When I first became a nurse years ago, I felt like it was a calling from God, that I had been placed on this earth to care for the ill and injured, to make each patient and their family feel as though they had been treated as if they were a member of my own family. In the beginning, it wasn't that hard.
But slowly, over the years, I have seen a change occur in nursing. A change away from focusing on the actual care of the patient to a focus on documentation to "CYA" and "do more with less". I have seen stress levels increase to new heights and morale sink to new lows. New computer systems that are supposed to increase speed and productivity,in reality are confusing, have multiple glitches and often crash. The reason they are so confusing is because they are often written by people with little or no medical backgrounds!
Increasing patient loads, inferior or malfunctioning equipment, increased demands from management and of course mandatory NO overtime lead to nurses skipping breaks, lunches (not officially of course) and running themselves ragged daily. Nurses find themselves running on fumes...until there are no fumes left.
You know, it takes time to grow a seasoned nurse, time and experience. In a good environment, you have a balance of new, energetic nurses and seasoned, experienced nurses to mentor them. If the seasoned nurses are all burnt out, who will lend the voice of experience?
I wish I had the answer. But I fear things are just going to get worse. And while I feel that at one time nursing WAS my calling, I don't think it is anymore.