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  1. #21
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    Mar. 27, 2008
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    I feel like I have seen more than my share of nurses from private practice, to ER, to multiple hospitals in the past 2 1/2 years. I can't think of a single complaint. They were all wonderful and caring, and I never felt like a piece of meat. I am very grateful for all of them.
    However, I met an RN several years back who was a boarder - so this was outside a professional setting. I don't know how she acted on the job, but she was one of the meanest people I have ever met. She took her frustrations out on her horses. I always wondered if she just got burnt out or if she was someone who shouldn't have been a nurse.
    Last edited by GotGait; Nov. 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM.
    You are what you dare.



  2. #22
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    Sep. 2, 2008
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    Greeley, Colorado
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    My Mom passed away in the fall of 2010 and spent the last 6 weeks in and out of the hospital (specifically the ICU). I found the nurses were some of the most caring and genuinely kind hearted people I've ever met. Every need my Mom had was met promptly, even though it was obviously they were understaffed. They came in just to check on her and took the time to learn little things about her personal life (she told stories about me, her dog, etc). They would even call my Dad on his cell just to give him and update because they knew he was worried. I am endlessly grateful for the nurses that give my terminally ill mother as much comfort and compassion in her last few weeks as anyone should dream for.

    FWIW this was at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. I do not remember their names but I will never, ever forget their warm smiles in the midst of chaos and tragedy.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  3. #23
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    Apr. 1, 2008
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    I could not be a nurse. Which means I am incredibly grateful to those who do that job and do it well.

    I have 3 kids and all were C-sections. In all the time I spent in the hospital, I only had one encounter with a poor attitude, but that one nurse made me cry. When my son was admitted to the hospital for a few days as a young child, the nursing staff was exceptional and truly empathetic. When I was admitted for my broken leg and surgery, the nursing staff was, again, extraordinary.

    My hat is off to the nurses I have met and those I have known.....I can absolutely see where it would be a high burn out, stressful job.



  4. #24
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    Mar. 4, 2004
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    Louisville, KY
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    I work in a hospital, but am not a nurse. The majority of nurses I work with are good. Some are great, some not so good. A few are horrible. Those generally don't last long. With the economy, there are lots of people going into the nursing field for the stability, but have no idea of what being a nurse really entails.

    I think the days of nursing being a primarily female profession are over. I work with plenty of male nurses, and we have five or six different schools of nursing students rotating through our hospital. The students seem to be made up about equally of males and females. So maybe we could stop generalizing? Or maybe all those guys "just want to marry a doctor?"
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    Oct. 12, 2005
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    dur-Ham, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcjumper View Post
    ^^^THIS!! Perfect response!

    ETA: I've been an a RN for 22 years. 19 year in the ER!
    Thank you. I work NICU (neonatal intensive care), and I get pure joy out of knowing that I'm helping babies and their families get the best possible start in life despite their circumstances.
    Have YOU ever looked into the eyes of a rich white child who has just lost a jumping competition?



    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
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    CT
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    IME the nurses that work outside a hospital or doctor's office are the ones I found more likely to have bad attitudes or be less competent.

    I have only minor complaints about the nurses in the hospital from my stays and my parents'. They seemed to ranged from barely-competent-but-disinterested to wonderful lifelines for patients and families. The vast majority seemed to be good nurses and good people. And I dont know how much of the perceived difficulty was really the system rather than the individual.

    The home nurses seemed to have an even wider range of attitude and interest and there didnt seem to be many in the middle! They were either great or horrible. And it was particularly difficult when they were horrible because it was harder to access any other medical professional.

