I am a Registered Nurse, who’s been working in a tertiary hospital for exactly 4 years and 3 months now. I’m so thankful for my job. I know I’m lucky to be working in a hospital as an Intensive Care Unit nurse. There were lots of nursing graduate, who wishes they have my place. But hey! Unless it’s your passion, don’t wish to be in my shoes! Being a nurse requires lots of sacrifice and patience.
I always say I want to resign and shift career. I’m tired and exhausted! Tired of 16 hours duty. Tired of having this schedule – 10pm, rest then 6am. (My poor body clock was too confused!) Okay, it’s not a rest day, it’s just a sleeping day. You’ll have no life and no social life!
Sometimes, we’re even understaffed, the nurse to patient ratio should be 1:2. But there were times that it’s only me and the 3 patients. So how could I render the quality care the patients deserve? I could even recall some patients who would tell me “kawawa ka naman, kanina ka pang umaga duty ah” or “kawawa ka naman mag-isa ka lang.” Some patients were so understanding but of course there were the demanding patients. The demanding and “maarte” patients, who every now and then presses the nurses call. It’s so irritating to ears if you’ll hear buzzer every 5 minutes. Seriously, 5 minutes, we’re already tired and have lots of things to do, but then we still need to go to the patient’s room every 5 minutes with nonsense things the patient will ask you to do. I know I should have LOTS of patience. I mean endless as horizon kind of patience. But I’m just human and not a superwoman. Okay, I would try so hard to understand the patients. Maybe they just needs attention and companion (since it’s ICU and relatives were not allowed to stay).
Oh well, it’s not just the patients, sometimes it’s the relatives who were hard to deal with. You did all your best to save and take care of the patient but it seems all your sacrifices and hard work were not enough. You get to be blame even with the smallest mistakes. Poor nurse.
Opps, patients, relatives.. Hmm let’s not forget the doctors. Yes, doctors, we’re supposed to be a team. But mind you, there were some terror consultants. Again, even for the smallest mistakes, you were being scold at. (hmm pasok sa tenga, labas sa kabilang tenga na lang) I don’t want to be stressed out for a consultant who would always tell – “make an Incident Report!” Incident Report for what? For keeping you waiting in telephone? For some errors that doesn’t affect the patient? I couldn’t even call it an Incident. Sigh.
Being an ICU nurse, I think you should also be physically strong. So how about my thin arms and fingers, what could they do to restrain a restless patients? haha. I was even close to being kicked by a patient. My small body, what it can do to carry big patients, whose weight twice or thrice as my own. Hello backache!
Lots of complains, eh? Not just that. Since I chose to be a nurse it also means choosing to work in a holiday instead of being with my family. Talk about sacrifices. Working 24 hours if there’s a typhoon. No choice, the nurse next shift can’t make it to work. Since there’s no such thing as suspended nurse duty due to heavy rain and flood. Another sacrifice- patients first! Monitoring the patient’s output hourly to make sure they had at least 30 cc output per hour, while the nurse, had no output for 8 hours. Giving osterized feeding to patients every 4 hours but the nurse hasn’t eaten yet for 8 hours. Hmm not eating on time + not getting enough sleep + exposed to different viruses and bacteria = health at risk!
I even get paranoid at times. While at home, I could still hear the beeps or alarms of the IV pumps and mechanical ventilators. I could even fall asleep while recalling the scenarios that happened in my duty. Did I forgot something? Things like that. Paranoid much, huh!
Despite of all these negatives that I mentioned, surely, there were lots of good things too and nothing could compare if you could hear a simple thank you from the patients. Seeing them being discharged, happy, healthy and thankful well that’s worth all the sacrifices.
These were just my experiences and my opinion. I don’t intend to discourage other aspiring nurses out there. I just want to rant what I feel. Things will change soon! haha.
End of rant. I’m having a headache right now.