Job Satisfaction: Can it be real in this field? - page 2

I see a lot of people starting threads about how much they hate their jobs. In fact, I think I see a lot more people on here complaining about their careers than being thankful that they have a job... Read More

  1. by   BrandonLPN
    I think the nature of the culture we live in makes nursing more stressful now than it has ever been.

    There's the entitlement mentality. (everyone thinks they or their family is a VIP)

    There's the wimp mentality. (it's unacceptable to be in pain, or even discomfort, for even a minute)

    There's the litigious mentality. (nurses didn't have malpractice insurance when my grandma was a nurse)

    There's the "let's restructure everything based on the management theory-of-the-week" mentality. ("Why don't we spend a million dollars on some flashy new comities and vision statements, rather than hiring new staff?")

    But, still, I think job satisfaction is possible in nursing. I'm satisfied. And I'm grateful to be gainfully employed in a bad economy.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Feb 10, '13
  2. by   Nurse_
    Is it burnout?
    Is it the facility itself?
    Is it other staff members?
    Is it patients?
    Is it the demanding work life?
    Is it the lack of work/pleasure balance?

    What is it that gets so many nurses on here complaining about their careers?
    I love being a nurse. I do. But nursing isn't just about being a nurse. It's being in a team and sometimes you just don't like the teammates you're with.

    As a nurse, we are the advocates for our patients and the bridge to each and every other discipline related to their care. It means taking to PT, OT, ST, multiple MDs and others.

    It's frustrating. Imagine asking a doctor for an order, him telling you that's not his specialty and you should ask dr. blah-blah. Even if it's a universal order as simple as stool softener or a diet order.

    You are green. You probably haven't seen the ugly side of the profession. It takes tough skin to fight for your patients. And as a nurse, you don't always win these battles. In fact, you may lose more than you win.

    At the end of the day, what gets me through is knowing I did what I can to the extent of my ability as a nurse. I guess that's the only job satisfaction we ever really need... it's knowing within us that we did what was necessary for our patients.

  3. by   brandy1017
    I'm offended by people who have never been nurses or worked in nursing that complain about those who are struggling and actually work as nurses! I find it funny that so many want to work in a hospital and yet the new grads that do are the first ones to run back to school to become something else as soon as they find out what its all about!

    The majority of the new grads are back in school ASAP for NP, MSN, whatever it takes to get away from bedside hospital nursing! Don't condemn those of us still working in the trenches! The problem is that outside of the state of CA there is no limit to how many patients a nurse can have! On top of that we are expected to do everyone elses job ie CNA, PCA, HUC, housekeeping. How many people don't even get a real lunch break because of the insane working conditions in most hospitals today!

    I for one am tired of being expected to do everyone elses job! Mine is more than enough! Also I'm tired of being injured because of the weight of patients and lack of lift equipment. We need ceiling lifts to move many patients safely! Too many of my coworkers are living in constant pain because of the job. So spare me your self righteous attitude!
  4. by   tigerlogic
    I work in a hospital (currently CNA/nursing student, so yes, I'm also green) and the majority of the floors seem to have pretty happy nurses. Things I see at my hospital that I don't hear a lot about on the boards are nurses really advocating for each other's dinner breaks and offering help when someone is swamped. Nurse managers care a lot about nurses having enough time to sit down and eat (research shows it leads to fewer errors) as well as having no tolerance for bullying and negative relationships. The culture of the place has really strong values of 'managing up' (i.e. always speaking highly of one another) and being friendly to each other. "How are you doing? Do you need any help?" is a common question, both among nurses and also back and forth between CNAs and nurses.
    There is a huge effort to do things safely with two or three people and lift equipment such that there are few to no staff or pt injuries. It's also a place where the nurses are ok with the fact that patient experience is important. We have vigil trays and lots of support for families when a loved one is at the end, and find time to make people feel safe and comfortable. I know that some nurses on these boards feel that's not important for our jobs, but I'm happy to work for a place that values that. Most common complaints of staff seem to be about scheduling or not getting the holidays you wanted, but overall, most of that seems to work out.

    Needless to say, retention is high and it's very hard to get a job there. Needless to say, those aren't the nurses posting loudly here. But they do exist.
    Last edit by tigerlogic on Feb 10, '13
  5. by   poppycat
    I graduated in 1978 & over the years I've seen many, many changes in nursing. In all these years I've only had 1 job where I wasn't satisfied but that had more to do with administration than the job itself. Most of my jobs were on general Peds floors where, if we were lucky, we had 2 nurses & 2 aides for 25-30 patients on night shift. Because this is the sort of nurseatient ratio I was used to from the start, it never bothered me. However, if I was to go back into hospital nursing now I don't think I'd be able to handle that.
    It seems today that most of the complaints I hear from other nurses (aside from ratios) relate to administration & how they try to micromanage every aspect of nursing in facilities.
    I love what I do & wouldn't trade this profession for any other. I've been doing private duty Peds home care for 6 years now (the past 5 have been with the same patient) on night shift. I have no managers watching over my shoulder or telling me how I should be doing my job. The only times I see my supervisor is twice a year when I have to go to the office for "competencies". Otherwise, I only communicate with her if there are problems. I love the patient & family I work with because they're very easygoing & they know I'm competent so as soon as I get there the parents go upstairs to bed.
    My satisfaction comes from knowing at the end of every shift that I've made a difference in my patient's day & knowing I'll be going back again the next night.
    I don't think I'll ever go back to hospital nursing because of some physical problems that would keep me from being able to "run the halls". I also don't want to have to be involved in all the b******t that goes on in hospital nursing.
  6. by   Vespertinas
    I want to address your original question about whether job satisfaction is possible in nursing:

    While there are possibly more pitfalls in nursing than other fields, I believe its saving grace is that one is more likely to find TRUE job satisfaction here than in other fields. There are many, many rewards.

