I feel like a glorified maid

Nurses Career Support


I first entered this profession because I wanted to help people and make a positive contribution to society. I have tried to make the most of my job/clinical setting but the demands are ever-increasing, as are the nurse-to-patient ratios and we're operating with a skeleton crew. Also the exorbitant amount of time spent on non-nursing tasks is self-imploding and managers consistently lecture us on "patient/client satisfaction" although our managers spend ZERO time on the floor... and it usually has to deal with things we nurses have no control over, for example a popular one is Patient X, Patient Y and Patient Z aren't satisfied with what they ordered from the menu of hospital food and are trying to find ways to blame the nurses. Never-mind that I successfully administered a blood transfusion or noticed early signs of stroke and arranged a speedy transfer/referral... because patient's are complaining about the food, or the thread-count of their sheets and "patient satisfaction is everything". I understand that the corporate entities that have demoralized the work force in this country do it across the board. To that end, I would gladly take a pay-cut for a nursing job that offers working conditions that are more ethical and tolerable for nurses but I am having no luck in my Job Search and am on the verge of giving up. As it stands, I can no longer tolerate bedside nursing and am desperately seeking a way out into teaching or a desk job (oh sweet Jesus please!!)... but those jobs require BScN and I am just a diploma nurse. Most days, I feel more like a glorified maid than a highly skilled and educated professional. I get that this is the big BUSINE$$ of healthcare, but I sometimes feel like I work in a hotel and it feels like conditions are worsening for nurses.

At this point, it's all the ******** that's making me question whether I should even bother completing my BScN or whether I should just leave the profession altogether. I am losing hope. Unless you're lucky enough to work in upper management, the only other options are hands-on Nursing Jobs where we nurses break our backs and are treated very badly.

I am so exhausted and run-down, and I don't know what to do or where to go from here.

Hope and/or advice needed.

Specializes in Ortho.

I understand you completely.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

We understand your frustration. There are huge (and growing exponentially) numbers of nurses just like you who "love nursing" but "hate their jobs" because the job is really no longer about nursing. I believe that this situation is entirely due to an absolute failure of nursing management and complete absence of leadership. They have sold their souls to the bean-counters in efforts to keep their jobs & executive bonuses.

Patient/family satisfaction (HCAHP scores) has become a critical factor because of the effect on reimbursement. This set off a 'chicken little' effect with CEOs demanding that Nurse leaders 'fix it' or lose their jobs. At the same time, labor budgets are being slashed - because apparently CEOs are incapable of making logical decisions based upon factual data. If they were looking at the evidence, they would know that happy nurses = happy patients. It's not exactly astrophysics, but apparently too complex for the average bean counter. So essentially, today's workplace culture epitomizes the old satirical poster "The Beatings Will Stop When Morale Improves". Unless we can count on a corporate equivalent of The Rapture - instantaneously removing idiots from CEO posts throughout the nation - this will certainly not end well.

It would seem that the most sensible approach to all this insanity is to invest in yourself. The push for BSN is not going to subside. In fact, in my part of the world, we are beginning to see staff nurse jobs advertised with "BSN required, MSN preferred". So, if you plan to continue your nursing career, moving ahead to a BSN is a smart investment.


269 Posts

i don't have anything to say- other than 'i agree' because you and houtx already said it all. honestly if i were you i wouldn't further my education in nursing because it's just going to be more of the same as long as we're in the healthcare field.

i decided that for the next year and a half i'm just going to go all-in working as much as possible, saving as much $ as possible, and putting my all into starting my own business. as part of that i got a third job serving/bartending, where i find i make more money and get treated with more respect, than i do at my Nursing Jobs. serving drinks might not be a long-term plan either, but i pray i can use the $ to make my business a success and work for myself.


127 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Omg you said it Perfectly! "Love nursing, hate my job" ....Im skimming through allnurses trying to see if I'm the crazy one. This thread hit the nail on the head....I loooove my patients and nursing....I hate mgt on my ass, I feel like à robot, I took one bite of a turkey sandwhich my entire shift....just too much to do! Struggling to find my niche :/


1 Post

I fully understand you, it was my dream to complete uni here in Uk and work as a nurse.Just today, I gave up. Enough is enough.

In nursing home as a senior nurse I was responsible like you for cold potatoes, broken washing machine and need to tolerate my manager moods.

Her mobbing was perfect. I am not english and unfortunately very naive. Love my job but hate every day spent in work, not able to be assertive enough, crying in the toilet..don't know what will do, maybe some beauty? fashion? with pleasure.Is a pity, because my patients everywhere told me,I am the best nurse...but contact with patients ike author said is only small percent of our work. Good bye colleagues nurses...

Specializes in ER.

I can totally relate. I just wonder if there is anything that we as nurses can do to "fix" this. When patients became "no longer patients, but customers", healthcare in general started going down the toilet. I get so frustrated I can barely go in to work. I actually took a "mental health day" and called out of work today.

