Lovely_RN 5,977 Views
Joined Jan 12, '05.
Posts: 1,151 (42% Liked)
I worked years ago in a VA that had a general psych unit and a 28-day drug/EtOH rehab, and the two programs shared the same dining room (at the same time, so the two populations encountered each other at meals). I worked on both units at different times, and was v. amused to to find that the two populations were equally offended that they were expected to share a dining room with the other group, and to hear on the rehab unit after meals, much grumbling about how "I may be an addict, but at least I'm not CRAZY ..." while, at the same time, clients on the psych unit would be grumbling, "Well, I may have a mental illness, but at least I'm not a drunk or a junkie ..." It seems to be human nature for individuals who are in a difficult situation (particularly being looked down on by other segments of society) to look for some other group to look down on in order to feel better about themselves.
I agree, also, that many chemically dependent individuals are looking for any excuse to avoid engaging in treatment, and, for some, not liking the folks you're supposed to share a unit with is as good as any.
I worked in a private top of the line detox that was closed and merged with the psych unit. I got the same thing a lot. I would tell them that if they really wanted to recover, they were going to have to learn to tolerate a little discomfort and they may as well get some practice during their detox. Just the pecking order of the psych world - heroin addicts think they're better than crackheads, crackheads think they're better than meth-heads, alcoholics think they're better than drug addicts, and they all think they're better than the mentally ill.
Addicts live in a world of magical thinking and denial.
You might try something along the lines of them not worrying about labels so much, and just focus on the issues that led them to seek help.
I was "forced" into this speciality after going through rehab and surrendering my nursing license. I was then placed on a monitoring contract with my BON, which prohibits me from working in the area I had been employed previously (ICU). The only places we were really authorized to work were long term care (not an option for me), dialysis (did that for a few months; hated it), and psychiatric nursing. I have been here for over 3 years and I love it. It's where I feel I can make an impact and I have the opportunity to do a lot of patient education, which I did not have in the ICU. I've been sober for well over 4 years now and am pretty happy that the road led me to this job. I NEVER would have chose psych otherwise. I believe now that this is where I am supposed to be and if I ever leave this speciality, I will explore an area in nutrition as it relates to mental health/substance abuse. I have NO urge to return to hospital nursing, especially critical care. I do miss the total patient care but I also understand that it feeds into my codependency issues and my ego/pride, which can impact my sobriety in a negative way. I am grateful that my current supervisor took a chance on me, not having any psych nursing experience and believed in me.
Here Employed Nurse! Have a travel coffee mug!! Now get back to working short-staffed and don't forget to kiss everybody's butt with a smile and a "I have time!".
When I worked in the hospital, I despised nurses' week because it felt like "here's one week of the year where we're going to pretend we value our nurses but tomorrow we'll be back to screwing you."
Add me to this list. I have a year in and i hate it more and more everyday. never liked it much to begin with. those of you who say, "after 25 years , you had enough" 25 years? you should get some sort of medal for that! wow. i feel like this job consumes my whole life. rotating schedule, holidays, weekends, nights, days, days, nights, sleeping away everyday off to "catch up". i don't have any passion for nursing, and look at my friends in other careers and wonder if i would have been happier doing something else. all everyone can see from the outside is the money/bennifets etc. no one wants to hear the reality of NO BREAKS, or rare breaks, no aides, short staffing, the high stress of the job, even without factoring any of the above. all they think is that it is grey's anatomy and handing out pills. ahhhhh( what a rant)
There is a fullfilling life as a nurse away from the bedside. Clinics, school nurse, healthcare sales, blood bank, skin bank, Red Cross or anyone of the non profit healthcare org, maybe policy or grant writing....the field is wide open...start expanding beyond the bedside.
