Nursing is pathetic... - page 16

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   ShannonB25
    First off, let me say that I respect all of the opinions expressed in this forum. I am, admittedly, a nursing student with dreams of pursuing her FNP in ~5 yrs after graduation. I graduate with my BSN in May, 2001. My question is this: what can those of us entering the profession do to help the state of nursing? I've asked this before and don't really seem to get any answers. I know things aren't perfect. This will not be my first career either. Spent 7 yrs with the same company and couldn't wait to leave. When I left I was a senior manager and my people loved me. I feel that to manage you have to realize that the people working for you and with you are just that- people. Sounds like a great deal of the human element is missing with regards to management in the hospital setting. I find that incredibly sad. As a student looking at approaching 30-40 yrs of nursing, I would really like to do all I can to make situations better. Do you all feel the million nurse march will have an effect? Anything newbies can do to get a good start? Please let me know.


    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
  2. by   nursedude

    I was working for St. Francis Health System... My PRN wage as an RN with 10 years of solid experience was $19.00/hr- well that was before the $2.00/hr pay cut AND, I was being paid more $$$ PRN then the RNs who worked fulltime with the same experience!!! ...Look for St Fran or the what used to be AGH to go under in the next year. (St francis currently only operates on an average of 300 beds a day out of close to a thousand = 700 empty beds/day). And oh yeah, watch highmark go for profit in the next year or two- if you think greedy upmc is bad, you aint seen nothing yet...

    Ocankhe and Valentine95,
    What can I say? I'm done. I refuse to be used. I refuse to condone the problem and so I have quit...

    the million nurse march aint gonna cut it with the "man behind the curtain". You'll first need to get the witches broom and then you can get back to Kansas...
  3. by   nursedude
    Here is a copy of what I posted elsewhere about the million nurse march.

    "WOOO HOOO!!!!

    ****March till your panties fall down around your ankles and cause you to trip!!!****

    Sorry, I just couldn't help myself but ROFLMAO when I saw this post...

    Postaledde, here is a copy of the email I just sent you:


    Thanks but I have been considered too radical by the gals at the site...

    Before they set up that site they initially were conversing on the site. Basically my ideas and attitude about nursing and what to do about it turned them off. I suggested things like a national "sick day" for all nurses as opposed to a march. I feel as if a march would do nothing but satisfy, well the needs of some people who are too afraid to say and do what really needs to be done to nursing. I feel that it is this "fear" that has put nursing right where it is and it is the thing that will keep nursing down for years to come.

    So I have opted to do what many nurses have done - leave the field. I kind of consider that my own personal "strike" until nursing becomes more humane...

    I'm not sure how you feel about nursing but in my opinion and as I have posted before, if you are planning to join the million nurse march moovement, good luck. I have a feeling you folks will be marching for a very long time.

    Ralph, have you ever noticed that in the profession of nursing, that the only times that things improved where the times when there was a shortage of nurses? It was never the voice of nursing, rather the demand for nursing that determined how nurses where treated. "

    Again, My opinion about the MNM is that although the spirit and the movement behind it are truly worthwhile, I don't see how a march will accomplish anything permanent. It's like throwing a wet rag at a brick wall and hoping that the rag knocks down the wall.

    Now, if every nurse in the USA called in sick on just one day of the year, now that my fellow nurses, would cause the cajones of every hospital administrator, CEO of every managed care CO. and the freaking President, congress right down to every drugseeker in each and every Emergency room to shrivel up. And then my friends we would be "adequately" heard not only in Washington, but everywhere.

    So that is why I do not support the MNM..."

