Nurses are Pathetic!! - page 13

I have been reading thread after thread on this forum and I have come to one conclusion. We are all a pathetic bunch. We take abuse that most other human beings would not put up with. We are... Read More

  1. by   blueberrybon
    Let's face it...

    We (nurses) are pushed to the side, ignored, hated, wanted, needed, praised and loved, etc., etc., etc. What makes us who we are, is how we respond to those human emotions that are the core of others lives. We do our job to the best of our abilities (hopefully) and accept the rewards/admonitions as they come, whether they are deserved or not. And by accept I mean "deal with". I think acceptance of others and their respective attitudes and blurtings are part of being a nurse. The nurse who can take the heat when deserved or not, is a rare find. I, unfortunately am not this nurse yet, but strive to be.

    I love being a nurse. I feel stupid alot of the time, but I feel like I do a good job a lot of the time as well.

    Just today, I almost got teary eyed. The mother of a pediatric patient (I work in a peds dr office) called to say her daughter fell and hit her head in school, and that she needed to bring her in right away. This was at about 2 pm. My doctor was double booked till the end of the day, so I said it would be better to take her child to either urgent care or the ER (which she should possibly have done in the first place). Her response was, and I quote "You have got to be ******* kidding me!" I said "No, Urgent care is right next door, can't you take her there?" CLICK.

    Now I know she was just upset and wanted her daughter to be seen, but you cannot hear the disgust in her voice by this post. She was absolutely appalled by the fact that we could not see her. Now I wonder if she will ever speak to me again, or if she will use this event to change pediatricians... who knows.

    Anyway, that's just a small example of what we deal with. I'm learning to deal with things. I love people, I hope to be a "loved nurse". That is the reason I'm here after all.

  2. by   CRNI-ICU20
    I am sorry you feel the way you do....
    It sounds like you have had some really harsh moments.
    I have had some tough times too....but I have had some really wonderful moments...and those are the ones I am holding close in my heart.
    I keep in perspective that my reason for being where I am right now is because there are patients who need me.....and my ONLY reason for being there is not for the hospital....not for the social outlet....not for any other reason but to be the best I can be at the bedside.....
    If I am blessed enough to also touch the lives of a few co=workers along the way...or a few Doctors or other medical folks, that's icing on the cake...
    No place you ever go will be peaceful, or perfect, or a-political.....
    The peace begins in your own soul....and how you decide to give of yourself after that, is up to you.
    I hope you find your place of peace....and joy....
  3. by   Blessed2BeMommy
    So it must be a universal reaction amongst all of us to just cower instead of speaking up and telling the doctor to "bite me".

    If that is what is expected, I'm going to be a horrible nurse.

    I have absolutely NO problem telling a doctor, or anyone else, for that matter that they are being a jerk... if they are actually being a jerk.

    I have been a patient care tech and a health unit coordinator for quite a few years now while I work my way through nursing school, and I don't tolerate that sort of treatment from anyone.

    I'm not rude about it, but I have been known to say, "Excuse me, would you care to repeat that, because I know you didn't just say that."
  4. by   Blessed2BeMommy
    Quote from subee
    Over the years, my idols were the nurses who could come up with the quick quips and make the jerk dujour appear foolish and defuse the situation at the same time. They were always post-menopausal, grouchy women not to be messed with but excellent leaders. Hmmmmm. Maybe if we moved menopause forward to around 30, we'd have a work-force of Slightly Grouchy Women Not To Be Messed With! The young - they're so fragile.
    You are soooooo right. My favorite nurse in OB was this older nurse named Anne. The day she met me, she gave me a big smile, shook my hand and said, "Hi, My name is Anne... I'm the ******" She was THE most awesome nurse ever and no doctor EVER gave her crap. And she stood up for all of us.
  5. by   teeituptom
    Quote from lorster
    Babtized. We are to be pitied because we allow things that totally go against the grain of our profession such as abuse. It runs rampant in nursing. Can we all agree on that?
    I disagree with you completely
    I dont see these things at all going on and I have been at this a lot longer than you.
    Abuse as you put it really is only isolated instances. I never see a regular pattern.
  6. by   Kanani_Ikike
    Quote from TazziRN
    One of the congregation may say "Amen" but the church won't be because most of us disagree. Kanani, I'm sorry you are unhappy with nursing and I sincerely hope that you find a better place for yourself, I truly do.
    Oh trust me, I will. Thanks.
  7. by   Ariesbsn

    Abuse as you put it really is only isolated instances. I never see a regular pattern.
    One thing you may not have looked at regarding abuse is gender. I have noticed that male nurses tend to get much less of the abuse from both the doctors and fellow nurses than their female counterparts. When I mentioned this one day at the nurses station, all 5 nurses there said they had noticed the same thing over the years. Of the 5 nurses there, 1 had 29 years of experience, one had 21 years of experience, one had 17 years of experience, one had 15 years of experience, and one had 10 years of experience.

    The abuse is not "isolated instances" where I work. I was yelled at 77.5 hours into my nursing career because the computers went down as I was starting to tell the doc the swan numbers. My preceptor thought it was funny. Oh, the computers go down every night at the time she had me page the doc. She "just forgot" to tell me.

    I have been yelled at because a doc didn't write "STAT" when he ordered a chest ct on day shift and it was 7 hours before radiology was able to work the pt in. This was my first time taking a pt to CT and I didn't know you actually had to say the words "Have them call me/fax me with the results." Mind you, the nurse that went with me (the charge nurse), didn't bother to tell me this. My patient had a hemothorax that caused a 3.5 cm mediastinal shift of their heart to the left. One would think that the radiologist would have wanted someone to know this. It took me an hour to be able to track down the dictated report because of people and attitudes. Then I had to listen to the report and write word for word what radiologist had dictated before I could call the doc back because in our hospital, it takes 24 hours to get something that has been transcribed.

