Nursing is Killing Me

Nursing school was hard. My husband and I were both students, so we lived our lives paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to survive each semester. When I graduated nursing school, I was so happy that I was done with school (or so I thought) and finally making money. OB fascinated me. Once I got a taste of what it was like, I couldn’t get enough of it. I worked every single day I possibly could, signing up for call every day I had off, offering to work anywhere on our LDRP unit. I loved knowing that our unit needed me, that our patients needed me, and that I was doing something that felt so important. When I’d get a frantic call asking if there was any way I could come in and “help out” I’d arrive within 10 minutes. I would literally run to our unit with a grin plastered across my face, anticipating the day that someone would to tell me to slow down, and thinking in my head that I would just yell back as I ran by, “my team needs me.” With my heart pounding in my chest and my adrenaline ready for whatever I was walking into, I would gladly come to work. My scrubs were always ready, my shoes always freshly scrubbed with bleach. I just couldn’t get enough of OB.

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What no one tells you in nursing school is that bedside nursing slowly takes its toll. No one tells you that eventually every nurse will wake up and realize something hurts or something is broken. Maybe it’s an accumulation of bad days, or busy shifts, or being short-staffed. Maybe it’s difficult patients, difficult leadership, or difficult providers. Stress can be surprising and unannounced, or slow and continuous, eating away your energy piece by piece and day by day. The unexpected and different levels of stress coupled with long work hours and no regular eating schedule will eventually slow you down. There’s a good possibility your systolic and diastolic numbers will rise, as will the number on the scale. And one day something will give. It might be your back from all the lifting and pulling and bending. It might be your feet or your knees or your shoulder. And although you might escape a diagnosis of obesity or chronic hypertension, something will eventually break. It’s only a matter of time.  I never thought there would be so much manual labor in nursing. I never imagined that stress would present in so many different forms. I never considered that nursing would take its toll on me and everyone around me.

I walk with a limp now. I would still go to work (if they were desperate), and I’d still get there in less than 10 minutes…unless it wasn’t an emergency, and then I’d take my full hour to get there. But I wouldn’t be able to run. And now I know that everyone would survive without me, without my extra help. And as I’ve furthered my education and wondered what I will do with it all, I still can’t let go of patient care. I keep pulling a muscle in my back. I keep reinjuring my right knee. I keep waiting for a good time to get my gallbladder removed, waiting for the day that 800mg of Motrin won’t relive my next gallbladder attack. By the end of a busy shift I can barely walk up the stairs in my house. I have to wear inserts in my shoes. There are a hundred ways nursing is trying to kill me, but I still love my job and I just can’t seem to give up patient care.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all know that nursing is breaking all of us. I can’t be the only one that thinks that nursing might be trying to kill me. What are we going to do about that? Because the patients still need us and the work we do is still important and we are called to this profession. But we can’t let it kill us. We advocate every single day for our patients, but we also need to advocate for ourselves. I jokingly refer to myself as an AWHONN groupie. I’m like a serious fan. But the real reason I love my professional organization (and the reason why you should love yours) is because there is power in numbers. And we make up our professional organization. We have the ability to direct what they’re doing for us and for our patients. They fight at a higher level for so many things that impact us and everything we do. We have to fight together. Because at the rate we’re going, we will burn out every new nurse in five years or less and I don’t know how long we can work the way we do.

Sometimes I think nursing is killing me. It has definitely broken me…maybe it’s broken you too. But we know how to get back up and piece ourselves back together and we have to continue to fight for what is right for nurses and for all the people that we serve.  There is nothing more worth fighting for than the work that we do and the people that we do it for. We are capable of so many things. Let’s help each other to back to our feet, let’s encourage those around us, let’s share our stories, and let’s do great things together.

