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HATE bedside nursing

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LTdick LTdick (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, OB, Geriatrics. Has 6 years experience.

After switching specialties a few times, I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate bedside nursing. It’s won me chronic migraines (for which I have tried a plethora of drug therapies with no relief), hypertension and most recently have been grappling with pretty serious depression.

Because somehow complaining online to strangers is therapeutic, let’s dive into all the things I hate in hopes that someone feels the same way.

1. Incivility. Nursing for me has been Mean Girls in real life. Nurses (and providers) are all too comfortable airing their grievances to everyone but the source. Providers are condescending, and I’ve been publicly belittled as much as I can tolerate. Management plays favorites. PSRs have become a fancy way for other staff to be self righteous and passive aggressive simultaneously.

2. We don’t have CNAs or other support staff where I work. Vitals, butt wiping, bed making, ambulation... it’s all on us. In addition to all the other stupid things we have to do in a shift. See #3. I worked as a CNA throughout nursing school. At the risk of sounding entitled, I became an RN in the first place to get relief from the manual labor.


3. Endless documentation on the aforementioned obsolete charting system. Every week, the good idea fairy comes along and we have yet another stupid thing that we have to mindlessly chart (in 5 different places) for every patient. Hourly rounds... God forbid you didn’t document that your patient is STILL lying in the bed, watching Judge Judy... just like they were an hour ago, and the hour before that. Chart audits are on us too.

I have to get out, but I don’t know how. I like the idea of pharmacy but acknowledge that obtaining a Doctorate for which none of my credits will transfer is no small decision. I like the idea of becoming an NP, but not sure what I’d specialize in. Concerned about the market being saturated. Hell, I’d toy with public health or informatics.... anything to get away from the bedside. I’m currently active military, and I am unsure where I would even like to live. I feel like I should talk to a career advisor but don’t know how. My biggest fear is going back to school, taking out more loans and spending years on a job I will also grow to hate. I see a lot of new grads hating nursing, but after 5 years, I’m just....done. Anyone else go through this?

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

You ain’t seen nothing yet! But a big part of your problem is that you’ve chosen to work in a facility with no clinical support staff. HOWEVER, depending on the atmosphere, clinical support staff can add to your migraines exponentially. People are just mean and feel more entitled today than the old days.

I love my job now, not because I got the job I applied for (I did and I didn’t: they hired me for one job, placed me in another, and when corona arrived, I was mandated BACK to 12-hour nights in an entirely different setting from what I’m experienced in...and this is at my new place of employment, all happening since March 2nd!). But I love it because the entire organization was shaken up, and though I feel like they placed us all in an area where we DON’T want to be, it has been a godsend...at least for me.

I work with a lot of nurses, from NPs to NAs, who have zero hands-on experience and/or last hands-on was anywhere from 15-20 years ago, who were mandated to floor nursing during this crisis.

For me, it’s business as usual, while others are panicking and feeling extremely LOST. I was told the other night that I was very reassuring and calming when showing these nurses how to do neb treatments and suction set-up (our RTs spend a LOT of time on the COVID unit, and can’t always get here for the regular tx), tube feedings and kangaroo pumps, alaris pumps and starting IVs, etc.

This is a very small unit with a few patients. Everyone on the team came from primary (outpatient, non patient care areas). I came from traveling at level one trauma hospitals last month to one of those positions, only to be snatched from it before I was able to dust off the desk in my office.

Anyway, it took an organization-wide shake up, and meeting people that I otherwise never would have met for me to appreciate the fact that the experience I received from my background at the bedside (and it’s BS) is what now has me thriving and shining like the North Star whenever I walk onto the unit.

All of that to say this. What you’re going through is the norm on bedside units, especially med-surg, because of the world today (pre-COVID). But whether you know it or not, you’re being molded to thrive in a better situation. Use the stepping stone for what it’s worth: a step in YOUR right direction. Hopefully it doesn’t take you as many stones as needed to create The Queens Staircase like it did me.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

You don't need a doctorate to get away from the bedside. Scour the job boards to see what your degree and experience can do for you. The insurance industry worked for me.

