I hate being a nurse

  1. hey everybody, I've worked as a nurse for four years in a long-term care facility/rehabilitation center. I can honestly say that being an LPN in my setting is probably the worst job anybody could ever have. I make more money than I would anywhere else, but it's definitely not worth it. I know what you're thinking. Nursing varies so much. Why don't I just change fields? But, I'm married with children. I can't take a ginormous pay cut because I'm not happy at work.

    Any nurse knows that I'm beating a dead horse when I bring up staffing, but it has to be said. How the hell can 2 nurses and 3 nursing assistants take care of 60 people? This ratio is rationalized by saying that in a rehab setting the acuity level is lower than that of the hospital. ********! The acuity level is whatever the patient's status is when the hospital bleeds the payor source dry and needs another bed. I've got 35 patients to be responsible for, and they are no less acute than they were when on the unit. State legislation mandates a minimum ratio for staff to patients. This doesn't help because when checking for compliance, the facility is including all the office nurses (directors of nursing, assistant directors of nursing, assessment coordinators, staff development, etc). Corporate and other contracts involved dictate a labyrinth of rules involved when staffing for the shift. Which might I add is a duty that falls right in the lap of the staff nurses. surprised? Corporate says you may have a maximum of X amount of staff. (God forbid that there be a second to...I don't know talk to a patient. this would constitute down time) The state then says you must have a minimum of X amount of staff. They try to make it sound like there is some room to play with it, but in all reality. X=X. Corporate dictates that we can not staff anymore than the minimum. the maximum is the minimum.

    That brings me to my next point. Nursing as an institution is so top heavy. Take my unit for example. Two nurses do the work. Meanwhile, 8 nurses supervise. Yea, I said 8. And they are not alone. Then you have the administration and their quest for quality control. Then there's the therapists and other various non-nursing staff and their never ending concern for what the nurses are doing. Wouldn't the patients be better served with 2 supervisors and 8 hands-on nurses. Can anybody say MICROMANAGEMENT? To the "jump off a bridge" degree. It doesn't stop there. That was only the in-house supervision. It doesn't stop there; not even close. It goes on to include OSHA, corporate, the state board, the ombudsman, social services, etc, etc, etc. Everybody wants to know what 2 ******* nurses are doing.

    Don't get me started on the absurdity of pain control scrutiny. when I have to wake you up to give you your pain medication because you rated it a wopping 10 on a scale of 0-10. sleeping at a 10? get real. and annoying family members." NO! your 100 year old mom is not better than she was 90 minutes ago. She is still brain dead. can I get off the phone now?" "she's been here for years and I've never met you, and you wanna come in and scrutinize the staff." "TAKE THEM HOME WITH YOU if you can do so much better" They can try to argue that they're paying out the ass for good care. What they don't know is that I can open the chart and see that the payor source is medicare and medicaid every time. So whose paying what? In fact, I am paying out the ass for the care that I provide. Don't get me started on the google'ologist. You know what I'm talking about. The person who just got done reading about every side effect and possible cause....on some dot com web site. Do they know that I can go on wikipedia and say that vitamin C causes coronary artery disease right now and a million people idiots would quit drinking juice by tomorrow? I'm all for patient advocacy, but nurses are not the bad guys. and I'm all for patient empowerment through education, but **** it let me do my job.

    Nursing shortage? what nursing shortage? Did you know that the current number of available nursing positions in America pales in comparison to the number of licensed nurses that are not working as such. These people came to nursing with good intentions, couldn't stand it anymore, and left nursing just like that. It would be naive to think that they made that decision without much thought. Think of all the time, energy, and money spent on education to work as a nurse. Then think of what it would take to make people turn their backs on it. It's not an illusion. I'm not just one burned out nurse who didn't like his job. You've just heard the voice of thousands.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jan 8, '12 : Reason: profanity edited out of post, per TOS
  2. Visit okthen profile page

    About okthen

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 4; Likes: 75


  3. by   momtojosh
    annoying family members." NO! your 100 year old mom is not better than she was 90 minutes ago. She is still brain dead. can I get off the phone now?" "she's been here for years and I've never met you, and you wanna come in and scrutinize the staff." "TAKE THEM HOME WITH YOU if you can do so much better"

