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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2012
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    Virginia
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    297

    Default why do people become a nurse???

    I'm sure this sounds like an interesting thread title so first let me make it clear that I am a nurse. I have been since May 2002. That being said I currently work as a hospice nurse. This past May I took a promotion and became a Community Educator. Today I filled in as a field nurse again. I was uber excited to see patients again but not prepared for the insanity I was going to encounter.
    Along comes a patient. The minute I walk in, I immediately sensed something wrong. The first words out of a caregivers mouth were "Oh thank God you are here". The patient was in a complete distress. Nothing was working and things were getting out of control. I called the primary nurse and she had this horrible nonchalant attitude. I reiterated that we were involved in a major crises and she said "well I've never seen that happen, she'll be fine, just leave". I called the case manager again and she made it as if I was being overly dramatic and even said the family just needed to figure things out on their own.
    How in the hell can a person that clueless and uncaring become a nurse, let along a hospice nurse? I don't get it. All of the warning signs have been there and per family, they have tried to talk to nurse on other occasions. I'm completely disgusted.



  2. #2
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    Feb. 18, 2008
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    732

    Default

    I don"t understand it either.I spent the past year in and out of the hospital with my Mom...the last six wks of her life I lived in the hospital and nursing home with her.I was shocked at some of the things that went on.Had I not been there fighting for meds etc on her behalf she would have gone without.I had nurses argue about her meds only to have the doctors verify the next day that I was indeed correct.It was horrible.Her urinary catheter was neglected,her oxygen was forgotten and the biggy....a few months before her initial lymph gland removal(and the start of her demise)they LOST her biopsy.This was so ridiculous.She'd probably still be here if they hadn't lost it.Yes...I filed complaints with everyone I possibly could.Now on the other hand,I must say there were some very exceptional nurses...just not enough of them.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
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    5,691

    Default

    It's not becoming a nurse, it's staying a nurse. It's a super high burnout occupation. I know some very happy nurses, and the clue seems to be to find the right setting, the right shift, and the right people to work with. E.g. a good friend at my barn works overnights on a general inpatient ward in a big urban hospital, because it's not constant OMG this person might die, and she gets a flexible enough schedule that she can spend a lot of time with her horse.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Rock Chalk!
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    Default

    I've had a totally opposite experience with nurses. When my mom was in the hospital, then in hospice, they were amazing. Caring, compassionate, dedicated. Every one of them did everything possible to help her and us through that terrible time.

    I have several friends who are nurses. One is an ER nurse, another a NICU nurse, a hospice nurse, a nurse who works in a mammography center with people who may be facing cancer. I could not imagine any more compassionate people who deal with terrible things every single day. While I haven't (thankfully) needed any of them in a professional capacity, I know how much their careers mean to them and that they care deeply about their patients.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    11,431

    Default

    Based on the women I've talked to....

    1. They fell for the nursing school ads that promised them a job. (Often the case with immigrants and those who have questionable personal histories)

    2. They want to score drugs. (Sadly, I have met quite a few nurses who are recreational drug users)

    3. They want to marry a doctor. Very common. (Even though Doctors are known for cheating, the paycheck is still attractive and I think Grey's Anatomy and ER have really sold a lot of women on landing a Doctor)

    4. They like kids and want to work as a Pediatric Nurse. (Many women I've met who genuinely seem to love the idea of being a nurse want to do Pediatric Nursing)

    5. They like adrenaline. (I've met quite a few ER nurses who are attracted to the craziness)
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2011
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    856

    Default

    Having just left the hospital, I think every nurse with whom I dealt has a special place in heaven. They were all great!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2006
    Posts
    835

    Default

    Some people shouldn't be nurses, however, please don't "bash" us as a majority.

    We go to incredible lengths to keep your family and loved ones safe and healthy while in our care. Bad eggs exist in every profession.

    It is a SYSTEMS issue much of the time.

    Too few nurses caring for too many patients because the facilities won't spend enough to staff the floors properly.

    Most of the nurse I know, and work with, work themselves to the physical and emotional bone for total strangers. We fret about your family members when we are home with ours.

    Please be mindful in your personal grief, I am truly sorry you lost your mother, not to paint everybody with the same brush.


    10 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009
    Location
    NCC DE
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    2,359

    Default

    When I got laid off my job in 2001 I decided I would go to nursing school. I finished school and got a job right away. I was really excited to start a new career. Then reality hit me.

    Some (certainly not all) of my "colleagues" were the most unprofessional, back-biting, lazy, uncaring people that I have ever had the misfortune of working with. Just as one example, I was catheterizing a woman who was unable to urinate. The room door was halfway closed and the curtain pulled totally around the bed. A co-worker of mine marched in, pulled the curtain back, and proceeded to tell me that I had call bells ringing. Going to management was an exercise in futility. The director just wouldn't address this kind of behavior.

