Student nurse dismayed by bedside nursing attitude

  1. Hello all, I am a student nurse currently in my first year. Before this I was a paramedic for a about a year and then decided to go the nursing route and get my feet wet by working as a CNA. I am the type of person who likes to research all aspects of what my next adventure will be. So as I am researching different aspects of nursing, I was a bit floored by the amount of people that hated bedside nursing, in particular on the Med/Surge floor. I get that the work load is high and that can bring stress as well as all the intricate details about day to day nursing, but is that any reason to hate bedside nursing? I thought that is what the nursing profession was all about. Getting right in there, getting your hands dirty and providing the best patient care possible. What exactly are some students thinking nursing entails when they get into school?!
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  2. 85 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from new gal
    Hello all, I am a student nurse currently in my first year. Before this I was a paramedic for a about a year and then decided to go the nursing route and get my feet wet by working as a CNA. I am the type of person who likes to research all aspects of what my next adventure will be. So as I am researching different aspects of nursing, I was a bit floored by the amount of people that hated bedside nursing, in particular on the Med/Surge floor. I get that the work load is high and that can bring stress as well as all the intricate details about day to day nursing, but is that any reason to hate bedside nursing? I thought that is what the nursing profession was all about. Getting right in there, getting your hands dirty and providing the best patient care possible. What exactly are some students thinking nursing entails when they get into school?!
    Being a student is very different from being an actual nurse. You have no idea.
  4. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from new gal
    I was a bit floored by the amount of people that hated bedside nursing, in particular on the Med/Surge floor. I get that the work load is high and that can bring stress as well as all the intricate details about day to day nursing, but is that any reason to hate bedside nursing?
    Depending on your personality, of course it is, particularly if your reason for being very stressed out is because the hospital is purposely understaffing their units. If you haven't walked in those shoes, it's really easy to insinuate that those things are "no reason" to dislike nursing.
  5. by   macawake
    Quote from new gal
    So as I am researching different aspects of nursing, I was a bit floored by the amount of people that hated bedside nursing, in particular on the Med/Surge floor. I get that the work load is high and that can bring stress as well as all the intricate details about day to day nursing, but is that any reason to hate bedside nursing? I thought that is what the nursing profession was all about. Getting right in there, getting your hands dirty and providing the best patient care possible. What exactly are some students thinking nursing entails when they get into school?!
    How have you researched this? Who are all the people who hate bedside nursing? Fellow students, recent graduates working med-surg or veteran nurses with decades worth of experience of working bedside? Do they "hate" the fact that they have to get "their hands dirty" or do they "hate" unreasonable nurse-patient ratios and an ever-growing list of responsibilities, many of them administrative, that makes it hard to devote enough time to each patient and takes a toll on their emotional and physical health?

    Personally I strongly dislike working med-surg or any type of environment where I have more than two patients that I'm responsible for. I had a feeling that would be the case even as I started out in nursing school. I also for various reasons prefer to not have the same patients for days or weeks or months on end. These days I have one patient at a time (anesthesia), or two occasionally when I pick up a PACU shift. I'm happy where I am.

    We're all different and the good thing about nursing is that it is diverse. Regardless of our personalities and strengths and weaknesses, there's likely an area of nursing that will be a good fit. While bedside might be the "core" of nursing, you can provide the best care possible in many different areas, it doesn't necessarily have to be bedside.
  6. by   new gal
    Oh I know. I know how easy it is for me to have a blind eye on the matter. It was the same from paramedic student to actual paramedic.Very different, which I did expect to an extent. I was thinking of shadowing on the med surge floor, hopefully I can get a somewhat decent idea on what the nurses go thru day to day, from a CNA view, I only see how busy they are, but then again I am to busy to really follow them and get an idea of what their perspective is.
  7. by   lkasticu
    People are able to hate bedside nursing for whatever reason they want. Spare us your first year nursing student holier-than-thou attitude on the matter. People become nurses to take care of people, they hate being nurses because of unsafe ratios, ungrateful patients, ridiculous management initiatives, etc. For this we get paid the same or less than our friends who make Excel spreadsheets for finance companies.

