Is money everything?

  1. I have been a CNA for 26 plus years, and an Emt-B for seven and a half years. In my career I've seen the good and bad of everything I've had some hell yeah calls, as well as shed a few tears, a few laughs, and held the hand of people who are dying in so many different scenarios. Most of it I've worked hospice and that is my niche.

    Now, as I am turning 50, I'm getting out of my comfort zone as a CNA, and I'm starting school to get my LPN which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I got to thinking the other night that's so many nurses always look for money first wear when I go into a job I look at how can I improve myself and the care of my patients, as well as make them as comfortable as possible and then I look at the money and the benefits.

    Am I the only one who thinks that way or is it just because of being older and seeing everything I have that that's the way I think? Yes money is good and yes I do like to have a little extra because of my skill and the care and my experience but I think sometimes some nurses get away from the care and making patients comfortable and worried more about how much they're making an hour and how much they can get vs patient care and a job well done.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from CariLynn
    I have been a CNA for 26 plus years, and an Emt-B for seven and a half years. In my career I've seen the good and bad of everything I've had some hell yeah calls, as well as shed a few tears, a few laughs, and held the hand of people who are dying in so many different scenarios. Most of it I've worked hospice and that is my niche.

    Now, as I am turning 50, I'm getting out of my comfort zone as a CNA, and I'm starting school to get my LPN which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I got to thinking the other night that's so many nurses always look for money first wear when I go into a job I look at how can I improve myself and the care of my patients, as well as make them as comfortable as possible and then I look at the money and the benefits.

    Am I the only one who thinks that way or is it just because of being older and seeing everything I have that that's the way I think? Yes money is good and yes I do like to have a little extra because of my skill and the care and my experience but I think sometimes some nurses get away from the care and making patients comfortable and worried more about how much they're making an hour and how much they can get vs patient care and a job well done.
    I generally feel this way as well. I have reached a stage in my life where I have been putting away money for some time - Mostly because I have a son who (God willing) will be going off to college in 2020. I have a home but I don't drive fancy cars or take extravagant vacations or other expensive extras. Still it's a bit judgmental to form an opinion such as "some nurses get away from the care and making patients comfortable and worried more about how much they're making an hour and how much they can get vs patient care and a job well done." Good care and a focus on salary and earning are not mutually exclusive The two exist within the same context for many nurses. I do check my pay check to make sure I am being paid correctly.

    As a psych nurse in a private Psych hospital I make considerably less that my friends in acute care, but I love what I do and the place I work. As an added benefit I work close enough to home to be able to ride my bike which cuts down on fuel costs.

    Hppy
  4. by   bluegeegoo2
    Speaking for myself, after 10 years in LTC it is absolutely about the money. Why? Because of how LTC is generally set up. Minimum staff, maximum responsibility.

    When I was a new nurse, I'd show up to work all Pollyanna-like. I was going to save the world and create sunshine and rainbows with every step I took. Then reality hit. Like a truck.

    After years of being told no, not in the budget, sorry you'll just have to deal with whatever quality of life/staffing/available supplies issue I would try to address for residents I became quite cynical with healthcare as a whole. In a word, burnout.

    Because of burnout, I have been able to (mostly) remove emotion from the equation and perform my duties not because of some higher purpose, rather, because it's my job and that's what I'm paid to do.

    I guess the best way to put it is I've shifted focus on the EFFORT to address issues as opposed to the OUTCOME of the effort, if that makes sense. In doing so, i am not emotionally involved in the care of my residents. I can do the same job in any home. Might as well be paid well to do it.
  5. by   luvmyc
    Quote from CariLynn
    I have been a CNA for 26 plus years, and an Emt-B for seven and a half years. In my career I've seen the good and bad of everything I've had some hell yeah calls, as well as shed a few tears, a few laughs, and held the hand of people who are dying in so many different scenarios. Most of it I've worked hospice and that is my niche.

    Now, as I am turning 50, I'm getting out of my comfort zone as a CNA, and I'm starting school to get my LPN which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I got to thinking the other night that's so many nurses always look for money first wear when I go into a job I look at how can I improve myself and the care of my patients, as well as make them as comfortable as possible and then I look at the money and the benefits.

