Survey: Would you encourage your child to become a nurse? - page 4 Please feel free to post any comments that you have right here in this discussion thread by clicking the "Post Reply" button.... Read More

  1. by   SbRN2002
    What is considered "not enough pay?" In the state of SC, most nurses get paid $18.00/hour. Agency RN nurses get paid $30.00 to $35.00 an hour.

    I am working on a Med/Surgical unit in a hospital as a nursing assistant now. I have been on that floor for over a year. We have a very big patient turnover. I get paid 6.00 an hour to take care of 12 patients for 12 hours shift. I take care of the bed baths, changing patients, changing bed sheets, turning patients, taking VS, checking I & O's, doing FSBS on patients, charting VS and I & O's. I inform nurses about their patients about stuff that I know is not good. I help the nurses everyway that I can.

    I know nurses have a big responsibility. I know that it's stressful. I have seen it first hand. I have worked on several units: SICU, MICU, ER, Orthopedics, Peds. The only area that I have not worked is the OR, which i have no desire for that dept.

    I am sorry if I offended anyone. The point is,,,I have experienced the real world....
  2. by   nurs4kids
    Everytime my little girl says, "When I get big, I'm gonna be a nurse like mommie!". I say, "I'd be a doctor, baby, they can buy more toys with their money!!" Then I add the "but you can be whatever you want and mommie will still be proud"

    She's not but 2 1/2, so I'm not real stressed over her career choices. This week, she's going to be a "firefruck". No, that's not a typo, and she doesn't exactly get the "r" sound in the end. I assume she means "fireman" and associates that with "firetruck".

    I will encourage my kids to be the best at whatever they choose to be. If she wants to play pro football and he wants to do ballet<cringe> (he's only 1, I can say that right now..can't I?), they'll have my blessings. I won't push them toward any career.

    No, I won't encourage either to become a nurse.

    My parent's pushed me toward nursing. I rebelled for 7 years, changed majors 15 times, was majoring in everything BUT nursing. The minute they gave up on me, I decided I WANTED to be a nurse.
  3. by   kaycee
    Not meant to be rude or insensitive because I admire your reasons for wanting to become a nurse, but when you experience "the real world" as an RN, working for 26yrs, exhausted, every bone in your body aches after 12hrs running your a$$ off, doing the job of a CNA, RT, Lab Tech, Secretary and Housekeeping to name a few plus nursing, in charge of a busy ED and making $21.00/hr, then and only then will I consider you knowing the "real world". Don't take me wrong I love my job, but don't claim to know what it's like until your there. It sounds like you will be a wonderful nurse, and I wish you the best. Just be realistic about nursing and realize there are some big problems and as someone new to the profession you have great opportunity to make it better. If you think for one minute the nurses here don't want the same things out of nursing as you do, you are sooo wrong. We just know the reality and I'm afraid it may hit you hard when you enter "the real world". No one here is ruining the Nurse name as you say. We just come here to vent and exchange views because we are frustrated that we sometimes cannot give the type of care you describe. Some will encourage nursing careers for their kids and some will not. Depends on their experiences and knowing their kids but none of them are bad nurses or ruining the nurse name.
    I think the bottom line is most nurses would not discourage nursing, they may discourage their children because of what nursing has become. Good luck in your career and I truely hope it's everything you want it to be.

  4. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by SbRN2002
    Hey. I am a nursing student. I am currently in my third semester of clinicals (Med/Surg). I have been reading responses to the survey and I just wanted to share my thoughts about it...Before I start, I want to state that I am not trying to offend anyone and I hope that I don't.

    It really disappoints me to read and hear the nurses complain about being a nurse and the workplace....Being a nurse is not about making the BIG dollars and being highly recognized for what WE do...A nurse has many responsibilities...WE are teachers, friends, listeners, counselors,...the list goes on and on.

    I tried everything to try to help ease that pain. I rubbed his back, gave pain medicinces, assessed every few hours because I really wanted him comforted.

    I sat down and listened to him express his concerns. I explained it to him and told him it was going help relieve that abdominal pain.

