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Nurse on the Run

A Question of Value in the Workplace

Published January 27, 2014 10:02 AM by Lorettajo Kapinos

My nursing career has flucuated between years of highs and lows. Some were extreme, while others were mild. But after a serious burnout, I have once again reached a new plateau of job satisfaction.  I find pleasure in my work. I feel like I am accomplishing something. But most of all, I have a strong sense that my effort is of value.

This leads me to wonder about the origin of professional value. I know  I am a person who seeks instant gratification, hence why I have always loved emergecncy nursing. As a new ED nurse, I saw results when I gave a med or performed a task. Once I gained experience, I found immense pleasure in educating my patients about their care.

But at some point that all went away. I was no longer able to sustain my own sense of value and finally had to change jobs.

Now as an educator, I seek to prevent that for my colleagues. I want them to feel valued and important. But how do I do that?

What makes you feel valuable at work?


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I think, Charlotte and Peter, you have confirmed my suspicions. Leadership in a department can help or hinder a sense of value. Thank you for commenting.

Lorettajo Kapinos February 3, 2014 2:02 PM

I believe the fundamentals of nursing care delivery need to change to meet the societal shifts which are imminent...aging baby boomers, more chronic illness, less family supports and an aging nursing workforce.  It will result in many expert nurses leaving their clinical fields to work in areas with less emotional stress and physicality, or indeed as you have, leave patient care altogether.  This is not the answer and our health care organizations need to recognize this before it is too late.  They need to offer increased support to all point of care nurses and, in particular, the aging nurses who still have a great capacity to lead, and be mentors for entry level or early career nurses.   Your employer should have offered you some respite with reduced patient contact  and allowed you academic time to work on quality improvement projects, research or educational projects.   Instead they lost a point of care nurse and incurred all the financial burden of training a replacement, not to mention the loss of clinical expertise.  PS. I don't live in California but Canada.. very US centric data entry.

Peter Huggonson, CVICU - RN, University Health January 31, 2014 7:23 AM
Toronto CA

I was originally trained in the er in TX, then went to sacu, medical surgical and back to er. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, like you I loved the ER for the work, the instant visibility of your efforts. However, I worked with or rather under a boss who was very tyrannical. This did not stop my enjoyment of the ER but definitely dampened it. %0d%0aWe moved to Fl and LPN's have their hands tied here *yes I am very close to finishing my RN* I am now at a 9th grade school and am probably the happiest I have ever been. Why? Do I love the work? Yes and no, working with this age group is different and interesting, I would rather be in the ER though. It's the people. The faculty, administration, and support staff. They are kind, thankful and involved.%0d%0aIn short I suppose no matter where you work the people around you can make it terrible or great. I am lucky to work with an amazing team who get along and support one another, something I have come to find in my 5 years is a rarity. For me it's about who I'm with, who supports me in my job and who I support. Then I am able to give the best patient centered care knowing I have a team to go to if the situation calls for it.

Charlotte Deehr, school nurse - LPN, wphs 9th grade center January 28, 2014 7:51 AM
winter park FL

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