Is this the wrong field for me? - page 2

I got into nursing because I (naievely?) believed I would be helping people - and they'd apreciate it. Instead, as a CNA for 3 years in a SNF, hospital adult/teen/pediatric psyche, and acute level... Read More

  1. by   barlowjb

    When I first started my nursing career, I met another new nurse who was only one month into her nursing career. She told me and practically everyone else that she knew she was in the wrong filed because she absolutely hated her patients and like you, found them to be very annoying and whiny. She kept saying she could not stand them. She even went as far as to say she felt no compassion at all for them and felt that nursing was not the career for her because of how she felt.

    So not long after, she began studying for her LSAT because she decided that she wanted to become a lawyer. 15 months later she passed her LSAT exam and got accepted into a number of Law Schools. She then decided to defer Law school acceptance just for a little while, so she could work a little more and save some money.

    In the meanwhile she decided to temporarily switch her nursing Job and work with a totally different patient population, with the intention to only work there for one year, then attend Law School. She took a slight pay cut with this new nursing Job

    Well Guess what? After only one week in her new nursing Job, she was very surprised to find that she absolutely loved it. I was shocked too. Now almost 6 months later, she loves her new nursing Job (no on call, no weekends, no being called off due to low census, no floating all the time, patients who are very appreciative, and a boss who shows appreciation for all his employees). Almost 6 months later, she feels the same way and she is now seriously rethinking Law School, and is considering a permanent career in nursing.

    My point - The next time you feel frustrated and angry at the population of patients that you work with and feel you have no compassion for them etc. Think again and don't be oot quick to think you are in the wrong field. It may be that your personality is just not the right fit for the patient population you now work with among other things.

    Meanwhile, I'm still working in Med/Surg, where my co-worker left me, and I truly love my Job and the patients, despite their whining. I don't mind floating to their units, because I view it as a challenge. I don't mind being put on call simply because I just happen to be able to afford it (Thank God). This job just happens, to be a right fit for me and my personality at this stage of my life (I don't know about later on). Do I have bad days? - You bet I do!!!, Do I get a little irritated at patients at times? - Definitely!!! If I get burnt out or start having more issues than I can handle, I will think of trying something different. But for right now, I love my Job and I am happy that my co-worker found a nursing Job that's right for her.

    So If you haven't done so already, give yourself a chance to try other areas of nursing.

    I wish you the very best, regardless of what you chose to do.
  2. by   CrunchRN
    Reality shock. Try something else in nursing before you bag it. There is omethign for everyone if you can find it.
  3. by   mustlovepoodles
    Quote from telenurse2009
    I've worked in telephone triage for many years and it can be stressful because you have patients calling who are anxious and want a 'quick answer'. Callers can be angry and rude....perhaps because they are on the phone and it isn't face to face....the same 'road rage' syndrome that you see with drivers in vehicles. But to say try 'phone line jobs' because the patients won't be as demanding or rude is isn't true...they are very demanding on the phones. You have to have exceptional listening skills and be able to type, talk at the same time while moving through multiple computer screens.
    All of the above and you have supervisors who have artificially high expectations of what can be done. When i worked at a peds advise line we were taking calls for private pediatricians as well as the general public. The hard part about telephone nursing is that you can neither see nor touch your patient and you are totally reliant on a non-medical person's take on a situation. Often callers are scared and focused on all the wrong symptoms. A nurse has to "listen between the lines" to ferret out the right information. It can take some time, usually more than the 5-7 minutes you are alloted for each call. I did telephone nursing for about 9 years and sometimes i loved it and sometimes I hated it. Believe me, when you're working a late night shift in January and you've talked to 25 people about vomiting and 25 people about wheezing, and it starts to feel like people are just messing with you the work starts to grind. It's realllyreally hard to sit still and take calls for 12 hours at a crack
  4. by   steelcityrn
    It may not be the wrong field, just the wrong place to work.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    sounds to me as if you're burned out -- best cure for that is change. another specialty, another shift, another job, another hospital . . . change. if dementia patients aren't your thing, try nicu or sicu or med-surg or or or cath lab or . . . . the list is endless.
  6. by   ShayMarie
    sister, any nurse that hasn't felt the way ur feeling is either a) in denial or b) got really lucky in the job pool. this would prolly also be the nurse that has never made a med error or any other error for that matter! seriously, this field is tough. i was an lpn for about 2 years before i decided to go back to school and for several semesters i would not take any classes that were specific to my adn curriculum. i would only take those very basic classes that are required for practically any and every degree cause i was always thinking "maybe i should be a teacher or something." anyway, i stuck with nursing and it's still extremely frustrating most of the time! but, i really believe that the changes have to start with us...we have to band together and say enough is enough. we can't change our frustrating patients, but i doubt u'd find them so irritating if u weren't already stretched in a million directions with more work to do than time to do it in!
  7. by   longjohn
    As a nurse with 12 yrs experience i can only imagine what you are going through,there are times when you got to stoop to conquer but if you are not happy with what you do you will always be depressed,for you got to love what you do with great passion that is the only way to enjoy it.but if you not happy i will say get out of it do not suffer yourself like this,you deserve to be happy life is too short to worry please be happy and live again.
  8. by   Rntr
    "Nothing that goes on inside should be about the nurse"

