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Monday, September 22, 2014

how I became a bitch

Working in the ER changes you.

It is unlike any other place in the hospital. You are dealing with a constant stream of people who are having some kind of stressful event in their lives.  We may not think it is a crisis, but for them it is.

The ER never ends. It never closes. Its 24/7.  There is never a break. It can be quiet one minute and chaos the next. You can be dealing with a stubbed toe and in rushes someone with a gunshot wound or a cardiac arrest We live our life on the edge.

You are dealing with everyone from A to Z.  Many of the people who frequent ERs are living dysfunctional lives. They bring that dysfunction into the ER with them. They can be drunks, junkies, criminals, the homeless, the mentally ill, the neurotic.  We deal with violent drunks, drug seekers,  homeless people who haven't bathed for months, out of control psych patients, manipulative people who can turn on a dime if they don't get what they want.

We work in a chaotic environment of ringing alarms, yelling patients, ringing phones, overhead paging... When it ramps up its overwhelming.

You know all of the above going in, or at least you think you do.  When you choose to take a job in the ER, you are the kind of person who thrives on chaos and crisis.  Bring it on.

Here's the thing about the ER that people don't get: It is not like ER on TV.  We are not constantly dealing with a car accident, a shooting, a cardiac arrest.  We get critical patients. Often. That's actually the fun part of my job. Ninety nine percent of the time it is routine, dull even.

My job is the everyday world of the ER: the abdominal pains, back pains, chest pains, mental health, etc. etc. etc. that make up the daily operation of an ER.  Its boring really.  Its predictable.

Being an ER nurse, you see a lot of tragedy.  Tragedy in the form of suffering people with cancer who are dying, terrible chronic diseases or conditions, unwanted elderly people..  People die.  Families suffer.  It is sad.

Then you see people who are such ineffective copers that a cold sends them over the edge and into the ER.  They are the type of people who will never have their own doctor.  There lives are such chaos that the concept is foreign to them.

Every day you deal with drug seekers in their various forms.  They lie and manipulate to get what they want.  You learn to recognize them a mile away.

Then there are the just plain mean people. You learn just how many of them there are in the world. They yell at you, verbally abuse you, threaten you, may try to hit you and succeed. They are the out of control people down the hall yelling at the top of their lungs because they didn't get what they wanted.

All this changes you.  Hardens you.  Makes you cynical..  You develop a shell that protects you most of the time. It changes your view of people, the world.   It exposes you to things most people don't see. It gives you a perspective on your own life and how it ain't so bad.

Being an ER nurse is so very difficult.  You cannot understand how difficult unless you do it. The only things that saves you is the occasional thank you, the thought that you made someone feel better or participated in extending someones life at least enough to get them out of the ER.

Last but not least, you will work with people who are hilarious, smart, dedicated and some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  They keep you coming back.

247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Find a new job.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you know you've been a nurse a while when you walk by a drunk passed out and your family is super concerned and you say "Please please leave that person alone..he/she will otherwise ruin an ER nurses' night"

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:05: Curious as to why you think Madness needs to find a new job. As an ER nurse of almost 10 years I can say I identify with this perspective. This job is emotionally and physically devastating, the hours are terrible, the patients are often ungrateful and sometimes even violent, but honestly stating those facts doesn't mean madness or I are bad nurses or bad people, or even unhappy in our jobs. It simply means we are realistic about what we encounter daily.

JustMe said...

The person who said Get a new job must not of gotten his free sandwhich, or bus pass or drugs. Most likely has no job, but gets a pay check from the Working people who pay taxes

Deborah Gagne said...

You hit the nail on the head in so many ways--been doing this for over 25 years--cant break away from it although I probably should--still leave every day thinking I made a difference so I guess I'll keep it going

Sydnee Boucher said...

This is so true, I have been an ER nurse for almost 20 years. I have held the dead child, cared for the victem of domestic or sexual violence. Stood by while the life long partner of an 80 year old takes their last breath, and right after, have gone on to take care of the drug seeking , failure to cope person, without being able to take time to process the sadness I was just witness to. Because we have to do this everyday, we do build a barrier to protect us, than we get accused of not caring. There needs to be more programs for staff to help them work in this setting, you can't work like this everyday without it taking an emotional toll. ER nurses need to have an outlet for the emotional strain that is there every time we go to work.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you! I will start thanking whoever I encounter in life!

Paul Ricchi said...

To the slimy dush bag who said get a new job, the absolute true mark of a coward is posting a comment like that anonymously. Any time you want to meet and discuss your views let me know bitch

Paul Ricchi

Shrtstormtrooper said...

So true. I'm six years into ER nursing, and every word of this hits home.

Anonymous said...

Describes it perfectly. As an ER nurse who later became a doctor I have nothing but respect for all the people who work there. Sometimes black humor is the only way to deal with the tragedy, mayhem, monotony and frustration. But oh, the stories we can tell!

kevin wheeler said...

Been in the ER almost 20 years here in the SF Bay Area and every word is true..I can relate to every word...it's crazy almost every day....but I love it and wouldn't change anything. I work with a great team and staff and still have another 20 years before retirement. I always go home knowing I made a difference in someone's life.

Patricia Loughan said...

I am a Grandma, I have taken my family members, usually one at a time to the Er on many many occasions. Most of these were successful, and helpful. Some were entries to admission, and precursors to serious stuff, and even though they were stressful and scary, I am grateful for the staff's attention. Yeahhh it was annoying to have to wait, but others seemed to need their attention , and in fact had much more serious need than ours. But no matter, we were treated, to the best of their ability. So, this is to thank you for being there, for your patience and understanding. Thank you, and God bless you for it all.

Toni Torlone said...

You know it! As terrible as it is sometimes it just gets under your skin .... can't get enough of it even after 23 years of mainly ER nursing. We do make a difference in many ways. In all its brokenness it has its own type of healing when all is said & done. Toni

Anonymous said...

Yes, to ANON-- you are a jackass and/or just ignorant. Most ER nurses love their job, but we get abused on a daily basis. Society is demanding, selfish, manipulative, and a lot of people haven't been taught good coping skills, or just refuse to cope. Everyone wants a handout. Give me a free sandwich, give me this, give me that. As far as the drunk comment: I have never been in the ER when intoxicated as a patient. These stupid drunks come in so intoxicated and then we give them nausea meds, IV fluids, and then sometimes give them pain medication. In a sense, we are saying, "Hey, come to the ER and you will be rewarded for your stupidity and irresponsibility." And guess what!! You don't have to pay your bill!! You can live off the taxes and generosity of other hard-working individuals who have chosen to lead productive lives. Screw you Anon.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

Mr anonymous, I hope you have to visit an ER one day after a horrible car wreck, or if you start vomiting up blood...or any ailment. Then would you like it if we all FOUND A NEW JOB?

Anonymous said...

^5

Anonymous said...

God bless the ED nurse! Worked as a provider in busy ED for 8 years. Could not function w/o the coordinated effort of the nothing but awesome work of the ED nurse. NOBODY works harder than an ER nurse!

Anonymous said...

T his is so true but not only for the nurses but all of the people who work there. It takes a toll on all of them but I after my 15 years plus in working in an ER I wouldn't trade it for anything. It makes you appreciate everything in your life. To the person who said get a new job, Karma is a bi×÷h, and the next time your in a ER, I hope you remember those words.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. To often we only hear curses and complaining even though we have worked long hours without seeing or own needs in order to see to our patients needs. We walk around hungry, needing to pee, with aching feet and backs only to get yelled at. Your graciousness is what keeps us going with a smile

Unknown said...

I have a family member who is a policeman and I think they deal with a similar situation in being changed and becoming more cynical about life.

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

Paul Tadeo said...

Thank you for everything you've done over the years. You are appreciated for all your hard work, your constant training, compassion ,and infinate patience. You shine as a team, I've seen you cry at unbelievable human suffering, laugh at odd times, and shared your kindness to those otherwise deemed undeserving. I show my appreciation by staying healthy, seeing my PCP and doing everything she asks of me. When I do go to the ED, I am patient, honest and remember to be nice, be respectful and mind my manners. I am a retired Firefighter/Paramedic who wouldn't be alive if it weren't for ED nurses. Simply.....thanks!

Anonymous said...

Exactly! If all the ER nurses found a new job, who's going to be there to take care of you or your loved ones when they are hanging onto life by a thread. Unfortunately this day will come, it does for all of us, even ER nurses.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 4:05....Typical response. Your probably one of the assholes that all of us ER nurses have taken care of over, and over, and over again.

Anonymous said...

Quit after 25 years. Couldn't take the abuse of ungrateful people anymore

Anonymous said...

As a retired nurse who worked for 43 years (29 of which were in the ER), I can relate with all that was said. I wouldn't want to change anything in those years! Many tears, much laughter, and the best friends anyone can find! Only an ER nurse can understand another ER nurse!!!

Anonymous said...

Darn right. I'm a Respiratory Therapist that sees the same things. Alcoholic drug addicts are common, obnoxious fare. Obese patients over four hundred pounds are an almost daily occurrence. COPD'ers who are still smoking, often while wearing oxygen. The patients and problems today are far different than when I started working in the field Thirty years ago. Most of my patients today seem to be doing their darndest to slowly kill themselves while hating the whole world. If I could find another job that paid as well I'd probably take it.

Anonymous said...

If you are doing it for the money, change careers. I'm sure there are plenty of other jobs that pay just as well, you just have to put the effort in it (sort of like you did to get where you are today).

Anonymous said...

This is any ER not just inner city
all ER's are the same, We laugh and joke about sadness and sickness and death as a way to cope
I love my job and would not work anywhere else but the ER

Anonymous said...

:)

Anonymous said...

I've been an ER nurse for about 25 yrs. People are now much more demanding and rude but there are still the nice polite ones that make your day, break your heart with their situations or don't really want to bother you when they should have come in days sooner.
We in healthcare do act and speak inappropriately at times so we don't cry all the time. Most of us are here because we want to be here.
I will be the first to admit that the 'you owe me' types are the most annoying as well as the ones looking for freebies ('sammich' ,juice etc) and drugs when what they need is often a job and a satisfying life. It may have helped if they had family that didn't have them for a 'paycheck' (welfare) or to snag the 'baby daddy' who doesn't often seem to be monogamous.
Fortunately the hard working people that pay taxes for their care make up for it most days. Fortunately our EMS is full of wonderful people who also work hard and are under appreciated by many, even by hospital staff. We are all in this world together.
The rich and the underachieving poor are squeezing the life out of the working middle people.
I still can't imagine doing anything else. It's a privilege most times to be able to care for you and your family.