    I hope in Gods name you NEVER take care of my mother....
    Last edit by dianah on Oct 16, '11 : Reason: Terms of Service re: profanity
  4. by   tishluvnc
    don'tspeaktomelpn, do u plan on getting your RN?Just curious, I know a few nurses who claim if they had it to do over they would. What about you and what career would it be? I myself is wondering if my next step should be RN or MSW.Im am a CNA I about to graduate with a BA degree. Your post is scary!
  5. by   Sparrowhawk
    You're majorally burnt out girl.
  6. by   juzme
    This is the place where nurses are supposed to come and get support, not be judged....especially when it is obvious that a nurse is as burned out as you are....I have worked in a hospital, LTC, and other areas and I can tell you that I have heard other nurses say worse. You are crying out for help and your rant is painful to read, but please know many of us nurses have felt the same way. Please re-examine if you still want to remain a nurse and if not, for yourself and your patients, find another career.
  7. by   agldragonRN
    i'm sorry you feel this way op. i understand how being chronically understaffed makes everything difficult. i'm sure you don't talk to the family like that and you just wished some family should take the hint. but this is the reality in ltc and it will get worst as funding continues to be cut.

    can you talk to somebody in management about the staffing? you should list all your duties in paper and show them that it is impossible to complete every single tasks and be safe at the same time. if possible include how many minutes you spend with each tasks and patients then add up the time. you should also add that you do a lot of the cna duties because there are only 3 of them.

    good luck op!
    Last edit by agldragonRN on Oct 16, '11
  8. by   okthen
    clearly I've offended you. at one time or another you must have had a family member that you couldn't take care of yourself. either that or you are the type of person who would bug the "you know what" out of the nurses on duty. this is the only explanation for your strong reaction. but just know that I'm sorry the truth hurts. the nurses that you harass (much in the way that your reply is harassment to me) feel the same way that I do.
  9. by   okthen
    my remarks were merely an expression of frustration with family members who refuse to accept the futility of treatment. I don't have to explain myself to someone as close-minded as yourself "momtotosh". But I will so that you can sleep better at night knowing that the world is a good place. I may be a touch of the names that you've called me, but only after having taken so much bull that I can't hold my tongue anymore. I do have sympathy for my patients, and I work my fingers to the bone to prove it to them and their family members, and I don't have to prove it to you.
  10. by   DennRN
    Anyone have an extension for my 10 ft pole?
    It appears to me that you are between a rock and a hard place. You need the money to support your family, yet you are suffering in your current position.

    While it is healthy to vent, I also think that remaining open to feedback is a good thing.

    No one can tell you whether the realities of supporting your family are worth the wages vs. hassles of your job, but it appears that you are reaching an untenable position. Maybe it is time for a break? Is it possible to take some time for yourself? No one can expect you to care for others at the expense of your own health, and it appears that the stress is taking a toll on you.
  11. by   labvampire
    I understand. Nursing is top heavy, and women are different managers than men. But, LTC will suck the life out of you. It is a very emotional and physically draining type of nursing. All aspects of nursing can be draining. It's the job, it doesn't matter what type of nurse you are. There will always be someone in another healthcare profession who thinks they can do your job better. I just quit an office nursing position because the office manager and respiratory therapist THOUGHT they were nurses. No one is walking in your shoes and you know what you have to do to make ends meet. We don't have the right to judge her, we need to support her and her frustrations. The CNA who is going to get her BA will find out soon enough the frustrations. Everyone who graduated intended on using their license for changes for the better. We soon find out we are beaten down by the system, and we are warm bodies filling positions. Don't let that cloud why you went to school. Take a deep breath, and remember why we all did this career to begin with. I am here if you need to vent, just email me.
  12. by   PurpleViolet
    You my friend are burnt out as the others have added. I do not blame you one bit as I myself have worked in the same type of situation for years.I am now a hospice nurse and I absolutely love it.It is the best job I have ever had and I feel I can give GOOD care and the patient ratio is one to four.Granted it was a cut in pay but the differential,perks,benefits added up to be about the same somehow.I think my BP also lowered substantially lol.You may flourish in a homecare setting,hospice ect.Find a perdiem job and try it out and see.Its worth a shot.

    My background-Been an LPN for 11 years was a CNA before that for 7 yrs.Worked my last job for 2 yrs at a health care facility 11p-7a Had 30 pts whom I provided scheduled med pass,IV therapy,pain management,excessive charting,treatments and was also responsible for doing the full admission -paperwork,verifying meds with MD,fighting with pharmacy ect when they came in after 11pm.I did some agency and worked staff before that and it seems every nursing facility is the same.I have been to over 40 in my nursing career in different states.
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    I was just going to suggest hospice.

    And hugs.
  14. by   STL2008, RN
    About rehab....I can definetly say the acuity is definetly not lower. I feel like I'm on a medical floor sometimes.