  4. by   PPL
    Wooo Hooo Nursedude; let me congratulate you on your 100th post! I know you're upsetting some people, but I'm LAUGHING OUT LOUD; I can't help it! I would absolutely agree to the nation wide sick call you're always talking about, but I'm taking in my panties, in preparation for the march too! Thanks!
  5. by   OC_An Khe
    I seem to remember back in the 60's the sick day routine was tried in New York City. This was before it was legal for nurses to form unions and have collective bargaining. If my memory is correct (60's were kind of a blur) it was effective. Nursedude you are not so radical. The market, in theory, will determine nursing compensation and working conditions. Without some radical agitation from RN's the market forces will be ignored as long as possible. Of course the "powers that be" will try their other strategy that worked in the past and that is to dummy down the profssion.
  6. by   infirmiere
    Nursedude, what can I say that you have not already, quite eloquently said, since the majority of the postings seem to belong to you. (I could not resist wading into the fray, even at this late date!!).

    Would I recommend nursing as a career? Well, remember the character Sofia on the sit com, The Golden Girls? Picture it . . . Southwestern suburbs of Sydney, 1991, 3 am . . . night shift in adult general ICU, a new admission, how lucky I am, a drug overdose, oh geesh a blocked airway, now puking out chicken chunks all over the place including over me, there I am like an idiot with my Yankeur sucker and of course it isn't working and suddenly it dawns on my after 7 years as an RN and over 14 as a nurses aide, I ask myself, what in the bloody **** am I doing here as an RN???? I wonder this even more after the next night of holding a patient's penis that was on traction to keep it from bleeding and being awarded with a special "Clinical Nurse Specialist of Penile Pressure" award from all the blokes on the shift. Ha Ha.

    So, I agree with you nursing can be **** and indeed has suffered from pathetic pay, conditions of exposing its members to violence and abuse from those for whom they care and those with whom they work, and some pathetic attitudes from society towards this profession. However, I did as most have suggested, changed career direction, went 'horizontally' and 'vertically' within nursing, seeking for better conditions and found the further I got away from clinical nursing, the more I missed that special human bonding and patient contact. A masochist? Maybe, but when I was confronted in the lift on an especially depressing day, (meaning as a Nurse Educator in hospital at the time I was dismayed at the deteriorating quality of nursing care), by a bright enthusiastic and idealistic young thing who asked me, "Are you a nurse", I said yes. She then told me excitedly of her bright plans to enter into nursing starting as an Enrolled Nurse and how she couldn't wait. And then she asked me that question, "Do you think nursing is good career, I mean, do you still love it?" I had to smile in megawatt fashion and found myself (like an out of body experience over which I had no control) saying YES, I love nursing, and I could never leave it.

    What you may ask, may be the point of this long saga in relation to your facts and figures? I'm not sure, but I enjoyed the diversion, didn't you? However, over a long period of time I have seen many of my dear nursing colleagues and friends become disgruntled, just as you, go off in search of better pay, conditions via new qualifications and different career paths (engineering, hospitality, business management, research and development, electricians, science arts and humanities, etc etc.) and the majority bounced back to nursing, carrying on happily complaining about the ill treatment and patheticness of nursing .. .maybe we are all masochists??
    Maybe they missed the wheelchair races or the imitations of Torvill and Dean on the drip stands, or perhaps the singalongs with complementary didjerdoo accompaninent thanks to the big tube hose thing from the spirometer, or the adrenaline and excitement, the details, the confrontations, the reams of paperwork, the bone splitting tiredness and almost falling asleep at the wheel of the car on the way home from nightshift or not being able to get to sleep till 2 or 3 am after evening shift and having to start at 7 am the next day, or missing your kids and your spouse/partner, or the sweet special contact of connecting with a patient or one of their family and making a difference in their lives. I am sorry, but you just cannot compare this profession of nursing with being a plumber or electrician or janitor, no matter what the unfairness in earnings differences is, it is just too complex and the reasons it attracts the people it does are even more so.

