Latest Comments by multi10

multi10 6,487 Views

Joined: May 5, '04; Posts: 185 (56% Liked) ; Likes: 304

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    Hospitals are not nice places to be a floor nurse in 2014. I graduated with a BSN in 1978 and worked for 1 year on a med-surg floor, rotating days, evenings, nights, every other weekend, holidays, etc. The day after my 1 year commitment to that university hospital was fulfilled, I started working agency nursing and absolutely loved it.

    I was able to work, through the agency, Monday through Friday, 7:00 to 3:30. This went on for 4 years. (I was trained to work MICU/SICU/CCU by the hospital. And I wasn't even an employee!)

    That was when there truly was a nursing shortage. After that, I moved to California and worked in ICUs all over the place. There was a strict 2-patient maximum for RNs. The hours were great, the pay was fantastic. The working conditions were such that I never minded going to work. I enjoyed the actual work and learning new things every day. (This was during the very early days of AIDS, when it was called GRID.)

    My colleagues were fun to be around. We were treated with respect by the physicians and management.

    It seems that, now, the job is so different. Nurses don't have the time to do everything because staffing is poor and there aren't enough resources to allow them to do their jobs. It's really sad. In such working conditions, it is not surprising that people become tense towards each other and some nurses can't cope or don't want to stay in a certain unwelcoming environment. So they leave.

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    In LTC, there is always the wound care, which can take 20 minutes to a half-hour, per patient, per nurse. Wound-care nurses are so important. They know everything about pain relief, etc. ("Give pt. pain relief 20 minutes prior to dressing change.") I love wound care nurses, and patients and families love them too. We depend on them.

    Our facility had only one for the entire house. Sometimes, the wound-care nurse had to call out. And, in some LTCs, wound-care nurses don't work weekends. They are Mon-Fri Days.

    It would make sense for LTC/skilled facilities to have a plan to have wound-care nurses on-call or available through agencies.

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    SHGR, sallyrnrrt, and Marisette like this.

    This makes me sad. A Registered Nurse in USA is making $23.00/hr In 2013? In an LTC/skilled facility with trachs, IVs and feeding tubes? Something is wrong.

    We all know that the work-load in LTC/skilled is difficult. What's the nurse-patient ratio?

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    I always considered myself a dog person. Then I took a private duty case, working nights. There were 2 cats in the house and I liked those cats very much. They were smart, curious, and affectionate. They were fun to watch. After that, I rescued a kitten, and he lived with my 2 dogs in harmony. Once I got him, he was strictly an indoor cat.

    I also fell in love with a cockatiel while caring for a terminally ill woman (again, private duty night shift) for several months.

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    Focus on an area that you find interesting. For me, it was pulmonary. I was fascinated by ABGs. We drew them ourselves, sometimes by stick. Every day was exciting because I learned so much. This was a teaching university hospital so the interns were learning as well. And the respiratory therapists were fantastic.

    I also came to love cardiac, renal, hepatic, etc., and the interplay among all systems. I think that if you look at the wonder of ICU, and your role in that world, you'll fall in love with it. But it does take awhile and it's different for each person. Rome wasn't built in a day. (Forgive the cliche.)

    Use the resources available to you such as your own personal healthcare provider as well as your preceptor, etc. in the workplace. Hug your hubby and kids and pets (if you have them). Have happy hours at your house on Friday nights and invite your friends and talk, and laugh your head off. Go to church if you find comfort there.

    Also, try to treat yourself well. That's probably the most important thing.

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    OP, Why do you believe it is appropriate to denigrate another profession? "...there are too many lawyers in the world."

    People love to complain about lawyers...until they need one.

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    vintagemother likes this.

    We should educate the next generation about the signs of an abuser. Is the person excessively jealous? Is the person so possessive as to make you uncomfortable? Does the person try to isolate you from your family and friends? Does the person call/text/email you several times a day just to ask, "Where are you? What are you doing?"

    Does the person accuse you of "flirting" with your colleagues, when you are simply talking to them? Does the person try to shut down all of your hobbies that don't include him/her? (Skiing, chess, bridge, etc.) Does the person check your phone to see who called you, or someone you called?

    The real problem arises when you make the decision to live under the same roof with the abuser, during the honeymoon phase when he/she is being on best and most manipulative behavior.

    After that, you get a pet (dog, cat, bird) or have a child together. Then you really feel trapped because that's when they ratchet up the abuse.

    My advice: The first time any potential partner exhibits any of these signs, RUN. The person does not love you. You will be hurt.

