What is nursing really about?

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I'm a new RN grad and I'm looking for advice. Right now, I hate nursing. I'm thinking I picked the wrong career, but I'm hoping you guys might have some words of encouragement or advice to someone just entering the field. FYI - I've been working at a nursing home (as an LPN, still waiting to take my RN boards), and I cannot stand it.

    What I like about nursing: critical thinking about disease processes, teaching patients, being present for the patient in a crisis situation (emotional or physical), learning about complex and interesting cases, offering respect and compassion

    What I dislike about nursing: rushing, having a strict time schedule, keeping a mental/written list of 20 things I need to do like NOW, pushing pills, not having time for the patient, awful scheduling, getting dumped on by management

    Am I wrong, or is my second list essentially what nursing is all about?

    I don't handle stress. I can't balance a billion things at once and be okay. And yet, my residents love me, and I know I'm smart enough for the job (like I scored in the top .5% of the nation on my exit exam smart). What do I do? I feel so sad and discouraged.

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  3. 25 Comments...

  4. 8
    Well, the problem is that all (nearly all?) nursing positions are a combination of your list of things you like and things you don't like. Everyone who survives in nursing finds some workable balance between the aspects they like and the aspects they don't like. Only you can determine whether a balance (or what balance) of the two will be acceptable to you.

    However, I'm a little concerned about your statement that you "don't handle stress." However smart you are, it's going to be hard to make a successful career in nursing if you can't cope with stress, at least intermittently, and multi-task.

    Part of your dissatisfaction may be your current position. Nursing offers lots of different opportunities, and you may be happier in a different role, or with different management. Best wishes for your journey!
    Aurora77, loriangel14, hiddencatRN, and 5 others like this.
  5. 1
    I can handle stress to a certain level, and I can handle certain types of stress better than others. For example, stress in an emergency situation doesn't get under my skin nearly as much as when I'm asked to make and serve breakfast while doing my biggest med pass of the day (I literally had to poach eggs in the microwave), and then having my boss ask me to do a project that requires digging through every residents' personal chart. Also, if the stress were intermittent, I think I would be fine. I literally spend my twelve hours running around like mad, and I never get a break. I do paperwork while I eat. And that's every shift except when I work Sundays. I don't know, maybe the place I work is really that bad.
    Aongroup1990 likes this.
  6. 4
    Totally agree with elkpark (as usual). Patient care is stressful by nature - complex, unpredictable, frequent shifts in priorities, emotional context, etc.

    Most new nurses I have worked with tend to prioritize all tasks at the same level... and end up running themselves ragged jumping from one hot spot to another. With experience comes the ability to automatically prioritize and modify their work based on priority... realizing that it is OK to postpone low priority tasks -- or even to pass them on to the next shift if necessary. Experienced nurses have the ability to view the 'big picture' in terms of work flow - and multi-task like crazy without even realizing it. They are doing those "things you like" while carrying out the tasks; assessing while performing a dressing change, checking patient education outcomes by talking with the patient while they change the IV site, making a mental DC planning to-do list while they help the patient to a chair... and so on.

    My advice .. relax and stop awfulizing. Your job sounds like it's pretty normal and you're probably very good at it.

    Good luck on your boards!
    loriangel14, joanna73, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    Nursing is realy a tough job i m doing job as charge nurse here in a hospital of Pakistan since 2007. I joind nursing profession in 2001 & during four years of study when i was student i was never happy with my profession always thinking of just compltng course n left it but when completed it started job n now after 5 years i m in a position to cope with every stressful condition confidently carryng out orders, rounds, medicines, patients n their relatives are very hard task here but nw learnd to deal with all feeling tired n annoyd smtimez but satisfied with profession now. Advice for you is take your time observe n learn one day u ll feel satisfied n happy best of luck

    Roshni from Pak
  8. 0
    I'm personally wondering if there are any nursing profession(s) that don't push meds.
  9. 0
    I'm so good at awfulizing :P

    So I have a question about the whole new nurses prioritizing tasks on the same level thing. Is it okay to blow off a patient request if it's a low priority? For example, let's say one "healthy" patient asks to have their BP checked while another CHF patient has an ordered daily weight that needs done. You only have time to do one or the other, which do you do? I find that I repeatedly do whatever the patient requested (ie take the BP while neglecting the daily weight), because if I don't the first patient complains to other staff or my supervisor. I spend so much time satisfying patient requests that I end up scrambling to get some of my core work done. Intellectually, I know that doesn't seem right. But in the moment, I have no idea what to say when a patient requests something that I absolutely do not have time for.

    Here's another situation... I have a few residents that will stop me to tell a story regardless of how busy I look. They tell stories in that way that you cannot get a word in edgewise, and the only way to shorten the encounter is to literally cut them off. Is that okay? It makes me cringe to think of doing that.
  10. 0
    Residents ????

    Roshni from Pak
  11. 0
    In the nursing home we refer to the patients as residents (it's a long-term care facility).
  12. 0
    Hahaha dats what nursing is about no matter patient is wrong or right no matter we r bzi or free hv to listen them O:-)

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