    What is the solution??? Well its no good to sit there and be all idealistic constantly and blame the system and the doctors and the PAs and etc and so forth. . . what is needed is some kick ass union action, and unfortunately, nursing, particularly in the US has never had any.(in fact organisations I am aware of in US - long term care facilities make it a big part of their orientation prattle to warn employees off joining unions behind veiled threats). It also needs more than that, it needs nurses willing and assertive enough to say . . . I deserve respect, care and remuneration and I will not stand by and let my profession get replaced with a cheapened and tarted up versions of nurses as produced by various bodies such as the bloody A.M.A. Until we stop ******** and start uniting, alas, it may never happen because we continually see ourselves as so helpless, disenfranchised and unempowered. We need to seek support from others to guide us into such a new era of change in health care and our profession. We need to insist on organisations for which we work being people organisations of quality, knowledge organisations that have vision and mission statements befitting best current business and healthcare practices, which by the way are always of benefit to both staff and the old bottom line dollar.

    I know of such nurses who did have a background in business and resigned from jobs in hospitals that 'did not care' and were 'old fashioned' and everything horrible that you can imagine and had these same organisations begging to have them back. Now they have acted as change agents and created clinical development units and a new style of practice. why? because they did not settle for less, they did not sit back and smugly say, "i am a virtuous person and in it only for the good I can do unto others, I even have a 'calling' to the profession, blah blah'" They stood up for themselves, offered solutions that were well thought out, brilliant even and bargained their way into better conditions, not just money, although that was a part of it, but also status and recognition, job satisfaction, and more importantly, improved work conditions, particularly big improvements in staff morale and quality of patient care outcomes. Yes, they are few and far between, but we all need to learn these new ways of adapting, changing and improving, not to work harder and smarter and all that rubbish, but to respect ourselves and what we do, because by sitting there and saying 'I don't do it for the money" is tantamount to saying "I don't need the money, I am a doormat, and look, Mr/Ms administrator, you can walk all over me as much as you want. If this is the way you feel, then how could you possibly be a competent patient advocate and able to stand up to pressures to do things the quick way instead of the right way, or to become a type of handmaiden (or man)????

    One area that the NSW Nurses Union and Australian Nurses Federation has been successful here with in Australia is assisting in the goal of streamlining professional RN entry as a BN Degree, all other levels of nursing articulate educationally and thereby encourage this modus operandi, there by limiting the divide and conquer mentality a bit. Another area helped by the unions, although it is a constant battle and requires unceasing vigilance is that administrative and staff development positions are protected and fought for in our award so that they have to be advertised as nursing positions and mandate that essential criteria state that the successful applicant has to be Registered as a Nurse! But we have a long way to go as well, so good luck to all of you as well, since we are in it together. (sorry this is so long, I am up way past my bedtime, night night).
  7. by   America
    I have only been a nurse for 2 years and in in this short period of time I have grown very unhappy with nursing. I work in a busy medical floor. We are understaff most of the time, we never leave on time, it is hard to take dinner breaks, not even time to go to the bathroom... There is little consideration from management and complaining about it doesn't really make any difference... I am sorry I chose nursing as a profession! But at this point I need to continue working so I can pay my loans... It is sad to think that I spent 4 years of my life going to school and making so many sacrifices thinking I could make a difference, just to find out this sad reality of nursing... I find myself mentally, physically and emotionally drained... No wonder so many nurses are burned out. Many patients say "you nurses are angels" and I think to my self "you have no idea!" We have to be angels in order to tolerate such working conditions... I wish I found this website before I went to nursing school...
    Nursedude, unfortunatelly, I understand how you feel!
  8. by   asdfghjkl
    I will not recommend nursing as a career at least here in the US.. I have been an RN since 1994. I am burned out.I had needlesticks twice, been yelled at, insulted, harassed, by nursing supervisors, other nurses, doctors, patients. Many times I would go home crying. Recently I have sprained my ankle.My supervisor says I may go under investigation because I reported it late. I am really frustrated, depressed.
    No amount of money would compensate for these stresses.
    Those who say that nursing is about "helping people" are deluding themselves. You are all living in a dream.No, not here in the United States. Nursing here is about covering your ***; making profits.
    All my nurse friends think the same way. This is the reality. Let it be known.
  9. by   missippy39
    Originally posted by Nurse Kate:
    Boy, after sitting here for 30 minutes reading all of these replys I feel really depressed about becoming a nurse. Is this what I have to look forward to? All these feelings of anger and resentment. I hope not. Sometimes, it is easier to remember the bad times and not the good. Lately I have been questioning my choice of becoming a nurse. But let me tell you I know a lot of people who aren't nurses who moan and groan about there jobs. Nothing is perfect. Perhaps we all need to remember the old saying, 'the grass is always greener on the other side.'
    I agree with the respondent who wrote education is the key. It is! Nursing is such a diversified field. There are so many opportunities in nursing, just open your eyes and look!
    By the way, yes, I am one of those "blonde Florence Nightengales" that you, nurse dude, so fondly look down upon. And you know what? I am proud to say it!
    So, would I recommend nursing as a profession? YES! As long as a person goes into it with their eyes wide open, not with the blinders on.
  10. by   jmangel
    I agree with you 100% nurse dude. What other profession are you required to work weekends, nights, holidays and mandatory overtime regardless if you have a family or a life of your own.

