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Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse - Articles - Nurses Arena Forum

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Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Idowu Olabode : October 09, 2016, 12:01:44 AM
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I've taken the very hard decision in my life to leave nursing. Im writing this as anonymous as I want only to be heard. I qualified as a nurse 6 years ago. I enjoyed the course and could not wait to qualify. I remember thinking "when I qualify I will make a big difference and help people the best way I can".  I became a nurse as Ive always loved helping others and enjoy being around people and making a positive difference to their lives.
I used to go into work so happy at the thought of seeing my patients and seeing their progression (I worked in a stroke unit). Id have my fob watch pinned on to my uniform with pride like a solider with a medal. To me at that time there was no greater joy than seeing my patients walk out the door, when a few months previously they were unsure if they would ever walk again.
Fast forward 6 years and I shamefully hate to admit that I loathe what nursing has become. It seems to me that nursing is all "ticking boxes and notes" and being a "skivvy" for management.  I love my patients and i know that I am (was) a fantastic nurse and I still take great pride in the fact that at the end of my shift my patients ask me "when are you next back on shift" to me. I still have all the thank-you cards (from patients).
This is not a rant or a dig at a profession that I worked so hard for. This is why im leaving the profession..... No appreciation or gratitude at all..... Obviously the odd patients who may be upset but mainly from fellow Nurses, management, other healthcare professionals etc.
Im going to share some of my experiences so that people have an idea of why I've taken the decision to leave.
In my first job as an acute stroke nurse, it was routine that we were pulled out of our ward to cover shortages on other wards (very stressful in itself). I would go into my shift only to be pulled out and asked to cover gyne, a&e etc. One day while covering Gyne, I went into a side room to administer Fragmin. After injecting the patient, she grabbed my arm and stuck the needle back into my hand. I went to the nurse in charge to inform her and was promptly sent to a&e..... Because the patient was HIV positive (something I was not told or aware of as I was NOT a regular member of staff.... It also was NOT on the nursing handover sheet).
I was put on very strong medication for about two weeks which made me feel extremely ill, but what angered me most was that this patient was supposed to be have a 1-1 nurse due to violent outbursts another factor I was NOT made aware of. But hey, the management didnt care they just needed someone to cover.
A few months later I was nurse in charge of a night shift. We were a nurse down and only had two nurses and one HCA. We had very confused patients, and the ward was divided into 3 bays and two side rooms. Nurse one was in bay 1 doing observations, nurse two (me) was in bay 3 doing my IVs, the HCA was in a side room tending to a patient so that left one bay and one side-room unattended.

I called the bed manager for assistance and was told "sorry im on my break" and that she would call back.... She had been made aware we were short at the beginning of the shift also. That night, an elderly man escaped out of bay two and was found wondering the roads, thankfully unharmed but extremely confused. I cried on that night shift due to the shortages and the stress we were all under. We also had no break and worked through the full 12 hours.... All while bed management was calling us to transfer patients to discharge lounge as a&e was "pilling up" and they needed beds.
The next morning I was called into the matrons office and asked "why did YOU let this happen"and was told how irresponsible I was.
A few months after I handed in my notice (after being signed off for a week with severe exhaustion and stress) I started a fantastic job as a palliative care nurse. The ward manger who was responsible for doing the rota gave her friends who worked on the unit the pick of the shifts, and worked the rota around them. I did flag this up with senior management but nothing was done about it. When I went to speak to her in person to voice my concerns I was told "if you don't like how I do my rota you can leave.... Your not irreplaceable" a few months later 5 nurses including myself handed in our leave.
This is just the tip of iceberg of some of my experiences of being a nurse. The guilt that I have felt over the past few months of making the decision to leave the profession that I once loved are still there. Ive decided to leave for my own piece of mind. I do not hate the profession but I hate how we are treated. A month ago I was put on a course of antibiotics due to a recurrent UTI was was caused by me not getting the time to drink while on shift or going to the loo. The job has affected my health emotionally as well as physically.
These are some of the things I've wanted to say in my job in the past month at work but didn't; these are not the reasons im leaving the profession but it has contributed to how I feel;
- To the family members that shouted at me for not getting the bedpan to their mother on time "I did not "neglet" your mother".  The lady in the bay next door with a history dementia and falls was trying to climb out of bed, plus we were two staff down.
- To my patient with MND, i understand your frustrations at your illness. I understand that your angry and hurting. But please understand that Ive worked through my lunch break to help hoist you into a chair while being kind and smiling at you, and don't need to be a called a "wicked witch" for not being able to hoist you back into bed 5 minutes after you asked to be sat in the chair as I had pain relief to administer.
- To the lovely cleaning lady last week, I was not aware that you were not allowed to mop urine off the floor. But thank-you for giving me the mop and cleaning products I needed to do so during my drug round. I understand that it's not your fault and that health and safety precautions are needed.... Again enforced by management.
My advise to the NHS and other organisations is this: Listen to the concerns of your staff, make them feel valued and appreciated. Stand up for your staff because the patient is not "always right". Also, paid sickness in my opinion is what's ruining the health service, as this is turn leaves staff shortages. Yes, people are genuinely sick. There are many who aren't.
Full pay for staying in bed? Why not eh? When I worked as a clinical lead (matron post) for a private hospital you would be surprised at the low level of sick leave... Probably as it was unpaid? I really went into nursing to make a change. Im not complaining about the pay as I would gladly take a job in a coffee shop as I know that I would get a simple thank-you at the end.
I'm 28 years old and I work two nurses jobs at times. I take verbal abuse on a daily basis, I work sometimes 7 hours a week of unpaid overtime if a nurse calls in sick and we need to wait for cover. I rarely get my full lunch break. Ive stuck it out for 6 years and now my time is done. Ive looked after and loved each and every one of my patients, but now it's time to look after myself.
Yours sincerely "Burnout Nurse"

