What am I doing? Am I insane? - page 2

I start Nursing School in May. I Have a BS in Lab Science and have worked in a Hospital lab for 11 years. Since I have a BS, I got into a 1 year program that will make me a BSN. However, much of my... Read More

  1. by   chili2641

    Women and men both have something to offer. There are several female police officers and female prison wardens. These women have broken many glass ceilings on their climb up the ladder. I think the point you are missing is that we are all individuals with strengths and weaknesses. In policing women can calm down hostile situations. Some of these women relie on their communication skills as opposed to their brute strength. I have seen male officers use the very same tactics. It is amazing how much we can learn from each other. police officers also have to depend on their partner because their lives depend on it male or female. Nursing use to be a females domain mabe it still is. Women will vent out loud where as men are less likley to do so. No, you should not take on a pt load that may compromize your professional career. Yes, you should stand up and be an advocate for your patients and your staff.

    Nursing assistant
  2. by   traumaRUs
    Returning to the original intent of the initiator's request - nursing is what you make of it. I've been a level I ER nurse for five years, have worked ICU, Med Surg and started as an LPN in a nursing home. You have to make the most of your life - its so short and you can't take it for granted.

    Dwelling on the negative is bad for you, your pts and co-workers.

    Subq - I feel deep sympathy for you. Please get out of nursing if you feel it doesn't meet your expectations. I've worked many places (my husband is retired military) and no place is perfect. Maybe the ER would be a better setting for you. While our pt numbers are constantly increasing, we do have a different staffing ratio. Anyway, just a thought. By the way, where's Nursedude when you need him? LOL
  3. by   JulieW
    It surprises me (although it shouldn't) how much negative feedback SubQ's posts receive. Responses to Nursedude's "nursing is pathetic" (would you recommend nursing as a career) is the same story. Both are male. Hmmm.

    They speak the truth. Don't blame them, blame your hospital administrators and your HMO big wigs. Stop taking crap assignments. Refuse. And, yes, QUIT. The MARTYR mentality that doing so is hurting patients and co-workers IS WHAT FEEDS THE PROBLEM. HOSPITAL ADMINSITRATORS HAVE YOUR NUMBER. THEY KNOW YOU WON'T DITCH YOUR CO-WORKERS AND PATIENTS. TELL YA WHAT- DITCH 'EM. SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

    I am a new nurse. I am female. I worked at a hospital for 6 eye-opening months. I will never work at a hospital again. Hospital nurses in general are back biting, whining ******* who, instead of channeling their anger toward management, take it out on one another. If you're under 30 and pretty and new, you're f*cked. Female nurses are exclusive, cliquish, and some would actually choose to spend more time on an incident report involving an hour late med instead of just giving the frickin med themselves. Nurses writing each other up was a daily occurance on my unit. Gee, talk about team work. What a joke.

    So for new prospective students who really want advice, get your experience in the hospital because it is beneficial (the learning aspect, I mean) and if you like it, great- stay. If not, go to a specialty floor or office or homecare or anywhere where you enjoy your work. I'd have to agree with SubQ, though, this entire thread is a really beautiful example of how nurses treat each other.

    Stick up for yourselves and if you choose not to, then at least don't persecute those who are trying.

    By the way, I QUIT MY HOSPITAL JOB WITHOUT GIVING NOTICE after walking in to work one morning and seeing that I had 14 pts and no CNA. I absolutely love my new job where I receive respect, have plenty of time for patients, and NEVER have to wonder if I'm going to float or work short staffed or work without a CNA. Oh yeah, I get a lunch break everyday, too. So should everyone. Demand it.

    [This message has been edited by JulieW (edited February 14, 2001).]
  4. by   TracyRN
    Okay, one more comment to SubQ, I know, totally off the original subject but I don't know where else to put it. Sorry to zdjoe and everyone else in advance for prolonging the agony :-)

    I have to dispute the glowing example of cops being paragons of virtue. A worse group of good ol' boys cannot be found for the aforementioned sins that are attributed mainly to women by SubQ. Ask the spouse/SO of any cop and they will tell you the same. The biggest difference is that, even if they hate each other, good cops always back each other up when in need. Perhaps that's the lesson we could take from them, SubQ.
  5. by   SUBQ
    Julie w.

