View Full Version : Running Out of Steam


Mother Jones, RN
07-03-2007, 09:04 PM
When I first entered nursing I could double shifts, back to back without breaking a sweat, but now I can barely get through an 8 hours shift. The demands of the job keep growing during a time of my life when I'm starting to slow down. I'm looking for advice. How are you coping with growing older while working as a nurse?

MJ

MyOwnWoman
07-04-2007, 08:35 AM
I've been wondering that myself as well lately. Of course, with my inquisitve mind that seems to want to work overtime I've stepped back and taken a look at some of the new nurses or younger nurses we have hired lately.

I've asked how they get their assessments done more quickly than I seem to be able to do. I've asked how they can sit down at the desk and instant message frieds, boyfriends, and relatives about the plans for the evening while I'm running around trying to get things done for my patients.

They gave me the answer I was looking for. "You write way to much in your nurses notes, you check on your "complainig" patients too often, and you are always in the charts checking on lab values and xray results. Why don't you just sit down and relax until everything is done and evaluated by the doctors?"

I nodded and thought what wonderful advice! I think I won't take it.

Ok, I'll take any and all fall out you all want to shovel at me. Who knows, I might learn how to slow myself down at work. I hope so.

KimRN
07-04-2007, 06:28 PM
I've been wondering that myself as well lately. Of course, with my inquisitve mind that seems to want to work overtime I've stepped back and taken a look at some of the new nurses or younger nurses we have hired lately.

I've asked how they get their assessments done more quickly than I seem to be able to do. I've asked how they can sit down at the desk and instant message frieds, boyfriends, and relatives about the plans for the evening while I'm running around trying to get things done for my patients.

They gave me the answer I was looking for. "You write way to much in your nurses notes, you check on your "complainig" patients too often, and you are always in the charts checking on lab values and xray results. Why don't you just sit down and relax until everything is done and evaluated by the doctors?"

I nodded and thought what wonderful advice! I think I won't take it.

Ok, I'll take any and all fall out you all want to shovel at me. Who knows, I might learn how to slow myself down at work. I hope so.

Thank you!!! I once asked a co-worker how she can handle twelve hour shifts when I can barely do eight. She told me "You work harder than I do." When I tried to object "We all work together...yadda, yadda" she stopped me and said I put more energy into the job than she does.

And yeah, I don't watch You Tube or shoot the bull in the back and I am always in with my patients.

That's how I was educated to be a nurse.

Maybe I'm not crazy after all.

Oh, and I did drop back to three days a week. Big difference.:)

kate loving shenk
07-05-2007, 07:19 PM
hi gang--

i recently worked a 16 hour and 12 hour shift back to back every weekend--plus an additional 12 hour shift, plus call--for a 1 year period.

i was 55 at the time--and could do that again--but no longer have the interest to do so.

hmmm--i wonder why?

POPT
07-07-2007, 11:59 AM
I switched from in-hospital nursing to an ambulatory outpatient clinic. M-F 8-4:30. No night shifts and no lifting.

KimRN
07-07-2007, 05:29 PM
I switched from in-hospital nursing to an ambulatory outpatient clinic. M-F 8-4:30. No night shifts and no lifting.

No lifting. Now that I can get behind (as I sit here in Starbucks with a sore back)!:cool:

kate loving shenk
07-07-2007, 07:07 PM
hi all--

i'm seriously thinking of cutting back my hours--

we had 8 people just quit and some went out on FEMLA--now we have to take 10 call slots.

not a pretty picture.

Ridgewoman
08-01-2007, 06:25 PM
Are there any ex-ER nurses out there, who have found happiness and fulfillment in another venue? Not only is my stamina failing for 12+hr. shifts on concrete floors, but my body's betraying me, too. I had a hip replaced 4 yrs. ago, and never regained normal strength and gait. Then, I fell & fractured that femur distal to the prosthesis on May 31st. Add to these the MVP that routinely sends me into bigeminy with minimal exertion, and worsening chronic knee problems, and I question whether or not returning to ER is something I can - or want - to do; even if I manage to pass the physical when my disability runs out.

And yet... What else is there that satisfies the way ER nursing does? I love the flexibility in my schedule, and not being locked into a "M-F, 8hrs./day, weekends & 2wks. off per year" job. I love working only 3 days per week, for fulltime benefits. I love the fact that every day is different. I love being able to intervene for patients in a way that produces positive, here & now results. I love the autonomy of my position. I love having relationships of friendship and mutual trust with my doctors (I haven't addressed one as Dr. Last Name in 15yrs.). What other nursing role can begin to compare with all that?

I keep flipping between stages in the grieving process; I say that as I see it, for the first time. I have another 15yrs. or more to be gainfully employed as a nurse, and it looks like I'm going to have to learn to love doing it some other way.

Sign me, "Open to Suggestion"...

Mother Jones, RN
08-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Im very sorry about your health issues. Youve been going through a lot. Someone with all of your experience and wisdom about the profession would be a great nursing instructor. Or you might consider writing about your experiences as a freelance writer for some of the nursing trade magazines. As you know, nursing is the type of field where you can move from one type of job to another, and still be a nurse. I know that ER nursing is exciting, but I'm sure that there is something out their for you that will reignite your excitement within the profession.

Julie
08-07-2007, 03:27 PM
I couldn't agree more. Preparing the next generation of ER nurses is one of the most important things you could do. I hope you manage to sort something out soon.

Ridgewoman
08-08-2007, 12:17 PM
Thanks to Mother Jones and Julie, for your thoughtful responses to my post. I appreciate them! - R.

KimRN
08-18-2007, 03:14 PM
Are there any ex-ER nurses out there, who have found happiness and fulfillment in another venue? Not only is my stamina failing for 12+hr. shifts on concrete floors, but my body's betraying me, too. I had a hip replaced 4 yrs. ago, and never regained normal strength and gait. Then, I fell & fractured that femur distal to the prosthesis on May 31st. Add to these the MVP that routinely sends me into bigeminy with minimal exertion, and worsening chronic knee problems, and I question whether or not returning to ER is something I can - or want - to do; even if I manage to pass the physical when my disability runs out.

And yet... What else is there that satisfies the way ER nursing does? I love the flexibility in my schedule, and not being locked into a "M-F, 8hrs./day, weekends & 2wks. off per year" job. I love working only 3 days per week, for fulltime benefits. I love the fact that every day is different. I love being able to intervene for patients in a way that produces positive, here & now results. I love the autonomy of my position. I love having relationships of friendship and mutual trust with my doctors (I haven't addressed one as Dr. Last Name in 15yrs.). What other nursing role can begin to compare with all that?

I keep flipping between stages in the grieving process; I say that as I see it, for the first time. I have another 15yrs. or more to be gainfully employed as a nurse, and it looks like I'm going to have to learn to love doing it some other way.

Sign me, "Open to Suggestion"...

I wonder if a clinic position would give you the same satisfaction with less physical stress? Some clinics run evening hours and weekends!