Nursing is pathetic... - page 12

It's to bad you feel this way I work in the E.R.and am constantly exposed to hiv, hepatitis,and a host of other diseases you can protect yourself. Why did you really go into nursing ws it for the... Read More

  1. by   nursedude
    Hi all, it's NURSEDUDE aka NURSERUDE...HA HA HA...LOL Earl58- You go girl!

    JNC1991, Um...Hmmmm...So you want to move to Erie Pa? and get a job as a LPN....I live 2 hours south of Erie- about 15 minutes outside of Pittsburgh PA and my best advice to you would be to stay out of Western Pa!

    Move to Rochester NY where Lita1857 lives...Western Pa - Home of Allegheny County- that happens to now have the highest per capita of elderly also happens to have the worst climate in healthcare! I've posted this before...

    Look up:

    UPMC is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center... UPMC also happens to be an HMO- You got it- It's an HMO and a group of hospitals. Guess what insurance plan the nurses get to pick as employees there? -HA! They are stuck with their employers HMO- go figure, your employer is also your insurer - When you go see your PCP he happens to be employed by your employer - Whose best interest does he have in mind?

    Western Pa is in a major managed care battle right now between UPMC and Highmark BlueCross/Sheild ( Currently Highmark is a "not for profit status" business, UPMC is "for profit". Guess what-? Highmark will be eligible soon to go "for profit". And then watch what happens - Hospitals will be closing left and right here...

    The above link points to an interesting story...Saint Francis Health system here in Western Pa Had to close one of it's Hospitals and in order to keep their head above water financially, they had to allow UPMC the ability to manage one of their other hospitals- See:

    Here is a juicy quote from the first article:

    "Dynamis Healthcare Advisors, a Cleveland consulting firm, issued a report yesterday saying there have been 20 hospital closings nationwide so far this year -- with institutions citing payment curbs, too many hospital beds and low occupancy rates among the chief reasons."

    Beware Florence Nightingale...

    Oh, and JNC, here is another quote from that article:

    "Health-care analysts have been saying for years that the Pittsburgh market is on of the nation's most over-bedded, with perhaps 50 percent more hospital beds than it needs."

    I'm not trying to be cruel - just honest...Erie is only 2 hours away from Pittsburgh - DON"T COME HERE FOR A NURSING JOB...

  2. by   oramar
    Originally posted by nursedude:
    ...Western Pa - Home of Allegheny County- that happens to now have the highest per capita of elderly....Highmark will be eligible soon to go "for profit". And then watch what happens - Hospitals will be closing left and right here...
    ...Saint Francis Health system here in Western Pa Had to close one of it's Hospitals .....Health-care analysts have been saying for years that the Pittsburgh market is on of the nation's most over-bedded, with perhaps 50 percent more hospital beds than it needs."

    Nursedude, I am a Pittsburgh nurse that has posted to you before, I am going to make a prediction about the future. As you say, we have one of the highest ratios of elderly in the country, one in five, soon to be one in four. In light of this the number of beds in this area is not as excessive as some people think. Shortly after the weeding process is over there will be a flu outbreak or some other type of catastropy amd the system will be overwhelmed. Hundreds of people will be piling up in overloaded ERs all over Western Pa and the howls of protest will be heard across the land. The press and TV news will be filled with recriminations about who is responsible for the shortage of beds and medical staff. How do I know this? Because I worked through the last few flu epidemics and saw for myself that ERs and hospitals around here were stretched to their limits. Many people sat in ERs for a day or two waiting to be admitted during the 19999-2000 epidemic. If everyone thought beds were tight last flu season just wait until they try to get their sick relatives admitted during the next one once the cutbacks are complete. When you see and hear all the complaining and the blaming remember that old Oramar saw it coming.

  3. by   nursedude

    I don't disagree with you necessarily. In fact I agree with you in regard to the overwhelmed ER's around here- I have been an ER nurse since 1992. I no longer work full time in an ER- just PRN.

