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allforthekidds 3,366 Views

Joined: Dec 30, '11; Posts: 102 (18% Liked) ; Likes: 39

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  • Oct 14 '12

    Yikes!!!! Sorry I don't have a very good imagination. I can understand not wanting family to know someone is in the hospital, I can understand not wanting, allowing, family to visit or see a newborn.

    However we of course had to pass through a security guard and check points just to inter the maternal infant unit. How could we have make it pass all these check points and gotten to be able to actually stand at the newborns bedside without a lot of permission already being given. We would not have gotten that far if the mother hadn't allowed it.

    So suddenly, somehow, my knowing EVERYTHING else about my grandchild, everything about the delivery, seeing what O2 and IV he was on.......but somehow knowing what antibiotic he is on would........well I can't imagine what? Sorry as I said I don't have a good imaginationl

  • Oct 2 '12

    Dear floor, ED and ICU nurses,

    Please forgive me.

    I know he's dying. I get it. I do. We were told five years. Five years on an outlier and he would be gone. We were told transplant was an option but with the dismal survival rates, we opted for rehab. He is now eight years post diagnosis.

    We know we are lucky have had him this long. It doesn't make this any easier. Please don't say it like it's a mantra of comfort. For reasons I don't know or even fully understand, it only makes the sting more sharp.

    We see it, you know. The mental status changes. The lack of control. The shuffling gate. The use of accessory muscles.

    We see it.

    And we know exactly what it means.

    When he can't remove his bipap to eat, we know. When he can't lower the head of his bed past thirty degrees, we know. When he can't talk, we know.

    We know.

    Forgive me, please, my many sins. Forgive me the overbearing stare and raised eyebrow. Forgive me for repositioning him and demanding another pillow for under his heels. I'm helpless, you see, to stop the very shadow that will claim him and I have nothing else to cling to. I have nothing else but what now feel as tedious, miniscule scraps of knowledge that amount to nothing. No cure. No hope. I'm lost.

    I'm lost.

    You must understand that when I nearly demand to read the orders or see the chart, when I loom over your shoulder, it is not that I don't trust is that I don't trust myself. I don't trust myself to be cope, to make all the right choices, to advocate, to deal with the loss and reconcile the feelings of guilt, of doubt, and pain.

    I beg you to understand that I'm scared to death and helpless and a control freak and for once I can't make it better. Understand that I glare instead of cry, laugh instead of scream, and go silent when angry. It's dysfunctional, but it's my way.

    And I don't want to be up later at night, pacing a hole in my carpeting, consumed by nausea and a feeling of coulda-woulda-shoulda.

    So when you see me wandering the halls, wringing my hands, biting my lip and growling under my breath, please don't be afraid to offer a kind word. It is what I need to hear. Even if I do not acknowledge that I heard it at all. Trust me, it got through. And I will remember.

    You must understand that this man is precious to me--that I want to guard him the way he guarded me from myself. That when I call every two hours to demand a neuro status check it is because I am not there and I am struggling to convince myself that I really do need to sleep even after being up for nearly thirty six straight hours and you are my eyes and ears and everything else.

    Please see what that cranky, demanding creature is to me. He wasn't always this way--a brain sitting in an acid bath is a terrible thing. I can't control what's happening to his body but I can control the flavor of his Jell-O and so, you know what? If that means raising holy hell with Dietary so I can get red Jell-O for him, then I will. Because it's all I have.

    Be genuine with us. We can handle it.

    Know that he is the first man, since my grandfather, who treated me with kindness, and god help me, love, even though I was a crazed woman-child dwelling in a familial household, riddled with hormones and a gloomy past, laden with baggage, sociopathic tendencies and unable to form any sort of bond and yet he never left. I lived years without that bond. Years without feeling the need for the guidance and protection only a father could give. Some part of me missing that bond and loathing "daddy's girls" everywhere. But he's trying to leave me now...I survived nearly a lifetime without him and suddenly I 'm not ready.

    I'm not ready.

    I'm not ready.

