Where can I actually help people?? - page 3

by AlphaPig 3,658 Views | 27 Comments

In your opinion, is there an area of nursing where you actually help people? I mean, I know you can help people in any area, but I feel like most nursing jobs you help maybe 30% of the patients and the rest are noncompliant, drug... Read More


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    Funny really. Go into the student forums and you'll find posters preaching all day long how we need more nurses who "care" and are in it "for the right reasons". Now we have a nurse who genuinely wants to find his/her niche in the nursing world (and there are many) and then led to believe by some that she isn't nursing material because she doesn't enjoy were she is working at right now. I put my year in med/surg. I had many patients like the ones described. I never felt satisfied after a shift with those types either. They obviously need help, just not what could be provided on our floor. So I moved on. Found a unit I like better. Still not perfect, but I am much happier and satisified at the end of each day. I'm closer to my niche. I find myself constantly looking for information to improve my practice and go beyond for each one of my patients. It's because I feel good about where I am. I like what I do.

    To suggest that someone is a substandard nurse because he or she can't be a personal-savior-in-scrubs for these difficult patients is not productive. Nursing doesn't have to be a "suffer and turmoil" profession where only saints and martyrs need apply. I have a lot of respect for those who enjoy psych nursing. I know it's not for me and therefore I should not be a psych nurse. People who are happy with their jobs tend to be more productive and look for more opportunities to make a difference. I probably wouldn't do that in psych nursing because I would be too consumed with how unhappy I was each shift. I should not be a psych nurse. But I'm getting to be a better critical care nurse each day -> because I seek out for ways to improve my skills -> because I am passionate about my niche and patient population.

    So let's help other nurses find their patient population they can enjoy working with. Heck, for some it may be completely away from bedside and thats ok. As long as they go were they are happy and motivated to put their best efforts in to what ever it is that makes them click.
    cinasot, hecallsmeDuchess, tewdles, and 5 others like this.
  2. 2
    Sound like me when I left adult med-surg. I'm a huge advocate for pain control. I avoid label people drug-seeking. But there comes a point where being cussed out by alcoholics with pancreatitis because you wouldn't bring their dilaudid outside to the smoking hut gets OLD.
    I went to peds. I still get burn out. Parents can SUCK! And the occasional dramatic teenage girl, ugh. But I like it most of the time.

    I'd also recommend palliative care. Patient population tends to be bit less "entitled" than your typical med-surg load.

    I think no matter where you work though, you have to be careful. Compassion fatigue is VERY real.
    tewdles and nursel56 like this.
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    I know exactly how you feel AlphaPig. I work at a LTC that houses those with mental disorders or is just an unplaceable person at any other place- usually because of accusations or violence. There are days that I spend my whole shift listening to my patients tell me how "you're not a nurse because you won't take me to the bathroom" when I just tried to and they refused to let me take them and ended up trying to kick me because "you don't know how." What's worse are those that do it that are A/O.

    Then on top of that you get the ones that know what people will take their side and will come to you demanding why you refused to do care/give meds/whatever despite the fact that they refused said thing they are now accusing you of. I have met some of the most manipulative patients where I work, they know how to work you or what to say to try to scare you into doing what you know you can't do. Luckily I haven't been pulled into that (you want to get me fired, ok go ahead I'm fine with that Mr. Patient).

    On top of that when you're slapped, kicked, punched almost daily along with the above abuse it can get tiring and old and burn you out really fast. ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE A/O.

    And then you have the people that want just their pain meds on the clock- even if they are sound asleep not 5 mins before when you checked on them, they have that inside clock saying "it's 4 hours on the dot, need my morphine to survive again," despite having NO pain 15 mins ago when I checked on them. It's very rare to go from 0 pain to 10 out of 10 pain in 10 mins.

    I disagree with the you're not meant to be a nurse. Because I feel the same way where I work. I knew nursing wouldn't be all happy. I'm not one of those people that thought as being a nurse I'd save everyone and all my patients would be smiling and just all please and thank you and would never get on the call light.

    I know patients out there will punch you and curse you out. I know that I can teach and talk until I'm blue in the face and they won't listen. I know that some people are just evil and I will see them. I know there are drug seekers and addicts.

    But at the same time I know how tiring and emotionally draining it is to stay in an area you don't feel happy in. I don't feel happy in my place, but as no one will hire me right now, I'm stuck here. I still provide good care for all. But that does not mean that given the chance to leave I will stand and say "no I'm staying because I want to be a good nurse." When that chance comes I'm running and not looking back.

    And it is not because I am a bad nurse, or not meant for this field. It is because I can say this is not my area. That is all. It's not my place to be abused verbally and physically by patients my entire shift.
  4. 0
    You can not control your patient load. But you CAN choose to be positive. Do your best and remember. We nurses are there for our patients, not the other way around. elk, I am replying because I agree with you 100%
  5. 0
    A little bit of unselfish kindness and compassion can go a long way! I have come across some very grateful pt's and families. SO many nurses these days get caught up in the tasks and become overwhelmed and forget the patient doesn't know you're having a bad, or busy day. All your patient know's is they are going through a difficult time and a friendly nurse who shows sincere interest, makes a BIG difference in the tone of their day. Compassion in nursing these days DOES get noticed!
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    Oh! One other thing then I will hush it, I promise. LOL... DOCUMENT BEHAVIORS, document and document some more. If their behavior is that bad and you truly are being abused by your patients daily, Make sure word for word. action by innappropriate action. Document their behavior. If Social Services and Admin. is worth a grain of salt at your workplace. They will take action. It may be a little time consuming, but be proactive, take an extra couple of minutes to chart. It has workrd for me. Good luck wherever you may end up. Sounds like it's time to explaore other avenues of nursing. Find a good fit for you. It's worth it.
  7. 0
    OoooOoo compassion fatigue. I like that.. *puts that little saying under my nurses hat (that I have never worn) and tucks it away for a later date.
  8. 0
    Maybe you should try pediatric nursing so that you can help kids.


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