    What other profession do you receive physicial, mental and verbal abuse and you have no legal ground to do anything.

    What other profession pays proverty wages after requiring a college education, passing a national test and continous updating of your education.

    What other profession requires you to work as a slave to other people whom have no regard for you expert knowledge or overload of work. No matter what you do or how much you do it is never enough. You are still treated like a stupid servent.

    I am on medical leave from my job now and I have no intention of going back to nursing.
    I would rather work in as a waitress, as least I would be compensated from the customers for my hard work.
  11. by   laurier
    Amen to nursedude!
    Now-those of you who say he's angry, needs to get out of nursing, burned out, etc:

    1) Seems to me the country is in a nursing shortage. Can we afford to tell someone to LEAVE?!
    2) If you can work in this profession for a time and NOT get angry about what's happening-THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG.
    3) What's wrong with being compensated for what we do? We are highly trained, very smart and work under some ungodly conditions; we work weird hours/holidays/weekends; we see some things that would make a billygoat puke....We are responsible for LIVES. Why should we do this for less than we are worth?????
    4) I, too, went into nursing to make a difference in people's lives....but, if I don't take care of my own, nobody else will.
    If I don't try to effect change-nobody will.
    If I just sit back, argue, and backstab-nothing changes.
    5) We NEED people to get angry! Nurses get physically/verbally abused by physicians, demeaned by is NOT healthy to put up with things and just rationalize "oh, well, that's part of the job" ???????What's wrong with this picture?
    6) Nursing NEEDS people who call it like it is-and not be afraid to call a spade a spade.
    7) Ask yourself:"Would DOCTORS put up with this?"

  12. by   laurier
    " get out of it what you put into it." ?????????
    I have been an RN for 13 years. I worked ER, ICU, Float, Nursing home. I always strived to know more, do more. I read everything I could get my hands on about medicine. I taught ACLS, certified in TNCC, PALS, you name it. I took Paramedic training.
    What did I get for that? Short staffing. Seeing murder-suicides, gangs, verbal/emotional/physical abuse from doctors, no administrative support, lousy hours, lots of missed holidays with my family, AND the opprotunity of watching grateful family members say "Thank you" to DOCTORS when a life was saved.
    Nevermind the fact that it was usually my observations, hunches, and experience that enabled ME to let the doc know in the first place.
    So-DO NOT tell me that. It's insulting.

    Can't we STOP berating each other and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT INSTEAD!!!!!

  13. by   laurier
    Who are YOU to say whether someone deserves to be a nurse or not?

    Nursedude has put in a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears in this profession.

    Have some respect.

    Is arguing changing anything? NO.

    Any questions?

    Anybody ready for a solution?

    We cannot afford to tell fellow nurses,"If you don't like it, leave."

    Do doctors, lawyers, accountants tell each other this? NO.

    Let's USE the people like Nursedude-not throw them away because they don't sound "right". Nurses aren't garbage-you don't just throw them away.

    And for the person who said, "Become a garbage collector instead." WHO THE HECK are you? This is a fellow nurse!