I need to vent once again. So my hospital has come up with this stupid rule. The tech's are not allowed to do vital signs, fingersticks or EKGs. I work on a step down telemetry unit (get all the thoracic, CABG that are stable). We are always short staffed that I get 8 patients where I should only be getting 5-6. We have a good for nothing union. The tech's walk around making $18/hr for doing nothing but cleaning pts. I'm so frustrated. With the economy it's difficult for even experienced nurses to land a job elsewhere. I'm so grateful for a job but I don't want to lose my license. I'm not even kidding...the other day one of my co-workers wet herself cause she couldn't get to the bathroom in time...her patient's vent machine alarm kept going off (pt needed to be suctioned immediately, pt was in really bad shape coded 2x on her). The other day the ICU was packed so I ended up getting an ICU patient with 3 admissions. I threw a fit had all of administration come down and still nothing was done. I wrote to the CEO of the hospital and the union (my response "you did an amazing job, thank you"). Is all this worth it? I'm just hoping its not like this at every hospital. I'm starting to apply to other places. Hopefully something will work out.
I am finding that lately after 25+years I am also hating the bedside. Mainly because of the backstabbers I work with, a nurse manager that plays favorites and interprets the "rules" based on the person in front of her. Mostly because of a day like yesterday. I busted my a@@ from 7am to 3pm getting a critically ill patient tubed, lined, ct'd, a-lined, med titrations, no bathroom, no lunch and today one of the docs questioned today why an abx went up later than he expected. Do doctors really get "it" ? After all these years I still see some write an order and forget the process/s it takes to carry out the order.
Reasons I love clinic work and how I'm so mentally, physically, and emotionally relieved to be going back to it in a few weeks:
1.I can pee when I need to and not worry about being fussed out by a patient b/c I was in the bathroom for 21/2 minutes instead of taking that time to get their prn q hour morphine or their ginger ale.
2. I can take a FULL HOUR for a lunch break. We have no patients scheduled during lunch. This means I can eat my lunch at a decent pace or go run an errand if I need to, take a minute to call a friend or family member, or meet someone for lunch, etc. etc. etc. Basically be treated like a human being instead of a pack mule.
3. The pace is exactly like I like it. Its a steady/fast pace but in a controlled setting/enviroment. I can basically expect what my day will be like with the occasional surprise or patient going sour. (And I did not realize how important this would be for my sanity.)
4. My work is autonomous but we also do team nursing. I love being able to share the workload, and it builds great teamwork. Its not MY patient or YOUR patient. We help each other out. I LOVE IT!!
5. I love babies and kids. I love seeing them grow as they come back for their future check ups and that something I told or/taught the parent made a big difference.
6. I don't have to supervise CNA/PCT's. I do my own vitals and don't have to figure out if something got done or not.
7. I still practice alot of my skills. I do venipunctures, I&O caths, etc. I do alot of patient teaching, which I love, newborn care, asthma teaching, etc...
8. No excessive charting. Never stay late to chart. Ever. No hourly rounding, no administration breathing down my neck.
9. Get to leave on TIME 95% of the time and I get off at 5. I'm part time so it doesn't mean I have to work 8-5 M-F either. No weekends And I can pick up extra time if I want.
10. I don't think about work when I'm not there, unless its a good thought about a funny kid or something. I don't dream about work or not sleep the night before going to work because I'm anxious about what my day is going to be like.
11. When students come I actually have time to show them things.
12. I feel like I have a LIFE with this job and it doesn't consume me, mind, body, and soul like hospital nursing has done to me.
Makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one feeling this way. I used to go into work with my mom back in the 80's early 90's for bring your child to work day. I remember loving what she did and told myself this is exactly what I wanted. Healthcare has changed so much. My patient expired the other night (I work 12-13 hour night shifts) administration was on top of me to get the pt to the morgue so they can book the bed. The son of the pt was hysterical at the bedside. What was I to tell him? Get the hell out we need this room? Where is the compassion? I swear I told all my family...I want to die and home. Don't ever keep me in the hospital.
Helping co-workers is great, but if someone is arriving late often, or falling behind because they take extended breaks, the Charge nurse should be alerted. Let them deal with that, as it is a performance issue. I will often help my coworkers, and the help is reciprocated. However, I have no interest helping someone who is chronically late or lazy. We all have a job to do.
I had plans once, for retirement, even had money. One foray into the health care system without insurance took care of all those plans.
but still, this woman had options to become educated to get a job similar to what she was doing before - that i don't get.
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