I am finishing two years as an RN and want to hear some good advice from other nurses. I love nursing and I became a nurse to help.Where do I find myself two years down the road? I am frustrated, a little jaded, and disillusioned with health care and how we meet patient's needs. Do others out there feel the same way or not?
Understaffed, understaffed, understaffed, can I say it enough!!!!
It seems we never have enough people to perform the basics of patient care in a timely manner. Ansering call lights, comforting patients when they are scared and unsure, assisting patients with the most basic functions that we all take for granted: eating, turning, getting out of bed, pooping and peeing and of course cleaning when its all done.
The hospital seems focused on one thing and one thing only and that is more and more paperwork! How many ways can we track something, how can we guard ourselves against liability, and how can we insure that everything that goes wrong lands on the nurses shoulders and not the hospitals. Did you not get your meds in a timely fashion or is there no one to help you shave at 8:00 PM? The nurse is clearly not organizing themselves properly and needs to be spoken to, and documented (don't you love that word!) At the hospital everything seems to become the nurses fault. If another department can't get something done it ultimately becomes your responsibility. You may have two pt. 's calling for help, overdue medications, a Dr. waiting for you to call them back about a pt., another pt. with assesments that point to sepsis, the monitor room calling because the confused pt. just d/c his tele again, (and what are you doing about it because we they have been calling at least 4 times in the last hour!), and your meds are not in the pyxsis again, and you're calling pharmacy just as you have for the last three of your patients!
Don't get me wrong, i am thankful every day that i have this great career opportunity, but I find myself more and more frustrated, feeling like i have failed and that i just don't measure up.
Yesterday a patient was admitted for SOB along with CP, he was in aflutter and was placed on a Cardizem gtt. Things were going fine until the pt. began to complain of new onset CP radiating to the L shoulder and neck. Whoa! I did what I could with current orders and called the Doc ( a compassionate team oriented doctor, we need more of them!) for the orders I needed and then proceeded to treat the pt. Later when I asked how he was doing he shook my hand and he said "thank you, I'm feeling OK now."
WOW!! This put a smile on my face and it made my whole night, maybe my whole week, maybe my month, lol! I live for these kind of moments but I honestly don't know how i can continue being a nurse when everything about the hospital seems too clinical, too concerned with money, and too many efforts to conduct surveys, study problems, and initiate more and more ways to track everything under the sun. Where is patient care? I think it's falling down the cracks.
Please sound off I want to hear other opinions and ways you cope as nurses. I am thinking about looking for another position. Are there any areas of nursing that you love?