Nursing is pathetic... - page 6

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   LFMRN
  2. by   Sad in Arizona
    Nursing has the potential to be a great career and I have definitely had a few days that I have walked away feeling really good about the work that I have done. However, our hospital is going though a transition for the worse. A patient load of 12 on med/surg is not unheard of with one aide to assist you and no charge nurse. In addition, an LPN who has the same sized patient load as you needs you to give all her IV meds, start her IV's, do her admissions etc. My problem is that it is simply not safe !!!! It is impossible to even give all you medications even close to when they are supposed to be given let alone do treatments or teach. The other day I had a patient who was crying, I was unable to sit and talk with her and there was no one else available to do so. I can back and checked on her every few minutes, but this was simply not adequate. Everyone made it through the shift alive but I certainly did not provide quality care. My supervisor says that I need to be more positive and think about all the things that I accomplished. She says I should feel good about it because of that. I don't. I don't think that hospitals should be able to have unsafe staffing ratios and from what I have read here and elsewhere, it is pretty much the same all over. Until nursing returns back to the patient first, I have to agree with Nursedude.
  3. by   mavis
    I agree in part that nursing has become a THANKLESS PROFESSION. But to say that nusing is PATHETIC, is a strong term. I think it is definitely what you put into it. Unfourtunately we sometimes want to do more and are stopped, be it by administration or policies. I also believe that in some cases nurses are under paid but if you want the money you go somewhere else, I worked in a unit for 5 yrs as a tech and got my RN, that unit paid me 17 dollars an hour(as an RN), now I am in a unit with much better staffing, better PT care, and feel safe in the enviroment, my pay doubled. It is true that other profession's make more and DO LESS but it is was hopefully your choice to choose this SOMETIMES THANKLESS profession. I don't think anyone held a gun to your head when you took the state boards....OUR DID THEY??

  4. by   SSUleader
    Wow, you sparked quite a response! I am one of four nursing students in this group that we call "SSU leader". We are trying to complete an assignment where we lead a discussion. You seem to be a popular guy, so this may be a good lead.

    You say that nursing is pathetic. Just curious, is nursing pathetic or are nurses causing it to be pathetic? I believe that we all contribute to nursings short comings, one of those is we play a victim role. What I mean is that instead of trying to change things, we'd rather ***** about them. (I'm not speaking of anyone in particular, just as a group of professionals, we seem to do this.) I was happy to read your response about what you did to change your course and I'd love to hear more about what you are doing now, specifically on why it makes you happier.

    I am sad that you find nursing to be pathetic. Personally, I am so EXCITED to be a nurse! I'm sure that when you were in my shoes, you were excited too, so you probably know where I'm coming from. I'm doing my senior preceptorship in the ER, and I really can't express in words how much I love it. I really feel like I'm in my element. I feel like I've chosen a career that fits me well. Where I live (North of San Francisco, CA) pay is quite good. The range is approximately $22-$28/hour, with benefits. Money isn't a huge issue, but I'll admit it's important. I think that the pay is good (here) but I agree that we are underpaid. Really though, can you put a price on what we do? We nourish bodies and souls. Our work is priceless.

    You probably already know this, but I just heard it and I think it's pretty cool. Nurses are the most trusted people in the world. I think that's something we should be proud of.

    One more question for Nurse dude and anyone who would like to enrich my education (and help me get this assignment done!!!):

    What do you feel are some of the most important issues in nursing, and what can nurses do to change them?

    Thanks for your time! It's greatly appreciated!

    Amanda, almost a nurse

  5. by   megNurse
    I just recently graduated in May and am just starting my first job as a Registered Nurse. I never once during school questioned my decision to go into nursing. I'm not working in the specialty i want to but have my foot in the door and am enjoying every moment of it.
    As for nursedude- no one ever questioned your ability to be a nurse. I think most people could do the actions that we do as nurses. Most of the procedures that we do could be learned by most. I'm not saying anyone can do what we do, but most could perform the actions, not necessarily critically act on all we see and do. I think many were questioning your ability to be compassionate and caring for your patients. If you don't love ( or at least like alot) what you are doing i think it would be hard to be compassionate and truly be a good nurse. All your anger about your chosen profession can come across in your care and believe me your patients can tell. I wouldn't want an unhappy nurse taking care of me.
  6. by   SSUleader
    Thanks so much for your response. Just one clarification: when I said, "really how could you put a price on what we do?", I didn't in any way mean it as a statement that undervalues nursing. Quite the opposite really. I just don't know how to put a dollar sign on saving a life, or helping someone after a stroke. That's all I meant.