JJ said...

It's not always easy to just "find a new job" say that to the fast food works wanting 15/hour. It's part of the burn out. Some leave and some stay and suck it up.

Anonymous said...

Haha! As a ED RN I thought the same thing!

zenwaitress said...

it is not the nurse who notices the abuse who is broken. It is the system that is broken. What needs to change is a system that allows people who clearly make very poor decisions to have carte blanche with the public's money. Their abuse of a system that was not built to deal with chronic problems cost us all a small fortune every month. We know who these people are when they walk up to the desk time after time we see the same people. While layer after layer of oversight and petty paperwork is put on the medical system, the patient's the judgment is never questioned. That is what needs to change and we are the people who should be pushing for that change.

R P G said...

Some people thrive on quiet, peaceful pursuits. Others revel as the tip of the spear, chest-deep in the chaos and excitement. Adrenaline junkies? Maybe. Or... perhaps the best and brightest are simply drawn to jobs where they can make a real difference in the lives of others. Probably why police, fire and the medical field jobs are drawn to each other. Sometimes, making a difference is its own reward.

Anonymous said...

As a person with many years of human interaction, I have learned attitude is everything.

Anonymous said...

I am a certified rehab RN. I have one RN daughter who worked in the ER for years but has since changed. I have used the ER very few times myself but was completely satisfied with my care. I used them for my husband many times and they were great! A lot of my RN friends are ER nurses and I admire all of them. They are caring and able to handle the stress of the ER. I salute them as being great nurses!

Anonymous said...

This is nursing in general. I'm an ICU nurse - we deal with those people for days on end after you get rid of them in the ED. It's a different kind of chaotic, but chaotic nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

The ED did not change me. The ED revealed me.

Caroline said...

All so true...

Anonymous said...

I volunteered in the ED one night, but my main job was a cardiac/telemetry RN. One thing that did draw me to the ED was the variety and the fact that the patient did eventually leave. We too have our "frequent fliers" that we knew their history immediately. We had one person who was honest and said they didnt take their diuretics so the CHF was back again. Yes..I agree..all nurses get cynical..nobody cares about what you are trying to teach them..they just want to go home and to continue the unhealthy habits. I saw many post MI patient who would have their family bring in McDonald's. They didnt care..in their eyes..they got fixed with that stent. Occasionally a person would grab my hand after a MI when they released that just bought them 5 medications and ask me what were the two most important ones cuz they knew they couldn't afford them all. That broke my heart.
What people don't realize is that healthcare is all about customer service. A patient can have the best medicine, doctors, nurses, etc..but if their dinner is mediocre..they will only rate the hospital as "okay" what a laugh that is!

Anonymous said...

Hate auto correct for all the English police out there..lol.

Anonymous said...

I worked as a nurse & then respiratory nurse for 45 yrs. started out as a nursing assistant in a hosp & then up from there, nursing homes, vets home then back to hosp, worked in every dept. in the hosp from psych, scrub nurse, to resp therapist in E.R. I always said that if I stopped caring I would quit. I retired a yr. ago. I miss the interaction with staff & patients. one thing I occasionally had an opportunity to say was that we are not here to judge, we are just here to try to help people feel better. I never judged the 500lb pts or the smokers using oxygen, or the ones that tried & failed suicide. the mean, druggies & drunks I had compassion for. I have family members who have not been able to change & are continually fighting their demons. whether it be the alcohol drug or another drug or depression and anxiety. everyone has something they are dealing with including staff. sooo if you as an RN or other staff member, including Drs become too judgmental and bitter then try a different dept. or hospital or be a school nurse etc, you always have options in your field. don't let yourself get so hardened that it "changes" who you are. if you are a compassionate person do something that allows you to stay that way. if you are not & never were then get out, the patients & their families I dealt with over the yrs. taught me so much and made me a better person, I would still be working if it weren't for my own health issues. joking & laughing & venting is societies way of debriefing from crisis. so do ahead & quietly do those things. some of you will then go out there & give those hard to handle pts all the kindness they need, I rarely had a pt that didn't want to see me come back in there room again because they knew I was there to try to make them feel better not to judge them,

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, not everyone can do the job so I'd refrain from being do judgemental. We'll all need an ER nurse some day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.amazon.com/ER-True-Stories-Things-Stuck/dp/1490469826

Cheaper than therapy!

Anonymous said...

ER: True stories and things that got stuck.

A book on Amazon written by ER staff members after 22 years in the ER.

Anonymous said...

ERs can empty a waiting room fast if they had a dispenser for a plastic containing 2 Vicodin, a cab voucher, and a meal ticket.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/n5Zw4ZARvNg

Anonymous said...

Fuck you asshole your exactly the people we deal with you missed the point from moment you started reading ill be sure to find a new job when you walk through the door and really need one of us to do ours

Rev. Anthony J Hillelson said...

I am in my early 60's and worked
in the ER in my early 20's. I am
forever grateful for that
experience. I truly know how hard
the Nurses work and all that they
are up against with little
appreciation.
Almost 17 yrs. now I began to
develop 3 Autoimmune Diseases which are now severe RA,
moderate Lupus & Sjogrens
along w/all the
associated diseases, syndromes,
et al.
My only concern that has truly
angered me at times has been
that even at my age and the
way that I present myself,
most Nurses treat me like
I'm a Drug Seeker,
which is the very last
thing on my mind. I hate having
to take these many drugs.
It takes a great deal of
urging to even get me to the hospital when
I need to go, so I often
wait far too long.
I do NOT understand how
anyone could even think
for a moment that
I'm a drug seeker, even
though I KNOW that Nurses
deal with this so often
that it skews their thinking
of most Nurses that I've experienced. I have to
say that I feel it quite disrespectful and at
my age, I don't hesitate
to let them know it in as respectful a
way as humanly possible,
as I am often very hurt
by their attitude
toward me.
So, I am asking the Nurses
that have commented, how
best can I handle this
better so they do NOT
jump to such a rediculous
conclusion in my case. I
recognize that initially
they don't know me,
but if you could see me
I can't believe it would
be your first thought. No
one who knows me have
agreed with me on this
and they too are dumbfounded
when they are with me.
I wait even longer to go
to the ER when I seriously
need the help because
I know that I'm going to
have to deal with this
disrespectful and unfounded conclusion.
So, whatever you might share
with me that could help my situation, I would be very grateful!
God Bless Each One of You
for ALL the good that you
do for us when
we are forced to go to
the ER.
It's often frightening for me
and quite stressful knowing
that many Nurses immediately react to me in
this way prior to evaluating
me to disregard this untruth.
Again, I am very GRATEFUL
to you all! I have a great
deal of respect for many
of you. You've
truly Blessed me well and
I've been eager to share
with you just how grateful
I truly am!

Always a mother said...

I applaud for your work. I've had a few trips to the with broken bones, (kids). overhigh temps, just to name a few. We were always treated GREAT. Caring group of nurses.

Anonymous said...

When you need someone to ease your pain....who do we run to? When we think our life is ending...who do we run to for help? These people are there for us 24/7!!!! We owe them so much!!

larry/hope, ar said...

You can take care of a fool over and over in the ER. I have done it over 35 years in ER. You can only do good as a nurse in ER if you take care of EVERY person just like you enjoy being treated. PS. Some people hate themselves, so they dislike anything and everything anyone does for them. The Lord will bless every ER nurse, one day.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the above ER nurses. What irritates me more than anything tho is now hospitals are reimbursed by the people we help comments. If we are going to get hospitals paid by medicare and medicaid, we kiss peoples butts. That is what administration wants, do what ever it takes to get a good review. Where is administration at 0300 in the am when you have 2 nurses and a code and a drug seeker who wants his MRI and is on the light constantly for his dilaudid? Why are we having to see these pts who are not emergencys? I cant get to the pt who needs me due to all of the crap the other non ill pts are dishing out. If pts are going get to say how much hospitals are paid by there comments, then the government who put this rule into place should be paid the same way.

Anonymous said...

So than what does that say about the nurses that don't become bitches?

Anonymous said...

My elder parent was very ill for 18 months - crises always seemed to hit on a Saturday night or following early hours of the morning. I met ER staff of all temperaments during those times - Often her care had to vie with gun shot wounds, overdosed teenagers, critically injured car accident victims. If some nurses were abrupt, or harried I NEVER took it personally. I knew they'd do their jobs, pull my mother through another respiratory crises, and she'd live to make it a bit longer. They are warriors of medical care and deserve much more respect and recognition than they receive.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious if you are married? If so, are you able to leave it all at the hospital or does it trickle over into your families life?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't do anything else!

Anonymous said...

I agree...I have been an OR nurse for 18 years and my "shield" that I put up in tragic cases is very strong! Can't imagine doing anything different though. My hat's off to the dedicated ED nurses! Oh...and the only reason I replied anonymous is because it's the only option I could choose. P.S. I am a major adrenaline junkie.

2 RN's said...

My husband and I are both ED nurses. we work together ,we are compassionate together , We vent together and we crack jokes together about things we've experienced it's wonderful to come home and have someone completely understand the kind of night you've had. Needless to say our dinner conversation its colorful and always interesting.

Anonymous said...

Sadly many of our stressors as ED nurses stem from either unrealistic expectations of the ED or not needing to be seen in the ED to start with. I would be pissed to wait 3 hours for flu like symptoms too but I wouldn't go to an ED for that either. But those are the people that bitch, not the 75 yr old guy who can't breathe.

Anonymous said...

In 1999 I was doing high dose chemo before a stem cell transplant. I asked on of the nurses how she could do this. Her replay stays with me to this day. Most days I receive much more than I receive. I have a daughter who is an emergency room nurse. I think that statement above covers the ER nurses. I think At the end of most of your shifts you feel the same way. Well maybe not right after you get off work, but probably the next day.

Anonymous said...

I do not often go to the ER been once for a migraine as my pcp sent me and he called ahead so I could have an iv of idr what amd some saline to try to get rid of it as it had been 6 weeks long never leaving, once for asthma for a nebulizer treatment, also sent by my pcp as they don't do them in office, then once for a seious car accident amd EVERY time o said thank you to each dr and each nurse, minus the ones when I drifted off after the accident they say bodys way of dealing wit stress.of the accident, and I to this day feel bad idk who they are to thank. My point of this is that each one I thanked actuallyhn felt the need to thank me for thanking them!!! That show how unappreciated they are! They bust ass for us and often times have children home with a cold that want to snuggle and childs game or concert they had to miss, or have just had a crummy day and being nice to jerks is the last thing anyone wants.to do but they do! They also try to comfort you when you are in massive pain and dthey know just how bad the pain or injury is but need to keep a straight face to keep you calm, so, THANK YOU TO ALL ER NURSES!!!!

