Be Mentally Prepared Before Entering the Nursing Profession

I came from a very abusive family situation including raging, verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, abandonment, and chaos. My mother put me in foster care when I was about 16 for experimenting with drugs just once – she said I was “incorrigible” but I was really inconvenient. She wanted to work in the evenings to avoid the family situation, come home, sit on the couch, fix a “highball”, smoke, and read fiction. My low self-esteem during those formative years led to a situation where I felt I must be a caretaker of others and ultimately into the nursing profession. During the past 20 years I have been verbally abused, belittled, insulted, and disrespected. Throughout those years I thought there was something wrong with me – I wasn’t fast enough, smart enough, good enough, etc. I was constantly being judged and found lacking. Mean managers and nurses do not ostracize those like themselves. They concentrate on new grads or people with an actual conscience who try and do a good job.

I believe that I tolerated nursing because of my low self-esteem. It has been very interesting to find that in reading these posts many people have had similar experiences. Anyone attacking others here for complaining about the nursing profession clearly illustrate the problem. Let’s not fix the system – let’s remove anyone who is complaining about it or wants to be treated humanely. My advice? Do not be a patient if you can possibly avoid it in the filthy and understaffed hospitals of today. Even the best ones leave their trash overflowing to cut costs and provide housekeeping only during certain hours. Lest we forget the frequently fatal hospital acquired infections. Above all, be sure to have a psych eval if you think of entering the profession. Also, take with you a very thick skin and plan your exit strategy in advance. Hospitals do not like older nurses and find ways of disposing of them – or working them to death or disability.