Can you overcome the cardinal sin of speaking up for yourself?

“If you aren’t failing every now & again.  It’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”   However, I have been paralyzed in a state of fear this past month.  Fear of making the wrong decision.  Fear of going back to work.  Fear of traveling for my job.  Fear that I made the wrong choice in deciding to pursue my goal of travel nursing.

As a full time staff nurse & as a travel nurse, I very rarely got into trouble.   However the expectations of a travel nurse are different.   Every nurse on the planet has had a confrontation with a patient or family member.  Yet as a travel nurse those are grounds for dismissal.  Staff treating you poorly & actively participating in hazing -you are suppose to smile, accept your shitty assignments, accept the crappy treatment, and be thankful you are working in this hell.   You are expected to put up with obnoxious, rude behavior from patients, family members, or staff.  And the ultimate cardinal sin is speaking up for yourself & protecting your own license.

Fear these past few weeks have consumed me because I committed the ultimate cardinal sin.   My assignment ended early because I am not into being abused by patients & apparently speaking up for yourself is a bad thing.   I don’t regret that decision.  I will always stand up for myself.  Are there lessons I can take away from this situation? Absolutely.  For now, I don’t wanna work nor bang on the drum all day.   Unless it was pressing, I have stayed home in my pajamas, slept, & hid from making a decision.  I also have joked about being a kept woman at home but you need a man for that first.  Clinically I am strong & always believe I have room for improvement.  I am compassionate & firm.  And I actually give a damn about my patients.  I want to know their stories.  Sometimes time and acuity doesn’t allow for that but I try.  I am not perfect, sorry, I am just a human being who like everyone else in the world.  However, why should I continue to give my best when it seems those things don’t matter.  It seems as though keeping your head down, making sure your are popular, & improving profit margins are all that matter.

Honestly, I could have been placed at another facility weeks ago but just have enjoyed being home with my family & friends.  I could have accepted a position an hour away but in my heart it just didn’t feel right.  And apparently close to home, I am overqualified for many full time positions and various nurse managers feel like I would be bored working for their facility.  Sometimes you can’t win.

How do you continue on a journey when you have been kicked multiple times?  How do you continue to believe in doing the right thing when it gets you in trouble?   I am a God fearing woman so I believe in grace, forgiveness, & trying not to live your life in fear.  God doesn’t let you suffer without a purpose.  I am trying to walk in the light of forgiveness & grace.  But sometimes it is hard.  The bumps, bruises, and cuts hurt especially when you know you have been done wrong & those who know you, work beside you, and support you also know you have been done dirty.

A full time position at home doesn’t look like it is going to pan out.  Traveling looks like it will be a necessary evil.  Yet, I am so scared to drive thousands of miles only from home to have to work in unsafe conditions, endure nurse on nurse hazing, not be supported by hospital administration, &/or have my work cancelled early because people want to lie and take pride in getting others to quit or have their contract terminated early.  Life is a journey & perhaps my friend is right.  “The trials you are going through right now aren’t even about you. They are to help someone in life.

They are a testimony to something far greater than you imagined.”   I hope he is right.   Now, if only I could look into a crystal ball & see what the future holds.

Sidenote of topic:  Let me clarify something.  I absolutely love what I do.  Healthcare is one of the few professions that rewards you in so many ways.  It teaches you something new medically & personally everyday.   However, in my opinion patient satisfaction scores has undermined healthcare professionals & is attempting to turn hospitals into hotels with trained people for your illnesses.  Where are the protections for healthcare providers?  I have been physically assaulted (punched, kicked, shoved, slapped), verbally threatened, called racial slurs, sexually harassed, & lied on.  I have endure nurse on nurse hazing. Worked with patient ratios that could have ended badly. And failed to be supported by hospital administrators or managers because patient satisfaction scores matter & everyone wants to make money.  I want to help people.  I want to touch lives & save lives.  But I will not endure working in an environment where I am not protected.  Perhaps wanting basic human rights is too much.

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