Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This is my first time blogging. I have no idea if anyone will read this, but I thought I would give it a try. I got inspired to write this blog after seeing the movie, "Julia & Julie". This movie is starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Julie works for a dead end job and starts a blog to find challenge and fulfillment in her life. She is inspired and in awe of Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep). Julie decides to write a blog about her experiences of making 524 recipes from Julia Child's cookbook, within 365 days! The movie is a feel good movie and it is mostly about (and more interestingly about) Julia Child. What an awesome woman!
I decided today that I don't necessarily need a challenge of making all of Julia Child's recipes in a year, but I do need something that will help me get through another challenging day of being a nurse.

The Realities of Nursing
I learned that being a nurse in the real world of nursing is quite different compared to being a nurse in the make believe world of nursing.
In the make believe world of nursing, the following things happen:
1. All patients are nice and thankful for your care.
2. You can approach any and all doctors with questions and suggestions for patient care.
3. All patients will learn from the education you provide them and they will change their ways.
4. All nurses are helpful, enjoyable to be with and will teach you the ways of the nursing world.
5. It is easy to transfer to other units, to find challenging experiences and to build your resume.

The reality is:
1. There are many patients who are nice and appreciative but so many who are not. I have been been verbally abused by many patients. I have been spat upon, kicked, pinched, hit, sworn at and ridiculed.
2. I have learned that it takes time to get to know each doctor. There are some that will always have time to answer my questions or will try my suggestions. There are others who don't give you the time of the day or even try to learn your name. To them, you are a nuisance, an interruption in their already very busy day. To some, you are "just" a nurse.
3. Many patients do not want to return to the hospital, but I think deep down, a lot would love to stay in the hospital. They get three meals a day plus snacks. They do not have to clean up anything. Many nurses will cater to the patients' every whim and they like it. Many patients do not want to change their lifestyle. This is what we call "having poor insight into their condition and health". Most do not think that smoking is detrimental to their health. They enjoy drinking alcohol and do not plan on stopping. They like living on the streets because "There are nice people on the streets!" They do not understand that they are taxing to the health care system. They do not realize or care to realize that they are using up a hospital bed. They have not thought about the critically ill patient in the emergency who desperately needs a hospital bed.
4. There are many, many nurses that are willing to help others. The sad part of nursing is that oftentimes we would like to help each other out more but we have time restraints to deal with often. The other sad part is that most nurses are women and women tend to be catty. We gossip, we talk about each other, we get frustrated easily and sadly there are many cliques.
5. I have found that it was quite easy to get a job as an RN, but it is difficult to transfer to another unit. There are many roadblocks. Many of the jobs usually go to someone on the unit already. They need nurses but there are many rules and red tape to get through first.

It was hard to learn these realities, but I realized these lessons and others within the first year of nursing. To be honest, my hopes and dreams of the human race were somewhat dashed. I imagined that I would make an impact on my patients' lives. I would help them to renew their strength and return to their lives healthy. I had originally thought that everyone would want help but that is not the case at all. Do not get me wrong, there are many patients who do want to get well and get back to their life, but there are some days when I think that those patients no longer exist.

1 comment:

Catbert said...

wow... keep learning and growing.