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Nurses are Irresponsible and Money Oriented

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Specializes in Geriatric nursing.

This article is about the growing public opinion that nurses are irresponsible and money oriented and, how this opinion discourages people from pursuing nursing as a carreer. This article is based on my observations and experience.

Nurses are Irresponsible and Money Oriented

Before pursuing nursing as a career, I had a bad impression of nurses from what I had heard but I never propagated it.

A couple of years ago when my grandmother had a knee surgery, I got a chance to look closely into how nurses provide care and communicate with patients and their family. I noticed how therapeutically the nurses talked to my grandmother. They explained everything so well and even answered the relevant questions I asked out of curiosity. Never before this episode did I ever want to be a nurse.

When I talked to some friends about my positive views about nursing and nurses, I was confused to hear what they had to say. Occasionally, people have opposing views but if they are contrary to what you believe in you start to doubt your own observations, it can be disturbing.

One of my friends openly declared that nurses are evil and work solely for money and do not really care about their patients. They care for the patient just enough to keep themselves out of trouble but they ignore a patient's unsaid obvious needs like positioning, which make them cruel.

Such views about nurses lead me to think if real nurses have forgotten their ethics but, something inside me said that these views are a stereotype. I decided to venture into the world of nursing to unravel the truth myself.

I have finished the first year of my nursing program and I am still determined to be a nurse. During my field placement at a hospital, I figured out the driving force behind the different opinions about nurses - the positive and the negative. Nurses follow some nursing ethics which form the very basis of their job.

Patient wellness, patient confidentiality, truthfulness, fairness and respecting patient choices are the values that need to be adopted in order to be a nurse, but does everybody has the ability to do so?

To be tough, caring, agile and strong enough to keep secrets all at once may not be the qualities present in a single person. People have preconceived notions about good nurses and they want them to 'act' accordingly. What they don't know is that it takes time for different personalities to incorporate a nurse's qualities.

People have different personalities and when they become nurses, their way of providing care and communicating with others differs. People categorize nurses as friendly or unfriendly, knowledgeable or unknowledgeable, caring or negligent etc.

It cannot be denied that negligence by nurses have lead to serious medical consequences for patients. However, it does not imply that all nurses are irresponsible. Despite all the hard work that nurses do, people seem to complain. Over a dozen of people I talked to had low opinion about nurses but only three of them had actually witnessed poor treatment by nurses. Why and how did the rest form a bad image of nurses? Maybe the same way I had formed it when I believed what people said.

Nurses are neither angels nor demons, only human. They make mistakes, try to learn from them and take care not to repeat them. Does anyone realize that when people vilify the nursing profession without putting themselves in nurses' shoes, how many good-nurses-to-be are discouraged from joining it?

I am a 21 year old Practical Nursing student. I have just finished the first year and I am looking forward to start the second year and improve my nursing skills

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48 Comment(s)

cherryames1949

Specializes in Oncology&Homecare. Has 27 years experience.

When I was a young girl people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always said "a nurse". My father would wrinkle his nose and tell me that I didn't want to do that because it was a "dirty Job". The sole reason for his disdain was the fact that I would have to empty bedpans. Well I didn't care. I was high on the exploits of Cherry Ames nurse extraordinaire. The years passed and I was able to fulfill my dream. Nursing has been a wonderful career. I have been blessed with wonderful colleagues and memorable patients. Nurses come in all shapes and sizes and most are caring and compassionate. We have many wonderful examples of the true ideals of nursing in our profession. Our job is to carry on those ideals so that non medical people get a good and true impression of nursing.:nurse:

Blu rose

Specializes in Geriatric nursing.

