I'd take IR over just about anything that you can do in a hospital. I've worked IR and it's one of the best gigs I ever had, only left it due to relocation. The only thing that can suck is call, but that all depends on how your IR team does it, and how large the department is. It's interesting stuff, a lot to learn, but generally not stressful.
I'm sorry for all the bad experiences you've had being a nurse, after all the hard work it takes to become one. I can relate to your feeling of regret. So much so that I would advice most anyone to not become a nurse unless they thrive on working as hard as they ever worked in their lives and don't mind the frustration of wanting to help people but being put into work environments that often prevents them from doing so. If I could do it over again, I'd become a dental assistant or dental hygienist. Or get a CDL and drive. I love patient care but hate the for-profit work environments. I nearly decided to leave nursing and not return, after only three years working in a hospital. But I decided that after all I invested to get my nursing license, I should at least see what jobs outside of the hospital are like before leaving the profession. So that's what I'll do. I told myself I could get excited about trying out a hospital job again one day -- but after reading about the poor nurse who made a fatal error and is now being charged with reckless homicide, I will remind myself to not go back to the hospital. If I thought I could work in one that has safe work loads, maybe...but I doubt any of them do. I have to quote someone who said it best in another post:
3 hours ago, lemur00 said:
It's very much a reality of nursing that we were taught "best practices" and then quickly learn we will never be allowed to practice that way by hospital administrations. I am personally convinced best practice guidelines exist solely to provide a framework for blaming a single nurse when things go bad due to systemic failures, as I suspect had happened here. They don't want you to actually follow them. As I've said previously, I think this can be proven by the fact that "work to rule" is an effective labour resistance technique.
I have been a nurse for almost five years. I’ve been in every job possible; nursing homes with 22 patients and paper charting, rehab facilities with 24 patients on EMR on a tiny laptop dragging that stupid 500 lb med cart everywhere, not having all meds in the cart, and having to go all over looking for supplies, yet having to pass meds on 24 patients in two hours (ya good luck with that!)
I have been bullied by old lady nurses telling me to “get a thick skin, stop asking stupid questions, and figure it out yourself!” (Yes an older nurse of 30 years said this to my face!) To make matters worse, I spoke to the DON in the same facility and asked her how I was doing in my job (I thought I was catching on and doing pretty good) and she said “go back to your nursing books, learn how to do an assessment then come back when you learned something!”, and was fired on the spot.
I have worked in “world class care” hospitals working day/night rotations on two 12s and two 8s (starting at 11p - 7a?Thank you, next) I worked another straight night hospital and was told that I don’t have good critical thinking skills, while I run around with my head cut off caring for only 4-5 pts as the 20 year old new grads sit around on their phones all 12 hours and chart the entire shift.
I still don’t feel like I can do this freaking job or feel like I may kill someone! It all sucks to me. Why did I ever think I could do this and become an OR nurse someday? I regret every single day that I didn’t get out after first semester (but I didn’t want to show my kids or my husband I was a quitter!) My first year of nursing I had four jobs as mentioned above, and said screw this - I’ll never make it. I went back to HR and office administration and felt the pull back to nursing a year later. I landed a job in another state working primary care as an RN and I was dang good at it. I was the happiest I had ever been in any job! I was rooming patients, giving injections on my own schedule, assisting doctors with procedures. I loved my job and my coworkers but I still had my sights set high that I could be a good hospital nurse.
Here I sit after spending 10k$ of my own cash on my stupid BSN and graduating last May with honors and no job to speak of (yes I apply to all sorts of RN/BSN jobs and go to lots of interviews). I was unemployed all of last year because I moved back to my home state and left my awesome primary job that I loved (why why why??😑). No one is going to hire me without much experience for the last five years. I don’t list all the jobs I have worked for two months here, three months there, etc, so it looks like I haven’t done anything or learned jack except my primary care gig for a year and a per diem position that I don’t even get approved for!