Anonymous said...

Having worked in both, the icu is where near chaotic like the ED. Max 2 patients? yeah you're lucky to have 2 icu players plus 3-4 others on a normal night in an emergency room

O said...

The toughest people have the kindest hearts! Hang in there, nurses!

be nice we may be your nurse someday said...

14 gauge. Foley. Rectal meds. VITAMIN Zyprexa.

I really hate people who say get a new job. Ha they dont understand that ER nurses can multitask its insane. That a regular job would bore us to shits. And on another note mr anonymous I hope that not if but when you do go to an ER. You learn your lesson. The longer your a dick head. The bigger the needle, the longer the wait. If you want us to help you fast, you better die for real instead of acting like it. Or try and catch some flys with honey. We are sweet but alot of damn spice too.

Anonymous said...

Apply it when you're getting hit in the face by a confused or drunk patient. How long do you think your good attitude will last?

Toni LaFrance said...

Nice reply Paul. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous. Suck it. Get a new life while you're at it. One away from your keyboard commenting on things you obviously don't know shit about. Didn't like what you read? I can only assume you recognized yourself in this post...and not in a favorable way.

Anonymous said...

It's not about the money! It's about loving people and really, really wanting to help. But it does wear you down, and every now and then your devine appointment shows up and makes you remember why you're there.. Thanks for the memories. It was a wild ride at Toppenish.

Anonymous said...

Wow, judgemental nurses! "Stupid drunks" are sick too., pill seekers are sick. Help them to get help,. Crazy psych patients? No, a sick person who came for help, not judgements. Sounds like some of you chose the wrong profession. No compassion.

Anonymous said...

@ Rev. Anthony J Hillelson , ...unfortunately the moment the word "pain" is mentioned, it is a knee jerk reaction. Same goes for when someone says their pain is a "100" out of 10...
I love my job as an ED nurse and find it difficult at times to not be cynical. You can't change someone's mind about anything, but you may change their 1st impression and that is where it all starts. Next time you are at the ED, tell the nurse all that you have done NOT TO BE THERE- by going to your PCP, taking your meds as directed and not waiting until after 5pm or the weekend when your pain has been their for hours/days.
To all of my ED peeps, I love our special kind of craziness! We may appear mean, but from my experience, the mean ones are the BEST nurses.

Anonymous said...

Please Anon at 1:18 come to the ER and help US find help for the above said patients. We do have compassion but we are realistic...MHMR does not "help" every patient, they put them back on the streets. And how does an ER help the pill seeker? Give them pamphlets for detox that they leave in the room??? And all drunks are "stupid" because that is what alcohol does to people! Alcoholics need help, but again an ER can't fix them. We can guide them to a place of help, but they are not coherent enough to listen or even care.
We get in arguments with MHMR all the time because they say a patient does not need to be admitted to a pysch facility when they clearly do. It is not the ER at fault, it is the system.

Anonymous said...

I do not remember the last time I felt good about my job. Money is the only reason I continue to work in an ED: Money and loyalty to my shift. I have children to feed and bills to pay.

My job now includes the following:

I enter data into the hospital's shiny new, HITECH Act compliant, EMR software to support ICD-10 billing codes. The same software that, combined with the newly ACA insured population, has easily doubled our average wait times.

I am encouraged to perform like a trained chimp for favorable HCAHPS surveys; Favorable surveys the ED will not receive due in part to long wait times (see above) and because people are generally nasty these days.

The hospital constantly seeks to shift liability onto me and my coworkers in the form of online "education" modules.

I have not become a "bitch." I am just apathetic. Thanks for reading and have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

All you people that are telling this person to get a new job are the ass holes that make our daily lives miserable. Next time you have one of your perceived emergencies why don't you sit at home and suck on it...or instead of coming to the ER and being a total dick try being nice for once and saying please and thank you. That actually might be the game changer right there

Anonymous said...

Oh wouldn't that be nice if all us ER Nurses decided to quit just because we couldn't handle the stress. No anonymous I like what I do and I hope one day to have u in my ER I'm like the the nurse above I can put a hose in every hole u have and u won't know it till u wake up in 4 point leather restraints. I love my job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nana Ninja said...

Leave it to the uglies that live among us,this is a world few understand,those of us who do,keep the faith with our humor intact and our love of life still raging on.The rude comments are rude but we have all been abused with this before.Retired now and too many stories to tell.I still have the key chain that says we are here to save your ass not to kiss it.I found the piece well written trying to explain the unexplainable.

Anonymous said...

It is a tough job and as a RN in the 3rd busiest level one trauma center in the country some of what is written in the original post is true. But if you are burnt out or have become a bitch as it says, then I agree with others you need to find a new job! I feel privileged to be an ED nurse!!!!

Anonymous said...

Try being a tech in the ER. For a lot of the Nurses, we do the vitals, ekg, iv's , catheters, get them checked in, before the RN will evengo into the room. Plus they make almost double what we make. We might bitch about it, but we are greatful to be able to help others. Oh, and we don't get the recognition for their care either. It bugs me when nurses bitch.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. ER techs are at the bottom of the totem pole. If you can't handle it, get out. We do almost all of what a nurse does with half the pay. So we obviously don't do it for the money. It's the experience and the occasional Thank you when you actually help someone who really needed an ER. Sometimes we do forget why we're crazy enough to do this job until we save a life or hold someone's hand who's afraid to die. Nurses and techs that whine need to remember why they do this job or get the hell out.

TuckerSnoCat said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6sRyrB_UMA

Anonymous said...

For all those negative, unappreciative people: Just imagine if the ER staff were NOT there! Now that would be something to complain about. Happy or sad, guarded or open, patient or not, nurses are a blessing - and no, I'm not even in the medical profession.

Anonymous said...

I am a former ER nurse of 8 years. I am also a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Please, from my heart to the hearts of all my fellow ER nurses stop and have compassion for those addicts and drunks. I know they are exasperating, disgusting, and draining. I have dealt with them and I am one of them. They are ill people with a disease that is being mismanaged similar to a diabetic that comes in with ketoacidosis. Yes, they are a nuisance but still a human being in need of your compassion and care.
Tristan, RN BSN

Anonymous said...

Why would any of you waste your time arguing with someone who has to hide behind the name anonymous? You know what you do matters every day. I'm not a nurse but I do work in a hospital and when my 18 year old son had an allergic reaction to nuts that we didn't even know he was allergic to, it was the nurses who were first and foremost in his care and I thank them everyday. Today is ER Nurses day and to all you ER Nurses, I say THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are jobs that are just as draining as a nurse and some are worse. The reason we are unfamiliar w/ these jobs being so difficult is because they don't talk about it. It's called being professional. The thing that aggravates me about these "complaining nurse posts" is the fact that nurses deal w/ the general public. The general public sees these negative posts, and quite frankly, it makes those of us who are truly concerned w/ our health second guess getting help when we may really need it. We don't want to be that type of person that nurses complain about publicly. If I were to share a post about my profession on facebook complaining about it, I would most definitely get in trouble for it. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate everything that nurses do and respect them, but I also appreciate and respect all contributing members of our society.

Anonymous said...

Find a new career.

Anonymous said...

Techs, if you want recognition, but not by much, and more money. Become a nurse!!

Anonymous said...

I love this article. I'm an ER nurse of only 4 years but it feels a lifetime to me...we go through so much and have to flip the switch so often from tragedy to a "customer service" smile. One day I had just left a room of a 3 month-old where we had been doing CPR for 2 hours and trying desperately to save his life. My manager sent me out immediately after the doctor called the code and made me go take care of other patients who were falling behind in orders as so many of our staff had been in the baby's room. (It was early in the morning and we were understaffed.) I understood that other people needed attention but it wasn't life or death. I talked to one patient who was chewing me out for taking so long to get them a pillow and I lost it. I went into the break room and cried my eyes out for 10 min, then tried to go back to the other patients, only to be sent back to the break room by a staff member (who was not in the code) because, "You can't be out here looking like that." It was terrible. We are still human, and we still have emotions, jaded as we can be. I wish there was a better support group for ER nurses and staff. But we press on somehow. I'm so grateful for all of you who do the same. To the coward who posted that terrible first remark: We all feel the way this article puts it. We love people and we love to help but we get cussed out, beat up mentally AND physically, and made to work 13 hr shifts with NO lunch breaks. But we do it to HELP people. It's the idiot like you that causes us to feel so terrible at work. You have no sense of compassion, no dignity, and no respect.

Thank you all who have dedicated your lives to helping others and God bless you all!

Lesia Yates said...

So true I'm a Neuro/trauma ICU nurse of 18 years. Same people in the er come and stay with their families every word is so true. I can't tell you how many times security has been called. Be a use they camp out in the waiting room. Thank god we have strict visiting hours. We only got locked doors after I was hit by a visitor and then every once in a while you get that great family the one thank you that makes it all worth while. I've been cussed by people that sailors would blush. Not sure what people expect. Its not a holiday inn

Anonymous said...

I started as a tech in the ED and now Im a nurse and honestly there are many days i miss being a tech! Sure I made less but I definitely had more time with the patients and loved that I went where I was needed most which meant I got to jump from trauma to code to rowdy drunk which I LOVED !!! Not to mention the times I could say "let me ask the nurse" hahaha honestly though the ED is a HUGE team effort and doesnt work without EVERY part! From doctors to nurses to techs to environmental services to registration to social work!!! Nit to mention all of the ancillary services! Also I think the word bitch is not meant to be as intense as it is. I have been workung ED for about 6 years and I have been told to this day im too nice! Its just that the rest of the people that work in the hospital usually see sick patients, being that they were sick enough to be admitted. The ED is a strange place where people kind of have to prove theyre sick more or less because we see so many ridiculous people who waste our time looking for drugs or not wanting to go see a primary care doctor. I worked ICU for a couple years between EDs and I remember one of my first days I was like 'Man all of my patients are really sick, like critical' my compassion quadrupled!! We ED nurses still have it, compassion, you just kind of have to earn it. If youre coming to the Emergency Department, make it for something EMERGENT thats all :) (and dont be a jerk) and we will take care of you like family!!!