Best wishes.

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

10 hours ago, LTdick said:

After switching specialties a few times, I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate bedside nursing. It’s won me chronic migraines (for which I have tried a plethora of drug therapies with no relief), hypertension and most recently have been grappling with pretty serious depression.

Because somehow complaining online to strangers is therapeutic, let’s dive into all the things I hate in hopes that someone feels the same way.

1. Incivility. Nursing for me has been Mean Girls in real life. Nurses (and providers) are all too comfortable airing their grievances to everyone but the source. Providers are condescending, and I’ve been publicly belittled as much as I can tolerate. Management plays favorites. PSRs have become a fancy way for other staff to be self righteous and passive aggressive simultaneously.

2. We don’t have CNAs or other support staff where I work. Vitals, butt wiping, bed making, ambulation... it’s all on us. In addition to all the other stupid things we have to do in a shift. See #3. I worked as a CNA throughout nursing school. At the risk of sounding entitled, I became an RN in the first place to get relief from the manual labor.


3. Endless documentation on the aforementioned obsolete charting system. Every week, the good idea fairy comes along and we have yet another stupid thing that we have to mindlessly chart (in 5 different places) for every patient. Hourly rounds... God forbid you didn’t document that your patient is STILL lying in the bed, watching Judge Judy... just like they were an hour ago, and the hour before that. Chart audits are on us too.

I have to get out, but I don’t know how. I like the idea of pharmacy but acknowledge that obtaining a Doctorate for which none of my credits will transfer is no small decision. I like the idea of becoming an NP, but not sure what I’d specialize in. Concerned about the market being saturated. Hell, I’d toy with public health or informatics.... anything to get away from the bedside. I’m currently active military, and I am unsure where I would even like to live. I feel like I should talk to a career advisor but don’t know how. My biggest fear is going back to school, taking out more loans and spending years on a job I will also grow to hate. I see a lot of new grads hating nursing, but after 5 years, I’m just....done. Anyone else go through this?

FWIW the NP world isn't going to be better. This myth #1 that bedside RNs believe when thinking about NP school.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

Sorry you're feeling this way but you are definitely not alone. My only advice to you is to do much, much more research in deciding your next step than you did when you thought switching from CNA to RN would " get relief from the manual labor."

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

BSNbeDONE - good for you!! 👍

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Sounds like you hit the lemonade jackpot!

Number one nearly got me out of nursing. The facility you work in can make all the difference. Try moving, maybe from rural to urban, or vice versa.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

Public health and informatics are both fields you can go into with just an RN degree. Outpatient clinics, dialysis, GI, pre-op/post-op, tons of things you can try away from the floor, and now you have the experience required to apply 😃

Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time! There are lots of other options if you think bedside nursing isn’t your thing. Have you considered ambulatory care? I work in family practice and love it! They pay is less than bedside nursing where I live, but I find it very rewarding and the hours are hard to beat.

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 39 years experience.

There is a wonderful life outside the hospital. Nursing is a wide-open field. Go for it.

Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience.

Sorry about the chronic migraines. Such a tough thing to have when you are at the bedside. I hope you find your place.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

On 4/30/2020 at 4:20 AM, LTdick said:

I’m currently active military, and I am unsure where I would even like to live.

How much longer is your AD commitment? Have you talked to any of your mentors? Do you have anyone who mentors junior officers? In my experience (Army), there are plenty of non-bedside opportunities in the military, especially once you make O-3. Our medical company commander when I left the Army was an L&D nurse.

Have you tried Botox for your migraines? A friend who's tried all the oral meds says that works for her.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

1). Please do not jump for NP. If you really feel the way you wrote it, the NP pathway is going to make it all much worse. Area of concentration won't make any difference.

2). Get a piece of paper and write down what you like to do and perceive as your strengths (you DO have them) and what you absolutely don't like. Don't care if it looks illogical because it likely will be, but try to play from there. Several years of bedside nursing will open many doors for you without any additional education. Search "specialty" forums here.

