CONTINUED IN WHAT IS THE MAJOR REASON Why are they all leaving? - page 12

What conditions would cause so many nurses to leave? Our ER has been losing friends fast. Why is there such a large turnover in nursing? I'm going to school, yet I talk to many RN's who are looking... Read More

  1. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from Dixielee
    It affects your life in many ways as well. It is hard on families when we are miserable. I, too had one job that I hated, really hated going to. I lasted 9 months there until my husband finally made me come to my sences. It was so bad, that I would work in my garden every day, and intentionally put my hands under rocks or very thick brushy areas HOPING I would be bitten by a poisonous snake! Now, how sick is that??? We have lots of copperheads where I lived so it seemed like a quick fix to having to go to work. I would not die, but had a good excuse. You do very strange things to get out of doing things you are miserable doing.

    There are usually other options when your back is up against the wall. Death by snake or motor vehicle is just not a good one.
    I understand. I recently left a job affecting me in much the same way, I was in therapy attempting to find ways to cope with the misery, contemplating medication because I had begun to have suicidal thoughts... all because I was miserable at my job and it was permeating every area of my life. My therapist tried to give me tips on how to deal with it which seemed insane to me! I'm going to therapy in an attempt to cope with something I'm supposed to want to do?! In the end I knew that I had to listen to what I REALLY needed and just walk away from the job.

    I've worked other areas of healthcare and am just amazed that such working conditions are tolerated in nursing. It shouldn't be this way. This is a serious responsibility, RNs need time to think about what they're doing and give quality care to their patients. They need emotional and technical support when challenged. They also need regular, normal breaks... and I'm sorry, but gulping a sandwich while charting DOES NOT count...

    Until this happens facilities are going to keep dealing with the revolving door syndrome. People do not want to be miserable at their jobs (because it often affects other areas of their lives) and they will do what they can to get away from it. Wouldn't it be less expensive to allow RNs to safely care for their patients and themselves (and retain them!) than to continually invest so much in recruiting, hiring, and orienting?
  2. by   erichRN
    I was in a situation where I never got a break, worked 9-10 hour days, sometimes double shifts because no one showed up. The 100 to 120 hour pay periods kept piling up and I finally crashed. Severe fatigue and severe depression. I was out for a couple of months and when I went back to work, it was not in nursing. After a year, I found another nursing job that was much better. It's not perfect, but it is survivable and I can have fun and enjoy what I do. The moral of the story is: if you don't care about yourself, no one else will. It's your life; use it well.
  3. by   UKRNinUSA
    Quote from erichRN
    The moral of the story is: if you don't care about yourself, no one else will. It's your life; use it well.
    Your words got me thinking. I just wonder how long it would have taken for women to get the vote, if the suffragettes hadn't said to themselves "enough is enough, I'm not going to take this any more" , stopped wallowing in their "powerlessness" and fought, and changed the system. The odds were against them, but they achieved it none the less. If you are not part of the solution, you are just enabling the situation to continue. Just a thought.
  4. by   RN162
    whining makes us all look bad
  5. by   nursestellalewis
    I tell people I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up...I will be 44 on Sunday and have been a nurse for 6.5 years now. I started out in the ER and was told I "care too much". Apparently I spent a lot of time advocating for the pt and that didn't go over too well with the rough and tough old-timers. ER is a 'shove 'em in and move 'em out' situation. I loved working there - but needed more hours. Then I became a traveling home care RN. My area covers approximately 200 miles (in some instances). On July 1 of this year we were bought out by a huge corporation. They have one motto. Make personnel do as much as possible - with the least amount of people - and jump through impossible hoops. Since they purchased this business we have gone from a strong force of 10 traveling RN's down to 3, myself being one of the 3. The 3 of us carry the workload of the 10. My caseload went from about 20 pt's to 40. My visits per week went from 20 to about 40 as well and I am exhausted.

    Nursing is wonderful if you can find the right business, the right boss, the right working environment, the right fit for you. Until then - it is a hit and miss. The RN's who find what is right for them stay there until they retire. This new corp has finally decided to hire a couple of more nurses, but they still have to be trained. God forbid one of us 3 gets horribly ill ourselves. Yesterday I put in about a 19 hour day. I can't keep that up. I find myself not being able to think straight. Just this last week, one of us 3 made a huge medication error. She had been on-call for hours - had made multiple visits - it was late at night at that point and she was literally exhausted. Luckily nothing serious happened to the patient - but I was quick to tell the 'powers that be' that this is a huge red flag and they better pay attention.

    I keep a scenario in my head. I am in a cold wind head is down and I can't see what is around me....all I know is that I have to keep plugging along....face down in the wind....because it is may seem like it lasts forever....but on the other side the wind finally calms down and I can take a rest.

