Welp. The time has come, sort of. I've finally reached my breaking point with this place. Charge did it. It's not that people are giving me shit, or that I can't handle the pressure (well, maybe partially), so much as it's really brought to light how insanely fucking dangerous a place this is to work as a nurse and I don't feel okay doing it anymore. It's almost okay sometimes as a staff nurse. Yeah, your patient acuity is crazy and most of us probably have more on our plate than we can handle at any given time. But at least there's a limit to how many they can make us take. Charge and triage? Forget about it.
We do not have the resources we need to take care of all these people. And we haven't since I started here. Every year it gets worse. They keep telling us to hold on, that we'll do this or that, and it will get fixed. And okay, great, we don't have to hang Levophed on a fucking dial-a-flow anymore, am I supposed to be impressed at this progress? There are still good nights. But the bad nights are becoming the norm. And it's not alright anymore. It's seriously just not okay that I look at the tracker and consider it a "good night" if the waits are in the single digits and I don't have to scroll down to see how many people are in the waiting room. The conditions here are setting us up for failure. With as sick as our population is, someone is going to either die in the waiting room or go home after waiting to be seen forever and die and it's going to be all of our asses. Not the people in suits who keep making excuses about why we have so many holds all the time and why we never have any staff. Not even my manager who's been begging them to do something. Us. The nurses. We're the ones that are going down when this happens. And maybe when it does they will finally do something about how this place runs. But our lives are gonna get ruined in the process.
I've felt so loyal for so long, because I really love it here. I really care about our patient population. Among the ridiculous hood foolish behavior, there are some really sick, sweet, hardworking people that really need good nursing care and are really grateful when they get it. I actually genuinely like my manager. And damn it, my coworkers. That is the hardest part. They have kept me here for so long. Worrying about leaving them here with a bunch of people who don't give a shit. About who is gonna teach the baby nurses how to work on a team and how to deal with the crazy shit and how to deal with all the messed up stuff they feel in the first year or so. I absolutely adore these people. About who my charge nurse buds are gonna put at triage on the nights they have a quarter of the rooms they should and they need someone who's only gonna call about the really sick people. They have reached out to me and held me up when I was at my wit's end with the crap this place dishes out. It's like having a second family.
But ultimately, I can't do it like this. I can't continue looking these patients in the eye and telling them it's acceptable to wait to be seen for 10 hours with chest pain and a cardiac history. And can't keep sending these people I care about more ambulances when I know they're already overwhelmed. I can't continue to be part of an environment where I don't have the tools I need to be successful and practice safely. I worked so hard to get my license. I'm not gonna lose it for the dignity of staying on this sinking ship. I feel like I can't do anything good for these people anymore, and it's breaking my heart. I'm constantly anxious days after I'm in charge or triage, because I it's gonna come back that something bad happened on my watch. I feel like crap for days on end thinking about how sub-par the care I'm able to give these patients is when I want to be doing so much more. I'm generally having nightmares about being at work after I get off a shift. It's gone past being a tough job at this point- it's crept into my entire life.
So I'm looking for jobs. I'm gonna stay in the ER. Preferably one that's still busy, but one that isn't a total shit show in the way it operates. I'm sure I'll still be here for a bit, and even then that I'll still have stories. I just can't take the way things are here anymore.