Is it me? What happened to nursing?

  1. 13
    I am at "year 6" of nursing, and I can't help but notice that nursing jobs seem to be getting worse and worse as time goes by!
    When I first entered nursing, there was a big push for appropriate acuity of patients, constructive patient-to-nurse ratios, quality of care, and a big push to ensure nurses had rights in the workplace for things like lunch breaks, no pressure for overtime, and a quality-of-worklife standard.
    Now that the economy went sour, it seems like all of these workplace improvements have gone by the wayside, and we are moving back into an "anything goes" mentality, where everything is piled on the nursing staff, and if you don't like it, there is the door.

    Is it me? Am I just tired? Or does anyone else notice this?
    Happi2BRN, Genista, CNA1991, and 10 others like this.
  2. 50 Comments so far...

  3. 16
    I have seen the same.

    Enough of being treated like a naughty child while shouldering the huge responsibility of fellow human beings' welfare. How did this happen?

    The current acceptable treatment of nurses in the US is healthcare's dirty little secret. Overburdened nurses who are denied autonomy equate to patients' overexposure to harm.

    Nurses and their patients have become pawns in the business of healthcare. I respect myself and my abilities too much to be a part of this sickness. Off to graduate school in a non nursing major.
    Last edit by PintheD on Jun 30, '12 : Reason: clarity
    Happi2BRN, elprup, KeyMaster, and 13 others like this.
  4. 17
    I have noticed negative changes in the healthcare industry, especially in the nursing profession, over the past 4 years.

    The people and entities who employ us once had a vested interest in retaining staff. Now the tides have changed due to the abundant glut of nurses seeking work in local employment markets.

    It's so easy to tell a nurse nowadays, "If you do not like it here, there's the door!" After all, there's several hundred recent applications and resumes in HR's computer database. If one nurse walks off the job, there's literally 100+ warm bodies willing to take his/her place for less money.
    Not_A_Hat_Person, jadelpn, elprup, and 14 others like this.
  5. 10
    Have said this before and shall continue saying so: allot was lost in the nursing profession when whites, caps and tons of nursing history and culture was flushed down the loo in favour of remaking nursing as a "modern" *medical* profession.

    Now everyone runs around in their PJs and clogs or trainers and there are more and more UAPs doing functions once reserved for professional licensed nurses. Patients now have several persons running in and out of their rooms each with their own *job* of poking, prodding, injecting and doing other tasks.

    While many do enter the profession out of desire to help their fellow man and respect for nursing, more and more persons see the thing as a means to a paycheck. If you've been downsized, terminated, let go or otherwise unemployed and looking for a steady gig come join the "exciting field of nursing" where unlimited employment opportunities await because there is a shortage of nurses. No, you don't have to worry about being an uplifting and shining model to the RN or LPN profession, just report for duty and get teh work done then clock out and go home.
  6. 28
    Press Gainey, Studer Group, the roboticization of nurses: " Is there anything else you need? I have the time..." More and more directors of stuff, less and less direct care for the patient, and the media making nurses the carriers of all disease, and the cause of all distress in the hospital. Bad food? Nurse's fault. Too cold or hot? Nurse's fault. Visitors not cared for also? Nurse's fault. Too many extra documentation requirements related to the Joint, the State, and Medicare. I am tired, tired. It took 20 years, but I am worn down to the point that I don't want to be a nurse anymore. The funny thing is, all I ever wanted to do was to care for my patients. That has been taken away from me. The burnout that I am experiencing is not from caring too much, but from not being allowed to care at all. 10 months to go, to be free. I really hope that I can make it without ending up a victim of a hospital's overriding need to ensure that the profits increase, and the CEO's and directors need to maintain their lifestyle.
    JSeaRN, carolinapooh, richnurse828, and 25 others like this.
  7. 13
    Quote from Wise Woman RN
    Press Gainey, Studer Group, the roboticization of nurses: " Is there anything else you need? I have the time..." More and more directors of stuff, less and less direct care for the patient, and the media making nurses the carriers of all disease, and the cause of all distress in the hospital. Bad food? Nurse's fault. Too cold or hot? Nurse's fault. Visitors not cared for also? Nurse's fault. Too many extra documentation requirements related to the Joint, the State, and Medicare. I am tired, tired. It took 20 years, but I am worn down to the point that I don't want to be a nurse anymore. The funny thing is, all I ever wanted to do was to care for my patients. That has been taken away from me. The burnout that I am experiencing is not from caring too much, but from not being allowed to care at all. 10 months to go, to be free. I really hope that I can make it without ending up a victim of a hospital's overriding need to ensure that the profits increase, and the CEO's and directors need to maintain their lifestyle.
    Wish I could "Like" this post at least 100 times---you have NAILED it, Wise Woman!!

