Do you think nursing is physically unhealthy? - page 3

I work part time because I think it is healthier than working full time as a nurse because even if you are a great nurse, you are exposed to stress everyday. Do you agree?... Read More

  1. by   softstorms
    deehaverrn........Is that you or me you are talking about LOL That sounds like my job. I agree
  2. by   laughing weasel
    I spent six years in the military and in those days we didnt get boots or tents or shower there were just 12 barefoot stinkin men runnin up and down mountains carrien 2 ton ruck sacks and we liked it just fine. seriously you have to look out for your own health and move on if the conditions are not right for you. I do agree that nurses set themselves up for failure by buying into the myth that nursing is a calling so greedy union nurses are bad. Everyone will occasionally take advantage of a situation if they can get away with it and buy not organizing nurses allow management to ignore their concerns by saying oh that should not bother a real nurse, back in my day..... This does not mean that there are no bad nurses. I have met some pretty cruddy nurses. but reasonable wages and pt ratios as well as a little respect do not seem like goals which are inimical to pt care.
  3. by   UM Review RN
    Yes, I think nursing's unhealthy. Because it's so physically stressful, I have the added worry of injury to the mix. I used to be told that if I was injured, no big deal, they'd put me on light duty. The truth is, if you get injured, there is no such thing as light duty, and you will soon find yourself out of a job.

    I don't care how much yoga you do or how healthy you might live when you start out in this job, anyone can get injured doing floor nursing, and we'd be foolish to pretend that this aspect of the career did not exist.

    I've seen some excellent, healthy nurses sidelined for years by one injury.

    Myself, I have a bad back because ironically, I was such a "good lift" in my younger years. Back then they really did expect you to do it all by yourself and many facilities had no Hoyer lifts or other devices to help protect you. I used to lift my own patients and then go around and help the others with theirs.

    Recently, I had a problem with inflamed tendons in my feet. Lasted for months. I cannot describe the agony of walking. Luckily, I was able to get through that period with some good shoes and working only 3 days a week.

    For those of you who have no problems, great, but this profession has a lot of potential for injury and your employers really don't care if you don't heal up on schedule.

    I think this is one of the reasons I think about moving away from the bedside. If I sprain my ankle or hurt my back doing a desk job, I could probably still work.

    For those of you who think it cannot happen to you, or that our problems are caused by our lifestyles, you really do a disservice to those of us who've been there and done that. Please don't add insult to injury by minimizing some very valid concerns and problems that we nurses face as we go about our daily tasks.

    Lotsa love right back atcha,
  4. by   deehaverrn
    Thanks Softstorms, I hope that the part that sounds like your workplace does not include having constant back pain! (it really rots). And being in pain of an 8-9 and having to hurry to get narcotics for someone who "has no pain right now, but I just know I will get bad cramps when I start breastfeeding" sometimes gets to you.
    I have applied for every "desk type" job that has come open in my hospital, but so far no good. I'd love to just leave..but I have one kid in college and a soph in high school who will follow, plus all the usual bills. Also, insurance would stop paying all my docs..which is many these days--sometimes 4 doctor visits a month. Plus cost of prescriptions and procedures would bankrupt me completely. So obviously I have to stick it out .
  5. by   gonzo1
    Nursing is very hard physically, and mentally. You need to take good care of yourself to the best of your ability. Be very careful at work, and try not to go into superworker mode and not ask for help. I too miss out on peeing and breaks and eat badly, but I am lucky enough to work in a very supportive environment with a lot of great nurses that all help each other. This makes work rewarding and doable. You do have to be careful though because the job can suck the life right out of you.
  6. by   PEDSVA
    I work part-time now and Ifind that one less day makes a huge difference! With young children @ home I am still trying to make time for exercise. I used to be pretty regular with exercise. Nursing by nature is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining no matter what. I am also trying to practice leaving my job at work and I find when I can do that it helps take some of the stress away. I think employers should make better efforts in assisting nurses with a healthier work environment by enforcing breaks, proper ratios, gym opp.. So yes I guess it can be physically unhealthy overall.
  7. by   shellek
    Quote from mikethern
    I work part time because I think it is healthier than working full time as a nurse because even if you are a great nurse, you are exposed to stress everyday. Do you agree?
    I do think depending on the area of nursing and the hours can definately be unhealthy. I myself made a promise to step out of nursing when I became "burnt out" which was 9years of PACU and ICU and OPEN HEART Recovery. The hours were never what they were suppose to be--I'd get stuck there more often then not, the death and morbidity took a tole on me.. I left for 3 years and started own massage business, working own hours, and with healthy people. I do miss nursing in clinical setting now and am going back, I don't want to loose clinical skills. I am glad I took break and still in a sense was in medical area of massage. I enjoy helping others, but now going back I am not going to push for all the hours I can get, the over-time, and will work day shift, nights 12 hr shifts through me into deep depression and gained 20 lbs within the 1st 3 months of night shifts. I was all about make the most money I can, but now with gained confidence I can have my own business p/t and be a nurse day shift will be much better for me --yes it may pay a little less but therapy and anti-depressants replaced that extra money from nights. Sanity is where I want to stay.
  8. by   mercyteapot
    I think there are many situations in which nursing is unhealthy... constant stress is a bad thing.
  9. by   NurseCherlove
    Quote from mikethern
    Ibecause even if you are a great nurse, you are exposed to stress everyday. ?/quote]