    In my response to Jason/jnc1991 I wouldn't recomend that he come to our area looking for a job as an LPN. He said "This is a big career move for me, and a dangerous one with 4 kids...I can't mess this up!" I think that by him moving here with 4 kids and his only being employed as an LPN- he would definately be messing up if he were the primary breadwinner. What do you think oramar?

    As far as your last post goes - It may hold some value but my opinion is that even if the outbursts of complaints makes it to television about the overcrowded ER's during flu season...Everyone will forget about it because the superbowl will come on or The peguins will be playing a good game...Oramar, I agree with you but I don't see any politicians fighting to keep hospitals open here in the burgh. I don't see nurses here in the burgh fighting to keep hospitals open...I do see nurses unionizing around here...

    I have a few friends that work at AGH(10 years ago it was the top revenue producing hospital in the USA). These RN friends of mine brag that they finally got the union in... My reply to them was that they were about 4 years and 1.3 billion dollars late. For crying out loud- they got a union that represents cooks and janitors!? Why in the he** didn't they get the Pa. state teachers union?

    If there is a nursing shortage I don't think it's here in Pittsburgh...
  4. by   oramar
    Originally posted by nursedude:

    ... I agree with you in regard to the overwhelmed ER's around here... I have been an ER nurse since 1992... I wouldn't recomend that he come to our area looking for a job... What do you think oramar?...
    I don't see any politicians fighting to keep hospitals open here in the burgh...shortage I don't think it's here in Pittsburgh...
    I find it really interesting that as I read your post, UPMC announced the closing of the Willis Center and Homestead ER. As you know,St Francis Central closed earlier this week. I do not know anything about what is going on up in Erie but I do know that health care jobs in the Greater Pittsburgh Area are going to be lost over the next two years. It is obvious that the long threatened hospital bed cuts have begun in ernest. Several facilities are going to shut down completely and others will be reduced in size. It is possibile that a person could relocate only to find shortly there after that their job has been cut. These hospital closing will reduce the impact of the nurse shortage in this area but to what degree that will be is beyond me. I can see you are a ER nurse veteran of the many sporting events that have taken place in Pittsburgh during the 1990s and are well aware of the pandemonium they wreak, especially on the North Side. They should give you guys medals like they give the battle weary veterans of our countries many wars. I was always tucked safely away up on the units during those trying events, the floors are actually quieter than usual at those times even though the ERs are wild. You mentioned Pittsburgh politicians, they seem to be concerned only with sports teams and stadiums, when steel mills shut down, hospitals close and ERs overflow it does not register on their radar.

  5. by   oramar
    Originally posted by PPL:
    Yes, Oramar, it may just BE a duck! What are their nurse/patient ratios like? For some reason, I'm obsessed with this place, as I believe this type of facility could exist, just like some doctors, who stay private, instead of joining up with every Tom, Dick and Harry H.M.O.; they're far and few between. I am looking into a job that's university based, research/lab oriented, much less pay, but will allow me to still nurse on a PRN basis, on the occasional weekend and/or holiday. Sound good to you?
    I am finally getting around to answering your question about ratios. My brother says he has 52 patients on his unit with 2 LPNs and 4 aides to care for them on the 2nd shift. There are no RNs on his unit on 2nd shift but I am sure there is a supervisor around somewhere. The place he works is NOT university based or research oriented. My brother is a very hard person to get info of any sort out of because he hates questions. They only reason I know he is happy there is that his wife tells me things.
  6. by   hhrn
    Originally posted by nursedude:

    That about sums it up for me... I am a 34 year old guy and live in Pittsburgh Pa. Have been an RN for 10years. I have done the following in nursing: Cardiotharacic ICU, ER,UR, Case Management...

    THe problems with nursing I have found:
    1) Poor compensation- I have friends that are Registered Plumbers and registered electricians, Certified computer specialists etc. All of them make twice as much $$$ as I do- none of them have a college degree. None of them are exposed to HIV, TB, Hepatitis on a daily basis.
    2) You can't really practice nursing on your own even though you are licensed- See above- The plumber, the electrician and the computer guy all work full time jobs and also do business on the side from home and make money... Did you ever practice nursing on the side? its called illegal...
    3) Nurses are on the bottom of the food chain...Doctors, PA's, CRNP's, Administrators all look down on nurses- at least here in Pittsburgh they do. Nurses here are just another load on the revenue generated by hospitals...
    I have 2 words for you. Socialized Medicine. Thank you Hillary!!!!

