calling all veteran nurses!!! advice needed on career path

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    I have been nursing for almost 2 years now and I am starting to rethink this career.I love taking care of people who appreciate my time, easing unpleasant symptoms, and bringing a little relief or happiness to a patient. I am just having the hardest time dealing with the workload that is put upon us to the point where we are unable to do the very thing we love about our jobs. what direction can I go in this career. Where i should be able to focus on the patient without sacrificing my sanity and health. I have become pretty quick and efficient but some days it doesn't even come close. then I have complaints from families management, etc and it makes me feel horrible instead of fufilled. should I just give up now or is there a certain direction I should go away from the hospital med surg atmosphere?
    IckuRN likes this.
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    I'm glad you asked, because I have been wondering the same thing, but I think it's engulfing nursing as a whole. It didn't use to be run in circles, chart, more running, chart...and by the end of the shift 1 patient got 1/2 of the attention they needed, at most. I wish I could go back to 10 years ago, I actually took care of people then! You are not alone.
    I recently changed hospitals and have been blessed with lower patient ratios; maybe you could scope out your area? You have experience now, so they will likely pay you more elsewhere. Also, changing shifts can sometimes help you by having a more sensible flow. Day shifts can be more hectic at the start of shift, and if the day is steady, you just feel like you are drowning for 12 hours. Night shifts have sporadic intense drama and predictable busy times, so you have to be ready for anything. The 11am, 3pm, and 11pm shifts can be awesome or the worst, just depends on your unit tends to dump on the odd shift person.
    It sounds like you enjoy having some sort or rapport or relationship with the patient/family, so I believe Med/Surg is great for that, but a step-down unit may suit you as well. You'll have 1 or 2 less charts to mess with, and more frequent assessments/care, etc. I think you should explore a bit before you ditch the profession completely. If you do seek out another unit or employer, ask around and avoid the toxic nurses!
    As for the complaints, that is interesting. Perhaps there is a way you are doing or not doing something? You should have been given constructive feedback on your performance or offered advice for moving forward.
    I hope I have helped a bit! Good Luck to you!
    MochaRN424 likes this.
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    I am a veteran nurse, and I sympathize with your issues.

    For some nurses it is easier than others, I believe that this is because their personality sees chaos as a challenge and meets it head on.
    For other nurses chaos is not something they enjoy and prefer to meet challenges slowly with time and patience

    Who makes the better nurse? I don't know, I think chaos achieves things quicker more like our bosses want

    but

    The nurse who has a different kind of personality achieves a different level of excellence, it just takes a little longer-experience is a great asset plus time management a must have skill. Add these skills together with the ability to prioritize and you have a great nurse

    I honestly believe that no matter where you work in nursing, it is chaotic
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    I mispoke, i am on a telemetry stepdown unit with occaisional med surg overflow. I have 5 or 6 pts but we hardly go by acuity rather room numbers. 2 evening shifts ago i had a bloodtransfusion go bad, at the same time had a post op orif hip who came up with horrible bloody skin tears left draining onto the sheets and a foley with frank blood clotted off that no one addressed and at the same time another dnr ( actually tricky limited code) who had a sudden 6 sec pause on monitor and her eyes roll into the back of her head while eating then choking and a bp of 74/47. Md aware of this bp earlier orders no bolus, D51/2nss@100(hypotonic) and orders her home po mag for mag of 3.3!!This is a typical start of my shift. I call the docs to give them heads up on the issues that need attention and i get nothing but attitude and cruelty bc they are miserable jerkz who apparantly hate their jobs. There on only a handful of mds who appreciate critical thinking and calls to addresss pts wellbeing. My charge nurses rarely help (go off to smoke or socialize or litterally hide) all they do is give me admissions and promise to help and rarely live up to it. Then i have a nurse aid who wont answer a call light unless u tell him to (im not kidding). Doesnt change incontinence, put on safety alarms, or help anyone bathe while im running around like a nut. He is hands down the worst employee i have ever met and hes always on my shifts. I tell my manager and she says well u have to delegate. I say u cant delegate to someone who wont listen or take direction. She says oh well is what it is. My manager is not the nicest. If anyone says hello to her she rolls her eyes and walks past u, no kidding, she wants to retire i think. Lol sounds fun right. After writing about my job i realized i just need to go work for upmc or something. I have confidence i am an awesome nurse and i want to work somewhere where i can learn more rather than kill myself doin the work of 4ppl when its not necessary. So you can see where complaints come in...like i discharged someone without their phone charger but i actually spent time talking to them about meds... or family/pt had to wait too long for an extra pillow but i was calling their md to address one of their critical needs. I never make mistakes that have led to an incident or harmed a pt. The grass has to be greener.........right?!?
    Last edit by kennedy8353 on Jan 27, '13
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    Btw our unit is set up as a main hall where our desks are along the hall so family is constantly hanging by the desks and literally trying to shoot the breeze while im on the phone with a doctor. Imagine how difficult it is to do charting at the desk! And we are the only unit without a tube system, pharmacy never has my meds available on time and i have to call 3 times then go to the other side of the hospital to pick it up. Is it like this everywhere vets??
    Last edit by kennedy8353 on Jan 27, '13
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    O....M....G. Reminds me so much of a few places (GA and CA)!
    Yes, I believe the grass has to be greener. In the meantime, perhaps you can change your wording when you page the MD's. I usually start with (if I know I'm calling a turd) "I am notifying you of Mr X's PTT of a zillion PER HOSPITAL POLICY, would you like to order anything?". All nursing units are suppose to have parameters for when to call the docs. If they blew me off after, "notifying you of Mr X's BP of 30/5 PER YOUR ORDER PARAMETERS" I would have said, "and what notification BP would you like to change your previous order to?". I have actually had to explain hospital policy and order parameters to MD's before, and had less friction after doing so.
    No matter what, always call with a smile on your face, thank them, document "notified dr x of this and no new orders", and let it roll on off your shoulder.
    I would not work for a manager like that for one second (if i had the choice). I have had the crap manager, the lazy cna's, the indifferent or incompetent co-workers, and the families in my face before, but never all at once, every day!!
    No, it's not like this everywhere, but everywhere has at least one of those "qualities". I think if you can handle all of that on a daily basis, then you will be a rock star anywhere else. You have enough experience to travel also, go get yourself a better environment and a raise! PM me if you want any more of my 2 cents!
    Good Luck to you!
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    Maybe you should look at Pre-Op, PACU in an outpatient surgery center. It's a great job. No weekends no holidays, no nights we have no call. There are so many more facets of nursing. I never did med/surg I too hated doing nursing clinicals on med/surg I knew I never wanted to work on the floor. I started my nursing career on PCCU floor for a year to get my one year of critical care so I could go down to the ER. I knew bed baths weren't for me. I've also done OR and endoscopy there are so many other nursing jobs than floor nursing..... Check them out
    IckuRN and MochaRN424 like this.


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