    I see so many people on this forum that are extremely easily offended by some other people's attitudes in nursing. There is also a lot of complaining and dark humor especially in high acuity fields, and especially nursing students seem soooo offended by it, but when push comes to shove those nurses are still the first ones to hop on a code blue or advocate for their patient. Spare us the delicate sensibilities unless the nurse that has offended you is also just a bad nurse. Workloads being high and stressful is a 100% acceptable reason to complain.
  8. by   macawake
    Quote from new gal
    Oh I know. I know how easy it is for me to have a blind eye on the matter. It was the same from paramedic student to actual paramedic.Very different, which I did expect to an extent. I was thinking of shadowing on the med surge floor, hopefully I can get a somewhat decent idea on what the nurses go thru day to day, from a CNA view, I only see how busy they are, but then again I am to busy to really follow them and get an idea of what their perspective is.
    I think that shadowing is a good idea. It will offer some insight into nursing duties. What you will likely not be able to get/observe is the "full nursing experience". In my opinion you can't really get that until you're actually doing it yourself.

    I remember from my own "recently graduated" days and later from precepting many students is that as a "rookie" or "outsider" what you tend to see are all the tasks that nurses do. And the tasks alone can certainly be enough to keep you quite busy. What you probably won't appreciate is how much of a nurses' work actually happens in her/his head. You see her/his hands but what you don't see is the constant assessment, reassessment, prioritization and reprioritization that happens throughout the shift as new orders, new information and change in patient status keeps being added/changing.
  9. by   new gal
    Ok, I'll tone it down a bit. Damn
  10. by   JKL33
    Quote from new gal
    I get that the work load is high and that can bring stress as well as all the intricate details about day to day nursing, but is that any reason to hate bedside nursing? I thought that is what the nursing profession was all about. Getting right in there, getting your hands dirty and providing the best patient care possible. What exactly are some students thinking nursing entails when they get into school?!
    Speaking strictly for myself. Although I love patient care it and all that it entails (but admittedly mostly the intellectual/cognitive aspects), it has become plagued by the skewed ideals of too many different factions of people who think they should have something to say about it. People who have zero experience in anything health-care related (or those who do have experience but have completely lost touch with reality) have been given the position of judging both our clinical decision-making and our compassion. That is insane, and it is degrading.

    There are those of us who thrive on "getting right in there, getting [our] hands dirty!" The decision-makers can't decide whether RNs are educated professionals who perform critical functions, or just cogs in the wheel. They want us to be the former, while they retrain the right to treat us like the latter.

    For me, I can sincerely say any dissatisfaction I may feel is almost entirely unrelated to patients.
  11. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from new gal
    Ok, I'll tone it down a bit. Damn
    Don't stress, new gal; members may get a little riled when a student criticizes the perceived attitudes of working nurses. Typically it's totally different once you get to the other side of the table, and you gain perspective and possibly empathy based on real-world experience.
  12. by   new gal
    Im not stressed lol....ok i guess I could have worded what I truly meant better. As far as bedside nursing goes, what is it about it, that makes nurses dislike it the most? From what I gather it is the patient to RN ratio
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from new gal
    Im not stressed lol....ok i guess I could have worded what I truly meant better. As far as bedside nursing goes, what is it about it, that makes nurses dislike it the most? From what I gather it is the patient to RN ratio
    You're getting warmer. Most of us love the work, it's just that there's too damn much of it. Hardly any time to come up for air, let alone eat lunch or take a pee. Managers who act like they left their brains at the door. Administrators who think they're running the Hilton. Patients who think they're in the Hilton.

    If all we had to do was look after a reasonable number of sick people, most of us would be deliriously happy. It's the layers and layers of other crap that weighs us down.
  14. by   cleback
    The main disatisfier for me is feeling like the middle management of healthcare sometimes and having different "higher ups" with competing priorities telling you what to do. Have to keep the patient's 100% happy all the time, but why are you calling the on-call doc for a different pain management plan? A diet order? Pffttt all that can wait 12-15 hrs until the morning rounds. Practice at your highest level of education but clean rooms after discharges because we let go all of our housekeepers. It's no win sometimes. Honestly, if all I wanted to do was make a difference in someone's life, I could have volunteered at a nursing home and work a much less stressful 9-5.

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