Sounding off!!! - page 2

I have been reading all of the posts about the nursing shortage and one of the inescapable conclusions that I have come to is the fact that most of the nurses complain out loud too much. I'm not... Read More

  1. by   essarge
    Just to clarify things...we went to the charge nurse first, after I approached the staff and the behavior continued. She is the one that opted to bring in administration. I DID NOT do this to retalliate, or get any of my fellow nurses in trouble. In fact a woman's family (she passed less than 1/2 hour later) also heard these nurses and their remarks. I'm sure that it made them feel like everything had been done for her between complaining about the working conditions and their fellow co-workers. At what point does professionalism, and maturity come into play? Or is that something that is lost after you leave school?

    No I am not sorry for handling it the way I did and I would expect the same to happen to me (which it won't because I WILL NOT discuss things like that on the floor) should I be involved in demeaning the healthcare facility, administration, or fellow workers in hearing distance of patients or their families!!!
  2. by   res04lly
    Postive thoughts are great if they produce a change in a postive way,unfortunately we have really No positive ear listening, I still feel the way for change would be to unionization and a organization that reconizes all branches of nursing that works for all nurses. I think the change needs to being right off in the nursing schools they tell the students "we eat our young," "we feel they want our jobs when they are treated poorly"-how about the truth- the nurse is just plain tried and burned out due to long days and manatory overtime. How about addressing the truth for once instead of fanasty about what it is really like. that we don't have generic patients and that everything isn't dog eat dog. How about teaching empathy for patients and families, instead of rudeness and an unwillingness to take directive or show compassion. Why not teach the reality of the profession Good and Bad,at the very beginning instead of graduating new grads who feel shell shocked when the orientation is over.why not give them it all and let them decide at the beginning before they have wasted their money and time to find out that this is not what i wanted or this is not how i expected it to be. I think with postive thoughts should come honesty and bluntness, that Yes nursing can and is rewarding but this is the down side too. I watched my father die of neomyoblastic cancer-the man starved to death and not one nurse could even come in and hold the man's hand. The treatment my family received from the staff was terrible and I was embarrassed and ashamed by his treatment, by both seasoned and new grads alike. So lets talk the truth about nursing it is hard work, it is a brain drain at times, it is long hours and manatory overtime, it is Also compassion, caring, empathy, touching and listening,But most of all it's human, it's real blood and guts, it feels pain,joy, sadness, excitement, anger, at times hostility, love, caring, and the list goes on. Nursing is alive and it is realitiy and most of all it is human with human emotion. That's what is POSTIVE about nursing. now i can get off my soapbox and join the rest of the world
  3. by   HotSpam
    Well said!

    Reading your reply makes me feel like playing golf. I am again centered and refreshed in the knowledge that nursing is just, nursing.

    I'll add nothing as it would be redundant.



    [ April 29, 2001: Message edited by: HotSpam ]
  4. by   CEN35

    while I dont mean to burst any bubbles here, consider a few things.

    #1 - Money is part of the issue. Why? There are currently enough nurses to staff all the facilites quite adequately. Where have they went? Some have retired (before their time), and some to insurance companies and legal firms, for a 9-5pm day, during the week, without weekend or holiday requirements, without and legal worries FOR THE SAME PAY (I am not yelling either).
    a) Money is not the only issue, but with nurses leaving for those types of oppurtunities, increased wages for bedside nursing is a must to retain the current employees. Too work a weekend, or holiday knowing everything you do could be related to a legal issue and/or life or death, needs compensation. Does that make sense too you?

    #2 - This was a result of being burnt out, because hospitals started to cut staffing, and used their little matrix's to determine staffing needs. People all agree, staffing has decreased over the years. However, nurses have rememebered, when staffing was good, patients were ambulatory. Patients were in for 2 or 3 days for a colonoscopy, which is now done as an outpatient. However, despite the huge decrease in stable patients admitted to the hospital like Mr. Colonoscopy from 1985, the census's stay the same. Why? Sicker people due to longer life spans, etc. The only other thing that has changed is acuity. Inpatient acuity has increased dramaticaly, and staffing has decreased which doubles quadruples the stress, and responsibility of a nurse.

    #3 - FACT - the most common reason for a lawsuite to a nurse and/or physician is "Failure to monitor" and "Failure to advise" (the physician). Now look at these two reasons? 1st staffing is cut to what some administrator thinks is appropriate. Patient acuity goes up. Now it is very tough for the nurse to "Monitor" every one of his/her pateints. If you cannot "monitor" your patients effectively, then you cannot "advise" the physician effectively. At this point you think? They offered me that job at that legal firm, reveiwing charts Monday through Friday, no holidays, no weekends.....and they are apying me the I stupid.....and poof they are gone.

