I am a nurse. Venting about how I feel.

Nurses General Nursing

Published

These are some of the ways that I feel as a nurse on any given day. . . . and frankly sometimes at any given time of the day:

I am a nurse.

Some days I hate my job, some days I love my job. Some days I loathe my job. Sometimes walking through the door of the hospital makes me cranky.

Most days I leave hot, sweaty, grimy, and vaguely dissatisfied knowing that despite all of the work that I did I still didn't finish everything on my to-do list.

I am an interpreter. I break down the medical language in a way that the family can understand.

I am a patient advocate. I am the voice of the patient and uphold my patient's wishes even if it doesn't jive with my own ideals or the ideals of the physicians I work with.

I am smart. I have committed myself to a field that requires me to be ever vigilant and ever cognizant of the changes and advances in medicine.

I am empathetic. I have cried with my patients and my families when the end of life has come.

I am not an angel of mercy that swoops down from some unknown height to magically care for my patient. I am simply one person who gives of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. I do the best that I can with the information I'm given and the situation I'm presented with. That's all I can do.

Sometimes, I feel I am the torturer. When care is proceeding on a chronically critically ill patient that is mouthing "kill me" and "stop it" that the family won't let go of, and the skin is sloughing off, and fluids are pouring from every orifice, I am the one to do the turns and the mouth care, I am the one that wipes the stool from the angry tissue, I am the one that changes the dressings on the skin that will not heal. I am the one that tries not to split the skin simply by placing a pillow for limb elevation. I change the linens 4 and 5 times a shift because the serous fluid is saturating the sheets faster than I can keep them dry. I perform range of motion on the stiff and aching limbs that bring the grimaces and the tears because a bed has been their home for weeks and months on end. I care for the fluid engorged private parts and elevate the scrotums that are the size of basketballs. These are the times I hate the most.

I am the coordinator. I work with pharmacy and respiratory and nutrition and primary service and consulting services and PT and OT, etc., etc. I do my best to coordinate all of the teams in the mutual goal of patient healing.

I am the guard. I keep the watch and record the vitals and the outputs of various fluids. I watch for appropriate orders and I question those orders that aren't so good . . .

I am the eyes and ears. I am the sight and the instincts for the physicians when they are in the OR or with another patient.

I am patience.

I am the punching bag. When things aren't going well, I am the scape-goat for all of the patient's and/or family's abuses be it mental, verbal or physical.

I am the support. I stand with you and stand watch over you when your family doesn't visit.

I am the complaint department.

I am the go-for. I gather the supplies with which your care is done. Sometimes that means going on raids to different departments.

I am tweaker. When I am waiting for the titration of the medicine to hit the sweet spot and find the right dose, I am the tweaker.

I am the pain bringer. When I poke and prod to find the vein or when I'm telling a patient to swallow while their eyes are watering and they are gagging from placing and NG tube or a Dobhoff tube, I bring pain.

I am the enforcer. When the patient wants to lay in bed, I am the one that sets the rules for getting out of bed and increasing mobility and turn/cough/deep breathing to prevent pneumonia, I am the drill sergeant.

I am the maid. I clean both the patient and the room. I am the spill cleaner and the accident fixer.

I am the monitor. I evaluate endless streams of data - vital signs, EKGs, labs, inputs, outputs . . . ..

I am finesse. When there are twenty and more pumps and infusions running I find the compatibility.

I am the mechanic. When the CVVH is alarming or the pump is screaming I am the fixer.

I am truth. Sometimes I tell the truth whether you want to hear it or not.

***

Please add on. I'm finding this is a good list for venting.

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

I am...not paid enough.

MistyDawnRN06, BSN, RN

1 Article; 157 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I am fear and anxiety. Sometimes for my patients. More often than not I am fearful of legal mis-steps and anxious over HIPPA and sue-happy people.

Specializes in Acute care, Community Med, SANE, ASC.

Great post, MistyDawn. You said it all. I never knew what nurses really did until I became one. I also agree with the second post--I bristle when people say we make a lot of money. I realize it is a high paying job for the education required but I earn every penny and then some.

MistyDawnRN06, BSN, RN

1 Article; 157 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I don't think nurses will ever be paid enough!

OregonGal

89 Posts

Thank you for the post...I'm a new nurse and look forward to, as you put it,

"I am simply one person who gives of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. I do the best that I can with the information I'm given and the situation I'm presented with. That's all I can do."

Good post, I needed it....:bow:

travel50

224 Posts

Specializes in LTC, geriatric, psych, rehab.

Sometimes, I feel like I spend my days on the front line so to speak. Feels like I am fighting a constant battle. Corporate wants to cut back on my staff, then says there is a wage freeze. They insist that my nurses do more with less. We run a nursing home, and we need time to love our people, not just pop pills in their mouths. I often tell corporate, "no, we are not doing that", or "if you want that done, we'll have to hire someone else". Lots of days, I expect to be fired over it. I get tired of worrying about that. Just very tired...but I worry that my nurses are more tired than I am.