868d9704-4f25-11e4-9095-13531426e1e8 said...

I have worked ERS all over the country and it is like they say same shit different ER. I have been doing it for 25 years ( 8 of them as a travel ER nurse -loved it ). God knows, some people just don't believe what we see and why we are the way we are.
One time when I was working in Fresno, CA my son worked in the ER with me as a transporter/sitter. His first week he comes home and says I can't believe how uncaring and rude ER nurses are. About 6 months later he comes home and says I see why nurses are like that. Someone's life depends on them getting what they need now. Kind of hard to ask for things when all the things are going through your head of what you need to do to save this patient. He worked there 2 years and actually liked it. Not enough though to become a nurse. He said I wouldn't be able to put up with all that abuse on a daily basis.
I know this may come as a shock, but my favorite pts are the homeless, drunks, and the druggies. I just seem to have an affinity to deal with them. Some of them have called me Nurse Rachet, but then turn around and ask me to marry them. I love my ER, but it seems to be time to start slowing down I think. I am going to try something else, but going to do ER perdiem. I just can't let it go.
Pat TravelRN

Anonymous said...

You can argue, you can rant and rave about who works harder or makes more money. The truth of the matter is in the first line.
Working in the ER changes you. Period

Anonymous said...

THIS is why I am an ER nurse. All it takes is ONE person to be grateful or say thank you. It makes up for the 25 other patients that yelled because they didn't get their Dilaudid.

Anonymous said...

AND you aren't going to get a code while your other room gets a patient having a MI. I've worked both...

Anonymous said...

I worked for 10 years in a busy urban ER. As ER nurses we are confronted with everything from the birth of a child to the death many patients of many ages including infants. We show up when we are sick, tired, weekends, nights and hoildays 365 days a year. We deal with the critically ill to those that think a cold is a terminal illness. Despite all of the unpleasantness I dealt with I will always be proud and grateful for my time there. It has made me a better person and provider, and allowed me the privledge to work with some of the most outstanding people there are.

Anonymous said...

To all the ER nurses who are reading this,
Please know, there are some of us out there, just your average person, who come to the ER on a non regular basis. We are often there due to strange circumstances that don't allow us to go to our regular doctor. Please know, we appreciate all that you do, and all that you deal with in a day. But please know, we are not drug addicts, criminals, drunks or other problems. So please don't let the system harden you when you deal with us. Please be kind, as we will be to you. And even if we forget to thank you that day, please know, we are grateful that you are there, and we are grateful for what you do.

Dayna said...

I am a Nurse myself, not an ER Nurse, but I have definitely experienced patients that fit each of these descriptions. It does harden you, that's the truth!
I've had someone give me the same moronic response..."find a new job". Really???? I can go from treating a wound to saving your life in 2 seconds flat.....it's called Critical Thinking and its part of BEING A NURSE!
How dare you, or anyone else assume that we should just walk away from what we were CALLED to do! You obviously have no clue what it means to walk through hell and then CHOOSE to go back because your desire to help others outweighs dumb ass people like yourself Anonymous!

Trudy Meehan said...

Yes, being an ER nurse does change you. If you don't build a shell you would go crazy. There is no time to grieve. you do what you can and give them the best of yourself.
After over 30 years, I believe ER nurses experience the same PTSD our soldiers, firefighters and law enforcement do. It is not recognized or addressed, but there all the same.

We keep coming back because we know we make a difference and as tough as the job is, someone has to do it. It is our Vocation.
Hats off to all ER staff around the world.

Anonymous said...

FIND A NEW JOB?? That's the best you can come up with Mr Anonymous.......Its people like you who have made me how I am...you are the person this article talks about...All of us ER nurses give our souls..or shall I say get raped of them, just so we can go home to our own families and have nothing left for them....instead of saying "get a new job" you better be glad people like me are willing to sacrifice ourselves to care for pieces of work like you and every other asshole that walks into the ER..How about saying Thank you for all you do!! Thank you for being there 24/7 holidays included while I get to be with my family, you stay away from yours...Thank you for not letting me die today....Thank you for holding the hand of someone who is dying!! Thank you for taking the verbal abuse, the threats and the physical assaults, while the abuser goes free with no consequences. Thank you for holding your bladder for 12 hours because you always had one more thing to do..Thank you for skipping all of your lunches just to ensure the patients got theirs..Thank you for arguing with the asshole of a doctor to ensure the best care was given.. Finally...Thank you for being there when no one else was!!

Anonymous said...

I love this post, especially because I am a high school student aspiring to become a nurse :)

Anonymous said...

No. No. No. And NO!
I'm an ED MD. If you are burnt out and hate your patients. If you think we encounter "drug seekers" everyday rather than "people with drug problems who need our help". If you hate "the drunks". If you are unwilling to give your everything, your 100% without the need for a thank you, or anything in return......then yes, I'm sorry you need a new job.

We do gods work. We touch souls. We heal. We heal "the drunks", "the drug seekers" and those "who just need a sandwich".
You chose this. It is a gift and a burden.
Embrace it, feed off of it, see it for what it is and find the good in it. Do it 100% altruistically. Without caveat or exception.

Hopefully then, your patients will keep you coming back everyday, not your "funny coworkers".

I wish for you to find peace and joy in the gift of practicing all there is in emergency medicine.

And if not, I wish you to find a new job......

Scott Vance said...

Happy ER Nurses Week!

Anonymous said...

To those on here who think that we ER nurses need to find a new job telling us we lack compassion, you need to walk in our shoes a couple of years and then tell us how you feel. I used to be so compassionate...I used to love people and care about every single soul that walked through the doors. My coworkers told me that it would never last; that I would become cynical like them. I promised myself I would never fall that far that I would become like them (judging them in my mind I now realize). But that day came...it has been here awhile and I pray everyday that God would give me love for people and a desire to help them as I felt He called me into this vocation to do. It is so difficult...I'm as bad at it as I swore to myself I could never be. But there are days that I remember how I once felt...glimpses that get sucked down the never ending drain of patient demands and complaints. But I try to hold onto those. The other day a patient told me thank you--so sincerely that I started crying and had to excuse myself. Just a little bit of gratitude these days is so moving. I honestly don't know how long I will last...they say the average is 2 years for an ER nurse. I've made it well past that but I'm going part-time and starting my own business as the stress has taken a toll on my emotional health (can't sleep all night before work because the stress level there is so high). I refuse to sacrifice my family and friends for this job but I think I'm supposed to still be there in some capacity. Maybe the extra time away from there will rekindle the love I once had for all of it...and people.

Eric Gaden said...

Hey DOC, if you really are. Cute that you can be so judgemental about a tired and cynical nurse being judgemental. Park your high horse in the doctor's lot before you come in to work.

You don't sound like any ED DOC I have ever worked with. Most of them are grateful that WE go in and actually perform the things they order.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric Gaden, if that is really even you. I find it extremely cute that you can be so judgmental about a questionable DOC, who although he didn't know it, was actually being judgmental about a nurse who he happened to think was judgmental.

He said nothing about not being grateful for you nurses.

Hopefully his special doctor's lot allows horses.

Anonymous said...

Well written, you have provided a very accurate description what the "ER "truly is. Also, what is required of those dedicated professionals who commit their body, mind and soul to keep it together.

Thank you!

Oh and no, I am not an ER nurse. I am married to one though, so yeah I am a little biased in my opinion.
My practice brings to me to the ER regularly and I am continually amazed at how the staff function in that setting.
We all work together as an amazing and efficient team of healthcare professionals, in order to get the job done. However anyone that has truly worked "the Emerg" knows that it's the nurses that hold the team together. From the moment the Paramedics come through the door, patient triaged, assessed orders processed, further tests........ till the patient leaves the ER. The nurses are that one constant contact / primary caregiver for that patient and quite often much much more!
Yes they get the Chronics, the Seekers, the proverbial "frequent flyers"and much more.
Yes they get BURNED OUT!
Remember, an Emergency Room Nurse is human just like you, good days & bad days.
So to those who criticize or make statements like "get a new job" I say this, walk a mile in their shoes. Go volunteer at your local hospital, take a first hand look and what's happening, maybe it will be you that starts thinking about getting a "new" job.

Anonymous said...

As an ER tech, I completely agree with the person who said that it's a team effort. Everyone who handles an ER pt should be recognized.
I work at a small community hospital. Even though my ER doesn't do step trauma, it's not unusual for us to be busier than the BIG ERs in my city. With 1/3 of the staff.
I love my job, even though I may complain from time to time. Who DOESN'T have a bad day?
"Find a new job", you're just upset because you are one of the trying patients mentioned in this article. You are one of the patients that makes us groan when we see your name. So why don't you find another doctor.

Birgit said...

Don't be such a wimp, Anonymous. Say who you are. You seem to think you have a lot to say that you also seem to think people want to read. I am an ER nurse. I love it. I am never bored.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the hard work you do. I know myself well enough to know I could never do your job but I am forever grateful to those that do. We need you and even if your patients don't always tell you, they appreciate you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all the RNs for being there, for being educated and caring. Thank you for not leaving but staying with the humanity who needs you.

Jo said...

Wow! I am almost, but not quite, speechless at the behavior here of 'my fellow' nurses. Why would you want to launder such ugly 'things' about the ER in the first place? For some self gratification?. Even the patients with a cold which "sends them over the edge" should be treated with respect and not made to feel guilty. You have never walked a moment in their shoes. How do you know there isn't some underlying issue? I was an ER nurse for several years. One of the reasons I resigned from an ER that I recently worked at, is because of the disrespect given not only the patients, but also fellow employees. Yes! I have been an RN for 27 years and proud of it. I hung up my cap over a year ago, because of people who spoke on an everyday basis like what has been written here. Sad really. It's one thing to share your frustrations in private with fellow nurses. It's another to share with the very people we are there to serve. Shame on us for airing our displeasure in such a manner.

Anonymous said...

