Marisette, BSN 13,356 Views
Joined: Jul 26, '11;
Posts: 358 (53% Liked)
; Likes: 496
28 year(s) of experience
I worked for an employer for 28 years. I went without vacation, possibly for 10 years ,because management asked me to find my own coverage for vacations. I worked at an outpatient setting in a not so safe inner city area. I was not able to find coverage. I lost vacation time. Sometimes I was fortunate enough to finish early and was able to take PTO. I finally left that job for personal reasons, not vacation.
I started working for another employer and was told during the interview, it would be easy to get PTO request. Some time in the middle, a two week request for PTO became the standard. A year later, my PTO request depends on weather the next schedule is out. I was told I should give a 3 week request, but if the manager completes the schedule for a month, I can't make a request because the schedule is out. If the manager makes the schedule for two weeks, and I have requested 3 weeks ahead of time, I may get my PTO. I work for a large not for profit university hospital setting. Three call in and it's a write up, medical excuse notes are not accepted. I checked the policy, but policy states that PTO and breaks are approved pending the needs of the unit. Yes, even breaks! Are there any government agencies that routinely check into this ? It's in their policy. I soppose I can request FMLA somehow, but I fear doing so may prompt management to seek work performance issues in order to teach me a lesson. I never imagined becoming a nurse would mean giving my life over to my employer or no pay check. I take my PTO when allowed, because I need my pay check more. I suspect I will loose some PTO due to accumulation because I'm not allowed to take it. There are preferences given to some for PTO with fancy titles or connections, but I feel there's not much I can say because the policy basically states PTO approval is up to management discretion.
It sounds like sooner or later you will resign from this job, so why not now ? After you resign, call your friend, thank her for the recomendation and let her know how you feel about your nursing career. If she is truly a friend, she will understand.
Many of the nursing jobs involve long days, and non stop activity. Even case management! Some people thrive under stessful environments, some survive, and some don't do well. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You may be happier and more productive in a different atmosphere. If you have a supportive husband, and the means to pursue a career alternative to nursing move forward and make that change. Don't waste time on regrets, move forward and good luck.
I won't predict that you will not find employement outside of the bedside. It depends on location, who you know, how determined you are and possibly other variables. I can't tell you much about bedside nursing because I did not do it very long myself. I can tell you that the grass is not much greener outside the bedside, in my experience. Yes there are some Monday through Friday jobs and if a 9 to 5 is your wish, then you might be happy. I work a 9 to 5 and I can tell you that it's very difficult to get a day off as an RN, because there are few other nurses to cover in the outpatient when I'm not in. This may not be a problem for you if you don't have children or others that require a flexible schedule.
As far as patient's and their needs, not much different than the bedside. There are nice patient's, but mostly there are mean patient's with extreme expectations of customer service. I have experienced plenty of stress in the outpatient area also. Supervision of coworkers in the outpatient setting is not easy. I have worked with demanding, and sometimes Rude physicians.
I work clinic triage for a university hospital. My coworker who sits next to me is a casemanger. She calls patient's to assist with provision of home services, medical appointments, DME and so on for the purpose reducing readmission or hospitalizations. I should say she tries, as many patient's will choose there own path, regardless of recommenations or cost to insurances, medicare or medicaid. When healthcare created quality initiatives, they forgot to tell the patients what is expected of them. When employers have quallity outcomes for insurance or medicare compliance, they are not happy when the nurse cannot guide patient's in this path. It affects the bottom $$$. She tells me it's stressful.
Just thought I share my experience outside the bedside. Yours may be different.
Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side, even when the money is better. It all depends on what you want and your priorities. If money is the priority, then changing employers may make you happier. In my opinion, office nursing is not as pleasant as it appears . It's five days a week and with minimal staffing, it's difficult to get days off. Moreover, instead of 10, 20 or 30 patient's in a week, you are dealing with hundreds because of the number of potential calls and interuptions during the day. An LPN may be responsible for the clinic duties like rooming patient's , injections, patient education, insurance, and numerous calls interrupt your work day. Working with a "healthier" population can feel a lot like customer service more than nursing because many of our patient's are demanding service. They need to see the MD today, when there are no appointments, need the medication now, want their insurance called now...
It's also the home of providers. The electronic medical record, schedules, and everything else that happens in the office setting is often geared to facilitate the needs of providers. I work indirectly with providers as a triage nurse, but some of my LPN coworkers tell me they barely have time to take a quick break. The pace can be hectic. Some providers (just like in some hospitals) are less than cordial. Nurses are not valued for skills in this setting, although the task and responsibilites are not as easy as perceived.
If I was in your shoes, I would focus on completing my RN, since you like your coworkers and appear to be relatively happy in your environment. You will get the benefits your RN coworkers get once you complete your RN training. You may also find, that along with those benefits, there are some additional responsibilites that were not apparent or visible to you while you functioned as an LPN. The grass is not always greener in the office setting or as an RN.
Thanks for getting back to us. I sometimes wonder what happened to some of the "posters" and how their story in nursing resolves. It sounds like your's is a happy ending. Best wishes.