    I wonder if some of them are like a friend of mine. She went all the way throught nursing school on ROTC. She said she wanted a "woman's profession" and, yes, she did hope to marry a doctor! Once she graduated she found that she didnt like nursing and couldnt handle the pressure. She spent her military time in Supply. Once out, she turned to private-duty home nursing. She wasnt deliberately cold or uncaring, but she just wasnt suited. She kept doing it because she felt she didnt have any other marketable skill. And all along she was hoping to marry and quit work (Yes, some women still think like that!) She eventually was fired by the agency (she kept refusing assignments she didnt like) and worked low-paying jobs until she finally did find a guy to take care of her.

    As a teacher, I know how it feels when people start ranting about "those people!" in your profession. So a thank you for all the wonderful, caring nurses, many of whom are working today on Thanksgiving. We really appreciate you!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by nccatnip View Post
    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.

    This is exactly what my SIL says. She did this job for decades, in the middle of it she shifted to the insurance companies and worked as a pre-approval nurse, went back to the home care business for a few years, then took a pay cut to bail out into a doctor's office as a case manager and finally LOVES her job! She says that sadly, some are now getting into it for the money when they shouldn't be in the profession at all.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



  8. #28
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    Jan. 14, 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshfield View Post
    With so many states having laws in regards to nurse to patient ratios, how do the hospitals get away with leaving you short-handed?
    Well, my mom said that they slowly got rid of supporting staff, so no mure unit clerks to take care of the paperwork and answer the phone and do all sorts of administrative stuff. It all fell to the nurses. I'm sure other supports have been cut. she also said (she just retired after 25 years as an ICU nurse) that everything is becoming computerized and more "efficient". Patients can be monitored remotely, so multiple patients stats can be viewed from one place and if I understood correctly, Dr's can also monitor and send in orders without seeing the patient. So in theory "fewer" nurses are needed.

    When she first started in ICU, she would have two patients to take care of. That changed to 4 around the time they got rid of the unit clerks and when she finally retired I think she may have been up to 8.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    After a life practically never seeing a doctor's office, the past few years seems that I have been catching up on that big time.
    I had four serious surgeries and nine procedures all together where I needed to be put under, plus all the testing involved and so was in hospitals plenty.

    I have to say that only two times from the many I had a nurse that was a bit short, one I think was on something maybe, another that I think was on her way out, the other nurses clearly didn't like her.

    Everyone else, in all places, were exceptional, professional, sweet and paying attention and I am talking many of them.
    I watched them with other patients and their families also, some difficult ones and they were very smooth and caring thru it all.

    I say, just like everyone else, I expect nurses have bad days too and can't always be at their best, but in general, they are as good as their work place lets them be.
    We have two hospitals here and one, the nurses don't like to work there as well as the other, that manages them much better, so they can do their work happily.

    I give the nurses I have been around a definite thumbs up.



  10. #30
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    I am an RN. I work in the ICU and ED. Not going to lie, originally went into nursing for the stability, benefits and decent money. My first degree didn't offer me many options unless I wanted to do a masters or PhD; was originally intending to go to vet school but decided against that and didn't have the right pre-reqs at the time for med school. I got a full time job right out of school and could work every day right now if I really wanted to. I really do love my job, although some days are better than others. If I was working on the floors I don't think I would have lasted; you really have to find the place that suits you and work with like-minded people. I like the adrenaline, critical thinking, team work and constant learning that I have in my departments. Some of the nurses I work with are the smartest people I know, more so than many of the MDs ... and remember, the nurses are the ones who prevent the residents from making mistakes and hurting the patients a lot of the time!
    As for nurses with bad bedside manners, I'd rather have a super competent RN with a bad bedside manner than an ignorant one who seems "caring". Which one is most likely to get the best outcome ...