    I lasted exactly 1 day short of 18 months. I had the opportunity to go back to the company I was laid off from and I never looked back. I regret nothing about leaving. I really think it was the worst job I ever had. I consider the education I got as a sort of a "plan B" in the event I ever find myself unemployed again but I'd be hard pressed to go back to hospital nursing. I've heard that the department I was in has changed but I have zero desire to go back and find out.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
    Location
    dur-Ham, NC
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    492

    Default

    Because I wanted job stability and a good paycheck in an uncertain economy. Because I wanted a fulfilling career that wouldn't suck up my entire life. Because I love critical thinking on my feet. Because I am smart. Because I want a job where I honestly make a difference every single day that I work.
    Have YOU ever looked into the eyes of a rich white child who has just lost a jumping competition?



    11 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2003
    Posts
    4,574

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    Based on the women I've talked to....

    1. They fell for the nursing school ads that promised them a job. (Often the case with immigrants and those who have questionable personal histories)

    2. They want to score drugs. (Sadly, I have met quite a few nurses who are recreational drug users)

    3. They want to marry a doctor. Very common. (Even though Doctors are known for cheating, the paycheck is still attractive and I think Grey's Anatomy and ER have really sold a lot of women on landing a Doctor)

    4. They like kids and want to work as a Pediatric Nurse. (Many women I've met who genuinely seem to love the idea of being a nurse want to do Pediatric Nursing)

    5. They like adrenaline. (I've met quite a few ER nurses who are attracted to the craziness)
    You need to upgrade in the people you asociated with, Lex. Seriously.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


    11 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    11,372

    Default

    Well, first, thank you!

    Next, thank you again for seeing the problem.

    I worked in hospice and was appalled as you are.

    But the worst and best for me was this last August when my mother came out of the hospital. The CHF unit at the hospital was awesome. But the visiting nurse they sent after she was discharged? She couldn't even get the BP right! And then she was trying to explain CHF and A fib to my mom and got it all flipped around. I had to correct her. THEN she didn't know anything about the meds Mom was on.

    Christ on a cracker! I'm not a nurse. I tutor nursing patho, pharm, etc so I know SOME stuff, but this woman was sent to educate and had no clue.

    So. I dunno. But I will say that every one of my students has been the kind of person who genuinely wanted to do good things for people. And they are doing that. They worked hard through nursing school at MSU and they are out there doing good things. Very proud of them.

    There are duds in any field. Don't be one. Sounds like you're not! Good on ya~
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    11,372

    Default

    Well, first, thank you!

    Next, thank you again for seeing the problem.

    I worked in hospice and was appalled as you are.

    But the worst and best for me was this last August when my mother came out of the hospital. The CHF unit at the hospital was awesome. But the visiting nurse they sent after she was discharged? She couldn't even get the BP right! And then she was trying to explain CHF and A fib to my mom and got it all flipped around. I had to correct her. THEN she didn't know anything about the meds Mom was on.

    Christ on a cracker! I'm not a nurse. I tutor nursing patho, pharm, etc so I know SOME stuff, but this woman was sent to educate and had no clue.

    So. I dunno. But I will say that every one of my students has been the kind of person who genuinely wanted to do good things for people. And they are doing that. They worked hard through nursing school at MSU and they are out there doing good things. Very proud of them.

    There are duds in any field. Don't be one. Sounds like you're not! Good on ya~
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  13. #13
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    May. 11, 2009
    Location
    Dairyville USA
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    Default

    Jesus H Christ on a crutch...Dr Mr G is reading over my shoulder. He says, and I quote "<expletive>! I'd be making a 911 call or even better just showing up at the MDs office with the patient.<expletive> hospice is for comforting and relieving <expletive> pain NOT <expletive> keeping your patients around in infinite distress, if they can't handle that they shouldn't be <expletive> working in hospice"
    (of course, he's a surgeon so you know, they can be, um...forceful)

    Also, he says you might find some comfort or like minded nurses over at allnurses.com

    What did you end up doing?
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,946

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by west5 View Post
    Too few nurses caring for too many patients because the facilities won't spend enough to staff the floors properly.
    With so many states having laws in regards to nurse to patient ratios, how do the hospitals get away with leaving you short-handed?

    Here's my story, especially appropriate coming up on the one year anniversary. My mom is now through with her lymphoma treatment. Thanksgiving week last year, she had a pulmonary biopsy. I couldn't be there as I am an ER veterinarian and we were too lightly staffed for me to swap. I spoke with my mom when she was on her way to the hospital, shortly before I went to sleep for the day. I woke up, and realized that my dad had never called to tell me that she was out of surgery. This was now three hours past when she was supposed to be in recovery. I am now in panic mode and thinking the worst. I called my dad, and he's just been waiting patiently for the surgeon to call. Had his cell phone on his hip all day. The f&cking surgeon never called. I started by calling Worcester memorial, the main operators were able to tell me she was in recovery. At which point I started bawling. They connected me to recovery where a WONDERFUL nurse not only brought a cordless phone to my mom's bed so I could talk to her (I then called my dad and sisters with an update) she then tracked down the bastard surgeon who had left the hospital and insisted that he call his patient's dr daughter who was ripshit.

