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20 Things That Are Frustrating Nurses Right Now

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From administering the COVID-19 vaccine to keeping patients comfortable in the ICU, 2021 is already off to a maddening start. Nurses around the country are hanging on as we enter the next – if not the final – chapter of the pandemic.

As we approach the one-year mark since the start of the crisis here in the US, we asked our community of nurses what’s bothering them most, whether they are at home, on the floor, or interacting with the public. Our Facebook page “Funny Nurses” quickly started lighting up with responses from providers who are sick and tired of – well, so many things.

Here’s what we found:

On the Job

Katarina Venner:

“Anytime someone of another healthcare profession doesn’t have time to do something, doesn’t want to do something, can’t do something, it becomes the nurses’ job.”

Danielle James:

“Short staffed, vacations being canceled. Overloading units with patients.”

Nicole Mills:

“Taking more critical patients with less staffing. My floor is getting hit hard with people quitting ?”

Amy L Wrobbel:

“The PPE is less than acceptable when there’s no pandemic- it’s like wearing a vinyl shower curtain, Rubbermaid gloves, a diaper on your face & a motorcycle helmet on top of that! We need to create more feasible PPE solutions from nurses’ perspectives!!! #nursesrock”

Hallie Marie Monroe:

“That you can’t call out of work for one day without getting taken off the schedule for ten because you might have covid.”

Donna Delaura:

“It being ok to be abused by patients as if we are robots and are to just take and swallow anything.”

Marcia Goin Harris:

“I’ve been a nurse 47 years and this has definitely been my hardest most frustrating year ever. I’m retiring in 65 days for many of the same reasons listed below but mostly in LTC where I work I work with people who are so sad and depressed and without visitors I’m all they’ve got. It’s worn me down completely.”

Vicki Evans:

“Not being able to physically comfort my patients by holding their hand/shoulder or a hug when we have given them bad news ?”

Getting Paid

Amy Clark:

“No hazard pay and yet still making too much for the stimulus checks?”

Tara Russell:

“How they aren’t training anyone to be an ICU nurse. They are just paying agencies more to travel. I haven’t worked in a standard hospital setting in a few years, no hospital will hire me. I will have to get into a new grad program when available. 20 years’ experience including various hospital specialties.”

Amanda Marie Halsey:

“No hazard pay for hospice nurses, continued ignorance related to this pandemic, its seriousness and needed precautions. From both the community AND other ‘health care professionals.’”

Susan Fischer:

“That new staff get a hiring bonus, but there is no retention bonus. 19 years in and at the Max of my salary (except OT [Over Time] helps).”

Alexis Nunez RN:

“That I can’t seem to find a hospital job no matter how dire they need the help.”

Sharon Westray from the U.K. added:

“Of all the other professional careers in the world, why is it that nurses get paid less than they are worth, are expected to go over and beyond, suffer ill health because of their job, and receive the worst remuneration package…Unions do nothing to get them what they deserve and The NMC [Nursing and Midwifery Council] charge us £150 a year so that we can work as a nurse.”

Amy Bullock:

“Having to watch my timecard like a damn detective to get paid correctly. Then having to argue with staffing/scheduler when things aren’t right. Just pay me for my time, correctly, the first time. And whiteboards ???”

Public Participation

Anna Sullivan:

“Seeing people out and about with no precaution like there is no f-ing pandemic going on and we aren’t risking our lives trying to provide care for their neighbors!!!!”

Laura Elizabeth:

“Being called a liar by conspiracy theorists!!”

Kaitlyn Marie:

“People lying about symptoms and/or exposure to get a COVID test. And then when I call to ask them about their symptoms, they don’t even remember what they put on the form. ?”

Christine Marie:

“Science deniers, anti-vaxxers, etc. It’s hard enough to do this job without the patients and their families fighting you over complete nonsense.”

Clau Escalante:

“In my country, people are starting to ingest chlorine dioxide because they think it curses covid. I’ve seen patients drink it and even use it IV; honestly it makes [me] want to stop caring about people.” 

Nurses have plenty to gripe about these days, but hopefully, things get better as more people receive the vaccine. We are so grateful to all the nurses who shared on Facebook and hope the best for everyone who is going through a difficult time as the pandemic rages on.

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