Nursing is pathetic... - page 21

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
    Pa. nurses fed up with short staffing

    Launch fight vs. mandatory overtime

    Dispatch/Sunday News

    Registered nurses face longer hours, sicker patients and more patients -- and the result is unhappy workers and a mass exodus from the profession, according to a survey released yesterday by a union that represents nurses.

    In fact, 56 percent of nurses say they would not have entered the profession if they had to make the decision again, according to the largest statewide survey ever of registered nurses. The poll of 6,000 nurses was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals and was released in Harrisburg yesterday.

    "Watching the nursing profession is similar to watching a slow-moving train wreck," said state Rep. Dan Surra, D-Elk/Clearfield.

    According to the survey, the No. 1 issue that makes a nurse's job hard is short staffing, followed by arbitrary management decisions, lack of input, lack of flexibility in scheduling and mandatory overtime.

    Surra is sponsoring legislation to ban mandatory overtime, a move suggested by 64 percent of nurses in the survey. The study revealed that 47 percent of nurses were required to work mandatory overtime over the past few years.

    "It means that when you go to work, you don't know whether you will be there eight hours or 16 hours, or whether you will be there to pick your children up at school, or take care of other critical personal needs," said Linda Uranosky, a nurse who spoke at the press conference.

    The association presented 6,000 cards from RNs to legislators in a plea to support the ban on mandatory overtime.

    Beyond that, fixing the problem requires mandating nurse-to-patient ratios, more state and federal funding and incentives to create a better pool of nursing school applicants --including minorities and men, said executive director of PASNAP Bill Cruice.

    "Is it gonna cost more? Yeah, it will," said Cruice. He said money is needed in the right places --personnel, not infrastructure.

    Remedy and cause: The president of the nurses' association blames the problems on the health care industry.

    "The nursing shortage is a self-inflicted wound, the predictable result of years of cutting costs," said Teri Evans, nurse and president of PASNAP.

    The survey found that:

    A majority of nurses do non-nursing duties including answering the phone, transporting patients, and cleaning and delivering food trays.

    84 percent of nurses have less time for their patients than they did "a couple of years ago."

    25 percent of nurses say the facility is short-staffed "all of the time."

    92 percent of nurses experienced increased levels of stress "over the past couple of years."

    The majority of nurses that responded to the survey work in hospitals, and it was sent to 50,000 of the 180,000 registered nurses statewide.

    While 31 percent of those surveyed said they were in the field for 26 years or more, nurses entering the profession now are expected to stay less than five years.

    "If we can keep them five years, we're lucky," said Evans. One reason the nursing supply can't keep up with the demand is that women have more career opportunities and can find easier, better paying jobs, she said.

    "Health care as a whole is not really appealing for anybody right now," Evans said.

    P.S. Good luck Whip...

  2. by   thewhip
    Hey Nursedude! Thanks!

    That's pretty sad information but I know its true. Wonder what the future holds??? Anyway thanks, it is a real look at what students are getting into... Hope we can hack it! There's good times and bad. I'll sure try to stay positive! Thanks! Good Luck to you! Kristy
  3. by   Bobrn
    Just spent a few hours reading most of this thread. I applaud Nursedude and the thread title "Nursing is pathetic". It seems that the thread title isn't to demean those working in the field personally, but rather the conditions in which nursing as a career has evolved to. The title itself catches attention, and stimulates emotion and controversy.

    Being a young 25 year old male nurse, I don't have the experience of most of the posters here! I have never seen the workloads described, as I am fortunate to be in an area where the workloads are kept at a safe level.

    I entered nursing as a transitional job, between restaurants and figuring out what I would really like to do. Eventually ended up in a open heart ICU, which is something I do enjoy. However....

    I will not be spending my life doing this job. Halfway through nursing school, I realized that this is not going to be my career. Why? Read the other messages in this thread, I think most of them speak for themselves=)

    Truly, if nursing is a field that one is called to work in, then by all means, stick with it and be happy.

    Healthcare is a business. I agree, nurses deserve more money and better working conditions. To accomplish this, money is required, whether federally funded (not likely) or created within an organization. With nursing as the largest segment of healthcare providers, to drastically increase salary would take an incredible amount of money. To create this money, there would need to be increased compensation from insurance, HMO's and Medicare. I doubt you will get CEO's and executives to decrease their salaries. A good CEO can turn an organization around and create additional capital (e.g. Interventional Cardiology and referrals for thus are a big money maker in my area, as well as many others I am sure). By no means am I a healthcare business expert, these are just some observations by a nurse.

    Safer working conditions seems to be an easier goal to achieve than drastic salary increases. You must prove to your organization that by improving working conditions and increasing benefits to a degree will increase long term retention, thus decreasing recruiting and training expenses, therefore creating long term savings. Another point is that by decreasing dangerous conditions, patient safety is maintained, preventing prolonged admissions and lawsuits resulting from errors due to dangerous conditions. There are two large hospitals in my area, that are private not for profits, that recognize this. Incidentally, the larger University hospitals are usually where you hear the horror stories=)

    Personally, I will eventually achieve a MBA . And I will not be in healthcare organization. Nursing has not evolved into its current state of affairs overnight, and thus most likely will not change overnight. And I do not plan on spending my life, my time and energies attempting to change them. You won't see me picketing on the Congress lawn, but you can guarantee I'll support pro nursing legislation with my votes! My wife and I will have children someday, and my priorities will change. No longer will I want to work every weekend, holiday, rotate day and night, take call and miss out on the life of my children. I hope to stay out of similar situations in any career choice.