    Am I the only one who thinks that way or is it just because of being older and seeing everything I have that that's the way I think? Yes money is good and yes I do like to have a little extra because of my skill and the care and my experience but I think sometimes some nurses get away from the care and making patients comfortable and worried more about how much they're making an hour and how much they can get vs patient care and a job well done.
    How do you know that so many nurses look for the money first? That's a really interesting generalization. My entire work day is about my patient's comfort. Its about a shorter lunch break than I'm entitled to. It's about literally holding my pee so they can be seen quicker, it's about holding the hand of the woman getting VERY painful wound care, it's about calling the CEO of my hospital advocating for my patient who needs oxygen and cussing to my fellow nurses about why it's taking so damn long! I help the young mom with broken hand hold her babies while she gets her xray. And this is a normal day. Is it about money? I guess so! I run my butt off all day and am sure underpaid but I work like crazy to help my community have a better way of life. I think your outlook is very naive and when you actually become a nurse, maybe you will have a better understanding. I don't work with any nurses who do just the bare minimum for the $. I am frequently emotionally and frequently drained. The amount of suicide attempts, assaults, diabetes and other chronic illnesses isn't infrequent. It's a way of life where I live and where I serve as a nurse.
  6. by   brandy1017
    I think it is foolish to not be interested in making a decent wage. Women tend to be underpaid relative to men and part of it is our own willingness to work for less and not being used to negotiating over pay. It makes no sense to work for less just because you "care" that is actually not caring about yourself and your family enough! Women tend to make less than men, live longer, have higher medical costs over the years, take time off of work to care for family so need money more than men! Save your caring above money to your off time when you can volunteer for a cause you believe in.

    I admit negotiating with your current employer might not pay off, but chances are if you do so with your next employer it will raise your pay. That is your best chance to earn more money. Money brings security, freedom, the ability to save for the future, enjoy hobbies or vacations, as well as help your family or give to charity. I doubt men would put money on the back burner. Why do you feel you have to prove yourself worthy of being a nurse by not wanting more money?

    I worry about my many low paid coworkers and how they will manage, short of having another source of income from a husband or boyfriend. I also wonder why so many don't try to better themselves as you are finally doing. When I say this I mean going back to school thru a low cost tech program, not wasting time on an overpriced, useless bachelors degree. I feel sorry for all the youngsters that have fallen for the BA/BS trap finding themselves indebted with a useless degree and many worse off financially for making the mistake to get a degree due to the student loan debt trap that follows!
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Aug 16
  7. by   applewhitern
    I don't work for free, for my health, or for any other reason than to earn a decent living. I think we are all underpaid as it is, and the attitude that "its not about the money" but rather for "caring for patients" is one reason why we are underpaid. As long as we are willing to accept lower pay, our employers will be glad to give it to us.
  8. by   raindrops1234
    Well, speaking as a new nurse: money is definitely a HUGE priority for me right now. It took me five months to get a job, and then another two to get on the floor. In that seven month span I have had absolutely no savings to pay for my monthly bills (ie. rent, phone bill, groceries, etc). If not for my boyfriend I would have been living on the streets because I have no family who supports me. Oh, and also my student loan payments started coming out in month six.

    Does it affect how I care for my patients? No. So yeah, you made a really unfair generalization. Now that I have started working (as a per diem employee), I am picking up every shift I can in order to pay back ALL that money from the past seven months, continue paying my regular bills in the present, and live.
  9. by   sarah777
    I have been in healthcare for 5 years now; 2 years as an LVN. I know it's hard because I tend to have similar thoughts sometime. But we really need to focus on bettering ourselves instead of pondering other nurse's motives. I am the type of person who cares about her patients and will reasonably go above and beyond when I see it's necessary. I have found myself getting caught up in thoughts like "how did she become a nurse, she's not very caring?" or "she probably just cares about the money." Instead of having these thoughts and spending so much energy on it we should 1) Focus on the things we can control and 2) Find ways to help those other nurses who aren't as compassionate as we are. When people feel appreciated, they will work harder. Find a way to appreciate those people and build relationships with them. That's the philosophy I am trying to employ with myself.
  10. by   Brittanyoc1630
    Hey, the bottom line is nurses are people and different people have different opinions of what is most important. Do I feel one should become a nurse solely based on money-- NO-- however, the sad fact is that many people do. That being said, the people that solely get into this business for that reason alone don't last very long.
  11. by   egglady
    Money is important. Fact is we have mortgage bills, car payments etc. Health insurance is huge. Retirement is huge. These are all facts of life. The "feel good" parts of nursing are nice, most of us have them. Fact is that money is needed to live.
  12. by   heron
    I think it's a big mistake to set up the question as an either/or proposition. Nothing in life is that black and white, least of all motivations for becoming nurses. The OP seems to imply that caring and the desire for financial benefit are mutually exclusive motivations. As others have pointed out, they are not. Furthermore, neither motive is more virtuous than the other.

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