Until my next delivery ❤

Joining AWHONN


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74 Comments on "Nursing is Killing Me"

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Jan Maher
Guest
Yes, nursing has broken me. I retired 2 years ago. My body is in good shape compared to my coworkers. But, I feel like I have PTSD. I still have dreams that i’m working and can’t get something done because of an impossible assignment or some difficulty. And dreams with multiple difficulties that seem impossible to overcome. I wake up relieved that it’s not real and that I’m no longer living that LIFE. What you need to understand, I loved nursing and still do. I am a Nurse and will always be one. But, this is my reality.
Janet S. LPN
Guest
I agree with the PTSD!!!!! I have a couple of friends that had nervous breakdowns because of the stress placed on us. Especially with press gainey(sp?) Scores where its either “always” or “never” and nothing in between, less staff that is knowledgeable, crappy schedules , or management that leads with power trips to control instead of manage, so everything is in an uproar all the time. Injuries becase, patients are customers now and have no respect for us. I’m now retired too!! And I feel better though occasionally do get the same dream, of not getting everything done, and I… Read more »
Carolyn
Guest

I SOOOOO agree!! I’ve been an L&D nurse for 39 years. It’s not just a job, it’s my heart. I’m planning to retire soon at 62 as I can’t take it physically or mentally any more. Moving numb 300 pound women around is getting too hard and we never have enough staff to assist. I always caution new nurses to treat their backs with respect. It may not hurt now but the effects are cumulative.

Linda Gucciardi
Guest
I graduated in 1970 when the Grey nuns were still running the nursing school that wasn’t in a College or University. Talk about tough! Those were the days when we had to kneel on the floor at the start of the day so Sister could check the length of our uniform and insure our nursing caps were secured properly without bobby pins showing and that they were also well starched! The number of times my damn cap got knocked by patients or other paraphernalia in the rooms……times have changed. We weren’t allowed to wear nail polish or any jewelry other… Read more »
Janet S. LPN
Guest
I’ve been a nurse 33years I’m broken, in more ways than one. Physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally, I can no longer do the bedside nursing I love, I am retired from nursing at age 52 1/2. I had to find something else to do that used my experience, but no longer took its toll on my body or finances and before my body became a twisted mess from injuries, (shoulder, back, hamstring, and bone spurs on my feet). I remember older nurses when I first started, they did not have these problems. I think it’s because people used to respect… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

What are u doing now?

Janet S. LPN
Guest
I just graduated from a coding and billing health information management program, I am waiting to sit for my certification (license) then can start applying at the hospitals. The Hospitals in my area won’t interview til that initial certification is complete. Kind of like getting the nursing license I guess, at least here. Right this minute I’m still brushing up for the test, but I haven’t had a vacation in over 3 years so, I’m just trying to relax some. I got a pedicure for the 1st time in months, that I didn’t do myself!!!! No more scrubs! So I… Read more »
tlcat625
Guest
What a great reality check! As a new grad looking for that “first job,” this post is so helpful. It’s a good warning to pace myself in my new job (that I still haven’t found yet!), set my boundaries, and know that there will be battles to fight to take my vacation days, to go to the gym to stay in good shape, to have tools to deal with the mental stress, etc. I’m older than most new grads, with a whole lot of life experience, and I think in some ways that might make my new job easier AND… Read more »
Janet S. LPN
Guest
Also, its okay to say NO if they want you to come in. If you are sick, stay home and DON’T feel guilty, it has partly been our own fault that we are treated like pack mules!! We, when we are young, and “In Love” with our job, if they call and ask us to work, as said above, we excitedly run in! We LOVE IT!! I think as a result, “they” expect us to come in and/or sacrifice our own time, or work when we’re sick because “oh, that will make the —-rd call in and we’ll be so… Read more »
evelynohiero
Guest
I totally agree with you Janet. When we graduated we so excited and scared at the same time but we were ready to work. We thought our patients needed us and that we were indispensable, if only we knew. I too have been thinking of doing something else but i have been too scared of trying something new, but after reading your comment, i am inspired. I want to say thank you and that you were very brave and know that you will continue to be an inspiration to people like me who want to do something else but are… Read more »
tlcat625
Guest

I so appreciate your encouragement, Janet. I have 6 kids and just finished nursing school. My kids were always my priority, although I managed to get good grades, never miss clinicals, and get along very well with my instructors and classmates. However, I never took on anything extra for nursing school. I know real world nursing is VERY different than nursing school, but that juggle of always keeping my priorities very clear and saying NO without guilt is something I do fairly well. We’ll see if I can keep up the juggling act once I start working!

evelynohiero
Guest

I really hope new grads will read these and learn from it as well. Moreover, those who want to go into Nursing thinking its a bed of roses will benefit from reading this too.

