Any Homesteaders/nurses/medical field ??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Helena, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    north central Pennsylvania
    Been a nurse now for almost along as we have been homesteading. I enjoy the "job" but nursing wasn't my life long desire. I am excellent at what I do and really do care for my patients but...I long to be home..all of the time on the homestead. Now..I might be spoiled here a bit too. I just work part-time..worked per diem for long time but realized I needed to be more "responsible" and think about retirement and gettting a nest egg set aside and extra bills paid off for us. ( also have a small home business too ) Hubby doesn't mind how much or what I work so I am very lucky there as we have always based our budget on his pay check and not mine. Sure..we have never had a new car or other fancy items..but we choose to live more simply and not much money to spare, to say the least. NOW..finally my question for you all. What do you do when your heart yearns to be on the homestead and instead you feel cooped up in a "germy" hospital with coughing patients and bosses that love to control your work schedule. I have a real problem with having someone give me a schedule..per diem mentailty here.. but when pay day does come I am glad to have the set hours and set paycheck. I know perhaps this is what I need to concentrate on for now and be a big grown up girl too. But doesn't it always seem as if when you are away at work the goats decided to kid or the horses get out..or something !! I do count my blessings but would like to know how others feel or am I just the "selfish" one here ?? :confused:
     
  2. Cindy in Nebraska

    Cindy in Nebraska Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2002
    Helena,
    Don't you think what you are going through is you are realizing just how short time is? It is your time to enjoy a little in life because you have worked so hard. Around here there is a big demand for nurses to come to our homes, even cna's. My husband's cousin does that for extra income. She spends the night with sick people. People can't afford these nursing homes. So they are trying to stay home for as long as possible. Maybe you could do that and free up more of your time. Cindy
     

  3. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    I know exactly how you feel. My DH is on disability and I am often jealous of him being home all the time; especially when things aren't getting done and I know they would be if I was home all the time. Still five years to go before I can retire and get my goverment pittance,hopefully Bush won't have taken it away.Was off last two weeks and was so glorious to be doing chores and gardening and sewing with no clock measuring my day...I really shouldn't complain as I work at a nursing home 3-12 hr shifts each weekend and am off the rest of the week...but I did work lots of ot to get to this "good" schedule. I manage to get basically full-time pay working this schedule though. We sure can't live on SS. Sure, can pay the bills but no extras,no money for farm projects or emergencys. So not working just isn't an option . But being a nurse for over 30 years has pretty much burned me out. Did work for an agency and the pay was great but you get cancelled too often and can't count on any certain amt. of income...plus stressful going in to take care of all new pts. each day and being in charge of their lives. People don't know how hard nursing is anymore with much sicker pts...two days and out of the hospital after a fx. hip or mastecomy--it's crazy but a skilled nursing home is the new hospital now.
    Plus, I do think of how I am getting older and I never even planned on being a nurse; just something I got into when husband was disabled where I could always have a job starting yesterday. And can't complain as its certainly paid the bills,raised four kids, bought a farm. But who knows how many years I have left? In good health now but we all know that could change in an instant. I take care of residents younger than me with complex health problems and often think what would I do if that was me? DEE
     
  4. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    north central Pennsylvania
    Thanks for all of your replies !! It makes me feel less lonely. And yes perhaps it is the calling for women of all ages to stay home in God's will..I won't disagree with that at all. After reading about the family in the recent issue of Back Woods magazine I just surely hope that they keep their eyes on their goals and not get sucked into the worldly $$$ game. My advice to anyone starting out is...stay out of debt !!! In today's day and age that doesn't sound fesiable I suppose but when I look back I wish we had used the money from our city house and bought land. At that time our girls were young and we knew nothing about homesteading and wanted a real house to raise them in with elelctric and a bathroom. If I had to do it over again...I would actually do it entirely over again. Life has blessed me in many ways and I'm truly not ungrateful...now I understand when my husband gets up each day to go to work he now says.."can't wait so in 2 years I can retire"..Have never heard him complain all of these years either. Thanks againn !!
     
  5. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,212
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    I was just thinking about this topic on a Dr msg brd but decided not to post as too snotty to poor Drs unable to cut back on hours.