    I have been called incompetent and stupid by a nephrologist who didn't like my swan and CVP numbers, which, by the way were consistent with the previous shift and had been verified by an experienced nurse. Now, the nephrologist didn't know how to read the strips and get the numbers herself, but I was stupid and incompetent because she didn't think they could be right. This nephrologist is known for throwing charts at people.

    The same nephrologist also called me a moron for calling the on call nephrologist before following protocol to bolus a pt with 5000 units of heparin who was oozing blood from his art line, prisma access site, swan site, as well as the 11 attempted swan sites, and the 2 peripheral IV sites. The on call doc had me do a 2500 unit bolus instead.

    These are just the highlights of my first 4 months as a nurse and I have watched the experienced female nurses get the same treatment. One doc went from nurse to nurse to complain about the way one of the nurses (thankfully not me) had handled his patient. Frequently, the internists will come to the ICU making disparaging comments about ER nurses and med/surg nurses. When I talked to my manager (a male nurse) about the being called names and being yelled at, I was told that was just the way the culture is and I needed to develop a thicker skin and not take this stuff personally. How do you not take being called a moron personally?

    What I do find pathetic is that this type of behavior is allowed because the doctors are considered "customers" of the hospital. I find it really sad that good nurses are leaving because of it.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    If abuse is common where you work, then it behooves you to act on it. Either work to change it, or if a place is completely toxic, then get out. Nobody has to take abuse in the workplace, or in life.
  9. by   Gromit
    Tom may well work in a facility like MINE where this kind of abuse is NOT common, and certainly would not be tolerated.
    We have ONE doc who is notorious for abusing nurses (and yes, even other docs -I've written about this jerk) -HE does not distinguish between male or female (most folks would NOT choose to be abusive to me, I've been told my demeanor is a bit imposing (though in truth, I wouldn't harm a fly. I'm a teddybear -ok, I'll shoot deer, but thats not here nor there)) but its more because I don't put up with being abused -not by other nurses, not by docs, not by patients. I'm a professional, and you will not abuse me.
    I love the place I work -its a large teaching hospital (with a hell of a chain of command) -maybe that makes a difference.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Each time I started a new job, when HR came in to do our new employee orientation I asked about abuse intolerance, and specifically, what is done when an employee or doctor is harassing/abusing others. Each place stated they had a "no tolerance" policy and I asked to see it. I would be using this policy if/when the time came to have to use it. And I just think there are too few employees who would do so. That can be perceived as tolerance by "big wigs", too. It goes two ways. Personally, for me, life is way too short to tolerate abuse from anyone. I also know when not to take small things too personally or sweat them.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from RN4NICU
    Please do not lump all nurses in with your little tirade. I am neither pathetic nor dysfunctional. I am certainly not codependent, nor am I an angel or a martyr. Nursing is a career to me - the way I make my living. That does not mean that I am not good at what I do, it simply means that I expect to be treated as a professional. I do not work for free. I always take my breaks (notice, I don't wait for them to be offered to me - I take them). If you think the grass is greener elsewhere, go for it. Everyone has the right to be happy. But do not do it because you equate nursing with being the world's doormat. It does not have to be that way. It certainly can be if you allow it. You have to be assertive for your own interests, but that is true in any career, it is not unique to nursing.

    Well said.
  12. by   anne74
    Quote from teeituptom
    I disagree with you completely
    I dont see these things at all going on and I have been at this a lot longer than you.
    Abuse as you put it really is only isolated instances. I never see a regular pattern.

    You are an "isolated instance" if you don't notice there's a pattern here. Is your perspective soley from nursing, or do you have other work experiences in other industries to compare?

    I noticed abuse from other nurses, and the system itself, as early as nursing school, and I've noticed it even more so in the "real world". I haven't been a nurse for many years, but I've worked in other industries before I became a nurse - and believe me, I've been shocked at what I've seen. I can't believe how we are expected to carry so much responsibility, so much knowledge, and yet we're treated so poorly.

    I don't receive much abuse from doctors, but merely the unrealistic, unfair expectations that are imposed on us on a daily basis are above and beyond most other professions. I have since removed myself from a bad work environment, and I'm happy now, but I really feel for floor nurses and others who have high acuity, high pt ratio.

    So, it's great you have many years of nursing experience, but do you feel it has perhaps skewed your view of acceptable working conditions? No job is perfect, but there really is a problem in nursing.
    Wow, You Feel Very Bad About Nurses/nursing. :angryfire It Is Hard Some Times, But Not As Bad As You Put It. I Feel Well Respected By The General Population As A Nurse. My Salary(89k Total) As A Nurse 4 Six Yrs Is About Two Times My Friends' Who Is A Social Worker With Masters Degree. My Older Brother Has Degree In Computer Science, But Makes Much Less Than I Do. My Benefits Are Also Much Better- Free Pension. Free 1199 Health Insurance for me and my family, free life insurance, 5 Wks Vacation, 8 Holidays, 4 Personal Days, 15 Sick Days, Tuition Reimbursement, And Much More. And guess what, my co-workers who are able to put in a little more hours for OT make about 20- 40k extra a year. One of my Nursing Assistants daughter recieves full tuition for her 4 yrs college education from 1199. And as for the understaffing, it is due to the shortage which is almost world-wide. My employer do their best to see that we are well staffed.
    I Certainly Do Not Feel The Same Way You Feel; I feel lucky and blessed. And I Think You Should Get Out Of This Profession B4 You Get clinical Depression.
    Last edit by RNLULULABAMBA on Mar 17, '07