quiting my job tomorrow….home health nurse

i am probably going to quit my nursing job tommorow. i am a home health nurse.

part of our job involves on-call duty on the weekends. not only are there regularly scheduled visits, but the on-call nurse is responsible for handling all the phone calls and determining if a nursing visit is needed and has to go out on the visit.

the phone rings constantly. the calls range from merely dealing with panicky patient and families to helping some old lady who should not live alone find the caregiver that is responsible for making her breakfast. it doesn’t sound unreasonable does it?

this weekend the phone rang non-stop. all calls were to be logged, but they happened so quickly that i could not keep up. i would be already handling a call and another call would ring through my cell phone. not only that, but my computer that i use to chart on my patient’s crashed. there were a few times i had to contact a supervisor and got no answer.

i ended up getting woken up at 11 pm to take a dr’s orders on a patient that administration said that they had been trying to contact all day, then another hour later, got woke up again by a patient having shortness of breath. i got woke up again at 3 am. the 3 nights i was on call i probably got 2-3 hrs sleep.

people abuse the on call, they frequently call in the middle of night saying that they cannot handle taking care of their families anymore and expect me to come out and handle all of their problems for them.

health care has become a customer service industry run by bureacrats in high-paying administrators in their ivory towers. healthcare should not be run like SEARS. the public has not clue what is really going on and the nurses are in the middle taking the heat from all angles. all you ever hear from bosses is complaints, there is no praise for good work. for all the work that i have done, schooling and all, with 15 yrs in this field,

i am not even earning $20 an hr. there are people in warehouses driving forklifts that make more than i do. after being on call and busting my rear all week, i get called at home and told that someone that called in the middle of the night complained that i seemed tired and ”put out” that they called.

i would love for some of these people to work 12-16 hrs, then take calls and have to go out in the middle of the night. they forget that we are people too. thanks for the vent.