    I love locums work. I love saying to myself at 4 am "I'm 50% done and I've earned $X [£X actually] so far." I love the feeling I had last night after work of "Whoopeee! I'm on holiday! No more work until Friday!" I have very little "Oh god, I have to work all weekend" even though I do have to work all this weekend, but I did have "Oh no not another Monday" for any regualr workweek esp after a shorter one. I think that when I was salaried I took the money for granted- it came every month and I never even had a sense of "If I don't report for work I don't get paid" which is definitely the case now. Never said on the 15th "wow I'm 50% done the month and I've earned $X so far!" Anyway this gets me through the labor of medical care- to see it as a shorterm project with good pay- this shift, these patients, this (often new) workplace.

    That said if the pay or the benefits of salaried work outweigh locum then you have to think hard, but from what I hear locum nursing is all about doing, at twice the usual pay, the shifts they were unable to bully their salaried nurses into doing (Maybe because they all already work 36-48 hr weeks). But my cousin who did that DID have to drive past all the $10/hr RN jobs in Killeen, TX to go to the $40/hr ones in DFW.

    I'm glad my DH has a regular salary, glad it isn't necessary money wise for me to work (especially during the 18 months after the Army sent us here when I wasn't permitted to work in any case), but glad now to be doing locums.

    On the flip side- how much to work- when I sit here on my spreadsheet counting money and hours and trying to decide if there are enough gaps for me away from work on the calendar (best pay is weekends and evenings when the kids are home from school!), I sometimes ask when/how to decide not to ever work again.... I do need soemthing of a project, but maybe at my homestead again (not on one now, hopefully in 2006) I won't need anything away from home. Hmmm- let me calculate if I can afford it....
     
  6. MRoxy

    MRoxy New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    MI
    I have been in the medical field as a Surgercal technician for almost 15 yrs. I also worked a an assistant to a surgeon for 5 yrs and now am back in the hospital. I can understand burn out been there don that. It is hard to leave the job at the door. How anyone can is a mystery to me. what gets me are the littleones who come in hurt and sick because the adults have no clue. my question is how do you all not judge.

    M Roxy

     
  7. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    278
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    N. Indiana
    Boy, this hits home with me. I just was telling my manager yesterday that I think I'm too old for these 12 hour shifts. His answer was shorter shifts but more days there... NO WAY! I went to the 12s last year so I would only have to be there 3 days a week. I've been a nurse for 30 years this year... wow.. I wondered if I'd make it one year when I started. I spent 4 year working a nursing unit... that got old fast... next 10 were spent on the IV team. Left the IV team to do home IV nursing and then just plain homecare and came back to the hospital IV team 4 years ago. If I have to be at work, I like this okay, but I'd always rather be home. I don't see me ever being able to quit until I get old enough for medicare as I have enough going on medically I can't be without insurance.
    As to the question of whether women have more of a calling to stay home, I'm thinking there's something to that... I've never talked to a male friend who yearned to be home as much as I have. Most of them want better jobs or better working conditions but not many want more time at home unless they just want shorter work days when they're working a lot of overtime.
     
  8. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    I terminated from a medical Laboratory position of 25 years. Of that period, I had a spouse (now ex) and lived out in the country doing a lot of gardening and poultry growing in the 1990's.
    Yes, I felt a 'yearning' to do the farmstead/homesteading aspect which basically was like having another job. The 'need' to keep the full time medical job for salary to build up the homestead was like a curse or necessary evil. My life changed around over the past few years going self employment and developing other small income streams that I try to involve more with the farmstead aspect. I am glad to be away from the medical job as the last few years was pretty stressful and the indoor work environment they moved us into was pretty bad too. I always felt refreshed to get out of town and the indoor lab 'cave' to get the fresh outdoors. I can sympathize with nurses or other allied medical professions putting in a huge effort at their careers and year for the 'other' aspects in their life with homesteading. Not an easy thing to do both. Eventually one can hopefully figure out what is important to either integrate part hours with the nursing/medical work with more time on the farmstead. Another option is to take seasonal leaves of absent if that workplace allows for it.