    Know that I never encourage him to use me as some kind of threat...some unholy boogie man that will get you if you don't help him right this very second. Because, "my daughter is a trauma nurse and she will know what you haven't done right." Know that when I come in and acknowledge that, ::sigh:: yes, I am a nurse and then talk a little shop with you, I am not trying to be in your business but show you that I understand what you are trying to accomplish and understand what you are dealing with on a day to day basis.

    I am nothing without you and neither is he.

    But he is my dad.

    Please understand.

  • Oct 2 '12

    The other day, someone asked if I would recommend nursing as a career choice for him. I wasn't really sure how to answer that question. I stopped for a moment to reflect on the question, because I wanted to phrase what I was about to say without anything getting lost in translation. As I paused, it was as if a quick movie was playing inside my mind offering quick glimpses of my experience as an RN and a student. At the time, I wish I could have spent more time answering his question. I wanted to avoid the stock answer of, "if you like helping people, then go for it."

    However, that is what I said.

    Basically, what I wanted to say was this:

    Nursing is hard, there is no way around that. First, you will start with basic science classes like Microbiology and Chemistry. As you cram for tests you will start to wonder why it is important to learn about aerobic and anaerobic organisms if you're not going to be in a lab with petri dishes. You'll wonder why it is important to learn about electrons and the periodic table, if you're not going to be playing with the elements. But you study anyway because that's what they require. Oh, and you better score better than a C+ because they will make you retake the course. But no stress though, you'll get one chance to retake the course... and be set back a whole school year.

    Congratulations, you've now passed your first year of nursing school. Only now you have to take even harder courses with clinicals and labs on top of everything. Your first med-surg clinical - prepare to be overwhelmed. If you're not overwhelmed, then you're seriously advanced in your studies (or have prior experience). You don't get nervous usually -- but there you are scared out of your mind. Furious at yourself for sweating and shaking like you're talking to a pretty girl. Despite this you tell yourself not to give up yet -- you're already in too deep. So, you do what everybody else does and just try to not to screw up too badly. You act like an invincible sponge -- absorb everything you see/hear/do and let nothing pierce your armor. Old school nurses can smell incompetence and fear miles away and they will eat you alive if you let them. "I am a student, I don't know how to do this. However, if you can show me then I will promise to do better next time."

    Slowly, you gain confidence with your role as a student nurse. You start to apply theory in a real life setting with real life patients. As you start to get comfortable, the end of nursing school approaches. The NCLEX is right around the corner, and while you want to party with your friends before college ends you will only be thinking about that massive life altering test that hovers on the horizon.

    Congratulations again, you've passed the NCLEX and are now an official RN. You start to look for jobs but get discouraged quickly. As it turns out, many hospitals have lots of job openings -- for experienced nurses. But luckily for you, your mom knows someone who knows someone that gets you an interview. You go to the interview with your best suit on and sweat out the afternoon with the nurse manager grilling you about your character and job experiences related to nursing.

    So you get the job! A couple days pass and you finally get ready for your first day. No more school scrubs for this guy, you've got your work scrubs on and official RN badge. Quickly you learn that literally nothing you did in college had prepared you for those first months on the floor. Paging doctors, doing ridiculously complicated med passes, drawing blood, placing IV's, etc etc etc.

    Your first day without your preceptor you have a comfort care patient on a NRB with numerous family members at the bedside requesting your attention, but you also have a discharge pending with a patient eager to get home and a doctor that wants you to draw STAT blood on one of their patients. It seems impossible, but you soldier on and little by little you become more efficient at managing your time, the patients time and the physicians time. You've become a semi-competent nurse. At the end of the day, you come home and want to make a stiff drink. But you're too tired and haven't peed all day so you brush your teeth and go to sleep. Wake up 10 hours later and do it all again.

    Does this sound like a career for you? Probably not. In fact, that doesn't seem like a great career for anybody.