    Also I think if you are a great're more at risk, because you work harder and take people's comments more seriously...if you're a bad nurse , you dont work as hard or care what people think of you,
    I could not agree more with this statement!!! Not to "toot my own horn", but I feel like something is wrong when approx. 50-70% of the time, my chest feels tight and I am running my arse off and then I see these nurses who never appear to have a sense of urgency and stand around at the nurses station at times! Of course, I've also had some of these nurses' patients after they've had them, and from looking at things like their assessments, unresolved patient problems, and just listening to what the patients say about some their previous nurses, it is obvious that the above-mentioned nurses are simply doing the bare minimum to get by. It makes me a little resentful at times, but it is all worth it when I see that the patient is better off after I've cared for them (sorry - I know that sounds arrogant, but I give 110% everyday I work, so I can say that!). Of course the flip side is that, getting back to the original topic, I'm sure the nurses I am complaining about also don't have the constant level of catecholamines circulating in their bodies the way I do - and they are healthier for it!

    I have heard another very experienced nurse where I work who is very much like me actually say that "this is heart attack kind of stress" - so what does that tell you!?!
  10. by   EmmaG
    Quote from studentnurseinmd
    Well, contrary to most statements above, I do NOT think Nursing is the most unhealthy profession out there. I mean, I just graduated my RN program, but I think of the rewards of working 3 12 hour shifts, and being able to help other people. Emotionally, we all knew what we were getting into. Physically... it is up to you to keep your body in shape. I don't smoke, drink rarey, and exercise daily. I also practice yoga, and spend tmie in nature, and BELIEVE me... this helps!!!

    So, enough pessimism about our health!!! Join a gym or take a yoga class. Better yet, stop smoking!

    Lots of Love...
    Talk to us again in about 10 years. Dee's post (and others') is dead on.
  11. by   summersent
    I have a question to the ones that are finding it very tough and stressful is it because your doing mostly bedside nursing? what area of nursing do you work in?
  12. by   mikethern
    Quote from summersent
    I have a question to the ones that are finding it very tough and stressful is it because your doing mostly bedside nursing? what area of nursing do you work in?
    I'm pretty sure that most of the nurses who agreed that nursing is unhealthy are O.R. nurses because this is an O.R. nursing section.

    Almost every type of acute care nursing is unhealthy though. If you want a nursing job that is not unhealthy, your goal should be to get some kind of desk job. There are some nursing jobs that do not include patient care such as management, research, education, etc.
  13. by   zozzy777
    Quote from tntrn
    Oh, I absolutely think nursing (at least where I work) is a toxic thing. And take the stress out of altogether, but consider the fact, that whether or not you are guaranteed 2 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch break, the reality is that you probably won't get them. A couple of weeks ago, I clocked in for my 3-11 shift, used the bathroom about 9:45 and finally wolfed down a piece of cold pizza (ordered about 8:30 by another nurse who got no breaks). As a health care professional, working in a health care facility, I am allowed to take care of my own health and administration certainly shows now concerns about it.

    Add to that rules like no bottled waters or other kinds of liquids for hydration at the nursing desk (and we have no drinking fountain inside our locked unit) and it's just plai9n nasty.

    I can walk 5 or 6 miles on a nice day outside, but after 8 hours I feel like my body's been hit by a truck. Even with the best shoes available. The flooring materials suck.

    So yes, nursing as I know it, is toxic to my health.

    AMEN!! I couldn't have said it better!!