  11. #31
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    Oct. 16, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristeia View Post
    Some of the nurses I work with are the smartest people I know, more so than many of the MDs ... and remember, the nurses are the ones who prevent the residents from making mistakes and hurting the patients a lot of the time!
    As for nurses with bad bedside manners, I'd rather have a super competent RN with a bad bedside manner than an ignorant one who seems "caring". Which one is most likely to get the best outcome ...
    I completely agree with you about some nurses knowing much more than some of the doctors, especially the residents. I have told my family members not to let residents (especially first year) touch them or make decisions. (Sorry to all those who are first year residents. It isn't your fault, you just need more training)

    As per your second comment, I think it is valid but also in part formed because of the departments you work in. For high acuity patients, that are at risk to decompensate any minute you absolutely want observant, quick and smart as a priority. For other patients who may be in the hospital for weeks or who are at the end of life (where the clock cannot be turned backwards) "caring" may have more "value".

    This is one of my favorite aspects of the profession. There are divisions that suit all different types of personalities and skill levels. It is really important that you find the unit that best matches your personality and skill level with patient needs.

    I once had an older woman with dementia say to me after I wiped her tush,"you are so gentle. Are you coming back?" It made me sad because obviously others were being too rough with her.

    That moment was no less gratifying for me than times when my interventions (catching medication errors or discovering active vaginal bleeding that nobody had noticed on a patient post-sepsis) were more "life-saving".



  12. #32
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    Dec. 11, 2005
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    Southern California - Hemet
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    The hospice nurse who was my brother's key home caregiver during the last 6 months of his life was stellar. My brother was not always the easiest person to get along with in any event and he was even more so when he was feeling particularly ill, but my brother grew to look forward to when it was Derek's day to come over because they had formed quite a rapport with one another.



  13. #33
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Michigan
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    I think Lex's first point and nccatnip's are right on--I know people who have dropped out of nursing programs they went into because the big selling point is "jobs." I'm sure there are people who go in for the same reason who don't have the luxury of changing schools/programs once they realize it's a brutal job that's not really for them. Heck, I have a culinary degree and I hate the work (it's long, thankless, low-paying, but it IS readily-available work) because a job's a job... I bet some of the less-sterling examples of nurses wound up doing it because that was something they could get a degree in that would pretty much guarantee paying work, not because they loved it.



  14. #34
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    I would also like to put it out there that many who complete nursing programs now can't find jobs in hospitals or clinics and that quite a few "for profit" nursing educational programs now have work requirements for completion. I am in an area with a lot of nursing programs and many of the graduates are only able to get part-time work at best.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Oct. 26, 2005
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    I became a nurse (emergency psychiatry) because I love the adrenaline, the interdisciplinary staff, and the nature of mental illness and acute emotional dysregulation. To be honest, that's why I worked in the department as a tech.

    I stayed on as a nurse there, despite many viable other types of units I could work on, because I love talking to people, thinking critically, making GOOD money, having some flexible scheduling (not as much as other units seem to get, though) and being able to help a population that is often completely misunderstood or maligned by the general population... and even many healthcare workers.

    I will continue on as a psych nurse practitioner because I don't WANT that flexibility long-term. I want to be reasonably assured I won't be looking at a career of overnights. I want more responsibility. I want to be a "mover and a shaker" in the rapidly-changing face of mental illness and treatment.

    And I wouldn't mind the salary to match said increases in responsibility and skills



  16. #36
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    Jan. 29, 2011
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    I became a nurse as a second career. My first career was going nowhere and I was sick of all the traveling I had to do, so I quit working and completed an accelerated BSN program.

    I work on a bone marrow transplant floor and love it! While oncology is not for everyone, I can't imagine myself in any other place. My patients are truly awesome. Makes me thankful for my health and puts life into perspective.

    I do rotate shifts (which I hate) and have some flexibility in my schedule, but it allows me to ride 3-4 days a week and show a few times a year.



  17. #37
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    Aug. 11, 2010
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    I am not a nurse. I do however, have a family with many health care practioners in it - some are nurses, some are not. I have heard horror stories.

    I believe the horror story nurses get burnt out. It is such a difficult job and many people who go into nursing aren't really cut out for it.