    What about that patient that was on the NRB, that eventually passed on your shift? You watched that patient from the time he came on your floor to the day his conservator made him comfort measures. You feel like you've known the patient for years- on first name basis with the family and their friends. They ask you what is happening, what can be done and how could this happen so fast? You offer your condolences, hold back your tears and pretend that you're strong.
    A few weeks go by and you see the family member at the grocery store. She spots you, smiles and comes over to talk to you. Your eyes tear up at the memory of that shift, and you shuffle awkwardly hoping she doesn't notice. Once you meet, she says "I know I didn't say it at the time, but I just wanted to thank you for taking care of my father. I know that it was difficult having us there, but you were so strong and helpful that I don't know what we would have done without you."

    In awe, you shrug and don't say much of anything. You say thanks, and that you're sorry that it had to happen. She starts to walk away, and without thinking you say, "I wish I had known him better, he was obviously a great man and better father." She tears up and moves towards the cash register.

    You gather yourself, and wonder where they keep the Ramen in this maze of a store.

    Or how about that time your patient has 10/10 chest pain, like an elephant sitting on his chest. You call the doctors and get the team in there. While you're going through the routine, getting nitro, aspirin, oxygen, morphine -- you completely forget that you're talking over the patient. You are ignoring the patient, a pleasant alert and oriented man from a nearby town. His roommate is beside him, also alert and oriented and watching the action. Once the chaos settles a bit, you realize the patient is talking -- not to you, the doctors or the other nurses. He is talking to his roommate about restaurants, tourism spots and pretty girls they once knew. The calming effect on the patient with chest pain is clear. He is distracted, and no longer cringing with pain that was so obviously there. For that split second you pause to watch the moment, the pure display of human kindness that was taking place. You vow to never forget that moment because in this world there is a lot of bad things, it is hard to remember when anything was ever good. When two strangers bond during a code, that is something special. And you won't see that working in a cubicle 9-5.

    As you rush the patient to a higher level of care, he turns to you and thanks you. You wish him the best of luck. Even though you likely saved his life, you'll never see that man again. You check your phone, and have a text message from your friend saying he just farted and it really smells. You laugh, and think about how behind on your med pass you're going to be now.

    As you get downstairs you round on your other patients, including the roommate. You pull up a seat to the bedside and look the roommate in the eye. Pat him on the back and say thanks for what you did the past hour. He looks at you confused, not sure what you're talking about. You look at him and smile, telling him that the patient upstairs said that he was so much calmer because his roommate kept talking to him. While it was not true that the chest pain guy said anything to that effect, it was an innocent lie. The patient lights up and smiles. You tell him it was a very kind thing to do, thanked him again and went on with your shift.

    How about that one day you were running late. Your shift was over 30 minutes ago and you're bombing down the halls while your girlfriend is calling you asking why you're not home yet. You see a wheelchair down the long white lonesome corridor with a small girl in it. As you get closer you see that not only is she alone in the hall, but very scared. You smile, get down on one knee and introduce yourself. You ask her if she is here waiting for a test. She nods yes. You stand, go through the door to X-Ray and ask the tech when she will be seen. They tell you they're getting ready, about 15 minutes or so. Your phone vibrates in your pocket, your stomach rumbling because you haven't eaten since that poptart 12.5 hours ago and you contemplate leaving.

    But you don't, instead you tell the girl it will be a few more minutes. She doesn't say anything. So, you ask her if she would like you to wait with her until she is ready for the test. She says yes please. You end up talking with the girl, who is in 5th grade, likes a boy named Brian and has a stomach ache. You make a joke about Dora the Explorer, she laughs but grabs her stomach. 15 minutes turns into 30, and she is finally wheeled in to the exam room.

    Your girlfriend is furious, asks why you were so late. Too tired to explain, you say that you had to meet with your other girlfriend first.

    Do you see yourself doing these things?

    I do, and that is why I am a male nurse.

    Note: I wrote this awhile ago and never really thought about publishing it. I started a blog and posted this. I figured that since I lurk here so often I might as well post it here as well. A lot of times I get stressed out, and read what I wrote to feel better. I am sure it is riddled with grammatical errors and awkward sentences, but I don't really care. This is more therapeutic for me than anything. I hope that some nursing student is encouraged by it.

