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Retirement When?

Nurses Article   (6,348 Views 8 Replies 473 Words)
by Lindsey McGraw Lindsey McGraw (Member) Member

Lindsey McGraw has 34 years experience and specializes in Med Sur, LTC.

13 Articles; 14,975 Profile Views; 29 Posts

Years have passed with my hair turning a shade of white. I walk with a slight limp, but chronologically not as old as one might think. Flat feet, and varicosities well hidden under pant legs for none to see working as a nurse “humpin the halls” each year that passes is equivalent to 3-5 of any other profession.

Retirement  When?

Passing visitors in the hall at my place of employment in long-term care with a confident, brisk gait-leaves not doubt I am "head nurse" for the evening, and very proud of it. Yes, my knees creak when I bend and any task kneeling on the floor is out of the question. Oh my, CPR class with a dummy. "Where is a table to place "resuscitate SP... Annie!" This is not funny!

Dementia patients see my hair of white and call me "MaMa", wanting comfort from fright. When orienting one of my special friends that I am not "MaMa" but instead her nurse, she laughs out loud stating "You are full of it!"

When emergencies happen, I no longer run because arriving short of breath or out of gas is very important. One has to guide the new nurses calmly through emergency procedures so when 911 arrives they will be impressed things have been done right. Compliments are spoken "What a great nursing staff!!

There are times my mind is slower, but my tongue is sharp....quick to give opinions when needed or not. No "wham moments" staring off into space, with a blank look covering my face, have been noted, just an occasional bit of everyday forgetfulness.

One day sitting in the break room a thought passed through my brain "Oh my, when should a nurse retire?" Laughing to myself, I begin reflecting on years past working with a few old nurses, ranging in age from 76-80 is the oldest, a list of warning signs came to mind. They are as follows:

l. Staff nurses you work with make fun of you by imitating one of your many idiosyncrasies behind your back, like a tick or that habit of repeating yourself.

2. You begin to resemble some of the residents in the nursing home where you work and visitors ask if you need assistance.

3. When a code situation occurs, you have to take out your American Heart Association manual and thumb through the instructions on how to institute CPR.

4. During infection control rounds one evening you pour alcohol on a

Bedpan...flame it with a match, light it on fire, and stand there in

total disbelief as it melts slowly, realizing they are no longer metal,

but made of plastic.

Youth prevails, so as years pass by when I become this old nurse as described above, gently take me aside and say "Old Nurse, it is time...you are way past your prime." Make your list of things to do with your idle hours like a new hobby, books to read, and bingo games to play. PLEASE for the sake of us all "OLD SCARY NURSES...Enjoy Your Retirement!"

13 Articles; 14,975 Profile Views; 29 Posts

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judybsn has 40 years experience and specializes in Labor & Delivery, Med-surg.

3 Articles; 79 Posts; 5,722 Profile Views

I know a maternity nurse who just turned 70. I hope they don't make here retire because she's awesome.

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diane227 has 32 years experience as a LPN, RN and specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

1,941 Posts; 12,034 Profile Views

I am 54 and I can't get down on my knees either. I look forward to being an old nurse. People react to you in a different manner when you are older. I am stern but friendly and funny. But when I get focused on something, I get intense. It scares the students to death, even though I don't mean to. I love students and I want to help them as much as I can. After all, they will be taking care of me some day. After 31 years in nursing I reflect on how much has changed...yet a lot of things have remained the same. And so it goes. I don't plan to retire until I am about 70. I loved this article. It reminded me of a nurse that I worked with when I was about 2 years out of school. She was tough but I sure learned a lot from her. Bless her where ever she is now.

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P_RN has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89.

6,011 Posts; 33,271 Profile Views

What a wonderful post. My favorite way of getting down on the floor like to set up a hemovac (or Heaven forbid run CPR on a patient/visitor on the floor) was to lean my backside on the wall and slide down to a sitting position.

Works great...until you have to get up.

My back gave out before my knees, my mind is still sharp-I guess. You could be me. And I could be you.

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Mahage has 1 years experience as a LPN and specializes in IMCU.

376 Posts; 4,534 Profile Views

The patients all think I have been a nurse for a long time. They are all surprised that I have been a nurse just a little over a year now. Then they are shocked.....Why? Well sometimes I tell them, sometimes I don't. My age pretty well works to my advantage now, but early when I was really new, people frequently mistook my newness and lack of knowledge for senility I think, LOL!

My knees don't work so well since I gained some weight especially, but I can bend at the waist better than most and I have long arms for a good reach. I am not physically as strong as the young chicks, but that's okay. We deal with it. I am finally learning to remain calm. I am scatter brained but I always was.

I love nursing. I love the newer nurses and the more experienced kids who are just learning about life, but know a lot about nursing and I love the experienced gals closer to my age who are looking forward to retirement and wonder why the heck I am just starting out as a nurse after 30 years as a social worker. I even get along much better with the jerks nowadays, but occasionally let my inner byotch come out!

Mahage

The fairly new nurse with 57 years life experience!

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Grace Oz specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/HH/Radiology-Now Retired.

1,294 Posts; 23,197 Profile Views

Loved this article! #4 had me ROTFL!

Everyone is individual and while some folks desire to and are capable of working well into older age, some cannot or choose not to. My nursing career began as a 17 year old. As with most nurses I've worked long and hard. I'm retired now and am grateful to be so. I do believe there's a time for each of us to hand over to the next generation, and there's a time for us to enjoy the fruits of our hard labour. :)

Thanks for this fun article! :)

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jmsnkids has 30 years experience and specializes in Pediatric ICU,Education,Hospice,NICU.

21 Posts; 2,741 Profile Views

I am blessed to work at a pediatric hospice facility with a 74 year old retired PICU RN. She left after 35 years (!) in the PICU--I lasted five! She is an inspiration and joy to be around. I would gladly defer to her wisdom after "just" 25 years as a nurse myself.

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diane227 has 32 years experience as a LPN, RN and specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

1,941 Posts; 12,034 Profile Views

I just love the blog. I work on a unit where most of the nurses are younger than me (I am 54) but they have worked on the unit longer than I have. They are so energetic. I love the students and all the new nurses. I want to help train them right so they can take care of me when I get old. I plan to work at least part time until I drop dead. What else am I going to do in my retirement? Growing old in this profession has been fun for me. I still love nursing and I love our patients (most of them). We just have fun at work and it is a great place to be. Since I am the charge nurse and as aged as some good cheeses, they call me the "head cheese" or "cheese" for short. It is jut something every day with the people I work with. They are just so funny.

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Mahage has 1 years experience as a LPN and specializes in IMCU.

376 Posts; 4,534 Profile Views

I just love the blog. I work on a unit where most of the nurses are younger than me (I am 54) but they have worked on the unit longer than I have. They are so energetic. I love the students and all the new nurses. I want to help train them right so they can take care of me when I get old. I plan to work at least part time until I drop dead. What else am I going to do in my retirement? Growing old in this profession has been fun for me. I still love nursing and I love our patients (most of them). We just have fun at work and it is a great place to be. Since I am the charge nurse and as aged as some good cheeses, they call me the "head cheese" or "cheese" for short. It is jut something every day with the people I work with. They are just so funny.

You sound like the kind of charge I love.

Mahage

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