CAN you believe this! - Bad Portrayal of nurses in my local paper - page 2

Just wanted to pass on a nasty thing published in the Edmonoton Sun this Saturday Nov 4/06. I am in an outrage as this writer obviously does not understand our work beyond simple tasks. Is this... Read More

  1. by   Otessa
    I'm in-give me the editor's e-mail address!!
  2. by   Creamsoda
    Wow, Im from Edmonton as well and this just disgusts me. But I think what a few of the other posters said may be true, this person may be trying to get a reaction on purpose, or they are just plain ingorant.

    Sherry
  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from T.A.Ball
    THERE WOULDN’T be a nurse shortage if nurses performed duties that were conducive with their pay. Nurses are simply line workers who perform very low-level, repetitive tasks that could be done by individuals with no education. Emptying bed pans, changing catheters, helping the elderly to the washroom and feeding babies require the skill level of an uneducated person paid minimum wage. To justify their pay, nurses should be expected to perform higherlevel tasks such as managing workers and making higher-level decisions.
    Whoa! How incredibly bold and ignorant. :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire My reply?

    Dear T.A. Ball,

    I certainly hope for your sake that if you're ever in need of a nurse that your opinion of nurses takes a drastic change. Walk a mile in my shoes! The reason there is a nursing shortage is because nurses are overworked and under-appreciated by people such as yourself. I have been a Registered Nurse for 31 years. I am extremely proud of my title and hold it in the highest of esteem.

    There is nothing wrong with helping people use the bathroom or feeding babies. How would you as an invalid or helpless person be able to use the restroom or feed yourself if it weren't for compassionate people such as nurses? You would lay in your own waste all day if it weren't for nurses and you'd get damm thirsty/hungry as well. Helping people with everyday activities of living is only the very beginning of my job. I make life and death decisions on a daily basis.

    Would you want an uneducated person paid minimum wage administering your medications? Starting your IV? Assessing your wound or incision and changing the dressing without knowing sterile procedure? Assessing your lung sounds? Assessing your heart rhythm? Changing your tracheotomy? Suctioning your chest? Changing your foley? Administering CPR and knowing which lifesaving drugs to administer in your IV to restart your heart or keep you breathing? Above all else....Checking your chart for physician errors? Checking your medications for pharmacy errors? I wish I had a dollar for every mistake I have found and corrected. Do you have any idea that your physician works closely with the nurses and how often I have heard, "thanks for picking up on my mistake and covering my ass". Don't delude yourself....this happens everyday in all hospitals and with the best of doctors. What higher level decisions would you prefer a nurse make? Is there a group of people more important waiting to be managed?

    Have you ever held a dying child in your arms? Watched someones mother or father take their last breath? Prayed with patients while they waited for their biopsy results? Held the hand of a patient whose abdomen suddenly bursted open due to infection? If you think nursing is a low level repetive task job you are seriously mislead, uninformed and need of some education before you find yourself in need of that over-paid nurse who is on duty to help you.

    The reason there is a nursing shortage is because nursing is a very physically demanding job. Nurses work for 12 hours and are rarely off of their feet. The only time I sit on a 12 hour shift is when I make time to use the restroom myself. I have never take a 15 minutes break, there's just not time. Lunch has to be eaten on the unit, no luxury of sitting in the cafeteria. While eating my lunch I have a pager in my pocket which goes off repeatedly and my lunch is interrupted 2-5 times and by the time my lunch is eaten, it is cold.

    Patients, and their families are in large, appreciative of nurses. There are a percentage of patients and families whose idea of a nurse is that of a waitress, housekeeper, pooper scooper, errand runner and minial task doer. Nurses respectfully and skillfully care for these patients regardless of their ignorance.