    Also, for what its worth - I'm not sure what happened to the guy with CP.

  • Jul 12 '12

    Memo from the desk of Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath:

    For some reason, in my world, there seems to be waves of emotion that hits in a near cyclic manner. And I am most certainly not referring to hormones or my own off kilter dysfunction shabbily passed off as humanity, thank you very much. No, I am referring to days, even weeks, where it seems like everyone around me feels the need to have a good cry. From fellow nurses, to family members, to patients, heck, even managers, it would seem that no one is safe from the trickle of unbidden water works or even outright sobbing. It's a bizarre phenomenon and one that makes me feel about as awkward as a head-gear riddled middle-schooler, pressed against the wall in a lightly mildew scented, "mood-lit" gymnasium, resisting the urge to scratch inappropriately and anxiously waiting for the one and only James Bobby to ask me to dance to Journey.

    ::ahem:: Not...not that I would know what that would feel like or anything.


    So odd how the ability to multitask can pay off at strange times. In the middle of a relatively busy surgery, up to my specimens, over the gurgling hiss of suction and the tonal whine of the cautery, from the back corner where a nursing student huddles watching the procedure I heard ::sniffle::.

    Now, normally a wayward runny nose does not cause any alarm, but when coupled with distinctly watery eyes and a noteworthy brow furrow, I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts there is a chin wibbling beneath the surgical mask. Abandoning my specimens, I slipped over to the observing nursing student and made the horrible mistake of asking, "Do you need to sit down? Are you alright?"

    Hmmm. I'll admit, not my most observant or therapeutic communication garnished moment, but it was enough. The sniffles deteriorated to barely restrained crying and yes, as a matter of fact, she did need to sit down. Eventually, she and I stepped out of the room and had a little chitty chat in the locker room, complete with foghorn nose blowing and a few too many hugs for my comfort. However, what she needed from me in that moment was for me to be there and she reminded me that sometimes we just need someone to say five little magic words.

    This rambling mess is dedicated to her and to any student nurse, new grad, veteran nurse, and nursing manager out there.

    I am going to give you five words--just five little magic words because sometimes we just need an outside source to say them, mean them, believe them:

    It's going to be okay.

    Really. I promise, from the bottom of my heart, eventually it will all be okay. It may not be perfect, or painless, or exactly the way you hoped/dreamed/prayed/demanded it would be, but it will be okay.

    That moment of overwhelming frustration you experienced today? It will pass. That time when you couldn't help but roll your eyes because the world annoyed you? Yeah, we've all been there. When you spouted a cuss word conveniently in front of your boss? In hindsight....that's kinda funny and let's face it, we are all prone to slips.

    And it is so easy to become our own saboteur.

    When ensnared in that horrible moment of self-doubt, when all your thoughts form a razor-edged maelstrom of demeaning self-abuse, replaying, replaying, replaying the mistake, the moment you coulda-woulda-shoulda done something different, better, faster, stronger and UGH! How could I be so stupid?!


    Stop now.

    Why? Because you are human. Because you deserve better than to be attacked by the one person who should always be supportive: yourself. You need to embrace yourself as your own ally.

    For pity's sake, there are enough people in this world trying to bully others--please do not bully yourself.

    Be kind. Be gentle. Be forgiving. But be smart about it. Learn. Grow. Adapt. Excel.

    You are wonderful. You are amazing, unique and truly special. Your supposed flaws are nothing more than quirks that make you more than fantastic, in fact they make you interesting; they add flavor to the gourmet dish of spectacular you. I am not just saying it--I believe it--I know it. Because I'm hardcore like that.

    The equation is simple: You = awesome.

    And not because you are a member of the nursing community.

    I want you to remember something very important: RN does not a person make. RN should not define you. I beg of you, do not limit your potential to two little letters. There should always be more to your identity than your job, regardless of how much you love it; and if you take a moment to think about it, there always will be something more to you. Remember that, please.

    Embrace it. Internalize it.

    There is more to me than RN.

    Remember it when others try to pull you down. Remember it when you feel like a cog in a machine. Remember it when you're pulled into the gaping maw of the work place Drama Monster. Remember it when, for one scary moment, you stop seeing something good in yourself.

