What is the major reason nurses leave? - page 5

What do you think is the major reason nurses leave the profession out of these? 1.) Nurse to pt ratio without accounting for pt acuity 2.) Scheduling of staff 3.) Nurses treatment of one... Read More

  1. by   bagwash
    Quote from Valanda
    I did speak with the fire department about the facility once.
    They assured me that the home had fire doors and a sprinkler system and that patients could be moved from one area to another and that everything was up to code.
    Basically, that I was over-reacting.
    I just couldn't stop worrying over it.

    It seemed to be so illogical and begging trouble.
    Well, that's typical. One thing about managers in most places--they are bureaucrats and bureaucrats never want to hear about problems. At my work, we recently had a lecture on CPR at which they told us we needed to get out the defibrillator and start defibrillating a pt with suspected cardiac arrest ASAP. Only trouble is we've had NO training on using the defibrillator. But that's OK, they say, because the defib will "tell you what to do". If you've never even opened it or looked at it, I doubt that using it in an emergency situation is going to be that easy. The CPR lecturers had told us they'd had an hour's training on using defibs, which is significantly more than no training at all. I've brought this up with my manager and the Director of Nursing, but nothing has happened to remedy the situation in months.

    In the last year or two (getting back to the theory that managers avoid hearing about trouble) there's been a huge scandal here in Australia over a "surgeon" who practised in the state of Queensland in Bundaberg Hospital. He was living in the US when he applied or was headhunted for the job (where he'd been disqualified from several states for malpractice) and no-one ever checked his qualifications or references. It turned out he was not qualified or licensed as a surgeon and within a short time it became clear to his colleagues that he was dangerously incompetent and was in fact killing people.

    He has been nicknamed Dr Death and the Australian authorities are trying to have him extradited back out here from the US to try him for malpractice and I believe they are considering pressing murder charges, as he has been definitely linked with at least 18 deaths (but suspected of causing more like 80). When it became clear that he was, in effect, a butcher, the charge nurse of the Bundaberg ICU began making complaints to the higher-ups, who ignored her for months. Eventually they grew so tired of her "whining" that they told her it was all her problem and suggested she see a psychologist. They even insisted she attend training on "Dealing with Difficult People".

    It got to the point where she and the ICU staff were "hiding" patients from this doctor, trying to get them transferred to other hospitals before he could get his hands on them. This didn't go over well with management, who'd made this guy "employee of the month" and were paying him handsomely, so pleased were they with his high level of surgical intervention which was making the hospital lots of money.

    Eventually the charge nurse of the ICU went to a prominent politician and the story leaked out to the press and became a major scandal. The hospital then quickly slipped this doctor a first-class return ticket to the US and went about harrassing and threatening the charge nurse who'd blown the story. She has suffered greatly for being a "whisltblower" but is a hero to the relatives of the pts who were his victims.

    The hospital authorities have been unable to justify their actions and the embarassed state government are doing their best, it appears, to hose the whole thing down. A journalist researching the story shortly after it all hit the news did a 5 minute google search on the doctor and discovered his history of being banned from practising medicine in several states in the US. It was that easy. But for all the managers who protected him, patient safety was simply not a priority. (and aren't we all familiar with that attitude?). Even (or ahould I say of course?) his fellow doctors, who knew exactly what he was up to, didn't want to become labelled as troublemakers--it simply wasn't worth the trouble to unmask him even though to do so would have saved many patients' lives.

    It seems like it is always a nurse who is the one to come out and point the finger at these kind of dangerous practitioners, and afterwards, it's the nurse who pays the price, as he/she can expect to never work again.
    Last edit by bagwash on Nov 8, '06
  2. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from rbarnett
    I would have to say nurse to patient ratio without taking into consideration the acuity of the patients. I work on a Progressive Cardiac Care Unit and we always have 5-7 patients. At times we even have 8! I think that should be illegal. How can you provide excellent care when you have so many patients?

    Second I would say Nurses eat their young. Don't these nurses remember being a new grad? I am sure they didn't walk out of nursing school knowing it all. I believe expertise is better used when offering someone some advice or constructive criticism as opposed to talking about them, allienating them or trying to embarass them. Shame on the nurses who behave that way!
    Shame on nurses who perpetuate the hurtful stereotype that experienced nurses eat their young!
  3. by   Qulen-2006
    I left my job just because I can't only do the job but also I have to deal with sophistical interpersonal relationship,
  4. by   ICUUCME
    I left 20 years ago and went into managed care -had a nice desk job recently got a package and considered going back- shadowed at a local hospital and all the reasons why I left came flooding back- Took a job as a QM "suit"- had been looking forward to being refreshed and taking another stab at the bedside - but now just really try to make a difference for those of you still there. feel guilty for not getting back into the trenches with y'all.
  5. by   Romeo4u-RN
    Well said. In addition to having to tolerate all the abuse and unecessary stress created by management, we also have to deal with some other negative issues concerning our well-being and state of mind. Like having to put up with some ugly and nasty attitudes from some of our fellow nursing staff(including doctors), who with their bitterness and low self-esteem only help in further turning our work area into a war zone. Needleless to say, this creates a lot of havoc and panic among the new grads starting out, who when confronted with this type of hostility and painful event, decide to cut and run, and find another profession that is not so self-demanding and with less pressures. Now we know why the "nurse burnout syndrome", is taking a big toll on the nursing profession, and creating alot of nurse shortages all around the globe. I truly love being a nurse, but lets face it, the reality is, that, nobody in his right mind, really wants to become a sacrificial lamb anymore. Especially when having to work in an environment full of bacteria, prone to back injuries, that includes other occupational health hazards,and low paying salaries as well. But for all of us out there, who really care about this profession, we are willing to take those risks and more, all for the well-being and caring of the patient. Unfortunately not many people out there, are willing to commit themselves and stay the course no matter what.

