The Reality of It All……male nurse

I currently work at a Level I trauma center in Denver,Colorado. My experiences of some 30 years in the healthcare field range from being a U.S. Army Special Forces Aidman; a nuerosurgicial/ICU nurse; to being a flight nurse. As a male, I never thought I’d choose nursing as a career. Well, after many years of being a paramedic in the streets I elected to become one. Hey, nursing can’t be all that bad, or, can it? Now, after 11 years of working in emergency departments I have decided to leave…quickly. The multiplicity of events and issues which have became the impetus of my reasoning and logic concerning my decision to exit the nursing profession are enormous. Don’t get me wrong…I very much love what I do, but the healthcare system is not a place I want to be in the next few years. Why not, you may ask? The legions of nurses who are made to endure the working conditions of todays hospitals remind me of the industrial revolution, whereby, people were made to work in very poor and dangerous conditions. Well, you get the idea! I believe only those nurses who can be honest and truthful to themseleves, and who are experienced nurses can claim this understanding. Those who don’t probably have something to loose; their jobs most likely. Or, it might be because you are locked into your career out of need for money, insurance, pension, a schedule which allows you to take care of the kids, or house pet. Or, it might be because of a lack of desire and/or energy, or the availibility of time and resources to pursue a different career. Moreover, maybe some nurses have elected to just… go along, to, get along. I recently overheard my manager say out load in the emergency department to another E.D./R.N., ” if you don’t like it, leave!!” This was during a period in the ED when we were being over run with too many critical patients and not enough staff. It was a dangerous environment. (this happens on a daily basis) Divert? In your dreams! It is a known fact, “the administration doesn’t believe in it, and the doctors have agreed!” Where are the lawyers? This hospital will hardly ever go on divert! ($$$$$) This is one out of many reasons why I have chosen to leave this profession. Why work in such a field where…well,you know! If not, you will! I guarantee it. No matter what floor you may work on. There will remain a lot of major issues and problems long after I and many other experienced nurses have left the profession. I only see in the future the almighty dollar being the focal point of our administration’s policies and directives which will continue to impede excellent healthcare. Although, I can’t blame them – business is business. But, my conscious is clear… I don’t have to remain. Boy, it feels great already! Well, off to law school. Oh yeah, I did go back to school and receive my B.A. in Political Science while working full-time as an E.D. nurse. Now..the future is an open door.

I submit this question to you; ” how long will it take before you realize that you don’t need to accept the conditions which nurses work in today ?”

There are options ! I’m a prime example.

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