    #4 - Agency nurse numbers have risen drastically in the last two years. Why? Similar reasons as the people who went to the law firm or insurance company, or to work for a bussiness as the bussiness's nurse. They want better hours and conditions, or (as with agency) to be compensated for their off hours, rudeness, legal worries, and holiday bedside nursing duties. They then go to the agency and make double of what they were before, as a staff nurse. Same job, more pay.

    So it goes back to, better working conditions, and/or money.....or a compramise between the two.

    Not mad, not rambling. I am just trying to give ya some perspective here.


    [ April 29, 2001: Message edited by: CEN35 ]
  5. by   Chellyse66
    There were alot of good comments in this thread. (and Peggy you gave me a good laugh, and I needed one..LOL)
    While I do not agree that nurses should stand in the hallways moaning and complaining about thier workplace issues and talking about colleagues, where are they supposed to talk? and when do you suppose they have time to talk?
    Going to the break room is out of the question when you would have to forfit your pee break to do so, that is if you get one.
    These are some of the realities nurses face.
    And for those that do go to management with thier complaints and solutions in hand they usually do get categorized and sometimes face reprocussions later and evaluation time.
    It is imporatant that we place the priority of the patient first, and I believe that most prudent nurses do just that, but we are human and sometimes have to let off some steam. No one talks about the true morbidity of the things we face everyday (read the thread on here about what makes you sick)
    If psych is your minor, think about it we all have a subconscious mind and we all end up dealing with stresses consciously or unconsciously. Nursing promotes and even cheers on the nurse that can handle a situation without being "rattled", so who is the better nurse the one that after a major code goes to her co worker and privately cries or the one that brushes it off and supresses her emotions?
    We are emotional creatures, we are human. Maybe if we start early in the schools by teaching realistic coping skills, and addressing the realities of what nurses face instead of teaching suppression and rewarding nurses for doing just that we would have a begining.
    I mean think about it, as a nurse working LTC I have a patient load of 30 on a day shift, I am required by federal law to medicate these patients within a 2 hour time frame (this is impossible) I do not regularly practice or condone LYING, but I have to lie to myself, am told by management to lie (by believing that I can complete this within the legal time frame, and of course if say the state inspectors come in I am supposed to pretend that I am or can, now you tell me what kind of message am I sending to my psyche?
    Same priciple by telling us to run around and think positive thoughts, supress what you really feel and lie, you will be rewarded.
    How about dealing with the problems, recognizing the nurse that brings forth workable solutions and providing an outlet for nurses to ventilate thier feelings.
    In this high intensity career (firefighters,police are offered counseling services) why are we not given an opportunity to get together in groups to realistically discuss our feelings whether it is anger,disgust, grief, sorrow whatever..
    We have outlets like this BB and even in here people come through and make posts "do not be so negative" and "don't argue" and "be positive" how about being REAL!
    One place of emplaoyment where I worked in Hospice offered this service to the nurses, once a week a staff psychologist held an open meeting for all staff, no management allowed, free of charge and not mandatory, these sessions allowed nurses to come together and vent, discuss, share feelings, cry, get angry, work out solutions, brainstorm.It is/was a great service and tool. The turnover decreased,attitudes changed and working conditions were directly effected. There are solutions, and after all this rambling I am sorry that your family members were subjected to the nurses negativity, but let's not continue to perpetuate this rhetoric about "have a positive thought" and it will change things, get some solutions, then you will see the changes.
    Here is an article I found out on the web and thought I would share it here, it addresses the image of nursing and some solutions, read it and you may have a better understanding of the issues we are facing today.

    THE NURSING SHORTAGE: Solutions for the Short and Long Term
    Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN
    Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, MS, CNA

  6. by   RNforLongTime

    Boy are you in for a rude awakening when you return to bedside nursing. It's hard to keep up with 6 or 7 pateints needs and have the registration desk keep throwing more and more patients your way. Oh my god, I hope that none of my patients are real sick cause then the others will be ignored and I 'll go home (eventually) feeling like a bad nurse cause I wasn't able to provide each and every one of my patients the care that they deserve!

    I agree with Peggy all the way!

    I didn't go into nursing for the money although considering the stuff we deal with we should be paid alot more!

    And A family is more important than any nursing job in the world!
  7. by   essarge
    I am in no way promoting lying or suppressing feelings...when it involves your patient. All I was saying was, since I know that it is human nature to vent, take it out of earshot!!! PeggyOhio, I'm sorry you work in a facility that won't allow you to have time with your family. Maybe it's time to look elsewhere? Like everyone said..there is a shortage, so finding a better place to work might not be a bad idea!

    I loved the part about having a psychiatrist to talk to without management being present!! what a great idea!! Did it help the staff to better deal with things?