    A dear friend has a mom who is in home hospice and she also praises the nurses who come in.
    Last edited by Marshfield; Nov. 21, 2012 at 08:45 PM. Reason: typo


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2011
    Posts
    83

    Default

    There are bad eggs in every profession, And nursing is high stress, high burn out and very often an under appreciated profession. For15 years I had the privilege of working with an amazing trauma team. I know for a fact that many patients walked out of that hospital and went back to their families and lives because of the hard work, dedication, knowledge and skill of the doctors, nurses, and therapists on the team. I also know we spent many hours mourning the loss of a patient we couldn't save. Really, there is nothing better than knowing Every day you go to work you make a difference in someone's life.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    N. Augusta, SC (but forever a BUCKEYE!)
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    1,705

    Default

    I would say many people become nurses for the same reasons people become teachers....they want to help others and make a difference in their lives. Plus, the pay is decent (for most) and benefits can be good.

    Both occupations are plagued by bureaucratic b.s. as well as many individuals who simply Suck at his or her job. Fortunately, there are those who treat the profession with dignity, caring and respect and go out of their to help others.
    Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
    Talk to me about fitness or nutrition (I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer)!
    My blog! http://personalsweatequity.blogspot.com/


    3 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    55

    Default

    From my vantage point, I think the surge of apathetic and, yes, even incompetent nurses come from the marketing of the profession from the job stability and money making aspect.

    I come from a long line of nurses and also have a sister and a daughter that also works in the field. My Mother was an Army nurse in WWII.

    Everyone of us have excelled in our fields, been commended by our patients, peers, physicians and employers. None of us have suffered burn out, dysfunction or alcohol/drug addiction that so often plagues nurses.

    The difference is nursing is not what we do, it is what we are.

    I am in the position of hiring and retaining nurses in home health and I will share with you that it is appalling the quality of nurses that come threw my door. Sadly, after interviewing and even hiring dozens of nurses in the past 12 months, only two have made the 3 month mark and one is about out the door. I seriously doubt we will retain her for another month. And the worse thing is, I find NONE of them suitable for any type of nursing, much less home health.


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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    3,888

    Default

    I don't know, Anmoro. But the "nurses who shouldn't be nurses" are out there. When my father was dying at home (ALS), we had hospice and visiting nurses in. A number of them were pretty callous, it was really distressing. I KNOW they see a lot of this, but it was the first time for us and Dad was in an awful lot of distress...he didn't want a vent, but was losing the ability to breath on his own, it was horrible. Meanwhile the nurses are arguing with us about calling in for more morphine (and an anti-psychotic to go with it), because it would be "too much". WTF, he's dying, if he dies just that much sooner because he dose was too high, it would have been fine.

    We FINALLY got a really excellent, compassionate, nurse from the hospice service, who was excellent with Dad, my Mom, with us and quite assertive about calling the doctor at all hours to adjust meds...she stayed on, voluntarily, for the last day and a half and saved all of our sanity and was there when he died a peaceful death (thanks to her efforts). I've never appreciated someone so much in my life. And, I've rarely been as angry as I was at some of the nurses we got...who had an attitude like what you describe .



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
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    7,360

    Default

    I think nursing is a complicated field. A friend who is in nursing school was just talking to me about this... how she is in her second year and doing clinicals. She feels like she is left to take care of things she is not yet ready to do, or, should have more supervision until she is further along in her training.

    My mom is an RN and has been doing it for 40 years. She is amazing, has worked in the pediatric ICU, in CCU and ER. She has done school nursing and now works at a family practice. She loves her patients like family and she is amazing at what she does!

    I have met many nurses like her.... smart, dedicated and experienced. Both my children have been hospitalized with life-threatening illnesses in the last 3 years, and I would have absolutely lost my sanity were it not for the nurses.

    After months of going around in circles with specialists and tests trying to diagnose my son's illness, it was a Nurse Practitioner who realized some very basic labwork had been missed. She ran it immediately and we had a diagnosis and treatment plan within a day. It was amazing, and I will forever be indebted to her for that.

    In terms of my own care, I have had mixed experiences... Some of the best nurses I personally have had were men, which I find interesting.

    I do think there is a high rate of burnout, and you have to find your niche. Not everyone is cut out to work in the ER, do peds, or in an ICU. There's all kinds of opportunities and career paths within the nursing profession and thus everyone's gotta find their spot...
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  20. #20
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    Jun. 29, 2002
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    756

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishrose261 View Post
    Because I wanted job stability and a good paycheck in an uncertain economy. Because I wanted a fulfilling career that wouldn't suck up my entire life. Because I love critical thinking on my feet. Because I am smart. Because I want a job where I honestly make a difference every single day that I work.

    ^^^THIS!! Perfect response!

    ETA: I've been an a RN for 22 years. 19 year in the ER!
    Last edited by xcjumper; Nov. 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Forgot to add
    ~Run and Jump!~


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