Pay check as the measure of gratification in nursing - page 2
by MollyJ 3,826 Views | 16 Comments
To be honest this bb is almost always uniformly depressing to visit because people come here on their down days, weeks, months, life-times to air grievances. How much is enough money in nursing? I hear all of the time... Read More
- 0Apr 16, '00 by maikranz'morning, all.
Oh, boy do I feel old.
I've been in the profession about 24 years now and I do enjoy what I do. Nursing and being a nurse is a PART of who I am, not all of me. I, too, left acute care, but for out-patient/ambulatory care, then education. I still work in a clinical setting to keep current.
Salary? There's more to it than $$/hr.; how many people outside of nursing make <$40K with a Master's? But it IS reality that healthcare positions won't support high dollars. So what to do? I don't have the answer for that, other than you do what you have to do to be happy. If it means leaving the hospital, then do it. Life is too darn short to be unhappy or to be so tied up in knots at work that you can't be effective.
That instructor was correct: If you are in nursing for the warm fuzzies, you're going to be disappointed. It may be sad, but it's true. Patients have enough to do to get better and go home, or wherever. Families, if they're around, have enough to do to do the family stuff. Sure we get a thank you or a note of appreciation sometimes, but from everyone--nope. Anyway...
kdblueey--market yourself. 8 years in practice, with surgical experience. You're a goldmine in the rough. Equipment sales, SICU (?burnout?), instructor to name just a few. You have data entry experience. Nursing informantics--new-ish field with computers and stuff. Babynurse--hang in there too. Heck, even with my years, I still call to make sure I've done something or to check on someone I'm worried about. My co-workers expect it! I get kidded sometimes, but WHO CARES! Don't let the negative get you down. Care for YOU first and get an answer machine
- 1Jul 28, '00 by Jo_deye_yuh*APPLAUD*...MollyJ and Kona and others who contributed to this topic. I have read other BB's and only too well comprehend what most of the down-trodden have said. It is necessary, though, to also reflect some insight into the REASON why we are nurses.
Rating your current job in terms of pay, fulfillment, status, or whatever the measures may be, is a way of stopping and taking a look around you. We definately become almost like robots, functioning on auto-pilot to hurry and get as much done as we possibly can. The problems that abound, (short staffing, wage, HMO's, etc), create pessimism, malnutrition, and bladder dysfuntions.
Before becoming a nurse I worked in a LTC as a CNA. I worked hard and did as much as I could to add quality of living to those at the closing chapters of their lives. I, too, got in trouble for spending 'too much time with the residents'. As insane as that is...that is what I thought my job was...to be there for them. I believe in reminiscence and allowing people to reflect on their lives is soooo healthy, mind, body and spirit wise!
When entering 'Mr. John Doe's' room, seeing his carefully displayed black/white photos and memorabilia, I would take the time to look at them. Focusing on one in a dusty, chrome frame. There he stood, 30 years prior, muscular, tanned and smiling. Standing arm and arm with a Navy chum. Wind blowing their hair, sun in their eyes, and "up to no good" grins. What stories that one picture told! I would comment on the photo, inciting him to offer cherished memories that had not been spoken or even thought of in years. Between his laughs and tears, I would go back in time with him. Life is so short, regardless of age, it goes by fast. Giving him the chance to share a piece of it, gave it value. And as I initiated my exit, "to get back to work", he reached for my hand. With a tear in his eye and his lower lip trembling, he thanked me.
While working as a CNA, I worked with nurses that thought if they stepped outside the Nurse's Station, they would disintegrate. I also worked with nurses that did their duties as well as get out on the floor and wipe butts, lift, and interact with staff and residents. Those nurses where the ones that inspired me to become the nurse I am today.
Nursing still has elements of prestige and respect. It is what you put into it, (as with any job). But I feel the the corporate heads and administrators take full advantage of our giving, compassionate qualities that make us nurses to begin with. We care and give and give until our own mental and physical health compromises. We are (most of us) selfless, charitable, and dedicated. That is why we do what we do, regardless of the compensations. We want to make a difference in lives, to improve lives, to be 'Angels of Mercy'. And because we are made of those qualities, we languish in the frustation of not being able to fix the corporate aspect of our field.
What is a person's occupation WORTH that risks their own life, (exposure to AIDS, TB, Hep, abuse, bladder dysfunction, and malnutrition), to assist in the cares of others? I love my "job", the opporotunities I have to learn, teach, and impact. My voice is heard and my heart is touched daily. I work in a clinic and I earn less $$ than some in Medical Records (they make charts and file them) earn, they don't have a college degree, nor have life or death decisions to make, nor do they get the satisfaction a nurse gets when interacting, and caring for a patient. I rate job satisfaction 4/5, prestige and accomplishment 3/5, wage 2/5...but I am not in it to get wealthy, I want and deserve more and hopefully over time my efforts will prevail. But in the meantime I am doing the work I enjoy.
BabyNurse-I love your statement of..."ATTITUDE determines ALTITUDE". Amen.
I will end with a joke I heard...
~Did you hear about the dead, naked NURSE that washed up on shore today?
~How did they know it was a NURSE?
~Her stomach was empty, her bladder was full and her ass was chewed out!!
Ha ha, hardy hee hee...have a great day and give a good dose of SMILES...i-ii q 1h PRN.
- 0Jul 29, '00 by JillRI don't have a problem with the negativity on this BB. People need a place where they can feel safe to vent, I think this a perfect place.
If you have a bad day, bad experience, or get frustrated on a certain day....go ahead and vent. I would rather have people vent here than take it out on their patients at work.
This BB is not always about the negative. Just check out some of the posts where the students write in about being unsure, scared and upset about school. There is a tremendous amout of support out there for everyone. Maybe some of our are only reading the depressing posts and are not seeing the posts in which the same poster that was just venting about the pay, awful hours, and no respect will turn around and give a student or new grad alot of reassurance.
Venting is just that, and can be very helpful to some people. Lets not take that away from them. Sometimes you just ahve to consider that persons state of mind at the time they posted something.
- 1Aug 3, '00 by ganurseI feel so young!!
I'm one of those "new grads". I graduated last year and have been working in a field I absolutely ADORE!
While the money is fair, it's not as nearly as high as has been listed but is average for my area. I think one of the best benefits is the flexibility of the schedule and ONLY 3 days a week (12-hour shifts)!!
I can't imagine myself returning to a 5-day a week job behind a desk. Before going into nursing, I worked at a desk job 40-50 hours a week. Talk about not seeing your family! And the pay was lousy.
The satisfaction I receive from knowing I personally helped someone is one of the reasons I got into nursing in the first place. Didn't we all?
Keep the faith...and if you're feeling burned out...move nursing fields and re-energize that feeling you had when you first started nursing. Nursing needs good, caring people, like yourself!