Nurses are Pathetic!! - page 19

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   asstdlvng
    If I use all the jargon of nursing but do not unerstand what is touching my patients hearts, then all I do is chatter when I talk nursing. Even though I have some advanced training in wound care, run an assisted living, am knowledgeable about qi/qa and am an excellent MDS nurse, if I do not have compassion for the residents/patients then all my endeavors are hollow. I can impress my peers with my wordiness and seem like an intellectual with my information junky side, but then if I do not offer MYSELF to my residents/patients then what I do is just plain activity. Part of who I am is a nurse and I am devoted to that and even forfeit personal desires (time, money, and sometimes respect from Dr.'s and other nurses.) If I become cynical and detached and fatigued to the point of indifference then all my energy is expended in futility. I try to put the science and art of nursing together in an effort to achieve "professional" status, something nurses have been working on for some time now. But I still need to notice my resident's/patient's broken heart and dreams or my mission is in vain. Faith hope and love, these are the cravings of the human spirt and the greatest of these is love. We know that don't we? If our status as a nurse is not allowing us to be this kind of nurse then maybe it is time to move on.
  2. by   Diploma'82
    I haven't been able to get a job EVEN at Wal-Mart! Around here you are a nurse until you die OR you get slammed for being an RN if you try something different--IE: data entry for a medical facility!
  3. by   kjnorris
    Quote from anderon830
    I have been an Rn for 37 yrs and have worked in many different settings ie. ICU, med-surg, ER, and Psych and in many capacities ie staff nurse, supervisor and DON. I have remained in Nursing because I needed to support 3 children as a single parent. In my experience I have seen nurses who "eat their young" and nurses who really enjoy working with students. I do believe that nurses aren't valued as we should be for the expertise and caring that we provide on a daily basis. I also believe that nurses do not stick together to ensure that we can provide this excellent care needed for various reasons. As a group we shy away from unions as this dehumanizes exactly what we represent and therefore we have no way to present a united force. Our American or National Associations for nursing have provided little assistance with reguards to adequate compensation and benefits leaving each individual responsible for that bargaining position which doesn't come naturally for a lot of females and especially those with a giving heart. I am not burnt-out but i can see things more objectively from my many years of experience. I leave you with one question...why do male nurses as an average make more per hour than their counterpart?
    I just have to leave that question back to you why do males make more? I am a male nurse working in a large hospital i make the same as the any other female doing my job! Did you not say you were once a DON isnt your duty to set hiring wages as a DON! that comment pissed me off! :trout:
    as far as being "pathetic" that was a "pathetic" comment from a fellow nurse.
    I am on my third career and think i love what i do reguardless of who has the attitude against me... Dr., Nurse or who ever. I go home from work satisfied I did my best for those who needed what i do the most! I have to say one must do what makes them the happiest in life if you are not happy with what YOU do then change it but never let someone else decide your life for you.
  4. by   wooh
    And why do we keep telling someone to get out of the profession? It's looking like classic burnout to me, and if every burned out nurse got out (and I'm very close to that point), we'd be left with so few nurses that they'd burn out in a heartbeat. And then of course they have to get out, and then there's no nurses left.
    lorster, you gotta search your soul. Take care of yourself. I agree with a good bit of your OP. I'm also very close to being burned out. I switched over to peds, and it was the best move I could have made, but I still can't work full-time. One more shift per week and I would be in tears. Luckily my husband makes enough money that we can make do, but I need to figure out how to get myself out of this rut. And it's hard when I know that no matter what changes I make within myself, nursing as a whole is still going to be in the giant mess it currently is. I hope that you can find your way back to being happy with nursing. I hope I can too. Because I love what nursing should be, I just hate what it actually is.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 20, '07 : Reason: edited previous post
  5. by   BBFRN
    About 1/3 of the nurses on my unit are male, and they are very caring individuals. Most of them are also big, burly ex-military guys. Let me tell ya, they are much more in tune with their own feelings than lots of people.
  6. by   kynguyen68
    I totally agree with lorster. I am a happy happy person and most people would affirm this. It was because I got out of nursing 1 year after graduation with a BSN. One has to admit one has a problem in order to solve it and move on. No other profession that I know of would disrespect their own and put up with all the s... every single day and every other week-ends with that kind of paid. And don't get me started on the back stabbings and the weakness of character to stand up for ones own right. Lorster is not having a bad day, she's just stating the honest truth. It totally proves that she's one heck of an intelligent and insightful person. Trust me, if you get out, you will be so happy...just like me!
  7. by   merrymmary
    I think there are really good things being said here. If we take care of ourselves and each other it will help the patient. And isn't the patient why we all went into nursing. So how do we stand up in a healthy professional way to corporate american and the almighty $.?
  8. by   NursSissy
    It was brought to the attention of our Clinical manager that many of the nurses on our floor are concerned that with our patient load and other reponsibilities on the floor( ex. checking and charting all refrigerator temps on floor) we may be endangering our patients and are scared we may not be able to deliver safe care. Manager's response, "Suck it up".
  9. by   anastasia niemi
    Wow! I am so sorry to hear you honestly believe this about your profession - do you think that maybe this is related more to your work environment? I've worked as a charge nurse who takes patients for 10 yrs - and I can assure you I have had days where I left with a migraine, tears in my eyes, or took 35 minutes to drive home when it's a 55 minute drive. I have purposely skunked myself with cruddy assignments because the assignment would have traumatized new grads - or my other coworkers would have had to put in 2 hours overtime to complete it. In these cases I am my own worst enemy.

