Discouraged

  1. Hi;
    I'm new to this forum. I am 28 and have been a nurse since 22, I have my BSN. I have specialized in Geriatric nursing, a challenging and not well respected field of nursing.
    I have worked in LTC, home health, and adult day healthcare.
    I am frustrated with nursing. I have been out of work since March as I am currently on disability for bilateral pulmonary emboli twice since March of this year. I miss nursing and in a weird way, can't wait to get back.
    Nursing has changed a lot since it first became a profession hasn't it!!!!
    Sometimes I'm happy with nursing, other times, I'm not. The scary part is before I was put into hospital in March, I think I was burning out. How can a nurse burn out after five years of nursing!! Is that possible?
    I am a good nurse, I am a good advocate, and I care for my patients. I believe all healthcare providers: CNA's, patients, nurses, MD's, etc need to work as a team for the benefit of the patient.
    Now that I've been a patient for 4 months (I have been perfectly healthy all my life, until now), I am discouraged. It's frustrating being a patient, and being with nurses who cannot advocate for me because they're too busy with their 10 other patients on the unit. It's sad when nurses admit to me on their shift that they're so busy lately that even turning someone in bed is becoming hard (she told me this knowing I was a nurse, and was expressing her frustration with how little time she has for her patients).
    I'm sick of administration treating nurses like dirt. I'm sick of them using us as ways to save money. I'm sick of MD's looking at nurses as wastes of time, and a nuisance. I'm sick of having nurses think I'm a hypochondriac and nuts for thinking I'm clotting!!! How can a nurse treat a fellow nurse like she's crazy!! The first time I went into the ER with chest pain and SOB, the nurses never paid attention to me, they didn't know I was a nurse too, and treated me like I was a nutcase. Eventually I called my primary MD from the phone in the ER and begged him to come and see me, he did, and he believed me and found out what was going on with me.
    I'm sorry this is so choppy. It's probably a very difficult post to follow....I apologize, but I got a lot of stuff off my chest!
    Thanks
    Michelle
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Genista
    Michelle-
    I'm sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. There's nothing like seeing healthcare from both ends to give some perspective. Healthcare is a challenging career to work in these days. It's sure disappointing when your fellow healthcare workers let you down.I've been on that end of the rope, too.


    It sounds like you have a real passion for geriatrics. It's the working conditions that probably burned you out. Like you, I've only been an RN for 5 yrs, and I too am "burned out." Of course it can happen to anyone. The hostile working environment, missed breaks, overtime & lack of resources burned up my youthful enthusiasm pretty quick! I often feel like a disposable cog in the healthcare factory machine.

    On the bright side, I found that cutting back my hours has helped. I hardly ever work extra shifts anymore, unless I absolutely WANT to. I choose not to- to take care of myself. I try to take my breaks (not always possible). I take vacation. I also switched floors last year & shifts.Perhaps some of these ideas can work for you. Finding a place with fair staffing can be tough, but at least it's a job seeker's market.

    It's nice to have you join us here at allnurses. I hope you will find support & even a few laughs here. Wishing you a smooth & speedy recovery!

  4. by   wif411
    I have been a nurse for 17 years. I have been burnt out mant times. I did take a break of 3 months one time, but missed the people and the money and went back.
    I have switched from different areas of nursing and have found that works. Also, switching floors or shifts helps.
    I find that when I am burnt out it is mainly because of negativism in the work place. Usually one bad apple does sour the rest.
    Since realizing this, I am trying to stay away from the stinking apple and remember what I love about nursing.
    I work in long term care now. The relationships that the old people can develop with a special nurse can be very good for them and for the nurse and for the family. Old people have so much to give. I like to talk to them about my kids, husband and my general life. It helps them to recall their past experiences, reminscence, and teach me a thing or two.
    Also, family members come to rely on us to be their ears and eyes with their loved ones who are in facility.
    Nursing is a big part of me...like being a wife...a mother...it is engrained in me.
    So yes, I would recommend nursing. It can be a rewarding career and a rewarding life. Where else can you give a person maybe the only hug they might get all week. And receive a thank you and a big goofy smile, all in ten seconds.
    Good Luck
  5. by   Moree
    I've been a nurse for over 20 years now, but took a break to be at home fulltime when my kids were little. I've done newborn ICU for about 10 of those years (and loved it), and am now in hospice nursing and have been in it of about a year and a half. A couple of my jobs have been definitely "not for me" but still provided an education of sorts and stretching time.
    The issue I'm dealing with now is that despite the fact I love the folks I work with, I want out of nursing, plain and simple. I remember the sense of "mission" I once had, especially in nursing school. Where I work now is probably the best blend of ministry and vocation anyone can ask for. The staff is fabulous and have found them to be some of the most gracious people I have ever known! I do a good job, pay attention to details and care for my patients and families. But it seems the whole atmosphere in this profession is so consumer driven that I find myself afraid almost all the time; whether it's the sense of JCAHCO breathing down our collective necks (I find this organization the most threatening thing around, frankly- sorry if I offended an auditor, if you're reading)or trying to satisfy demanding people (you name'em- patients, family members, doctors, other staff) or not getting all the documentation done completely (after all, as we are continually told,"if it's not documented, it's not done!")...I'm just plain weary of the whole thing. I feel like perfection is mandatory for us, demanded by administration and consumers. Only problem is, no one is perfect, hence the pressure never lets up.
    The grace of God is the only thing getting me through these days, since I can't just up and quit. He has supplied in amazing ways int he past months and have to believe He'll do so until I can leave. In the meantime, I just let off some steam and it did help me see what's bugging me just in having to type it out.
    No, I would not recommend nursing as a career for a number of reasons. I think it's better to ask someone why they want to do this work and to look at the positives and negatives, not going into this profession with the naivete that will hurt them in the long run. There are so many different kinds of nursing too; the variety can really give a newbie something to consider rather than the old sterotypical white dress and cap thing!
    Thanks for hearing me out. Anyone else encountering this?

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