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Leaving Bedside Nursing

Career Article   (362,182 Views 249 Replies 334 Words)
by Deebuzz Deebuzz, BSN, RN (Member) Member

1 Article; 2,894 Profile Views; 39 Posts

I hate nursing, never thought I would say that but after 1.5yrs of working as a floor RN, I know this crap is not for me. This job will suck the living life out of you. You are reading page 4 of Leaving Bedside Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Axgrinder specializes in Adult MICU/SICU.

256 Posts; 5,694 Profile Views

I really hate to admit this, but I agree with you wholeheartedly - I couldn't have said it any better myself. I did not enjoy bedside care, especially in a large teaching hospital, which is where I wound up as a new grad in my first RN job. The stress was literally indescribable, it was both physically and mentally exhausting, and often times rudeness coupled with despicable behavior reigned supreme (i.e., other staff, MD's, patients, family members - ad nauseam). It was survival of the fittest in this environment - apparently no one was happy, at least as far as I could tell anyway. Welcome to the jungle, baby!

I can chalk up nearly all of my worse nursing experiences while working bedside care during the first 5 years of my nursing career.

I always wondered who decided a 30 minute lunch break in a 12 hr shift was appropriate time to rest? The habits I acquired in order to fit in everything I needed to do in that time were atrocious for my health and well being. Even after leaving nursing for a 10 year medical disability retirement, it took me years to learn not to stand at my kitchen counter while bolting down a meal as fast as possible. Often I didn't even realize I was doing it.

Large facility or small, it mattered not: I disliked most aspects of bedside patient care for all the reasons you described, plus many more unique to my own personal life (including missing many of my son's first Christmases). The pressure to take on an almost insanely unsafe patient load was always looming too - even in ICU. Nursing administration never seemed to understand that open beds -vs- enough nurses to safely accept another admit were two completely different matters entirely.

I'm happy for you that you invested only a short amount of time of your overall nursing career in an area of nursing that made you so unhappy (granted, it likely felt like an eternity and two eons). I admire the fact you wasted little time to make positive changes in your life for the better. Too often in nursing we end up taking care of everyone but ourselves, and sometimes it can become difficult getting out of that vicious cycle for numerous reasons different for each of us - working in a job you hate definitely falls under that category.

When I returned to nursing (having not died after all) I knew I couldn't survive back in direct patient care - under no circumstances would my health allow it, or permit it. What to do? I knew what I needed, and what I wanted: to work from home. Most said it was not possible, at least as an RN. Then a telephone triage gig literally plopped into my lap - it paid well, my triage nurse coworkers are great, and my boss is phenomenal. I love the job, I trust each and every one of my coworkers to watch my back when things implode, and I can honestly say it is the best nursing job I've ever had. I also discovered something else: I'm good at it too (bonus!).

I wish I left beside patient care long before I became so ill I had no choice but to retire on medical disability. Obviously someone has to do it, otherwise who would care for sick hospitalized patients (nurse's included)? Some nurses love it, and they do a truly amazing job balancing the stressors of the daily grind - but it was not for me until retirement age. It's a tough job, and definitely not for sissies: those who do it, love it, and have refined it down to an art form have my greatest respect.

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TriciaJ has 38 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

12 Followers; 3,335 Posts; 34,569 Profile Views

Sounds like OP has been toughing it out in an especially brutal workplace. Didn't she say she wasn't liking her own personality anymore? That's when it's time to get out. Maybe a different bedside job would be better, but not at this point. When you've been burned, you've been burned.

OP, I'm hoping a change of scene helps you settle down and reconnect with what made you want to be a nurse in the first place. Toxic workplaces can stay with you a long time, so I hope you (and your family) can find some ways of healing from this nightmare. Good luck to you and congratulations on getting out.

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I am truly happy you are finding your fit OP, but now I'm a little sad and worried about going into nursing. Not only am I a bit older but it seems like there is a great deal of negativity in the field.

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NurseRies has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Nephrology, Dialysis, Plasmapheresis.

473 Posts; 11,295 Profile Views

What about OR nursing ? Any OR nurses out there that can say that it's better then bedside?

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Soliloquy has 6 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP.

457 Posts; 15,575 Profile Views

It's okay. I hate bedside nursing too. I've worked in a myriad of different specialties in my 3 years as an RN but everywhere you go it's kind of the same. You're the majority with little decision-making power, the demands on you are great, you're expected to do more with less and they try to make it seem like you being able to handle all this is a "strength". But when you realize that just because you can handle it doesn't mean you should have to and you shouldn't be pushed to the max every single day you work, bedside nursing makes less and less sense.