    I had to give him an enema. I was feeling pretty lousy about having to put him through it all. When I was done, I helped him position in bed and get comfortable. I made sure everything was ok.
    That my friends is why I am getting my RN degree. Its all about helping and listening to your patient.
    I would encourage anyone that had a desire and a heart to become a nurse....If they felt the calling!
    You have everything exactly correct, except for a few things your innocence protects you from. We all entered nursing for the reasons you described, with the same hopes of helping the sick. We are all willing to sacrifice to care for others. The part you've not encountered yet, though, is the part that destroys nursing, and it is NOT NURSES!!

    You see, all those wonderful things you describe above about listening to your patient, talking to your patient, making sure everything was ok... WELLLLLLLLLLLLLL, can do that when you're a student, because you DON'T have 15 patients. I'm one of the blessed ones, I have 5 max, BUT I KNOW what my fellow nurses go through on a REGULAR BASIS.

    When you're caring for 15 patients, the humanity part quickly goes out the door, you become a robot doing as much as possible in the little time available. You pop that NG tube down, you give the enema then you RUN to the next patient's room to start an IV. While you're starting that IV, you're paged to go to another room where a 300lb patient has fallen on the floor. As you're returning that patient to the bed and assessing for injury, you hear the rush of panic outside the door. Another patient of yours has coded. An hour later, you've transferred that patient, hopefully, and you're still trying to see the other 11?? no, no 12?? oh well, you glance at your cheat sheet to see how many patients you still must see. And the rest of the shift continues just as it began.
    Finally, the next shift has come, you sit down to chart with 15 minutes left in your shift (NOTE, your employer will NOT pay OT, yet you must finish your charting before leaving). On your drive home, you think about Mr NG tube/Enema. You hope he's not too upset that you didn't have time do what you would LIKE TO DO, do what you entered nursing for the entire person, concern yourself with his emotions, give the back rub, take the time to SIT AND LISTEN. You pray you didn't forget anything critical. Before you go to bed at night, before you start the next shift, you ask a pray that God will lead you safely through the shift, lead you safely so that you harm no one or overlook a fatal sign...You leave and you thank God for guiding you through another impossible shift w/o further damaging the ill.

    So, you see, IF nursing school was realistic of nursing, then we'd be as pro-nursing as you, BUT nursing school is preparation for nursing. It is by NO means an indicator of what is to come!!

    Welcome to nursing, it will be everything you've dreamed of...and alot more
  5. by   nsmith_rn

    This one is for you
    I had the same ideals when I was in nursing school and I wanted the same for my patients but when the demands of taking care of more patients then you can come to a relaity and administration says they will no longer use agency nurses
    you begin to not be able to do the things for a patient that you could in nursing school and you had one patient.
    I love to take care , listen to and be the support that my patients need. However I did not become a nurse to be run into the ground, worked harder then we should be and constantly have administration dump more responsibility one me becasue they insist that we do not need people like physical therapists on an ortho floor.
    Honestly work two years in the trenches of Med/ Surg and let me know how you feel.
    It is not that we are a bunch of caloused mean nurses. It is that we are underpaid in comparasion to other professions and educational levels, that we are OVERWORKED and that we do get little respect. Complied with all of that... it is hard to keep a chin up attitude.
    Also Never would I ever want to work with a nurse who became a nurse out of charity. One that says " we becames nurses not for the money but for love of patients" Nor would I want one of those sappy Nightengale leftovers taking care of me. The reason for that is becasue that is a person that will take all the crap and bad working conditions and just keep working for the sake of the patients...
    what you do not know is that nurses like that undermine our profession and make conditions worse for patients.
    They are not willing to stand up and make things better.
    They are not the ones that are willing to say hey this is ok and demand something better for the patients that are trusted into their care.
    I want a nurse that stands up for herself becasue then he? she will stand up for me.
    We are not asking for the world
    When nurses complain
    usually they
    want a few things and that is it
    Safer staffing
    Being able to take breaks
    More money
    and overall better working conditions.

  6. by   SbRN2002
    Hey. I am sorry, but it seems that I offended some nurses....

    The example I gave you about my patient was an illustration. I never said I was taking care of only one patient. We carry a three patient load.

    WHy work for a facility that would assign a nurse a 15 patient load? The max that I have seen the nurses I work with on the MED/SURG floor has been 8 patients. YOu guys must work in a very nurse shorted facility. THe hospital I work for would never assign a nurse to 15 patients or 10 for that matter. Even the ED nurses dont get over 8 patients. The nurses in the ER only have four rooms assigned to them.