  7. by   SRT
    What a great site!! I just composed a long letter regarding my experiences as an operating room nurse since 1981; the gist of it is that the differences in working in Oregon and California are as different as night and day. I am treated with so much more professional respect as an RN in California, not to mention receiving double the salary, that I choose to live here in Oregon (the Pacific Northwest is just spectacularly beautiful) but work as an operating room nurse, when I feel like it, in California. I believe what make California nursing so great is a great union (CNA) and dedicated union members who aren't afraid to stand up and demand their rights,and the rights of their patients.. Anyway, I said a lot more, but I inadverdently e-mailed the letter only to Oramar. Oramar, if you are still logged on, can you somehow forward that letter to this site, so that we can generate more discussion, especially from California and Oregon RNs? Thanks. SRT
  8. by   nursedude

    You know I find it interesting somehow that this thread "Nursing is Pathetic" has drawn such a large following.

    Out of 431 posts under "would you recomend nursing as a career", "Nursing is pathetic" has drawn almost 50% of the posts...Also I've noticed that there are no other sub headings like "Nursing is pathetic" that have recieved this many replies.

    I wonder what the reason is for this...Is it that there are so many nurses who adamantly feel repulsed and angry when they read the heading "Nursing is pathetic"? Could it be that the nurses who have posted here are all burned out or just having a bad day? Or is it because just maybe, there is something(s) definately wrong with the profession?