I am proud & blessed to be an ER nurse for over 20 years. This is the job I love! Even with all the chaos, I feel that I truly make a difference in those patients lives. It is frustrating that in this era, we are expected to cater to all those patients that abuse the system for their primary gain. In the long run, we are actually the ones paying for their care. The healthcare system is broken. Being yelled at by a 19 yr old ( minor complaint) to have her nurse come in.."right now" when a patient that nurse is in the room with isn't breathing, isn't OK. Then to have same said 19 yr old sign out cause she doesn't want to wait..& doesn't care. See ya! Makes us all a little hardened. When you come to an ER it isn't a clinic, we do save lives & make a difference everyday! Well done comrades, well done!! Happy Emergency Nurses week, you deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Yes this is so true, I work as a ER tech and we r a special breed. You grow tough layer of skin to deal with all that comes in, yes at times you can feel like really, but the joy of helping the real sick people is wonderful. I work in a level one, and two trauma hospital. So I know exactly what she is speaking of. We have the ones that don't know how to cope with life come in constantly. So for those who say get a new job, come walk in our shoes and see how fast you go running for the door.

Anonymous said...

Guys, don't feed the troll.

Anonymous said...

Having worked and partied with er nurses, I find that they are funny, caring, and can drink alot... lol. One day everyone of us will need a nurse in some sort of way, so I suggest if your in need their services treat them nice.

Anonymous said...

She never said she didn't like her job. In fact I bet she loves her job. I loved working in ER. I miss it now. She didn't say she was a bitch all the time, at times. All ER people can be a bitch at times. We love helping others. Every day is different in the ER, not many can say that about their jobs. So you Anonymous should be thankful that there are skilled people in the ER to care for you. They will be there 24/7 waiting to save your life or hold your hand when you have a cold. ER people are different than all other hospital people. No other hospital people deal with these things. Thank you ER people everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I am an ER RN. And just to be clear just because I think you are a rotten POS who doesn't deserve my time because you've been in the ER more times over the last week than I have and I'm paid to be there, doesn't mean that I'm not treating you with respect and compassion.
The job hardens you, yes. I bitch about a lot of my patients in the privacy of my own home. But, I still strive to provide high quality, compassionate care to all my patients despite how many times I am abused.

To all you haters saying "get a new job", for some that are burnt out beyond hope it may be what they need. However, to voice our side of the story and remind people that they are not the only patient we've dealt with today, or even at that moment, might just be the difference between coping and getting burnt out.

Renee Ronningen said...

I was a CNA for 25 years and am proud to say I have worked with the best most passionate RN's ever they taught me alot and always wanted the best for there patients, I have seen there struggles and it is a very hard job because even when you leave your place of employment you always take it with you because we are dealing with human lives so God Bless all Health Care Workers what ever role you play because some day that RN JUST MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE

Bernie said...

Wife feeling ill: nausea, diarrhea, pain in shoulder, slightly elevated blood pressure, light headed, weak, tired. Stopped by the ambulance station. There the folks recommended going to the hospital as they were suspicious of a possible cardiac event. They offered to take her but I drove her in (wife insisted). Told us to say "cardiac issues" when we arrived at ER. Should we have taken the ambulance? Turned out to be nothing but a suspected cold virus.

Anonymous said...

Today I had a suicidal patient on 15 min checks and a full arrest after being in bed for an hour. Was married for 60 plus years and husband couldn't imagine life without her. A drunk slerping it off. And the shortness of breath 20 min before the mortuary picked up the body. No lunch today but my patients got fed. Actually none of the staff got a break or even grab a minute to eat something. I used the rest room once in 8.5 hours. Admitted the shortness of breath as well as giving meds to other patients and q 15 min checks. And one patient had the balls to stand in the hallway to complain about his dental pain not being seen for the last hour. All of the ED rooms were full and more waiting to come back to a room. Did I tell him this is a medical facility, not a dentist office? No but that is what I thought. Another waiting for a wound check complained that with all of the money we cheat the insurance companies out of we should hire more doctors to see patients. Maybe he should have seen his primary care Dr like he was instructed when he was there last week and seen in 15 min! Tomorrow could be worse but I love every minute of it. I have worked in the ED for over 25 years and would not change a thing.

Anonymous said...

Well said.��

Steve said...

Kimberly, you are so right. Anyway, I am always amazed at how the nurses cope. I just volunteer and I am blown away at what goes on.
Most of the public has no idea and they probably never will. Remember the term "postal"? Well sometimes as someone who works in the ER, you kind of understand why the guy at the post office went postal. Patients keep coming and coming and coming. No time to even take a leak much less a break. ER nurses are very special people. Thank God we have them!

Julia Robertson said...

As someone who has been an ER patient twice this year and many times in previous years. I really do appreciate the work that ER staff do. So far I have sent balloon bouquets to both ER staff and one to an ER nurse on the other side of the world (Flowers can cause too much of a risk for some staff and patients). Your jobs are hard, you receive little thanks and it has a massive impact on your lives. I thank you all for all that you do.

Jan said...

I really hope you're not a bitch. As a nurse, working with bitches is a bitch. Get therapy or figure out what's wrong with your attitude.

Anonymous said...

I am not a nurse but I appreciate you and want to thank you for all you do!!!!!!! Happy Emergency Nurse Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

As an ED RN, I loved this article. It is simply what many of us feel, but we know we love it! When a shift goes by that I am not called a bitch by one of the aforementioned abusers of the ED, I am almost disappointed. I am the adrenaline junkie and am excellent at the skills of critical thinking and saving lives. I believe in patient-centered care for everyone, even the ones who call the one names who is cleaning the vomit off of them as they puke the contents of the "two beers" they drank. We have to think on our feet, have fantastic dedication, be able to function effectively and safely in the worst of situations. So, all of the haters, lighten up! I worked EMS as a paramedic before becoming a RN. I am a short, sassy middle-aged female active in my professional nursing organizations with an advanced nursing degree. I love my ED family and all of its craziness. You will not find a smarter, funnier, compassionate (yes, I said compassionate--tough exterior to keep from crying when it may interfere with saving someone's life), and more loyal group than your ED staff, not just the ED RNs. The term "bitch" is just an endearment between most ED RNs because we so readily answer to it after years without missing a beat. We can dodge punches, pinches, and spit with the best of them! We take care of people at the worst moments of their lives and understand that many times we are blamed for outcomes we couldn't prevent or the grief that families of critically ill patients don't really know how to express. It's a part of this wonderfully insane specialty we immerse ourselves in by choice. Truly bitchy people cannot be tolerated because the ED team has to function seamlessly in many different situations. I have worked in an ED with one of THOSE kind of bitches--they are a different species from what the writer referenced. Keep up the great work, ED folks!!!

Anonymous said...

I have kids, so we've been to the ED maybe once a year. It is horrible. The GP or Pediatrician tells you to go to the ED, and there are times when nobody so much as peaks in to tell you it will be 7 more hours. It's freezing for the patient and family member, because the air is cranked to cool the bustling medical staff. Why are we in an ED? Because pain or timing and a doctor dictated that we be there. We would rather be anywhere else. It is either a traumatic event or a life-changing diagnosis. I remember wishing that my child was the one I was staring at across the chairs, the one with the broken foot, instead of my child, beginning treatment for a new-found chronic condition. Or waiting anxiously for MRI or CAT scan results that may prove life-changing. Patients aren't just attention-seeking assholes.
All that said, I thank everyone who pops into my curtained area... CNAs, nurses, doctors, orderlies, maintenance workers getting garbage or linens.
Let's all be a little more human and try to appreciate what we are doing for each other during these times.
THANK YOU, nurses! If you are a good one, you probably know it.

ER-EMT said...

After losing my own child after doing CPR on him was rough. I have worked in the ER for three years now, and I've realized that nOthing goes as planned. We go from clicking right along to four level one traumas with only four of us. Plus all of the other patients waiting to be seen. We have lost 34 kids, one being my son, in those 3 years. We have lost at least double that in adults. This does not account for the almost 1,000 traumas we've kept alive. We all get frustrated, but at the end of the day, we are glad we are there. We do care, but you have to realize that we can't do everything but we try our best. Thanks to all of us that help keep the ER going =) we are a different breed of people.. exceptional =)=)

monica dunn said...

Hey jackwad! The system isn't set up to help the people through the ED! WE TRIAGE, TREAT, AND REFER! behavior and health maintenance require proper follow up with primary care physicians. The people who need that the most don't follow instructions! Read something will ya? We in health care with decades of experience can't all be making this stuff up!!!! Ive had patients come in because "my urine hasn't been checked in a few weeks and since I'm diabetic I think it should be done". We have to take vitals update meds. And history ( from last week) omly for the doctor to assess them and say you're not having any symptoms so I have no reason to test your urine. In the meantime this patient has taken time away from others that I will NEVER GET back.

monica dunn said...

We know who "you" are and maintain compassionate, reassuring attitudes. The ED abusers are the problem.

monica dunn said...

Hey what's the difference between Doctors and God? ...
God does not think he's a doctor.

monica dunn said...

I agree she needed to be seen in the ED. women present with cardiac events very differently than men.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're absolutely right. We ER nurses should just grin and nod when we accidentally triage a patient with nasal congestion before a chest pain because the nasal congestion is yelling and screaming about how long the wait is while the chest pain can't even speak in full sentences. You're right. I have a bad attitude simply because I get frustrated with nonsense when I should be using my energy on someone who needs me.

Chelsea Cross said...

I fuckin love it!

Anonymous said...

Hah! Nurse rage. I guess in ER you don't learn to spot trolls.

suetx said...

This article is right on.

Anonymous said...

You sound angry, Mr. Anonymous. Would you like to talk about it? Can I get you something to drink? A sandwich? A warm blanket? What about some yellow socks with the grippers on the bottom? I forgot your pillow, I'm sorry. Let me get that for you now before we start triage.
Ok, let's see, we've got you warm, fed, rehydrated, and alll comfy. Now, let's check your vital signs, and see if we can get to the bottom of these cold symptoms you've been dealing with since this morning. Nevermind that obnoxious alarm going off, that's just someone trying to die. You're most important right now. Which cough medicine works best for you? Dilaudid? Oh yes, that's good stuff! I'll be sure to let the doctor know you prefer dilaudid.

Anonymous said...

In the ER, you get to call it like you see it. In the corporate world, directness is directly weeded out. In the corporate world, guile and manipulation are tools of advancement. Hoping to wait it out till it's your turn at the top can leave you changed on your way up the ladder. So nurses, be thankful that we are part of a profession that can embrace truth, at least with each other. If the rest don't want to hear it, that's their loss. And ER nursing is the coolest thing on the planet, all parts considered.

Anonymous said...

this is so true...I worked in a ER for a couple years and it was a very demanding and stressful. I too seen alot that I will never forget, doing CPR on a young man after a MVA, sitting there and listening to the dr tell his wife that he just passed away. It was terrible.. there should be more programs in place for ER nurses to relieve there stress..its a great job but it has its downfalls at times

Anonymous said...