Anonymous
Guest

Yes! Workout, stay fit, drink water, eat regularly and don’t let them pressure you to eat fast or succumb to the easy-grab food of fries and burgers. I was always told, and thank god I listened “you only have one back,” so don’t let the pts pull you to get up and raise up their bed so you aren’t leaning over them, because it is not good. Your back will wear out or you will be injured.

Anonymous
Guest
I had the same thoughts when I graduated 5 yrs ago. Things happen like no postitions open during the day so you have to work nights and don’t have the time to work out, oh and sorry we don’t have a sliding board to move a pt over so you lift the patient from the transport bed, and you show up for your shift and your 3 nurses down so you have 12 patients don’t think you can say no I only want 6. You are running on empty half way through your 12hr shift so you drink some coffee… Read more »
Michelle McGrael
Guest
I said this several yrs ago for me. It took a long time to realize. Nursing has not been healthy for me. I never had a wt problem. I was athletic, healthy and raising 3 kids with my policeman husband. I too found my passion in labor & delivery. Long hrs, call, nights, weekend, and holidays. I lived it like a marine. Loved it. 32 yrs later I’ve had 6 knee scopes that led to 2 total knees. Wt problems . I didn’t take care of myself. I never smoked, drank, did any drugs. I never thought how the pressure… Read more »
Teri fryar
Guest

I have been nursing for 39 years and it has taken a major toll on my body as well! I love nursing and its been my life, but I to am totally burned out! We do not get to take care of our patients like we used to because its all about management, money and numbers! No one prepares us for any of this! Sad, sad, sad!

Anonymous
Guest

You’re right Teri. Nursing is not like it used to be.

Julie
Guest
I, too was getting to the point that my “burn out” phases were getting longer and more frequent, my frustration was greater, and my ability to bounce back physically was worse. Way worse. I loved patient care (and I still miss it!) and that “in the trenches together” love that you have for your OB family, but the stress of drama and hospital politics was chipping away at that love. I knew that in the not too distant future I couldn’t physically manage the lifestyle anymore. So I decided that after 25 years of serving THE community I would search… Read more »
Terri
Guest

Julie…nursing has taken a huge toll on my body as well. What software company are you working for? How did you get involved? I thought about doing something like that. They need nurses to tell them to make things easier.

Anonymous
Guest
Hi, Terri – I work for a company that provides “back end” software for all sorts of industries. It’s goal is to make sure all of the information is available in one place to the end user so you aren’t switching between several computer systems and paper charts. I looked into more front end companies – EMR, etc. I have a lot of nursing background AND computer/informatics experience. Guess what? Most software companies that make clinical user facing software? Not interested in clinician input. Not shocking to anyone here who uses them. I have learned a lot. Mostly that what… Read more »
Robin
Guest
I too have been nursing for 30 years and am looking to move from acute care to clinic or somewhere else to continue nursing. you have all said it gracefully and told the story of many. Sadly, the older or sage nurse will tell you nursing was a calling, passion etc. What I see now is a younger generation who doesn’t have the passion, calling, or love of nursing. At least in my area it is a job and income. I know this isn’t every new nurse but so many. Skills are lacking and they are many times I’ll prepared… Read more »
evelynohiero
Guest

Very very true Robin. So many people going into nursing today is because of the job security and not because they have a passion or calling.

Charlene
Guest

I have been nursing for 11 years and am in the OB field but so many nurses lack empathy and compassion for their patients. They are more concerned about their hourly wage than how they care for patients. Maybe the nursing schools are to blame – maybe they should have stricter entrance guidelines – or maybe it is the way society views nursing….