    I am still very interested in hearing other peoples opinions on what you see as some of the most important issues in nursing. Please let me know!!

    Thanks, Amanda
  7. by   prnrnhiusa
    Hi nurses: I was fascinated by all the messages and I felt really sad for all those who are disgruntled, burnt out. I live in a city outside of Toronto,Canada and been here
    for 7 years due to my husband's job transfer. I'm an RN with more than 20 years experience,worked in the US(WestCoast)
    since graduation in ICU,Tele and E.R. Here, I tried very hard to find A nursing job,but had the most difficult time. I finally worked casual thru an agency, then I went to work in a community setting as a visiting nurse,also as a casual employee.Last January, the agency that I worked for lost its govt. contract and we all got laid off in our office. Ontario hospitals talk a lot about nursing shortages, but there really isn't much of a job out there. My work hrs. were varied and pay was CDN$18/visit. If one is the sole breadwinner, she/he won't be able to pay the bills. At present, most of the RNS go to the US to work. If somebody has to ask me " would I recommend nursing as a career here in Ontario?" I definitely will say NO. My other co-nurses with no stable jobs will attest to this. I love nursing and that's NO KIDDING! If we move back to the US(hopefully, someday soon), I will probably go back to nursing. But since I don't have much of a choice at this time (and I've grown to love Canada despite it all),I started to go back to school and went many steps higher. I am going to med school and so is my other dear co-nurse friend who just passed her MCAT and got accepted also in med. school.She was also a victim of this nursing circus here. So to make the story short, if one is totally burnt out and it has come to a point of no return, try get into another career. There's no point staying in nursing if one is not happy.
  8. by   nursedude

    Here are my "replies" to your questions. They are only my opinions- (keep in mind that I am a crazy freak [according to most others]for expressing what I think.)

    1)is nursing pathetic or are nurses causing it to be pathetic?

    2)I was happy to read your response about what you did to change your course and I'd love to hear more about what you are doing now, specifically on why it makes you happier.

    3)Really though, can you put a price on what we do?

    4)What do you feel are some of the most important issues in nursing, and what can nurses do to change them?

    1. It's a combination of things...For years nurses took a "back seat" to other professionals. For instance when I went through nursing school one of my (older) instructors told me how nurses used to give up their seats so that the doctor could sit down...(*****)

    This "back seat" mentality continues on today. I hear it all the time: "Nursing is primarily a "woman's" profession...." How ironic that in a "woman's" profession the women give up their seats for "men" to sit down!

    I get it too. "Oh, youre a "male" nurse". Okay, so when the plumber comes do you hear "Oh, youre a "male" plumber" or when the mail comes "Oh youre a "female" mailman?"

    Another one of the points here that will keep nursing "pathetic" or a "women's" profession is that "UNTIL NURSES DO PUT A PRICE ON WHAT WE DO(#3),THE NURSING PROFESSION WILL CONTINUE TO ERODE."

    ******My opinion is that If assuming the responsibility of an RN, or for being "the most trusted people in the world"(your words) for advancing yourself to the level in medicine(and in life) where peoples lives count on your skills and critical decision making abilities commands a low (average?) wage , what does this profession command in the way of respect???? Do you see my point? (Does anyone?)*****

    Sure, there are other factors at work here like- Society, HMO's, Managed care etc...But there is no one outside of nursing that will do anything for nursing except nurses. If it were up to the hospitals and HMO's and managed care I think there would be less nurses! I see nursing almost like the civil rights movement except there is no president Lincoln, no Martin Luther King Jr. (I do not intend to make anyone upset here) and no movement. I see Nursing continue to be oppressed and the majority of nurses continue to feel as if they can't do anything or don't care to do anything. Again,I think that because nursing is/was a "woman's" profession that nurses have become accustomed to their "good" pay. For crying out loud, that "good" pay is at best a "good" second income! I feel that nursing is allowing itself to be oppressed. I feel that nurses are "satisfied" with their wages. I don't feel that nurses are paid nearly what they are worth both monetarily speaking and in the terms of respect....In other words nurses have setled for less for so long that they are unable to see what their value/incomes/respect really are!

    2. What makes me happier now is that I am in a business that rewards merit. I am no longer busting my butt for nothing. The harder I work the more I make. I am no longer exposed to life threatening diseases on a daily basis for nothing. If I do extra, I am paid extra. I am not "expected" to risk my health.

    I no longer do things that the CEO or owner of my company is not capable of doing. My immediate supervisor "covers" me if I am ill or busy. I am encouraged to learn more and become more involved at work and when I do I am rewarded. I have now entered a profession that has much REAL potential for advancement. I have a great medical plan and a great retirement plan.