    Why do I go back day after day and year after year? Because my coworkers are my extended family. My patients are my extended family. I honestly care about them and provide them with the care that I would want my husband and children to receive. I've taken care of people who are prejudiced against Native Americans ( when my nephew is proud to be 1/2 Native American ), I have taken care of people who are angry and bitter about being sick and have vented their anger out on me. But I listen as they vent, I try not to take it to heart, I offer compassion, support, skilled care and empathy.

    I have taken care of patients that other nurses refuse or beg not to be assigned to. More often than not, by my next shift with them we've developed a good relationship - they realize that I am there and have their best interest at heart. We all get our "frequent flyers" - those patients who are in and out of the hospital every few weeks. Many of them request me - after our initial meeting ending with me having a puking migraine at the end of the day.

    Coworkers: doctors, cna's, administration, nurses, NP's, PA's are all human. Will you overhear them complaining. Sure. Health care is not a proffession that is 9-5. It's 24 hrs. If you can't vent at work then you bring more emotional garbage home to your family. I have always stood out as a patient and staff advocate. My annual review will be glowing, with the exception of "blunt, to the point, curt." Meaning? When I see or hear someone - and it doesn't matter what their title is - reducing a fellow staff member to tears, eating our young, purposely letting a staff member drown, demeaning someone who functions with a lesser title, I stand up and call it what it is. Bulls---! I have the reputation of not taking any garbage and not allowing anyone else do dish it out.

    I find an environment for those involved to work it through - pulling them away from the nurses station audience or break room audience. I do not tolerate the "eating of our young." I will point out areas of needed improvement to a staff member - work with them to develop a goal and help them to achieve it.

    I think you might be working in a hostile working environment - which leaves you with 2 choices. Stand up and address it - to your charge nurse, manager - or even higher if they're promoting the hostile environment. Or look for other things to do with your license. Social work, telephonic triage, telephonic case management, workers comp, hospital case management, disease management, wound ostomy continence nursing, etc. The jobs are out there. The internet is your highway to finding these job opportunities.

    I hope that you are having a better day - and that you explore the other career options that are available to you. Because if you understand why a nurse snapped and overdosed her patient - you need to step back and reevaluate your career and mental and physical well being. Would you understand if she overdosed your child?
    Last edit by anastasia niemi on Mar 20, '07 : Reason: addition of space
  10. by   merrymmary
    Being told to suck it up is just not okay!!!!! The manager is being told that from her boss too. So what is the answer? Someone has to listen or it's going to get worse. Aides are being given more and more responsibility. In Ohio they can admin gt meds in the home, po meds in nursing homes and aren't liable, they don't have a license to go after. And they're saving corporate a ton of money....
  11. by   huneni05
    Please don't say/think like that.You sound like the pathetic one!I believe that not all days are wonderful in any profession.Some colleagues can put you really down but don't put it all down to 'nursing'.Nurses are WONDERFUL!!!
  12. by   anastasia niemi
    In response to Merrymary I did not tell the nurse who wrote Nurses are Pathetic to "suck it up". I told her to either do something - by bringing it to the attention of an upper management person - or to work on getting into another aspect of nursing.

    Do you truly believe that upper management would find a hostile working environment acceptable? First and foremost-it is a lawsuit waiting to happen. We have semi annual seminars on unacceptable behavior and treatment - why?

    Because our facility recognized after having staff fill out surveys that asked how we felt our facility was doing-how we felt we were treated by coworkers, how we felt about our work environment (it was over 100 questions long-and left lots of room for written venting and was anonymous) that a lot of staff felt mistreated, unappreciated, etc. The first survey was done over 10 yrs ago and painted a negative work environment picture. Our last survey had over 80 percent (which included all of our sister hospitals) satisfaction with our working environment.

    Our administrators drag their butts out of bed at midnight to come around and talk to staff. They ask us what areas we feel need improvement - are implemented policy changes working? We are encouraged to talk - to seek improvement - to identify areas that are lacking. Our turnover rate in staff is not nearly what it was when I started as a new grad.

    For all of us who told the original poster to seek a different area in her profession to pursue - I am sure we all realize that you make a heck of a lot more nursing than you do at Super One. Personally, I have been poor, broke and happy - where we went fishing for pan fist (which aren't that great) because we had nothing else to eat. I've lived off of $8.00 a day - after paying bills and buying diapers and clothes for my children.

    I've lived classified as poor, middle and upper classed. I have friends who live classified in all 3 categories. I've been happy in all 3 categories. I am no more or less happy today-living on "KNOB HILL" than I was living in a 2 bedroom home with my 3 kids, husband, cat and dog. I drive past that tiny house and smile because it is filled with happy memories. If I had to move back into that house today I would be just as content as I am now.