    I was not meaning to say that you guys had nothing to complain about. I am sorry if I seemed to cut you guys down. I just wanted to remind you of the reasons we became nurses. I have seen students come to want to become nurses because it paid "WELL." They thought it was going to be easy work. I know it's not easy. They end up leaving the field and going back to school. Or even they dont even make it through school because they can't handle "living, breatheing, and sleeping NURSING." I see the nurses I work with suffer everyday. Because being a nurse is a complicated career because we have so many responsibilities and we have so many different kinds of tasks.

    Hey. I sorry i offended you all. I will keep my mouth shut.
  7. by   kaycee
    I'm not offended just wanted to present a different perspective.
    Please, don't keep your mouth shut. What you have to say is as important as anyone else on this board. Just because it may be different doesn't mean it shouldn't be heard.
    Keep posting and let us know how school is and about your work as a nurse when you graduate.

  8. by   CareerRN

    Please do not keep your mouth shut. This is an excellent learning opportunity for you as well as everyone else.

    I understand your reasons and meaning behind what you have said. Your intentions are very honorable.

    Now let us brake down some of what you said.

    Currently you are a CAN and mentioned that you know the real world because of your past experiences. You have a lot of duties to perform as a CAN. This is true. I bet at times, you think your hands are quite full as a CAN.

    One question for you is who does your duties when there is not a CAN available? If you said the nurse then you are correct. Next question, do you think that the nurse's patient load goes down when there is not a CAN available? Chances are you said yes. The reality is that in many places they do not. This is the same when there is no unit clerk as well.

    Next, you have 3 patients you cover as a student nurse. This is true but not the whole story. Actually you share your 3 patients with 2 other nurses. These would be your clinical instructor and the primary nurse assigned to these patients.

    Next question, you mention an 8 patient to 1 nurse ratio on a med/surg floor. You seem to imply that that is not a beg deal. An 8 to 1 ratio is in many ways unsafe and a large load. Carrying this type of patient load, especially without the support staff needed, can be a very hairy experience at times. If one of those patients starts going bad, then you still have 7 other patients to worry about. Does this really sound like an easy situation for you to have to face?

    You also talk about a 4 patient to 1 nurse ratio in the ER. This is not safe either when you have to deal with an acute patient with a MI, CHF, overdose, or some other immediate life threatening process. What about when you have 2 patients out of the 4 who need your immediate attention? How about when you have an overflow of patients in the ER and you also have to take care of 1 or 2 hallway patients?

    In all of these staffing ratios, what happens when you have to cover for someone else while they go on break or go to lunch? Your responsibility has now doubled. Should nurses working under these conditions be allowed to go on break or to lunch to eat?

    As nurses we did not do this to ourselves, but we did allow this to happen. Even today we continue to allow this to happen.

    nsmith_rn's comments summed it up quite well. They were not directed at you personally but at your thought process. You see you actually prooved part of what she said as true with you implication that an 8:1patient ratio on med/surg and 4:1 ratio is acceptable or tolerable. This is the reason why so many nurses are giving up on things changing. Next week someone else (nurse) will say 10:1 is acceptable or something else to justify it.

    As long as there are nurses who will allow this to continue and not fight back, you will see others give up and leave. It is like being in a leaking boat, everyone is bailing and the hole keeps getting bigger. If everyone would focus on repairing the hole and actually get to work repairing it themselves instead of waiting for someone else to step in and do it, then the water would stop flooding in and bailing out the water would actually amount to something.

    Would it not be more effective to resolve our problems first, before we encouraged others to join. You never know, if the problems were resolved we might have a whole bunch of nurses who would be more than willing to encourage others to join. First we have to all admit there is a problem and as you can see from a lot of the replies here on this topic many are not even willing to admit it.
  9. by   SbRN2002
    OK I admit it there is a problem with a shortage of nurses and situations are bad.. I did not say that I would allow things to continue to go down as they are going. I wish we did have better situations with no problems at all...I see the nurses at my job suffer everyday trying to take care of their six patients. I used to work as a Ward secretary on the floor, but because of my desire to help the nurses, my nurse manager switched me to nurse assisting. Besides she did not even have to train me to do the duties because of school.