    I don't even pretend to know what the answer is, but there has to be one..even a partial one out there somewhere!!

    But like I said, where does professionalism and maturity come in to play? Why do professionals, who are mature adults, insist on complaining and whining (about administration and each other) in front of patients and their families? I'm sorry, I still have a big problem with that!
  8. by   natalie
    I agree, ideally, nurses should be taking this out of earshot. I don't believe, however, you have a feel for the critical condition of the workforce. When it gets out of control, as it is now, then you will witness the abomination through the nurses. Please go to this topic and read the second posting by Jason.

    This gives you a feel for what's happening. Because of these extremely frightful situations that are occurring daily, the public will not be sheltered from it by nursing staff that can't possibly act in that quiet, professional demeanor any more. No human being could.
  9. by   PeggyOhio
    Why be sorry for me because I work at a facility that uses mandatory overtime to solve staffing shortages? This is not the exception, this is the norm in nursing today. There is legislation pending in several states and at the national level trying to make it illegal! But as of now hospitals are free to enforce this strategy without regard to you or your family. Choose between your job or your family. Going to another facility won't protect you they are all doing it. Positive vibes won't protect you either.

    Are you sure you have a realistic idea of what the current work environment is like? If you are operating in the real world you should know that madatory overtime is the number one issue nurses are fighting. Inadequate staff is number two.
    You to may soon find yourself in this situation.

    Best of luck to you. We need people who are courageous enough to come into this profession at this juncture. Because as all the managers and administrator warn, "Its going to get worse".

    [ April 30, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
  10. by   Chellyse66

    I was not implying you personally when I was talking about lying and suppression of feelings, I was generalizing about the profession in general and traditions in the profession. I also agree about trying to keep it from a patient's audible space.These patient's are sick enough not to hear this. But inevitably you might also find yourself in a situation with a patient that also is complaining about thier medical service, in that case I always tell the truth, if the care is not given timely because of lack of sufficient staffing,I tell them the truth and offer them a grievance card. I have found myself in the situation with management telling me that I need to stop the practice but I believe Hey I am not hear to make excuses or take the blame for something I do not control either.

    and as far as the psychologist coming, I know it made a difference, I think it is a viable solution atleast for stress reduction, and sometimes we were given meditation techniques, and a new perspective on coping skills.It helped listening to how other nurses reacted in certain situations and how they dealt with stressful events and families ect. It also made us closer, being able to share, this was voluntary and no management allowed, there was a trust built and you were able to vent to someone that you knew would not repeat what you said.Sometimes just getting it out of your system makes you have a renewed direction and plan.It should be widely used and would not cost that much to offer.It is important to have someone lead the group that is trained, if they offer it up with just anyone running it I do not think the results will be the same.
  11. by   CEN35
    LMAO@ I am so eager to get back into work this morning and play another round of “keeping up with the call lights”.

    BTW Peggy, we dpont send all our ER patients up at once to tic you

  12. by   res04lly
    I am confused, the reality is we all want more money, we have mandatory overtime because there is a shortage,right??? We all complain like a bunch of cats in a trash can(by the way i am a cat lover 10 cats strong)
    but to do it out where family member's can hear-please.Are we not more professional than this? I sometimes wonder if it were your family member in that hosptial bed would you want them to hear our dirty linen. This same thing happen when my dad was dying of ca and to be honest with you, i was ashamed of my profession,along with substandard care,med errors, my greving mom, the last thing i wanted my family to hear was how unhappy the staff was. it just makes things harder to deal with, to be honest, and it adds unnecessary stress when a fmaily member thinks there will not be enough staff to care for thier loved one. I don't think going to the charge nurse was wrong -i wrote a 10 page letter to the hosptial about dad's care and sent it the state because i felt that they needed to wake up about the conditions that are present then as now. I worked on a bill here in michigan HCBill 441 to make staffing ratio's based on acuatie(sorry about the spelling) vs patient ratio to nursing staff. That bill probably would have gone threw if it was not killed in the state senate by the hospitals and nursing homes. I had petitions to be signed and no one would sign because they were afraid they would lose there jobs. So maybe the place to start is by trying to get focused on what HC bills would help to change thing in our state governments and focuse on those for backing and implemenations. It is more of a postive thing than standing in the hallway airing the dirty laundry, what do you think???
  13. by   essarge
    Very well said!! And I totally agree with you!! Like I said before, where does the professionalism and maturity come into play? And at which point do people realize that, when they hear staff talking like this, it does affect how a person feels when they are a patient and make the family wonder what type of care they are being given?

    I know there are studies out there showing that being kind and compassionate helps a patient heal faster because it helps them feel better about themselves and their care. Imagine what affect it has when they hear staff complaining about the facility they work in, their co-workers, or even doctors that are on staff!!!