Quote from chuckc
thank you for your insight. SmilingBlueEyes, I always enjoy reading your posts, lots of good information. I know it can't be always one on one and touchy feely, but I wish there could be some better solutions. I want to work in L&D when I get out. Just like the women in labor usually have to give up their fantasy labor, I need to give up my fantasy job. I know it is tough out there. I still will advocate for moms as best I can. Thanks for letting me share.
You have every right to share how you feel. I respect the passion and drive you feel.
However, truly, you may NOT like being an OB nurse, feeling how you do. Maybe, being a doula is better----you can concentrate on your client. Or maybe childbirth education would be a good pursuit for you.
Frankly, Nursing is rife with frustrations:
Difficult family members/patients (this is a given, but their sense of entitlement is horrible these days)
VERY difficult and intervention-loving physicians who actually hate natural childbirth cause there is so little "control" there. Yep I work with several that hold this attitude and feel I have to protect my patients' rights to this basic desire. Sad.....
High risk patient case loads that really make your work hard
High acuity in the general census that seems to get worse because of increasing diabetes and high blood pressure in young women each year---women are getting fatter, sicker and therefore, higher risk. It's nothing to see a young lady of 22 that is over 300lb---that in itself presents a HUGE risk medically, for her and her baby. It's become an epidemic. Add to that your mix of substance-abusers, homeless, and people never having had any sort of prenatal care, and the like, and you see how hard it can be for us to cope. WE assume liability for them the MINUTE they cross our glass doors, and it is stressful at times.
Cutbacks in funding for additional staff and amenities in some units.
Policies and procedures that do not agree with your personal ethics at times.
Ever-increasing requirements to maintain education on our own time that have very little to do with our specialty---takes a lot of time to do.
The ever-increasing paperwork nightmares that take us away from our patient's bedsides (if you see a nurse "sitting at a desk doing nothing"---she may be charting--it takes HOURS to chart on just one patient what all we have to do).
NO time for a basic food or toilet break in some of our busiest shifts. I have worked shifts where I realized, in shock, I did not empty my bladder for over 10-12 hours, due to being that busy.
Ungrateful and demanding management and administrators who have NO CLUE what we do, putting the yoke on our backs to "do more with less" increasingly. There are so many things "nursing" becomes responsible for---that have nothing whatever do with--nursing.
It goes on and on. These frustrations are just part of our jobs, but they do get to us at times. I try to see past these frustrations and remember the passion that led me to my calling as an OB nurse, but frankly, it gets tougher each year. We do the best we can and I think most of us perform admirably. I think some credit for this would be nice, but it's long overdue. I have seen many a bright, eager, new nurse become disillusioned in her first year, seeing "how it really can be" for us.
One more thing that really hurts us all: The ever-present threat of litigation if anything at all goes wrong---despite our lack of culpability in many cases. It's a very dark cloud that looms for each of us and does not necessarily improve the care delivered to the patients---it becomes a lot of CYA, really.
And the saddest part of our job? Having to help families cope with neonatal/pregnancy loss. I have cradled in my arms many times, the perfectly-formed dead body that was someone's dream, love, everything in their life. I have had to call funeral homes, priests, preachers and social workers to help such people in their insurmountable grief, sharing it and crying with them all the way, yet maintaining my professional bearing.....
Have you any concept how hard that is? And then to be expected to suddenly "switch gears" and rally for the new labor patient you received and be joyful and happy for HER situation? It's horribly hard, particularly for those of us who have ourselves endured losses, let me tell you. But it is part of the job.
But despite all of this: I love my job, I love my patients and the babies. If I could change ONE thing it would be to allow me the time to do care for them the way in each one deserves to be cared for. They are like my mothers, sisters and friends to me---each a human being who deserves the best.
So next time you see a tired, cranky or apparently-disillusioned nurse, maybe you can remember these things and have a little compassion for those expected to carry such compassion for everyone else.
So sorry this is so long, and preachy, but apparently, you touched a nerve in me. No personal offense here.