    You totally understand what it is that I'm TRYING to convey.

    Your point on "nurses writing each other up over a missed med vs. just giving the fricken med" is just one of the many different illustrations that I was trying to convey to zdjoe.

    He wanted an honest opinion. I gave it.

    >>>>In know way did I mean to insult women<<<<<


    You are a PRIME example of just how unsympathetic nursing can be.

    What in the hell do you mean "get out of nursing if it does not meet my expectation"?

    It has nothing to do w/ meeting my expectation: IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO W/ QUALITY PT CARE. It has everything to do w/ being an advocate; not a passive A$$kisser.

    And while your at it TRAMA R US, why don't you go ahead and discourage other nurses who want to vent their opinions. After all, its nurses like you who can take on any number of patients and keep on trucking. 'Ah hell, it don't matter if someone gets their pain meds when they ask for them--know one ever died from pain'

    I can't tell you how many times that I heard that phrase from a SUPERNURSE.

    Ok, and finally I get to Tracy RN: another prime example of someone TAKING WHAT I SAID OUT OF CONTEXT.

    I was using the point that COPS generally stick up for one another. Its called TEAMWORK. I was not in any was inferring to whether cops have a wonderful LEAVE IT TO BEAVER home-life.

    I'm sure that EVERY profession has its STEREOTYPES. Yeah, I'm sure that there are a lot of cops who go home disgruntled, knock down a bottle of Jim Beam and crak their old lady over the head w/ the bottle.

    But that is NOT what I was refering to. I was refering to TEAMWORK.

    But once again, some little ms. no it all, half a$$ed read my thread and went off half-cocked.

    Damn, its no wonder so many med errors are made. If you can't read a post and figure out what the main THEME is, how in the hell can you read an order and not read into it something that is NOT THERE!



    I have to dispute the glowing example of cops being paragons of virtue. A worse group of good ol' boys cannot be found for the aforementioned sins that are attributed mainly to women by SubQ. Ask the spouse/SO of any cop and they will tell you the same. The biggest difference is that, even if they hate each other, good cops always back each other up when in need. Perhaps that's the lesson we could take from them, SubQ.

  6. by   Meghan Gilmore
    Wow, scary. I'm only a first year nursing student, and so far, from talking to other nurses I thought I'd love it, but just from reading all this I'm starting to question my choice. Although I suppose you get people like SUBQ everywhere, and I'd have to deal with it one way or another. I just think that alot of this hostility is really sad. I've worked with snotty brats and chauvanistic "men" before... I guess I'm just going to have to do it again. Nursing is a job that requires alot of compassion. It seems that alot of nurses are using theirs all up on their patients and don't have any left over for co workers. Sad...
  7. by   Doey
    This thread seems to have alot in common with another one, "Nursing is Pathetic" (SUBQ, have you read that one? It's long but I think you'll find it interesting)

    Anyway I don't know why there are so many who are in conflict with what SUBQ is saying. He clearly states in his first post that "ladies I don't mean to sound sexist--it's that I have to make my point" He also says "not all women in nursing are like this" He is acknowledging that what he's saying may sound sexist but is explaining his point. It doesn't mean he is sexist.

    In one of my posts on the aforementioned thread I had given my opinion on how we as women (in general) are socialized to be caregivers and to take whatever is thrown at us at THE EXPENSE OF OURSELVES. And we may not want to admit it but (at the risk of sounding sexist) we are raised differently and socialized to handle problems differently then men. Behavior that is seen as being assertive and acceptable in men (and supported), is seen as aggressive and ****** in women. Our society (including ourselves) has difficulty in accepting the same behavior in women and men.

    Another point, when any group of people feel that they cannot go higher up and voice their complaints because they are not listened to or their concerned are pooh-poohed or they are condescended to they lash out laterally, to each other.

