Thursday, September 25, 2008

why nursing irritates me sometimes

ok ya'll. andrea wanted me to put this in so she could link to me. let me make this very clear: I DID NOT WRITE THIS. THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHERE I WORK OR ANYONE I WORK WITH. this is a forward i got that describes exactly WHY nursing can be such a crappy job sometimes. i relate with this lady, i really do, just probably on a smaller scale. i get very frustrated when we get children in severe respiratory distress who have parents who leave constantly to smoke, and come back reeking of it. i get really pissy when kids are all alone and their parents come in smelling like beer. i get absolutely effing furious when we get foster kids, broken and scarred, sometimes beyond repair, who talk of nothing but their mommy and daddy who are coming to get them because they love them so much when they aren't bad. or when those same parents call and have the AUDACITY to tell me how to care for their child. i am a nurse, which has several other responsibilities. i get that. i understand that i am a patient advocate in every sense of the word. that does not, however, mean i am their slave, or their babysitter, or their freaking waitress. i am here for their health and safety, not their amusement and need for cheese and crackers. i love my job, my career, my patients. but God, sometimes it's a lot to take. the following, in blue, is the forward i got.

Interesting reading from an INSIDER that actually worked endlessly at one of the shelters--a letter she sent to the Times and to Bill O'Reilly.
Dear Editor, I am a nurse who has just completed volunteer working approximately 120 hours as the clinic director in a Hurricane Gustav evacuation shelter in Shreveport , Louisiana over the last 7 days. I would love to see someone look at the evacuee situation from a new perspective. Local and national news channels have covered the evacuation and 'horrible' conditions the evacuees had to endure during Hurricane Gustav. True - some things were not optimal for the evacuation and the shelters need some modification. At any point, does anyone address the responsibility (or irresponsibility) of the evacuees?> Does it seem wrong that one would remember their cell phone, charger, cigarettes and lighter but forget their child's insulin? Is something amiss when an evacuee gets off the bus, walks immediately to the medical area, and requests immediate free refills on all medicines for which they cannot provide a prescription or current bottle (most of which are narcotics)?> Isn't the system flawed when an evacuee says they cannot afford a $3 copay for a refill that will be delivered to them in the shelter yet they can take a city-provided bus to Wal-mart, buy 5 bottles of Vodka, and return to consume them secretly in the shelter?> Is it fair to stop performing luggage checks on incoming evacuees so as not to delay the registration process but endanger the volunteer staff and other persons with the very realistic truth of drugs, alcohol and weapons being brought into the shelter? Am I less than compassionate when it frustrates me to scrub emesis from the floor near a nauseated child while his mother lies nearby, watching me work 26 hours straight, not even raising her head from the pillow to comfort her own son? Why does it insense me to hear a man say 'I ain't goin' home 'til I get my FEMA check' when I would love to just go home and see my daughters who I have only seen 3 times this week? Is the system flawed when the privately insured patient must find a way to get to the pharmacy, fill his prescription and pay his copay while the FEMA declaration allows the uninsured person to acquire free medications under the disaster rules? Does it seem odd that the nurse volunteering at the shelter is paying for childcare while the evacuee sits on a cot during the day as the shelter provides a 'daycare'? Have government entitlements created this mentality and am I facilitating it with my work? Will I be a bad person, merciless nurse or poor Christian if I hesitate to work at the next shelter because I have worked for 7 days being called every curse word imaginable feeling threatened and fearing for my personal safety in the> shelter? Exhausted and battered, Sherri Hagerhjelm, RN

edited to add: this is also not a privacy violation in any way. my examples were just that, examples. do i see them a lot? yes. were they about specific patients, or give any information? no. just making sure we are all clear here (no offense).

13 comments:

And so it goes said...

i got this from Deb too, and it really hit home after some of what I've seen in just the two and one half very short years I have been nursing. You know very well some of the things I have seen that make me sometimes feel like what we do can't possibly make a difference, but the way we have to look at it is that we are making a difference everytime we give a kid like that a few minutes of feeling protected and well cared for.
Still makes me want to know why shit like that can happen

David said...