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    This happened to me as well. My abuser was a very prominent man in the community. I had grown up in a stable and loving family, with parents always together, and uncles, cousins and brothers who would never physically hurt a woman. It was considered low-class and cowardly.

    I met the man and we became engaged, then I moved in with him. The process of escalating abuse was insidious; it started with excessive "checking up" on me throughout the day, then verbal abuse, then shoving, slapping, punching and finally a black eye and strangle marks around my neck. I took pictures of the bruises and marks. I left him and he tracked me down and threatened me. At that point I sued him in civil court. I had lots of evidence, including threatening voice-mails and roommate eyewitness account of his stalking me. One of his favorite tactics was threatening to harm our beloved pet.

    After that I wrote a federal grant under the Violence Against Women Act and was funded to assist victims to get protective orders in court. Sadly, the statistics reveal that it takes the typical victim 7 tries to finally get away from the abuser. I found this frustrating, as many of the victims I assisted returned to the abuser or let the abuser back in the home.

    Domestic Violence is a Public Health problem and Prevention is the key although it is difficult to recognize the signs when you are in the middle of such a relationship. Typically the abuser apologizes and is contrite, but it's just a matter of pushing boundaries to determine how much you will put up with. It's like the "Frog in the Water" parable: Put a frog in boiling water and it will jump right out. Put it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, it will cook to death.

    My abuser refused to admit to anything, despite all of the evidence, until he settled the Friday before the trial was scheduled for the following Monday. This was after nearly 4 years of litigation. I am so happy I stood up to him.

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    proud nurse likes this.

    The answer is "Yes." I have overcome the whispers, et al, and had a positive outcome. You are finally in the specialty you always wanted. That's a goal you set for yourself and you are there. Don't let others run you off.

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    innocence16 likes this.

    You've been a nurse for 8 years and you still love it. That's fantastic! You should be proud. It's not easy, and 12 hour shifts are so long, especially when you get that 11th hour admission.
    It is especially cruel when the oncoming nurse is critical (either verbally or, more typically, non-verbally). After all, you still have to get yourself home while ruminating on that person's nastiness and snarkiness.
    You said that these one or two nurses also treat the other nurses the same bad way. That means that it isn't you personally. It sounds like you're doing a really good job.
    Over the years I've been friends with accountants, attorneys, engineers, nurses, musicians, teachers, wedding planners, etc. It doesn't matter: In every setting, without fail, there is "The Person": Just plain mean, competitive, burned out, not pleasant to work with.

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    ICUman, sungal, and priorities2 like this.

    OP, you will be amazed at how things like bodily functions won't bother you so much as you encounter them more and more. Things that you may find revolting and/or disgusting today just won't bother you, say, a year from now. They are not free-flowing out in space; they come from human beings that you care for, and all are critical in assessing your patient.

    Bodily fluids: It's all data. It allows you to give better care and recognition to each individual.

    We are resilient while learning new things and get de-sensitized after awhile to smells, etc.

    The thing that always scared me was germs because I got strep infection after suctioning a trached patient who coughed in my face. I became sick but it was my fault because I didn't wear a mask during the suctioning. (The hospital was out that day.) I got a shot and took oral antibiotics for a week and was fine.

    Just protect yourself while in the clinical setting. There are lots of nasty bugs that you don't want and you don't want to take home.

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    StormyD_RN likes this.

    Get everything in writing.

    The thing about sites is that usually the people who are unhappy post. The vast majority of nurses, the happy ones, just do their job and enjoy seeing new places. They typically don't post because they are too busy.

    There are legitimate grievances among travel nurses with certain agencies, but, do your homework: Ask for references among nurses working there and call them.

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    Nursing is fantastic. There is nothing like it. I was fortunate enough to be a pulmonary ICU nurse at a major university hospital, just when the AIDS crisis was arriving in our unit. Some of the nurses refused to care for patients with AIDS. I was happy to do so, and know that I provided comfort. I received many letters from partners and family members of my patients, thanking me.

    You (we) never know when we'll be the next pioneers in providing care for our patients. But we get joy from caring.

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    VANurse2010, I'm sorry to learn that you are working among a toxic nasty group of people in the ICU.
    Are you able to care for your patients?
    Are you learning every day/are you excited to learn?
    Not all of your colleagues are toxic and nasty. Do you have at least one person at work you can talk to?
    If you can answer "yes", then you can, and will, become a great ICU nurse.

    It's like bootcamp and you just transferred there. Things will get better.