Occasionally I get messages, usually one liners, from folks who want me to provide a link back to their spam website. I never post those messages, let alone links to such websites.  Spam websites, like spam e-mail messages, are focused on trying to sell something. I know, it is a tough economy. But I won’t give space to such websites. I don’t know about you, but I get enough spam (e.g. junk e-mail messages) that I have little patience for the folks who send out such nonsense.

One particular spam website owner has been unusually persistent, posting two comments within a 24 hour period.  I wont give you the link to their website or their e-mail address, but I will quote their one liner message they’ve posted twice because I think it deserves a response.  The spammer wrote, “Nursing is such a very hard job.”  My response:  And?… What is your point?  LOTS of jobs are very hard. Yet having a so-called “hard job” is no excuse for poor, let alone mediocre, job performance.

Yes, being a nurse IS a hard job.  Don’t most persons considering nursing as a career realize this fact before they begin to work in this field?  Perhaps it is only once a nurse is done with her/his education and actually has hands on contact with nursing home residents that they really figure out the actual degree of stress and pressure that comes with being a nurse.

The best nurses who took care of my mother in a nursing home setting were the ones who regularly got off their butt and helped their over-worked Certified Nurses Aides (CNAs) provide care to residents. I can’t tell you how many lazy nurses I encountered over the years who were rude to their CNAs, let alone refused to lend a hand to help them. They would much rather plant their butts behind the nurse’s station making personal phone calls to family and friends, rather than lift a finger to help…let alone have face-to-face contact with the residents assigned to their care.

Honestly, I don’t hate nurses.  I just know that some are better than others and some work harder than others.  I want to believe that most nurses (and CNAs) are capable of providing compassionate, quality and thoughtful care to every nursing home resident they come into contact with. However the reality is a certain percentage of nurses (for whatever reasons) are not responsive to the needs of the residents entrusted to their care.

Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are paid much more money (as much as $8.00 to $12.00 per hour more in nursing homes in Kentucky and Indiana) than are Certified Nurse’s Aides. My personal observation is that when it comes to physical labor, CNAs work much harder than nurses. For example I personally witnessed one nurse who (quite illegally) allowed her CNAs to pass pills to residents. Talk about dangerous!  I reported this situation to the Indiana Board of Health. The nurse in question was not just any nurse but the DIRECTOR OF NURSING! Clearly she knew better! This nurse wanted to plant her butt at the nurse’s station and talk on her cell phone rather than pass bills to the residents entrusted to her care. So please don’t tell me that ALL nurses work hard or do the work they are paid to do. Most do. Some don’t. When they don’t they often place the safety of resident’s in jeopardy!

For nurses and CNAs, I would think the most difficult part of their job is being “caught in the middle” between all of the persons they have to interact with on a regular basis (e.g., doctors, residents, family members, supervisors, co-workers, etc.).  My observation is that working in a nursing home (like working in a hospital) can be a very “political” experience.  I don’t know about anyone else, but office politics isn’t something I’ve enjoyed dealing with.