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My take on nursing

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CCU RN, sounds like you need to look for employment elsewhere. Sure, I have bad days where a coworker is cranky or a doctor is a jerk to me, but overall it's not like that. Maybe you need a change of pace. BTW, how are the apps to CRNA school going? Sorry to hear you are bummed....

Hey Emerald,

Yes, I probably am at wits ends w/ my unit. I am actually in the process of transfering to the PACU. I think I want to do CRNA but am still not 100 percent decided. That is why I am thinking PACU would give me a good exposure to anesthesia providers and also be a change of pace from the "H-LLWHOLE" which is what I currently call my unit..ha.

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ccuRn, i feel really bad for you :o . just about every new nurse i know that started off on a critical care floor or med/surg floor has had experiences similar to yours. i think you would really like the emergency room. i have worked in a level two trauma for almost 5 years and i feel very respected by the doctors, and now that i am a nurse they respect me even more. believe me, you can like what you do. i agree that nurses work very hard, but you should not have to put up with such disrespect from the people you work with. you have enough experience to explore other options. give your career a chance. think about OR, ED or PACU. all of these areas are short term care and you learn alot without getting so burned out. good luck :)

Angel337,

Thank you for the post. Like I said above, I am going to try out PACU... in the process of transfering out there and if that doesn't work... .ED here I come :)

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I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. I also believe you need to change where you are working. I work in the OR and it's nothing like you have described, although I came from a unit where I felt much as you describe. There are alternatives where you can be happier. Not all doctors are jerks and not all coworkers are lazy. It's wonderful to have a doc look at you and say "good idea" when you made a suggestion or a co-worker hug you because you found something they needed in order to do their job. It's not all like you describe, there can be happiness in nursing. Please consider switching to another area to find that happiness.

orrnlori, thirdshift guy and raphael,

Thank you for the well wishes. I know there are better places....... and much much worse places..... as I mentioned above I am going to try out PACU and see how that is. I have heard that our PACU has a really great manager as well as great retention so they must be doing something right.

On my unit currently, we have over 50 percent vacancy rate. The last time I worked, of the 8 of us 5 were agency or floaters. The other three of us one was just off orientation, there was me and a girl who has been there six months longer. Scary.

While my manager is a wonderful, wonderful, understanding, very dedicated, and very nice person, the unit is in shambles. She really is caught in the midst of things b/c she came in when the unit was a mess and tried to make things better but those above her don't give her much room for growth. Long story......

Thank you again for your posts....

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New CCU RN-

The situation you describe is the norm for many nurses. That's the reason for the nursing "shortage".

Many people believe that cranking out new nurses by the thousands is the answer. Your post shows why this is not so.

If you think it's bad now- wait until your back has been injured a few times.

This is how it works-

The schools crank 'em out, the hospitals use them up, and the schools crank out some more. And- hospitals import them.

I know exactly how you feel, because I have been there. I felt very isolated. I could feel the injustice and the wrongness of it all swirling around me. It was surreal at times.

I know you must feel alone, but you aren't. There are nurses all over the world feeling what you are feeling, going through what you are going through right now.

I am not going to say anything useless like "hang in there! Keep your chin up!" and other such useless blather.

I am going to say that if you truly want to be a nurse, there is a place for you. You will find it. I've been a nurse for 12 years, and have only just found my place in the last year. It ain't no cake walk, but it is doable, tolerable, and I do make a difference in my pts lives.

Where you are now is the wrong place, the wrong situation.

You can find the right one.

Please know that.

Hugs, love, understanding and empathy to all my fellow nurses.

Thank you very much for your understanding. As you may have read above, I am going to try and find my place. It is always good to hear that others understand. Thank you.

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I have been in nursing forums for a while now, and I have heard many negative comments about the working conditions for RNs. The conclusions I have reached based on my observations may anger some, but I will voice them anyway:

1. The nurses who feel degraded often don't have a very caring heart. They need status in their profession of nursing, but they don't realize that status-seeking and truly caring for others is most often mutually exclusive. It's hard to provide perineal care when you really--in your heart--just want to tell others what to do.

2. Nurses who want to tell doctors what to do and then feel disregarded by them don't seem to realize what the profession of nursing is and what the profession of medicine is. Nurses care for patients who can't care for themselves because they are sick; they assess patients and make objective observations and statements about the patients condition. They administer prescribed treatments and medications often based on their own assessments (i.e., PRN meds, sliding scales, ranges, etc.); they educate patients and families. They don't diagnose medical conditions and prescribe treatments. They diagnose conditions related to nursing care and implement nursing interventions to acheive a good outcome.

