As of right now I'm still just a CNA. I've been moving along pretty smoothly with my experience as a CNA. I began my career in a LTC facility and before the first year was over I acquired my CNA2 certificate which helped me to land a job in a hospital part time. As of today I am still working both my LTC job and on the med-surg unit at the hospital and I plan to pick up shifts in other units like ICU and PACU so that I might have a more well-rounded experience in the nursing world. The thing is I have already become bored with both of these jobs. I always feel like I'm busy at the expense of being productive, like my body is in motion but my brain is asleep.
I thought that maybe once I become a nurse, hopefully after nursing school, that I would have more to think about and to focus on but as I watch the nurses I work with it seems that mostly what they do is pass meds and do whatever to fill the time in between med passes. Even in the hospital I see nurses on their phones playing Candy Crush once they have all their tasks finished.
I've also met quite a few nurses, young and old, who are tired of nursing. Some of them even hold other part time jobs so that they don't have to pick up more shifts in the facility.
So I guess what I'm asking is; is there more to nursing than just passing meds?
Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong and I hope I haven't offended any nurses. I'm on this forum to learn so I appreciate any feedback anyone has to offer.
Thank you all.
I have no time in my day to look at my phone. I'm too busy assessing, charting, titrating, cleaning, turning, transferring, and admitting patients.
Really there are only a few nurses I see playing games on their phones at the hospital, I see it more at my LTC job. Most of the nurses I work with are like you, busy running about helping me with the physical demands of patient care or taking care of nursing tasks and charting.
Last edit by Lexi256 on Apr 19
: Reason: to specify the user i replied to
I too was a CNA before I was an RN... The work of RN is more mental than physical, although I still do a fair amount of the physical care as well.
So what is an RN doing while sitting at the computer or on the phone, other than charting?
Reviewing labs - abnormals, trends, are labs missing? call the doctor to get orders. no result even though it was drawn hours ago? Call the lab. Result doesn't make sense? Call lab for redraw. Critical value? call the doctor for orders...
Reviewing meds - patient getting lasix but no potassium? call the doctor. VS abnormal and home meds weren't ordered? call the doctor, enter tons of orders so you can get blood pressure under control. Medications can't be taken at the same time? reschedule meds. Medication prescribed and verified by pharmacy despite known allergy? Call pharmacy, call the doctor. Patient has new onset symptoms...review meds for side effects, call doctor for alternate treatment.
Manager wants to know why this patient hasn't been discharged, review physician notes, see they wrote about several new orders yesterday but didn't enter orders for any of them...call the doctor to clarify, enter new orders. Patient was independent at home prior to admission, has been here 7 days and no one has attempted to get them up to a chair let alone ambulate. Get orders for PT/OT evaluation.
Yay, patient is discharged! Get paperwork in order. Realize a new expensive medication was ordered, call Case Manager to check insurance coverage. Medication isn't affordable, discuss with doctor to come up with alternate plan. Another discharge...oops brand new diabetic and no teaching has been done, plus patient is forgetful and has little support at home...discuss with Case Manager.
Review I/Os....looks like patient is putting out much less urine than previous day, review meds, IV fluids, PO intake. Bladder scan shows retention, get cath orders if toileting not successful. Review previous days assessments as you chart your own...this patient was alert and oriented but today only knows her name and seems lethargic, review medications administered previous 24 hours to see if there is an obvious cause...
Honestly I could go on and on. I remember feeling the same way that you did when I was a CNA and was amazed at how much 'behind the scenes' work that RNs are responsible for. There is little time to be bored and it can be mentally challenging. Good luck to you whether you decide to go to nursing school or to follow a different path!
edited to add: ok, I see I put a lot of "call the doctor" in there, generally anything not critical is discussed when they do rounds. I also didn't put in many nursing interventions, but there are a lot of things we can do independently too.
Last edit by SilleLu on Apr 19
: Reason: additional information