I am 48 and graduated 10 years ago. I have found nursing to be so hostile that I cannot endure it anymore, but I keep plugging on because I am now single and need to support myself. I was recently hired for an orthopedic rehab position that, during my orientation, morphed into a long term acute care hospital.
The staff is very upset about it. We get patients right from critical care and the delivery of patient care was recently changed from primary care to team nursing. I must state here that the staff has a reputation for chasing out new nurses because they are nurse eaters. I don't do well with this.
For compensation purposes an RN must do a full assessment at least once in 24 hours, so the assignments are set up-(like last evening) two RN's, one per hallway and three LPNs that pass the meds and do the treatment. The RNs are responsible for admissions, discharges, IV's, documentation, blood draws, etc. Most full assessments are done on daylight, so it is possible for an
RN to make herself available for prn pain meds, transfers, etc.
Any way, I have had a very hard time with the other staff. It seems that if you are not easy with a quick witted comeback or in the cool clique, you are fodder for their nastiness. I have been told in report that if I press the pause button one more time (d/t interruptions) that this nurse would "break my fingers". The other day we had an inservice on hospice and the discussion was who was going and who would stay on the floor. Due to my former position as a hospice nurse, it was decided that I would stay on the floor. When the supervisor walked away, this same nurse who threatened to break my fingers stated "just last week I killed a pt with IV morphine" Another nurse said, "you had MD orders to give it" and I stated, somewhat lamely " you didn't kill him Susan, what was the dose?" and she turned around and spat at me with venom-"How long were you a hopice nurse, a month?" I backed down because she can get very mean, and I walked away stating "I just don't like to see a nurse beat themselves up because they gave morphine and the pt died." She said "I wish I could kill you with IV morphine." I was very upset for the rest of the day and into the evening. I finally went to report her but the supervisor was in a meeting. The next day she begged forgiveness, and I did forgive her but told her that I was very upset and that it was extremely damaging and hurtful. We spoke congenially after that, but the emotional toll was great. As luck would have it, the next day a pt came in and the wife and dtr told me they were told "he came her to die". I asked if anyone had mentioned hospice, and she said "what is hospice?"
We don't contract with a hospice and we are still a rehap hospital, so it has been very confusing to the staff and family- the wife decided to give it a week to decide and she had much family and friends telling her what she should do. I gave her much impartial support and told her that it was not our job to tell her what to do, but to inform her as much as we could and she decided to take it day by day. NG tube feedings, copious pulmonary secretions, prob pneumonia and aspiration and ESRD. Yesterday the wife decided to let him go. On my 3-11 the pt had another nurse. I was alone at the station when the wife came up and asked me a question. I found out the answer, went to tell her and got involved with much emotional support and letting her know what she would see as far as the death process and how we would make him comfortable. He was very gurgly from the admission and I really thought he would not dry up (he had a scop patch and attropine gtts) and I emphasized that the mso4 would make him comfortable. She cried on my shoulder and I held her. We spoke about how long he could go on and her choices of inpatient if he lasted a couple days. I felt that he could since he was getting water flushes via NGT.
I found out that all the nurses and techs were at the station livid that I was in there and "who did I think I was?" I was then told by the evening supervisor to stay away and let the assigned nurse "handle anything else that comes up" I agreed, but I was really disconcerted by the mentality of the people that I work with. I examined my boundaries. I do not feel I was the only one who could do the job, although my backround and relationship that was established with the wife gave me an ability to give her support in this time. She was very grateful.
I just don't feel that I can fit into this profession. No matter what I do or how hard I try, I feel that my patients are grateful and benefit from my presence, but I just can't deal with the incredible hatefulness that pervades most nurses behavior. I don't have a mean bone in my body, but I come home every day examining my actions and blaming myself for either what comes my way (after all I must be doing something wrong to be so disliked) or hating myself for not standing up to them. I feel that standing up to them is a daily chore and it is just too draining. I have come to hate going to work and I am dreaming of the day I can open a small lingerie store or the like.
Thanks for listening.