    Just curious...
  9. by   bunky
    Need you really ask?
  10. by   SRT
    >I have been an Operating Room Nurse since 1981; I also do
    >Legal Nurse Consulting. I have worked in California,
    >Washington and Oregon. Whenever I want to earn the pay I
    >feel I deserve as an experienced specialty RN, as well as
    >get the professional respect I feel I deserve, I work in
    >California. The difference in attitudes, as compared to
    >Oregon, is like night and day. I believe it is primarily
    >due to always having had a strong union (God bless CNA!!!)
    >and strong union members--that is, nurses who are radical
    >enough and savvy enough to speak up and demand fair pay,
    >good working conditions, and proper equipment and staffing
    >ratios to do excellent patient care. Also,remember a law was
    >recently passed there requiring a certain ratio of nurses to
    >patients. When people call in sick, the registry is called,
    >and the same number of nurses are contracted to replace
    >them. In Oregon, we get a lecture at report about how
    >lunches and breaks will be late or non-existent due to our
    >colleagues' being sick; people are"counselled" for calling
    >in sick, and their names are put up on the board for the
    >day so that everyone knows which colleagues "Let us down"
    >by having the nerve to be sick. In California, our managers
    >ask us at weekly meetings what they can do to make our jobs
    >easier, and those things are supplied. All the rooms are
    >well equipped and well stocked, to allow us to do the best
    >possible patient care we can. In Oregon, we run around
    >borrowing such basic items as step stools, extension cords,
    >and flash pans from other rooms; specialty equipment such
    >as endoscopic staplers are constantly in short supply
    >;cautery units, microscopes, video cameras are always out
    >for repair or malfunctioning. In California, we are asked
    >if we are willing to stay overtime, and are well compensated
    >for it, as well as being thanked. In Oregon, "mandatory
    >overtime" is frequent and last minute; you are not
    >asked--you simply are not relieved on time. If you ask the
    >union (if you can call the joke we have for a union, here in
    >Oregon) for support on this issue, they vaguely talk about
    >patient abandonment and actually support "Management's right
    >to ensure safe staffing" by enforcing mandatory overtime. A
    >personal example: I was stuck without relief on a case
    >once, the day before Thanksgiving. Due, once again, to
    >improper planning, the charge nurse claimed she had no one
    >to relieve me. My day care provider was furious, when I
    >arrived to pick up my son an hour late. Not only did I have
    >to pay the standard late fee, (which, in our area, at that
    >time, was $1.00 per minute--therefore, $60.00--) I lost my
    >day care provider. While the union allowed it was
    >"unfortunate, they backed the implementation of "mandatory
    >overtime," and I lost the grievance in which I asked for
    >reimbursement of the $60 late fee. Our rights--to have a
    >life after 8 hours of work, to go home and pick children up
    >in a timely fashion from day care, or go to a soccer
    >practice or game, to meet our friends or husbands for a
    >beer, or just to go home and do nothing--are all disregarded
    >in the name of patient care. I had the audacity once to say
    >to the nurse manager of an Oregon operating room: "Staffing
    >issues are a management dilemma. I am contracted to work
    >only 8 hours a day." You would have thought from the
    >horrified expression on her face (and on the faces of some
    >of the "suck-up" nurses in our department) that I had just
    >announced that I was a cannibal! Her response was "How
    >would you feel if one of YOUR parents was in surgery, and
    >the nurse on the case refused to stay over?" My response
    >was: "My parents are dead, and anyway, I would never have
    >recommended they have surgery in an operating room whose
    >management tyrannized her staff by laying guilt trips on
    >them. When a case is expected to run over, it is
    >management's JOB to arrange for staffing relief well in
    >advance. That usually involves calling registry in the
    >morning and asking them to send over nurses for the
    >afternoon." Her response: "We don't use registry." This
    >was 10 years ago, and it is still this way at this
    >particular operating room. The staff don't complain because
    >they have been so brainwashed by management into thinking
    >there is a "nursing shortage" that they are afraid they
    >won't be able to get another job. Indeed, a lot of them
    >wouldn't be able to get another job, as some of them have
    >very mediocre nursing skills,(some have never learned to
    >scrub, and are allowed to continue to refuse to learn; some
    >can only be trusted in very minor cases--) and really should
    >not be working in an operating room. The attitude among
    >management there is that "As long as they can do the
    >minimum, that is all we expect." So, the message conveyed
    >is "Mediocrity is OK." It does not take the intellect of a
    >rocket scientist for one to figure out what follows--people
    >start thinking,''Well, if mediocrity is okay, why should I
    >strive to do more than the minimum?" Nurses in Oregon do
    >not have to take continuing ed--- I have worked with people
    >who couldn't even remember how to calculate a simple drug
    >dosage, and had to ask anesthesia to do it for them--
    >whereas, in California, we are constantly upgrading our
    >skills to be able to stay up on top of rapidly changing
    >technology and trends in patient care. Standby for call in
    >California is paid at half-time, because management, the
    >physicians, and the union know that our time is valuable,
    >and they respect us as professionals. In Oregon, standby
    >pay is around $2 an hour, and the nurses think they are
    >making great money, and don't want to ruffle any feathers by
