dream'n, BSN, RN 10,202 Views
Joined Aug 28, '06.
Posts: 885 (57% Liked)
From my observation of working as a nurse for more than 20 years and now moving towards the age of 50 I find that most nurses on high traffic/ high workload floors including med/surg and all intermediate care units tend to be of a younger age as you have already observed.
It seems to change when you look at areas that are "less crazy" and offer better work conditions including critical care areas, PACUs, intervention areas.
In the major teaching hospitals, older nurses also gravitated towards the night shift if working on a medsurg or stepdown floor.
Why is this happening?
First of all, many nurses used to move towards shifts that would accommodate their family /family planning better and that used to be night shifts for many or evenings etc. - a lot of them like their arrangement and do not wish to go back to the busier day shifts.
Secondly, some nurses plainly drop out of the hospital once they have family because they are looking for something that fits their lifestyle better.
Thirdly, we are not getting younger....
Fourthly, you discover that the hospital is not the "holy grail" and look into other options that do not require nights and weekends - which tends to be not the hospital environment unless you have a special position or agreement.
I can say that when I got older and got past 35 I noticed that I felt less energetic but also less likely to put up and accept bad working conditions. I became more critical of the way management treats their nurses and asked questions pertaining to how quality of care, workload/support/staffing, and health/satisfaction of myself interfaces. Once it became more important for me to have a job that enables me to do my best work/ quality instead of just pushing the numbers of admissions and discharges on the busy floors with constant running/multitasking/ punitive hospital culture/ unhealthy working climate I took action.
It became less important for me to put the "big names" on my resume because by that time I had already enough work experience in different areas of "big name" hospitals and instead focused on what is important to me now. I also was in the position to take a risk with starting a new job. For some nurses it is more important to suffer through the status quo because they depend on the specific job due to money or arrangements. For me it was more important not to get burned out by the giant churning machine...
It seems that most nurses who want to keep their sanity look to leave the bedside after a few years - favorite places are case management, management (if one is inclined to move over to the dark side..), administration, areas with less patients to take like critical care/PACU....
For a while, home care was also very popular but now it is basically the same craziness as hospital nursing - only that your trunk is full of supplies, you drive around and see one patient at a time. The documentation requirements are crazy.
OP, I understood your message with the poem. Even though I am extremely sensitive and emotional regarding the Holocaust, I do understand exactly what you were trying to say. Yes, I have been in your shoes with workplace harassment, and honestly I fought it for too long before leaving, as I do have some left over battle scars. I think it shows great character wanting to help others, including your friend. But I recommend that you don't and that you move past it. Through the years I've found that fighting other's battles can cause you more damage than it's ever worth. Pick your battles wisely and this one you shouldn't take on. It can hurt you professionally and prolong your ability to move on. Your friend will need to fight or quit, she/he has the same option you did. This is JMHO
I once heard that PACU is the place that older nurses go to stay until retirement. That it is great for older, experienced critical care/ER nurses.
If we look at how much stigma STILL exists with adults and mental illness, I am unsure why people are still always so surprised when it comes to children. With children they can't see the end game, they can't see that middle school and high school and now even elementary school means nothing when they become adults (although again social media and the internet is very much changing that) I mean don't get me wrong, I love the internet, I love how easy it's made life. At the same time I wish we could just take it back. In the end I feel it's doing more harm than good.
Anyway, schools are in a tough position as well and I am not sure what the solutions are. There was another media thing that went around last week and people ripped the school apart. Had the school not acted though and something happened, then everyone would have ripped the school apart for not doing enough. They can't win.
Since we are sharing, I will share a small blurb on this. Not even getting into my own past and my issues with all this, last year I received a phone call at work from my sons principle that they had a very strong reason to believe my son killed himself. In fact they were about to head out to my house to check. I lived 2 mins away so I got there first. Now as a mom and someone well well versed in the realm of mental illness and suicidiality, I did suspect something was going on. I talked to my son all the time. Not only was her very introverted, he was highly intelligent and he was very small for his age. He was the minority at his school and he literally could have been the poster sign for kids you see in shows that got bullied. (outside of clothes and appearance) but as far as personality and size. I asked him all the time if he was getting bullied, if anything was going on, the things I was supposed to do. He always insisted that things kids say don't bother him and he wasn't being bullied and he was good. At this point he grades were still A's and this day was the first day of school he had ever missed. I let it go because I didn't know what else to do.
I can't even begin to tell you what went through my mind as a mom. The anniversary for my brothers suicide was a few weeks away during this time. During the course of investigating everything I discovered on his "erased" google history that he had planned and researched his suicide for the past month. He had all his bases covered. It was also found out his "best friend" was going to help him end his life. At the end of it all the school felt it would be best if he finished the school year in an alternative school which was really 3 hrs a day at the boys and girls club with deviant kids, (where he is even MORE out of place) and he would do online modules. This just pushed him more over the edge. As far as the kid that was going to help him. The school did not seem to see the seriousness of that. That this kid needs to be talked to and get some help too. Because it truly was his best friend, the kid tried to talk my son out of it. When my son was stubborn in his decision and his friend realized he wasn't changing his mind. That is when he said he would help. But the school didn't seem to see the problem with this and why this needed to be handled as well.
The only good thing to come out of the situation was that we found out it was the kid across the street that was doing most of the bullying. Kids mom was loud and abrasive and crazy, but she wasn't about bullying. Found out the kid was physically bullying my son at the bus stop and on the bus primarily. Well when the mom found out her son was involved she lost her mind and she wanted my son to come see her whoop her sons butt. I thought it should be handled differently, and her and I talked. We got the boys together and when her son found out my son was literally hours away from killing himself and that it was because he couldn't handle the thought of dealing with the bullying any longer, her son broke down bawling. He truly had no idea and he never once thought those actions could push someone to the point of death. He was genuinely sorry and remorseful. I was thankful for that. A lot of times bullies don't care.
I am glad to hear that everything is doing better, for this incident it definitely sparked back up PTSD issues I already had, it got so bad I couldn't walk into my front door and right past his room without picturing him there hanging. *
Sleep apnea can make you feel like you can never get enough sleep. Just an idea.
Start looking for another job immediately. I used to get mandated to stay quite often for call ins/no shows when I first became a nurse in the early 90s. But now that I'm much older, I would never put up with it (barring an actual emergency situation). It might happen once (and I'd have to stay because I couldn't abandon my patients), but trust me it would never happen again. But I'm older and feisty. Honestly, I'd give management an earful and if they didn't come up with a reasonable plan for the future, I'd quit. Nobody has time to deal with that s***. No wonder they are so short staffed.
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