    On the flip side, what I do now is ok by me. I see myself as a deliverer of excellent customer service to my service line (Cardiovascular). To deliver this service, I must do the best job I can. I develop the knowledge to take care of my patient population. I strongly advocate for my patients and am highly proactive. I do not take abuse, but try to remember to maintain professionalism and courtesy that can be so hard to maintain. Compassion becomes a side product of the above. For others, compassion is developed first. Perhaps it is just a more logical way of looking at things for myself. The gratitude from these mostly elective open heart surgery patients is very fulfilling. I do feel like I have made a difference at times.

    I plan on travel nursing for a short period of time. And I am doing it mainly for money, with seeing the country as an additional perk. Then, I will pursue my education, and be able to work fulltime and attend school fulltime. While I am in this field, I plan on utilizing the benefits and flexibility of nursing while I can!

    I personally would not recomend nursing as a career choice. Howver, if it is your calling, then follow your heart, maintain a positive attitude and enthusiasm, and seek out positive solutions to the many challenges of nursing!

    Hopefully this makes sense=) A few hours of reading threads after a 12 hour shift is probably not the best time to post thought with clarity!

    Remember: Life is a problem. Living is solving those problems!
  4. by   SpecFuz
    Why is so many non-traditional students (like myself) choose nursing as a second-career and re-enter school if it is so horrible? Isn't it strange?

    After reading thru these posts, it seems the overwhelming majority feels at best, that it's somewhat worth it but clearly the working conditions in some hospitals make it unbearable.

    As someone leaving a well-paying office job that does not have to interact with diseases or the responsibility of saving one's life, I question why in the world then, am I drawn to nursing?

    Maybe it answers an age-old question that nursing has been around and will always be around because it's needed. People need to be taken care of, and people want to take care of others.

    That's the main reason for me. Do I really care about if my computer freezes and I don't get that email out by the end of the day? Nope. And if I don't care, then what's the point in going every day to work?

    So as a soon-to-be student re-entering college to go for nursing, I give you that as my thought. And for all the nurses that have been doing this for a very long time, I give you loads of respect. What you do is necessary, it's honorable, and it does make a difference. Be proud of yourselves. I will be if I am an RN one of these days.

    BTW, I recognize this is all a little naive but, having worked in high-profile office jobs in Manhattan, I can tell you that every job has it's drawbacks, politics, and difficulties...hopefully nursing at least will make all that worthwhile. We'll see.
  5. by   nursedude

    (do you know what the above is? - Shame on you if you don't!)
    Last edit by nursedude on Apr 6, '02
  6. by   gwenhyfar
    How sad to be so unhappy. I have, after 23 years at one facility, recently moved my family and I to another town, and another job. I felt I was stagnating in my old job, and though I was well respected, and got along well with my co-workers, and Dr's, and loved my area, my new boss did not love me.
    My attitude was going downhill fast, and I was actually thinking about leaving Nursing alltogether.
    Thank God I checked out jobs online. Nursing has such a wide variety of available jobs, and since I really do love, it, I found a great job at a great teaching facility in Lubbock. It has saved my attitude, and my happiness with nursing is restored.
    Nursing is NOT pathetic, but maybe someone who stays in it when they are so unhappy is.
  7. by   ljb
    "Nursing is NOT pathetic, but maybe someone who stays in it when they are so unhappy is."

    I think that says it very well, and I think that if "NurseDude" spent half as much time trying to explore other job possibilities as he does on this thread, he might be able to move on with his life.
  8. by   pukahi
    My daughter has shown interest in Pediatric Nursing. Is there a positive person out there that could offer information on how to get started. She's trying to find her path and I beleive this could be it. I need to know where she should start.
  9. by   Fgr8Out
    It seems to me that if Nursedude would spend HALF as much time and energy in his chosen Profession as he does on this post he might actually make a difference in the health care of his patients.

    SOMEONE needs to find a new job... and it ain't me, babe.
  10. by   ma kettle
    For those of you spanking nursedude. I challenge you to COME TO PITTSBURGH and work. Then you might understand.
    There are several adds for nurses in the local papers. They are with sign on bonous.

  11. by   gwenhyfar
    If Nursedude is unhappy in Pittsburgh, maybe he should move. I did, so I know it is hard, but it can be done, and there are lots of sign on bonuses, as well as moving bonuses out there right now.
  12. by   gwenhyfar
    Originally posted by pukahi
    My daughter has shown interest in Pediatric Nursing. Is there a positive person out there that could offer information on how to get started. She's trying to find her path and I beleive this could be it. I need to know where she should start.
    Mail me off post, and I will be glad to talk with your daughter.
  13. by   the new girl
    In response to all of these, I would just like to say...
    In every career you have your downfalls, whether you make minimum wage or millions. We all know that. But when I had a teenage girl walk up to me in the shopping mall (in a public area) a couple of months ago, and was not afraid to thank me for "everything you did for me in treatment" and proceeded to tell me all about whet she had been up to, .......
    you could not have put a price on the satisfaction I felt that day. Maybe it's just me, and maybe I'm not really in it for the $$$$, but it helps when you see effects of what you do... do the plumbers really care about the effects of what they do?? I don't think we would have picked nursing if we didn't care just a little to begin with. It's just the difference in people I guess.