a strong attention to detail and do whatever it takes to get the job done right. Is nursing the way to go, or am I going to be endlessly exasperated in this environment, too?

    Thank you for your feedback in advance. I appreciate your time.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Genista
    You must already know that inattention to detail is a human condition, and therefore present in all professions including healthcare.I know you probably expect a higher standard for healthcare professionals, but alas they are only human. I work on a med/surg type floor in the hospital and I find that it is not uncommon for my phonecalls, faxes, computer requests, and notes to other depts and to offices to be routinely overlooked, forgotten or misplaced.

    It can be extremely frustrating if you let it.However,I have come to accept that a certain amount of this "inattention" (as annoying as it is) is to be expected.I try to remember that the "guilty parties" are simply human beings working in a possibly stressful and fast paced environment. But I do also document my phone calls with names & times, etc for future reference. I find that by being polite and patient, that these problems can be resolved in a quick fashion. I hope you will still consider nursing as a career- if that's the only reason holding you back. I think that it's a problem we can't escape these days, no matter what field you work in. Good luck!

    P.S. What is a CAADAC?
  4. by   Tweety
    I'm detail oriented myself, but not to the point that I let what other people do affect me. You have to be very detail oriented yet very flexible in nursing. There's a balance there. There's too many things that get in the way.

    There are those people who focus so much on details and getting things done they forget the patient. They forget to take a breath and listen to the patient. Then there are those people who let every detail go past them and don't notice that their patient's labs went unnoticed and he has a low potassium and the IV is dry, and on and on.


    I have a feeling you are going to continually be frustrated if you choose nursing. I don't want to discourage you from nursing, but you need to know the reality. I guess it's better to be detail oriented, just don't expect everyone to be that way or find an environment where everyone is detail oriented and willing to get the job done no matter what. But you can dream can't you.
  5. by   orrnlori
    I think you will continue to be frustrated if you go into nursing. Not only are there a ton of details that must be attended to, but there is rarely any time to do things perfectly even part of the time. What you describe is the human nature of us all, even the most regimented of us. It's not a perfect world and nursing is definately one of the less perfect.

    Now add to your number 1 frustration of attention to detail, systematic short staffing, doctors who can be pompous asses beyond what you thought anyone could be, more paperwork than could be reasonably expected within any profession, demanding families, very very sick and/or dying patients, inattentive or uncaring management, shortages of supplies, and other various sundry items in any given day, and you could end up a very very unhappy person.

    Perhaps what you need to consider is adjusting your frustration level. No, I don't mean lowering your standards. What I mean is to learn what you can deal with and at what level and be flexible. Flexibility is one of the attributes that makes the best nurses. If you spend all your time worrying about what others are doing then you aren't doing your best. I've never yet had a job where what others do doesn't impact what I'm doing. It's how I react to those people that determine how "happy" I am. We use the term "hung out to dry" often in the OR. You get hung out to dry when you take over a surgical case and the nurse before you didn't complete the paperwork, inventory the cart for the next case, didn't get something the doctor asked for early on leaving you scrambling to "go fetch" for the item. It happens. I can either get myself all in a tizzy for getting hung out to dry, or I can take care of the situation and see that things get done. Getting in a tizzy doesn't help anyone, including me.

    I think you need to read these boards more. It's not all bad, but, it sure ain't all good. I think whether you would like nursing is up to you. You know your limitations.
  6. by   writer2nurse+
    Good to hear from all of you! I appreciate the feedback!

    for Kona2: CAADAC is California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. It's available via UCLA Extension (2 year program).

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