    >daring to ask for more. In Oregon, we are expected to clean
    >the dirty rooms before going to assess and get our next
    >patient--in California, not only would the housekeeping
    >union be on our backs for taking their jobs away from
    >them--but management would see the bigger picture--not only
    >are we contaminating our scrubs with hazardous waste, and
    >carrying it to our next patient, but we are taking away
    >time that rightfully BELONGS to our next patient. How would
    >you like to know that the nurse talking to you and starting
    >your IV just came from cleaning a grossly bloody room? As a
    >patient, I would expect that a nurse have time to talk to me
    >and my family a bit and help prepare us emotionally-- that
    >is, after all, our role as O.R. nurses--but that time is too
    >often spent cleaning up the room from the previous case, and
    >then rushing to get the next patient into the room on time.
    >Truthfully, very little time is spent actually assessing the
    >patient's emotional state, as we are constantly being
    >pushed, pushed, pushed to get the next case going. I could
    >go on and on. Don't get me wrong--I love living in Oregon.
    >I just refuse to work here as a nurse, as I feel that it is
    >difficult, if not dangerous, to do excellent patient care
    >here. So, when I want to work as an operating room nurse, I
    >happily fly off to California for a week or two, where all
    >the support is there to do excellent patient care, we are
    >respected and appreciated as professionals, and the morale
    >is always good. I have the best of both worlds--since I get
    >paid more in California, I can work less, and I can spend
    >more time at home gardening (my real passion.) My advice
    >for nurses who are feeling unhappy about their own job
    >situations, and approaching burn-out--take a sabbatical or
    >some sort of leave of absence, and try travel nursing.
    >Before you do, though, go into a chat room where nurses are
    >talking about their travel assignments, and discussing
    >travel companies and hospitals by name. Believe me, there
    >is a reason why certain hospitals are always advertising for
    >travellers--it isn't that they are so busy they need to
    >augment their own staff, either. The real reason is that
    >they cannot hold on to their own staff, because work
    >conditions and/or management are so abysmal that the staff
    >nurses just get fed up and quit. I hope I don't get any
    >"hate mail" from Oregon nurses. The truth is, though,
    >almost every Oregon nurse I have ever known is unhappy in
    >her job, but stays for years and years and miserable years,
    >just because of the benefits. I have never met a California
    >RN who was unhappy in her job. There always seems to be the
    >support there to "fix" whatever problem was making people
    >unhappy--again, a great union, and supportive management,
    >and physicians who respect and treat us as fellow
    >professionals. P.S. To be fair, I have NO knowlwdge of how
    >it is for nurses who are not operating room nurses--I would
    >like to hear from nurses in other specialties in both Oregon
    >and Washington, to see if their working conditions are
    >similar. Please feel free to e-mail me at
    > My name is
    >Stephanie. Thanks again, California Nurses Association!
  11. by   ShannonB25
    Wow! After reading that last post I am really excited about getting to work in California next year. Thanks for sharing Stephanie!
  12. by   debcote
    NO WAY. Working for the government is worse.
  13. by   PINKYE1
    Before you guys get all excited and join the exodus to CA...NurseDude, I think I love you. I agree, nursing is pathetic. I work in corrections, Make approx 65K and have great retirement benefits, etc. My take on this is 1)how professional are we? Some of the nurses I work with are lazy, crazy or just plain scary. Errors, non-advocacy and apathy--no consideration for their peers, call-offs for stuff like "my car is sick" and "I'm going to Vegas tonite". Need I say more? 2)Why are we so satisfied at the lowest level? ADN, Diploma military medic to LVN, c'mon people get a degree BE A PROFESSIONAL. I wouldn't allow a school teacher with an AA to teach my kids, how can you educate your patients if you're uneducated? (THIS WILL MAKE A LOT OF PEOPLE ANGRY I'M SURE, BUT THEY'LL GET OVER IT)The profession should require a BSN as a minimun. 3) Generally your pay is reflective of the region you live in, your education, experience and facility type as well as your position. Join a union and get involved to get better pay and working conditions. Fight for your rights. And, BAND TOGETHER. We nurses DO eat our young. We are so competetive, we don't have time to guide the new grads or just hired and ignore or malign or current co-workers. Sure there are bad seeds, but aren't there in every job. I went into nursing because I cared, wanted a steady profession and had bills to pay. Yes, we are professionals and should be compensated accordingly. Caring is not enough, I can't pay my car note with compassion. I do my job, very well I might add and would like to go home at night without having to stay another shift because somebody called off and we're already short. I understand why the attrition rate is so high,who wants to work for peanuts besides monkeys? Take off the rose-colored glasses and get off the path to OZ people. Nursing is a PROFESSION, a chosen one and nurses should be professional, treated as such and paid as such. Be martyrs on your own, Joan of Arc was burned for what?? I love being a nurse, luckily I get paid decently, but like every job--it has its downsides, but that's another topic. NURSEDUDE, I APPLAUD YOU AND SUPPORT YOU. Incidently people, I have a BSN as well as a BS in Biology and BA in Psychology and am 5 classes short of an MPH in Health Promotion and Education and am looking into a JD program to assist in the fight to get nurses paid what they're worth and decrease the malpractice against us. NurseDude, you can e-mail me at PINKYE11@AOL.COM. Keep the Faith!!!