I have been to an ER once after a "gentleman" refused to believe I didn't need his attention, that I was married and was a night out with my friends. I needed stitches.... I have seen the chaos in the ER once. And I hope I'll never have experience that again. Maybe this was an extremely busy night. I was grateful for the nurse who was calm and businesslike and acted like everything was perfectly normal. That calmed me a lot! I can tell you that. There were a couple of loud people, and with loud I mean yelling! And some obvious drunk people and a man scratching his arm and it was bleeding already but he kept scratching and mumbling. And those people were near me! Didn't dare to look any further. So I guess when you are an ER nurse and you want to survive, you can't be all weakhearted all the time because you'll go nuts in no time. You'll burn-out in no time. The nurse who was with me was kind, gentle in a no-nonsense kind of way and I assure you. That was exactly what I needed after my encounter with the "gentleman". By the way, he got some jailtime. Hooray to all ER nurses. Please never find another job! <3

Anonymous said...

I have worked on th floor, worked in ICU and in ER (for the last 2 years) I thought I had an idea what ER RN's deal with, but no! We screen out so much BS we should get a new degree BSS! I love the RN's who are part of my team and the joy of getting to bitch about the ignorance of many of our pts is a perk! One experienced RN taught me to quack like a duck and let the crap run off my back like water, and another taught me the chant, "Can't fix stupid!" That helps me with so many situations! I often get thanked by pts for care and rarely feel abused because I remember not everyone had a family that taught them any manners! Chins up fellow RN's!

Scott Asimont said...

Zen Waitress hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

I am not an ER Nurse, but I do work in the ER. I have met some really nice people, but I have also met some incredibly mean people. People that want to know, over and over, how long the wait is. I cannot tell anyone how long the wait is because I don't know how long each of the patients in our ER will be there. I don't know what tests will be ordered, how long they will be waiting for a room if they have to be admitted. I csn only register the patient and make surs the billing is done properly. Please be respectful of thd ER Registration clerks. Many nights we do not eat dinner, nor do we have time to go to the bathroom.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should find a new"GP" because the ER is overwhelmed with coughs, sore throats, vomiting for one hour, rashes that have been there for weeks, abdominal pain for 2 years.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the comments, this blog must be filled with bitchy nurses. I've worked in the ER in multiple roles. Tech, nurse, doctor (btw tech do not get nearly enough credit). The majority of ER nurses are wonderful and do their jobs with the utmost compassion and kindness, even in the face of some of the most stressful situations. Why is it that these nurses can do their jobs with a smile yet others make excuses for bitchiness? The comments I see here are typical. Ignoring or purposefully trying to cause more pain to a patient? That is your reaction to adversity? The patient is what's important, not your ego.

To bitchy nurses: You know this job is stressful. Have some fucking professionalism or find a new job. Maybe you can become a professional blogger and whine about how hard it was.

Kate W said...

I was a travel nurse for 15 years. Working the ER filled me with a feeling of pride for my passion , NURSING. I got into nursing to help people in any way I can. I loved OB as well bur ER is where I personally felt I could make a difference. Especially when a distraught paren't brings in a baby or young child. You are actually treating them both. I knew going to work in the ER was going to test my mind, body and soul. Even the patients who were very difficult I would think 1. They are scared. 2. You do not know what kind of life are they living. Did they recentry bury a child or other loved one? Maybe they just found out someone they love has inoperative cancer.
As a ER nurse you really have to try to. Not judge why they are calling you names or cursing or why are they so demanding.
Recently after almost 30 years of nursing I had to give up my job. I have Lupus and other things that make me unable to do my job. I am now in a wheelchair. I hate it. I would give anything I own to be able to walk into the ER not as a patient but a nurse. A nurse who never started or ended her shift praying for the people entrusted to my care. I am sad beyond belief. My Dr wanted to give me an antidepressant. I said no thank you. I still get RN magazine and will always be a nurse until I leave this earth. ER nurses are the best . We look out for each other, comfort each other after one of our patients pass away. I pray for every nurse every where. You truly are Angels in white shoes and white uniforms. God bless you all and God bless the ER techs. They deserve a pat on the back as well as more money. Sorry thus was so long.

Kara said...

Bahahaha!!!! What is sad about this is that it is absolute TRUTH!!!!

Anonymous said...

I AM AN RN. It's hard. If you don't like your job and tell others how hard it is to make you feel justified in the pain you put up with each day, then find a new job in nursing. Don't be a martyr while all the other nurses make just as much money with a lot less stress.

Kara Sharek said...

You are absolutely correct! This is what healthcare has become. It's more important to please the patient than really address their needs. I'm talking about their REAL needs!

Kara Sharek said...

I wish that everyone could try to be as understanding as you. That's all any of us wants. People don't understand the concept of having to treat the sickest patients first. Sometimes that's easier said than done because you may have 2 or more really sick patients at the same time. So Thank You for your understanding!! People like you are too few and far between!! Thank You!

Kara Sharek said...

@ Anonymous 8:51 who is wondering if things trickle over to home.
For myself personally, it has taken many years of experience to learn to leave most, but not everything, at the hospital. People don't realize this. They don't know that after a hard shift you get in the car and fall apart. They don't realize you are praying for them at the bedside and continue to when you finally get home. They don't know that you can see yourself in their position and feel that pain and stress they have. No one knows how you see their faces when you close yours eyes to try to sleep. All of that is for the benefit of the patients, and that's ok.
Even though I know my family can't completely understand me, they are there. Offering words of comfort and encouragement, providing hugs and physical comfort, lending an ear to listen to me vent, or just allowing me time to release. I am truly blessed and thankful for my family. Some days are worse than others, of course. For the most part I try to leave it behind on the ride home. Some loud music and knowing I'm coming home to family, hot shower and the heating pad helps! :)

Anonymous said...

As an ER nurse I get it. All these things are true. That doesn't give us the right to be a bitch to our patients. You may say, "that's not what I meant." I see it every day. My collegues up at the front desk talking down about their patients, ignoring call lights, downplaying patient requests to physicians, and yelling at patients who are causing commotion. That's not being a nurse. If this is the case, and you can't work without going into bitch mode, you do need to find a new profession. The courageous nurses are those who can endure all of this and still maintain their professionalism.

Richard RN said...

I worked as a combat lifesaver in the Army, went to LPN school and worked on the Surgical floor for a while, Rehab forEVER (3 years, but it seemed like forever), and the ED for 20 years once I graduated College with my AASN(RN). I LOVED the ED/ER, I am now disabled due to an injury from work and dependent on narcotics. I have a wonderful pain management staff and haven't been to the ED in the 3+ years since becoming disabled. For those of us chronic pain sufferers...pain is NEVER more than 10 out of 10. You are not allergic to everything except demerol or dilaudid just because that is what you want or others make you nauseated. If you got your script filled X days ago and it's empty (we went to college, we can count). My prescription/meds were stolen...in other words, don't treat us as if we are stupid either. As for the nurses...not everyone is lying. Not everyone went to college. EVERYONE deserves the benefit of the doubt. I know sometimes there is no doubt, those are the ones I had a short fuse with.

Anonymous said...

There it is. The obligatory pithy wisecrack. At least we got that out of the way early on and can move on to meaningful dialogue now.

Anonymous said...

As someone who on occasion has used the services of an ER and the father of an ER/Trauma Nurse, I can say they are truly unique people who thrive in dealing with crisis, real or imagined. Thank God there are people who willingly take on this awesome responsibility.

Regnifne said...

In 18 years of nursing, I was an ER nurse for about 14 years. I agree with your blog. People just don't understand as demonstrated by the person who said get a new job. I have had "off" about three years now from the ER, I have been in occupational medicine, but the ER has been calling me back. Do I want to go???? I don't know, it is more of a calling than a desire.

I am thankful to all those that truly needed our help and to those who appreciate our work. I am thankful to the other nurses who make it worth going back to work every shift. Sometimes you just have to think if you truly helped one person in the 12-16 hour shift, then it was all worth it.

Tim - RN, BSN, Paramedic

Anonymous said...

I was an ER nurse for 18 years and was called a "bitch" on a regular basis. I've worked as a PACU nurse for the past 13 years and haven't been called any derogatory names. Leaving the ER was like leaving an abusive relationship.

Anonymous said...

A nurse in any department is a great gift. There are days when you really don't want to go to work and days that make all the chaos worth it. Not everyone is able to be a nurse but those who are nurses need to be appreciated for all they do.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to be senseless to others and judge them for their reasons to come to ER maybe you shouldn't be in ER. I've worked in ER and did not become a heartless bitch. You choose a medical field because you want to help others and feel their pain... That includes the screaming manipulative patient. Your job/my job I so help a person who walked through the door. Not point fingers and cry. You choose to help people.... Am I the only one who feels this way? I would never say someone came in for a simple cold... Don't pass judgement!!! I hate working with nurses like you! Appreciate a God given gift to help others!

Dana Banana said...

It does change you. I did it for ten years. I should have gotten out the last two. My pride in working in an area I knew when I was in school I would work in. Overweight, diabetes, and a bad back later I am on a procedure unit doing concours sedations for colos egds, and ortho procedures. The biggest difference is the thank yous, the smiling faces when they have a clean bill of health, the hugs and appreciation I get now feed my soul. It used to be better years ago but people have gotten worse in the later years. More rude, more drunk, and more demanding of your time taken away from patients who are dying. The psychiatric patients have become overwhelming and it's frustrating that we have such a broken system they can't get help. I don't think I could physically go back to it but if I could I would in a heartbeat. Now I enjoy my clinic days and try to get myself in a better health state and be there for my family. God bless

Anonymous said...

I've come across many bitches in my numerous visits to the ED for chronic kidney stones and pseudotumor cerebri, which requires lumbar punctures every few months. Most RNs see my extensive history in my medical record and automatically assume drug seeker even when my blood pressure is sky high, I'm vomiting everywhere and my lab work shows blood in my urine. Hell, even after a stone shows up on a CT or ultrasound, I am still treated as an inconvenience. I get it, I have numerous friends who work in EDs and other hospital units, some patients can be total terrors. However, I still deserve to be treated like a human being. Until you are absolutely sure otherwise, I should be treated like I am telling the truth and have a serious medical condition. Instead, I am talked down to, my arms are searched for track marks under the guise of looking for a 'rash,' and I am treated like I just interrupted their afternoon nap. I agree with some of the other commenters here, if you can't treat everyone with basic human decency, maybe you need to find another job. Having a bitchy nurse just adds to the stress and tension of the visit. When the nurse acts like s/he would rather be anywhere else, it makes the patient feel like shit. I know it puts me on edge, it makes me not want to press the call button to ask for help and it makes me angry.