I can’t keep flip flopping from admin to nursing so I am currently studying to get a medical assisting certification so I can work in the primary care environment (offices in my town require a certification and don’t hire RNs as MAs)making $10 less an hour than regular nursing jobs in these god awful facilities and understaffed hospitals. At least I will have A JOB. I should have just been a medical assistant all along and saved me and my husband tens of thousands of dollars.
I want to know if any of you will take the time and tell me your nightmare story or a story that started out bad but got better.
Do you also regret becoming a nurse? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.
Can you afford to go per diem while the baby is young, then you could pick your shifts? What about going to work in a obstetrics office for a bit while the baby is young so you can get a 9-5 type job but still be with pregnant moms?
Some of you may remember my posts back in May/June about the absolutely horrible job I had with a local agency...my first HH position. After many years of a rather decent nursing career, that job was demoralizing. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get another job with my lack of experience combined with only about 3 1/2 months at that agency. Generally a bad situation. Some of you were so encouraging and I thank you!
Now for the good news. Back in early August I FINALLY got a decent interview and knew from the minute I walked in the doors it was a place I wanted to work. Warm, welcoming, inviting. The clinical manager was encouraging and well aware of my lack of experience but willing to train me. (And I think she'll be tough in a warm way - which is good). It's a major player in the DFW area. Large area, many branches. It took weeks to get the background stuff done. The pay wasn't as high as I had made at the awful place but I had learned that lesson. Money isn't everything and a few dollars isn't the end of the world.
In the interim, I was offered another job - smaller agency, higher pay. I took a gamble and held out for the good place. Need I tell you I started a couple of weeks ago? WooHoo!!
I've ridden with several nurses that have been there for 5-7 years and LOVE their job. I've been to a case conference with staff from all over the DFW area and sure enough...they've all had that same vibe...warm, welcoming, love their jobs, happy, eager to share their knowledge with me.
I've found my home in nursing. My goal is to be the best HHN for this company I can possibly be. That means I'll likely be coming here and asking questions frequently. I'm just as happy as can be with the way things have turned out. I'm only working PRN (my choice) but will probably be able to work almost as much as I want. I had told the manager I am perfectly willing to take call, work holidays/weekends, etc. once trained. I'm single with no kids so it really isn't a big deal for me. Anyway, all is great!
Hi TristleRN and thanks for your comments. Just to update this thread, I now have a new and seemingly great job with a company that knows my limitations in home health but willing to train. The difference in the overall attitude of other nursing and clerical staff and managers is like a night/day difference. Everyone seems very goal oriented, want to do the best job possible...but they seem to truly enjoy their work and their patients. They laugh and smile a lot, they seem to like and respect each other. Just a great group.
It took me longer to get this job than I had anticipated. However, I held out for a company I thought would treat me with dignity and respect. The salary is a bit less than I would prefer (aren't we all worth a bunch more than we're paid?!? :) ) but I learned long ago, and especially with the other company...money ain't everything!! I did post a new thread ' MY NEW JOB - just to kind of update everyone that encouraged me.
Well, everyone, I tried. I don't think I've ever tried so hard to make a job work. I really wanted it to, but I think it was doomed from the start - as many of you said. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was actually kind of funny. Per the owner/DON, I was to start doing the Recerts on my own patients. First one I did she actually called me to tell me, and I literally quote, "You did a better job than some nurses that have been doing this for years" and followed that with a short piece of constructive criticism that was appropriate and appreciated by me. And I said so. Following that, I did a couple more Recents, a ROC, and a Discharge Oasis. All were approved by the QAPI person. On the last discharge, there were some new diagnoses by a new doctor just 2-3 days before the discharge and I had questions about where to enter that info. Directed the questions via e-mail to the QAPI, cc'd the DON. Was told there was no place to "capture" that info. Submitted and it was approved. A few days later it hit the fan. An email (sent to everyone - so embarrassing!!) saying I was to ask someone else my questions, and until she got "clarification" of the Oasis' I had completed with my so-called trainer, I was not to do anymore. (The trainer only showed me one). That did it. I went straight into the office and gave a 2 week notice. I'm exhausted from that woman brow-beating me. In the past 3-4 weeks I bent over backwards trying to please her. Nothing works and never will. My only consolation is now realizing it isn't just me. In the 3.5 months I've been there, we've lost the marketing person, a receptionist, a couple of HHA's and will likely lose a couple of the PRN LVN's. But life goes on. So now, I'm going to post a new thread asking for some help from y'all with more experience.
