because it’s been wayyyyyy too long since i had a good nursing rant, and i know you all LOVE them. you’ve told me so.
In case you’re totally new to this blog (or have just been skimming almost the past year), I make no attempts to hide the fact that I hate my job. In fact, google analytics tells me that most people find my blog through searching for “I hate nursing” or something to that effect. I get some hits for running, but that’s how the majority of people find my blog through search engines! Crazy, isn’t it? And it’s true, I really, really, really hate my job. I can’t explain the stress of being a nurse to anyone who isn’t a nurse (just as I can’t imagine being an accountant around tax time…or Santa Claus on Christmas!), but I will now attempt to explain why I can’t stand my job:
After thirty days off of orientation, we can be “pulled” to other floors, meaning that when other floors are short-staffed, we get sent there to staff them. As a medical/surgical floor nurse (we don’t do cardiac monitoring at all on my floor), I am allowed to go to the telemetry floors (with cardiac monitors) and the ICU. I actually believe that our nursing handbook says I can’t go to the ICU, but nevermind that. Ever since August, I’ve spent anywhere from one-three days per week staffing another floor. Would you like going into work every day not knowing where you’re going to work? Not being super familiar with your coworkers? Not familiar with exactly how each floor operates? Not knowing where each floor keeps all their supplies? Not being familiar with the patient population? Drives me nuts! Granted, some of this has improved since I started since I’ve been there so often, but it’s still nerve-wracking.
When I’ve talked to other nurses or nurse recruiters, they are SHOCKED that I get pulled to other floors so often and so soon after orientation. Absolutely shocked! Yep, it happens.
We have little to no help. On evening shift on my floor, we don’t even have an aide who is assigned to work with us. If the “staffing grid” calls for an aide, one has to be pulled to from another floor to help us. It’s not terrible doing my own vital signs and blood sugar checks, but sometimes you need someone to help turn someone…or when ALL your patients have blood sugar checks, that takes up a lot of time! Especially when each nurse has 4-5 patients of their own, it can be kind of a mess. The nurses on my floor are great about helping each other out, but on other floors, it can be hard to just find someone with the way the hospital is laid out. I don’t have time to spent five minutes tracking someone down. After 6pm, we no longer have transportation people, so it’s then my job to take people for tests or to run labs down. I have time for that, you know.
After everything I said above, the budget is super tight (hence why we don’t have much help, I suppose), so being late is NOT an option. Stay one minute late and you have to explain yourself. The only “excuse” is a code situation…everything else you should be able to handle. Alright then.
I’m going to cut myself off there. I could continue, but those are the three big things, I suppose. Two other new nurses work evening shift with one (one started a little before me, one started a little after me), and we all HATE our jobs. In my mind, there is “I don’t really like going to work” and “My job makes me cry,” and we fall into the second camp. I find it hard to believe that we all just happen to hate nursing, so I more think of it as a reflection of where we work. Right? Other nurses who I talk to say the way our hospital is run seems outrageous and that not every nurse totally hates their job. I realize that I work in a pretty toxic environment and that I shouldn’t give up on nursing yet, but sometimes I would LOVE to quit and never go back.
Of course, the plan is to find a new job since I don’t like where I work…at all. The job market is looking better for nurses, since when I was applying for jobs last year, the economy was terrible and NO ONE wanted to hire new nurses. Trust me…I applied to over 150 jobs and this is the only one that even took a look at me. However, it’s now backfiring on me! I’ve always wanted to work at a large, urban, university-affiliated hospital because that’s where the sick people are. My nursing school was just like this, and it’s what I pictured myself doing. However, I couldn’t get a job at hospital like that out of nursing school, so I took a job at a community hospital. Now, all the recruiters tell me that I might not be able to handle the jump in patient acuity. Waiiit a minute. They hire new graduates into these hospitals, so why would my (almost) one year experience not prepare me, at least a little bit? I understand the jump in acuity and that’s what I would be looking for…and there is A LOT to be said for the time management skills, talking to doctors/families, and general nursing skills that you learn by actually being a nurse versus being in nursing school.
Also, for the record, I am one smart cookie. Not to float my own boat or anything, but I graduated at the top of my nursing class. Granted the classroom is very different than the clinical floor so good grades don’t always mean a good nurse, but I enjoy thinking. Hence the whole higher acuity thing. That being said, I am really good at turning people and applying barrier cream to their sacrums. No pressure ulcers here!
That’s enough of a nursing rant for now. Thank you all for listening! I had a terrible night on Friday night and was tearing up about having to go into work on Saturday. Luckily I got sent home after four hours (yayyy!), and I proceeded to watch the Food Network Challenge, where amazing cake decorators make ridiculous cakes. I’m hoping they host an amateur version so Allie and I can team up and be on the show.
This giant post of negativity will be followed by a post of positivity, where I talk about what I want to do next to attempt to remedy this situation that I’m in. As a dose of positivity for now, I’m sitting out on the deck, in the sun, in my swimsuit, blogging to all my lovely friends. Love it!
GOOD LUCK to everyone who is marathoning (or half marathoning…or Broad Street running!) this morning! I’m thinking about all of you so I hope you’re hearing me scream for you over every timing mat.