Linda RN, EMTP, ED
Guest
I worked 40 years almost soley in the ED. I totally did my body in. I absolutely loved my job so much I became a paramedic at the age of 48. One could say I was an adrenaline junkie and they would be right. But, I didn’t do anything wrong. I always used good body mechanics. Always got hel0 to lift. We were always short staffed though, so sometimes there wasn’t help to get. my advice to new grads, is pace yourself, and WAIT for help. would I change my career….NO. i wanted to be a nurse since I was… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

I have 42 years in L&D, still working full time, still taking call each week as well, still rotating shifts (at age 62) … the medical field is really REALLY big on taking care of patients (and their family’s) but very poor in taking care of their nurses… you have to come in sick or be penalized for calling in, if your husband or kid is sick you can’t use your PTO but must take unpaid time off to care for them… we (they) don’t practice what they preach … I would NEVER advise anyone to become a nurse.

pamela parker
Guest

Have been an OB nurse for over 30 years. Have seen the evolution of charting from a single sheet of paper for the whole shift morph into a ridiculous, cumbersome, repititative conglomeration of BS….Some nights I spend 80% of my time ..it seems…staring at computer keys..scanning arm bands then medication vials, IV bags, etc….Patient surveys state that most nurses are not attentive enough…well HELLO! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why! More computer charting is on the way…adding to the sludge already required…..less time with our patients ..not a good future to contemplate..

Elaine RN
Guest
I have been a nurse for 25 yrs with 2 yrs of those years in hhc and the rest in hospital nursing. My first 10 years were great. There was respect for nurses. All disciplines would know there job and the rank of authority. Now, I have cna, secretary and transporters telling me how it is going to be for my patients. There are a lot of people wanting to be the boss and the bosses don’t want to make people accountable for things that they do not do. For example, their job!!!!!! Ilove my patients that are of the… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

You sound like Nurse Cranky Pants.

Anonymous
Guest

And you sound like a retarded porter who thinks they can do a nurses job because they transport a bed around.

anonymous RN
Guest
I have been an O.R. Nurse for 38 years. It was a good job when I worked prn while my 2 children were in school. When they went to college I went full time. I have a supportive husband. I used to love my career. Now, I can’t wait to quit. Totally burned out. I have been able to avoid major injury, but I have shoulder issues, feet problems, and arthritis. I am 59. The thing that bothers me the most is obese patients. It takes more personnel now to position and transfer them. We have to cater to patients… Read more »
anonymous
Guest
I have only been a nurse for 6 years. I work 2 12 hour shifts per week. Being a nurse is taking it’s toll on me mentally. I have severe anxiety attacks before I go to work to the point of thinking about how much I’d rather die than work. I am a terrible person to be around the day before work because I snap at everyone and everything. I am always so worried about how many patients I am going to have or how many patients are going to come in during my shift. I fear this career is… Read more »
Liz
Guest

Have you considered changing departments? Perhaps there is something out there that would be less stressful for you. Best of luck to you.

Juli
Guest
I love your blog and read regularly. And I agree that nursing is hard on our bodies. True. But, housekeepers, garbage men, soldiers, wait staff, doctors, etc. all have jobs that are hard on their bodies too. I have had approximately 4 people in the last month tell me they work 7 days/week to make ends meet (working 2 different jobs, sometimes in one day. . . . Not nurses). Nursing is hard, but it is rewarding! Most nurses can work three days a week and survive. Working extra is rarely mandatory. And, whether nursing is a passion or a… Read more »
Recent Grad, RN
Guest

Ummmm. Ever hear of mandatory overtime. Where I work, it’s becoming all too common to go in for an 8 hour shift only to be made to stay for a double because of short staffing. Perhaps you should take off your Rose colored glasses and look around.

Anonymous
Guest

Stop whining! Grow up!

Anonymous
Guest

I guess what I’ve said for years is true…..Nurses eat their wounded!!! Thanks ms/mr anonymous for your “kind and gentle words” You should realise, not everyone can hold their feelings in, this has been a wonderful opportunity to tell our various stories and admit, probably for the first time, how broken we feel. If you are fortunate enough to not need this, then at least say a prayer or sympathize with those of us that needed to express ourselves in a “safe, nonjudgmental” forum.

