And I thought flying suppositories in via paper airplane was funny!
It’s starting to look like “tampon” week at Emergiblog…
This must have been pre-suppository times because they are referred to as “sphenoids”.
Again, for female nether regions.
I can’t say their marketing ploy of showing the sphenoid being rammed into a tree trunk is very subtle!
And that’s all I got to say ’bout that!
Do you hate nursing?
Have you ever thought about leaving it?
You’re overworked, your manager doesn’t manage, your co-workers don’t work, you hate your shift and the “Three B’s of Nursing” (Bitching, Backstabbing and Bickering) are alive and well on your unit.
No, don’t quit nursing!
Quit your job!
Nurses are in demand. Unless they are two years from retiring, there is absolutely no reason for a nurse to stay in a toxic environment.
There are better jobs out there. Hospitals with administrations that actually support nursing – yes, they exist. Units with nurses who are motivated and empowered. Smaller/larger facilities that can offer a change of pace.
Or a change of specialty.
What if you are the one who is “toxic”? Burned out. Apathy so thick you can cut it with a butter knife. Not exactly fun to be around.
It may be time to take stock of your career and change its course.
By getting a different job.
The best ER I’ve ever worked in is the one I’m working in right now.
And I have worked in some nice ERs in my time!
But…I’ve also worked in some not-so-nice departments, too.
I’ve done med/surg, CCU, ICU, telemetry, psych and pediatrics.
Which is why I can appreciate the job I have now.
I’ve made changes. Sometimes major changes.
I know what’s out there.
Why would a nurse stay in a stressful, toxic environment?
- Switch facilities in the same network. If you work for a health care “system” like Sutter Health or Catholic Healthcare West or Kaiser Permanente, you can switch facilities and keep your seniority/benefits without a break.
- Switch units in the same hospital. The bigger facilities often offer training programs in specialties like neonatal or intensive care. Expand your horizons.
- Sit down and figure out just what that “senority” means to you in terms of pay or benefits. Is it worth sacrificing your mental health for the often nebulous perks of “senority”?
- They’ve never worked anywhere else and change is scary.
- They don’t know that another job/facility/unit could be totally different. They assume that what they are experiencing is “nursing” as it is everywhere. These are the nurses we lose within a few years of graduation!
- Family responsibilities
- There is often a waiting period between the beginning of a job and the start of the medical/dental benefits, although this seems to be decreasing. There are low-cost interim insurance policies that can be purchased to cover the family for the few weeks before the benefits kick in. Being responsible for the health benefits, I took advantage of this every time I changed facilities.
- There may be jobs with hours that fit your family’s needs much better than your current job. I was once able to move to a facility offering four-hour shifts in the evening – with benefits! Dad was home, no childcare needed! You have to look – I found this job as a tiny ad in the San Francisco Chronicle!
- There is sometimes a slight drop in pay if the new facility starts you out at a different “step” than your current facility is paying you. I notice that experienced nurses are being paid higher on the pay scale these days. Again, you have to ask yourself if keeping your current pay is worth your mental health! Here is where moving within a facility or within a network is advantageous.
- This one is dangerous because the hallmarks of burnout are apathy and depression. The ability to see that you need to make a change can be impaired. The will to make any change is virtually absent.
- Usually at this point, even if you don’t want to switch jobs, you at least need a break from nursing, period. If you have vacation saved up, take it. All of it. Use it between jobs to give yourself some breathing room. Discuss it with your manager, not your co-workers.
So, how do you get out of the mire of your current position?
- Start doing your homework! We all get those free nursing magazines in the mail, the ones with articles and beaucoup advertisements. They have online sites, too. Advance for Nurses. Nurseweek. Nursing Spectrum.
- Find out what is available in your area. Check your local paper, too. Usually on a Sunday.
- Don’t get blown away by fancy brochures and nurse recruiters. Ask to see the department in action. If it’s under a collective bargaining contract with the RNs, get a copy of the contract. Look it over.
- The biggest names aren’t always the best places to work. I live near a World Famous Medical Center with World Famous Medical School and they have the oldest, most crowded, least staffed, most hectic, least flexible ER I’ve ever worked in. Blech. I stayed ten weeks. (In all fairness I hear they added more staff.)
- Give smaller community hospitals a chance. In the ten weeks I stayed at the teaching facility I never saw an x-ray and could hardly get my hands on lab work because it was all geared toward the interns and residents. You will have more responsibility and actually get more experience in a smaller unit, IMHO. Unless you get off on pure adrenaline, then go for the biggest of the big!
- Afraid to cut the ties of the old job altogether? Stay per diem at the old job until you make sure the new one works out. Sometimes you actually have to work the department to know the department.
- Or…do the opposite. Go per diem at the facility you are trying out and make sure it’s a good fit.
Maybe it’s my personality, but I was never afraid to make a switch when I felt it was in my best interest or if I wanted to try a new department.
Look at it this way, we are nurses! Facilities are begging for our skills and talents! We don’t have to “settle” for second (or third) best. We can write our ticket to the jobs we want!
I found one of the best because I was willing to make a change.
Do you work for your job or does your job work for YOU.
If you don’t have the answer, why you still standin’ there?
Just walk away….
To the right job for you.