Hi All, I'm one of those people that were "called" to Nursing, love caring for others. Candy Striper in HS, 6 yrs as a Navy Hospital Corpsman, some yrs at home when our kids were young & finally Nursing School and my RN. My Dream/Goal was to be a Peds Nurse. No Peds jobs when I graduated, so I took a Med/Surg position for the experience - planned on staying a year and go into Peds. All the Peds jobs wanted people with experience, couldn't get experience without working in Peds - catch-22. So, 5yrs later, I'm still working Med/Surg, our floor just opened a tiny Peds wing, rarely any peds pts, but it's a start, still continue to apply for positions in other facilities that are strictly Peds.
Our Med/Surg floor isn't really Surg, considering most pt's are admitted with chest pain along with a myriad of other chronic diseases. They should re-name us the Cardiology/Diabetic/Geriatric floor - but none of us are Cardiology Nurses, so it's just a catch-all. All this time, I've been the weekend nights Charge. Day shift Charge has NO Patients, I have the same amt of pt's as the rest of the night crew, take admissions like everyone, along with the Charge responsibility- doing staffing, dealing with probems, going to Codes, taking over for the Secretaries when they're sent home at 3am due to decreased census. Never fails, the minute the Secretary clocks out, they're sending us more admissions - that would require her to stay. For all this extra agony, I'm paid a Kings Ransom - $1.00/hr. Yes, that is 1 Dollar an hour.
I've begged, pleaded with my Mgr to get some of the other Nurses to take turns being Charge. I was told to start orienting them to the position. They all said - Hell NO, they don't want the STRESS, I'm doing a good job, shut up about it. I don't want the STRESS either - I'm the oldest person on our shift, my BP is now scary HIGH and a few times in the last few months, when I've been totally overwhelmed, I've broken out "head to toe" in Hives, swelling face, burning skin. Went to the ER 1st time it happened, can't repeat what my BP was, got benadryl and told to de-stress my Life - Really?
The other night - I'm not only Charge, told 5 seconds after getting off the elevator, I've got 6 pt's, along with the 1st admission, who just rolled up from the ER & asking for pain meds. I had a full-load of pt's, all my charge stuff to do - a new admit on top of that was too much. An hour into it, I was covered in Hives, BP was crazy high, I took a benadryl, got sleepy, but with no help in sight, just kept working. HELP - I Love Nursing, but if something doesn't change, I'm gonna be a patient myself.