I understand wanting to make patients happy, but whatever happened to making them WELL? I wonder how much more it's going to take for management to realize that happier nurses mean happier patients!


249 Posts

Specializes in CCRN, ED, Unit Manager.

I'm 7 months in and already feel it. All this talk in school and in literature of "autonomy" and "professionalism" makes me cackle now. At my hospital we have no custodial staff at night, no secretary, no CNA's even on the med-surge floors and even a cut back in RT's. I spent more time mopping and soda serving at night than I did doing anything "nursing" related. Oh, and a lot of paperwork.

Just keep moving forward. Educating myself and learning as many new skills as I can to make myself marketable for more than just bedside environments.


23 Posts

Specializes in Ambulatory Care.

That sucks. I hope it gets better. I currently work in a onsite family practice clinic and although there's a huge pay cut (vs hospital), there is less stress. Sure, those "customers" still need to be satisfied but I am in a position where I can tell them why they can't get an appointment NOW vs tomorrow. I am also in a position where I'm still a nurse who can teach them, advocate for them, etc. and not the maid. I love my job, my patients, and the people I work WITH. Those I work FOR is a different story. People who have not been in the shoes of those they manage, sometimes make crappy managers. I am not generalizing so please don't flame me. You know who I'm taking about. :)

Sometimes I dream of the the grass being greener on the other side but don't we all? Of course, there's a big difference between hospital and ambulatory care as well. Hospital nurses, I admire your tenacity. I am in the process of completing my BSN (seems like forever because I'm paying for it cash vs cows, gold nuggets or loans) because like everyone else, I want to "better" myself and maybe become a FNP one day (at least before the zombie apocalypse comes). I am a mom of 4 and I also homeschool so it's a juggling act to say the least. What has been helping me when I become disillusioned with this career is that for two years now, once a month, I volunteer at a homeless/indigent clinic just because it gives me a different perspective - it really reminds me of why I went into nursing in the first place. People who are grateful for your help and appreciate what you have done for them because they have nothing. I remember a long time ago when I told my dad I wanted to be a nurse. He said I should just become a journalist because nurses wipe people's butts and get nothing for it. I wonder sometimes if the old man was right all along. :)

OP, I hope you find your mojo again. Keep chugging along with school even though it takes forever. We both know it's going to be worth it. Good luck, glorified maid.

Yours truly,

Fellow Glorified Maid :)


127 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.
I'm 7 months in and already feel it. All this talk in school and in literature of "autonomy" and "professionalism" makes me cackle now. At my hospital we have no custodial staff at night, no secretary, no CNA's even on the med-surge floors and even a cut back in RT's. I spent more time mopping and soda serving at night than I did doing anything "nursing" related. Oh, and a lot of paperwork.

Just keep moving forward. Educating myself and learning as many new skills as I can to make myself marketable for more than just bedside environments.

Yup! Sounds like we work at the same hospital! I switched to day shift....and it's not much better. You have the big wigs and docs talking to you like you're a child. A billion admits and discharges. I sometimes have to remind myself I have three degrees, I'm not just a maid/servant/runner.

Totally Agree..


33 Posts

I fully understand where you and the other posters are coming from. The one thing I would like to add is the one thing that is great about nursing are the diverse options in how or where to use our skills. I've worked in private duty nursing as well as acute care. Unfortunately, private duty as a staff nurse did not pay well enough for me, but the experience was for more rewarding. Sometimes it takes trialing a few patients before you find the family you best fit in with, but when you do it can be great. I found one quickly and stayed with them for about 18 months. Our cases were pediatric with varying levels of acuity. One on one patient care. I worked 3-12s in the home and could provide all of my attention to the patient as well as educate the family and participate in treatment options with the physicians at appointments. Plenty of down time throughout the day for charting, etc. The stress level was non existent. The pay varies greatly by state and ir is hourly pay based on mostly Medicaid reimbursement rates so it's definitely a pay cut, but if you can afford

that it's far worth it for the sanity and the opportunity to provide the type of care that drove us to become nurses. With the right companies there are also salaried positions more similar to hospital pay in which you work half in the field and half at home doing case management visits. You see 25-30 patients a week (5-6 per day) for an average of 45 minutes each and an hour or two compcompleting the rest of your documentation at home. Your time is devoted to educating the patients and ensuring they are referred for any services they may need. Senior Bridge is a Humana company that is one of the best examples. They pay well, reimburse mileage, reimburse a cell phone allotment and provide laptops or ipads for charting. I have a friend that works for them and loved it.

Obviously, there are several other environments as well. My opinion is do not allow this situation to destroy what you once had a passion for. You are definitely not alone in how you feel. Take a look at other options in nursing and see if you can't find one that will be a better fit for you. No matter what you choose to do I wish you happiness and just remember you're not alone, there are many that have the same concerns and understand exactly where you are coming from!

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