Anonymous
Guest

Recent- that’s the thing, she’s in admin, so her whole world is rose colored when they’re sitting on their asses all day dreaming up some idiotic policy with not bearing in reality. The closest thing to they ever come to difficult work is their email network hiccup. That would also explain her holier than thou attitude and over-inflated self-importance, and will no doubt illicit a scathing response about how she ‘was a nurse for years’, but easily forgets that she is no longer one, and is now just another bean counting paper pusher making nurses lives a misery. Traitor.

Future Nurse
Guest

I am entering nursing school and was horrified at some of the comments I was reading on here. I thank you for an insightful, positive comment.

Anonymous
Guest

If you’re horrified by internet comments, then be prepared for the nightmare that waits for you when your in the real world of nursing.

Kitty
Guest
I, too, am tired and retired…finally truly gave up. trying to work those formidable 12 hr. plus shifts, dealing with the stress, mental and physical abuse from the demands of the job. I started nursing later in life, at age 51 with my BSN and MSN at 64! I had always had the “calling” from an early age but delayed fulfilling my goal until later in life. I spent most of my career in cardiac care or telemetry, eventually in management but found I could not survive there because I desired to be a leader vs. a dictator — I… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
I stopped floor nursing last year for all of the above reasons, but a big one for me was the advent of the EMR which had my face in two huge computer monitor screens…..one for fetal surveillance and one for charting. I felt a huge disconnect with the patient. I miss nursing the way it used to be, with the emphasis on taking care of the patient, not the chart. And yes…what other profession has people working 12 hours with 30 minutes off in the middle? I’ve always thought it was brutal…..and at times unsafe! I often ask myself why… Read more »
Tammy
Guest
I worked as an xray tech and sonographer for 20 years. I love medicine. I loved the challenge. I worked in small hospitals and taking call. It will exhaust you for all the reasons above. If I have any advice it is, to pace yourself. Take vacations, take down time. I decided to do something more positive. I just couldn’t take finding metastatic lesions on one more person, or being under appreciative and it was just never enough. I am now a massage therapist and about to hit the 16 year mark. I do okay, but again, the body is… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

Give us a break Tammy, you have NEVER been a nurse, and have NO idea what we’re talking about. Stress? Don’t talk to us about stress, you’re a masseuse for crying out loud. Seriously, how does massaging 1 person at a time even come close to keeping up to 15 acutely sick people alive AT THE SAME TIME !!! Go back to giving your clients happy endings, and leave the real professionals to their jobs. Bimbo.

Stine
Guest

Reblogged this on Inside and Out.

Anonymous
Guest

What a powerful piece! I will be sharing widely! I agree…there is strength in numbers. Please consider getting involved with http://www.ExceptionalNurse.com, a nonprofit resource for nurses with disabilities. We also have an Exceptional Nurse group page on Facebook.

Melvis
Guest
Yes, I am a broken nurse, retired at 52 and have multiple injuries, had 2 spine surgeries, and got dependent on pain medications to just function during the day. Right now, I am finally feeling I have recovered from the trauma of burnout after 28 years of working multiple jobs at a time. {at one point I worked 2 full time jobs and on my days off worked on call per diem} The one place I felt like I had any protection from the powers in management was at the VA. And that’s because once you pass your probation, you… Read more »
Enlightened Spa Review
Guest
I live with a surgeon and I was a medical device rep. When I read this I am reminded of my mother-in-law, an RN who preferred the night shift, created social insolation by her own desire, and ended up drinking herself to death. My oldest daughter is in nursing school now. Of course at 21, she does not listen to a thing I have to say. Of course my husband tried to get her to change her major. What I can tell you that has helped me is serious mindfulness training. I have worked with so many nurses at so… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
I can really relate to this article. I’ve been a nurse for only 8 years, I’m 48 and feel like I’m 84 some days. I love being a bedside nurse. Most of my patients that I have worked with have been wonderful, some of course can drive me crazy. I’ve worked at three places. I started at a nursing home as my first job. I liked it alot however it was hard work so when I was able to move to a hospital setting I did. I worked at a small hospital for 4 years until they decided they were… Read more »
Diane
Guest
So true about needing to take care of yourself but really impossible to do that. As far as other jobs having physical demands ..it’s true but most have better protections. Longshoreman and moving men are not expected to lift so much weight as nurses do routinely — and their “loads” are more easily lifted since they don’t grab or move suddenly and unexpectedly. The yearly in services will tell you to “lift smart” “use your legs ” ” get help” etc. However, the patient suddenly grabs you as they walk and pulls you violently. You pull the emergency string as… Read more »
Rita Sweat
Guest