    Four little words that nurses frequently hear "I'm going to sue". My reply? "Let me write down my name and license number for you". The doctors most frequent reply? "Do not threatening the nurses". If patients think those words are terrifying nurses.....think again. We're not that easily scared. Two other frequently hear words by nurses "I'm leaving". My reply? "That's strictly your decision, do what you think you need to do". If patients think those words worry nurses....think again. We love it when the problem patients walk out, the doctors love it and so do the insurance companies beccause they are no longer legally responsible to pay the bill and they don't pay.

    Would I take another job, making the same salary, without the responsibilities, physical and emotional experiences of nursing? No, because I am a Nurse and that's what I do best.

    My real name, RN
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Nov 5, '06
  4. by   TazziRN
    Quote from purseOnalityRN
    To justify their pay, nurses should be
    expected to perform higherlevel tasks such as managing workers and making higher-level
    decisions.




    *scratching head*



    Funny........I thought that is what we do..........
  5. by   tddowney
    Quote from TazziRN
    *scratching head*



    Funny........I thought that is what we do..........
    It may be that the letter writer was trying to make a point quite different than how we've read it.

    Perhaps he's saying that there is a nursing shortage because nurses are being poorly utilized, spending too much of their time in low level repetitive tasks. (Look elsewhere on these boards and there's no shortage of frustration about that.)
  6. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Hey Guys,

    Why not view this as an opportunity?

    I mean yeah, this guy's understanding of nursing is huge misunderstanding but...let's face it, how far off the mark is his interpretation vs. that of the general public's view of what we do (that is until they need our services...lol)???

    I think this offers an excellent opportunity to educate the public in regards to what nurses actually do in relation to skill, knowledge and advocacy.
  7. by   llg
    Quote from TrudyRN
    Ha ha, too funny. I think maybe this was a plant, an intentional goad. It's too ignorant and ridiculous to be for real.
    I agree completely. It's the equivalent of an Internet troll ... not worth my time and effort to compose much of a reply.
  8. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from llg
    I agree completely. It's the equivalent of an Internet troll ... not worth my time and effort to compose much of a reply.
    Argh! I always get sucked in by trolls!:trout:
  9. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from tddowney
    It may be that the letter writer was trying to make a point quite different than how we've read it.

    Perhaps he's saying that there is a nursing shortage because nurses are being poorly utilized, spending too much of their time in low level repetitive tasks. (Look elsewhere on these boards and there's no shortage of frustration about that.)
    That's how I read it, too.
  10. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Do you all believe the general public is truly knowledgeable in regards to what services nursing provides to them?
  11. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from bsntobe2009
    i think all of the members on this board need to wage an e-mail war to the editor!
    i did, and now for your viewing pleasure:

    mr. ball (if that is your real name), could you possible be any more ignorant in regards to nurses.

    " nurses are simply line workers who perform very low-level, repetitive tasks that could be done by individuals with no education. emptying bed pans, changing catheters, helping the elderly to the washroom and feeding babies require the skill level of an uneducated person paid minimum wage."

    first off, when a person is admitted to a hospital, it is because they require nursing care. you obviously have extremely limited knowledge of what nursing care is. your nurse is expected to know the physiology and pathology of your condition, which includes interruptreting signs and symptoms, lab values, test results, possible complications from treatment, evaluating the effectiveness of treatment, and continuous monitoring and documentation of your condition. they are expected to ensure that any medication provided is the correct medication and given under the correct circumstances, and if you think medication administration is only about handing out pills, guess again, it's not that simple. they are expected to know the pharmakonetics of the medications you are on and the signs of any adverse effects these medications may produce, and evaluate the effectiveness of that medication. they are expected to educate you in regards to your condition and treatment, in fact they may be required to teach your spouse/so, or family. they are expected to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching they are expected to be sensitive to your cultural, religious, and personal needs while under our care. they are expected to perform as your advocate at all times, irregardless of whether or not you can speak for yourself, and when we piss someone off higher up the food chain while we advocate on your behalf we suffer the retaliatory consequences. they are expected to ensure your safety while you are a patient, anything that could possible cause you harm while in our care we are responsible for. they are epected to do for you what you are unable to do for yourself, and that includes the simple tasks of brushing your teeth or combing your hair. our job is far more than performing routine repetive tasks. if you think any uneducated person with no training or education in sterile technique should be changing catheters, think again.