When I was a young girl people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always said "a nurse". My father would wrinkle his nose and tell me that I didn't want to do that because it was a "dirty Job". The sole reason for his disdain was the fact that I would have to empty bedpans. Well I didn't care. I was high on the exploits of Cherry Ames nurse extraordinaire. The years passed and I was able to fulfill my dream. Nursing has been a wonderful career. I have been blessed with wonderful colleagues and memorable patients. Nurses come in all shapes and sizes and most are caring and compassionate. We have many wonderful examples of the true ideals of nursing in our profession. Our job is to carry on those ideals so that non medical people get a good and true impression of nursing.:nurse:

Thanks for your inspiring comment :) Even I was in a similar situation. An aunt of mine had attempted to be a nurse but, she left it amidst when she had an unpleasant experience (a dirty one as people might say). Since the day I told my family members that I want to be a nurse, this story was told to me umpteen times and I was tired of listening to it. I just stopped paying attention to what they said and now, I in the middle of my nursing program...I don't cry about bedpans and all, so, everybody's supporting me.

I follow what you said about true ideals :)

royhanosn

Specializes in psych, general, emerg, mash.

***********!

nursing, I enjoy! its the people I work with that are ******.The management is the same.

but you have to develop a THICK salesmen skin, to take the abuse out there.

Like an office..people hate their jobs..its not the job, its the supervisor. or management that makes life hell.

Cutbacks, management voting themselves raises, etc...welcome to now!

Edited by Silverdragon102
changed to all *****

needshaldol

Specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

Agree to above. Hospitals are BIG business now. And do not believe the "non profit" meaning no $. It is a corporate world now and the corporation is slowly turning nurses into robots. It is all about liability now. The time spent at the bedside is for meds, helping the aide turn or clean, and a quick assessment. The rest of the time is at the computer checking this checking that checking this checking that. That is it folks.

dmdmd

Has 37 years experience.

How very sad your friends have such one sided opinions. I have been a nurse for 31 years so far, and am at the bedside again by choice. I love my patients. They know it, and I know it. I have held a dying patient's hand in the night, and helped deliver more than one baby. My friends and I have attended too many funerals. EVERY time I go to work, I hold lives in my hands.

I have cleaned enough stool to build a mountain, emptied enough catheters to fill a lake. I have cleaned mucous, blood, pus, and other things more times than they can imagine. Do I look down on the elderly man or woman that is incontinent? NO, and no one I know does.

How dare ignorant people besmirch a profession that has been there since God knows when to care for them from the time their butts popped out of the womb, til they were on their birth bed themselves or their deathbed with one or more of us there?

Money? That's a laugh.

My refrigerator repairman makes 5 times what I do, and the plumber 10 times. Do you hear any griping from your friends about them? How about pro athletes that perform for people, or for that matter, actors. If you want to be in a job for the money, and never have to do any of the things I've mentioned, look there.

No, I am a nurse because I have spent my life acquiring skills to care for people that can't care for themselves or that need help. Not for the money, because I could make more elsewhere. I do it for love.

So, since this is way too long, I close now.

Be a nurse, and make the rest of us proud of your desire to be the best you can be. Show your "friends" how ignorant they really are. It will be the hardest job in the world some days, but be worth it in the end, when you can look back and say, "I did my best, and there were people that were the better for it.? Be a nurse, we are AWESOME!!!!

To dmdmd,

Could not have said it better myself. To many folks spread LIES and false innuendos concerning nursing. The truth is it is a tough,demanding job and I am amazed at the amount of people who have nothing better to do than continue trying to run down the profession. "In it for the MONEY....ha,ha,ha...". I'm an NP and make a comfortable fee for what I do, but there are MANY people in the work world who make MUCH more than I.... and have little or no responsibility or accountability related to the amount of $$$ they make! If you are in nursing for the MONEY you will be disappointed, however there is more than $$$ when you help someone...

Soozul

Specializes in med-surg, geriactrics, oncology, hospi. Has 19 years experience.

Just a quick opinion: Dirty bedpans are the LEAST of our worries. Some think that is degrading?? HA!! What's degrading is being treated like an uneducated lazy maid that hasn't put in the time learning to do this, all the while working 13 hours on your feet without a break or even food to keep going!! I don't mind getting dirty or busting my hump like I mind visitors/family treating me badly.

dmdmd

Has 37 years experience.