3). At times, it happens that the problem is not you but them. Lack of support, bad morals, poor management, pennies-pinching which ignores employees' needs are common but not yet 100% universal in current American medicine and they have nothing to do with level or size or academic importance of facility. It takes time and effort to find a good place but once it is done, life changes dramatically.

Goid luck and positive vibes going on your way... I was in your shoes.

On 5/7/2020 at 5:25 PM, Sarah Landis said:

Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time! There are lots of other options if you think bedside nursing isn’t your thing. Have you considered ambulatory care? I work in family practice and love it! They pay is less than bedside nursing where I live, but I find it very rewarding and the hours are hard to beat.

Interesting. Would you be able to tell me more about your job? What you do? Are you an RN in the family practice?

NursingwithDA

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

On 4/30/2020 at 3:20 AM, LTdick said:

After switching specialties a few times, I’ve come to the conclusion that I hate bedside nursing. It’s won me chronic migraines (for which I have tried a plethora of drug therapies with no relief), hypertension and most recently have been grappling with pretty serious depression.

Because somehow complaining online to strangers is therapeutic, let’s dive into all the things I hate in hopes that someone feels the same way.

1. Incivility. Nursing for me has been Mean Girls in real life. Nurses (and providers) are all too comfortable airing their grievances to everyone but the source. Providers are condescending, and I’ve been publicly belittled as much as I can tolerate. Management plays favorites. PSRs have become a fancy way for other staff to be self righteous and passive aggressive simultaneously.

2. We don’t have CNAs or other support staff where I work. Vitals, butt wiping, bed making, ambulation... it’s all on us. In addition to all the other stupid things we have to do in a shift. See #3. I worked as a CNA throughout nursing school. At the risk of sounding entitled, I became an RN in the first place to get relief from the manual labor.


3. Endless documentation on the aforementioned obsolete charting system. Every week, the good idea fairy comes along and we have yet another stupid thing that we have to mindlessly chart (in 5 different places) for every patient. Hourly rounds... God forbid you didn’t document that your patient is STILL lying in the bed, watching Judge Judy... just like they were an hour ago, and the hour before that. Chart audits are on us too.

I have to get out, but I don’t know how. I like the idea of pharmacy but acknowledge that obtaining a Doctorate for which none of my credits will transfer is no small decision. I like the idea of becoming an NP, but not sure what I’d specialize in. Concerned about the market being saturated. Hell, I’d toy with public health or informatics.... anything to get away from the bedside. I’m currently active military, and I am unsure where I would even like to live. I feel like I should talk to a career advisor but don’t know how. My biggest fear is going back to school, taking out more loans and spending years on a job I will also grow to hate. I see a lot of new grads hating nursing, but after 5 years, I’m just....done. Anyone else go through this?

I love your comparison of Nursing being like Mean Girls in real life 😂 literally I’ve felt the exact same way!! This topic definitely gives me ideas of what my next nurse talks YT video will be about 👐🏾 I was at bedside for 4 and a half years, a few days were good but most were horrible. I mean IDK if I always had anxiety and it just never showed or my job actually gave me anxiety, I was almost depressed most of the time, IDK what it was, then there were lots of people at my job that LOVED it, I mean they would pick up extra shifts because they were bored or they enjoyed spending their birthdays at work and holidays etc but I was the complete opposite and I hated how I felt. So anyways blah blah LOL I’m now working in home health, so that’s a quick option to look into for you, I’m working with little kiddos now and I’m loving loving LOVING it!! I’m excited to discuss topics like this in my videos so check it out and subscribe if it’s something you’ll be interested in. There are so many other options apart from bedside nursing and also other ways to gain experience so in the future you can go back for your masters if you wanted to.  Don’t forgot to check it out, I’m brand new to it so bare with me LOL and I hope you’ve actually found a job you like 🤞🏾https://Youtube.com/channel/UCxfu715DYazLXv92RQuCP1A