I am going to be blunt and many newbies still in love with the idea of "making a difference to humanity" will disagree, and I mean NO disrespect to them, they are our future and I love them.
I am not disgruntled but will be honest and point blank here. After 15 years, with all the shift differentials working nights I make $35/hr. Sounds incredible doesn't it!
-I'm exposed without warning to TB, HIV and Hepatitis as well as MRSA and bring that home to my family
-I"m an ICU nurse, so I'm responsible for wiping the behind every 30 minutes of a GI bleed, the noncompliant renal failure getting kayexallate, the liver failure getting lactulose, the patient that refuses to use the call bell and just poops in the bed, the sedated patient on tube feeds that can't help it.
-The confused patient that is spitting and bites and kicks and hurts me, and no they are all not confused.
-The 86 year old patient end stage cancer DNR, that the family demands we code, against patient wishes.. again and again and again with no hope of a peaceful death.
-The drug seeker that manipulates, yells, demeans me with demands and calls management on me whom reply with "make them happy so our satisfaction scores are high no matter what"
-the 20yr. old that is in every, YES every week with DKA (they don't take their insulin and their body eats itself for food)... demanding high dose pain meds, a meal and the TV clicker and the VCR.
-The very routine 300lb-600 lb patients that have broken my back and my knees that refuse to lift a drink cup to their mouth and demand me to cater to them... but obviously could feed themselves.
-The shooting victims whom are "pillars of our society" that have every local "homey" on the street coming in all acting up carrying on deterring from really sick patients.
- The patients whom are kept alive on live support, suffering with no quality of life for TWO more weeks until the family gets that next social security check... and the first and 15th of the month is very common to withdraw life support after noon when the checks have cleared.
-Overdoses that result in multisystem body failures when they were simply a cry for help, many resulting in brain injuries which cause a vegatative status, while some wake up and scream that they failed
-Family drama, dysfunctional families in their worst stressful moments that bring all that crap into where I work and they make their issues more important than my patients.
-Management, all through a shift of this that rides my chaffed behind wanted 20 pages of charting filled out to get medical reimbursement while my patient is crashing, and my other one is one of the above.
Finally... the documenting... I have to cover my behind while writing a phone book because eveyone wants a quick buck and they'll sue me...and they do because there is always fault to find because we're simply human, trying our best in these and many more circumstances.
If you think this is worth $35/hr... knock your silly behind out. I have yet to teach you about press gainey and patient satisfaction scores... all while we have 24 hr. open visitation... have at it.
I need combat pay. That is the REAL world of being a nurse, what you do in between that makes a difference... barely keeps you whole.