Nursing is probably the most unhealthy profession I can think of, well , maybe coal mining or arctic fisherman would be worse but...
First of all , it seems that just about every administration out there is just concerned about finances and not about the workers.
Stress has been proven to be a killer, leading to heart disese, high blood pressure, and a host of other health issues. As a nurse, I have been yelled and cursed at by supervisors, doctors, coworkers, pts and families. Mostly for things that weren't my fault, like refusing to take a med surg admission to antepartum because it was infectious and we had postpartum moms with babies overflowed there, bumping their scheduled case for an emergency, giving them an assignment they didn't care for (even though I try to be extremely fair and don't play favorites or give in to whiners), not having a second anesthesiologist available for an epidural at a moment's notice, not being able to give them a private room....I wouldn't mind it so much if I had
EVER once been yelled at for doing something wrong. But when you are running around without eating, drinking etc. and then people have the nerve to curse at you..ARRGGH. I always maintain calm on the outside, but I don't know if that is better or worse for my health.
Exposure..okay the things I've gotten on myself (never a needlestick thank goodness) ..blood, amniotic fluid, urine, stool, meconium, vomit, breast milk, saliva, vaginal secretions, BLEEHH
Other exposure...xrays, radium implants (when I was 22 we'd have 4 pts at a time with them -we were told we were silly for complaining ), chemotherapy (we used to mix it ourselves in the med room--the adriamycin was a bi**h to get out),cleaning chemicals, disinfectatnts (a doc spilled a bottle of Cidex, and the crew who mopped it up then put a fan at the doorway and I was stationed at the desk right at the side..I had a severe headache and eye irritation the whole day, but was told that there was no danger) anesthesia gases, PEWW
Physical environment..electric outlets behind beds and low the ground, tile over cement flooring, chairs that are supposedly height adjustable and drop a foot when you sit down on them, poorly designed unit layout, one staff bathroom for entire floor staff , URMFF
Physical stresses of lifting, turning , transporting equipment and patients weighing in excess of 300 lbs. OuUCH
I have multiple bulging discs and degenerative changes in my back causing constant pain. I have people at work who have needed foot, knee and back surgeries due to the physical demands. We've had people leave with nervous breakdowns and people who have resorted to drugs or alcohol.
Nursing is the most physically and mentally taxing job I can imagine. But somehow the perception is that we are either these cute young sexpots or old battleaxes. And there is no allowance for nurses that are getting older or simply can't take the physical stesses anymore. Why can teachers and police officers retire at 45 or 50, and we're supposed to go to age 70? Of course, I always tell my husband that I'll never make it 'til then. Despite the fact that my family has a history of longevity into the 90s, I really think the long lasting effects will do me in..Im only in my mid 40s, but when someone says "you're as young as you feel" it scares me!