Friday, January 2, 2015

What the future holds..

I have high hopes for 2015. The DH is embarking on a "new" old career in real estate. He has sold homes until the market crashed and he went on the hunt for a more reliable paycheck. Now that the economy and the housing market are picking up in our area, he has decided that now is the time for him to resurrect his passion. Our hope is to eventually start our own business in which he finds and sells the properties and I will assist with the design, remodel and décor.

I am searching for a change because I feel my days as a nurse are limited. I am suffering from a severe case of burnout and am ready to follow my true passion, decorating/design. For the time being I must remain in the healthcare field as that is what currently pays the bills, however, I am hoping in the not too distant future to be able to transition into a design career where I can be more in control of my life and my family time.

Nursing has been very good to me in general. I love my job and the idea that I can help someone on their very worst day brings me great pleasure and pride. I am finding it harder and harder to maintain those feelings as the landscape of healthcare changes. Nursing has taken a turn away from patient care and is now encumbered with massive amounts of regulations, documentation and subjective information which all take away from the integrity of the profession, in my opinion.

I miss the days when I could actually spend some extra time on discharge teaching with my ER patients before discharging them. I miss spending time teaching that new mom how to breast feed or swaddle her first baby. I miss holding the hand of the devastated spouse who has been given the worst news of his life... Instead, I am the cold, disconnected being behind the computer screen, without the time to even look up and make eye contact at the person complaining at the desk that they've been waiting for over 5 hours in the waiting room to see a physician to remove the splinter in their thumb. I have become that nurse I always despised as a new grad. The grumpy old burned out nurse who complains that all we treat are drug seekers, malingerers, crazy people and lazy parents who would rather bring a child to the ER for Tylenol than to stop at the 17 drug stores they passed on the way and do it themselves.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. I became a nurse so I could help people. To make them comfortable, help them heal or help them pass. Not so I could make 25 follow up (discharge) phone calls to be certain that everyone was happy with the care they received (hint: no one is ever happy or satisfied with their ER experience), or so that I could spend 24 hours a week on "projects" with no clinical significance. I feel like I'm in a never ending loop of the GEICO commercial "That's not how this works! That's not how ANY of this works!"

So many other health care professionals are unaware of the non-nursing demands placed upon nurses in their units and cannot understand the high turnover rates, burn out and frustration of nurses who previously loved the exact same job. I have had more than one physician or mid level provider express their shock and concern at the busy work assigned on a weekly basis. Don't misunderstand. Continuing education is necessary, however, we live in the 21st century. We should not have to come to work for seminars or conferences when the majority have access to FREE internet conferencing or education sites. Research is necessary, however, when a unit is short staffed, the clinical specialist or assistant manager should be able and willing to step in and take an assignment so that their team doesn't get hammered.  Everything doesn't need a committee. Committees don't need to meet for 4 hours every month in person (see internet meeting options). "Work Life Balance" is such a catch phrase amongst recruiters and human resources (oh, it's called "talent acquisition" now) however, it doesn't truly exist on the front lines. If you happen to be lucky enough to be employed in a non clinical position then yes, it's probably doable. Working alternative shifts, holidays, nights, weekends is hard enough. We all know that going into this profession, however, having non clinical requirements added on a monthly basis makes it very difficult to maintain a somewhat normal abnormal schedule.

I used to love my job. I hate the person it has turned me into. Maybe 2015 should bring about a change for me as well....