    Quote from ursulanursula
    If I were to leave nursing right now (which I am not ready to do because I still have "hope" for finding my niche), it would mainly be because of #3. It wouldn't be because of the front line nurses, they are great. It would be because of lack of support & respect from management. I work in Eastern Canada & the basic attitude I have encountered with management is "you are here for us to use, to fill shifts. we don't care about you & will lie to you every chance we have. but you should feel grateful to work for us" No thanks...I'm relocating.
  6. by   susiebee60
    Nurse to patient ratio which is the result of staff scheduling I feel are the top two reasons that nurses leave thier jobs or the profession.
  7. by   P_RN
    I'd have to say total lack of respect for the nurses in the "trenches." When I first became an RN I enjoyed it very much. I used to say (not totally facetiously) that I'd work there even if they didn't pay me.

    We worked 8 hour shifts, so there was time and scheduling we could meet for lunch or have a covered dish lunch....we enjoyed each other's company.

    About 1985 +/- things began to change. First went shared governance....we had actually managed QA, scheduling, etc. performed by staff, approved by staff, and it went quite well.

    Then we started discovering the middle management layer was getting heavily populated with non-nursing people.

    The Department of Nursing lost our vice-president (a MSN Nurse) and was changed to the "Nursing Service Line-would you like fries and an oil change?"

    The patients were sicker and suddenly we had fewer staff for sicker patients.

    Things handled by ancillary departments suddenly were handed to nursing. Not that I am too good to draw blood, hand out trays or empty trash....but you understand.

    The final straw that broke this camel's back was literally a back injury. Back in the late '70's I broke my ankle, I was visited, carded, food was brought to my home, etc.

    In the late 90's I herniated a 2 disks at work. I was removed from the schedule, refused worker's comp, had my locker emptied by security.....what was the difference?

    R E S P E C T.

    And that ladies and gentlemen is MY opinion on why nurses leave. I wouldn't have left, if I had been afforded the opportunity to heal and allowed to work a light schedule.

    But ageism is alive and well and paychecks are too heavily loaded for senior nurses.

    And you will notice not once did Nurses eating their young or old or each other....because there isn't such a thing. It's non- Nursing doing the chomping at our collective backsides.
  8. by   ward4
    Re: What is the major reason nurses leave?

    I'd have to say that after my 35 year's of working as a Reg. N. i think the major reason nurses leave is the work-load is too heavy and a person can only do so much without feeling overwhelmed. I know that when i was offered a buy-out package by my last employer of 32 years i knew that i just couldn't tolerate the pace i was functioning at any longer. Hospital Nursing is becoming very fast paced & multi-tasking is ever present & expected. I enjoyed my career but am happy to be semi-retired now and doing the kind of work i find so very fullfilling for me part-time. Just remember, "Nurses are the Heartbeat of HealthCare!"
  9. by   lkh614
    I totally agree about too many chiefs. Isn't it amazing that , generally speaking, none of the policy makers could actually do the jobs if their lives depended on it? I love a business major telling me how my ER needs to operate when he wouldn't know the difference between an MI and a UTI.
  10. by   Noahm
    Quote from lkh614
    I totally agree about too many chiefs. Isn't it amazing that , generally speaking, none of the policy makers could actually do the jobs if their lives depended on it? I love a business major telling me how my ER needs to operate when he wouldn't know the difference between an MI and a UTI.
    I agree with this as well. The people who determine the staffing levels and slam short staffed floors with simultaneous admissions in order to meet their targets do not know even know what an MI or a UTI is...or the difference in acuity between an unstable GI bleed and an elderly patient who is stable and awaiting nursing home placement.
  11. by   lkh614
    Hello Noahm,
    So you are in the UK? You have socialized medicine there do you not? I am curious as to what you think of it.
  12. by   kayRN21
    I left nursing because I herniated two disc in my neck. My last two 12 hour shifts in ICU I could not lift my right arm above my shoulder and had to wrap my left ankle and used a brace as i could not bear weight. I had had an MRI the week before. I could not say when I hurt my neck so worman's comp was out of the question. I called my supervisor and told her I could not lift by Doctor's order. They put me on 3 month leave of abcesnse and fired me. I have not worked in 18 months. What a way to end a 31 year nursing career. I am poor but happy. God has released me from nursing and I place my trust in him. Social Security turned me down three times and I have an advacate to be with me at the hearing. I have chronic pain after the surgery and I am still on pain meds. I will never go back to patient care. All the long 12 hour shifts and the lifting took its toll. I pray to God I get social security disability. Nursing was a love hate relationship and I can relate to all that responded to this link.
  13. by   twotrees2
    Quote from saguaro13
    What do you think is the major reason nurses leave the profession out of these?

    1.) Nurse to pt ratio without accounting for pt acuity

    2.) Scheduling of staff

    3.) Nurses treatment of one another (Management's treatment of staff, etc)

    4.) Pay (or lack thereof )

    5.) Inability to provide the pt care desired due to administrative requirements.

    All responses are valued! Thanks!:wink2:
    i think it in my opinion isnt just one reason as one could be dealt with mentally etc - however with all rolled into one it gets overwhelming and people end up frustrated an leaving. i could put them into order of significance for me - 1-5--2-4-