    Rich
     
  9. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Greatest country in the world... CANADA
    Helena..

    It sounds like Yor Spirit is talking to You .. heed its advice.. closing a door oft leads to a brightly opened window.. pushing to do something that is not agreeing with you may lead to a spiritual crisis.. and money isn't everything.. look into that passion of yours symbolically.. and take a fork in the road.. it might lead you to new bliss.. and after all you still have all your medical background .. if you need it.. Just something to ponder..

    Blessings..
    KC~
     
  10. dale anne

    dale anne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    arkansas
    Howdy...I dont think your being selfish or childish at all....is life worth living if your not happy?....I myself am a nurse but i only work part time during the winters...thank god hubby has a great job with benefits so we are covered...we also have money held back for retirment..a rent house and i sell critters,animal by products,fruit,veggies and so forth from home during my off nurising time...and i pretty much break even for staying at home and it's something i dont consider work as i enjoy it so much..now come winter aint much to do so I go to work just to be around people...cause a goat will only listen to ya so much and the geese always talk back with attitude lol...I put all my winter checks in the savings...the money i make in summer goes towards things around the home that need tending to.....or to buy things for the critters or new livestock....we dont drive fancy cars....dont have a huge fancy tractor....only have 32 acres but we make it work....going to clear another 3 acres next year so we can expand a lil......I love the nursing field as far as the people go but i hate the REAL! standard of care and all the bull that goes with it...what the insurance company will and will not pay for...what the bosses think you should get done in ten minutes that takes about 20 to do right and then they complain about things being rushed...I take my time at home working around here and get it done in my time to the best of my ability.....I think that you are doing whats right for you and you may not be rich when you retire but you wont be run down,sick,and stressed out...dale anne
     
  11. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    north central Pennsylvania
    After hearing so many of your ideas I have sort of thought this over. I believe I will keep this job until next spring. Have a few $$$ issues that I really need to address and be a " big girl" about. Pay the mortgage off or down is #1 before hubby retires. Then come next spring go back to the per diem status. Work like the devil through the winter days and slow down in the summer. I will have to make an effort to work those winter hours because one does tend to get lazy but need to keep the goal in front of me during that time. In fact, I think the other nurses are taking bets on how long I will actually last on this part time job..all in fun of course. Since I have been per diem for so many, many years. Need to keep the goals in my mind...Get my attitude together and enjoy what ever and wherever I am at the time and remind myself we aren't talking a life sentence here or 24 hours a day shift !! Consider myself very lucky that I can make a few bucks and have a job. Thanks again you guys...going out again to enjoy my day off in this beautiful PA mountain spring weather !!! Spring has finally arrived !!!!!!! :cool: (I think?)
     
  12. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    The one thing that has saved me in the past few years is my daughter becoming a nurse...we can blow off steam to each other,rant about bosses and pts. in a way that my DH doesn't understand. He just can't relate to the stress. When we talk "shop" his eyes glaze over. Her roommate can't relate to the hrs. and thinks nite shift is a breeze and why shouldn't be able to get up anytime during the day to do stuff with her? Even the bosses call in the middle of our "nite" and seem surprized you are sleeping!
    Dh can't understand wanting to just "veg" the first day off from work...I have just spent the last 36 hrs. of my life trying to keep 76 residents alive,some fresh from the hospital,others chronically ill like dialysis pts,a unit of 17 Alzheimer pts, and the assorted crazies that the state has no where else to stick but in a nursing home. Latest second nurse in bldg. is a new grad...lots of help there! And the phone never stops and the family members are all wanting something. If I had to work 5 days a week I'd go over the wall. At least on the weekends I don't have the big cheeses there trying to micro-manage me,too. the amt. of paperwork in a nursing home must be a record...and then you have the state inspectors there for every single hotline complaint...cold food to major abuse charges...plus you are in charge of nurse aides,who for the most part, could care less if they show up or do their job. When you get a competent caring CNA you know they'll soon be leaving for greener pastures....i.e.better wages. Our home pays the top wages in our city and still can't stay staffed...and now the state/fed govt. plan more cuts to funding. Do they think they can just throw the residents out on the street? Yet, they'll fund an 80 year old dialysis pt. who hasn't got a wit left,food goes in,food goes out...why? Our tax dollars at work. I specially like the residents who say they are paying for me to do this or that...excuse me, my taxes are paying for all but one private pay pt. to be there!!!! Is this a rant? Yes. But how can you change anything? Hard enough to get everything done,signed,recorded so you don't get in trouble with any authorities.
    Easy to understand why a person longs to be home full-time on the farm where quiet reigns and your time is your own. I try to fill my days off with the things that refresh me like gardening and quilting and riding my horse in the woods. DH says there is a special place for all nurses in heaven anyhow..hope so. DEE
     
