Why am I doing this?

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    I'm half way through my first semester of nursing school. I have had two tests. I got 100 on the first fundamentals test. I took my second test yesterday and think I got an 80. It was a lot of material and I missed memorization questions of all things. I was never good at those types of questions. Not bad but a high B student. I'm not terribly upset about my 80 or anything like that. I'm going to change my study habits a bit and hope it helps for the next test.

    My problem is that I find I am just questioning all the time why I am doing this. What is the point? I don't think I like the role of the nurse so far (what I have learned). It's boring and overly complicated to me. Perhaps in time I will like it. I'm just not the kind of person to document and explain my actions. I am a doer. I can do the documenting and explaining but I don't like it. It is cumbersome and time consuming. So what do nurses do? I love the interacting with patients. We started clinical and are in week 6. I just don't like the writing why I did what I did and such. I like the cna aspect of the work but nurses don't do cna work, right?
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

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    I am not trying to be mean, but in nursing, documentation is very important and there's a lot of it. Anymore, that's what nurses hate about it--very little time to do actual care of the patient and more documenting.

    Nurses do CNA work at times, but that is not their main role as that part is a different role in the patient care team.

    I can't answer why you are doing this, but I am just trying to answer your other questions. Fundamentals, though, is very important.
    KbmRN likes this.
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    Yes nurses do provide personal care for patients. It's not "CNA work".First of all, not all places have aids and secondly if a patient needs assistance or cleaning up you will not be calling someone else to do it. Just because you are a nurse does not mean that you don't provide care to your patients.

    Documentation of anything you have done is very important. It enables others to look at the chart and tell what was done and why. It provides a record of how the patient has been progressing. It also is a legal record of care provided that can be used in court if the need arises.

    What are your expectations regarding the role of a nurse? Did you do any research on the profession before you applied to nursing school?
    gummi bear likes this.
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    Of course I did research. I read books related to what nurses do and the many areas in which they can branch into (forensic, psychiatric, etc). A book stating what nurses do is very different than experiencing clinical. I like doing direct care. I enjoy helping people. I like thinking things through but I don't like writing things down. It's time consuming and takes time away from doing the direct patient care.

    As for the previous comment about "not trying to be mean," I don't find your comment mean at all. Just factual. My point is, are there any jobs as a nurse that you're not spending all your time charting and passing out medication? I understand that it helps patients and I'm certainly not opposed to some documentation. I am in nursing school, after all, and not a naive newbie. I've spent 2.5 years in college before I got into a competitive nursing program. I certainly am not whining. I just don't want to spend all my days doing paperwork to prove why I do what I do. I'm good at getting things done. Legally speaking, I understand it is a necessity. Are there jobs in nursing that would require less paperwork? That should be more of my question...because if not, how is it any different than an office job?
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    Unfortunately, nursing is built oin paper. There are areas of specialty that you may not have as "much" paper work, per se, but paper work will ALWAYS be there. If it isn't documented it isn't done.

    Even in the critical care areas (which require you to work med-surg, most of the time, first)where your focus is on one or two (at times three) patients you do less "pill pushing" but you document the same. One of the realities of nursing.

    For the government, insurances, legally, reimbursement....it all needs to be written.

    I wish you the best!
    ericaej likes this.
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    Quote from ericaej
    Are there jobs in nursing that would require less paperwork? That should be more of my question...because if not, how is it any different than an office job?
    I think nursing in general requires a lot of documentation. So far I have worked in LTC and in the hospital. Both environments have a lot of charting; although I think LTC had a much larger volume of charting and more tedious charting.

    Nursing as a floor nurse in acute or LTC care is definitely not like an office job. Mostly because you can't just sit there & get your charting done. Instead it is basically running through the day just trying to keep afloat. For example: going to do an assessment on one pt & give a few meds. Get 2 of your 8 meds scanned & you hear the bed alarm of the patient next door going off. You stick the meds in your pocket and run next door. Seems that person wants to get up and go to the bathroom, and his nurse is in an isolation room. Get that patient in the toilet and the secretary calls you that you have phone call. And so and so forth. You try to do your charting when you can, but mostly you are squeezing it in here and there.

    Personally I like the fast pace of it. I like how busy the day is, because it goes so fast!!
    ericaej likes this.
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    I felt the same as you last year when I was a first semester first year. I wish I could tell you that it got better for me and that I changed my mind and fell back in love with nursing, but I will not tell a lie. I too found fundamentals boring, and the CNA work we did in clinicals even more so. I chose nursing out of a love for the sciences and greatly enjoyed my pre-reqs, but I should have majored in bio-chem or something along those lines, because nursing is not really a science, at least not the way I like. I enjoy the disease process far more than I enjoy the person who has it.

    Once we started passing meds it got a little better, but not by much, and now I feel like I signed onto a career to come out as a glorified drug administer. Without the drugs, I feel a bit useless. :/ Or worse, like a hospital maid.

    The documentation, however, is very important. It can save your butt in a lawsuit. Never skimp on it.

    I wish you luck, and remember, you are not locked into nursing for the rest of your life. You can finish this degree and then go back to school for something else. You don't even have to work as nurse if you don't want to, but the education is valuable regardless
    vintagemother and ericaej like this.
  10. 0
    The paperwork is how you protect yourself and your patient. Like you, I'm not really a fan of all the documentation, but it helps me to view it as a way to continue to care for the patient (make sure the most UTD and accurate info is there for the next shift/doc/etc). I can't think of a scenario where you're not going to have to chart. It's part of the game. But there's always an aspect like this of anything you do, ya know? Any career is going to have an aspect that doesn't appeal to you. It's just a matter of how much you enjoy the other parts and if that's enough to make up for how much you despise the charting.
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    I completely understand why we have to document. Thank you all for the responses. Each is appreciated. I do like patient care just not a fan of writing everything down. I like to keep things in my head and am fairly organized that way (minus the fact that I forget passwords to websites if my computer deletes my cookies).
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    Quote from ericaej
    I completely understand why we have to document. Thank you all for the responses. Each is appreciated. I do like patient care just not a fan of writing everything down. I like to keep things in my head and am fairly organized that way (minus the fact that I forget passwords to websites if my computer deletes my cookies).
    But that's just it - you aren't the only person working with your patient. You don't have to like it, but it's vital.


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