*LadyJane*, ADN 8,035 Views
Joined May 1, '08.
Posts: 288 (46% Liked)
Hello fellow nurses.
I have been a nurse for over 20 years, and can relate to many stories and posts on here. The reason I am here is because I really don't know why after all these years, nursing is becoming way to difficult to handle. I'm litterally emotionally and physically exhausted. It's depressing me really. So much, that I am having to take antidepressants to try to ease the pain. No one seems to really care. All they really care about is that I keep the money flowing..lol. But I am losing myself and I feel like it's making me ill. I tried to leave the profession a couple of times. The first time was after I had a breakdown and that's when my first husband decided to leave after 20 years. The second time was after I remarried. But it started to cause so much friction I returned after 6 months. I pretend to be happy most days for the sake of others, but it's hard to fake happy. I get severe panic attacks and can't sleep anymore thinking about how I don't want to go to work. I have had to call in sick a lot recently as I am too upset and drained to get myself motivated to go. This is a situational depression cause it's all about this career. I would have liked to change careers, but I don't know if I would have that in me anymore at my age to start over. It seems as long as I am nursing everyone is happy. But it just leaves me feeling miserable. Like I am dying alive. I made a mistake going into this profession. Not that I am not a good nurse. I always gave good care. But I just wish I never started. It's ruined my life cause of how unhappy it's made me feel for years. I need to accept the truth and stop the denial. I need to pave a new path somehow.
When my teenage son was in hospital, the first thing I trained him in was this: when a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional comes to your room, immediately turn off the TV, put down the phone and give them your full attention.
Blaring TVs and phone/tablet distractions are rude to me.
I have always loved (LOVED) to read. If I could, I'd be reading books all day long. My mother instilled this love in my siblings and I very early on; we would rather sit around together and read than watch TV or go out somewhere.
I remember being in nursing school and being unable to read for pleasure. (I mean, I COULD; but I would be overcome by a terrible sense of guilt; the knowledge that I should be studying.) When I graduated and finally passed NCLEX, I'll never forget the first (non-nursing) book that I read (one by my all-time favorite and all around BEST author ever... Stephen King). Being able to read fiction again, after all the stress of school and NCLEX, was really indescribable. To this day, I've never forgotten how that felt.
(I'm sure many won't understand... but I know there are some hard-core readers out there who know exactly what I'm talking about).
Now I have discovered the wonderful world of audiobooks... not for everyone, but now I can safely ride my bike and read a book (it was very painful before LOL-just kidding)
This whole customer service thing is so over done. Yes, people should be treated with respect, and that includes nurses and other health care providers. Letting patients get away with disrespecting and abusing their healthcare providers needs to come to an end. If a patient chooses to be uncooperative or demanding they should be discharged. And if they are sick, too bad.
And who would eat an "I Quit" cake anyway?
I'm pretty good about dealing with bodily fluids, suctioning, colostomies, etc....but the one thing that absolutely makes me cringe is the sight of external fixators. Something about the pins sticking out with all the drainage...I can hardly look at them!! Thank goodness I don't work on a surgical trauma/ortho floor.
I have heard this before, and have always been uncomfortable with the phrase that "We are all replaceable."
Understandably, I am sure my worldview plays into this.
But please, let me just say that yes, I agree, our jobs, our functions, our positions within a business entity, our credentials and our professions are replaceable.
But we as individuals are not replaceable. We are all unique individuals, with unique abilities and talents (both part AND apart from our profession) and there will never be another me or another you walking this earth again. And as such, we are valuable and we have worth and we are special. And in that sense, we are irreplaceable.
Exactly, quite the opposite, those who take the abuse are weak.
Title should read "Why nursing is for the strong and resilient". It's tough but I wouldn't say it sucks!
I started right on Med/Surg/Tele after nursing school because that's what everyone in school advised me to do. "Go to Med/Surg, get good experience, learn all you can there.." blah blah blah.
Well, I tell ya what I got from Med/Surg.. alot of chaos, running around, feeling like I was not providing safe care, not having a SECOND to learn about a medication or procedure, etc.. Backstabbing which sucked out most of my energy and spirit, just plain OVERWHELMED.
I was hesitant to try LTC because everyone talked down a"bout it. Basically gave the impression that the nurses who worked LTC weren't "real" nurses.
