Loving my career...hating my job.

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    I am not intending to come across as another "Woe is me" tale, but after having another one of those days I find this is the place to let it go.

    Two years ago I graduated from LPN school, top of my class. I loved it, thrived in the element and found my calling. I was eager to go out into the real world and apply what I had hurridly learned and keep learning. I love caring for people, making a difference in lives. I get such joy from seeing scared, confused, or sick patients become secure, confident, well people. I love my choice of career! It has been the main drive of getting out of bed each morning...just to go to the job I so enjoy.

    I work in a Physician's Office, as the Ortho nurse for an Ortho dr. I love the role I carry and the contact I have with the public. I am graced with an outstanding staff, some of whom I have gained once in a lifetime friendships. However, in the time I have been there they have gone through 3 administrators. Since the most recent one has been in place we have lost 4 RN's and 8 staff (reception, billing, etc). These 12 well qualified and dedicated employees had been apart of the clinic since it started and when it came down to it...the resounding attitude from the well furnished offices of the "all knowing", was "don't let the door hit you in the a** on your way out"! What ever happened to value of hard work and dedication? Isn't that worth something these days?

    Now there is talk of Drs quiting, more nurses threatening to walk, and for all the ones that have quit...only a few have been hired to replace those postitions. No other coverage for all the FT positions now open, we just have to cover extra on top of our already extremely hectic days. Plus, one of the gals that quit (employed there for 5 years) had asked for a $1.oo/hr raise, as she was taking over her supervisor's job plus her own job when her supervisor quit. They wouldn't give it to her. She didn't make squat to begin with. So what did they do?...hired a gal from one of our competetors and she is making $10.oo/hr more than the gal she replaced! They fired one of our head finance office holders and hired a new gal fresh from CPA school and she is making $12,000/yr more than her predecessor! Now they are confused as to why we have such an increase in overhead and will not hire any new staff. The clinic has never been known for adequate pay let alone raises. When our annual review/eval comes up the customary cost of living increase is the usual.

    I have never seen such a top notch group of people that genuinely care for the patients and eachother. We are a family, and it makes me sick to see others being disregarded and treated so poorly. It is so depressing. The back stabbing and "looking out for me" theme is creating a thick stench of tension that can be cut with a knife the minute you walk into the clinic. The ravenous hunt for more money, more money makes me nauseated. Now they are talking about decreasing our time share and 401K benefits! Our only benifits they offer! The top pay for RN's max there is $13.75/hr and that is with 20+/yr experience and employed there 8+/yr. I don't have many options where I live to change. I refuse and do not want to work in our local LTC or hospital. I do not want to drive 120 miles a day to work in the nearest community with a variety in jobs.

    Even through all of this sad political healthcare, I still love what I do...I hate what conditions I have to do it under. I hate not being able to spend the time I used to with my patients. I still find time to do the little extra things, but not up to the par I feel that they need and deserve.

    I am so glad that I went back to school to better my life and my son's life..to still live in a trailor house and still have the same bills I can't ever seem to gain headway on...so I can hear the drs brag about their $1/2 mil-$million dollar homes and theater rooms with indoor pools. *gag* I make what CNA's make, now what did I gain by going back to school...oh yeah..another bill...school loan with interest!

    I miss that ferver and drive I once had each giddy morning going to work. Now I want to just pull the covers over my head and call in sick. Sad, it's so sad to think this career choice is riddled with such chaos and pious idiots. All I want to do is care and treat my patients with my heart and soul...but it is being sucked from me. I just shake my head in disgust. Where is the respect? Where is the value? Where are things going in today's healthcare system? Questions I know that can not be given an absolute answer or resolve.

    I just had to vent. One of my closest friends, employed for 8 yrs there, top notch and posessor of grace, beauty, humor and kindness, will be done this Fri Aug 4. She can't take it anymore and it breaks my heart. She is the embodiment of what "we" need, not chase away. I only see it getting worse. So I will do what I love in dispicable conditions...taking care of my patients, giving them my energy and compassion as long as I can as the walls crumble around me. I will try to shelter them from the dust and debri until my shoulders can no longer hold the weight of the brick and mortar. Happy Nursing.

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  2. 10 Comments...

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    Well since no one has replied...keep your chin up Jodie! Tomorrow is another day.
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    I dearly sympathize with you, my working conditions are different as I work in a hospital but the feelings are much the same. My two cents [which it's not even worth] don't let yourself get burnt out working there. Maybe it's time to start looking for another job. It is not wise to take everything upon yourself. I hope things go better keep us posted.
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    Hi Jo_deye-yuh,
    Once again, I second saphie's post. I think from the description of your work plight in your post, I would definitely consider becoming a job or work seeker at this time. Too many of the nurses I have taken care of as patients seem sicker than the general population, because they have been through so much during their nursing career. Best wishes.
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    Thank you saphie and Mijourney for your reply. I would have to agree with your advice of searching for a new job. However, as I said, there is really only one option for me where I live. The nursing home. I have already worked there and will not be bettering my situation by changing to that.

    I have been told recently to learn to say no and to develop thicker skin. I will just have to look at the act of covering for various specialities is giving me valuable experience I will be able to apply to taking my State Boards. Thanks again.