all of the above is so true,nurses are mostly female and we will not “stick” together for one thing.We are too busy raising our family ,working,being a spouse ,too busy to start a nurses union or equal type protection,because when we are off work we do not want to take up our off time building any protection for ourselves as employees in the medical world.IF MANAGEMENT EVEN HEARD YOU WHISPER ANYTHING ABOUT UNION OR NURSING PROTECTION,WE WOULD BE LET GO.So much for equality,Im simply too tired after 30+ years working s an LPN to even complain anymore. Good luck comrades.

Anonymous
Guest
Eight years ago I retired early at 55 after 21 yrs. of Geriatric, Medical and Orthopedic (hips) Nursing, all physically heavy. It took me 3 years to recover from burnout, and I can still stress out listening to practicing nurses complain about their job demands. My back is damaged, I have carpel tunnel, my hips ache, I’m overweight and I have depression/self anger/guilt issues. BUT, I am sooo trying to change my life. I am trying to revive friendships that were hard to maintain because of my shift work, loving my grandchildren, volunteering in my community, and travelling with my… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

I too work long hours as a CNM and help the nurses when they are busy. I have been awake many days for 24-26 hours. I think I have had enough. I was 16 when I started nursing and I am now turning 55. So you do the math. Nursing sucks you dry no matter how passionate you are about the profession you chose. It seems you can never do enough for the patients/managers/supervisors

Cean
Guest

My moment was when I walked into a 4 bed rehab room and at 6:’2″ and 230 was the smallest person in the room and the only one that could move anything below the shoulders. I realized being a big body in nursing was not an advantage, I was just muscles.

I made my way to surgery after a stop in OB but still knew my body wouldn’t last and neither would my sanity. I work in supply chain now.

Daphne
Guest
After 5 years of nursing I have transitioned into 4 totally different areas of work: medical, worked at a jail, hemodialysis and clinical instructing. When I found negativity weighed in too much in my job I was happy to move along and try new positions. It has been my saving grace! I am proud to be a nurse and in the movement of less pay, less staff, more work and more self teaching on the job I sometimes feel helpless. But only for a moment. I am constantly thinking of ways and ideas to make things better. I voice my… Read more »
hollyhocks
Guest
I have worked in healthcare for almost 48 years and will be retiring very soon. I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the reality that health care workers are very good at taking care of other people, but are absolutely horrible at taking care of themselves. I’ve worked 20out of 24hours in a day, eaten my ‘lunch’ in the car on my way home following a 12 hour shift and been subjected to bullying at the hands of the people I was supposed to be able to depend on to work along side. Over the years, I’ve worked all three… Read more »
Barbski1
Guest

I’ve been in nursing for 42 yrs now in a variety of different departments in different hospital systems. Finally now have a great manager but I also work very light perdiem. Still feel like it’s taken a huge toll on me physically – 2 back surgeries, 2 joint replacements and I still go in on my scheduled days. My point? I will be hanging up my stethoscope and bandage scissors by the end of August. I’m done.

Niel May
Guest
All nurses are great people, many are Angles with out wings, they sit with our parents in hospital to give them comfort through the long nights. They look after our children when they are sick or hurt, they look after you when you need it. They will laugh with you, cry with you in the joy of seeing your new born child, but they cry alone when no one can see them as they don’t want to upset anyone or make cry. My nurse has got her wings and she is an Angle now, every day I cry for you,… Read more »
DJ
Guest

I was actually considering going back to college and getting another degree in nursing because I liked the idea of helping others. Now I’m not so sure and hesitate at the idea of going back

Jeffrey S.
Guest
I understand this article. I’ve been a professionally licensed RN for nearly 1/4 a century & in the EMS world for nearly a decade before nursing. Seen many changes in that time. I’ll continue to provide skilled excellent care until the man upstairs calls me home. I’ve probably received my wings in Heaven, buy not ready to go yet. Still a lot of things left to do on my bucket list. Thanking God above each day I awake in this body. Moved away from the corporation world of bedside nursing several years ago. But continue to pray for all my… Read more »
mypersonallthing
Guest

Thanks for the post! I’m a Personal Care Worker in an aged care facility so there are some similarities between my position and a nurse’s position (I just can’t do all the things a nurse can do, such as medication distribution). I work in a low care/independent living facility so I’m not constantly making beds, using standing/lifting machines or hoists, nor am I assisting in the showering of all the residents as most shower themselves.

