Working in Hospitals

  1. can someone tell me specifically what is so bad about working in a hospital? i read quite often on this site that nurses hate doing it citing working conditions, disagreeable patients and such, but what exactly is all the concern about? i'm not suggesting nurses don't have a legitimate complaint, but for heaven's sake, if it's so bad - why?
    i've gone into nursing hoping to work in a hospital. while i'm not crazy about l&d and know every job has its bummer tasks, but what am i missing? after all, it isn't like digging ditches; or working at mcdonalds; or shoveling *&^% in a barn; washing dishes or a short-order cook - or any of a number of other distasteful occupations.
    come on folks - give me some info.

    by the way - i think you're all great. what you do is very honorable and commendable. hats off to you all.



    michael


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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   lsyorke
    I for one like working in hospitals!! Thats the only place I'll work.I found it was much easier for me when I started in the float pool. No floor politics, just plain take care of my patients. Hospital nursing can be difficult, but so rewarding. I would go crazy in an office situation,not enough action for me.After 20 years of being a nurse, I have my prioritizing down pat and can get everything done within the 8 hours(anything short of a late emergency!)I love what I do!!
  4. by   MichaelSSSS
    that's great to hear - i for one feel the same way - i can't imagine working in a boring clinic - maybe in a few years i'll change my mind, but i'm in this for the hospital experience and challenge. as i see it, if all i wanted to do was put in my time and then go home to my hobbies i'd work at some brain-dead place where i did nothing of any real consequence. i'm not saying people don't have a right to do that - but i've always thought people went into nursing or the medical field for the self-fulfillment and enrichment. i'm starting to think i'm wrong.

    i think nurses do a great service to not only their community but to people - it's a noble profession.

    thanks so much for your input.
  5. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from michaelssss
    can someone tell me specifically what is so bad about working in a hospital? i read quite often on this site that nurses hate doing it citing working conditions, disagreeable patients and such, but what exactly is all the concern about? i'm not suggesting nurses don't have a legitimate complaint, but for heaven's sake, if it's so bad - why?
    i've gone into nursing hoping to work in a hospital. while i'm not crazy about l&d and know every job has its bummer tasks, but what am i missing? after all, it isn't like digging ditches; or working at mcdonalds; or shoveling *&^% in a barn; washing dishes or a short-order cook - or any of a number of other distasteful occupations.
    come on folks - give me some info.

    by the way - i think you're all great. what you do is very honorable and commendable. hats off to you all.



    michael


    michael,
    considering the fact we have college degrees, i think it's reasonable to expect far, far better for ourselves than the jobs you mentioned. we are not in the same pool as those occupations. instead of saying "well at least we're not doing...", we say, "well of course we're not doing..." because we are professionals. i know you know this, but it bears repeating.

    that said, i don't mind working in hospitals (don't find many 24-weekers outside the hospital), but there are reasons why i'm still able to tolerate it.

    first, i don't do big people...been there, done that, ain't going back! they whine and complain more than the babies (and the big people are able to communicate with words if they choose - the babies are not). i've always sort of thought that an adult would never survive if they had to endure the things these babies do. the babies make it worth it for me.

    second, i don't work staff. i travel, work prn, work agency - but not staff. this gives me the flexibility (and extra income) i need in order to not hate my job. i work as much as i want on the days that i want...this is, for me, the one big benefit i get in exchange for all the staff benefits that i give up.
  6. by   rnmaven
    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your question........I'm surprised you haven't had more responses ....as you noted.......there's always alot of complaining from nurses about the hospital work......but you only had a few responses......interesting.

    Ok.......this is my take on what nurses hate about working in hospitals:
    Shift work (12 hours, either nights or days gives you "no life" when you're doing back-to-back shifts........work, sleep, work, sleep......maybe do a load of wash, maybe make your family a dinner.......maybe not.) Sure the days off are great, but I find that most nurses take those supposed extra days off and work extra time.

    No respect.........I don't see the public respecting what the nurse does at the bedside........it still is perceived as menial tasks.......work.......not a profession.

    How about..........NO BREAKS!! I can't tell you the last time I worked at a place where I actually left the floor, put up my feet and relaxed for a half hour.....let alone those supposed two 15 minute breaks that we're also supposed to get by some labor law that doesn't get followed in hospitals.

    Clueless administrators.........and that includes the nurse administrators that go along with the clueless administrator's grand plans..........like how about all this patient satisfaction survey stuff? I mean, HOW satisfied can patients BE when their nurse has 8 to 10 med surg patients to care for and one Nursing Assistant working the 30+ patient floor? Someday, I'm going to send my resume to that "unamed company" that is doing this work and ask them.........where are your nurses? Check their website......they don't list any RN's working for them. I could go on and on........regarding this point.

    Acuity levels of patients rising.........staffing levels declining. Hmmmm......now, How, exactly AM I supposed to incorporate some kind of patient teaching plan into my day/night? I really don't know because it's all I can do to give out my meds and write my notes.