    Now having said all that, I have had experiences similar to SUBQ. We probably all have. My co-workers and I were trying to support the day staff in their endeavor to get more help. Our administration comes around on all three shifts every so many months to see how things are going and give us the opportunity to voice our concerns. On one of these occassions we gave examples of why the day staff needs more help. We also stated the same at our administrative meetings (held every three months). When administration came to the floor to speak with day staff, instead of telling them the things they were ******** to us about, they said things were fine and there were no problems!! Why for heavens sakes didn't they say anything!! It's easier to ***** because it takes too much courage to speak up??

    At one time there was alot of complaining on my shift but myself and another nurse couldn't get everyone together to go to administration. We finally got so sick of the whole thing we went to one of our meetings (we were the only two there of course), and laid it out on the line. I can't believe myself what came out of my mouth but at that point I didn't care if I got fired. It didn't happen all at once but changes did happen. Also administration did come in early to ask how things were going and if were they getting any better. Now, not every single problem was solved at the time and I can't say that things are hunky-dory right now (this incident was a few years ago) but it's just another example of how people ***** but when it comes down to it few ever say anything when it matters. I also have asked them why they don't go off the floor to take their breaks instead of wolfing down something in the report room. The answer, because it would leave the floor too short and their co-workers would get stuck with the brunt. I said, that's when you call someone, nurse manager,supervisor,clinical coordinator, somone, and say hey so and so is on their break and I'm here alone I need some help. You're not screwing your partner if you both do the same thing and act together. Sooner or later they'll get sick of having to fill in. But they know no one will actually do that, so we ENABLE the system to keep on as is by our behavior.

    As far as SUBQ quitting his job, he was leaving a situation that he felt was unsafe for his patients as well as for himself. He wasn't abandoning his co-workers. I'm sure he would stick up for, support, and help his co-workers when needed but he was hired to care for his PATIENTS not his co-workers. His first responsibility is to them (his patients) and then to himself. If he felt he was not able to give adequate care and there was no resolution in sight and he felt he was compromising himself, then it is his perogative to leave the situation.

    This is definitely off the original posting of this thread and I'm sorry, but I just felt I had to respond. And nursedude where are you?!?!

  8. by   NurseyK
    Ok, ok....here comes my $0.02 worth, take it or leave it.....

    I believe SubQ has stated what not a small number of us have been experiencing of late especially, and increasingly, with the event of the nursing shortage, money issues, etc. I don't believe he stated it as eloquently as he *could* have (sorry SubQ), but, with that aside, he makes some valid points...we must all, deep down inside, admit that at the least.

    I take heed with the comments about cops and virtue. I am a 10 yr spouse of a former Marine and retired State Trooper. The man, IMHO and our State Governor who has signed his numerous commendations, is a stand-up guy, at home and (formerly) on the job. For 10 yrs of marriage that is all I have heard from him, "..Nursing's a woman-dominated field, that's the problem," "all you all need is some bal$s," "take an example from say, the teachers' union and unite and stand up for yourselves, you all have the numbers". Needless to say, I started with no bal$s when I began nursing, and now have a huge brass set...

    This, I must admit all, has taken me far. I don't meakly ask and cave in and make do...I demand and receive (no, not in a bitc&y way -just quietly and to the point, no yelling and carrying on). When I don't, I climb the Chain of Command until everyone knows exactly what the problem is and how I solved it and what each supervisor/administrator's response was to my attempt at getting them to solve their own problems, complete with HUM reports cc: to everyone from the CEO down, recording FACTS, my friends, not personality issues...cold hard numbers, copies of charts, etc. Stuff that would hold up in court, no hearsay and he-said-she-said crap. I no longer receive patient complaints re: non-medical/care issues (you all know - the B.S. ones that should be thrown away because they are blatant lies about time spent in waiting room/on stretcher/for meds/etc), because of my lengthy/accurate responses to them (read: cold hard facts that would stand up in court). I do not wield my weapon wildly or haphazardly...I choose my battles carefully, it is in this way I get those in power to listen.

    I'm not even going to go into the whole gossip/catty thing...I have plenty of examples of such (including but certainly not limited to: not ONE of my fellow NURSING male or female co-workers congratulating me on being accepted to medical school this fall)...please!....the one poster was right, maybe it's a genetic thing we gals must consciously overcome (such as she commendably has)....

