Job Satisfaction: Can it be real in this field?

  1. 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 in the economic circumstances. It almost makes me mad that there are so many nurses that feel unhappy in their current positions when there are probably about 367584 new grads who would be dying to get that same position. I understand that people use the site to vent and it can't be that bad all the time. I also understand that some new grads haven't worked in medical positions before so they may not know what they are getting into.

    I just started a position last month as a PCA on a surgical floor and so far I love it. I want everyone to explain to me:
    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 would just like to get some insight before I delve into nursing school, so I hope nobody takes offense to this.
  2. Visit thelittledoe profile page

    About thelittledoe

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 127; Likes: 40
    PCA; from US
    Specialty: Surgical


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Each nurse's complaints are going to be unique to them. Here are some things I personally dislike about the field:

    1. As a bedside nurse I have plenty of responsibility and no authority.

    2. Ridiculous nurse/patient ratios. On an understaffed night I'll get 9 to 12 patients.

    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.
  4. by   txnurse4thewin
    Every nurse is different. I loved my first job as an LVN, I loved my co-workers there, majority of the patients, and I love doing wound care. At both facilities I have ever worked at the only thing I hated was admin. Admin with their secrets and their loop hole jumping. It is even worse at my current job.
    At my current work place I have had the admin personally ask me to review my orders for moisture barrier creams and "discontinue them unless absolutely necessary." Why? Because buying generic Calmoseptine(R) was getting too expensive.
    Yeh... I am trying to do the best I absolutely can for my patients with what I have but I am not surprised when my CNAs hunt me down.
  5. by   NurseLatteDNP
    I have not had a job I hated as a nurse yet. Sure there were days I went home feeling like I wanted to quit, but the feeling passed as soon as I got home. My feelings were always triggered by working short on the unit. I wanted to provide great care but I felt like I couldnt do that working several nurses short.
    But like any job, you have your bad and your good days. The only difference is the amazing reward nurses get from their patients every day. That is priceless.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from thelittledoe
    I want everyone to explain to me:
    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?
    All of the above....and then some.

    Big corporations that know nothing of day-to-day operations, yet want to micromanage everything and everybody.

    Patients' families, too many of whom are rude, abusive, demanding, entitled, impatient, overbearing, angry, whiny, petulant, obnoxious, ignorant, foolish, and plain old street-rat crazy.

    Inter-shift rivalries.......Jiminy Crickets, people, it's a 24-hour facility for a reason. Deal with it!

    Excessive documentation, which takes nurses away from the bedside, doesn't improve patient care one bit, and serves no useful purpose other than to cover yours and the facility's butts.

    The expectation of loyalty to the employer, who would throw a nurse under the bus in two seconds flat if the occasion presented itself.

    Inspectors/surveyors who have never worked a single shift in a healthcare facility, and think they're qualified to fail an entire LTC if an unused med room shelf has a little dust on it, or a nurse fails to document results (within an hour!) of all 30 of the PRNs she just gave.


    I realize that this list may very well be discouraging, and to be honest, not ALL of nursing is like that. But anyone going into this line of work ought to do so with their eyes open and their minds made up that they will not feed into the negativity.......that they will do all in their power to elevate the profession, even in the face of all that nurses experience in the course of a career.
  7. by   NurseFrustrated
    I am happy and grateful to have a job in this environment. But that doesn't change the fact that:

    Some co-workers get to be very lazy and sit there socializing while I bust my ass (and on my unit that is usally a CNA or unit offense, but it's the truth.)

    Getting no dinner break because I have too many patient and it is physically impossible. Administration doesn't care. But I have never seen a PCA or nursing assistant on my unit miss a break. Ever. It happens to the nurses on my unit all the time. The difference is the level of responsibility and paperwork.

    Working short-staffed to the point where you feel that it is an unsafe environment for patients. You can ask administration for more help and you are told no. They don't care because they don't have to do it. If the patient falls and is injured, it's on me, the nurse, not the PCA.

    Having to stay over and hour or more after my shift ends doing paperwork that I could not do because of all the patient care, while the CNA always gets to leave on time.

    These things make me hate my job at times. If it is staffed well and we have enough help (people who are not lazy and who want to work), I love my job. A new grad in my position would feel the same way. I was a new grad at one time too. I learned quickly what it can really be like.