  13. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,473
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    The day a day nurse called me at 1pm to ask....why did *your LVN* put her paperwork on this edge of the table instead of that edged of the table, is the day I took the phone out of the bedroom....

    I believe I told her *I dont know, I'll call you at 1 am and continue this conversation* and I did. She wrote me up for calling in the middle of the night :confused:
     
  14. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    528
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    I hear your pain. Nursing is not my favorite job either, but it brings in money. I would give anything to not have to go to work this weekend. I'm 52 and my body will not hold out much longer and I'm in good health. This job is just so hard physically and mentally. Most of the time, I have 12-15 critical care patients. I have lucked out and gotten my schedule changed to the following 2 week rotation: Mon, Tues, Sat, Sun, Mon, Thursday. The best thing is that I can take off some of the Thursday's only using 12 of my vacation hours and have a week off.
     
  15. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,891
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    I'm not a "license", but I work in direct care in a state-run psychiatric facilty. Our clients are folks who require 24 hour a day care, constant supervision; sort of like a nursing home for a wider age range. My patients almost never recover, and many suffer constant mental anguish.

    The worst part about my job is the mandatory OT. We provide staffing for the oncoming shift if needed. If someone calls in, or the schedule is short a body, they can mandate us to work another shift. That sucks when you have your coat on and are headed out the door and are told you have to stay. Summers are the worst because of vacations. I averaged 24 hours a week mandatory OT the past 2 summers. The second worst thing is administration. Our facility is top-heavy, and in order to justify those NY State positions (with incredible benefits and pensions) those people have to appear to be doing something, so they create rediculous policies and procedures. Our staffing is set at 4 staff to 32 clients, with 2 staff on at night. Many of the admin people have NO CONTACT with clients- never, ever- but they claim in no uncertain terms to know how best to run the units. We have a revolving door for Drs. They stay a few months (long enough to screw everyone's meds up), get fed up with stupid policies, and leave.

    I love many of my patients. They become family. My mother was an RN at this hospital, my sis in currently an RN there, and my Dad was a Rec Therapist. I was taught the meaning of the phrase "There but for the Grace of God go I" when I was 4 years old. I make my living from the unfortunate twists of fate of these poor people. I care for people my own age, some of whom have done pretty terrible things when they were very, very sick, and they will be locked up the rest of their lives. It's really sad. Luck of the draw.

    The good part is that I have health insurance, supplemental disability insurance, deferred comp, and a pension plan, and generous time off. I got a late start working for the state and will not be able to retire until I'm 64 (unless I win the lottery). I've accepted that fact, so now I see my job as an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life when I can, and steady income to acheive my dream of someday being self-sufficient. Honestly, I like being able to afford lumber and feed and new tires when needed. It's like having two fulltime jobs most days, as I'm single and I live alone. I have to laugh when I see the words "the simple life". But the bottom line for me is that I have to work, and this is a very noble calling. I feel good about myself for what I do. Would I rather stay home? Heck yeah!


    (Decided to edit to add this.........seldom does a day goes by at my workplace that a staff doesn't get attacked, often with injuries. Every day that I work, I am called every swear word you could think of, I am threatened, spit on, ect. It reminds me how lucky I am to be able to "have a dream", and to be able to put the key in the door and go home to my animals.)
     