    That being said, the times I have needed to go to the hospital, I have always had wonderful, caring, friendly nurses. Nurses who still cooed soothingly at me, even after I vomitted over all over them. Nurses who periodically checked on me and always made sure I was as comfortable as possible. Nurses who chatted with my (health savvy) family and took what they said into account.

    I am lucky to say that all the doctors, paramedics, nurses, receptionists, xray, mri and blood techs that I have met along the way were friendly and caring. Heck, even the janitors I've talked to were super helpful! Friendly and caring hospital staff have the ability to make a horrible time a little bit more pleasent. Thank you!



  18. #38
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhorse98 View Post
    I became a nurse as a second career. My first career was going nowhere and I was sick of all the traveling I had to do, so I quit working and completed an accelerated BSN program.

    I work on a bone marrow transplant floor and love it! While oncology is not for everyone, I can't imagine myself in any other place. My patients are truly awesome. Makes me thankful for my health and puts life into perspective.

    I do rotate shifts (which I hate) and have some flexibility in my schedule, but it allows me to ride 3-4 days a week and show a few times a year.
    Whoot Whoot! Me too! I adore my BMT patients. I find because they try so hard to get better, it brings out the best in me. Right now I'm also casual in ER, and I must say some of the disrespectful people I meet there do not encourage me to bend over backwards for them. I mean they still receive excellent care, but its not like I'll go on my coffee break to hunt them down a specific snack they are really craving. (I've literally forgone my lunch to go on a slushie run for a patient because that was all they could get down due to severe mucositis). I think in my experience certain patient personalities can make it difficult for the healthcare team. Generally, I try to "kill 'em with kindness" but I have certainly met a few in my time that made caring hard. I don't really like being called swear words while I'm only trying to help you. But, those are far and few between.

    Also, I know for a fact that if I didn't get to work with all the amazing staff that I do there is no way I could continue being a nurse. The people I have met keep me coming back with a desire to work. During school I seriously questioned my chosen line of work due to the terrible care and attitudes I encountered. It is true, nurses do eat their young so to speak.

    I think most nurses I have met that were less than stellar had burnt out or were not a good fit with what they were doing. It's tough to learn a new area, but sometimes you need to try another area. Or, you need to find a group of people you trust and respect to work with.

    To all those non healthcare peeps out there, please say thank you to those that do make a difference because it reinforces all the good care! When someone says a simple thanks, a shitty day is all worth it!
    Last edited by Moogles; Nov. 24, 2012 at 05:12 AM. Reason: arg still can't spell



  19. #39
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    Dec. 28, 2009
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    VA
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    A lady I board with began nursing as a second career. She did not finish college as a young adult (marriage and young children), but she did become a massage therapists. After the kids moved out (only one more in the home-he's a senior) she decided she wanted to do something that still had some flexibility, but provided her more earning power.

    She has been nursing for 2 years. When she started she had a plan for what she thought would work best for her. She felt that a regular floor nurse wouldn't be a good fit, because she would feel that she was neglecting all the other patients. She worked as a step down unit nurse for 18 months. She was disgusted by the lack of compassion and professionalism of the nurses she worked with. She found the changing shifts to be very hard on her. She was unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours during the day when she worked several night shifts in a row.

    She is now working in the out patient surgical center prepping patients for surgery and taking care of them afterwards. The shifts don't start before 5am and always end by 6pm. She gets to be attentive to her patients needs. And she loves the nurses she's working with.

    She is a nuturing type of person. She changed her profession to make more money, but it still fits with her personality.

    I admire her for enduring a rough few years (continuing to work as a massage therapist, go to school for nursing, be a wife, and mother) to attain a goal. I also admire her for knowing herself well enough and having respect for her co workers and patients to not stop looking to find the area in which she could best excel.



  20. #40
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    I think this may be one of the best threads these OT days.
    Thumbs up for everyone here.

    Thank you for all the stories, the scary ones and the wonderful, insightful ways people/health care workers go about their lives and work.

    Veeeeery interesting.



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