How do you NOT become cynical?

  1. Okay, here's something we can all relate to... and I would love to hear anyone's little "tricks" on how to improve my attitude!

    I think some specialties are more prone to seeing the "underside" of the population, and OB has to be one of them. For the last 8 months I have been working in a big city teaching hospital, and of course you can imagine some of the patients I see. Let me give you an example or 2 -

    Woman comes in by ambulance at 2am because "her abdomen is swollen". She tells the ER people that she is pregnant so of course they rush her right on up. She tells US she's NOT SURE she is pregnant. Ultrasound - NADA! HCG - Negative. At that point she refuses any further treatment and leaves AMA. Oh but, she needs a cab voucher to get home.

    Hmmmmm.... a 1000 dollar pregnancy test. Bet she doesn't have a co-pay!

    Or, how about the 21 year old G7 P4? Or the one who comes in to OB triage in the middle of the night because she (supposedly) hasn't had a BM in 3 weeks? We all know the stories.

    Now, we get our share of "regular" pts too, so it's not ALL like this... but I am in one of those SLUMPS that we all get working this job where on the OUTSIDE I am smiling, taking good care of my pt, cooing over the baby... and on the INSIDE I am steaming over the fact that I am still paying off my co-pay from my heart cath last December, my asthmatic daughter's prescriptions cost me 100 bucks a month, and I really want to choke the life out of them!!

    I know this too shall pass... and I try, I really try, to remember I know nothing about their life and their circumstances... and I say to myself "WWJD?"... but I could use an uplifting word or 2 right now.

    Thanks
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Maybe you need a change? Of job? of venue? not sure. Maybe just going back to school or to a REALLY good obstetric seminar could breathe "life" back into your career. I feel for you and have been there. If it does NOT pass, better make SOME sort of change to save yourself and move on!
  4. by   llg
    I agree with SmilingBluEyes, sometimes a change in setting is necessary ... but sometimes, just going to a good conference, etc. can "perk you up."

    And then ... there is that patient who comes in for whom you feel you really made a difference. Then, you remember why you are there in the first place.

    Yes, nursing has given me a somewhat jaded view of the world. I know that not everybody lives up to what I would like them to be. But then, I also meet people who renew my faith in human kind -- sometimes all on the same day!

    llg
  5. by   ktwlpn
    We ALL have those days-and are entitled to them....It's impossible to "love and respect" all of our patients and their significant others....That's why this place is great-come here and vent away-we love to hear those stories.....PS-I have a certain youngish dependent resident with a father whose business is really doing quite well...He plays the system-and will bring in a receipt for a hair barette-gets the money from her account at the LTC...Sickening....But he is not the only one that does this-many many of them will bring Mom a birthday gift or cake and submit a reciept to get the money back from their loved ones account....I would NEVER have dreamt of such a thing........never...
  6. by   rdhdnrs
    The thing is, if you work in high-risk or inner-city obstetrics, you have to remember that what you see is not typical of society at large. It's not the majority of pregnant women who don't know who their "baby daddy" is. It's not the majority who are homeless, addicted, wandering, or teenaged. I also have a hard time not becoming cynical, but I console myself by thinking that I am making a difference to women who really need me. I may be the only person who's ever been really concerned and caring about them.
    Take care.
  7. by   Anagray
    I didn't work in the inner city in the medical field, but I did work in one of the worst areas at another job.
    I think it is not the job that's making your blood boil, but these ignorant, abnoxious, unappreciative people you are dealing with. Even though i didn't deliver babies, I experienced the same feelings you have. After working for just 1 year in that kind of environment, I finally transferred and I stopped hating my job.
    I still had some negative experiences, this time with upperclass people, but they weren't nearly as bad.
    I would just get out of this area if you could, before you blow your top. After all, your sanity is more important than sticking it out for the sake of principal.

    Best wishes
  8. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by Anagray
    I didn't work in the inner city in the medical field, but I did work in one of the worst areas at another job.
    I think it is not the job that's making your blood boil, but these ignorant, abnoxious, unappreciative people you are dealing with. Even though i didn't deliver babies, I experienced the same feelings you have. After working for just 1 year in that kind of environment, I finally transferred and I stopped hating my job.
    I still had some negative experiences, this time with upperclass people, but they weren't nearly as bad.
    I would just get out of this area if you could, before you blow your top. After all, your sanity is more important than sticking it out for the sake of principal.

    Best wishes
    Hmmm. True, Anagray, it does tend to be the ignorant, obnoxious, unappreciative folks that can really trash your day. However, the income level of the ignorant & unappreciative folks doesn't make a difference...not in nursing, at least. The well-to-do can act even uglier than the disadvantaged. But that's a subject for another thread.

    RN500, When many days or weeks of those days are strung together, it can make work seem like a continual descent through the 7 levels of Hades (as in Dante's Divine Comedy). This is indeed when I would consider changing my work venue. It's time for either a 2-3 week vacation or a new job. Perhaps both, if you can swing it. I've been there & I feel for you.

    Take care & be blessed!
  9. by   fergus51
    I just changed jobs often. I did casual at one hospital and took locum work in others so I got a mix of rural and urban. Then I switched areas completely.
  10. by   L&D.RN
    It sure helps if you can switch to another hospital with different people, maybe that would breath fresh life into you! I agree, some days are tough, and sometimes when a coworker makes a crack about a not-so-upstanding patient of mine, it makes it even tougher, because I try not to think about a pt who comes in by ambulance "because we didn't have a ride over" etc. I do think that there are days where it is worse than others, maybe you're on the bad end, then again, maybe not, and I'd consider a different area hosptial. Good luck though.
  11. by   imenid37
    don't be fooled into thinking rural america doesn't have its share of free-loaders and fools. i have worked city, suburban, and now in a rural setting. we don't have as many pt's period as major metropolitan areas, but we still have our share of nuts,freeloaders and ungrateful crackpots. in some ways, it can be worse because there are fewer resources to deal w/ them. for example, our hospital has no psych or detox facility. so pt's are babysat in the er by staff pulled from other units (often ob) while they await placement. no one wants a psych pt. w/o insurance. hang in there and do what you need to do. sometimes you do need to chang places or areas, but that could just mean new problems. keeping your sense of humour, i know that's hard, is your best defense.
  12. by   rn500
    The funny thing is, in all other ways, this is probably the best job I've ever had! My last job was in a small town, and of course we had far fewer patients but plenty of them were just as bad.

    I appreciate all the insights. I guess I've been doing this long enough to know that it just comes with the job, unfortunately. I just have to keep my sense of humor and hold on to those good days when they come.

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