Nursing is Once Desired, Now Despised

I am 27 years old and have been a nurse for 5 years. I was a stay-at-home mom before that. My husband worked and though we didn’t have a lot of money, we were happy. There were a lot of times that I wished I could help him out more.

I remember being a kid and telling mom I wanted to be a nurse. I carried around my little books pretending they were charts and had my toy stethoscope. It was with that remembrance that I enrolled in nursing school. Nursing school was a total blast, I had wonderful teachers, great friends and a killer GPA. Clinical were fun and I always had a good story at post-conference. My teacher referred me to a doctor that was in need of a nurse around the time of graduation, and I began my job there the monday after grad.

That’s when it began. It was an OB office and I loved it until one day when I was in with the doctor doing a sonogram on a 32 week gestation. He discovered the fetus had died. I was not by any means hysterical, but I did hold the lady’s hand and wept with her.
I was cornered afterwards and rather harshly (and speckled with foul language) told that I was being hysterical and he would not have his nurses crying with the patients. So I suppose I must be stoic when faced with a death.

Then in nursing homes, I had to deal with crazy family members. For example-my DON had suspected a residents niece of abusing her, and instead of calling the RP to have her banned (we had had run-ins where she threatened to kill staff members), I was to take 30 minutes out of my day, everyday, to observe her in the room with her while they had their visit because I suppose they figured I wasn’t busy enough with my 24 other patients and their crazy ass families.

Once, I was suspended for a day by my cracked out DON (at another nursing home) for taking a phone call when my son’s school called to tell me my son was having a sever asthma attack and was en route to the ER.  I also had a patient that was s/p stroke because he had smoked too much crack black my eye. I followed chain of command, and no measures were taken.  It’s not just that, it’s the fact that families believe their loved one is the only patient you have, they freak out and threaten your license because mom got a hang nail. When you voice your concerns to your managers, they always sway with the families because of the lawsuit risk.
Not only that, but the stress of the job ended my marriage, I became depressed and withdrawn. I feel expendable now. I lost my sense of importance. I don’t smile anymore, I am on the defensive when I am approached because I am an agency nurse, and nowadays if something goes wrong, It must be the agency nurses’ fault.

I know there will be some people that will snicker and say suck it up, and quit whining. You know what? I was in the US navy as a Corpsman and it was fun and I was respected. I would trade one dirty look from a crazy family member form worst day in bootcamp getting pt’d to death by an RDC anyday. They just yell at you. But in nursing, they will have your bread and butter too. The nicest family members will hug your neck before leaving the floor then go and complain on you, and if you think for one second that your “sweetheart” of a nurse manager is going to defend you, or at least investigate in depth, you got another thing coming. You ass is grass, and they will mow you down.

So I am going into marketing. I have an interview next week, its a small pay cut, but I found out-especially since my husband and I have gotten back together-that money isn’t everything!