February 5, 2009, 3:30 pm

Still I Look to Find a Reason to Believe

And here is where Nurse McSouffle-Cap demonstrates her total ignorance of the latest dance craze.

This is such a great photo, because what we see here are two different generations of nurses.

Just look at the lengths of the skirts (and the lack of the caps!).

When I started, I wore the short skirts; how did we ever bend over in those things?

Now, I don’t even wear skirts. Scrubs, baby, all the way!

They look like they are having fun.

We used to have fun.

I could do a mean imitation of Michael Jackson’s dance routine in “Beat It”. Still can, but not in public!


There is something fishy over at Digital Doorway and Keith is responsible for it! Change of Shift is up and Keith takes on “Life in a Fishbowl” (not to be confused with the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane”) as the theme. Lots and lots of submissions this week so be sure to check it out!  Many thanks to Keith for hosting! The next Change of Shift is at This Crazy Miracle Called Life. Send submissions to Amanda at “agmcgaha at gmail dot com” or through Blog Carnival.


I think I may have lost something this week.

I’m not sure what, but I know that there needs to be some changes made in my life.

It isn’t nursing, per se.  I really want to graduate and get started on doing some research; I enjoy studying and wish I could get paid to do it.

But I’m fed up.

I’m fed up with game-playing.

Fed up with trying to maintain a smile when I am being manipulated and both the manipulator and I know it is happening and I am powerless to stop it.

Fed-up with being played against my colleagues, both medical and nursing.

Ready to quit.


I’m tired.

Tired of the over-the-top dramatics when there is real tragedy in life. And in the next room.

Tired of being harassed because the pace of the emergency department does not mesh with the fact that someone has to be at a meeting at 0900.

Tired of being forced to play co-dependent and act in a way that is detrimental to the welfare of my patients.

Tired of the endless explanations to people who have no intention of understanding, let alone caring, what I say.

Tired of giving Oscar-worthy performances of understanding to people who act like jerks.


I’m ready.

Ready for a change to a place where nursing isn’t considered 70% ability to BS and 30% ability to practice actual nursing care.

Ready for a change to a place where the technology of the 21st century is embraced, and not coming two years down the road, maybe, if we’re lucky.

Ready to go where the ER is not the red-headed stepchild while the rest of the facility is touted as the greatest thing since the invention of television.


I have just reached my tipping point.

Maybe my education has opened my eyes to situations I could have ignored before.

Maybe I am burning out. Again.

Maybe it will pass. Again.


I still love nursing.

I’d still do it all again.

I just don’t have it in me to write an optimistic post right now.

Maybe tomorrow.


I know, let me put it this way.

The world is made up of Apple, and I am working for Microsoft.

I don’t know if things would be any better elsewhere.

Still I look to find a reason to believe

They would be.


  • IcedLatte

    February 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Oh! How sad. Some days it does seem as though one’s forehead just can’t take anymore pounding nails into brick walls. It does wear one down how many patients have a vested interest in being sick. It’s still such an unpleasant surprise to me! But I guess doing the opposite of everything I patiently (and impatiently) say is a KIND of listening. Start putting notches on your lipstick case (metaphorical or real) for all the really nice patients, who come and go without a whimper, who don’t bounce back, who don’t ask for anything other than a little help and ice chips, who say please and thank you, and are genuinely grateful. I always am guilty of letting them fall off my burned out radar. Good luck!

  • Candy

    February 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    For as down and discouraged as you feel now, you will be lifted and encouraged and brought back to passion by your next few days at ACNL. These people LOVE nursing and it’s infectious (nice little medical tie-in, don’t you think?)

    It will rock your world, not like NASCAR or JSS, but it will make a difference. Stick w/me, young ‘un!

  • JeanT

    February 6, 2009 at 4:00 am

    I too became very fed up the crap I had to do just to do my job of CARING FOR PEOPLE. Going back to school like you (and I) are doing is the best way for us to create this “nirvana” ED that those of us that still care enough to get upset want to create. Don’t give up. Turn your frustration into something that really pushes you to make it better.

  • Nurse K

    February 6, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Time for day surgery, I guess (where all burned-out nurses go). The patients are in and out, they have a real problem, and you get to go home at 4pm.

  • TC

    February 6, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Honey, I don’t know how you don’t get burned out working in the ER and going to school and maintaining this wonderful blog. Hang in there. I’m pretty tired of the dramatics and intrigue at my job, too.

  • Katherine

    February 6, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Hi – long-time fan/lurker here. 🙂

    I got out of the hospital (overnight surgery) this morning, and some of the nurses at the hospital I was at ACTUALLY WORE those caps. It was awesome–just like the guy who took me down to the OR kicked open every single door, some of these ladies had those rad caps on.

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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