I find myself checking and double checking my work to make sure everything is done, particularly if I'm working with others and their actions can impact my work. It's also a good idea to communicate as often as possible and not assume what may seem obvious. Don't get discouraged by negative feedback from others, but plan for the future so it does not happen again. This person is obviously a "throw you under the bus" type person and you have to make sure you are alert to her actions if you work with her in the future. There will likely be others who do the same. One bad incident does not make you a bad nurse. It may never happen again. Not sure if you should continue nursing? Well, if you have other employment or educational options and your miserable in nursing, that's ok too. It's better to find this out early in your career than continue on a path of misery.
My understanding of your post is that you are not on a time clock and expected to work more than 40 hours to be in compliance with your job description. It's certainly surprising that this would happen in the VA. I worked for a private, for profit employer who demanded that nurses not stay overtime. If we stayed overtime, we were called to the manager's office and shamed for inefficient use of our time. Consequently, some of the nurses used our own time to complete reports and other assignments after patient care was over and we were "off the clock". It seemed that the more we performed work off the clock, the more the employer would assign. The days were long, the balance between work and personal time was awful. Eventually, it became tiring and I left. Other nurses left also and recently I heard that employer has removed the no overtime rule.
I'm not suggesting you leave your job. Ten hour shifts may be more reasonable and provide a better work-life balance. You can leave your present employer and find a very similar situation with your next employer. I work in a non union state. I suspect the situation you describe is very common for both employee's who work "on the clock" or are exempt from the time clock.
You don't appear to be a job hopper to me. It sounds like you have acquired some very valuable nursing experience. I have across the opposite problem with staying with an employer for too long a period. When I tried to leave, I was told I was stagnant and had limited experience by one employer. You just can't win.
OP, looking around your post trying to see if I can fine a few good tips. There seems to be no consistency of what specialty will lead to longevity with an employer. I don't think it's based on the specialty. I think what matters is the atmosphere, the actual work environment. Do you get along well with your coworkers? Is management supportive? Do you feel you can complete most of your work by the end of the day or are you feeling rushed and overwhelmed? Are you properly trained to meet the demands of the job? I think nurses who can answer yes to these questions will stay on. I don't know how one can determine if a potential employer will be able to meet these demands. But, even a "low stress" nursing specialty can be miserable if you walk into a toxic environment.
As others have said, it's likely that it's just a really tight market with lots of great candidates from which to choose. However, when an applicant has a good resume, good experience, makes it to multiple interviews and then doesn't get the job offer, it's possible that something you're doing (or not doing) during the interview might be sabotaging your chances. I would sit down with a friend/colleague who is not afraid to give you frank feedback, and ask for their suggestions/advice. Perhaps practice a few mock interviews.
While the post is a bit of a vent. I do see some truth to what your saying. I don't see myself as a victim. I choose to be a nurse. However, in general, I don't think society values nurses as much as I feel we should. I see many post on allnurses about nurses leaving the bedside due to short staffing and other issues. Healthcare is becoming more business oriented, and business people run the show, leaving many nurses working in challenging situations. Most of us are able to strike a balance, but it's not always easy.
I'm sorry to about your job loss. It sounds unfair. Short staffing and excess work load is quite common in nursing. Supply and demand is part of the problem in some areas. However, I sometimes question how much we value caregivers in our society. It may be difficult emotionally for you at this time, but keep your head up, apply for as many jobs as possible, and give yourself another chance.
A full time non-nursing job and part time RN job, sounds like a lot of time spent at work to me. This may cause you to feel exhausted and be unhappy in both. If you don't like bedside, you might want to look elsewhere. Learn something new and give your full attention to new nursing employment so you will succeed. What makes you think you will be happier in non-nursing employment? It's harder than you may think to go from a decent to good salary to a low paying job. It may take a couple weeks or months, but eventually you will feel the loss of income. Also, quite possible, that you won't like the full time non-nursing job.
Starting a new career because you feel a desire or passion for another career is an option. But then, it's not just a job, it's a career. Usually, this involves some planning, time, and pursuit of more education. If this is the plan, then PRN nursing may help you reach your goal as far as temporary income and flexibility of schedule.
If your trying to escape certain aspects of nursing such as stress, challenging attitudes of the public, demands of management, difficult coworkers, that's a very different issue or problem. This type of concern is best addressed with learning new coping skills. You may need some practice and guidance from a couselor to help change your perception and to assist you in learning new coping skills so that nursing works for you.
I have experienced great times working as a nurse. I have also held some miserable positions. Leaving one employer for another to get away from difficult situations does not always work. Lower pay does not equal less stress. Try something, you are interested in. Assess your nursing skills and consider what you like doing and what you excel at. I have felt the same feelings you appear to be feeling, but I'm working on it....
I don't know what you should do, but I would choose the nurse practioner route. Why? Because I'm already a nurse and that would be the sensible, easier route rather than starting a whole new career.
Firstly I just want to say thank you for replying to post =). You brought up generalized anxiety and honestly I really do not know for sure if I do or I do not have anxiety. Unfortunately I guess it would be wise to say that I do suffer from anxiety when it comes to developing heart disease. I have a fear of dying from a heart attack or developing CHF but thats really it. Other diseases like cancer or lung diseases do not fright me which is so weird. There is something within in me that really wants to pursue nursing but then at the same time due to i guess I may have health anxiety, pursing nursing would be a bad idea. The issue is then what path do I take from here? I want to be in the medical field and do something medically and fitness related but there is really nothing out there that pays somewhat decent and only requires a bachelors to at least start working. Its really depressing honestly.
I do really appreciate your post though do not get me wrong. Thank you
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