    The fact is, you have no idea and you cannot talk unless you have actually been a nurse. As a PCA/CNA or a new grad nurse who hasn't worked yet you really don't know. I didn't know when I was a CNA. You will find out if you become a nurse. Then you will come on here to vent to other nurses as well. Then you go back to work the next day and take good care of your patients. That's just the reality of it.
    Last edit by NurseFrustrated on Feb 10, '13
  8. by   samadams8
    The job can be demanding in more ways than can be shared online after >20 years of service.But I will give you a clue, and I don't think it's just me or just a few nursing colleagues that feel this way. A lot of it is the leadership and the people--other nurses with whom you must work.

    Many people go into nursing IMHO for reasons other than true like, much less love, for the profession, the specific fields, or even the patients. I think that is why there are so many troublemakers in nursing. It pays better than office jobs or the local convenience stores, and so people that really don't like or love it feel stuck after they get in it.

    Now, the other percent has to do with something too involved to deal with sociologically or psychologically on a big scale. To me,it seems that too many people feel one down and insecure in who they are. So a fair number of these people hope if they go into a field that involves helping or saving people, it will validate them as human beings.

    When they find they will work with other bright, caring, pretty, whatever females in nursing, it can get all high-schoolish for them. Next thing you know, they hook up with other influential insecure or otherwise unhappy people, and all of a sudden, "It's so on!" from their point of view. You end up wondering, " what the...". You also get annoyed, b/c who has time for this kind of crap when you are trying hard to save or care for sick people and be supportive of their families?

    The answer to this is that apparently the sad colleagues and leaders do. It is the getting sucker punched or chronically stressed by this kind of thing in a job that can already drain you on so many levels...even if you love it--and then seeing it repeated over and over. You cannot believe how fast this kind of crap gets old, but you march on in the field, hoping you will find a place where people do understand fairness, respect, support, etc. and you do find such places over the years, but they are rarer than you ever anticipated. You end up being there for your pts, families, a few great colleagues or docs or leaders, and to try and make a living. But the the gleam and shine--the hope you gave to your profession --the power of significance in nursing--it gets lost, at times, in all the needless abuse. You realize you aren't really deemed a professional, but just another wage expendable resource.

    Give it time my friend. You WILL see.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Feb 10, '13
  9. by   joanna73
    I enjoy helping others and the science of nursing. However, workplace politics, chronic staffing shortages, and unrealistic demands often make me re-evaluate my career as a nurse. My work/ life balance and peace of mind takes priority over everything else. Yes, nursing is important....but a job or a title, for that matter does not define me.
  10. by   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.
  11. by   BSNbeauty
    At one job it was the staff I hated. At My current job it is night shift with long commute I hate . I love bedside nursing but I can only survive it working parttime.....
  12. by   M/B-RN
    For me, it is the fact that I have 10 things that I need to get done at a time because of the chronic understaffing night shift has to deal with, which in turn, leads to burnout, stress, and fatigue from being overworked.

    The facility is frustrating because it's hard to do your job when the computers that are much too old keep freezing, and we are out of stock of the things we need.

    Patients are demanding and they expect way too much. It is so unrealistic the amount of things a nurse is expected to do and the amount of things we need to take responsibility for.

    I like the things that nurses are supposed to do and if we had enough, supplies, enough staff for numbers and acuity, and patients treated nurses like normal humans rather than slaves, I would be much for satisfied.
  13. by   martymoose
    -Is it burnout? I would say in time, yes. No one likes to be abused constantly, and it eventually comes to this.

    -Is it the facility itself ? I can't say personally, but it seems to be a common complaint on here( acute care,LTC) so I would have to say no.They all suck.

    -Is it other staff members? Again, same complaints, different locations- so yes, but I assume when everyone is stressed out, that's what happens over time.

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]-Is it patients? Sometimes no, but mostly yes, due to this generation of customer service over healthcare. Also the me me me attitudes- when you have other patients who have the gall to complain to you that their pillow isnt fluffed( ok maybe I am being slightly facetious) because you were, oh, in with a CODE.See how long you last with that kind of treatment day in and day out.
    Is it the demanding work life? Hmmm, I LOVE hauling 450 pd people up in bed, Drs being rude, families being rude, old people who WONT stay in bed( and subsequently fall, break a hip , and it's YOUR FAULT) Screamers( demented folks) who make your other patients angry, who take it out on you.... Oh, I could go on, but will spare you.

    Is it the lack of work/pleasure balance? Hmmm working all three shifts with in a week time frame, the lack of sleep that goes with that,every other weekend. 12 hour shift in reality is a 14 hour shift with no break, and if you have 2 of these back to back, you spend the next day recuperating. There is no ability to have a balance. You become property of the hospital.
  14. by   BSNbeDONE
    Where do I begin!