i have been a nurse for 30 years (initially as l.v.n., then r.n. since 1991) and oh, the changes i’ve seen! the nursing profession has deteriorated drastically, and the working conditions at most hospitals are as desirable as being forced into slavery. in the past year i have called in sick about 20 times, mainly due to stress related illnesses such as migraines, “nervous stomach”, etc., and sometimes just because i can’t deal with another shift, (in other words a “mental health” day).

just last night i worked on my regular floor and made an error by hooking up a t.p.n. solution to a peripheral line on a patient instead of the picc line, and sure enough the peripheral site became phlebotic, and an incident report was filled out. why was the mistake made? because IT WAS THE NIGHT FROM HELL!, and i felt like i was in a war zone with the CONSTANT interruptions, which are totally distracting, so i connected the line without concentrating on my task. so i called in today because i am terrified the shift will be the same as last night, and i’ll make a more serious mistake and really harm a patient.

if people knew what goes on in hospitals today, they would not let themselves be admitted because IT’S VERY SCARY!

by contrast, i do relief work in a day surgery unit at the same hospital, and the difference is night and day. while it’s fast paced and hectic at times, the nurses are happy and friendly, work well together, and THEY INSIST THAT WE TAKE BREAKS throughout the day.

i feel valued in that department and am just waiting with bated breath for an opening so i can transfer.
i have tried to communicate my fears and concerns to my manager, but SHE JUST DOESN’T GET IT, and is far more concerned with THE BUDGET. FUCK THE BUDGET – what about the patients’ safety and her staff? this unit is like a revolving door with the turnover of nurses who come and go. the only way i survive is to find a few friendly souls and we stick together and help each other out as much as possible. the others can go to hell (not really).