I think nursing is the highest profession, but a lot of nurses think physician is the highest profession, and they will always feel put down by physicians--especially when the physician doesn't allow them to play physician. Imagine how you'd feel if a respiratory therapist or radiology tech made nursing recommendations to you.

3. Short staffing is a problem. If one has their application in and is seeking interviews in hospitals with better nurse/patient ratios then I truly feel for their plight in regards to staffing. If they aren't lifting a finger to change hospitals, then it can't bother them that much. And here's the real sticker: every nurse I've met that complains the most about staffing is the nurse who typically does the least for his/her patients. I'm not saying there's a correlation; I'm just saying it's what I have seen.

4. A person can have a positive attitude in the worst of situations. We can't just be nurses to our patients; we have to be nurses to everyone around us. We care for the sick, but we care for our coworkers by keeping a positive attitude at all times--even if we have to fake it at all times.

Just my ramblings--please feel free to disagree and tell me about it:)

The Monist

Monist,

While I respect your opinion, as it is something that you are entitled to --- it is just that --- an opinion.

I would also like to add that when I first entered nursing --- as you are about to do from what I have gathered from your other posts --- I had an idealistic view of nursing.... just like you do now.

I did work in the profession as a tech prior to entering --- and I still thought that nursing was wonderful, bright and cheery. However, I do warn you that you will most likely be sorely mistaken. It is not all georgia peaches.

As far as your comments.... I don't think you can even begin to understand until you have spent a good amount of time in nursing.... NOT nursing school. There is a world of difference. I don't mean to dismiss your comments, but they do sound quite naive.

I realize you were making general comments about what you have observed. Personally, although I am not satisfied w/ my current situation... I would like to resond anyhow b/c as you are still learning perhaps it would help you to hear it from someone that is actually already at the bedside being a nurse rather than being a nursing student.....

#1 I rarely bring up what it is that I do. My family is very disapointed with the fact that I am in their eyes "just a nurse". They often tell me that I would be better suited in another field b/c I was always such a good student and had such potential which according to them, I am just wasting being a nurse. So your comments about status are way off base at least with my situation. My family calls nurses "cute". This also applies to the majority of people that my family associates with. While I don't agree with them, I have gotten to the point where attempting to dissuade them has grown old. They are set in their ways.

But at the same time, status is in no means making a pretty small income, working holidays and weekends, or caring for the sick.

I just don't understand your logic with this one at all.

#2 I don't expect the docs to ask me what antibiotic to order. However, I do expect them to listen to my assessments when I have been the one spending the last twelve hours with the patient while they have been asleep in the call room. You mention that nurses assess, well how would you like it if your assessments were questioned in a demeaning manner despite their validity? And as a result, your patient suffered. And even though they really needed more prn pain meds, the doc refused. So you had to continue on and be the one to tell the patient you can't give them any more meds for another hour despite the fact that they are in tears w/ pain.

#3 I do work at a hospital with decent nurse-patient ratios. I am an ICU nurse and generally have two patients to care for. That is fairly standard. However, our ancillary help is awful... and basically non existant. And so an RN's time is taken away from the bedside to duties such as answering the phones, cleaning beds...yep that is the newest one, fetching trays for those that can eat, transfering stable patients, doing charge w/ a full assignment and no extra monetary compensation, breaking charts down, the list goes on.

I am also in the process of changing units b/c I do think a change is in order.

As far as complaining about a situation but doing the least for the patient, well sorry but this nurses is not in that category. I do 110 percent every day for my patients. Iknow they get the very best care and I often recieve many, many compliments and notes after the fact. However, when you come in day after day and others HAVE NOT pulled their weight, thus leaving you w/ more work ... it gets old. You sound like you will be a very caring nurse and so maybe you will soon understand that.

#4 At work, I have a positive attitude. I never want to be the type of person that is negative and their coworkers and patients suffer from it. However, there comes to a point where it isn't healthy to FAKE positivity about a situation... when every day that you go to work you have knots in your stomach and a feeling of dread....... even if you don't let it on to others... it is NOT a good state to be. I hope that you never experience it........

I wish you the very best w/ your career. May it only be filled with shiny days.