Lynn Sadler said...

the problem with the emergency department is the patients who receive care there do not have emergencies. 80% of the volume of patients seen in the ER do not have emergencies. I have been a patient, a nurse, & a provider in the ER for over a decade. I have seen patients come in with quote I didn't want to pay my co payment at the doctors office, I have a stubbed toe, I'd have to take off work to see my doctor, I've had abdominal pain for a year, I'm having back pain going on for 6 months, it's more convenient for me to seek services here, I don't like doctors. And quote. If the patient who sought care in the emergency department only those who had emergency the wait and the emergency departments would be negligible. The patient satisfaction would skyrocket. The toll on the healthcare system and draining emergency resources would no longer be an issue our entire population is facing. So you can do your part to protect your local emergency departments and see your doctor when you have something other than an emergency and use the emergency department for when you truly have an emergency and not just an inconvenience.

Jan McGuire said...

Oh ya.. Dumb comment " get a new job" I have 50 yr old twin Daughters that work in the CrAzY ER .. Taking care of all the " fruits & Nuts " in Calif. and a Daughter That is a Orthopedic PA in Minn. you think its easy to find a new job at that age and start all over? How would you like to see a father racing down the hall carrying his little Son that has been shot in a drive by and the poor child's brains are spilling on the floor as he runs with him. We sacrificed to get our Daughters educated and they worked hard to make money to get the degree, but never knew what they would be up against besides the actual nursing care of dealing with nut cases.. Why don't you ALL " get a job" people have no idea how many different minority's are over here getting ALL medical expenses paid for while the average can't afford to have surgery because he has no insurance and his house was foreclosed on. YA "give me your tired and hungry but first give the free medical care to foreigner's "

Anonymous said...

I am less sympathetic to the woman who cam e to the ER because she broke an artificial fingernail and it hurt, yes that really happened, than I am to a child with a cold. Or to the person that complains about the wait cause they have a party to go to yet we are trying to save a life of a woman who may never see another birthday.

Jerry Fandel EMT-P said...

Getting a new GP is not a solution. The vast majority of doctors will advise their patients to visit the ED rather than try to treat them over the phone, in fact many of then advise to call 911 and have EMS deal with getting the patient to the ED.

Anonymous said...

I have been a nurse for 18 years and have worked in different settings, nursing is the same no matter where u work, is very demanding, depressing and chaotic at times, we all deal with the difficult patients and their families and take all their crap, so is no only ER nursing that is difficult is nursing in general.

Alex said...

Why does almost everyone reply as anonymous if u have comments put ur name to it. Being an ER nurse is awesome and even if u have a bad day every once in a while it's still great. If u love ur job u will not be a bitch u will have a bad day and come back the next. But always remember u r there by choice n u r there for the people that r will. This is what we have chosen to do. I am sure everyone that posted is happy with what they do and will continue to do it but if ur ready for a change that is fine u have that right. Mr anonymous has a point if u r to the point that u r a bitch take a break n look at what u r doing is it really what u want to do. I wish u all luck patients, family and nurses.

Anonymous said...

If we didn't like working in the ED, we could change departments, but most of us enjoy the sense of family, of the teamwork amid the chaos. And we have different strengths that pool together and form the strong team. Yes, we all tire of drug seekers, the manipulative ones, the impatient ones, but we enjoy the challenge of keeping a critical patient alive, the rush of getting a person to the cath lab, of transfusing a GI bleed, the rush of getting an IV in someone that "nobody ever can"..all of this feeds our soul. BUT, I will come through the window if you ring that doorbell more than once and you're not dying. I will turn from Mother Teresa into a demon if you start playing games like you're more important than everyone else who has been patiently waiting. Sure, you're vomiting but you're young and just got sick today. And it's awkward to be sick in front of others, but what about the old man who was vomiting for four days and just now got his grandson to bring him in? Sorry you've been here for an hour but he's been sick for 4 days and he's 3 times your age. Get a grip! If you are seriously sick, we aren't making you wait. And if we are, it's not our choice. If we don't have beds, what can we do? We chose the profession to help, not to be bitched at.
Tammy RN
Level II Trauma Center
Florida

Mary Ronan said...

Meditation, mindfulness, yoga,prayer- these are the things that can keep you going-

Allison said...

I was a Paramedic for 29 years (just recently retired) I always felt for the ED nurses, and all of the other staff as well. Please don't find another job! You guys are fantastic at what you do! I know that you are overworked. I used to feel guilty for bringing you patients to an already over crowed ED. It takes a special person to be a nurse.

Linda Watt said...

I have been an ED Nurse for 24 years .... and here are my comments: To first Anonymous that state "get a new job"...you are obviously one of the people mentioned in this article, likely, who didn't get what they demanded, who verbally abused the staff, and are a large contributor to what makes ED nurses hard and cynical.

We go into this field thinking we are going to be making a huge impact on peoples lives, we will take that critically ill or injured patient and keep them alive .... and we do daily. But that ends up being about 50% of our jobs. The rest are the patients mentioned in the article above. And the patients who present to the ED with their non-emergency complaints, the kind that should have been seen at their doctors office....who then sit and complain endlessly about the wait. If you don't want a wait, then make an appointment with your PCP or go to a Walk-In Urgent Care. You come to a busy ED for your sore feet, dental pain, migraine ... yes you are in pain, no one disputes that. However, those things won't kill you, therefore you WAIT. We are sorry, it sucks that you have to wait, but if you are "sick" enough you wait. If you are well enough to call the nurse a C*** and threaten them physical harm before you storm out or are thrown out by security....well then I guess you aren't that sick.
And if you have had a problem for months or years, we likely aren't going to solve it for you tonight. Or if you are right off the plane from another country for a check up ...well you may wait quite a long while as well.....

And hopefully, if you are remotely human, when you are told that you are sorry the wait is long that there are many critically ill patients and traumas, you take a step back and realize although you are uncomfortable or feeling nauseated, those patients need our attention more at that moment than you do. However, in our society now, no one cares about another person, they only care about themselves. I've had patients actually tell me, "I don't care about them, I need to be seen".

All of you people that feel the need to complain about the ED and how we treat people and the unacceptable wait. Or the drug seekers, drunk or anyone of the ilk. Just remember that one day if you are critically ill or injured we will do our very best to keep you alive and you will have our undivided attention until you are stable, off to the OR, ICU etc. And yes, there may be 50 patients in the waiting room complaining about the wait...and we will see them when we can, but only after you or your loved one are safe.

So I will say yet again "I'm sorry there is such a long wait, we are very busy with a lot of traumas and/or critical patients, we will get you in as soon as we possibly can"

Anonymous said...

Here here!

Melissa P. BSN, RN, CEN, MICN said...

I have been reading through a lot of the comments, and I have to say that I agree with almost everything from both sides of the argument. I have been an ER nurse for over 10 years and I can say honestly I wouldn't change it for anything. I work with a team of amazing people from techs, nurses, doctors, janitorial staff, registrars, security and in every department of the hospital.
Yes, I can be cynical when dealing with the wuss who comes in for a pimple on their nose and is demanding to be seen because he has somewhere to go…and still have all the compassion and empathy for my patients who truly need me (and yes, I have even stayed over for a few hours after my shift ended to be with the family of my patient until they took their last breath. All because of the intense relationship we developed in a few short hours). The ER is a non-stop roller coaster with ups and downs, it is it's own beast unlike anything else in the medical profession.
Being an ER nurse is not what we do, it is what we are...and I'm damn proud of that!

Anonymous said...

Yes. My husband has had to deal with this as well. It is frustrating and sad. The drug seeking patients have caused such cynicism that everyone is seen as drug seeking unless the patient has an obvious injury. It shouldn't be that way. You can't always spot it a mile away, I don't care how many times you have seen it. There are exceptions and my husband is one of them. Doctors do this all the time.

Anonymous said...

I've been an ER RN for 15 of my 19 yrs and I can say this is the truth in evry er. rural, or city. big and small anonymous people that say get a new job remember if we do your sorry ass will never get the care you cry about all the time. Our profession is the only one where it is ok to work in these areas,
1. a hostile workplace.
both patients and management, wich includes SOME doctors.
2. Being assualted with no recourse. even tho it is a class c felony. unless you a hurt seriously no judge will do a thing to stop it.
3. being forces to work OT because management FORGOT to schedule enough people on the oncoming shift.

Anonymous said...

I nearly shat my pants reading this and the responses. I have been a medic longer than most of you people responding have been alive. I have been in and out of busy trauma centers an rural hospitals and there is one thing that majority of nurses have in common; the desire to draw a check. Just yesterday I watched a nurse sit on her lazy butt playing on her phone while someone was being intubated in the trauma room. I listened to nurses fuss because the computers were down. So yeah, find a bother job. Come out with us, see what real emergency medicine is about. At least you guys are in a climate controlled well lit ED. Try working that code in a hoarders house. Try being in the blistering cold starting an IV on an MVC patient. Find a new career. Quit fussing about how bad you have it. Ride with me for 24 hours and you will love your pathetic life in the ER. Be happy you have a job. Be happy you have job security. I don't think it's your job that's made you a hitch.

DustiMc said...

Just because someone vents about a stressful job, they should find a new one? Let's imagine a world where everyone does that.

DustiMc said...

Yup

DSargent said...

I have worked in the medical field for 40+ years (Xray/Nuclear Medicine Technologist). The ER staff takes more abuse from patients than probably any other department in the hospital. Fortunately I have had very few ER visits myself or with family - but each time I have been there is was a last resort - husband having an allergic reaction to medication, husband having a heart attack, child with a high fever and vomiting, me with a finger injury. I have always received excellent care. Yes there have been times I had to wait my turn - but when it was my turn I got the best care I could ask for. And with the allergic reaction and heart attack we were taken directly to a room immediately and cared for immediately. I think the ER staff needs to be thanked more and ridiculed less. It is usually a thankless job but they come back day after day and perform their jobs to the best of their ability for all they serve.
As an employee I have dealt with my fair share of patients who I wonder why they bothered to come in if they don't want us to do the tests to figure out what is wrong so we can help them. And why when they come thru the door do they become helpless - can't get out of the wheelchair, etc. I have had some drive themselves to their appointment but expect me to lift them out of the chair and onto the exam table - really?????

