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One evening during a night shift the RRT head nurse dropped by our unit.  I was having a particularly annoying evening and her chipper, all-knowing, cool-kid, “let-me-impart-my-knowledge-on-you-even-if-you-didn’t-ask-for-help” attitude made me more bitter.  She looks at me, “So.  How’s it going?”  I glance up from my computer, “Well.  I have a crazy person chewing through restraints, had to give Haldol, have a drug abuser detoxing, a fresh post-op with family and a homeless guy with C-diff telling me I don’t know how to do my job.  So.  It’s sucking.”  She shakes her head, “Nursing isn’t easy.”  No sh*t, Sherlock, thank you for that genius observation.  To make matters worse, she chooses to say the thing that makes me want to set people on fire, “It’s worth it, though.  Just think of what you do for these people.  They need you.”

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I’m seriously about to go Phoenix on this bitch.  I glare at my screen, “If they haven’t learned to live without me yet then they never will.”  Another nurse laughs and hints at the all-knowing fact on the floor that I am looking for another job, “Don’t mind [insert my name], she’s not going to be here long.”  Ms. RRT crosses her arms, “Nursing isn’t for you?”  Ugh, just stop talking to me, can’t you tell I want to punch anything that moves right now?  I look at her, “If this is what nursing is, then… no, I don’t think I care for it.”  She adjusts her scrubs and scoffs, giving a smirk as if to say you silly child, “Well, yea, this is what nursing is.”

Let’s examine this for a moment.  You’re 50 years old, probably been doing this for some time, became a nurse for some ridiculous reason like “my mom died of cancer” or “I had a near death experience” or “I lost my child to leukemia.”  In other words, you are on your own journey & chose this path for your own retarded reasons — this is what nursing is TO YOU.  This is where you get your selfish satisfaction of do-goodedness.  This is where you feel you make a difference, maybe the only place you can make a difference.  How sad that you have no other area of your life where you feel worthwhile.  How sad that your mind is so small that you think a profession is only labeled by one type of caring.  How sad that you think helping these people is somehow a calling.

If it’s a true calling then do it for free.  If it’s a true calling then why don’t you take off your high-acuity, well-respected, highly sought-after RRT hat and come down here in the med-surg trenches and do some real dirty work.  Oh, what’s that you say?  You did your time on the med-surg floor? That’s interesting.  So, what made you leave?  Hm?  Why aren’t you still on the floor, helping all those “needy” people who you “care” so much about?  Hm?

I’ll tell you why.  Because you know as well as I do that it sucks being a bedside nurse, which is why you left and went on to “something better.”  I’ll let Kyle take it from here:

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