    Yesterday was my friends last day. We had another RN suddenly quit and that was her last day as well. We had a very nice pot-luck and gifts/cards were given. After hours had a get together at a local pub. These two have been employed with the physicians since they opened the doors 8+ years ago. It was a time spent airing out grievences and frustrations, plus lots of laughs and reminiscing.

    I took the initiative to set up a video camera in one of the offices for everyone to go in and do a little good-bye confessional. Some of us did some funny skits and even made credits and dubbed music. The "movie" was a hit and meant so much to her. Some were so touching and others so hilarious! Between the swollen, teared eyes and side splitting giggles it was a good way to express our appreciation.

    I will still do my best to hang in there! Thanks for your support.
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    Jodie--and you other guys--tell me what to do!!! I'm in nursing school--about to start my 2nd semester Aug. 21, and I'm so depressed about the plight of nurses these days! No one is happy! I'm beginning to think I'm crazy to continue my education in nursing! What can I do different? I love the medical field. I want to help people, but, darn it, I also want to be appreciated and to be paid what I'm worth! Is there any such position out there? Should I continue in nursing, and maybe plan to "specialize" in something once I'm out? I'm 50 miles from a good-size town, so I have lots of options. I need advice!!!! Kim
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    Originally posted by confused:
    Jodie--and you other guys--tell me what to do!!! I'm in nursing school--about to start my 2nd semester Aug. 21, and I'm so depressed about the plight of nurses these days! No one is happy! I'm beginning to think I'm crazy to continue my education in nursing! What can I do different? I love the medical field. I want to help people, but, darn it, I also want to be appreciated and to be paid what I'm worth! Is there any such position out there? Should I continue in nursing, and maybe plan to "specialize" in something once I'm out? I'm 50 miles from a good-size town, so I have lots of options. I need advice!!!! Kim
    Hi confused,
    If I'm not mistaken, haven't we been down this road before? I don't think anyone can or should tell you what to do in terms of whether to stay in nursing or not. You need to judge the pros and cons of staying in nursing for yourself, and if you are right for nursing and if nursing is right for you. Not everyone is unhappy about their nursing practice or their choice. On the other hand, you will find physicians, therapists, pharmacists, social workers, and the like extremely unhappy with their jobs and their choice of occupations. If you thoroughly review this bb, you will find some nurses that actually love and enjoy what they do. For example, a recent survey indicated that nurse practitioners had the highest level of job satisfaction in nursing (I stand corrected if this is wrong). As I have written many times before, there are so many traditional and nontraditional opportunities for nurses. Nursing is very much like law in that it is broad-based and applicable to areas outside of nursing. Keep in mind that the pace of change in health and medical care is rapid, more intrusive, and more widespread than in the past. This is reflected in the negative attitudes or frustration you hear or see. Now is a good time to reassess your goals and decide once and for all will it be nursing or something else. Best wishes.

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    Just because this particular post of mine is down and weary...don't take it for the whole picture. I was venting in a place I could say just what I felt at that moment. If you have read any of my other posts on other BB's you would see how absolutely much I LOVE nursing. To each his own. You can not base your future upon what others say regarding their own situation on a particular day. You will undoubtedly go down many different roads and experience different things, that will create your own base of reference.

    I get frustrated with things within our field, but that does not wane my passion for my profession. There is good and bad in any job. You just have to weigh them and see if the bad can be overlooked with all of the good that comes with it.

    My above posting and reason for this BB was to let go of some frustration and gain some positive, constructive advise. Nursing is what is inside each of us. Our individual compassion, intelligence, and skills gives us the tools to be great nurses inspite of obstacles in the way. No matter how annoying and frustrating my day can be, I am thankful for what I have. I am really blessed when I take the moment to reflect. I could be a nurse in a war torn country, treating patients with limited resourses and appauling conditions. Either way my heart and soul would still be giving the same!

    If you so choose this path, make it all it can be. It can be worth as much as you put into it. Don't be discouraged by others, learn from them. Take it as reality, that it is not all peaches and cream out there. Every 'job', no matter the field, has its gloomy sides. But I have found some truly inspiring colleagues, and admire them. Giving me more to strive for!

    *Wow thanks! You just pulled reverse psycology on me! Now all is better. The boo boo has been kissed and an Elmo band-aid placed over my woe. Dag nabbit I am perdy darned glad to be a nurse despite some of the little stuff, I make into big stuff.

    Happy Nursing! ~Jodie

    [This message has been edited by Jo_deye_yuh (edited August 09, 2000).]
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    UPDATE: I quit my job at the clinic and am now working in a VA hospital on the MED/SURG floor. Whooa nelly...what I am learning there! It is endless. I am making more $$ and surrounded by top notch LPN's and RN's. Still in the 'getting used to change' phase and hope to become efficient soon!

    Have a great day! Happy Nursing!

    ~Jodie :P
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    Jo_deye_yuh; you have traveled quite a road these past few months! Congratulations! It takes courage to change jobs, and it looks like you made the right choice. Sometimes, even when you are sure there are no other options, you find something that just fits perfectly. I hope that you've found a much better fit. It sounded like your old job was purposely being run into the ground by some idiot who had no brains for people, money, or anything else. I hope this new job will help you love nursing even more than the old job did.

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