Is it age, or is it overwhelming to be a nurse?

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hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S. 1,263 Posts

I agree with the PP who commented "it doesn't HAVE to be this way. Facilities are simply choosing not to staff appropriately."

I have often wondered if I made a mistake in entering nursing (26 y.o) and then having kids. Shift work, finding babysitters for those "off" hours has been grueling.

Edited by hope3456

paeds_nurse

paeds_nurse

1 Post

Hi all,

Hoping to provide a new perspective on the situation, from someone slightly different. Reading through the posts, most replies are from people who are slightly older, or someone who did nursing as a second career later on in life. I am 23 and have been a nurse for 2 years, but I agree with what the general theme is: it's not age, nursing is just tough! I appreciate that I can do overtime and get away with the lack of sleep at the moment compared to when I'm older (however I could never get away with "partying" and working, that would be too much!) but even after only 2 years in the job, I am more than aware that this is not a job I can be doing up until the new retirement age (68 years old - ha ha ha!) Already I suffer from back aches! I love the physical side of not being sat at a desk but it is exhausting! Not to mention the emotional side of things. I'm fairly fit for my age, exercise regularly etc. and I am still shattered most of the time!

Nursing is an incredibly labour intensive job, and I agree with everyone, unless you're a nurse you just have no idea!! Add in the pay, short staff, increasing paperwork/office responsibilities, (celticwoman I completely agree about the attitude of nurses picking up unfinished jobs!!), its a wonder we still do the job! I love it though and won't be changing anytime soon!

Annaiya, NP

Specializes in PICU. Has 5 years experience. 555 Posts

Nursing is tiring at any age, but I do think it gets easier with experience. 1 year is only enough time to sort of get your feet under you. I found by 3 years, I had so much that I could do with very little effort, because I'd done it so many times before, that I could manage an assignment that would have killed me a year ago without breaking a sweat. But I could still see a difference between me and the nurses who had been doing it for 15+ years. I think being older, we are less patient, so less likely to give it 5 years before we make a switch, lol.

sneeds

sneeds

134 Posts

I agree with the PP who commented "it doesn't HAVE to be this way. Facilities are simply choosing not to staff appropriately."

I have often wondered if I made a mistake in entering nursing (26 y.o) and then having kids. Shift work, finding babysitters for those "off" hours has been grueling.

Yea, seems that for a career that is made up of mostly women, they would provide flex hours or childcare to dampen the stress on the family. THink about it... it's the job with the highest population. I would think they would offer very low price or free school/care on/by premises including sick care for their staff. A buddy of mine is going through this nightmare as well. Single dad happy with 4 days off but stressed out about before and after school care. Like there's not enough to be stressed out about.

blueiwahine

blueiwahine

Has 7 years experience. 203 Posts

I think age does have a lot to do it, our bodies aren't as resilient as they were in our younger days. I got my degree at 42 and at the time more physically fit, than I am now and it still was hard. I'm now a school nurse, and although the hours are wonderful, my school has 1100 kids, that are all very needy. I go home daily mentally & physically drained. All I can say is thank god for the nurses we have out there. No one else but nurses, know what we go through. Oh, I'm 50 now and I think my physical & mental health is becoming more important than the job. Don't get me wrong I love what I do...but just don't know if its worth it. Possible subbing in my future.

Havin' A Party!, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management. Has 10 years experience. 2,721 Posts

Don't think it's age... it's the demanding nature of this gig... both mentally and physically and emotionally... and the perpetual demands of management to be held accountable for more and more and more... and to do it all without omissions or errors.

CountyRat

CountyRat

Specializes in Wilderness Medicine, ICU, Adult Ed.. 323 Posts

So, I became a nurse because at age 40, I had a degree in something else but wanted a career where I could make a difference in peoples' lives daily. Sounds corny but absolutely true. Is it age? Do others of you my age (now 48) feel like to work on a floor is just physically and mentally impossible? I can't help but think that this type of nursing is for the young.QUOTE]

It does not matter what others think. If you find the work too taxing, it is time to step aside and let some new kids earn their bones. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and do not need to justify your decission to anyone.

I miss the work I did 30 years ago in The Big Hospital's surgical ICU. I am proud of having been part of a first-class team and often wish I could go back. However, I am 61 years old now, and that just is not going to happen.

Noone gets to do patient care forever. We have to take pride in the differrence that we made back in the day, and move on to whatever is next for us.

dmariemac

dmariemac

2 Posts

Congrats !!! :) How exciting! I am a former primary teacher who then stayed home with the kids and now I am looking to enter Nursing as my second career ( teaching jobs are just not there-especially after staying home for 16 years). I am slightly frightened by everything that I am reading but I am also so inspired by all of the ladies & gentlemen who decided to go back to school and get another degree at an older age. I am 43 and just starting at this. Hoping to be done by the time I turn 46 and to then be working. What is the best floor/place to work as one gets older? Hospital? Doctor's Office? Nursing Home?

hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S. 1,263 Posts

You may have read this on other threads but many nurses - especially those with limited or no experience- are also finding that nursing jobs are similarly "just not there."

How do you feel about working night shift or relocating for a job, which is what many ( not all) new graduate RNs have to do.

Beverage

Beverage

Specializes in Cardiac/Telemetry. 95 Posts

I too have noticed in the last few years nursing ends up picking up additional duties like reminding MD' to continue central lines, VTE prophylaxis orders and core measures. i get phone calls daily from concurrent review with a laundry list of homework assignments on my shift plus all the additional tasks you listed. I'm 57 been an RN for 5.5 yrs on cardiac Tele unit and we only float to AMCU (ICU step down) and Observation. Our ratio is 4-1 unless we have several sick calls the. It will go 5-1 until we get some discharges done. I work three 12 hr shifts and depending on the group it can be mentally and physically brutal!

lamazeteacher

Specializes in OB, HH, ADMIN, IC, ED, QI. 2,170 Posts

Good Luck to you on Monday!

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 8,058 Posts

To be honest I worry more about the Nurses who don't find hospital bedside Nursing to be overwhelming. A Nurse who doesn't often feel overwhelmed either just doesn't know how much isn't getting done that probably should be, or they just don't care.