Times have changed in nursing

I agree with many of the negative comments about nursing. Although, I feel nursing is a noble profession, I don’t feel it should be entered by anyone who hasn’t done their homework.
Nursing has changed a great bit since I entered the field about 25 years ago. I was very happy for the first 10 years or so and even now I still enjoy patient care and the satisfaction it gives. I don’t care for the crap that goes with it.
I entered nursing in a time when hospitals used their profits to purchase more advanced medical equipment and the goal was to improve patient care. A time when hospitals and providers had no need to advertise and compete with each other for patients. A time when you could spend time with your patients and give good, safe care. A time filled with more fun and less stress. Times have changed in nursing. Unfortunately, we were forced to change and not for the better. With the advent of ‘for profit’ hospital corporations, I have seen cuts in staffing in all areas that involve patient care. I haven’t seen many administrative positions cut. It seems that administrators and CEOs of these corporations are getting very rich, at the expense of patient care. Since many hospitals have been bought out by these corporations, we have been forced to practice with fewer staff members, even housekeeping was cut. Now housekeeping is the responsibility of many nurses which takes time from their patients. The corporation is a business and its bottom line is PROFIT. Their advertising tells us otherwise but those who work in the field know where the bucks go. And it’s not going for patient care. I have witnessed this at our small city owned hospital. We were bought out. Things went down hill over the years til it became dangerous to practice there. I remember many shifts working non stop for 8-12 hours taking care of critical patients. The pace eventually wears you down mentally and physically. You can’t last for many years at that pace.
For those who are entering nursing or thinking of it, I strongly advise you to do your research. Interview as many nurses as you can. Be sure to include those who have many years experience and those that have recently entered the field. It is hard, stressful, and dangerous work. If you do enter the field, plan an alternate career path early on. Work in many areas and don’t limit yourself to one specialty for too long. You may find it hard to feel comfortable in another area after being in one specialty for years. Remember you may be entering a field that focuses more bottom line than patient care.

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