    OK.......I'll stop here. Maybe someone else will pick up on your question and give their perspective.

    Don't get me wrong.......I like being a nurse. But I do not like being forced to compromise the level of care I would like to give versus what I have time to give. I too work agency because it allows me to earn a level of income that makes the job bearable.........however, believe me.......I would NOT do this job for what most hospitals are paying these days. I believe that my profession is worth alot more than it is paid and for me, if I have to do agency to earn that level of income........so be it for now. If hospitals wise up and pay me a fair wage, maybe I'll change my mind.........so far I haven't found one who will.
  7. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I agree with RNMaven.

    The producers of the PBS program Fronline asked the same questions you're asking.

    Here is a link to what nurses told them "in their own words."

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl.../ownwords.html
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I actually enjoy my hospital job.......as hard as the work can be, and as scary as staffing is at times, I'd rather do this for the rest of my career than go back to long-term care, where chronic understaffing is the rule and nurses earn even less money and respect. Yes, I have many days when work feels more like an endurance contest or an episode of Survivor than a job, but I also find my rewards in some of the darndest places, and I try to avoid negative people and situations. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.
  9. by   zenman
    What's wrong about working in hospitals? That's where the sick people are, that's what's wrong!
  10. by   jkaee
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I actually enjoy my hospital job.......as hard as the work can be, and as scary as staffing is at times, I'd rather do this for the rest of my career than go back to long-term care, where chronic understaffing is the rule and nurses earn even less money and respect. Yes, I have many days when work feels more like an endurance contest or an episode of Survivor than a job, but I also find my rewards in some of the darndest places, and I try to avoid negative people and situations. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.

    That's true, Marla, that it's all about perspective, and I guess where you work. I have done hospital work, and to me, the understaffing I dealt with there was way worse than any I've had to deal with working LTC/sub-acute. I remember working 12 hr nights and having at least 12 acutely ill pts on med-surg, no phlebotomists, no IV team, no back up whatsoever. The money I make working LTC is comparable, and we are all respected by the doctors. Sure, I could make more money working a weekend program at a hospital, but it's not worth it to me. Where I am now, I get my breaks, I get compensated and respected by both staff and management. Sure, not every night is action packed and "exciting", but I am one of those nurses that does the best job she can and then goes home and doesn't worry about it. That's the way I like it and need it to be.

    And, this is just from my experience, the nurses I worked with in the hospital were more nasty and vindictive, I guess because they always worked short and were more stressed, which I can understand (and was why I left). I've rarely seen that kind of attitude in LTC, and never have seen it where I work now.
  11. by   veteranRN
    "At least we're not shoveling $#@% in a barn"!!!!! Not in a barn but in a hospital. Some days I think I have more BM on me than the patient does!!!
  12. by   lee1
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    I agree with RNMaven.

    The producers of the PBS program Fronline asked the same questions you're asking.

    Here is a link to what nurses told them "in their own words."

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl.../ownwords.html
    That was written in 1996. I wonder what the responses would be like now and what they would do about it????? Maybe more public exposes????
    Hospitals have become the ENRONS now and many non profits are being looked at but still I think there is a fear that you don't want to scare the publice about the reality of LOS and poor staffing.
  13. by   purplemania
    I have never met anyone who didn't have some complaints about his/her job, but nursing in the hospital does have unique situations. The biggest challenge for me is "customer service" when the "customer" is mean, vulgar, selfish and sometimes even violent. It is hard to be nice to them, even to tolerate them. But my co-workers make it all worthwhile. Nurses are intelligent and appreciate a good laugh. They make great friends.
  14. by   MichaelSSSS
    Thanks for all of the input guys - I can see why some people are concerned. I'm sure once I'm in that situation I'll understand better.
    I was coming to the question from the angle that providing people with life-giving care must be far-more rewarding than flipping burgers or digging ditches regardless of the downside. I figure, I can take a beating at work while helping people live better lives, or I take take a beating loading trucks for a living and not really doing anything of any real consequence. In every working situation I've been in (that's quite a few at many different levels) it's always been the same thing: bickering, in-fighting, politics; backstabbing; poor working conditions; not enough pay; not enough benefits; hating the boss; hating some co-workers; hating customers; hating the hours; being disrespected; working long hours; not enough days off; etc. etc. etc. No matter where you go it's all the same. Now, I understand there are areas of nursing that are better than others, but it seems to me that a bad day of working as a nurse, is better than a good day of working in a host of other professions. Those who have a lot of work experiance can atest to this fact.
    But, having said that, don't think for a moment that I 'm pretending to know what you hospital nurses are going through. I'll just have to find out for myself. But, you've all given me a lot to think about - thanks.
    To those who are working in a hospital and hate it, I hope you find a better situation for yourself. Life's too short to go through it miserable.

    All the best

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