I am in LTC now RN Supervising. I WISH I had started in LTC. I have time to really get to known the patient, learn and absorb all I can about their conditions (which are plentiful!), the medications, learning how to interact w/families/MDs/other nurses/Labs etc.. Learning about procedures/protocols. Where I work, we also have post surgical pt's.. so we get total knees/total hips/ etc etc you name it,, just a few more days past their surgeries than you'd get on Med/Surg.
I have heard that LTC management is horrible. Where I work now.. it's pretty dang good. Where I'd previously worked, it stunk. BUT.. as an RN you are in demand in LTC and can try out different facilites to find the best one. THEN.. after a yr in LTC..if you still feel that need for hospital work.. I personally would hire a nurse from LTC BEFORE I hired one straight out of school...and I have heard other nurse recruiters would also. You will enter the hospital with FAR more knowledge and working skills that will have you all set to learn what Med/Surg has to offer... without feeling so overwhelmed.
That's how I wish I'd done it. = )
I teach an ongoing class on adapting to night shift, and my MSN and (soon to be) DNP work has been in this area as well. One thing I would suggest which has not been mentioned is sunglasses. Sunlight hitting the retina suppresses melatonin secretion and drives wakefulness. So, one must avoid sunlight hitting the retina in the hours prior to sleep.
So, sunglasses ON before leaving the building in the morning. Sunglasses STAY ON until your butt hits the bed. And if you get up to use the toilet, put your sunglasses ON to do so. Avoid turning on lights or doing anything else except toilet and return to bed.
That said- the light emitted by your electronics suppresses melatonin as well, so avoid screens prior to your sleep time. This means phone, laptop, tablet, TV---you get the idea.
Have you tried Melatonin? Valarian root? Or even considered a prescription for a sleeping pill?
I had a tough time sleeping for more than 3 hrs until.I tried Melatonin and Valarian root, for me it really worked, I could sleep until 3-4 in the afternoon and woke up refreshed and able to enjoy my evening!
Hope you are able to find something that works for you.
Are patients allowed to order food from outside places and have it delivered to their rooms if they are on anything but a regular diet?
Right now we have a morbidly obese pt. who is a raging diabetic. He's on a diabetic diet. He can not even move himself around in the bed independently. All of us have been stressing our backs lifting his legs, pannus, arms, etc. so that he can turn and reposition. Getting him to sitting position on the edge of the bed is a real back buster. Don't even get me started on the two hour long dressing changes.
Just about every night he orders large amounts of food from the local fast food delivery places.
I understand that food is an addiction and free will and all of that but he is not complying w/ his prescribed diet which is affecting his ability to heal.
We had a another situation w/ a diabetic dialysis pt. who the doctors allowed to be on a regular diet. He needed to have his gallbladder taken out but refused. He would order burgers and fries and nibble on them all night while at the same time getting Phenergan q6hr and Dilaudid q3hr for his nausea and stomach pain. He'd refuse his Carafate, Reglan and Pepcid. And dialysis for days at a time.
Both of these pt.s could be verbally abusive and demanding to the staff. It is so frustrating that the doctors don't put their foot down and tell them that they cannot have a regular diet. Why can't the docs discharge them for non-compliance? We are basically just boarding these folks
b/c they refuse everything that will make them better.
I've been a nurse for a long time and I know the answer...customer satisfaction. But it feels good to vent.
I'm still curious about the ordering food from outside places, though. And, do you all see any docs that will stand up to these pt.s and not allow them things that are hindering their healing? Or will discharge them if they are refusing all tx. that will make them better?
What amazes me is how you'll read travel tips recommending you adapt to the corresponding country, as a form of respect. YET .... here in America we cannot expect anyone to learn OUR customs /etiquette / formalities...
Expecting foreigners to learn our culture and customs? that's just racist. How DARE we even think about that. (Please read my sarcasm).
UGH. It's mind twisting.
Don't get me wrong. I love traveling and love other cultures (going to Spain soon) BUT this whole "let's not offend us" mentality doesn't even come from the foreigners .... it comes from extremely liberal Americans that say " Don't offend them ".
People in Spain will find it rude if you back away from the one kiss per cheek greet... and because I KNOW that's their custom I wouldn't be so rude to back off and extend my hand instead. I would be culturally competent and go with the flow...
There are foreigners (namely the middle east) where handshakes and direct eye contact are a NO NO... and frankly I'm tired of lousy handshakes and zero eye contact. I'm an American, we're in America.
Shake my hand and look into my eyes please. It's a sign I can trust you!.
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