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The Irony of Nursing

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My thoughts on respect and support within this profession. Wrote about personal experiences and shared thoughts among other colleagues. Please add your input. Dying to hear some thoughts on this. We cannot demand for respect if we do not respect one another. You are reading page 6 of The Irony of Nursing. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

3 Articles; 68 Posts; 7,638 Profile Views

Okay, so i'm having a problem with the whole issue of not setting goals for yourself, i.e. laughing at one who aspires to become an NP or CRNA. That is absurdity at its finest. Who doesn't set out with some goal for their life, whether it was to become an accountant, a nurse, a doctor, a vet, etc. That's how one goes about setting a path for themselves. If you don't know where you want to end up how do you function. We set goals everyday, going to the grocery store, getting up at a certain time to get to work on time, getting the kids to summer camp, exercise, drinking water, I could go on and on. Everybody should have some sort of aspiration and if you truly want it, the chances of you attaining it are much higher with action than just saying it with no effort behind it. I think its just stupid to laugh or have issue with someone who decides early on that they want to pursue a higher degree. I say to those who find it laughable, just watch as you are passed by on the ladder to success because you settled for the moon instead of the stars.

Now, to the OP, I feel you on some levels, particularly the instructors who are not of quality, reading straight from Powerpoints with barely a real-life situation peppered in. I also believe that some instructors feel the need to weed out students in some hopes of producing a "pure" class of nurses who will make them and the program look absolutely awesome. Nothing wrong with wanting a glowing record, however, if its at the expense of some poor student who has been poorly instructed, its grossly unfair.

MY POINT EXACTLY! thank you.

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I am saddened to hear how disillusioned you are concerning nursing. I have been a nurse for 30 years and still love what I do and am in school for my BSN. It is difficult but I have good professors that are supportive. Maybe a different school and a change in specialty is what is needed. We fill an important need in society. The higher you go in your education, the nicer people seem to be. Don't let anyone put you down and do what you love. Good luck.

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Sock it to 'em, DeepBreath. I attended and was very combative with a diploma RN school that I firmly believe was incessantly disrespectful of students, was haphazardly designed around the reality that some of their best instructors were leaving and the Director of the nursing school had been fired, and the fact that the hospital has insufficient clinical opportunities for more than 30-35 students at second-year level, thus the cohort must be whittled down to 40 or so going into Year2. I tracked my cohort and the next year's cohort. In both cases, the school started about 60-70 students, failed out many, angered-out many, accepted a few transfers-in from other schools as well as failees from the previous year who were returning to repeat and complete. For both of those years, the number of graduates was only 30-35 students. I wrote a post regarding my experience there. I yelled and swore at them over things like computer software not being available so that students could complete computer sim exercises on time. They gave me the standard smug lines about "maybe you were just not meant to be a nurse." I was intending to quit, but they threw me out. LOL If that halfas kind of "instruction" (Students: Teach thyselves!) is indicative of the culture of nursing, then, yes, of course I was not meant to be a nurse. I'm far too mature and ethical for it! :roflmao:

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

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Overall, I've had a wonderful experience throughout nursing school - both here on AN and in real life. I was in a program that I believe truly wanted us to succeed. In no way was it easy, but our professors were there to support us through the difficulties.

My clinical experiences were "eh." Other than the blatantly awful nurses, I blame the system for that. My training shouldn't rely on how the nurse who just got to work feels about taking a student he/she just found out about. But I digress...

I don't think I ever had a nurse that was downright mean, but I could've blocked one or two out in a post-traumatic fashion.

As far as support for being an NP goes...I've always planned on going to grad school. From day one. From before day one. And I can honestly say I've never had anyone outright talk down to me about it.

But now that I think about it, I don't think I ever mentioned it to any of my professors or anyone at the hospital. Ever. It really had no bearing on anything I was doing. I didn't tell my employer at my interview, although I would have if asked. My friends all knew, but they were never anything but positive. I'm kind of a strong personality and a gunner, though, so people don't tend to tell me things are out of my reach 😉.

All that rambling is to say that we all have different experiences. There are some awful people in the world, and sometimes they seem to be everywhere, but there are also people who attract awful. People who look for awful.

I don't know you, so I don't know who you are. Just take heart that like attracts like, and you'll usually find what you're looking for. If you plug ahead and expect great things and GIVE great things to others, you'll more than likely find happiness and a place in a career that you love.

If you choose otherwise...you'll get otherwise.

Edited by Stephalump

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

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As an aside...I didn't believe in male favoritism in NS until I saw it with my own two eyes! I had a professor who was borderline inappropriate with ALL of our male students - to the point where their significant others were uncomfortable. She just has some serious issues though...I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that she's a nurse.

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13 Articles; 2,058 Posts; 62,544 Profile Views

If you plug ahead and expect great things and GIVE great things to others, you'll more than likely find happiness and a place in a career that you love.

If you choose otherwise...you'll get otherwise.

Not even a year ago, Stephalump, I'd have agreed with you. It was only recently that I've encountered a truly rotten, necrotized, toxic work environment stemming from atrophied and absent leadership that would rather abuse their staff than lift a finger to help anyone other than themselves.

In cases like that, you can pump all the positivity and feel-good sayings into your existence that you want, but when someone or a group of "someones" truly don't like you/don't care/are generally miserable human beings, all the niceties in the world cannot change them OR your work environment unless they themselves want to change.

With that said, OP, this is not unique to nursing. The trick is finding a decent place to work populated with decent human beings. It won't always be perfect, but it should typically be pleasant.

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

2,723 Posts; 15,271 Profile Views

Not even a year ago, Stephalump, I'd have agreed with you. It was only recently that I've encountered a truly rotten, necrotized, toxic work environment stemming from atrophied and absent leadership that would rather abuse their staff than lift a finger to help anyone other than themselves.