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Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Nwachukwu Chiemezie I : October 09, 2016, 04:38:44 AM
Is quite worrysome and really do understand how you feel and all you've narrated in your writings.
Is really high time we nurses stand on our grounds. I am currently having issues with the head of nursing in my place of work, but I know too well that I'm gonna bend him. Nurse bullying must stop and the professional respect should accorded to the nurse practitioner or personel . I'm in to make a difference if not in nursing as a whole, but in my location of practice. They must know that all nurses are not the same and people like me don't take silly act or trash for a token they pay as salary.

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Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Thabani Buthelezi : October 09, 2016, 12:04:40 PM
From the nursing council to the ward cleaner, the nurses are being ill treated, I was ill treated by the nursing council officer for paying my extra licence fee by R5 and they didn't know how to allocate that amount so they ended up not allocating it in my name because it's extra, I nearly lost my job to my then place of work because I had no receipt from the nursing council despite my several visits to the nursing council offices. I decided to quit nursing as well due to that, not only that, when I was doing other course, the university needed the confirmation of the qualifications from the nursing council of which they refused to confirm citing that the university should use my certificate to confirm. I feel your pain I feel nursing is being underrated and bullied by everyone especially the people who are supposed to be protecting it.

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Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Burnt out : October 12, 2016, 09:11:48 AM
I also have given up I love and was proud to say I was a nurse it was a dream I fulfilled, between Mr Hunt and management they are losing great nurses .
I gave my all to my jobs , I forgave the patients that hit out , were abusive , I accepted the long hours even went without pay when I still had paper work to do or held the hand of a dying patient. After another gruelling shift and no management support again I took the decision to leave it broke my heart . Ask any nurse and they will tell you they love the job the patients the problem is more time is spent on paperwork and management offer little support when needed. Our patients need nurses to nurse them to hold their hand when frightened to reassure them when they need it not a nurse that has to spend time doing paperwork .

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Damian gaskell : October 12, 2016, 10:15:02 AM
I left nursing in 1994 for many similar reasons as the writer. I empathise with her and absolutely get her frustration at the lack of support from managers, a lack of demonstrable investment in staff and equipment and basic understanding from management that nurses want to nurse not create paper trails and stretch resources to breaking point. It's sad to see that in the 24 years since I left, nothing has changed or been addressed. Things have got worse only. If the NHS wants to start saving money, they should start with procurement. A box of 50 blank recordable CDs was charged at £112 the other week at a unit close to me. £4.99 at Tesco!! Ridiculous.

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by hadenough : October 13, 2016, 04:50:02 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with previous comments, there is no support or back up for staff, you are out there on your own if a mistake is made then someone will be made a scapegoat. Amazingly though that those higher up the ladder who get accused of bullying get moved to a different department or promoted. Staff commitment is there but their morale is low, as conditions are poor and management are just concerned with meeting targets. I wouldn't advise anyone to be a nurse it has caused my poor mental health due to poor nurse to patient ratio to look after very poorly patients and it has caused financial hardship.

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Marie : October 13, 2016, 11:37:31 PM
You sound just like me. I'm sorry you have had to leave a job you clearly loved. I just want to wish you well and hope you finally feel at peace. The sad fact is the profession has clearly lost a passionate caring person.

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by anonomous : October 16, 2016, 05:05:42 PM
I can totally relate to this i retired 3 years ago after whistleblowing on a colleague that put patients lives in danger.  I raised concerns about her hiding another nurses medication errors that i had reported to her daily and nothing was ever done about it i became a target and they made my life  a living hell i became so depress and anxious that i ended up having  a break down and leaving a job that i loved so much but could not put up with management hiding serious errors for members of staff that were their friends and family members  i found out after i left that they had reported me to the MNC i underwent a hearing and was cleared of the made up charge they had brought against me this made me hate nursing and all it stood for as so many nurses in higher management areas cover and hide things that could potentially make someone loose their life i cannot work in a profession that  finds this acceptable you would not believe the things that actually go on in wards there is never the correct amount of staff and staff are expected to work through their lunch on several occasions something needs to be done to highlight these unacceptable things that happen on a daily basis

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Gloria : October 22, 2016, 08:01:45 PM
It's unfortunate that bullying is widespread in the profession that is suppose to be a caring one,what a shame.

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Neela Bhatt : October 23, 2016, 11:31:43 AM
You don't need to quit nursing. you just become a self employed nures and choose when where and how you work.

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by The bitter truth : December 05, 2016, 03:53:23 PM
Why would you run away from a challenge? Be the change you seek in nursing, don't quit stay and fight back. Bring reform to the profession!

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Donald Butler : December 21, 2016, 05:51:14 AM
I can understand how you must be going through! Even one of my close friends quit this job due to similar problems.

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Harold : January 06, 2017, 08:11:33 PM
Please don't quit remember quitters are never winners and winners are never quitters

Re: Why I am Quiting Nursing after 6 Years as a Registered Nurse by Ighali M : February 26, 2017, 06:31:44 PM
Oops so sorry about this young nurses, I can perfectly understand your feelings haven gone through similar experiences as yours. Why not stay and fight on rather than run away from the problem? These challenges are just to make you stronger. Please don't quit if you haven't already done so.

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