I greatly appreciate all the comments. You know...I was really excited about this job. After 36 years in multiple areas of adult nursing, there wasn't a bunch of new stuff for me to learn and experience. HH Nursing afforded that opportunity...learning about Medicare, learning new ways and points of emphasis on assessing patients (assessments are different than in the hospital where you have all tools necessary and lots of other minds to call on). A bit of a slower pace - one in which I could actually "listen to and hear" what a patient might be saying rather than have my attention split in so many different directions.
Reading what many of you have written here and reading many posts from others makes me know I will never be happy where I am. This small agency "flies by the seat of their pants" as someone said last night. I didn't know it but there are only 3 RN's - owner/DON, me, one other. Every clinical person is part-time except the owner/DON. It's just a mess.
So...events of this past week have only confirmed it is time for me to move on. I don't know if I'll be able to find someone to hire me with so little experience - and not good experience - but even if I have to do something entirely different to support myself, I believe my peace of mind and general feelings of self-worth trump any job. We have really nasty weather here this weekend. Perfect! No excuses for not getting resumes sent out! í ½í¸
Thanks for your reply. I am looking into other agencies, and with some appropriate training on the OASIS, recerts, etc., think I would have a lot to offer. Unfortunately, I'm hindered by my lack of experience (23 working days - literally!) so I may not be able to move forward easily. I don't like giving up so easily but have to wonder if I'm not fighting a losing battle.
Its really sad. Good, skilled nurses are so badly needed but some people treat us like disposables.
After MANY years of all different types of nursing (and a successful career IMHO), I decided to try HH nursing in my "golden" years. First, I read here extensively - pros and cons. I read all sorts of things online. I thought I would really enjoy it on a part time basis. Spent several hundred dollars getting set-up (new printer, new Chromebook, updated phone, added wifi to apt, bags, b/p monitor, thermometer - all that stuff you need in the field). I even hired a dog walker to the tune of $20 bucks a day so I didn't have to worry about him. I was serious about this job. Wanted it to be mutually successful. When interviewed by 4 people I was 100% upfront - no experience but excellent assessment skills and generally a quick learner.
Well, the DON hates me! Within 2 weeks She said to me, and I quote, "I didn't want to hire you but ______ said she would train you". I blew that off by saying "I think you'll be happy you did in 6 months". Two weeks later, she said it again. I didn't blow it off. Along with other comments I went to the administrator who just happens to be her son. Interesting. Nonetheless, all was better for a few days. Then...I can't please her. I document too much. I don't document enough. I should be able to take a full load. I can't take a full oad - I don't have enough experience. I can't win.
Time...I work all day seeing the "dump on new person patients" (expected), leaving home at 6:30, getting home at 5:30, then spend my days off doing paperwork and the unbelievable payroll paperwork. I'm exhausted!! I'm only supposed to work 3 days a week but constantly get messages...can you take w/e call, can you go draw blood, cath a pt. Can you see ____'s pts? She's overloaded. Can you see ____'s w/e insulin pts? On and on.
And just FYI.. I'm an oldie Goldie but I'm not "old". I do yoga, run/walk with my 70 lb dog 3-4 days a week, no meds except thyroid. So my exhaustion stems from this job and the job is now leading to depression. And I don't like that.
So after this long lead-up I'm asking...am I missing something? Is it me or just this particular agency? What do you live about HH nursing? Will it get better or should I give up with this particular DON/agency owner? And another FYI... I've only been there SEVEN weeks. Many TIA,s for any guidance.