    But what can we do about the problem? We all need our jobs. We can't walk off and leave the floor when we find out we are short for the day already. I think thats called patient abandonment. We cant quit our jobs because we need a paycheck.

    So what do you all suggest we do about it?

    When i am in clinicals, I am assigned to three patients. I know that sounds small to you guys because you start at 5+ patients. I do have a clinical instructor and a primary nurse in charge of that patient also. But it is my responsibility to take care of that patient. Clinical instructor is supervising making sure I dont screw up and help me learn. The primary nurse just makes sure the IV bag does not run out or calls the Doctor when I tell her something is wrong. The hospital I am doing my clinicals has 8 hours shifts. They don't do twelve hour shifts. The hospital has 52 beds.

    Maybe I dont know everything you guys go thru. I wish I was already there with all of you. So what can we do about it. Complaining won't help. If we go to administration, they only just laugh at us. Trust me I have seen my nurse manager do it. We have lost 4 of the best RN's from our floor because they were tired of the way our floor is so fast. Med/Surg is a very busy unit.
  10. by   nsmith_rn
    I was not attacking you personally
    I was simply pointing out the problems that we have.
    While you have worked on entry level nursing and that will be helpful to you it is a whole new ball game when you get out there
    Today I saw 14 patients with a very good LVN. Fact of the matter is This was a Med/ surg floor and it was not safe. DO I refuse patients yes I refused two today that was to much and it was not safe
    Where they pissed " hell yes" the other reality is that it is not the managers liscense it is mine.
    As long as they keep milling nurses out of school that are willing to accpet high ratios then they do not care what the older nurses think.
    I was once as I call it " enchanted" with nursing but the reality is they are going to work you into the ground
    and if you intend on staying in nursing you had better develop a strong spine and a mouth
    do not keep posting I think that it is important that everyone has their say
    I want nurses to say what is on their minds..... we do not enough of that
    having six years in nursing I am on my way out. I do not want to work like this for the rest of my life...... sad thing is I love what I do
  11. by   nsmith_rn
    sorry about that typo
    I meant to KEEP POSTING
    IT will help you allot there are many mroe experienced nurses out there that can give you allot of good advice and are great sounding boards
  12. by   ninaldunn
    My mother was a CNA for about 6 months when she first graduated high school. She always discouraged nursing. I never even considered nursing until I went to an open house at nursing school with a friend, because her car broke down - so I drove her. She did not sign up for nursing school. I did.

    I work three 8 hour days per week. I work with a good group who trades weekends as needed. I work float team - we don't work any holidays unless we want to for the overtime. I've not missed any important family event for my immediate family. Though I'm never able to travel home from WI to NJ for the holidays.

    My mom has worked in an office for the past 4 years where she couldn't take off Monday or Friday. She makes 1/2 the money I make. Her boss left, then one by one other office staff starting finding other jobs. Her new boss fired her because 3 mistakes were made under her name. Turns out those times were that very boss training his new assistant on my mom's computer. So nurses aren't the only people with job constraints and issues.

    My 4 year old daughter tells me all the time she wants to become a nurse and go to work with me. If she picks something else when the time comes, that's fine. If she wants to be a nurse - I'll be tickled pink.
  13. by   kids
    Originally posted by SbRN2002
    WHy work for a facility that would assign a nurse a 15 patient load? The max that I have seen the nurses I work with on the MED/SURG floor has been 8 patients. YOu guys must work in a very nurse shorted facility. THe hospital I work for would never assign a nurse to 15 patients or 10 for that matter. Even the ED nurses dont get over 8 patients. The nurses in the ER only have four rooms assigned to them.
    Just to get my 2 cents in...

    None of us would willingly work for a facility that assigns 1 Nurse to 15 patients...but all of us do or have. The unfortunate reality for many of us is that we live in communities where there is a lack of physical bodies to fill all of the shifts. We all have and do give every second we can safely spare to 'the cause. Closing down the facility or going on divert is not a viable option, some times even marginal care is better than no care.

    When we don't walk off the floor and go home when told we have an insane case load it is because we do care what happens to our patients. We take a deep breath, say a little prayer that we don't accidently kill some one. And then we take report.

    good luck, and I really don't think you offended anyone