    Nursing is just that....nursing.......this shortage they have been talking about is real.....there is only so many of us.....bottom line is.....these huge corporations need to pull their head out of their 'you know whats' and get a clue. Sitting behind a desk is not nursing. One on one care is. Every day I do my best....that is all I can ask of myself.

    Don't be afraid to stand up for what is right and for what you feel. And the writer who said you have to take care of yourself is right. YOU HAVE TO. You can't take care of other people when you are breaking down.
  6. by   VivaRN
    This is a very interesting thread and I'm glad I took the time to read it.

    In my workplace the conditions used to be a lot of what people have described: understaffed, high patient acuity, lawsuits waiting to happen, no breaks and run, run, run all day. As a new grad I nearly quit I was so disgusted with this picture calling itself "nursing". This is why I stayed:

    1) We new grads got to talking & decided we would not accept unsafe assignments (They tried to give me 3 ICU pts. my 1st night off orientation ~ I said, "That's not safe."). Some of us called staffing ad nauseum until they SENT US ANOTHER NURSE PLEASE. Some of the veteran nurses called us "lazy" and said we should suck it up... but if you just take it, nothing changes. And staffing has improved b/c they know they can't get away with that any more.

    2) My manager is very supportive. She rocks! She will work with your schedule and bend over backwards to keep you. It costs $60,000 to train a new hire... so it does help the bottom line

    3) The charge nurses are also very supportive. My first code (and subsequent death) lasted nonstop 8 hours... one thing after another, working so hard on this pt. I was handling it, but in the middle the charge nurse RELIEVED ME AND GAVE ME A BREAK. I said I didn't need it. She made me go. It was a gift just to sit in the breakroom, drink some water and quietly reflect. This one supportive act gives me faith, faith, faith in nursing. This is how new nurses are retained!

    Nursing is changing. In my education, I was taught that nurses are professionals and should be treated as such. We're taught to be pt. advocates: but if you can't give good care, isn't advocating for yourself advocating for the pt? It's too bad that we all know what the problems are ~ what can we do to fix them?
  7. by   anonymurse
    Quote from Mulan
    Well, when you don't even have time to use the bathroom and you have to stay 2 hours over to get your work and charting done as recently happened to me on an evening shift, does that tell you anything? Of course, since I didn't have time to use the bathroom, I didn't get my half hour meal break that I don't get paid for to begin with. I asked about signing for no meal break and was told you have to call the supervisor and fill out some PTO form, and I'm sure you get flack for that from the manager so I didn't even bother, since if no one else does it, it looks like you have a problem.

    So much responsibility and liability and you don't have the time to do the work properly because of the staffing and nurse to patient ratio.

    This is a new job for me, working prn, and this is my last nursing job, I decided I would give one more nursing job a try and then that's it, I'm doing something else. It's too soon to tell yet, but when you find yourself working only what you have to to fulfill your committment instead of what you wanted to before going in, that's not a good sign.
    Be easy on yourself. Don't quit yet. What you need to do is time log yourself in the briefest notation that will adequately jog your memory. Then sit down with the most efficient nurse on your shift and analyze it with her. You would be absolutely amazed at how much time you waste. I'm not criticizing you, I learned this about myself. I thought I was pretty efficient but when I analyzed my time utilization it turned out I wasn't at all efficient. BTW, PRN is hard. Part of your overhead is local knowledge. It will take you longer to know, on all the floors you get sent to, the little snippets of knowledge that can make you fast, like knowing where every item and form is located. So take it even easier on yourself for working PRN.
  8. by   angelwatch
    Management. For those who lead to meet the needs of the patient and the nurse are the ones who save us all.
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    I have gotten to the point where I am considering home care rather than working in hospitals. It seems safer, and the patient can get better care, and I don't have to interact with such petty people.
  10. by   Simplepleasures
    To RN162, how condsending, I dont think any nurse here is whining,what makes us look bad is being the good little nurse who wouldn't dare open her mouth except for a chocolate cookie.
  11. by   Hoping LVN2BSN
    Last edit by Hoping LVN2BSN on Nov 21, '06 : Reason: Deleted. . . to add to the rhetoric would be pointless!
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's a profession for some. It need not be a calling to be a legitimate pursuit. But I am not the first to say this, am I.
  13. by   lvs2nrs3535
    I left my job at at a LTC facility because of less than adequate staffing, a patient almost dying because of low blood sugar, (56), the CNA's told me he was playing 'possum' and just did not want to get up for breakfast, as a new graduate I was put on alone on my third week on a night shift, and I just felt it was not worth the risk of my license. Was I wrong to quit?? I dont know, but I do know I feel safer know. Hopefully I will find a med surg job at at a hospital with a much better training program, (I was hired as a charge nurse and had a two week training period, seriously, that was it!). I would be happy with a 3 month training program!.
    I worked so hard to get my my degree and pass my boards, is this all I have to look foward too? Please, someone give me some hope!