    There is more to me than RN.

    So who are you?

    Allow me to go first:

    I am CheesePotato.

    I hate thunderstorms with a passion but I love booming surround sound. I like to think I can sing and I have a bad habit of forgetting to put on pants before walking in front of the bay windows overlooking my back yard (and yes, I'm sure I've scarred a few neighbor children for life and no, I do not have Alzheimer's). I have the handwriting of a serial killer. I drool on my pillow when I sleep and wake up mad as hell regardless of time of day. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons when I was young and to this day still own a twelve-sided die. I am a terrible cook. Like seriously. I could burn a stick of butter left out on the counter top to defrost. I'm overbearing, petulant, and slightly deranged. I lose my car every time I go into a store. I can recite Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" from memory. I have this strange Rain Man like ability to memorize song lyrics but, off hand, I couldn't tell you a normal BUN lab level if my soul depended on it.

    I am CheesePotato.

    And I just so happen to be a nurse.

  • Jul 2 '12

    I wanted to share an experience with those interested.

    I was working in clinicals passing out dinner trays, when a CNA pulled me to the side and asked me if I was going to school. I replied "Yes, I'm in the RN program". She looked and said "You need to be smart to go to RN school". I was bothered by what she had said. I could read on her face showing that she isn't smart enough for NS. So here's my opinion:

    Smart in literal terms means that your are intelligently gifted...right? I don't believe that is right, people have made that word for those who have acheived something that they did not.

    "Your smart, that's why you made it, I'm dumb".

    There are no Dummies. There are no Smarties. There are those who were determined enough to become what they wanted to become. You and others are labeling people as smart, because they are getting things done for themselves. They're becoming Doctors, RN's, CRNA's, and NP's. Those are the smart ones? Just because your a CNA doesn't mean your dumb. If you want to become an RN what is stopping you?

    Many argue that they can't study "smart" enough. If you can pick up a book and read, you can do it. You just need to find your "click". In time after trying many things you will learn what is your gifted way of learning. Some read, some watch, some draw,and some speak. Only trial and error will reveal to your gifts.

    I want to change the definition of "smart". Are you Smart enough to be a Nurse? I'm going to write a couple of phrases replacing smart.

    -Are you Passionate enough to become a Nurse?
    -Are you Patient enough to become a Nurse?
    -Are you Persistent enough to become a Nurse?
    -Are you Driven enough to become a Nurse?
    -Are you Disciplined enough to become a Nurse?

    Many people have obstacles to become a Nurse. Finance, families, jobs, and many others. These obstacles tend to succeed in stopping us in our tracks. This is called "life". It's another topic for a forum.

    If your reading this, I hope this inspires, strengthens, and renews your energy to continue pursuing your goals whatever stage in your career you are in. You don't need to be smart enough. You are Smart.

  • Jul 2 '12

    I recently spent 45 minutes talking about death, and hospice, with my husband's sister across the country. Her mother (my mother-in-law)-a delightfully quirky 91-year-old activist who still spends her days faxing her congressmen-just signed on with the local hospice. I'm a hospice nurse, by far the most rewarding work I've done in 35 years in the profession. I'm doing my best to help them navigate these new waters. I understand so well what she's going through-teetering on that invisible line between wanting to cheer someone on to keep trying, and allowing them to decide that it's OK to stop fighting what is inevitable for all of us.

    Esther has, by my estimation, months, maybe a year left in her increasingly frail body. Although she's still very sharp, mentally, she forgets things more, has to stop more often to catch her breath, and can't really muster any enthusiasm for exercising with her walker. She spends more time in bed or on the couch, wakes up later, goes to bed earlier. I see the familiar signs of someone looking beyond this mortal coil. Considering the quality of those months is, to my mind, far more important than wringing out more of them by pushing her to eat more and take more walks. There comes a time with an aging parent when you have to stop trying to make things better, and decide to just love them, respect their wishes, and be present. I think that time has come with Esther.