Anonymous said...

I've been an ER housekeeper (10 months) lol. ER tech 4 years and sat in as ER secretary, ER nurse 4 years, 2.5 years charge. DON'T TELL ME techs do most all a nurse does at half the pay and bitch about it. SHUT THE F@#$ UP. Becoming a nurse showed me a ton of stuff I didn't know as a tech. There really is a reason nurses get paid that much. A lot of it is critical thinking that digs deep into what they learned in nursing school and developed into a nurse's "mindset." And you know what that looks like, it looks like a nurse not doing anything and ordering a tech around. Exactly, because until you're one, you won't appreciate what happens "up there" in the noggin. I love my techs a lot of them are my buddies but I'm not gonna sugarcoat this ENDLESS debate of nurse vs tech. I've been on every level of the totem pole so STFU.

heidi jasieniecki said...

To anonymous that said get a new job.....you are probably a drug seeker.

Judy Maniscalco said...

She vents her frustrations in her writing so she doesn't bring it home to her family.

Anonymous said...

For the original person who replied "find another job", are you serious? If we all did that, there would be no one there to care for you or your family members when you needed it. So don't try to be offensive, it's not. For the nurse who said the same, you obviously haven't been on the job long enough to love your job while being pragmatic. It's a hard job and with longevity comes reality. The reality that you are good at what you do but the insight to know that it does change you as a person. When you develop that then you'll understand the author's sentiment without question.

kturnerga said...

I love what the people in EMS and emergency care do. I grew up watching "Emergency!" on TV and read further about the dark ages of EMS and ER's. The pre-hospital care field fascinated me- and still does. But I realize that most calls are what Madness alludes to. No chest colds but it is mostly outdoors and behind the wheel. And meet the corpses!

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment as a paramedic, I deal with the same people and in the street and there homes. I noticed the original post went from glorifying the RN to actually stating the reality that most of the work is routine, fast and demanding, but mostly routine. If you have become a bitch then you might need to think about some stress management classes. Having been in the field for 27 years, I have seen people who can't handle the stress and leave (or find the new job like Anonymous 1 said) and others who get help with it, and a few who just seem to have it all together. I have been in the stage were the world seems to be a dark unforgiving place, there are ways to realize the good that happens every day. If your response is to hit them with a 14G IV or rectal meds, folly for spite that is horrifying and you should not be allowed to treat people (I know we joke about that, but if you have done that your a terrible RN and person). That is just my two cent's.

Anonymous said...

I was a medic for 20 years, then a tech while attending nursing school so I have been in the back of that ambulance, nurses jobs are not even remotely as the medic described. Do your medic job and do it well but leave the nursing to the nurses.

Anonymous said...

We get cussed out. hit. kicked, spit on. shit on. puked on......want to be a nurse?? How can you take someone seriously who rates their pain as a 10, yet is heard laughing with the friends they brought with them? Seriously? The crucifiction was a 10....start again. It is always the same with some. It is sad when your ER nurse knows your history allergies and meds better than the patient. Drug seekers are a FACT. We see the same patients over and over for the same pain complaint. Do they go to a doctors office where they have to pay and find out the source of the pain? NO

Anonymous said...

Although I imagine it would be very hard to do, you need to somehow be able to distinguish between patients that are in desperate medical need and those who come in for the drugs/unable to cope. My husband almost died because of a nurse thinking he was drunk because he kept falling on the floor, when he was actually having a heart attack. She had security guards come in and strap him into a chair until a Cardiologist came by and realized he needed attention. He was begging for help because he knew he was dying and was taunted and laughed at by several nurses. He had absolutely no alcohol in his system. I was once accused of coming in for the drugs because I showed up in the ER for the 5th time because several doctors kept misdiagnosing a kidney stone. I've never been so humiliated in my life. I had never been to an emergency in my entire 50 years, have worked since I was 16 and have health insurance. I can understand the frustration of an ER nurse - don't get me wrong, but I've also seen nurses treat people in real need badly because of other things they put up with.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, if you're a bitch when you leave the ER life, you were probably a bitch when you entered. However, in this case, I think the author was being metaphorical. Bitch, as in, not the sweet, innocent, naïve and unwaveringly optimistic soul they were when they began. After all, as clinical staff in an ER you bear witness to many of the atrocious things people do to one another and to themselves.

Anonymous said...

I have gone into the ER with severe abdominal pain to the point that I could not sit down and the nurses had been nothing but kind. I told them that I was having a kidney stone blockage and I couldn't see straight any more. They got me into a room and the doc comes in shortly thereafter.

He asked me what my problem was and I told him "Kidney stone... left distal ureter" and his reaction was OK........ a druggie in my ER, a sarcastic dismissing look look on his face. "You know, we get a lot of people in here making claims of pain just to get drugs." My response was.." just get the IV started so we can wash this thing out of my ureter and hold the pain med till you have more comfort with what I am telling you is the truth. But START the IV because I am not going to get relief until we resolve this and delaying only delays the relief of pain."

After getting my medical history up in their computers, they realized I had been there (10 years before) for the same thing and sent me for a CAT scan. After their radiologist read the scan, that same ER doc came back into the room some 4 hours later with the results....."You have an 14mm stone in your distal left ureter."

I answered "No Shit! Can you imagine that?" and he walked out of the room never admitting or appologizng for his behavior.

I get that some do seek drugs but remember why you are there in the first place. It's why I came to the ER .... expecting help.

Anonymous said...

Poor guy did you accidentally spill all your percocet down the sink and the mean dr won't give you any more? Or maybe you have had a cough for 2 hours and the mean nurse was helping get a stemi to cath lab instead of getting you another warm blanket. Or maybe your upset because after 2 rns 1 tech and the MD go running to your car with a gurney after you came in yelling that your wife is having a heart attack and they realize it is her 15th visit in 3 weeks for reflux and they won't put her on the gurney and the princess will now have to wait her turn .

Anonymous said...

I'm not a nurse, I'm a member of the support staff, not going to say what. I have been witness to some diabolical evils committed by ER nurses and doctors. These evils were met with no consequences except for the continuing glorification of the mighty RN. I don't care who you think you, if you treat your patients and the rest of the allied health team like trash, you're trash, you are evil person that has no business affecting other people's lives. This article is just another pathetic excuse written on the behalf of the all mighty RN. Last point, I found this article via the page of a young woman who is just that same brand of evil that I mentioned earlier, she knows what she's done but her sense of entitlement brought her to this article to justify her horrible behavior. I'm so ashamed of you Miss Dueitt RN (bows down on knees).

Lisa Land RN said...

Thank you so much for posting this article! I have two job interviews this coming week. One is for a progressive care unit and one for the ED. I have two years of tele experience and want something more fast paced. It sounds like the ED is right for me. I am always up for a challenge and deal well with rude people, chaos and stress. Reading everyone's ED nurse comments has been very helpful! Thank you, Lisa Land RN

Lisa Land RN said...

@ DustiMc at 6:01 - That's a great response! LOL!

bj said...

Dear Anonymous : thanks so much for making this articles point.: the type of person we deal with in the ER - you are a SHINING EXAMPLE of one of the folks we deal with in the ER!

Anonymous said...

Having landed recently in the ER several times for an adrenal crisis that couldn't be handled quickly enough outpatient, I must disagree with this assessment of patients. Some have conditions that the ER nurses cheerfully argue don't exist (secondary adrenal insufficiency DOES exist and can be fatal) and sometimes the patients know more about these conditions as well as their reactions to medications than any nurse alive. We can't treat ourselves, we rely on ER staffs to help us and save our lives. Nurses who won't even listen, call specialists (or have the physician do so) or recognize the symptoms (AI could easily look like someone being dramatic, as patients tend to shake, have tunneling vision, and are so low on cortisol they are basically passing out) are completely useless.

I was sent home in this condition by such a team of nurses, with their armor against whatever they perceive patients with complex emergent problems they don't understand in full bitch mode. Only to land in another ER within 18 hours, be admitted and told I was close to death, after falling and injuring myself after the first hospital let me go home like that. You may see it as armor, I see it as life threatening at this point....because it is. Learn some compassion, and if you don't know what the patient was sent for, call their specialist or primary care doctor. Do the tests, check the reference books. Don't just act like know it alls while accusing a half dead patient of being one herself.

Yes, people go to ERs scared and in crises. They're often actually SCARED, that is not a neurotic person, nor a dysfunctional one, often it's a normal person terrified of what is happening to them, maybe with little support, desperately needing care. Plenty wouldn't even GO to an ER if they weren't in such desperate need, I certainly wouldn't. I have to be close to death or severe injury to even go near a hospital. Some people also are scared of even being in a hospital. If that is met with a lack of compassion and bitchy nurse syndrome, it's a recipe for disaster. Total disaster.

Sorry, I only say this having landed in a life threatening crisis after being turned away from two hospitals for admission (that I very much needed) due in large part to nurses who were not even familiar with my condition, which I was also unfamiliar with. Once I was admitted, I had to endure even worse nursing staff upstairs, mainly two, who caused total hell for a patient who was told she now has a life threatening condition. If you can't be compassionate, get a new job. Honestly. If you think someone scared and in pain is always a drug seeker, look closer. If you think they're "neurotic" (I hear abuse of the mentally ill in ERs is rather epic from social worker friends), look again, you don't know their situation, they don't know yours. But they're scared, sometimes with life altering issues, you're not. They're PAYING, you're being PAID. Be kind, be compassionate. Change the situation. Change a life while saving it instead of dismissing patients as burdens when it is your JOB.

Anonymous said...

Damn looks like every nurse is on their period . Look at this rage from one simple sentence. Shut up! If you get that offended from something so simple , you do need to get a new job. Jesus Christ!

Lauraine BigMedicine said...

You are welcome!

Unknown said...

To the medic.....I am an EMT, Former Army combat medic and now an ER nurse.....and I am a male RN at that too....soooooo 1. Sounds like you either have been to a bad hospital or are just holding on to a little RN envy with ur comment....2. To the tech posts, THANK YOU for all you do, us as nurses could not function without you there as an integral part of the team, I personally rely on my techs for EKGS and transport everything else I do myself and my techs love me for it lol....3. I don't intend to offer sustenance to the troll but I will say emergency medicine is and has been the most rewarding career I have ever had....it can also be the most taxing but figuring out a tough dx with the docs....saving lives, getting thanked (as rare as that is) makes it all worth it!!! Keep on trucking everyone! !

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