Thursday, August 24, 2006

It could kill you

So I wrote an entire opus to how I hate my damn job and decided to delete it.
I guess because I don't actually hate my job . I love what I do with my patients and their families.
I hate the politics of my job. I can't stand the military caste system of my job, though it is unspoken. Some nurses still think they are a separate and different profession but it has become obvious that the dream of that is dead.
You cannot declare yourself a profession when your job is to take ORDERS from someone else. The orders are not suggestions from another professional you are collaborating with..They are orders that if not followed can result in job termination.
Nursing is nothing more than doing the grunt work of people who believe they are above such things.

In nursing school we were brainwashed with the notion that we were valid contributors with a voice. In all my years it has been reinforced that anyone who uses that voice is committing professional suicide.
Doctors do not want a nurse telling them their choices are suspect. If you are sweet,charming and worshipful some doctors may actually listen for a moment. If you are in a hurry, blunt or less than flattering they will go against every suggestion you make leaving you frustrated, humiliated and feeling powerless.

If this happens enough you begin to second guess yourself. You start ignoring things you once would have jumped on because you don't have the energy to be made fun of. You begin to feel sad and out of place. Your irritation grows because you no longer know how to address issues with anyone.
You are burning out.
Some times you see it in friends and you suggest they take a little time off, reconsider their choices. Sometimes you don't do enough because you are mired in your own burnout.
Sometimes you just suck and don't take it as seriously as you should because you are a crappy friend.
I was a bad friend, I didn't pay attention when I should have..I thought I had done enough and I brushed off that niggling voice that said maybe you weren't doing so well..And I am a bad friend.
You were a wonderful man and a great nurse. I didn't tell you that enough and now you are gone and I can never tell you.
Like me you loved the job but couldn't do the politics, you were kind and couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't be and I think in some horrible way your innate kindness, the gentleness of your soul led to your soul crushing disappointment.

I lost a good friend and we all lost a great nurse and the saddest thing of all is not one person will change how they hurt one another because of it..Because that is the way it is when it is your job to follow the orders of someone else.


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