    At this stage, it's important to distinguish between what COULD be done and what SHOULD be done. Still, it's hard. Damned hard. As I remember well with my own Dad, it's easy to decide in an abstract way that you don't want to prolong life unnaturally, to trade quality for quantity. Yet, when my rapidly declining father broke his hip, I was heartbroken to hear that he decided not to have surgery (in retrospect, this would have been a miserable experience he might not have survived). I wanted to let him go peacefully, without a lot of high-tech, dehumanizing interventions. I just didn't want to do it YET.

    No matter how clear we are, in a theoretical way, about wanting a peaceful, dignified end for our loved ones, we're never ready for this moment to be the last we have with them. That pain is something we sign on for when we let ourselves love someone or something impermanent. Which is, alas, everyone and everything. Loving the impermanent is one of the necessary pains included in this beautiful, untidy package we call life; I've decided to learn to live with it. The alternative, to harden ourselves and not get "too attached" (a concept that has taken much of the heart out of medicine, in my opinion) is not one I care for.

    This is what I love most about working for Hospice-we get attached to, and often fall in love with, our patients; it's a given. And although I'm aware of how much we bring to patients and families we care for-comfort, supplies, clarification of what's important, understanding of what they're going through and what's ahead-I always feel I've received more than I give. It's an honor to be with people who are facing their own mortality. Somehow frivolous concerns seem ... frivolous; the specter of death has a way of distilling what's important in life. And being reminded of our universal mortality reminds me not to squander this life I have on resentments, or worries, or acquiring more things. I'm more aware of the beauty, and the fragility, of the world and our relationships.

    So, I answered the questions I hear so often. Joining hospice does not generally cause people to give up and die-often the support we give causes them to rally and live longer and more comfortably; sometimes they even "graduate." Pain medicines, used appropriately, do not cause addiction or hasten death, but the need for them often coincides with a decline that has already begun to accelerate; ideally medications relieve pain and air hunger in patients' last months, even sometimes increasing activity. And yes, there are always gray areas: How long is it safe to leave her alone? How much should we push her to eat and exercise? As always, I suggested she answer these questions from her best understanding of, and respect for, Esther's wishes, and by exploring them with the hospice staff.

    We'll fly out over winter break; I look forward to spending some bittersweet, heart-full time with my beloved mother-in-law. And, I hope to make sure she's comfortable, and help love her out of this life.

    That's the best any of us can do, and what we all hope for in our last days.

  • Jun 13 '12

    Sometimes people have life experience that redirects their passion. You never know what people have going on at home nless you walk a mile in their shoe. I am wondering why you need people to leave so you can enjoy your job? Anywhere you are going to encounter miserable people, all YOU can change is how you react to them. I would suggest working on that. Rather than wanting people to leave so you can enjoy your job, why don't you work on enjoying your job regardless.

  • Jun 13 '12

    Be careful up there on that high horse, people occasionally fall off. It has been known to happen. How many years have you been a nurse?

  • Jun 9 '12

    I say keep at it. You never know what's around the corner.

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  • Jun 8 '12

    I am a firm believer in the fact that some people need a (theoretical) punch in the face.

  • Jun 6 '12 too.

    without exhausting details: my week has sucked (i am well aware it is only tuesday, however i've got thirty four tedium and drama flooded hours under my belt already.) i am consumed with the urge to harm wayward cephalopods, engage in a ballet riddled knife fight a la west side story, or set free my resident pack of velociraptors.

    so what is a flailing, irritable lactose food product smothered tuber to do?

    this. video seconds 29 - 51. glorious. splendid.

    and suddenly, alone, pouting, grumpier than a freshly shaven (shorn?) grizzly bear, i find myself smiling back at the screen.

    what does this have to do with nursing?

    i'm a nurse.
    i'm having a moment of rawr.

    nuff said.

    got a great video? got a joke? got something that makes you inadvertently lavage your sinuses with soda?


    save the cephalopods.

  • Jun 2 '12

    I have had the opportunity to work in a union facility and continually wonder why more places are not union based.