    I consider myself at the bottom of the totem pole where I work yet I find that I am respected and valued. I guess that's the difference. As a nurse I do not feel valued...

    Again, see my point in response number 1. My experience as a nurse has shown me that when my nursing supervisor told me she "valued" me she really meant "If you don't work then I'll have to cover your shift." And when I worked at the insurance company and was told that I was "valued" I was also expected to show a minumum cost savings of $25,000 dollars a month- more than half of my yearly salary.(Actually, I can't recall any of my previous "higher ups" saying that they valued me as a nurse. I'm just trying to make a point.)

    I also started my own company. The service that this company provides is: We obtain $$MONEY$$ for people(patients) that had their claims denied by their HMO or insurance company. On a few occasions we obtained reimbursement from hospitals as well. I must say that this is where I get a certain "joy" out of life. Sticking it to the overvalued executives and administrators in healthcare/insurance and returning the $$$ to the patient.

    3. See number 1 and 2. If professional baseball players can put a price on what they do (ie: play a damn game), why can't nurses? What kind of question are you asking here SSUleader? Why are you "undervalueing" nursing with the question "can you put a price on what we do?"? This is part of my point...Maybe there is no way of putting a price on what we do. If that is the case, then why aren't we paid, valued and respected more?

    4. See number 1, 2, 3. I quit my full time job as a nurse. That is one of the biggest statements I feel that I could make. I also am a member of the Pa. Nurses Association. I also inform as many people(non nurses about how I feel about all of the above).

  9. by   nursedude

    I didn't mean anything personal. I just feel that the wages that nurses accept are crap... I mean, if baseball players can get millions of dollars to play a stupid game why can't nurses expect more than what they get paid presently? Do you remeber that baseball players strike a few years ago? The professional baseball players felt that they were being underpaid...They were making BIG bucks at the time. What is it that they do that is so important that they needed more money for?

    I have and I know other nurses whom I have worked with that have saved peoples lives. I have worked with paramedics and EMT's who have saved peoples lives. Why, why, why are we so underpaid? Why are we so undervalued? In todays world (and it is sad to say)- the amount of value and respect you recieve is commensurate with the salary that you command. Sure, there are other rewards that come with nursing but how low can we go?

    My belief is that you may be correct by saying that it's not possible to put a pricetag on what we do; However, because we don't (or won't) put a pricetag on it we are drastically shortchanging ourselves and quite possibly our patients as well.

    The point that I wanted to get accross in my previous post was that nurses for so long allowed themselves to be considered and paid very little. This in my opinion has snowballed out of control. Sure, there are MANY nurses out there that just think that the current state of the nursing profession is just all peaches and cream...My point of view is nowhere near this...I have had other jobs outside of nursing. Currently I work full-time in another field and all I can say is that Nurses are under-paid, under-valued and under-respected. To top it all off, I think that the majority of nurses who so strongly opposed my views are part of this problem; That is, because they think that the pay is so good and that there are so many opportunities and because they are "so rewarded" in other ways they are slitting thier own throats. Eventually those nurses are the ones who will allow nurse's salaries to drop so low that the majority of nurses won't be able to afford to work as a nurse!

    I feel that the nursing profession as a whole has the potential to be one of the strongest professions in the world but because it has traditionally been a "woman's profession" and allowed itself to be so under-paid, under-valued and under-respected that it is currently in a very sad state (ie: pathetic). I think that the nurses who oppose me in this little bulletin board discussion are blind to this reality. It's as if they are brainwashed into believing that they are valued and that they are respected and paid well. What the heck is wrong with them? Can't they see that their lovely little profession is on the verge of extinction? Good grief! Why is it that here in Pittsburgh Pa. where I live and work that the wage for a bus driver starting out is the average wage of a RN with 10 years of experience? (Sure I know, I know...Someone out there is going to tell me to try being a busdriver if I am so unhappy about being a nurse...I hear it coming already...) My point is that nursing is one of a few professions that is so underpaid. It sickens me when I read the responses from nurses who tell me that I am wrong for feeling this way and that I must be a bad nurse because I am in nursing for all of the wrong reasons..For crying out loud! To all those who tell me this- You mean to tell me that you don't work for money? You work because of the "other rewards" that you recieve from nursing? Hello, thats all lovey dovey and all but I think that that is one of the biggest problems in this profession. I'm sure that bus-drivers here in Pittsburgh get a lot out of their jobs too- Oh how touching!
    Heck, I bet baseball players even get "other rewards" and maybe some of them feel as if baseball was a "calling" and not a job.