    This is very difficult to do as we are human too....

    My thoughts to this nurse is to find a way to get out before life get's int he way. I am here for 36 yrs, done just about everythilng there is to do in Nursing and it get's no better ...
  9. by   okchug
    why should it not be about the nurse?
    Don't nurses deserve safe, rewarding work conditions?
    Nurses ARE NOT martyrs!
  10. by   CW1978
    (I am the OP)

    I am so grateful for everything you have all posted here in reply. I know I needed to vent. When I vent to friends, coworkers, or family...I often feel guilty about my honest feelings. I don't feel judged by anyone but myself.

    FYI...some background on me: I work in a SNF, full time, swing shift, 6 months experience as an associates RN. I have a BA in Communication from '02, I'm 32 y/o (nursing is a career change for me) and I start my BSN next year. I thought I would be smart to tough it out 1 full year at this job so my resume looks good and this may make it easier to get a different job, like in a clinic or hospital, or....?

    I know I am LUCKY to have a job in this economy and region (Portland produces a LOT of nurses annually). My managers are kind, easy to talk to, and my paid time off is awesome (18 days a year paid). I know I have some good things going here.

    Knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way at times makes me feel a LOT BETTER. I'm always so excited to get my shift done and go home. This bugs me. I got into nursing to HELP people and share my love and compassion for life, not be desparate to get home every second.

    This is how my shift is........ I get there at 2 pm, get report and create my brain for the first hour, then pass meds and do treatments for anywhere from 11-14 patients until 10:30pm. The WHOLE time I am racing against the clock to slam the meds and bust out the treatments and finish in time so I only have to stay an hour or two late (ie. til 11:30 or 12:30 usually) typing my prog notes/faxing docs/charting fluids/bla bla. If I am lucky, I have completed everything and not made any med errors!

    One thing I can say I do like about that every shift brings something new, I am ALWAYS learning, and I move around a lot. I know I can switch to different areas, and I am now thinking of revisiting the OR (I did a rotation there in clinical but oddly, MISSED the pt contact!)

    Thank you all again for your thoughts. :bowingpur
  11. by   novairene
    I posted something similar a few days ago. I also worked in a SNF with 15-25 patients at a time. I understand what you mean about "beating the clock".
    So, I woke up yesterday, went to my work and dropped off my immediate resignation.
    I do not care what they might of think of me. I do not care if I am looked at as a "wimp". I decided that if I hated being there, I did not need to be there. It was not fair to the patients or my family. I would come home depressed and my days off were wasted with thoughts and anxieties about going to work or things from my previous shift.
    For some people, having 15 patients is not a big deal (or they feel they have no choice), but I notice EVERYTHING (okay MOST things). I would notice all of the med errors and the sick patient that had been laying in bed for days that really should be at the hospital. The admissions that were not complete, the new skin conditions from lack of care, the call lights that take 10-15 minutes to answer, the meals that get served cold because there are too many people and not enough staff, the diabetics that have crazy BS because they are not monitored like they should be, The MARs that have so many errors that I was scared to follow them. The list goes on and on.
    I would talk to my supervisor about the problems, but nothing was done.
    I do not know when State, Medicare and/or facilities are going to realize that more than 10 patients is too much. Even the 10 would depend on acuity, diagnosis and meds.
    Maybe years ago it was okay when post-op, post fall patients, and other SNF patients only had a few meds. But how can anyone expect one person to pass 10-20 meds per person and complete all treatments on 15-25 people. There is NO WAY to do this legally (i.e. in time window, with all "checks" and "rights"). Plus take care of all changes in conditions. I am SOOO over SNFs. I am glad to be walking away with the hope that I will better nurse because of it; even if that means a pay cut (or no pay at all as I am now unemployed).
    Those facilities are often "jokes" and something needs to be done.
  12. by   okchug
    yes....something needs to be done
    I am amazed at some of the conditions out there!
    As long as people just "take it" or "get used to it", it will never change.