    After 6 yrs as an ER/Trauma Nurse, I command respect because not only do I give it, but, dammit, I deserve it. We all do. To paraphrase what one poster said, 'Take the doormat off your back'.......you'd be pleasantly suprised at the results...
  9. by   CashewLPN
    Alas... the bitter nature of nursing...

    SUBQ... I wouldent have believed about 90% of what you've written, unless I've seen it first hand...
    A vast majority of our units are understaffed... dangerously understaffed...
    And a question is brought up more than once, although its phrased differently each time...
    "Why on earth m I doing this... Why, if my patients are not able to be given the quality of care that is optimal... Why?"

    After several long, tearful rants and venting sessions with a dear, dear friend of mine (a nurse who happens to be changing careers...) It turns out that we stay because we care enough to do so... we might be insane to be doing this, its true, but, we do what we do because we know that it is right...
    We must give respect to get respect.. Gossip and backstabbing and ****** behavior (from males and females both) is not gonna get us anywhere... Helping eachother as we need is is the way that our profession will remain and get better...
    I've gone from a 60 bed Geri-Psych unit where my relief would come in 1/2 to 1 hour late every night, and would yell and scream at me for not having every single thing finished... (mind yas all, the staff to that floor was 1 LPN, and 2-4 CNA's at any given time, and they were all walkie talkies on lockdown)
    So... what did I do... I left... I did not run away from the situation... I protected myself... I gave my notice and scatted... Why? Because it was the safe thing to do... They're staffed better now thanks to a few calls to BOH... crewl, but it worked...

    Now, on the 49 bed rehab unit, we'll have 5-6 nurses on our unit, and 2-3 on our 11 bed TBI unit... we're well staffed on my shift... and the other shifts wonder why... Its because We'll work with each other to get all the work done... Whether we split tasks, we get it done, and to a amazingly high quality standard... not because it is expected, but because it is what has to happen... our other shifts tend to bicker and backstab... they dont get along as well... we have problems with our relief at times, but we try and counter for it as much as possible...
    So, its not utopia... we know it... its far from it, but it could be worse...
    So.... in the words of J. Lennon, Give peace a chance...
    It might make things better in the long run...
    Nursing isint for everyone... only the most devoted of all the entrants... but, for those who it is for.... godspeed...
    (oh, and if you havent heard the MD's or the males gossip, open your ears and your eyes...)

    enjoy your V-Day
    --Barbara, LPN
  10. by   jewelri
    Nursing, for the most part, has been rewarding for me. I work in a physical rehab where nurses need to take extra time to allow patients to do for themselves. Unfortunatley, like many of the complaints I have reviewed, while understaffed, it is near impossible to accomplish this task. We have many "acute" clients in our facility. Our facility would rather work us short staffed than allow us to have temps to assist us. Yet, they brag on how much money they saved and the CEOs receive big bucks. Sadly to say, many factory jobs around here provide pay and bennefits comparable to what most of us make. That is sad. If the nursing profession is on a shortage again, you'd think they would compensate us for busting our backsides. I lose many nights sleep over not being able to properly care for my patients due to the conditions I am placed under. I do not mind doing aid work, as long as it does not interfere with my other tasks. I prefer to keep busy than not to. By giving a shower or bath, I can properly do a full skin assessment, which is important in these days of frequent skin breakdowns and lawsuits. To me, anyone that thinks they are too good to do "aid" work is worthless. We are unconditionally responsible for our patients well being, no matter what. I refuse to let a patient lay in excriment if an aid is busy with another patient! An aid is only one person, I make up the difference with MY patients! I am not a trouble maker by any means, I just do what I can to make a difference. My most valuable lesson I have learned is to work together. When you help, everyone else will(or hopefully will, I ran across many non-team players). When there is no teamwork, the whole system fails! I am almost to the point of leaving the nursing profession due to all the bull crap! I would rather stack boxes for the same wage I make currently than to be in charge of people's lives! I even scored in the top of our ACLS class, but at our facility, we are not able to initiate without a DRs presence. I even put in a transfer to a higher paid position in our facility. I was told that it is nice to know that there is talent on then floor. I am bragged upon by my supervisors and DON, yet when I apply for a position that I am more than qualified for, I am turned down.
    Thanks for taking the time to let me vent!!!
  11. by   zdjoe
    First of all I want to thank each and every one of you who has posted or emailed me with feedback about my question. I appreciate the time you have spent answering my question. This alone proves, to me, that many nurses are caring as well as passionate about their profession. I will take all of the advice and warnings to heart.