    When a patient is admitted into a hospital are they admitted because of the equiptment in the hospital? The CAT scanner? The ventilators? The special mattresses on the beds? NO! They are admitted primarily for the NURSING CARE !

    Contrary to popular belief the reason that there are patients in hospitals and nursing homes and extended care facilities is because of the nursing care.

    MY POINT IS: Nursing is a profession that is VERY underpaid. Most nurses allow this underpayment to continue and the majority of these nurses are blind to the reality that they are underpaid. Because of this fact, Nursing is also under respected. Because nurses don't care much about that nursing is under valued.

    Until nurses are paid what they are worth and until nurses realize that they are not respected and not valued my opinions will not change. Nor will I allow another hospital or other employer to exploit my abilities as a nurse. I guess you could say that "I am on strike" as a nurse until I get more than what other nurses are accustomed to.
  10. by   nursedude
    Here is what I am talking about. This was posted by prnhiusa in her last post:

    "I live in a city outside of Toronto,Canada and been here
    for 7 years due to my husband's job transfer. I'm an RN with more than 20 years experience,worked in the US(WestCoast)...My work hrs. were varied and pay was CDN$18/visit. If one is the sole breadwinner, she/he won't be able to pay the bills."

    <<<<<HELLO>>>>> a professional with 20 years experience should not have to depend on "the breadwinner" to pay the bills...

    *****Does anyone see my point?******

    (Go ahead, tell me that I am crazy, that I am a "bad" nurse and that I am in it for all the wrong reasons....)

    Yeah, yeah, so she lives in Canada. My point is that as a professional with 20 years experience why did they have to leave? Why couldn't the professional with 20 years experience be the breadwinner? Could it be that those 20+ years of experience don't add up enough to pay the bills in the USA as well? (Those 20+ years should be more than ample to pay the ******* bills/be the breadwinner!!!They would be in most any other profession.) Oh, but I am wrong again- I know shame, shame on me....I am in it for all the wrong reasons...Let me guess...I should be lucky that I have a job?

    W.U.N. Wake Up Nurses! Why can't YOU be the breadwinners?

    (PRNHIUSA- please don't take this post personal)

    Would I recommend Nursing as a career?
    I feel much the same as Nursedude...
    We are POORLY paid. It is sad.
    We are not "Just-A-Nurse", and I wish Nurses would quit referring to themselves as such. Have a little pride in your profession.
    When I began nursing school fourteen years ago, I heard the "I'm glad to see more men in Nursing". Traditionally, men were nurses, long before Florence Nightingale. We (men) have yet to overcome the in-fighting among our profession members, women AND men. We, nurses, need to stand together to support each other, before we can bring about change, especially in how society and our administrations treat us.
    As the profession stands, I would not recommend anyone enter into it, without a major overhaul.
  12. by   Nancy1
    After reading all these posts, I wonder what profession would you recommend?
    After all of this I have to tell you I must be one lucky nurse because I have doctors who respect me and my decision making abilities, I have a DON who believes in me and gives me room to grow, I have an IDT that works well together, I have a CEO who tells me I am doing a great job, I have residents who appreciate me, and family members who are appreciative.
    I am sorry that there are so many out there who do not have the excitement that I have when I go in to work each day. I work in a not for profit LTC facility that is expanding and I get to help design my new units.
    For any of you out there that are feeling the stirrings of discontentment, I ask you to start looking for another area of nursing that you might like. Don't give up on nursing because of the facility, move on and be successful elsewhere.
    Oh, Nursedude, I hear your "loveydovey". My friends tell me I have too much enthusiasm. I was a CNA for 10 years prior to my RN. I knew what I was getting into. I still love it.
    To all you nursing students, I just want to say look for your niche and you will enjoy nursing.
    Best of luck to all of you. NA
  13. by   SSUleader
    I can see your point, but I am still very excited to become a nurse. For the past 2 months, I have been doing my senior preceptorship in a local ER. Even in that short a time period, I do see some of the limitations and downfalls of nursing. But, I'm still at the edge of my seat excited! I'm excited to begin my first career (I started college when I was 18, now I'm 22). I haven't been exposed to what you experienced nurses have been, and I have not argued with your opinions. In fact, I feel really lucky to have been able to be part of these discussions, and in a sense, prepare myself for the politics of this new career. One thing really stands out about your last post. What can nurses do to increase our pay? It seems like it will take a huge effort by a very large number of nurses to get the ball rolling. Maybe that's why things haven't changed, because there is a lot standing in our way. But this new "nursing shortage" may be to our financial advantage. Or else it will kill those of us who stay in the profession.

    Thanks again for the feedback, it is much appreciated.