    New cars, New houses - it's just materialistic crap. You can live off of a lesser salary. It's an option to anybody. It's just a matter of whether or not you are materialistic. Do you need to have every brand new DVD, do your kids have to shop at the mall vs KMART?

    I became a nurse after my daughter died. I needed an outlet for the place in my heart that was reserved especially for her. Nursing has allowed me that. If I came to the realization tomorrow that I hated my job, and that my coworkers or patients were really starting to drag me down - I'd quit in a heartbeat. You can't be a nurse just because of the paycheck-those who are will burn out a heck of a lot faster than those of us who chose it because we wanted to make a difference in somebody's life.
  13. by   RavenC
    Quote from lorster
    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 physically, mentally and emotionally abused by doctors, managers, patients, and families. We work ungodly hours, skip our much needed breaks without pay for months and years on end. And this goes on and on and on. The stories are endless. Then we are all shocked when a nurse who has had enough finally cracks and administers 32 vials of Dilantin and kills a patient. Is this so different than any other human being who finally after years and years of this abuse, just cannot take it anymore? I think not. When are we all going to stand up and demand decent pay, decent working conditions, and respect? Well, the answer is never because we are not a solid group. We have no autonomy or solidarity because we are a weak profession. We pit one against another. We ***** and backstab. We deserve all the abuse that is dealt to us. In nursing school, we are taught to make beds, empty bedpans and clean dentures. Instead we should get vast lessons in how to deal with some of the real issues that face us today. We are understaffed, overworked, pushed to the breaking point. But yet, the martyr instinct kicks in, we get up and go back and endure more of the same. When is enough, enough? When are we all going to come together and and start shouting about our working conditions and wages? We make less than a crew on road construction or a plumber. And look what we do. We are responsible for peoples lives. I went to work down the road as my current employer is union and I felt that maybe the non union hospital down the road would be a better place. Well, it is not, it is worse. 13 nurses have quit in the 6 weeks I have worked there. I won't renew my contract. It is just too unsafe. The hospital is all about profit at the expense of some great nurses. They even charge for an individual bandaid. It is ridiculous. I have decided that as soon as I can afford to, I'm getting out. I will no longer be a member of a profession that eats its young while at the same time, taking unwarrented abuse from unapreciative doctors that we bend over backwards for. Its not about making a living any more, it is about retaining some self respect, free of abuse by doctors, managers and other nurses who have nothing better to do than put a knife in your back the minute you turn around. At least at walmart I won't have to worry about making a life threatening mistake because I'm overwhelmed by what is required of me each day.
    I didn't take your comment about pathetic as much to heart as some folks seem to have done. I felt it was more a comment on how we allow ourselves to be treated. I agree with a lot of what you said, I think the problem is that you said it while angry. In a more calm way, the facts do exist. Doctors and families can be incredibly insulting or down right mean. The problem with a union shop is that we can't walk out or we could lose our licenses for abandonment and if anything bad happens we'll be in trouble for that too. Employers know this and use it to their advantage. I also agree that to overwork a nurse and then come down on her when she makes a mistake is wrong...there are more people than just the nurse to blame, but we are the licensed one and so are responsible. It's why sometimes you just have to tell someone that they have to wait, what you are doing is too important to be interrupted or distracted from. You sound highly stressed and if I may, I'd suggest that as soon as possible, when you get out of this contract, try a different area of nursing until you can get out of it. Maybe home care, where you don't have more than one patient at time. And although I don't care for the entire operation, hospice might get you through the transition. It's a much calmer area of work. Nursing isn't for everyone and for the people who love it...that's fine. I say let them have the job. I don't like it, but I've had to use it to support myself for 13 years, but enough is enough. I'm going as soon as I can.
    A couple of weeks ago, I went to work and my name had been wited out on the daily schedule and someone was in my place. Couldn't get any answers, even from the DON,("I'll explain later" which never came.), but another nurse went home sick so I stayed, which was "fine" with the DON. Since I wasn't on the new monthly schedule, I just didn't go back. Grabbed some part time hours at my other job, am using my IRS refund as income instead of my planned vacation, and headed off to real estate school. Then I get a call from the scheduler..."Can you work Tuesday?" Excuse me? Turns out the DON just wanted the new hire to have hours so she could get use to the job and she "never meant to offend me". When I went in, at my convenience, that nurse had quit and they have a couple part timers filling in. Why it wasn't given back to me I don't know, but I wouldn't have taken it anyway. I'm happy to say many patients wanted to know where I'd been and wanted me back, as did the staff. I've never been written up or counseled, so why am I suddenly back to PRN? Just because they can. But I'm staying with the real estate and I will get out of nursing eventually. I don't want to be in a profession like do you treat someone so badly and think it's ok? My nursing school instructor once said that when you work in a 'service' profession, people think less of you in some ways at least, because you have put yourself in a position to 'serve.' It's as if giving of yourself is a bad thing, as some people perceive it. I'm not saying it's my opinion...I enjoy talking to people, not professions.
    Hope you can calm down and get through the rest of your time in nursing without any further problems. Start planning what you'll helps with the stress to know that you're on the road out.