Tuesday, October 20, 2020

It just isn't funny anymore...a swan song in two parts

I started this blog a long time ago with a post about my husband's experience with his cardiac stent.  A bit over a year ago, he underwent a 4 vessel CABG by way of some mild chest pain and shortness of breath while bicycling.  AFTER we cavorted around Italy.  He has healed quite well, thanks, although not quite up to his own ridiculous standards of physical activity for a man 73-going-on-55.  For anybody else who routinely does not hike mountains and do strenuous bicycling, he is a superstar.  

I have always said as long as I still need the money find humor in the job, I will continue to do it.  The last couple of years have been a tough sell for me, as evidenced by the paucity of amusing posts.

If I thought I was a dinosaur nearly 13 years ago when this blog was born, well....what's older than a dinosaur?

 License on the line every day, every shift.

ER nursing just keeps getting tougher, and I don't mean just the physical aspects, which have certainly taken their toll.  Most of  my coworkers at Satan's Waiting Room for the last 6 years are no longer there.  Many have chucked beside nursing altogether to become nurse practitioners (a lot).  Some retired.  Several excellent nurses have been fired or forced out over some pretty minor shit.  There was an exodus of staff to Gigantic Mega Medical Center, for big bucks, a long commute, traffic, and no free parking.  All in a state tax state, which, to my mind, merely adds a boat-load of headache for even money.   My middle management boss:  a total upper management marionette of stunning uselessness  My upper management boss:  a troll with doctorate.  Neither of them would be safe to give a patient so much as a bed pan.

This pandemic has put the cherry on the turd sundae.

Once upon a time I thrived on learning new things, taking care of really sick patients, knowing how to do all the tasks, run all the machines, anticipate all the meds, trauma, codes, train wrecks of all description.  I loved to be considered a resource for other nurses, a leader, mentor and team player.  I didn't mind the physical aspects so much.  Then.  I've worked for employers good and bad.  Some who valued me for my commitment, or work ethic.  Or comic relief.  A few who saw and cultivated  my leadership potential.

But...the job has changed drastically.  The priority is not the patient.  It is a numbers game, about the money.  Always.   Documentation is directed toward charges, which is not litigation friendly.  Nurses have become chess pieces, more specifically pawns.

As a nurse who has been an advocate of what is best for the patient, I found that I was having to pick my battles.  I had to, you can't fight every minute of every day.  Exhausting.  Providers are gonna do what providers are gonna do.   You can beg, or take a hard line, try to move further up the food chain in time to prevent a really big error.  Others have done that, with predictably poor results for them.  Fortunately, I never had to take things to that level.  

Would I recommend nursing as a career?

To be continued....