A penny for your thoughts - page 2

I have a few questions I would like to pose to fellow agency nurses. I have been an agency nurse since oh,, I think March. I find it enjoyable and yet very difficult. I have come to the... Read More

  1. by   Sundowner
    360, I dont consider myself to be a martyr, or florence nightengale type. I do however, hate to see people suffer needlessly, and sadly I have to report that I have seen more of that than I would like to in the last year or so.

    Ya wont see me grabbing my ankles either. The one thing that I find exteremly enjoyable about agency nursing, is that my mouth opens alot quicker than it used to. But because I dont take the crap from the boss, doesn't mean I dont care about the people I am nursing, that I can't put forth some sort of effort to care for them a little more than the bare minimum of handing them their pills. Nursing is a bit more than a paycheck to me. I work two or three eight hour shifts a week, thats all I can tolerate, and it makes a comfortable pay for me.

    Your post gives the impression that you are a very good nurse, that you are competent and provide good care, It sounds as though you have disconnected your heart from the job though. I dont have to be self sacrificing to care about these people, infact.....you will not see me put my life in dissarray for my work, but I can still have a love for my job and sincerley care for the people I am assigned to care for. No Physicians, CEO's and the likes dont give a crap about the things we do. They cant possibly, they are not there at the bedside to see what we see. They can't comprehend what we do for t hey have never done it, or if they have, they are thanking god they still arent. We are like an ugly wart on the back of their hand, they can slap a bandaid on and cover it up but its still under there, every now and then the bandaid falls off and they have to come up with another quick fix to hide the uglyness.

    Now my question is this. Say all of us decide to give competent care, with no heart. Yes, we make sure patients medical needs are met, the proper medications are given, dressings done, for the eight/tweleve hours we are assigned. But never mind what goes on with these people after we have gone, never give thought to what has or has not been done for them, who cares if noone has sat for a minute and talked to Mrs smith....we all just turn her over like a piece of meat to change the dressing on her wrinkled up little ass. No one pays mind to the incompetent nurse, not really your concern, she is relieving you.....what she does is on her. So what if the charge nurse keeps ignoring you every time you point out to her that so-in-so is in a bad way and needs some attention. I'll just chart what I found and be on my way, it will be on the charge nurses head if anything should go wrong. Call me crazy but I cant think like that. These are people. This is not nursing.
  2. by   360joules
    You'll have to excuse I I sound detatched ... I work in the ER.

    The bottom line of ER nursing is that doing it "yesterday" isn't fast enough. The patients don't care what you know, how much you care, or anything beyond "How much longer will it be?"

    Yes, I'm cynical, but having spent a significant portion of my life becoming expert at a proffession, I'm not ashamed to ask for my due. How frustrating is teaching a resident WHO IS PAID MORE THAN YOU how to do a simple procedure?

    Everyone else in healthcare gets their due. Look and see what starting salaries are for physicians, pharmacists, or the god-acursed drug reps and you'll see why I feel bitter for working so hard for so long for so little.

    Thats all changed now.

  3. by   nightingale

    I have to share a thought... I worked LTC this past summer..... It was @&*!... the worst scenarios of health care approach of getting through the day. Yes, we got it done... but it was a frenzy.... I quit without notice... I never did that before. When I was hired they promised two nurses for the shift etc.... lies.... I was physically abused on two instances without any backup from the manager (he questioned my ability to provide appropriate interventions).... I could go on and on...

    When I brought to the attention of the DON that the nurse who called off both days for the weekend called in that morning drunk (it was my first time to report a fellow colleague) she pulled us into her office... I also pointed out this "nurse" did not follow through with new admit info from the DR. (he was in for neuro eval from brain surgery)... I virtually had this patient for 5 hours without Dr. orders! With an order for Coumadin (intracranial bleed! potential) My "DON" advised us that I needed to work on my management skills as I was late on med pass that day... and poor Ms "alcoholic nurse" had a hangover.... I finished my shift and never went back.....

    Excuse me for venting... I guess the point I want to make is that LTC is unique to LTC... I think there can be a big variation of other facility incorporation modes on how Agency Nursing is utilized.... I am also not naive enough to think all LTC is this difficult or this caliber of care.....

    Agency Nursing or some variation of that (possibly independent contracting) is here to stay.....

    Yes I have seen some poor quality nurses who are agency and those of staff nurses..... by and large.... I have worked with EXCELLENT Agency Nurses... The skills, confidence, and positive attitude it takes to "get the job done" is much more demanding of an Agency Nurse or Traveler. Who could disagree with that?

    I have been fortunate to have found Agency... It was been a God send... truly a gift to my lifestyle, economic existence, and empowerment to me as a nurse and human being.

    I do advocate for my patients still... I do not worry about how the hospital will get the next day scheduled because that is not my job.. If they want me they can pay for me.... or someone else...

    Poor working conditions, low economic offerings, and safety factors is what has negatively impacted nursing... Agency staffing has not contributed to that.. It is management mishandling and greed of insurance companies that has created poor staffing... I am there to fill a very important need for the health care industry....

    I do not feel the need to minimize my quality of care or apologize or try to be meek about it. I am in business to do the best job possible because I need to live with my decisions.

    Work, whether it is health care or whatever, is a business we venture in to make a living. I do not think ANY of us needs to apologize for being successful and profitable. You do not hear any CEO, pharmacy rep., or profitable physician apologizing for their status in our society. Why should Nursing be different?