Ain't that the truth! In the 26 years of being in nursing, I have seen a lot of changes, many of which are good, but then again we take the good with the bad. I too have seen and heard parents complain about how they need to go get something to eat, only to return in a alcoholic stupor. Then only to threaten to sue. Complain about Medicaid not paying for medications they so need. Then expect the nursing staff on the floor to "baby-sit" their child while they go visit with family and friends at the local resturant, and be gone for hours, and I MEAN hours. To return and have their child crying and upset. Blames the nurses for not "taking care" of their child properly and making them upset, then inssist administration be called immediately at 2:30 am. The child is upset because Mom, and sometimes Dad is there also, have been gone so long, yet we endure the guilt and blame to satisfy the parents. Making the parents more responsible would be a good start. We as nurses are not nor have we ever been, "baby-sitters". The facilities should acknowledge the parents and inform them, that they are responsible for being there with their children. After all it is their child who is sick and needs tender loving care from mom and dad. We can supply all the healing enviroment necessary, but mom and dad need to continue to provide the nurturing care of raising their own child. In other words "Be responsible, grow up and take care of your children, they are your responsibility and require "daily" attention." Frustration is a part of nursing we tend to deal with every day. We do the best we can and provide the highest level of care, notice I left out the part, "that money can buy". I have wanted to say this for many years, the worst comes out in people when they are looking for a hand-out. Sorry to say it, but it is true!

And so it goes said...

OT post:

my new call line-
Walking the line between saint and sinner.. Nurse Jakki

http://www.sho.com/site/video/brightcove/series/title.do?bcpid=1772825635

Evenspor said...

I'm going to have to link to you too. I posted this right after I got it from you. It's an eye-opener.

Mama P said...

Oh my God, so your boss wrote that to you and your nurses that you work with????

Kidding.

I do get that you have to say that. And also it was a big eye opener. Yikes.

Our society can be so lovely and so fxxed at times.

Linking in less than 20 minutes at BC.

Mama P said...

Quick - get some ads! You're going to be famous! You could seriously make, like, 29cents off of Google Ad sense thanks to me. Well, you'd make 20 cents. 9 goes to me. I'm a tough agent taking 30% but I'm so good.

http://blogs.parentcenter.babycenter.com/momformation/2008/09/26/why-i-hate-my-job/#comment-168122

Sprite's Keeper said...

Wow, I really don't know what to think about this. I have mixed emotions like outrage, sympathy, anger, and irritation when I see parents "pass the buck".
My cousin is a hardworking NICU nurse who has brought home heartbreaking stories and I always feel such awe for people like you and her to continue to do what you do because of the kids.

lindsay weiss said...

wow...so glad I read that. forwarding your link on to the nurses in my family too.

great post, tif.

Dawn said...

Tif, you are a pedi nurse? How can you NOT see the damage done by vaccines? The majority of children don't end up coming back within a month with some "illness"? The majority of children do no suffer from some neurological disorder or chronic disease where they must take medicine for life (cha-ching!)

There have been no valid studies with regard to Autism/thimerosal. Did you not listen to Bernadine Healey's interview with CBS? She was the former director of the NIH.

Every vaccine is capable of causing cancer, impairing your fertility, and altering your DNA (unfortunately, the damage to your cell lines is inherited by future generations to come too). Just take a look at the ingredients! Once you understand the ingredients you will understand that every vaccine is capable of doing all this and so much more. This is exactly why some children are never vaccinated and still regress into Autism - their parents WERE vaccinated.

By the way, have you ever had a completely unvaxed patient suffer from any life-threatening diseases? Or it is just the patients who were vaccinated for other things?

My son's pediatrician is now investigating vaccines because apparently not much is covered in medical school and it is scaring the crap out of her (what she's been seeing).

It sickens me to think that people like you are spreading such bogus info. I have 5 vaccine-injured victims in my family (my baby and I just last year). When hell freezes over is when I will vaccinate again.

tif said...

ok sweetie, seriously, shut the hell up. how DARE you follow me to my blog and say that i sicken you? are you kidding? i sicken YOU? first you call me uneducated and now you are stalking me to question my parenting and career? go fuck yourself.

Evenspor said...

Dawn, as someone whose mother is suffering a terminal illness, quite possibly related to the fact that she was not vaccinated as a child, I take great offense to your remarks. My mother also had friends who died from polio and other now vaccinated diseases.

Please gets your facts straight, then find somewhere more appropriate to post them.

tif said...

thanks, arwen. it's nice to know ya'll have my back. i know people take offense to stuff but i don't see the point in e-stalking to get the point across. thanks again.

kristina said...

My mom and BFF are nurses. So I understand from a vicarious standpoint. I'm going to send them this link. Great post.