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  1. Creamsoda thanks for the lengthy and detailed reply. Obviously some of us thrive with the 3 12hr model :)
  2. Well hopefully my friend when you enter the profession you will be that agent of change. The point of this article is that doing the 3 shifts a week lifestyle is not as glamorous as people think due to the physical and emotional toll.
  3. This is a great article that appeared on Huffpost that sort of mirrored my feelings about critical care and working only 3 days a week. Let me know what you think! Why Working ‘Just' Three Days a Week As a Nurse Is Utterly Exhausting By Brie Gowen I was sitting at my computer screen, entering orders for a physician, and trying not to forget what he had said since I had neglected to write it down. I was charting my note, mentally taking inventory of all the tasks I had accomplished and problems I had identified and reported. My eyes felt gritty and my mentation frazzled. I glanced at the time on my computer screen and was taken aback that seven hours had flown by so quickly. Then I realized with dread that I hadn't documented a single thing on my other patient. I was so behind! And as my sand-filled eyes started to water in the frigid air of my surgical ICU I realized I was beat. I was exhausted. Yet I had not been working all week. It was my first day on shift in two weeks! I knew, though, that nursing wasn't so much exhausting because of the hours worked, but rather the work that was performed. Yes, 12 hour shifts actually turn into 13 and sometimes 14 hour shifts, and by golly yes, that makes for a supremely long day! But you only have to do that for three days, right? Maybe four. The rest of the week you're free and off jet-setting the country, leaving a trail of money in your wake as you go. Yeah, right. More like curled up under the covers in a dark room, recovering from a mental and emotional hangover much worse than one caused by the cheapest of Tequila. As I sat at my computer screen fighting my mental and physical fatigue I knew the reason I was utterly exhausted, and although by most career standards my day should be coming to an end, it wasn't even my lengthy shift still looming that made me want to wave my white flag of surrender. My patient was critically ill, and as such I had not stopped. I remember in high school I ran track. Never one for speed, I was more of an endurance runner, and as a long-distance runner I can recall the trip around the half-mile track. After so many loops you'd get to a point where you were done. You were finished, in your mind and rubbery legs, and you felt certain you could go no further. You'd strive for that line up ahead that marked the finish, head down, legs pumping, and when you got there you'd realize you still had one more lap to go. One more lap, you'd whisper encouragingly to self, and by sheer adrenaline you would continue. That's kinda how nursing is. You go and go and go. You fight and fight and fight. You rush and rush and rush. And just when you think you may be done, you are not. The next shoe drops, the next set of vital signs plummet, the next patient falls, the next train wreck codes. On, and on, and on. In few other fields will you find that the moment you hit the wall does not matter. Like a soldier into battle (and as a veteran I think I can speak on this), a nurse holds life and death on the line, so when your brain becomes fried and your body becomes weary, you just keep marching to the drumbeat of beeping IV pumps, shrieking monitor alarms, and persistently cruel call lights. Nursing is exhausting for so many reasons, but the biggest being the task at hand. You work within the confines of time, pushing the limits to complete an enormous workload with minimal support staff available, all the while carrying a small library of knowledge within your overloaded brain, realizing that an error on your part could be detrimental. You complete one job and another comes along, and much like an assembly line worker in a factory you keep going to prevent the great machine of healthcare from going on the fritz. Yet you also know if your machine stops so does someone's heart, and if that's not mentally draining then I don't know what is. So even one full day as a nurse, especially on a tough day, can seem akin to purgatory. That's not to say that being a nurse is similar to torture, but anyone who's begged the time clock to bring along the next shift knows exactly what I mean. You see, when you've mentally thought your way through keeping someone alive as long as your fizzled out mind can handle then a ten hour break away from the bedside seems like a much needed respite. And yes, even working just” three days a week is utterly exhausting.
  4. European

    Stressed out after 2 years in the ED - HELP!

    I was in the ED for 3 years, it is called emergency room but 80% of the time you deal with ppl who shouldn't be there like the homeless and the drug seekers and the ppl with the flu. I tried OR briefly afterwards but some surgeons are *******s so now I'm in a neuro icu. In this icu charting takes almost 60% of your time and it's very tasky. I'm starting to think nursing is just a terrible profession lol.
  5. European

    Venting about nursing.

    Bump. ......
  6. European

    Venting about nursing.

    I have been a nurse for about five years. I have some emergency room and ICU experience. I went into nursing with maybe the Romantic idea to help people in need and learn more about medical science. Nevertheless, the more I do this job, the more I get discouraged about it. The endless documenting and the tons of data that it produces takes away a lot of patient time and I think most of the data is lost in some nameless server. Bureaucracy is staggering and Hospital politics are tiring when every week you have to deal with some kind of patient satisfaction survey or whatever. Management in most cases does not care about you as long as they're meeting their unrealistic goals. I want to like this job because I feel that what we do is important for patients but I'm getting discouraged from it as time goes on. What are your thoughts on it?
  7. European

    I can't believe I actually *like* night shift!

    I am on my 3rd year of nights and it is starting to get to me, initially I liked it too but now I feel like I am missing out on life, your body definitely feels it in the long run, also all the studies done on night shifters all point to one conclusion, it's not good for you. There are definitely benefits such as autonomy, less management etc but I feel that in the long run it's detrimental both physically and socially. Just my 2 cents.
  8. European

    Brian Short News

    Wow no words here, I have learned so much from the site Brian created, deeply saddened by this news, even though never met him personally his work and support for all us nurses will remain with me always, thank you Brian may you rest in peace dear friend.
  9. European

    Typical OR shift?

    Anyone else anything to add?
  10. European

    Typical OR shift?

    Thanks Rose, you're the best.
  11. European

    Typical OR shift?

    Thanks Rose, my hospital is one of the leading medical centers in nyc not trauma center though, I wasn't offered a shadowing opportunity but I asked for one and they said ok, just have to arrange it now. How do you go about choosing a specialty?
  12. European

    Typical OR shift?

    Hi all, I have been working in the ED for the last 3.5 years and was looking for a change so was thinking of transferring to the or. During the interview I was told that there is a long orientation, that I have to choose a specialty such as neuro, ortho, cardio and I will be comfortable by myself in about 1 year. I don't know much about or, what is a typical shift like, what are some of the issues you encounter and if any of you transferred from another unit what challenges did you have? Any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  13. European

    Hunter vs SUNY Downstate RN-BSN Fall2012?!

    Hi, I went to downstate finished in 15 months. If you have a bachelors you should do accelerated bsn, much shorter time!
  14. Hey if you are stressed about your prereqs know that once you're done with them it is a thing of the past. Something much more stressful than prereqs is your first year as a nurse, those times when you are on the floor and gotta come up with solutions, no more teachers or classmates, just you and your knowledge. According to my experience nursing is something that gets progressively harder as you move along culminating with your first year as a nurse as the hardest part, expect your life to be changed by this process and expect to question yourself if nursing was right for u even after u graduate. Good luck!
  15. European

    Suny Downstate Rn-Bsn 2012 Applicants

    Anybody else was accepted?
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