    Beyond that, I think every nurse who isn't getting their breaks/meals should be calling their immediate supervisor to relieve them. Every shift, every time. Imagine if 20 - 30 - 40 or more nurses did this in every facility, every shift, every day. And if every nurse who missed her meal break demanded to get paid for that time. A half-hour may not be much time to one nurse, but for 40 nurses in one day it's 20 hours of overtime to the facility.

    Why are we, as a group, such weenies???? Imagine this - - at 11 o'clock, you call your head nurse or supe, and say you need to take your lunch break and no one can relieve you because they are too busy. She agrees. Then, at 1130, the next nurse asks. At noon, the next, and so on. She will be either doing nothing, or running for the entire time. Or, she refuses. You ask her to mark you down as a no-lunch day, overtime will be due to you. She really doesn't want to give you overtime.....

    This will only work when the majority of the staff agrees to do this. Imagine just doing this for 3 consecutive days. Every nurse will not get written up for poor time-management if every nurse sticks to their guns.

    On your next day off, contact a union, and ask how to get a union rep to talk to some of you.

    We need to stand up for our own health and well-being, and demand we be treated as adults who need to eat, breathe and pee while we are at work.

  • Jun 2 '12

    I'm sorry you're having such a bad experience.

    I do want you to realize, though, that this isn't just a problem in nursing. On average, the workforce has been cut by about 20%. That's not a nursing statistic. That's nationwide. Which means that administration everywhere is cutting staff and increasing the demands on their remaining employees. I agree that nursing, in particular, is a stressful and demanding profession and increasing our workload might be more unsafe than increasing the workload of a non-humanitarian worker, but you'll also find that stress, poor job satisfaction, and low employee morale is prevalent in a huge variety of careers.

    For example, just yesterday I was talking to my father, who is employed at a paper factory and has been for over 25 years. He was explain how shorthanded they have been lately because the workforce has been decreased due to budget cuts. At his job, the managers can force the employees to come in and work on their days off. If they are already at work, the managers can force them to stay for the next shift. If they say no, it's treated as a no-show and they can be fired. And yes, it's legal. So how safe is this, really? You have people working around high-powered machinery who have been on the job for over 16 hours at a time, five days in a row. Do you think there's a lot of job satisfaction at his facility right now?

    I often hear on this board that all nurses do is complain about their jobs. Sometimes these comments even spark students/prospective nurses to wonder if they should even do into nursing. I wanted to be clear that the grass is not always greener. While it might seem that this problem of dissatisfaction is unique to nursing, that's not at all the truth. It only appears that way because, well, you're reading a nursing forum. The problems that tea effecting nursing are effecting professions in all areas, to some extent. Even the MD's on my unit are feeling overworked and burnt out due to the fact that there is only a few of them to cover the unit at all times. Some of us may leave nursing for a different career path only to find that we are similarly overworked, underpaid and not afforded the respect that we think our profession deserves.

  • May 30 '12

    Here is one to share with your spouse or partner

    Nurse Call button misused once again.

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  • May 29 '12

    ..It's OK to be overwhelmed at the prospects of everything you have hoped and dreamed, coming to fruition. It is overwhelming to be faced with the intensity and responsibility that is nursing......... to be suddenly thrust into this intense face past world can be intimidating. Don't let the naysayers scare you into thinking you are going to be eaten alive.

    While there will always be that one or two people in a crowd that will feel it is their personal obligation in life to be sure to "weed out" the weak and "educate the rest" to how miserable nursing is........well, my advice is, find other people to mentor you. Negativity begets negativity. There are just plain born to be the Eeyore's of the profession.....the glass is perpetually almost empty. While some Eeyore's can be endearing a majority are REALLY annoying and should be avoided at all costs.

    You are starting an exciting adventure. Surround yourself with those that make you feel good. Find the "joy" in the moment and when it seems over whelming in that moment ask yourself......I a hundred this really going to matter? Hug yourself if no one else will and move on. Surround yourself with the energy you want to receive.

    Now ....go to school and conquer the world. I wish you the best.

    Remember we are willing, and ready, to help!!!