On your first day on the job as a nurse, you probably started where everyone else has. Young, hopeful, energetic and ready to take on a new exciting step in your life. As you start working in the hospital, you try your best to practice what you learnt in school. You try to do everything by the book, to ensure your safety and the patient’s safety. You go out of your way and miss your break because doing everything by the book takes a lot longer than you anticipated.
After a couple of shifts, the pressure starts to build up.
When you realise that supplies are short, medications aren’t ordered on time and your workload triples. Still, you keep trying to do your best to carry out all tasks, as you were thought.
Finally, you come to a point where you simply feel exhausted, and you feel the need to speak up. You approach your manager, express your concerns, and with a warm smile, they tell you that they will try their best to improve the situation. But weeks go by, and nothing changes.
And your older colleagues smile and say, “That’s just how it is here, and that’s how it will stay”.
This thought frustrates you, and you look at your colleagues as if they’re mad.
You insist that the system can’t go on like this. So you try to speak up again, this time you come up with facts. Facts about how the system is harmful to patients or staff and how it can be improved. But your manager, will smile again, and say “This isn’t in your job description, let us handle it.” And yet again, weeks and months go by without any change.
So, you start to cut corners, like everybody else.
You no longer write your report next to the patient, and you no longer explain the side effects of the medication. You don’t stress about working by the book. Instead, you move around like a robot automatically ticking tasks off your list.
You come to a point where you start to become like the ‘all the other nurses’ whom you thought were mad. And the more you give a shit, the worse it is for you. The only way to work happily and not have any issues with your managers is to simply pretend that everything is ok. You become part of the vicious cycle of shaping employees into robots, blindly accepting any regulations and protocols that come around.
It will eat you from the inside out because you were never meant to go with the flow. But here you are just like everyone else, not giving a shit.
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