Monica
Guest
Nursing for 25 years now and still love it and my patients. The staff and docs are wonderful! I love the flexibility I have with my company. Great benefits too. I’m in great shape, and am not overweight…I’m athletic and slender. I have been with the same company for 23 years now and I can’t imagine ever leaving. I work for a company that allows me to voice my opinion and I’m respected for doing so. The docs are employees just as I am. They do not run my clinic, I do. Our medical director is so compassionate and caring… Read more »
Janet CCA, LPN
Guest
You are very Blessed!! but, that said, your working environment is the exception now not the rule, I remember when I first started, how much fun we had and we were respected not only by our fellow employees and Doctors, but the patients as well. More and more the patients want more and more from us because they’ve been told they are “clients” not patients, I’m not a maid and No one deserves to be talked down to. The HCAPS survey has created an atmosphere that, if they don’t get what they want when they want, even if it could… Read more »
Fe Casher
Guest
As one of my doctors who treated me for my torn rotator cuff, two years to the day after I tore the other one on the other shoulder, “Fe, it might be a great idea if you did not go back to that place where you had to hold mattresses over your head all the time”. He was exaggerating of course. I was working in the Intensive care at the time. I did follow his advice and went to work somewhere less hectic. That was 2003. Six years later, I was out with a bad knee. I guess I could… Read more »
CBPS
Guest
Thanks for this post. My mom was a lifer. She worked surgery, ED, ICU and floor nursing. Even after she began working for an OB/GYN, she still held an ER job on weekends. It was never because she needed money. She was hooked on the adrenaline. I remember when I found her stash of drugs. I was 14. Lots and lots of pain pills and tranqs… She was emotionally distant to me and my sister, pretty much stoning her self to sleep after a 12 hour shift. Reading this post, and especially the comments, gives me a renewed appreciation of… Read more »
Liz
Guest

So true, work allows me to be very focused and have the ability to block out other non-work things that may be on my mind.

Very well spoken. Must’ve been a difficult childhood

Anonymous
Guest
Aren’t we, actually, talking about the eventual decline of physical prowess (aka you’re not 20 anymore)? To me, that accounts for every bit of “I had energy when I started but now I don’t / now I have gallstones” statements. Reality is that everyone is like that in their early 20s. Most people and professions, though, don’t find meaningful work that pays well right out of school. Instead of talking about how your lucrative, realitively low MQ required, in-demand job has ‘broken’ you, maybe reflect that you had a good career, got paid well, and maybe didn’t balance work /… Read more »
CBPS
Guest

Age breaks everyone, but I think nursing is a little more difficult than the average career. no? It’s hard to find work / life balance when you’re on 12 hour or rotating shift work. I think the emotional demands are cumulative and additive to the decline that comes with age.

At one point in my career, I traveled for seven years nearly non-stop and, ten years later, I’m still recovering from it. They paid me well too, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t regret some of the sacrifices that were required.

Just sayin’

Lester Equality Metta
Guest

Most nursing jobs are 12 hour shifts. It is a tough job mentally and physically. I think the 12 hour shifts are too much to do on a long term basis. (I’m not a nurse but have a friend that is.)

Shari Arner
Guest
I am a retired nurse after 43 years….the last 39 in L&D. I also worked as a clinical instructor for 7 years prior to retiring. I loved it and I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else, but it was very hard on my body. I had bilateral knee replacements and have chronic back, knee and foot pain. I also underwent breast cancer treatment toward the end of my career, I have struggled with my weight….partly due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Between working and raising a family, I never took the time to take care of… Read more »
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