There has been some discussion lately about a nurse’s job choice and job difficulties. Do you stay or do you go? What sways you to choose one facility over another? Do you stay in your comfort zone, or do you remove the security blanket?
I’d like to focus on the job environment itself. It’s a place we all love to hate, and hate to love. It has many great joys… and an equal amount of (headaches) difficulties.
There are staples of the job environment that you are going to find no matter where you work. No matter what type of environment. Yes the intensity of these mainstays may change, and they may even have different names or different faces. But trust me, they are in every work environment you will ever experience.
- Their will always be a group of people, or a singular person who loves where they work (Tigger)
- Conversely their will be a group of people, or a singular person who hates where they work (Eeyore)
- The ‘air’ on the floor will be determined by whether or not the Tigger’s out-number the Eeyore’s
- Your manager does not have a direct effect on the flow of floor. They do manage and are directly responsible for all that goes on, but they aren’t in the trenches most days
- Just because you get along well with the manager does not reflect how well it will go on the floor
- Everyone is short staffed. It’s a fact of the nation. Get over it. Get used to it.
- We all would love to be paid more. Who wouldn’t
- Team work is not something forced or expected, but something given and earned
- Respect is not something forced or expected , but something given and earned.
- Scheduling is rarely fair, until you speak up.
And here are three questions you should always ask yourself when interviewing for a position on the floor
- Look at the faces of the staff when they enter through a door (ANY door). Are they smiling? Are they grumbling under their breath? Are they giving the 1000 yard stare?
- What is the staffing mix? Is there a fairly equal mix of new and experienced nurses? This is a key element if your a new graduate nurse. Have the staff forgot what it’s like to be a new graduate?
- What is the staff’s opinion of the physicians in regards to treatment of nurses? Most floors have a resounding yes or resounding no. Mixed answers are as bad as the resounding no.
In my humble opinion these facts and questions can and will help you determine your place in this wonderful career we call nursing. Choosing a job for most other reasons doesn’t guarantee the shade of green, just the other side of the fence.