As far as I'm concerned, it's abusive. So I hope you find solace in case management. Personally, I'm aiming to leave the hospital altogether.

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94 Posts; 1,721 Profile Views

Getting away from the bedside nursing is the best thing a nurse could do. I encourage every single nurse to go back to school and continue their education. To be a care provider as a NP. Well you just don't experience such problems.

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NurseRies said:
What about OR nursing ? Any OR nurses out there that can say that it's better then bedside?

I've never been in bedside, so I really can't compare the OR to the bedside in my experience. However, the OR has it's own caveats. Get ready to be a runner for everyone. Sometimes it feels like there is no respect and you are a handmaiden. Stress from patient interaction is not really an issue since the patient is sleep, but stress from interactions with your coworkers, superiors, and physicians will replace it.

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Ruby Vee or should I say Florence nightingale. First of all I was making a general thought of what bedside nursing is for me in my current situation if you don't agree you could've kept on scrolling or don't comment at all..people like you are what we don't need, yes you can disagree but to state your own negativity based on my own personal situation is ridiculous. Ones like you are exactly the type I do not want to deal with on a daily basis..we all know nursing is a tough job and rather than just stating why you disagree you are negative and nasty. You have proven my point on why no one respects this profession. Just like a crab in a bucket trying to bring the other down who's trying to get out.

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Ruby Vee said:
I find that I am unable to quote the original post, but WOW! What a nasty, negative post. I cannot see how blaming everyone around you for your unhappiness is going to result in a happier work life, a better marriage or a more pleasant life. I would wish you well, but I'm afraid that someone who is so negative and nasty that words must be asterisked out probably isn't going to be any happier anywhere else, either.

Ruby Vee or should I say Florence nightingale. First of all I was making a general thought of what bedside nursing is for me in my current situation if you don't agree you could've kept on scrolling or don't comment at all..people like you are what we don't need, yes you can disagree but to state your own negativity based on my own personal situation is ridiculous. Ones like you are exactly the type I do not want to deal with on a daily basis..we all know nursing is a tough job and rather than just stating why you disagree you are negative and nasty. You have proven my point on why no one respects this profession. Just like a crab in a bucket trying to bring the other down who's trying to get out.

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Thank you guys for the support but I'm so flabbergasted as to some of the responses. This is a discussion board and usually you can agree or disagree but for those of you who are negative this is exactly the reason nursing is declining and will continue to do so. Why do we have to be so negative? Why do nurses eat their young? Why should that even be a phrase in our profession? To all my Florence nightingales out there, great job y'all I'm glad you never had to worked short staffed, take unsafe patient load, always be on time for every single minuscule pt/family request, dealt with some lazy and rude coworkers who find great joy throwing eachother under the bus. If I wanted to be in bedside I would stay and be just as miserable as some of you with the negative posts. My health and happiness is far to important to me.

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1 Article; 39 Posts; 2,894 Profile Views

lallajo said:
Boy, talk about nursing "eating their young!" Why are you guys busting on the OP for writing about how she's feeling? Are all you "I never bring my work home with me, me and my husband have the perfect arrangement because I know I don't need to be with him 24 hours a day, I put on my happy face every single day for my patient's" really that perfect, or are you just unable to admit the truth like the OP did? After 11 years as a Paramedic, and 4 years as a nurse, I totally get where he or she is coming from. Not because I'm a terrible person, or because I have mental health problems, or whatever other reasons you people came up with for why they MUST be feeling that way; maybe it's just how they feel. Healthcare right now is in a terrible, terrible state, and it's only getting worse. It is emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting, and admin, in general, doesn't give a crap, becaue they aren't the ones in the trenches dealing with the bull****. After 15 years, I'm getting out too, and it's all because of the general attitude in health care right now, and some of you on here are a perfect example of that. I have more self-worth than to be spit on, swung at, swore at, or treated like a maid, etc, etc, the rest of my life, in the name of an "A+" survey score!! How about climb off your high horse, and have a little empathy for a fellow healthcare worker, instead of tearing them to shreds. Or how about this, if you don't like what they have to say, keep scrolling.....End rant!!

Thank you for your support 😀.This is is the attitude of 80% of people I've worked with as a nurse. Rude, nasty and sarcastic. I'm glad these people work in environments where they have zero unrealistic demands placed on them. Maybe some of these negative posters should have taken a hint and left nursing awhile ago because this is the same negativity I don't want to become my personality and reality.

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1 Article; 39 Posts; 2,894 Profile Views

My feelings exactly. People come to the hospital for health care and life saving measures. Why the heck should we have to deviate from that to entertain, make sure the toast is done just right and fill up their water pitcher as soon as they call.

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