    Now, many of the problems you encounter as nurses I have also found in the Lab setting.

    1. Labs are relying more and more on new technology and centralized Labs to replace Lab workers at the expense of accuracy and turnaround times. I work there I know. The way administration looks at it, is that you will never know. I could give details but you as nurses have enough to worry about already.

    2. Attempts to help the working environment by speaking to administration about staffing and faulty new equipment that in some cases have techs having to guess at what the true lab results should be. Result, in many of the people you are trying to help, think that you are trying to get them fired.

    3. For the most part, Lab techs don't stick together because we are a dime a dozen and can be easily replaced.

    4. I was converted to TB positive by a patient while doing phlebotomy and I have a very good friend that got hepatitis C from a needle stick. And at least every 3 weeks I get a needle stick blood that I have to process from a nurse or doctor who got stuck. (Hazard pay for nursing, where is it?)

    5. Problems not corrected when discovered, so that incident reports could be made.

    6. You can't argue or point out the problems with many lab directors or supervisors because they all agree with you. But, are unable or unwilling to voice their concerns with the powers that be

    7. My lab Director told me that I had many valid points but he was not going to lose his job by fighting administration. He said hospitals are going to continue cost cutting no matter who objects, be it him, Doctors or Nurses. I've seen it, he is right

    7. Many labs are so understaffed that when you call to speak to a supervisor you are likely to get the supervisor of the day. That means just a regular tech that has to do QC, reports, a bench, keep track of phlebotomist and answer nurses and doctor's questions. Note: We are a 400 plus bed hospital.

    You can see that my profession is very similar to yours. However, you guys and gals command more respect, money and power. Yes, POWER. Because when a nurse does not like the way things are going. A nurse can complain and if no action is taken the Nurse can walk and have new a job, in some cases the very next day.

    I like to help others and I've reached the end of the road in the Lab. I see that nursing will present many of the same issues I faced as a Lab Technologist. However, the security and diversity nursing offers still make it a career that I should have chosen from the beginning. The advice I have received here about nursing and read elsewhere on the board has helped to take the rose colored glasses I was wearing off. I see that the grass is not always greener but it is not brown like mine is

    Thanks to all
  12. by   ahalvorsen
    G'day! ZDjoe, I have only been a RN for the last few months, in the past I worked as a Personal Carer for people with various disabilities. This work I really enjoyed but felt I could offer more - so a nurse I became. As one of the response states it is not that nurses dilike their work it is more of the political climate that you have to work with that seems to bring the morale down. I have found a simple philosophy to follow, that is, if I am able to put a smile on one patients' face then I have done my job. Understand your own goals and beliefs as to why you wish to be a nurse and keep focussing on that, albeit with the organisations policies in mind. It is very easy to be sucked into a negative mind, remember you are there for someone who needs you at a vunlerable time in their life. TLC, a Smile and a kind word often goes a long way. I was thanked by a relative just yesterday for being human and taking a few minutes to make his wife comfortable and talking with him. This made my day and reinforces why I am a nurse. thanks ann
  13. by   cmggriff
    I worked in the oil fields for a couple of years right out of high school. I earned a living for 10 years working various construction jobs including contracting and wood working. I can only say that in all those jobs one thing was certain. Men gossip as much as women. Doctors do too. If you get to know them and "hang" them they will gossip too. They gossip about nurses at the desk and about their fellow docs in private. I have seen men b****, and backstab as often as women. The difference has been that men seldom agree that "all" or "most" men are like that. Women on the other hand will regularly accept that their gender is flawed in some way. Especially if the person espousing this idea is the CEO or a doc.