I did not leave critical care, but a step-down unit with moderate care patients. I found no shortage of being bored. It is a very different setting though. My typical day as a hospice case manager looks something like this: Arrive at the office at the start of my day, call my 4-6 patients that I'm visiting with an ETA. Gather any paperwork from my mailbox, turn in paperwork from admits/etc, and get on the road. Visits last anywhere from 30-90mins on average, sometimes you'll arrive and a patient is symptomatic (uncontrolled pain, dyspnea, etc) and those visits will take longer. Visits will also take longer if you have a lot of tasks to complete such as wound care, cath changes, etc. Inbetween visits, I might be returning phone calls from other patients, calling in refills of medications, calling the doc, calling my HHA/MSW/chaplain, and general coordination of care tasks. I might get a call that another patient has a concern and needs a visit, so I'll make a PRN visit in addition to my scheduled visits for the day. Our company also has dedicated on call staff for nights and weekends, and those nurses make PRN visits if needed after hours. We also have dedicated admissions staff that do the majority of our admits, so there are different job opportunities just within hospice.
I remember the first time I told some of my nursing buddies that I switched to hospice and I got a lot of "Good for you, but I wouldn't want to lose my skills" and other similar comments. What I tell people is that I don't lose my skills. Sure, I don't often put in IVs or titrate drips on a regular basis, but I do PICC/mediport maintenance, PCA pumps, manage drains, draw my own labs (if needed, its rare) among other things. So sure, it isn't the same as the hospital but I do utilize my nursing skills. I actually think hospice requires a very solid handle on assessment and pathophysiology. My patients look to me to explain what is happening to their loved one, but I don't often have scans or labs to give me a clue as to what is going on, I just have my assessment.
My advice? Go for it. The beauty of nursing is that if you don't like what you're doing, there are many other options out there. Good luck, and sorry for my wordiness as well!
For me, the most striking thing about leaving the hospital to work in Hospice, is that I don't have to worry about killing anyone. It was a huge black cloud that lifted off my head! Most of the patients have a DNRO/POLST, but that does not mean I treat them with less respect that someone without the DNR. I love being able to spend more time with patients and families than they would get at the MD office or in the hospital. They appreciate it as well. I am attending to their needs/concerns during the last phase of life and helping them to go on to their next great adventure. I love my job.
That being said, I would never work as a Staff RN Case Manager on salary. They are worked to death. Forget the 40 hr work week. It's more like 50-60. I have worked, full time, per diem and am paid for every hour I put in. Also, I don't have to ask permission to take time off. No PTO or insurance, but that's not a problem for me.
I've been an RN for 14 years now (9 years in a CVICU and 5 years in Infection Prevention and grabbed an MPH along the way) but the idea of transitioning into a role as a hospice nurse has been on my mind and heart for a while now. I've been reading articles and scrolling through past postings on this site to see if I can get a better feel for whether this is something which would be right for me and while I'm leaning in that direction I have concerns. I haven't been involved in direct patient care in almost 6 years and I have no experience in hospice or palliative care nursing, outside of taking care of our heart patients (and their families) who never fully recovered or who passed away in our care. I suppose I have a couple questions...
Has anyone else done the whole dramatic change in nursing roles thing? What helped you when you made your change? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
For those of you in this role right now, what are some of the things you wish you had known before you started?
Are there any quality online certificates or training classes that would at least give me the background knowledge I need to transition into a role like this? I know there's certification for after you've been working at it a while, but I'm looking for something that will give me the basics and background that I either never learned in nursing school, have changed since school or that I have forgotten along the way.
Really at this point any thoughts, suggestions or resources would be greatly appreciated.
To gain feedback from people who actually understand what I'm going through. And to learn from others' stories that may help me in the future.
It really is a form of therapy. To voice our feelings, to feel heard and understood. :)