    I love my job and plan to stay until I retire (or wind up on disability due to the stress levels), but I'd drop it like a hot potato if I had the option. I am so, so tired of families with nothing but complaints to offer and being harangued about issues I have nothing to do with: Residents' laundry. Missed beauty-shop appointments. Billing errors. Meal service. Cold soup. Beds not made. Activities calendar not done for the day. I want to yell, "Excuse me, but do I look like a (insert term of choice here) concierge?!" :icon_roll

    But I just keep smiling and referring these nincompoops to the correct people, because that's what I went to nursing school for, right?
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Jun 30, '12
  8. 6
    Nope you are correct. The letter that just went out from our Union regarding our staffing grievances was a big eye opener for me. Even though we have a staffing grid that should be followed, it is not. Our Union went to mediation with our hospital and a federal mediator regarding the issue, and the outcome was basically a big screw you to the nurses. They essentially told us management reserves the right to staff how they want, regardless of what the grid or safe staffing calls for, and they will continue to do so. We were told until the state mandates staffing ratios there is essentially nothing we can do, but for us to continue to put our grievances in. Bottom line is all about the money for them, and apparently nothing is going to change that.
    Fiona59, Wise Woman RN, barbyann, and 3 others like this.
  9. 9
    My observation and I have to verbalize: We as nurses take on responsibility and accountability for a failing healthcare system when it is not our responsibility and accountability to take on. We are very small cogs in this big wheel. It is corporate america- the CEO's and top managment that has put healthcare in the crisis it is. They are the ones responsible for all these problems- short staffing, poor quality care. low moral, high staff turn over rates( those factors play off each other) Maybe we nurses can be part of the solution to demand these corporate tyrants be removed, educate the patients and families on corporate paydays and money skimming and remid the patients and families- insurance premiums rise in cost and get cut due to these big corporate paydays.

    I know patients and their families are annoying , intolerable, abusive and can be real jerks: but I also have to think- they too are not getting any answers, they too see the decline in patient care and staffing and it frightens them. they don't know where this is all going to end up. This is what the business minds/CEO's have done to general public. I know the patients and their visitors can see short staffing. Do you know how many times I had it said to me by patients and visitors. I also know they know- the nurses can do nothing about the staffing/quality of care and they know who is responsible( Mr money bags- CEO) and why. The only player in this that continues in denial is- the elusive, unseem Mr CEO. Who I think is fully aware of their actions and poor decisions which are personal greed motivated. this is not our anger to answer for. Then corporate/managment turns around after we have beared the brunt of the anger meant for them and kicks us in the behind. it's time we said stop- here's the CEO's name go after that person/ the purse string holder.!!
  10. 11
    Sometimes I think patients and their families are subliminally trained to be thankless and ungrateful. I think the welcome packets they get on admission, the posters in the room and the public access channels in the hospital all sort of drill into their heads this idea of entitlement, and that no matter what, they are the ONLY person the hospital revolves around. They're not the patient, they're the GUEST. This is a hospi-tel you know...there's housekeeping, there's the "dining service" dressed in their little bowties and suits that come around and take the patient's order, and then we come and take their trays away and listen to then bi*** about how horrible the food was. Gee, sorry, I'll get right into that kitchen and make you a new one...oh you don't like that one either, well, how about we make you something else? That's icky too? Wow, if you were my kids I'd have told you after the second course that this is dinner, take it or leave it! Oh, sorry I forgot to fluff your pillow...can't have our precious heads resting on anything short of a pristinely fluffed pillow. Should I tuck you in and kiss you nighnight too?
  11. 10
    Quote from PeepnBiscuitsRN
    Sometimes I think patients and their families are subliminally trained to be thankless and ungrateful. I think the welcome packets they get on admission, the posters in the room and the public access channels in the hospital all sort of drill into their heads this idea of entitlement, and that no matter what, they are the ONLY person the hospital revolves around. They're not the patient, they're the GUEST. This is a hospi-tel you know...there's housekeeping, there's the "dining service" dressed in their little bowties and suits that come around and take the patient's order, and then we come and take their trays away and listen to then bi*** about how horrible the food was. Gee, sorry, I'll get right into that kitchen and make you a new one...oh you don't like that one either, well, how about we make you something else? That's icky too? Wow, if you were my kids I'd have told you after the second course that this is dinner, take it or leave it! Oh, sorry I forgot to fluff your pillow...can't have our precious heads resting on anything short of a pristinely fluffed pillow. Should I tuck you in and kiss you nighnight too?
    i agree! one time i went running around the hospital trying to find a red popsicle for a patient. i told one of my co-workers, "wow...when i was in the hospital after i had my children, i didn't even know that i could ask for a drink!" she laughed, but i was serious.

    i had my husband go to the vending machine to get me a drink...it never crossed my mind to ask a nurse to get me something. why would i? now, if one of my stitches were popping out then i would have hit the call bell, but for a drink? it literally didn't cross my mind. i guess if i had been alone then i would've asked for some water WHEN the nurse came by. i would've never expected that i could even have a soda for "free"! and this wasn't long ago...it was just 6 years ago.

    this whole "they are clients, not patients" thing and letting them order whatever they want as if they're in a restaurant is absurd. i do recall having trays brought to me, but i don't remember ever being asked what i wanted....or caring really. if it was something i wanted to eat then i would eat it. if not....then i would see if anyone else wanted it and set it to the side. i would've never dreamed of asking for something else. where do people even get the audacity to behave like they're in the ritz?
    Last edit by minnymi on Jul 1, '12
    texasmum, Aurora77, Szasz_is_Right, and 7 others like this.


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