There are always those that disrespect us for one reason or another, and that is a problem anyone working with the public has. I think it is more of a picture of our society today than it is anything else. A lot of people are NOT taught to respect other people. These people will still get good care from me, and maybe I can be the first person they learn to respect.

Soozul

Specializes in med-surg, geriactrics, oncology, hospi. Has 19 years experience.

Nice response & you're right. I just came off my work stretch after just another such incident. I realize i t's worse when it's fresh on my mind. I also take the worry home with me- wish I didn't.I want to do the best job I can but I also want respect doing it.

needshaldol

Specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

All good points. But to hear that some go into it for the money?? I am still amazed when I hear that. When I went into nursing I had NO clue what the salary was. I just wanted to be a nurse and whatever salary it was, it was. I believe that it was that way for most going into the job. Yes, the money is decent (in my state) but no one thinks of the money when they are in the midst of stress stress stress, trying to remember to pee, sneaking a bite of food while working as there is NO time to take a break, and dealing with some ****-poor patients and a lot of nutty family members. The worst is to see someone who NEEDS to go to heaven and the family puts them thru more torture and the outcome is the same except the patient suffers more. That is extremely stressful to deal with because I want to have "the talk" with them, but I may get in "trouble" for "the talk".

Dirty job? You bet. Just think of all the immunity you have from being exposed to almost everything on earth that can kill you? I love the comment about the plumber making more $. HOW TRUE. It kills me to see someone making more $ to unplug a drain, a drain that is just that; a drain. When I unplug a person, it is worth less!

camoflower

Specializes in Ortho/Peds/MedSURG/LTC.

My experience. I am old..median age on my floor was 28. It was an eye opening experience..I mean reality was I found them to be very mean spirited, a pack of attention seeking back bitters, would rather point fingers at the newbies and gossip than put on their big girl pants and lift, teach and help the newbies. Gleed with sparkles when someone got fed up and quit. Management listens to "my girls have been here 8 years!" Yes and they lie about newbies ...what? for what reason? to look good for the manager? and then behind the manager's back "I can't wait for her to retire" "I will apply for her position and get it". Looking back I think its because they all have a very low self esteem, from getting hammered on a daily basis, running around with full bladders, nut case family members, they don't get pats on the back from management..just each other that are in their "click". The trouble makers that run and tell on newbies are usually keeping the manager from seeing something they have done - the newbies don't know to run to the managers office every shift and bad mouth someone else..therefore the manager calls them in and yells at them, banging her fists on her desk..."I've never seen anything like YOU ARE YOU ON ANY KIND OF MEDICATION??!!! here sign this (another write up) I had one nurse tell me after report..my first child I did not document every hour her pulse ox level but told her in report that the stats were above 98% all night, my boss called me in saying if you did not document you did not do it. It was awful...I felt stupid. But I did check it..I went back out and confronted that ex-meth head who had gone all over the floor telling the other nurses how stupid this newbie was...when all she had to do was show me on the computer where to document. I loudly said "why did you do that to me?..can't anyone teach anybody anything?"...what's wrong with nurses? I was a new nurse, overwhelmed, so much to learn, my preceptors where the worse (one got fired for stealing narcotics)..I sigh. (the whole time I was so happy to be in nursing school I kept hearing from seasoned nurses "do you really want to be a nurse?? ugh". I treat others as I want to be treated...yes, you have to be thick skinned - in the worse way. I am over 50...I expected more.

dmdmd

Has 37 years experience.

I so hate to hear these stories, from people that are treated so badly. My job isn't perfect but I have been lucky enough to, for the most part, work with people I respect and be treated with respect. That's not to say everyone, but most.

I want to video them, make them watch themselves, then hopefully be ashamed. People that act like that don't deserve to be nurses. Or humans for that matter. :mad: Unfortunately, or fortunately for them, I don't rule the world.

