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Thread: Mean Age of RN's

  1. #1
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    Mean Age of RN\'s

    We need an icon with a cane or walker (I am trying to laugh). What does everyone think of this? Is anyone feeling the effects? I work in surgery and a great majority of our staff are in their fifties. We do not mess around and our schedule is heavy. It really makes a difference when a majority begin to get hurt a work due to fatigue,etc. The pool of experienced nurses is nil. Just wondering if this challange is being met elsewhere. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    Well, I'm 42, and about half of our staff is in the 40-ish range, with the rest being newbies.

    What we have done is split the staffing up, about 50/50. Half veterans, and half newbies. Doing this serves two purposes...it helps the new nurses by giving them some more experienced nurses to turn to in a crunch, and it gives us old farts a chance to teach (and learn, for that matter!).

    There is a high turn over rate in our unit, I guess because it can get pretty intense (duh...MSICU!), but there is an abundance of new nurses who want to become ICU nurses, or at least they think they do. Some move on to PICU, NICU, CVICU, etc...

    At this point, I don't believe that any of our veterans are planning to retire, although I often dream of it!

    TracyR
    www.nurseserver.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    I will be 60 in June with 31 years of Nursing behind me. Not too many stay with it that long but there are some out there.

  4. #4
    Member Extraordinaire Aaron C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    Hi Fay,

    sounds like you're still going strong! Welcome to the forum!

  5. #5
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    I'm 30 and I feel the effects everyday.. There are so few nurses out there it is scary!! I dont know what is going to happen when all those 50 and over retire?

  6. #6
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    I guess I am the baby here, I am 26 and have been working as and RN since I was 21. Most of the nuses that I have worked with on most of my assignments durning my travels have always been a great deal older. With their experiences I have learned alot. Keep going strong you give us younger nurses someone to look up to.

  7. #7
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    I'm 43 and consider myself an old-timer.

    I've often though of writing a book called "You can tell you're an old nurse when..."
    ...you remember metal bedpans.
    ...you routinely washed and sterilized metal bedpans.
    ...it was common knowledge that if you needed help STAT, and no one was answering the call light, you threw the metal bedpan out into the (non-carpeted) hallway. The noise woke the dead and help was there.
    ...you actually counted IV drip rates and were impressed with the first IVAC you saw.
    ...you find yourself employed some 20 years later at a place where they still use the first IVAC you ever saw.

    Can anyone help me with this "project." It might get fun.

  8. #8
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    I am having a crisis. Recently, I was approached by our educator to resume a preceptor role in my ICU. I am a 36yo RN who has worked in this unit for 11 years- the last 5 as a charge nurse. I have precepted before with great success.I tend to be decribed as "anal" and acertive. I think that that's not necessarily a bad thing and sometimes it's a great thing. Here's my rant.
    After the second day on the job, my orientee has stated that he has is not comfortable with a protocol and will NOT do it that way ever. It is a tubing protocol- not dangerous, just wasteful and against the grain of current studies in line infections. Also, even after discussing the need and purpose of isolation gowns for even minor interaction at a patients bedside- he demonstrates ( yes on day 2) that his habit is not to wear them. There have been other comments and flags that are burning me up. These are my 2 documentable concerns.
    AT the end of day 2 of orientation we mutually decided it would be maybe best if we searched out another compatible preceptor for him as not to make his experience in our facility a bad one and start out on a more positive note. I feel weird about it even though I know it is the right thing to do. Partly ego and partly safety. S'posedly, he has a varied background not including critical care. Therefore, I started out as if he was fairly green. He admits to experience with vents, lines and other things but verbalizes little understanding so far. In retrospect, i could have started things at a differant pace. On day one he was annoyed that I gave him no freedom. day 2 - I was too liberally and distant. His actions toward our vent patient really reflect sound care of a chronic vent patient vs critical non- weaning patient. I am at awe that he has no understanding of the settings and patient responces to those settings. TOday I speak with my educator about my concerns and generating a new preceptor. I feel like -itch and that I blew it. I see 'issues' that may or may not resole regarding practice concerns. It it too early on this path to carry these thoughts? Has anyone else had a orientee that just did not mesh with them? I am a mess. HElp

  9. #9
    Member Extraordinaire Aaron C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    could you put me on his national do not care (for) list please? I don't want him taking care of me, especially if he was in the isolation room next to me just before.

    What would throw a flag up for me is that he sounds pretty disrespectful. If he's just starting (especially) he should be doing just what he's told. He hasn't been there long enough to make his own decisions. Plus, if he has that attitude already, how bad is it going to be when he's comfortable?

    I'd say you're doing the right thing

  10. #10
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    Re: Mean Age of RN\'s

    ... NOT wearing gloves to do handle any body fluids.
    .... smoking at the bedside with your patient.
    .... an aline was a big deal when they came to your hospital.
    ....candy stripers!
    .....wore your nursing cap faithfully every day.
    ....wore only a white uniform and sneakers were unacceptable foot wear.
    WOW- I feel old
    ....your pleurevac set up was a couple of bottles on the floor.
    Tst3

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