A Good Warning to All Nursing Students

I have been a nurse for almost 3 years now. I’m 26, and work in Canada, where health care is free for everyone.

At first I loved my new uniform, my stethoscope, my responsibility, the recognition from friends and peers that yes, now I am an RN. A professional with a ‘career’.

After the first year I was still alright but then the job started to wear on me. Dear, dear students…so bright eyed..and naive like myself.

You will find that nurses form cliques. Especially females. You must fit into the clique, no matter what their practices. If you choose to stand up for what is right and just you will find yourself a target of malicious gossip with the intent to harm your self esteem. When you complain, managers will not care. Trust me. Unless you go through HR with a formal harassment complaint you will not find help.

The only thing that matters to your boss will be ‘THE BUDGET’. Nothing else is more important to them.

Patients are not grateful for the work you do. The majority actually demand more attention,and will ’sit’ on the call bell, ringing every 5 mins (literally) to have you pour water for them or to fluff their pillow. You will be a waitress, physiotherapist, pharmacist, physician, dietician, and maid. You will be called ‘nurse’, ‘hey you’

Doctors generally will not be patient with you. Some will though, I’m generalizing, as will some nurses.

Workload issues are forever ongoing – I get 5 general surgical patients on days and 9 on nights. It’s insane. Mistakes are rampant because of the constant workload. Oh, and if you make a mistake, you will have to fill out an ‘incident report’ which is a form to ‘help people in the future’ – crap – it goes to the managers and you will hear about it. Rarely do you hear ‘you’re doing a good job’. But if you make a mistake whoo boy..watch out.

Someone has to do the job and unless you win the lottery or something, it is your job to be a nurse. Go in with a smile, even if you don’t feel like it and start planning for something else if need be – go to school part-time, as am I…for a job that makes me feel good about myself and others.