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Do nurses make a difference?

Nurses   (606 Views | 17 Replies)

Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

4 Followers; 69,772 Profile Views; 6,256 Posts

I went into the field many years ago. I was idealistic and hoped to save lives and comfort  the sick/ dying.

Were we successful.. at all?

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mmc51264 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

2,773 Posts; 39,163 Profile Views

YES!!!!! ❤️

 

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Rionoir is a ADN, RN and specializes in Neuro ICU.

600 Posts; 3,412 Profile Views

🤨

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 1,085 Posts; 6,991 Profile Views

41 minutes ago, Been there,done that said:

I went into the field many years ago. I was idealistic and hoped to save lives and comfort  the sick/ dying.

Were we successful.. at all?

Ditto for me too.

Of course we were successful! Even though I haven't always had the time to do things for the pts that I would have liked to, looking back over my many years I can remember those pts that I did take a few extra minutes, went above and beyond, and know that in some way I made a (positive) difference in their lives.

I am positive (from ready some of your past posts) that you have too!!

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,466 Posts; 80,528 Profile Views

1 hour ago, Been there,done that said:

I went into the field many years ago. I was idealistic and hoped to save lives and comfort  the sick/ dying.

Were we successful.. at all?

I could state and ask myself the same in a similar manner, Been there: "I went into the medical field many years ago. I was idealistic and realistic at the same time. I wanted to help others, elevate my self esteem, and make a paycheck.

Am I successful?"

Being in Erikson's stage of Integrity vs Despair, I feel a heck of a lot more Integrity than Despair, I have helped others, and there are no wolves at my door. So I count myself successful.

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 4,976 Posts; 42,869 Profile Views

I get enough thank yous, I know s/he is in good hands, families who are confident enough in me that they will go home and sleep.. even hugs.  My unit also sees a lot of pt’s come back months later and say “thank you for saving my life.”

 I feel like we make a difference.  

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,242 Posts; 29,785 Profile Views

Real life seldom looks like the movies where the music swells, emotion overpours and all is saved and there will never be problems again.

There is nothing wrong with replacing an idealistic placeholder with more realistic expectations as you gain experience. A lot of those ideals were based on dreams and fantasies, and will be updated with real interaction.

We all want to save lives while keeping in mind that the human mortality rate remains unchanged at 100%.

We want to improve people's lives, but sometimes people don't seem motivated to care for themselves. We accept human limitations.

I was less idealistic and more practical going into nursing. Nursing has given me a lot of satisfaction. The key was having\developing realistic expectations of myself and other people and making peace with it.

 

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

3 Followers; 28,987 Posts; 48,476 Profile Views

55 minutes ago, RNperdiem said:

Real life seldom looks like the movies where the music swells, emotion overpours and all is saved and there will never be problems again.

There is nothing wrong with replacing an idealistic placeholder with more realistic expectations as you gain experience. A lot of those ideals were based on dreams and fantasies, and will be updated with real interaction.

We all want to save lives while keeping in mind that the human mortality rate remains unchanged at 100%.

We want to improve people's lives, but sometimes people don't seem motivated to care for themselves. We accept human limitations.

I was less idealistic and more practical going into nursing. Nursing has given me a lot of satisfaction. The key was having\developing realistic expectations of myself and other people and making peace with it.

 

Well said.

 

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

3 Followers; 28,987 Posts; 48,476 Profile Views

I basically went into nursing with the ideal to help people and to lift myself out of a life of struggle living from paycheck to paycheck.  I never thought I was in a "calling" or an "Angle of Mercy" or will save lives.

Still, I've sent many patients to ICU, recognized a man with compartment syndrome, recognized a pulmonary embolism, CHF, a bowel perf, etc. and I would like to think my critical thinking and assessment skills made a difference in getting them treated.  

Realistically, with heavy ratios and stress, I'll admit I missed some things I've later beaten myself up over and made some mistakes.  I've lost some patients. Reality has slapped me in the face many times.  

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NightNerd has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

857 Posts; 16,223 Profile Views

Yes!!

Thinking of this career as a whole, it sometimes feels hard to think of it as a success, because so many outside factors affect how we do our jobs. But when you consider each individual shift and each individual patient, chances are that you have done something important for them - even if it's a simple thing! There are days when I have to shift my focus from, "Did I save someone's life?" to, "Did I keep that person safe while they were confused and aggressive? Did I educate them well enough that they'll really be ready for discharge? Did I push hard enough to manage their pain?" Some of these things feel small to us, but from the other side they do make a huge difference. It feels better to judge myself based on that than on the idealistic, sometimes unrealistic standards I had before actually working as a nurse.

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

4 Followers; 13,494 Posts; 117,273 Profile Views

Well, my goal was to help women have a positive and empowering birth experience. And I have saved every thank-you card I've received, and I know there are a handful of women out there for whom I've made a difference. So I would say that I have been successful.

Edited by klone

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1 Follower; 27 Posts; 877 Profile Views

Well that depends on your actions and deeds on the job. Let's be honest, most folks are selfish by nature. My biggest stress on the job is not most of the patients, the state/government that come crawling out from under their rocks to hyper regulate us with this totally foolish idea that the quality of care can be measured by 'more documentation".  Where have you heard that before? Such a curse upon the land when they allow lawyers and other parasites to hijack and terrorize society. Rather, it is the people I work with. Most 'management' slave drivers are the worst. Yet despite all the vile, despicable, selfish laziness and indifference I deal with on the job, one positive thing I believe destiny has brought me to this line or work. 

It gives some a chance to bring out their better nature, to advance themselves spiritually or religiously. Spontaneous acts like turning someone or changing them because we have one exhausted CNA  for 50 people when your immediate gratification is to get a cappuccino and resting your aching legs and back for minute brings out your true character. Most nurses, especially the management slave drivers, will never help but will fire us floor slaves if we have the audacity to suggest they could help. 

That being said, which few can deny, this line of work can be a blessing as it can be a true blessing for you.  It can bring out your better nature and you advance spiritually by learning to aid others in need without the standard issue 'look at me' public display of self serving altruism. 

So if your heart is pure and your soul achieves selflessness, this is one of the best careers you may have been directed to/chosen for. 

 

It all depends on your true, selfless spirit and the choices you make. We are given free will to make these choices. Make your own bed a lay in it as you chose. 

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