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Do you experience negative perceptions of the neurology from other nurses?


I'm a new grad who will begin working on neurology. I love the nurses and management and couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with. What I'm confused about is the reaction I get when I tell people that I will work on neurology. I have gotten faces, smirks and just recently had a past instructor tell me 'there is no way' she could/would do it. I really don't understand these reactions and was wondering if others have had these types of remarks.

ayla2004, ASN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

do you work neurolgy or neurosurg?

either way it can be a hard area to work in.

With neuorolgy yoc care for MS, MND, Parkinson, epiletics, dementia, etc strokes?

When the system that has a issue is the brain/nerves everying else is affected and these patients can be hard work.

I moved to a neuro surg ward 6 months ago I could have gone to a neurology ward however after spending 2 years on medical ward, I couldn't deal with the chronic and progessive debilatating nature of the neurological conditions.

I work on a unit that is a certified stroke facility with lots of back surgeries. I suppose it is a basic neuro-medical unit. We do see progressive diseases but more often than not it is strokes and surgeries. As you said, many of the patients are total care (or close to total care) and therefore very hard work but I've been surprised by the very visceral reactions I've received from people of their disdain for this area of nursing.

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

I work Oncology and used to work ID/HIV.I have frequently received the "How can you do that/How depressing/I have to much of a heart to do that" from other nurses (not to mention lay people) repeatedly. Welcome to the club.We all have our strengthes and our weaknesses. Try not to let it get up you.PS worked a cancer unit that adjoined a neuro unit. The head neurologist was not a personable man. One day, he comes roaring up the floor, ticked that our move was going to be delayed. Bs was loudly complaining how d@&$ depressing it was that cancer pts were on his floor. The room be had just come out of - a very yound adult that had been playing a hanging "game", that had so much brain/spine damage, he was effectively a quad, with little to no cognitive response other than to scream whenever moved. Pain were limited due to other issues.Do your job and do it well, knowing that you are capable of the challenge. And don't worry what others say

Thanks caroladybelle for the response. Being new to this field and previously from the anthropological arena, I tend to analyze people's responses, reactions, etc. More of an observation than a concern. I just find it extremely interesting since I feel that all of nursing has it's difficulties and challenges but I have heard/seen distinct preferences, dislikes, assumptions of difficulty or plain grunt work for various areas of nursing that appear to be similar throughout different hospitals, etc.

ayla2004, ASN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

However i care for SAH, neuro oncology patients, ICH, TBI. SCI, demented, look after trachy (dont mind sputum)

neuro and othor spines etc.

I love neuro but hate the workload as usual i find the the workload per nurse is too much but that is never gonna change.


Specializes in emergency, neuroscience and neurosurg.. Has 13 years experience.

I started my nursing career on neuro/neruosurg step down unit. It taught me everything I know. Neuro is a field that is either loved or hated, there's no in between. These patients are challenging. The brain/spinal cord controls the rest of the body, so your s/s are often vague and diffuse. There's no chest pain with shortness of breath, get an EKG... it's a STEMI.... Often times the clues are subtle and sneaky... The most obvious or well known s/s for neuro changes are LATE signs... A true neuro nurse will pride themselves on picking up the subtle clues before that. LOL. A change in awareness, increased agitation, increased work of breathing, little things that will make alarms go off in your head. I once called a neurosurgeon with the c/o that "something's not right with patient x, I don't know what but something's wrong." He was an ICH with crank and evac, md ordered a repeat CT and he had started rebleeding. We caught it early and after another surgery he went on to a good prognosis. Those are the things that make neuro difficult but also the things that make you love it. It's hard physically and mentally demanding work but remember you are doing what only a handful will admit to actually enjoying or being able to do. It's a special group and you will grow as a nurse exponentially from the experience whether you stay there 20 years or 6 months.


Has 3 years experience.

I'm currently in an ICU internship, and when I am assigned to the Trauma/Neuro ICU I find that I have the best experiences and learn the most from those nurses! Sure, it's hard work and it's emotionally taxing d/t the disease process, but each specialty takes a certain kind of nurse to thrive in that specific environment and I count myself lucky to have learned from the CNRNs in our Trauma/Neuro ICU.