Just believe you are there for a reason, to make a difference, and don't stoop to their level.

Then come work with me! :heartbeat

camoflower

Specializes in Ortho/Peds/MedSURG/LTC.

I am so burned. My experience with nursing has been so heartwrenching sad. I love nursing, work circles around some, I know I am smart - I was so new. If I could go back there and begin again. The first week their slang during report "appy's" Lap-colys"..the look on my face. Instead of me stopping them in their tracks (what I'd do now) with WHOOOAH what are you talking about. I was sooo frustrated with this look on my face. They would run to that chain smoking manager telling her I was stupid did not know anything behind my back. I went to the nice nurse that trained me and asked her.."what is an appy?" She explained their use of slang...its an appendectomy :). Meanwhile the manager, who never took the time to ask, thought I was the stupid one. I for one would never ever stoop to their level - bunch of insecure, severely lacking social skills, self centered...hateful...posers on facebook...needing attention..drama...hags to be. I may have my heart on my sleeve but I did not deserve the way they treated me or others. The manager when put on the floor was clueless...she'd tell me "I don't know why the patients love you like they do..but here.-it'd be another card" (I hated receiving any recognition of kindness from patients because the girls got meaner) MY first day on the job..the manager said and I quote "they are going to eat you alive!"....and she was right. I left after one year..it was like a tour ...in a prison..they were the inmates..and their wasn't any thing I could do. Enough of this..it makes me sick. thank you for listening dmdmd thank you for your kindness appreciated:nurse:

needshaldol

Specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

Good you left. What an awful place. I believe you but your situation is not normal. There are always going to be nasty people but somehow you got a bunch of them. You had bad luck. Try again at another hospital. We would NEVER treat someone like that and I have been at the same place for over 20 years. NEVER!

rnccf2007, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Had to write. There are some nurses that do not care, however; they are far and few. How many professions have employees who work 12+ hours with a 5 minute break (no food or water because JC and OSHA feel it is not safe for these people to do eat and drink at the nurses station or running down the hall---the only way some of us are able to do this). How many people come home from work and cry, because they could not do their best r/t hospital administration and politics. How many professionals get abused on a daily basis? If I walked into a restaurant and handed out the emotional and physical abuse that many of us nurses experience, I would be shown the door if not arrested. In it for the money, what a joke. I am at the point of quiting a brand new hospital that was tauted as exceeding the ultimate in patient satisfaction. My ASS. I have to beg some physicians for orders and it is always the nurses fault. Why are the nurses always the scapegoats? Why are we blamed for a very flawed health care system. An honorable profession my ASS.

needshaldol

Specializes in Pain management, Med/Surg.

Very true. It is NOT an honorable profession and I wonder why anyone thinks so? It is just health care at its most intimate. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Except comes with tons of responsibilities. That is why it pays more than working at the mall. So if I look at it that way, I can work 3 eight hr days/week and make twice as much or more than someone working full time at a mall, etc. Now the job is good! I do not pay for health insurance coverage (other than little co-pay) and get lots of days off, education days off. Not a bad thing.

Everyone wants to survive and how do we survive? By WORKING. The field of nursing has been a buzz to different individuals who wanted to have a career where they can assure themselves that they will receive a good salary. I admit that I want to get into the nursing field to earn a living for my family. Aside from that though, I love to see the people that I help regain their health back to normal smiling and seeing their faces full of life. I want to be able to help my future patients to provide them not only with health care but also to provide them support spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. Being a nursing is not all about the salary we receive at the end of every salary period but it is about providing our patients with the best health care possible and to be a supporting hand in terms of despair and sadness. There is more to being a nurse than just Money. It is sad to admit though that there are OTHERS out there that enters the world of nursing just for it.

I am glad you wrote this article. While reading it, I became inspired to work harder as a nursing student. :) God Bless you