allnurses and Major Life Events

Updated | Posted

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience.

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A lot of us readers of books and novels do so that we may vicariously experience situations without actually having to deal with them. I know I that I do. We often identify with the protagonist and have an ongoing communication in our minds with the person or character. We tend to support and/or criticize the protagonist.

Before I go to sleep each night, I'll read a novel or book for a while. One night, having nothing more interesting to read. I pulled out one of the 200 or so journals I've kept since 1974.

What a charge! I could read the words and see the images of my temporal ancestor. My temporal ancestor was the protagonist, and I could support and/or criticize his perspectives and actions!

While viewing a journal from 2010, I came upon the first time I had written "all nurses.com"! It was a relatively major event in my life. Here's the page dated June 6, 2010:

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Basically, my nursing career was in the doldrums, and I was looking for something to spice things up a bit. As you see from the entry, I was browsing the internet, put the words "nursing support" into the search engine and wah-la! all nurses popped up!

"Spice things up a bit" was exactly what happened! I was able to communicate with other nurses, share stories and information, make virtual friends, and experience fellowship.

That was over a decade ago, and I have experienced some major life events and crises, both personally and professionally, since then. The events include, but are not limited to, a divorce, two life-threatening MVAs, multiple job problems, deaths of both family members and coworkers/friends, a marriage, a prestigious nursing award, and, finally, a termination.

Through it all, I've used this website has been one of my coping mechanism resources. I've also used allnurses for other important reasons such as: (again inclusive but not limited to) learn some techy stuff, discuss topics, give & get support, display my art, share some humor, and make some really and make some really neat virtual friends (you know who you are).

Okay: You are the protagonist in your own story of "all nurses and Major Life Events".

Care to share?

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 1,931 Posts

I initially found this site back in 2009 while getting ready to start nursing school. I read through the school boards, don't really think that I participated with posts often back then, but I read a lot and I think I learned a lot from the nurses willing to give their time and efforts just to help other people, either as nurses or as students.

I had taken a break for a while when my own life was particularly busy but at the end of 2020 I think I was looking for a way to connect with people that could really understand what was going on with this pandemic. Family and friends are good to have, but they really don't understand what's going on and I had a few very well-meaning people mention things like "don't focus on all the bad things at your work so much", and "you need to move on a focus on such and such". Posting here allowed me a chance to both give back as a more experienced nurse for those looking for advice, and gave me my own outlet for sharing some of my experiences in critical care, especially related to the pandemic. 

I think having a virtual support network that allows nurses to connect gives us a very vital connection these days. Not everyone can understand what everyone else is experiencing, but we share a similar background to an extent, and similar goals in always providing the best care for our patients. 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,481 Posts

2 hours ago, JBMmom said:

Family and friends are good to have, but they really don't understand what's going on

Yeah, I recently started a thread similar to what you're talking about, JBMmom:

Clueless People - General Nursing Support, Stories - allnurses

Ado Annie, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 11 years experience. 216 Posts

I found this site about 2005 when I first began to imagine a second career in nursing. I started taking prerequisites and when I finally lost my tech job in 2009 I was able to start a nursing program and I graduated in 2011. Many life transitions in the intervening years, including moving back to my home state, the loss of both my parents and of my husband's father. 

You all inspired me in the beginning, gave me support and encouragement when I was a new nurse, and now provide good counsel when needed, a place to check in with people who "get it". Allnurses is a treasure.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience. 6,794 Posts

I started on allnurses in the early nineties. It was a game changer at that time, because before the internet you had to just take the word of the hospital you were working with on treatments and best practice. (OR go do a day at the library for every question that came up) Getting to hear from other RNs was amazing, we had the same problems and had observed the same behaviors, and we could get help from each other! 

I was doing my BSN at that time, I can remember quite a few study sessions that got derailed by allnurses.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,481 Posts

Wow, canoehead, on the internet and allnurses since the early 90's.

You are a shaker and a mover.

I was working at a community mental health facility in pretty much a desk job when the big talk was Windows95. Of course, I didn't even have a PC until the early aughts when someone gave me their old HP with Windows95.

I remember an episode of St. Elsewhere from 1983 where a patient told a doctor, "Someday, computers will be like television sets- everyone will have one in their home".

"Humpf!" I scoffed, "Computers are just a fad!"

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,481 Posts

Cool,  @Joe V!

The guy in your meme and I resemble each other a bit!

 

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Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,041 Posts

I don’t remember exactly when I first found AN but I know I was looking around the web for a nurse site bc I was completely disgusted with my job and like others got no support from people who couldn’t understand. I really wanted to find out if it was just me or other nurses felt the same way that I did (ie the hospital sucked). It was a relief to find out that it wasn’t just me! I only read posts for quite a while before I started posting. Apparently I wasn’t very techy bc I would post something and then later try to follow the same thread but could never find it. When I went back to school (nursing) I was still typing my reports but soon realized I should just take a computer class and learn Word to make it easier. The first time I had computer lab I walked in, book/assignment in hand, sat down and was ready to tackle this new computer stuff. I sat there watching the screen with little fishes swimming back and forth while simultaneously trying to find the “on” button. After way longer than I should have I put my hand up for help, the aide came over and I asked him how to turn on the computer, he very nicely looked at me and said “press any key” while pressing a key on the keyboard. Luckily not much of nursing school was computer back then. I was so glad to have found AN bc I also learned from others experiences, shared mine, and was very glad to know I wasn’t alone in the rat race of nursing. And, I did get better on the computer bc as it turned out it was not a fad LOL. 