In cases like that, you can pump all the positivity and feel-good sayings into your existence that you want, but when someone or a group of "someones" truly don't like you/don't care/are generally miserable human beings, all the niceties in the world cannot change them OR your work environment unless they themselves want to change.

With that said, OP, this is not unique to nursing. The trick is finding a decent place to work populated with decent human beings. It won't always be perfect, but it should typically be pleasant.

I'm sorry you had such an awful experience. I've been there - craphole places that seen to attract awful people because the awful people can get away with being awful.

But I hope that doesn't define your career. I'm not implying that cookies and cherry coke can fix any awful situation - but what I am saying is that those will hopefully just be bumps in the road: unfortunate lessons about human nature that I wish I could learn in a more hands-off fashion 😉

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Not even a year ago, Stephalump, I'd have agreed with you. It was only recently that I've encountered a truly rotten, necrotized, toxic work environment stemming from atrophied and absent leadership that would rather abuse their staff than lift a finger to help anyone other than themselves.

In cases like that, you can pump all the positivity and feel-good sayings into your existence that you want, but when someone or a group of "someones" truly don't like you/don't care/are generally miserable human beings, all the niceties in the world cannot change them OR your work environment unless they themselves want to change.

With that said, OP, this is not unique to nursing. The trick is finding a decent place to work populated with decent human beings. It won't always be perfect, but it should typically be pleasant.

I agree with you; there are places like that out there. The best thing you can do, once you recognize that's what you're dealing with, is "vote with your feet" and get out of there. If places like that weren't able to keep enough nurses to continue operating, they'd have to make changes. But, unfortunately, there always seem to be plenty of nurses willing to put up with lousy work conditions and environments, and the bad places are able to just keep chugging along as they are.

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13 Articles; 2,058 Posts; 62,544 Profile Views

elkpark and Stephalump, I agree with both of you. There are miserable places out there (like mine) and while they're no fun, I don't expect they will define my career.

elkpark, as with most things government, the reason this place continues in the way it does is because most of us can't vote with our feet. The civilians are leaving and that leaves the military to pick up the slack, and as you noted, very little will improve when you have a workforce that can't say "no".

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The sky is the limit! Never stop dreaming or achieving. My imaginary superwoman cape is under my scrubs. Dig deep to establish your own set of core values and self respect.

As we all learn, grow and evolve in the profession true passion and positivity radiate from your own inner core.

This can not be taught in any nursing curriculum. Courage and wisdom are time acquired. Sharing these core values with new nurses is a gift!

Best wishes in your journey :)

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In all fairness your sentiments have been echoed more than once on this forum. I've often found then and do at present that nursing appears to attract some very idealistic people whose beliefs (while subjectively 'good') are apt to lend them wholly disappointed and very disenchanted. There are a few key elements in your response which illustrate my perspective:

"Everyone becomes for them self and no one is willing to help you out, even people who you call friends."

Do you earnestly believe that the pursuit of higher education does not include some modicum of self-interest or motivation? Further, are you of the belief that ones presence in an institution whose fees you're financially carrying begets some element of responsibility from your classmates? And if so, why are they beholden to your progression? Have you secured their assistance through payment (as one would a tutor) or are you expecting some degree of benevolence because it's the right thing to do? Why is your success or lack of their problem or responsibility? And in like vain, do you carry the same degree of sentiment towards them?

"Please only go into nursing education if you have a passion for it"

Passion is not a conclusive qualifier for a job well done. Nursing is a job. In spite of your high praise and positive thoughts, there is a bottom line involved. And I'm certain that the one you're positing at present is severely different from the mindset of those in positions of influence in your workplace and in the healthcare sector as a whole. Your idealism has blinded you to the sweeping reality that many have entered the profession filled with passionate underpinnings extolling the wonders of being of service only to encounter the ugly side of their utopia and the stirring pangs of disappointment.

"We didn't come on this forum for a philosophical discussion. We came on here for support. Support. Where is it?"

Therein lies the crux of your problem. Dare I say the root and a common undercurrent that I've observed in other threads. There's an old saying, "Give me a fish and I'll eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I'll eat for a lifetime." What you seek is rarely found in venues like these. You're presenting a thought, question, or venting to a group of strangers. Familiar strangers for some, but inevitably relatively few who have committed themselves to your betterment and are thoroughly invested in its attainment.

I won't dispel the seriousness of your want for support. But I think there's an over dependence in some and deep seeded expectations for senior persons to come alongside and aid in your growth. Nurses who have come before you are not indebted in any way. The noblesse oblige that you're pontificating is an inherent mark of ones makeup. It isn't a quality that you can implore an individual to put on. There are those who feel driven to do what you've suggested and more than a few who have no desire or inclination to lift a finger. And you must honestly accept the reality of both parties' existence and recognize their right to do such.

You've been given much advice. I can only suggest that you revisit your perspective on adversity and consider how difficult situations can be utilized advantageously. I would posit that while a smooth road has its benefits, the bumpy one strengthens armor in a manner that an easier time cannot. No one will hand you the keys and their insistence on making you work harder than necessary or being incompetent needn't become a roadblock. But the very things which motivate you to stretch your legs and jump a little higher. Iron sharpens iron and it's the steely resolve which will enable your progression and its survival when challenged. You don't get that without trial and a few blows which test and validate your internal fortitude.

Finally, your support network needn't come from the nursing community. You would be well served to have a male adviser and communicate with women senior to yourself who've traversed the challenges you're encountering and learned to stand as a result. There are moments when you must go it alone. There are instances when the only thing that you carry with you is your courage and the dawn you perceive on the horizon. This is the bridge between those who do and the relatively few who become. Focus your attention on the latter group and the mountains won't seem so daunting. Good luck.

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