What is Nursing?

  1. I recently wrote an article with this title. I will drop the link for those that would like to read it.

    My question for this forum though is: What is nursing to you?
    What qualitites do see in others? What qualities do you posess? How do you continue day to day to keep a good outlook? Do you keep a good outlook or has the entire profession soured? Dp you give so much to your profession that you have little left for your own loved ones? I hope this is a good topic and will entice many of you to participate. I am just interested to know how you all feel.

    if you would like to read the article this is the link

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    About CCU NRS

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 1,976; Likes: 89


  3. by   orrnlori
    Nice article. I didn't choose nursing for any of the reasons you wrote about. As a lay person thinking about becoming a nurse at the age of 38, I never thought of the "calling" that we read about. I never really thought about Florence Nightingale at all, although I had a passing idea of her work. I never thought about "caring" the way it's described here and in school. Gosh, this sounds awful doesn't it?

    I thought more about it in terms of the "technology" of it. The "medicine" of it. The "science" of it. The "excitement" of it. I never really even thought of it in terms of being a female field. It's not that I don't consider myself compassionate or caring. I just didn't think of nursing that way, I didn't understand that those issues of "caring" would be the crux of the profession. It wasn't until I was in my first semester and we spent days talking about "caring" that I understood the philosophy of nursing as it was taught at my school. I was a little shocked that it was as "touchy-feely" as it was presented in my classes. It wasn't what I was expecting.

    I am a nurse but I don't consider myself that selfless ideal that is spoken of many times when people idealize nurses. I consider myself a professional, very no-nonsence. I refuse to allow people, anyone, whether doctors, nurses, administrators, etc., to walk over me. I'm very patient focused. I don't have the luxury of time to fall in love with my patients in the OR. I'm not with them that long. They never really know what I do for them, they are asleep. But I'd fight a buzzsaw over these total strangers that are my patients, and have. I've stood nose to nose with others over patients and what is right, what is safe, what necessary, to give the patient the best I can give them.

    I've been greatly disappointed in the profession from the standpoint of what nurses do to themselves. They fight, they bicker, they divide and ostracize their own. It's very disappointing. I don't understand it as I never saw it between co-workers in my other life. It's ironic that this profession that cares so much often destoys its own members. Many talk about adminstation tearing us down, and it's a problem from the standpoint of all we are asked to do daily. Still, I don't think it would be a problem if we would stand together. But we don't. And I fear we never will. I work with many fine people, and I work with some who are pretty dreadful, who are there to put in their time and that's it. I don't know how you solve the problems, but fighting among ourselves will never solve it.
  4. by   CCU NRS
    You make some very good points! Some of the most popular fields of practice such as ER & OR never really have that long term relationship with their patients.

    You also make a very valid and crucial point about Nurse haveing too much in fighting and tearing each other down instead of building each other up and making show of support for one another.

    Here is another theory: Do you give so much to the Patients that it leaves you litttle to share with co-workers? Are we grinding ourselves to the bone? Using all of the sincereity we can muster to appease patients and family and saving nothing to be civil with each other?

    Our profession is full of intelligent people and often this can breed competition and jealousy. These things are also non-productive to a friendly environment, which we should strive to maintain.
  5. by   orrnlori
    I felt the way you describe when I worked in trauma step down in terms of giving all. That's why I left it. I was also a new nurse and expected to be perfect in my own mind, so when things didn't go perfectly, it wiped me out emotionally. I also worked with some difficult old timers who were very critical, even if I breathed, so there was no doing my job, for the patient or my coworkers. It was a poisonous atmosphere.

    It's different in the OR. My stress levels come from different aggrevations. Doctor's expectations and whining, being placed in a particular surgery that I don't have any knowledge of, inability to get the right instruments or supplies, management allowing doctors to post inappropriate cases in certain rooms due to space limitations. But when you are in a good room, with good docs and good coworkers, even problems like I described can be handled without a lot of emotional expense.

    I don't find a correlation to intelligence and competition and jealously you are proposing. The most intelligent are extremely competent and cooperative and team players. It's the laziness and territorial that cause problems. The bossy are difficult.

    I don't come home drained from the patients, I come home drained from fighting the system. Other nurses are not the main problem where I work now. It's some of the doctors and always the administration.
  6. by   Tweety
    Such complicated questions that would require an essay on my part.

    I find if I just focus on myself, being the best I can be, and focusing on the patients I can go day to day. As soon as I worry about what other people are doing and thinking then I get into trouble. Being a charge nurse though that's hard to do, and sometimes I'm prone to listen to gossip. But it helps to just stay focused, and then I can keep a positive attitude.

    When I'm working a stretch of 12-hour shifts, then there isn't much for the "family" which is spouse and dog. Mainly I make sure spouse has at least one good home-cooked meal and dog is loved and his chewing needs are met with bones, etc. Other than that, not much to give. But working only three 12's a week, it's easy to make up for those other days. Just leave me alone the working days.

    What qualities do I possess? Hmmm....I'm not very objective so without sounding vain I think I do possess compassion and an ability to listen. I'm very patient and one of the least judgemental persons I know. I'm tough as nails with very thick skin. Where I lack is in leadership, sometimes I hate being a charge nurse and just don't want to deal with issues that I have to deal with (mainly patient/family complaints, and coworkers complaints).
  7. by   CCU NRS
    Possibly reluctance to lead makes you a better leader Tweety. You probably make certain of the decisions you make and actually give thought to what to do and how it affects others rather than just being Bold and Brassy and making snap decisions and overloading certain team members while letting others slipp by without their fair load. I of course have never met you but from reading your posts I do see a lot of integrity and thoughtfulness in what I read. I am sure you are great person to work with or for.

    I also do twelve hour shifts and on my one week every third when I do 4 in a row I am kind of *****y and I know it is sometimes hard on my family (wife and 2 daughters)but I try to leaveit at work and come home with as little anger/anguish as possible.

    ORRNLORI I think you have found your nich you sound like you are well centered and take care of business as needed Good Job!