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Thank you jamie for your post. I am actually in the process of interviewing in the PACU at my facility and will give that a try. I am glad you have found a good fit for yourself in the ED. (Which if the PACU doesn't work out, ED is my next stop :) )

Good for you for making a change. :hatparty: When do you find out about the PACU? Good luck!!!! Let us all know how it works out, and if it doesn't we'd still love to have you in the ED! :balloons:

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Until one works the floor for awhile, they have no clue. I am still amazed that the nurse is the only one responsible for making the families, doctors, ancillary people, managers, pharmacy, etc. etc. all happy!!!! All other disciplines look to the nurses to keep every other faction informed, solve all the problems between all other disciplines, and still do basic bottom wiping, while being paged to the desk for a phone call from either family member, doctor, pharmacy, surgery, etc, etc, etc. I LOVE nursing, so few can do this!! I feel great at the end of a day if I know my patients each felt they were the ONLY one I had any interest in all day!

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When I entered the field of nursing, over 40 years ago, I was a "babe in the woods". Women's choices were limited for women then. And many women I knew married right out of highschool, and started raising families. Nursing, teaching, or homemaking were the primary occupations for working class girls. I chose nursing, but I limited myself by not continuing to develope my "carreer". That wasn't what I focused on. I traveled, then married and raised children, and kept putting off further education or advancement. I'm not unhappy with the choices I made, I only regret not doing more earlier on in nursing. But its often said that 'we are where we are supposed to be in life...' wherever that is...And I am blessed to have endured life events and experiences that I have had.

Over the years I've watched nursing evolve and change, from what I thought it to be, til today. There is more to know, think about, and do, and yet nurses aren't given the recognition or respect they deserve. Sometimes its those who are within the ranks of nursing that forget who they are....and the authority they are given along with tremendous responsibility.

Now that I've 'retired' for the first time I can chose to do other things, but it seems that those things are gravitating around my nursing experience, whether it is taking care of my elderly mother or my young grandchildren, volunteering at the library, or doing home care.

So seize the day, because they fly by pretty fast... :rolleyes:

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i am changing careers and will be a nurse someday...soon hopefully. It is the dedicated, persistant, sensitive nurses like you that have inspired me to become one of the life-saving angels that you are. You have your terrible 'just f#$%@# it' days, like any profession really! and you keep smiling and caring no matter what. Keep your head up, bite the bullet and do what you can to make your situation a better one. Sometimes the only thing we can do to save our sanity is to move on, either departmentally or entirely to a new facility. Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck and it is my hope that you never lose the passion and magic you felt in the beginning that made you the great nurse you are today! :balloons:

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Everyone needs to read the books by Echo Heron, RN.

Her first one was, "Critical Care", and deals with her own career experiences.

The second one I read was "Tending Lives." Each chapter is the story of a nurse in a different specialty. The best chapter, "Echo Heron" is an account of her last shift at the bedside. After reading it, most nurses would know just what to do when the time arrives--turn on your heel and do not look back.

I discovered that I was born a nurse at age 34. I have worked bedside in the busiest, shortest, and most poorly paid jobs for over 20 years. One day my boss decided she didn't love me anymore, so she tossed me out with the trash, blackballed me, and sent a query on my license. I think God was telling me my day had arrived. I may never see another sick person again, but I will take my license into my coffin.

The longer nurses care for our patients the more painful the sheer futility of providing good care becomes.

Love, :kiss

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Minor correction Owney,

Intensive Care was the first Echo Heron Book and describes Nursing school and first years as a Nurse.

Her second book was Condition Critical and describes her last few years as a staff nurse, burn out and temporarily leaving Nursing.

Tending Lives was a third book and has various experiences of nurses, including two of hers (one of which was her last shift as an agency nurse/perdiem). She had difficulty gathering experiences from nurses as they were afraid of being fired after speaking to her. Hospital tore down flyers from bulletin boards asking for the stories.

She also has some fiction books.

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I discovered that I was born a nurse at age 34. I have worked bedside in the busiest, shortest, and most poorly paid jobs for over 20 years. One day my boss decided she didn't love me anymore, so she tossed me out with the trash, blackballed me, and sent a query on my license. I think God was telling me my day had arrived. I may never see another sick person again, but I will take my license into my coffin.

The longer nurses care for our patients the more painful the sheer futility of providing good care becomes.

Love, :kiss

OMG Owney...I read your post and thought 'This is what will inevitably happen to me too". Someday. Its like I see the writing on the wall. We try to do a good job, but when someone is out to get us it will be out the door. I see this phenom as we age. Also I am living the futility and pain...maybe I will walk away myself.(((HUGS))) to all nurses.

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