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,481 Posts

Thanks for sharing, Daisy.

I laughed out loud at this part...

54 minutes ago, Daisy4RN said:

The first time I had computer lab I walked in, book/assignment in hand, sat down and was ready to tackle this new computer stuff. I sat there watching the screen with little fishes swimming back and forth while simultaneously trying to find the “on” button.

...and then chuckled again after editing it out.

I'm sitting here with a big stupid grin on my face.

On the serious side, you often post about your negative feelings toward your nursing experience. As I've said many times before, I sense you are a person of higher consciousness.

If you wouldn't mind, would you delve into how you feel and/or believe you've dealt with those sour experiences a bit? I mean, aside from gettin' the hell outta Dodge.

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 10 years experience. 927 Posts

Not too many life events since nursing school? Mine started because of life events! I got into nursing after my grandmother died. The week after final exams, I got married. 😄  Graduated and moved out of state (with my husband!). Then I got gravely ill and spent some time in the hospital (as a patient!).. Eventually I got my first nursing job. Then we bought a house. But, since then no major "events".

On the other hand, while I'm not hugely "tech savvy", I've had computers since, well, the days of Ram..64kb ram.. 128 kb.. ram..  and if you wanted to save the program you were typing, you used a literal cassette player. I learned how to "type" in a "keyboarding" class (where the keyboards would print each line).. The ink made me sick, so I dropped after a week or so. I learned how to touch type in chat rooms. 😄

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,481 Posts

When I read biographies of the greats, they often read like....

6 hours ago, CalicoKitty said:

I got into nursing after my grandmother died. The week after final exams, I got married.   Graduated and moved out of state (with my husband!). Then I got gravely ill and spent some time in the hospital (as a patient!).. Eventually I got my first nursing job.

In that short paragraph, there are at least six major life events!

I find it interesting that when a member needs a catharsis, they will often cite every little detail to an event which recently occurred. Yet when a seasoned nurse cites a history, they will often give a few words to an intense period in their lives.

If we stop and consider those few words, we may realize the intensity of those situations: "grandmother died...final exams...got married...graduated...gravely ill...first nursing job"

The character is built upon by surmounting obstacles.

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,041 Posts

22 hours ago, Davey Do said:

If you wouldn't mind, would you delve into how you feel and/or believe you've dealt with those sour experiences a bit? I mean, aside from gettin' the hell outta Dodge.

Like y’all I came to nursing with many life experiences under my belt. Some of which were marriage, divorce from an abusive husband, death of many family members, marriage (again), children and many different work experiences. Among those I worked at two different jobs both with a group of women (waitress and Insurance office). In both these environments I/we never had any animosity towards each other, had great team work (even before those annoying team building meetings where one would make paper airplanes etc), and occasionally went out together after work. Fast forward through nursing school and first job in the hospital. I had high expectations bc of my past experiences both as a Candy Striper (in the early 70s) and my previous job experiences. I literally never had any problems before. Working in the hospital was quite a shock both in the environment (patient/families/admin expectations, not enough resources etc) and also working with other not so nice nurses and other staff. Sounds kinda naive but I really didn’t expect it and was not prepared (for the interpersonal issues) bc of my past experiences. So I had to quickly learn how to deal. I, like many other nurses, tried speaking up to admin but as you know well that doesn’t usually go well! So I decided to just keep those issues to my self and do the best I could. As far as other nurses, when I was new I thought it was me bc I was new. Eventually I figured out that some people feel the need to knock others down in an attempt to build themselves up, even nurses (as well as others). I also had not worked with lazy types before, my experience was everyone just did their job. I learned how to stand firm and give it right back, diplomatically of course. Unfortunately that skill was needed throughout my entire career in nursing, not that I didn’t also have friends though. With patients I had to learn that I can’t care more then they do about themselves. Also, I had to overcome my feelings of constantly thinking I was a bad nurse bc I couldn’t care for people the way I wanted to (and the way they deserve and /or demanded). This was of course the fault of time constraints brought on by admin. So basically I had to adjust to the environment and lower my expectations. Even so, the road was very stressful and difficult, and add in there a chronic autoimmune illness. I attempted to change jobs more than once  but it was always disappointing because I never found that niche, that job that worked out. I prayed a lot and leaned on my faith. And eventually I just accepted the facts/fate and made the best out of the situation, one day at a time, for both myself and my patients. Until that time when it was most definitely time to get out of Dodge! But it still makes me sad to think/say that if I could  go back I would not choose nursing. It just shouldn’t be like that!

PS but I did learn to fish so there is that!

 

Edited by Daisy4RN