What am I doing? Am I insane? - page 3
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
Feb 16, '01Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 8,740; Likes: 8,437Hello ZDjoe, let me just welome you to this board, and nursing. As you can see we are all a bunch of screaming meemies at times.
I have been lucky enough to experience the good and bad extremes described on this board, and maybe can help sort out this mess.
If you wind up on a floor, or in a hospital where your coworkers are leaving a set of silverware in your back every day, leave. It doesn't matter that maybe you could have done better, or maybe they were right. No day or person is perfect. A supportive group will point out your mistakes, and help you correct them, and you will still feel worthy of life on the drive home. You and the floor you work on will constantly improve, instead of marinating in vinegar. Choosing to work where you are helped to improve is your responsibility, NOT hanging coworkers out to dry.
As for short staffing I can speak to the fact that it doesn't seem to matter how many patients there are you will always feel stretched. Case in point, the Mom at home with a sick child feels exhausted.
You can have 3 patients for the day, and your quality of care will improve. You'll spend more time with each, do some extra teaching,and have the chance to read charts, get to know them and their needs in depth. For some nurses the extra time will go to coffee drinking but REAL nurses are in the profession to nurture people, and that's where their energy goes.
Every unit has their unspoken standard of care, and that more than written guidelines determines what the nurses on that unit will put up with. Nurses determine their own working conditions, in an backasswards way. (that backwardness needs to change)
The hospital, wanting to get as much as possible for their money, will always try to assign just a little bit more than is possible. It's just the nature of the beast.
Nursing takes over where other professions and services leave off. (esp. during the off hours). We do what others are specialized in. So respiratory, laundry, social work, dietary, housekeeping, medical staff, physiotherapy, medical records, pt relations, and especially the lawyers will always have something on their minds that we need to do better. A specialized assessment and teaching from someone working in the department takes them say, 30 min. Someone who has never done that particular assessment before might get it done in an hour. We cover for, say, 10 departments like this over the weekend, and each of your 8 patients has at least 2 of these people involved. There's your weekend right there. You'll never get it perfect.
BUT nursing is for the patients, and if the patients are pleased with the care and their needs are met, then NONE of the aforementioned people will be on your back, none will be upset if you just assist the patient, scribble a little note, and move on. That's something they don't teach you in nursing school.
I have ******* about the impossible expectations over the years, but can't think about another profession where you have so many opportunities. Who else gets to see birth and death, meets people at times when they most need someone to help, gets to work with such a variety of characters, and to top it off, has coworkers that care just as much about their fellow human. Maybe a producer on Oprah, but even they fall short.
So hang out with us, you'll get to see the extremes of good, and bad. Really, you can't decide if nursing is something you'll enjoy until you've jumped in and been a part of it. Hope I've added to the thread.
[This message has been edited by canoehead (edited February 16, 2001).]
Feb 16, '01Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 486; Likes: 40Brav-o, canoehead!!! Beautifully said. A nice end to a tense topic. You rock!
[This message has been edited by kday (edited February 16, 2001).]