    I imagine that you'd have to dig a little deeper to find true satisfaction selling lightbulbs, for example. (I say that bc I have a friend in that career and he *loves* it.. but he's special)
  7. by   madwife2002
    One thing I don't like about my job, is feeling so tired on my days off!
  8. by   buytheshoes11
    Quote from TheCommuter
    3. Virtually no control over rowdy family members. A family member or visitor can curse, swear, threaten, insult, make demands, or get up in the nurse's face and nothing will be done about it by hospital administration. However, a traveler who curses, swears, threatens or insults the airline pilot will be kicked off the airplane. A customer who curses, swears, threatens or insults the bank teller will be escorted outside by security.
    This is a HUGE reason why I dislike floor nursing. It disgusts me how nurses have to worry about something like this.
  9. by   LTCNS
    Same as madwife, I feel so exhausted on my days off that I can't enjoy spending time with family, but that is mostly due to the fact I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue so all I want to do is rest and let my muscles recover.

    I like my current job as a Hyperbaric Tech/Wound Nurse in a wound healing clinic, but I do not like the fact that all the other staff get to take lunch breaks while I'm running the hyperbaric chambers. The only staff who can relieve me are the Clinic Manager and one of the MDs, but the CM is "too busy" and the MD has to be off by 1pm and can't sit still for more than 5 mins. so I'm stuck, but if I don't take my lunch break I'm questioned as to why I didn't take it

    Another thing I don't care for is that we have no linen service so I have to walk to the hospital, load linens up on a cart and lug them back to the clinic, plus pushing and pulling patients in and out of the chambers is hard on the shoulders and back. I also have to clean the chambers inside and out once a week and that is not easy.

    In a few months, when we are caught up on some bills, we are going to move to a smaller, cheaper place and I am going to seek part-time work. I can't remember a day when I wasn't in pain, and it's getting very hard to do this 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.

    I do feel very blessed to have a job in this economy when so many are begging for any type of work they can get, and overall I do have a good job.
    Last edit by LTCNS on Feb 10, '13
  10. by   DizzyLizzyNurse
    Quote from RNperdiem
    Nursing is like being mom
    It all falls to the nurse.
    The pharmacy didn't deliver your meds on time? Nurses fault.
    Doctor didn't think to order labs? Nurses fault, you need to know these things and remind the doctors.
    Physical Therapy gets the maximum assist-barely-able-to stand patient up to the recliner. Will they come back to get the patient back to bed(much harder than getting up)? no, the nurses will do that.
    Every other department has more clearly specified duties. They get to say "not my job".
    Nursing is like being mom, it is all our job.
    THIS is a huge pet peeve of mine!! Room is dirty? Clean it up, don't bother housekeeping. Food came up cold? Don't yell at dietary! Stop what you are doing to heat it up for the patient. Make sure it's not too hot or they'll threaten to sue us for burning them! Don't keep it too cold or they'll yell at you again!

    Why didn't PT and OT work with this patient? I have no idea. I work nights. Ask PT and OT when you see them.

    TV's not working or the hospital doesn't have certain channels? Blame the nurse!

    Why didn't the dr order these meds for my mom? IDK ask the doctor!

    My favorite is when I get yelled at for the doctor having a bad bedside manner. Yell at him, not me! But of course no one can yell at the DOCTOR. But it's ok to yell at the nurse.

    Oh and I also have SO much to do with the cost of prescription meds and doctors! Yes I have been yelled at for that before!

    M/S nursing for less than a year and I'm getting burned out. I work at a union hospital in a good neighborhood. I do more running around craziness for my 8 or 9 patients than I ever did as a LTC nurse with 43 patients alone.
  11. by   SoldierNurse22
    Is it burnout? Yes, sometimes it is. Burnout happens sometimes no matter what you do.

    Is it the facility itself? Yes, more often than not. Nine times out of ten, managers are not your friend. They exist to run a facility, not ensure that you and your coworkers are getting lunch breaks, able to defend yourself against angry visitors/patients or checking on your work satisfaction.

    Is it other staff members? OH yes, frequently! Like I said, people are people, and that goes for nurses, too. You'll know who that one nurse is who's eating lunch in the back room while the rest of the floor is going down like a bad remake of the Titanic.

    Is it patients? Less frequently in my experience, but yes, it can be. Some patients (just like all people) are demanding, scared, impatient, or just downright unpleasant. Those may well be the days you find yourself on this board composing a rant all your own...

    Is it the demanding work life? Absolutely. Just wait until you have a patient due at CT 15 minutes ago who is suddenly complaining of pain and they're now late for both CT and their appointment that the docs had to fight to schedule at the last minute that was supposed to be right after CT. Oh, and the doctor, CT tech and pharmacist are all ******. At you.

    Is it the lack of work/pleasure balance? Yep. Three on, one off, two on, one off, two on, two off, three on... (I could keep going...)

    Is job satisfaction possible in this field?
    YES. A thousand times, yes. While my old job (referenced in my replies above) was sometimes frustrating, stressful and incredibly irritating, it was also one of the most fulfilling jobs I've had in my entire life.

    There are very few things in this world -- much less jobs -- that are easy AND undeniably worthwhile. When you're doing something that is important, there will almost always be crap to wade through on the way to your goal. But it's worth it.
    Last edit by SoldierNurse22 on Feb 10, '13
  12. by   paradiseboundRN
    My complaint is that nurses get no respect, especially from other nurses. And it doesn't seem to matter what degree you have or how high your position is.
  13. by   BrandonLPN
    Quote from paradiseboundRN
    My complaint is that nurses get no respect, especially from other nurses. And it doesn't seem to matter what degree you have or how high your position is.
    Nurses with a higher degree should get more respect?