  16. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    It can be so hard on your body, can't it? I'm still a nurse, but I got out of critical care when I was in my mid-forties because it was killing my back. Now I'm a procedure nurse in radiology, and even though we wear heavy lead aprons and vests, my back pain was virtually gone within three months. I know there's a terrible shortage of bedside nurses, but unless there were a great deal more assistance in doing the hard physical tasks of nursing (bathing, cleaning, repositioning, transferring), I would not want to go back. The average age of nurses is now in the mid-forties, so I don't think we're alone in dealing with this problem.
     
  17. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,212
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    It's unbelievable that we aren't working to fix the hemorrhage of nurses from the profession. Instead we force even more nurses out: push the lighter work onto nurse assistants so each minute is more intense and more risky of leading to a dangerous error; and the job now includes supervising the NAs who do what used to be nurses' work, we 'reward' nurses willing to stay on as salaried by forcing them to do OT to keep their job, we let RNs & LPNs share the burden of the lower compensation for medical care by not increasing their pay with inflation and by demanding more productivity as the acuity increases. NO wonder we're pillaging third world nurses from the Phillipines and Africa etc- nursing has reached the migrant worker level of hardship and compensation so less and less Americans are willing to take the extra hassle and work for not enough extra pay. What 22 year old American RN will be in the field or at least on the ward when she's 42? 10% even?

    Doctoring is a long way from this in the US (though it's no longer the best paying job in town- that would be insurance company executive) but the UK's NHS has driven it this way. Demand more, pay less. Doctors here aren't the best and the brightest with a reasonable expectation of being highly paid, they're those whose avocation is for medicine or who aren't smart/lucky enough to get into more lucrative careers in business finance probably even dentistry here. The pay and prestige is still more than teachers or poilice officers but most of the GPs here feel like they are suckers for having chosen this field and staying in it.
     
  18. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    north central Pennsylvania
    I just borrowed a new book from the library called "Where Have All The Nurses Gone"..I'll let you know how it is !!
     
  19. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    Gee,can't imagine why people don't want to go into a profession where you get little to no respect at many/most jobs, work for bosses who don't know or have conveniently forgotten how hard nursing is,be expected to cover extra shifts with no notice, work at least one shift on every holiday, have to beg to be able to take your accumulated vacation time,be hounded at home by state inspectors, expected to show up at mandatory meetings at 10 AM when you just worked a pm/nite double or get a write up. And more. The reason I stay at my job is I have a boss who is there if a shift is not covered. Staff meetings are always positive...never you will but always we are going to try to all do this or that. My nursing home might not be new and shiny like the one my daughter works at but I don't get nasty notes everyday from the DON. I don't get screwed out of two paychecks a year by being paid twice montly. I don't get paid $2 less an hour and then be "given" a $1 bonus an hour for my 80 hr. pays if I'm not one second late or miss a shift!!! In my arithmetic this amounts to over a $4000 pay cut a year! Or that generous 401 K plan they have where they don't even match anything you save!
    I'm always surprized when we get new staff that is young; seems alot of older women go back to nursing school but I can't imagine who will be doing the caregiving in the future. Down here in the Ozarks they can keep the pay low as people will work for that rather than go to where they can get better pay...DEE
     
  20. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

    Messages:
    820
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    SW Ark
    My fuss with it is the expectations.....It seems to be normal practice to have one nurse and two CNA's care for 35-40 residents. Yes, this can be done depending on the acuity level of the residents. As the level rises this becomes very difficult.

    When 12 residents are on G-tubes, 4 have trachs, 16 are diabetic, 6 have colostomies, 14 are on O2 c nebulizers PRN, 20 have tx's and each resident has 13-20 meds, plus the family members, the Drs, the paperwork, making sure that they are turned Q2h and incont care is given, 6 are feeders, 12 have wanderguards....it's just more than any human can accomplish Q shift....and then someone falls and neuro checks have to be done Q15min.

    I always disliked going home at the end of the shift and feeling like if I had had more time I could have done more. Very frustrating.

    That's what led me to compare nursing to waitressing. It doesn't seem that a waitress would be expected to serve 35-40 patrons only meals for 12-16 hours a day, never mind full nursing care.

    I think the answer lies in lobbying for legislation limiting the number of clients per nurse or maybe limiting based on acuity levels.