MedSurgeMess

985 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

I am the emotional tether: I hold you when you cry, listen to you when you vent or scream in pain, and congratulate you when you joyfully find out that you are progressing....

I am a mother figure: I feed you, wipe you, and bathe you when you are unable to do so yourself.

jellyfish111

9 Posts

Wow! That was an amazing post :) Thank you!

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.
these are some of the ways that i feel as a nurse on any given day. . . . and frankly sometimes at any given time of the day:

i am a nurse.

some days i hate my job, some days i love my job. some days i loathe my job. sometimes walking through the door of the hospital makes me cranky.

most days i leave hot, sweaty, grimy, and vaguely dissatisfied knowing that despite all of the work that i did i still didn't finish everything on my to-do list.

i am an interpreter. i break down the medical language in a way that the family can understand.

i am a patient advocate. i am the voice of the patient and uphold my patient's wishes even if it doesn't jive with my own ideals or the ideals of the physicians i work with.

i am smart. i have committed myself to a field that requires me to be ever vigilant and ever cognizant of the changes and advances in medicine.

i am empathetic. i have cried with my patients and my families when the end of life has come.

i am not an angel of mercy that swoops down from some unknown height to magically care for my patient. i am simply one person who gives of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. i do the best that i can with the information i'm given and the situation i'm presented with. that's all i can do.

sometimes, i feel i am the torturer. when care is proceeding on a chronically critically ill patient that is mouthing "kill me" and "stop it" that the family won't let go of, and the skin is sloughing off, and fluids are pouring from every orifice, i am the one to do the turns and the mouth care, i am the one that wipes the stool from the angry tissue, i am the one that changes the dressings on the skin that will not heal. i am the one that tries not to split the skin simply by placing a pillow for limb elevation. i change the linens 4 and 5 times a shift because the serous fluid is saturating the sheets faster than i can keep them dry. i perform range of motion on the stiff and aching limbs that bring the grimaces and the tears because a bed has been their home for weeks and months on end. i care for the fluid engorged private parts and elevate the scrotums that are the size of basketballs. these are the times i hate the most.

i am the coordinator. i work with pharmacy and respiratory and nutrition and primary service and consulting services and pt and ot, etc., etc. i do my best to coordinate all of the teams in the mutual goal of patient healing.

i am the guard. i keep the watch and record the vitals and the outputs of various fluids. i watch for appropriate orders and i question those orders that aren't so good . . .

i am the eyes and ears. i am the sight and the instincts for the physicians when they are in the or or with another patient.

i am patience.

i am the punching bag. when things aren't going well, i am the scape-goat for all of the patient's and/or family's abuses be it mental, verbal or physical.

i am the support. i stand with you and stand watch over you when your family doesn't visit.

i am the complaint department.

i am the go-for. i gather the supplies with which your care is done. sometimes that means going on raids to different departments.

i am tweaker. when i am waiting for the titration of the medicine to hit the sweet spot and find the right dose, i am the tweaker.

i am the pain bringer. when i poke and prod to find the vein or when i'm telling a patient to swallow while their eyes are watering and they are gagging from placing and ng tube or a dobhoff tube, i bring pain.

i am the enforcer. when the patient wants to lay in bed, i am the one that sets the rules for getting out of bed and increasing mobility and turn/cough/deep breathing to prevent pneumonia, i am the drill sergeant.

i am the maid. i clean both the patient and the room. i am the spill cleaner and the accident fixer.

i am the monitor. i evaluate endless streams of data - vital signs, ekgs, labs, inputs, outputs . . . ..

i am finesse. when there are twenty and more pumps and infusions running i find the compatibility.

i am the mechanic. when the cvvh is alarming or the pump is screaming i am the fixer.

i am truth. sometimes i tell the truth whether you want to hear it or not.

***

please add on. i'm finding this is a good list for venting.

great post! :up: you should send it to as many publishers as possible. it deserves to reach millions, and it deserves a standing ovation of which i am giving it. :up: :yeah::yeah::yeah::twocents:

babydoll99_99

66 Posts

Specializes in Postpartum.

Only thing I can think of to add on......

I am a teacher. I teach my pts how to care for themselves, and I teach the family how to care for the pt. I answer questions and am patient with the learning process. I guide scared pts and family and see the light bulb go on when the task is understood.

Great post!

Jayesse7

18 Posts

Very good post! I feel that way too. This field we have chosen can be very frustrating. BUT...and I know you have felt it; the satisfaction when someone thanks you, I mean really thanks you for all that you've done for them or their family member or their patient, or as a co-worker...the thank you becomes enough to drive you on again.

No we will never be paid what we're worth. We'll never catch a break in all that's expected of us. We will continue to take crap from all sides more often than is fair. But we will feel those moments of personal satisfaction for a job well-done that make us smile as we fall asleep- hard.

Bless you nurse!

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