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Starting to find some aspects degrading

Posted

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 8 years experience.

I've been a nurse for almost a year, and I think burnout has hit me hard. I'm also finding certain aspects of the job degrading. I don't mean wiping up poop or vomit or blood, or turning a little old lady who can't move herself. I mean the extreme doormat part of the job. The fact that we have to let patients and their families/friends walk all over us lest they complain to management and our butt comes under fire. A lot of times it's complaints from the patient you did EVERYTHING under the sun for and spent the most time with who says your care is inadequate to their liking.

It doesn't matter that you are ONE person stretched five and six different ways and that everyone needs something RIGHT NOW; that we are constantly understaffed and no one gives a damn, you are a bad person for not teleporting yourself instantaneously.

The customer is always right.

I find it demoralizing.

I'm trying to get in two years at the bedside and then do something else that does not involve the general public. They are awful and I've had it. I'm practically a hermit on my days off because I cannot stand people any longer. :(

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN. Has 7 years experience.

I hear ya. Unfortunately, it may take increases in mortality rates for things to change.

Valerie99

Has 16 years experience.

So sorry to hear this!

Indeed, I understand what you're saying about being walked on. There's definitely some broken things in the industry. Understaffing is a major issue - not just for nurses but for DOCTORS, which then trickles down to pressure and blame on nurses. I believe that patients often feel frustrated that their contact with MD's is dramatically limited (often to just a few minutes in a day or a week) and knowing that nursing education is often less extensive than that of MD's, they can sometimes use the nurses as a scapegoat. It may not be appropriate, but it's an unfortunate reality.

I would just say to keep your head up! It's not you personally - it's the circumstances of the environment.

The feeling of wanting to go home, close the blinds, turn off the phone, and lock yourself in the closet with a can of tuna is nothing new in nursing.

amzyRN

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I've felt that way at times. I've had issues with patient's families that were very draining. One of the brothers of my patients would call and would be threatening to sue everyone and he would try to keep us on the phone for half an hour at a time. I had one family member try to get me fired because she felt like I was putting blame on the family for the patient's discomfort (I don't know how she got that idea). So overall, I've had way more negative draining situations with family members than patients. Most of the time my patients are really a great and a joy to work with. Some of my patients have even taught me things, make me a wiser person that is.

I've developed more of an ability to assure respect for myself from family members by explaining things to them. Sometimes the answer is "no" and/or referring them to the manager. There are times when it's appropriate to refer someone to the manager. As long as I am doing my job, keeping my patients safe and providing high quality care, the family cannot get me in trouble. I have no issue referring patients to discuss issues with the manager or the charge nurse. When I'm working on the floor, I don't have that much time for drama because I'm too busy with pertinent things. I don't think there is any reason a nurse should be expected to be a doormat.

I hate dealing with crazy family members too. What they don't seem to realize, when they are taking up our time with ridiculous questions and demands is that they are actually taking away from the level of care their loved ones receive. A healthy, inquisitive nature is good. Being a pest for no reason other than they can't deal with their own anxiety and guilt in a more constructive way is bad.

meh

your job is not to be a doormat for patients and families nor is it to listen to and triage complaints about the general care or conditions of their visit to the facilty.

If your employer thinks otherwise I would recommend seeking other employment.

tokmom, BSN, RN

Specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff. Has 30 years experience.

It isn't nursing, it is your place of employment.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I would start looking elsewhere to work. You also have to realize that no matter what some people are just never happy. You can't let that drag you down.

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

I have dealt with that. I feel like some facilities put up with that more than others, my current facility does not.

whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

This is why I'm switching to straight nights in the next month. I have come to loathe human beings. If I have to work at the bedside, then I would rather work on a shift where I don't have to deal with too many people.

There has been much focus on how hospitals are paid for services over the last several years. Patients are aware. It has turned hospital medicine into a hospitality industry. I have been treated and seen my coworkers treated shamefully and with no support from administration or management because it will affect PATIENT SATISFACTION SURVEYS.

The feeling of wanting to go home, close the blinds, turn off the phone, and lock yourself in the closet with a can of tuna is nothing new in nursing.

Agreed. The problem is, half the time, my cat's already in the closet with the can of tuna--and he's not so easily parted with it!

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

It isn't nursing, it is your place of employment.

THIS.

There's a true art to dealing with the business, even if it means moving to another place of employment that fits your philosophy.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

I've developed more of an ability to assure respect for myself from family members by explaining things to them. Sometimes the answer is "no" and/or referring them to the manager. There are times when it's appropriate to refer someone to the manager. As long as I am doing my job, keeping my patients safe and providing high quality care, the family cannot get me in trouble. I have no issue referring patients to discuss issues with the manager or the charge nurse. When I'm working on the floor, I don't have that much time for drama because I'm too busy with pertinent things. I don't think there is any reason a nurse should be expected to be a doormat.

THIS...all day (and career) LONG. :yes:

nataliethenurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Perioperative. Has 7 years experience.

The feeling of wanting to go home, close the blinds, turn off the phone, and lock yourself in the closet with a can of tuna is nothing new in nursing.

Ah, but some nights call for a different kind of can...

Edited by nataliethenurse
Okay, so I'm new at this...

If you are internalizing to the point of feeling demoralized and degraded, then you may need to change your tactic. This is not a personal thing, it is work. There is not too many places of employment that do not deal with difficult people. Like it or not, the current climate is that they are the consumer, and are paying for a service.

With all of that being said, because the health care industry is being run by people who have never spent a moment at a bedside, that seemingly put the demands--no matter how far fetched and/or determental to the goal of function--of patients in front of the realistic staff ratios to take care of all of these demands, it is like a hamster on a wheel, sets nurses up to fail, and a near impossible set of cicumstances.

At the end of the day, you best be nice and bend over backwards or THEY do not get paid, and if they do not get paid YOU do not get paid, lose job, start again, do not pass go, do not collect $200.....and on and on it goes. They will pay the most educated nurses the lowest salary they can get away with for the longest amount of time they can take the heat. Then there are hundreds of other highly educated nurses who will gladly take your place, and ones who will take their place. Then there's importing from other countries, then there's ancillary staff who will do pieces parts of the job (

So don't go home and hide. Go home and relax a little, do what you love a little--and reflect on whatever kind of nursing is not this kind of circus--and I have no ideas, but see what you can do to not have to be a hermit on your off time. Life is too short.

One problem is that doctors come in and chat with the patient for about five minutes and then leave. Often, the patient is too sick or confused or has just fallen asleep when that happens and is not sure what is going on with their care. The family is told nothing, even when the family is making the decisions about the patient's care. It's true that as nurses there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all the physical tasks for patients.

But, patients are not cars. We cant just walk in the room and do things to them. They are in pain, scared, and may be facing changes in how they now be able to live their lives. The problem is that the nurse is the only one who is on the floor with the patient, who knows what is happening. There needs to be a family liaison rather than the nurse being interrupted with calls.