    "to justify their pay, nurses should be expected to perform higherlevel tasks such as managing workers and making higher-level decisions."

    contrary to your belief, nurses do not mindlessly follow physicians orders, in fact we are responsible to ensure that any treatment/orders prescribed by a physician is appropriate for you and if not we are responsible to refuse to implement your doctor's order. nurses are expected to manage and coordinate your care with the other disciplines within the hospital. that includes contacting your doctor, arranging your tests, arranging for physiotherapists or occupational therapists, arranging for respiratory therapists, your treatments, and even arranging for spiritual/religious support. in fact nurses also manage each other on the unit. in fact we are responsible to ensure that any other department (xr, lab, dietary, physiotherapy, housekeeping, etc) involved in your care does their job, despite the fact that they have their own supervisors. in fact the nurse is responsible for any care we delegate, including walking you to the bathroom. if what we delegate is not done, or done incorrectly, we are responsible. we are also expected to coordinate your care when you leave, and that includes follow-up appointments and tests, home care, and home instructions. in fact we are legally responsible and accountable for everything we do while your in our care.

    should your condition present or deteriorate to the point that you require life-saving measures, nurses are expected to initiate those measures that will save your life. nurses are expect to manage life and death situations, is that high-level enough for you?

    "there wouldn’t be a nurse shortage if nurses performed duties that were conducive with their pay."

    if you think the nursing shortage is due to paying nurses too much, you are sadly mistaken. you obviously don't pay much attention to what the government has done when it comes to restructuring our hospitals and health system. you obviously have not clue as to the horrendous working conditions nurses are forced to work under. nurses often will work past their shifts without overtime, and often without a break. we are expected to tolerate abuse in all forms: verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, etc. we lack upper management support. we are expected to perform our jobs no matter what, despite the fact we often work for institutions that do not create a working environment to facilitate us in that endeavor. in fact nurses are expected to tolerate working conditions that would not be tolerated in any other job.

    nurses are highly educated professionals in charge of your health and well-being while you are in their care. it will be your nurse that will know more about your current condition while you are under their care than your physician. they are accountable and responsible for anything and everything that could possible affect you while you are in their care. apparently you don't think that's worth much if you feel we only deserve minimum wage.

    you are clueless about nurses and the nursing profession. in fact i've only glossed over the surface. perhaps mr. ball you should stick to subjects you actually have knowledge about. since your purpose was to elicit angry responses from nurses, i hope your satisfied.

    yes, this person may be the equivalent of an internet troll, however it does provide an opportunity for nurses to educate the public about what we do.
    Last edit by DusktilDawn on Nov 5, '06
  12. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from TazziRN
    *scratching head*
    Funny........I thought that is what we do..........
    I think he meant what he said. I love the show General Hospital and have watched it for years but I have to say it portrays nursing in a very bad light. It's definately not reality TV. This jerk probably get his info from TV shows.
  13. by   TazziRN
    Quote from dusktildawn
    i did, and now for your viewing pleasure:

    mr. ball (if that is your real name), could you possible be any more ignorant in regards to nurses.

    " nurses are simply line workers who perform very low-level, repetitive tasks that could be done by individuals with no education. emptying bed pans, changing catheters, helping the elderly to the washroom and feeding babies require the skill level of an uneducated person paid minimum wage."

    first off, when a person is admitted to a hospital, it is because they require nursing care. you obviously have extremely limited knowledge of what nursing care is. your nurse is expected to know the physiology and pathology of your condition, which includes interruptreting signs and symptoms, lab values, test results, possible complications from treatment, evaluating the effectiveness of treatment, and continuous monitoring and documentation of your condition. they are expected to ensure that any medication provided is the correct medication and given under the correct circumstances, and if you think medication administration is only about handing out pills, guess again, it's not that simple. they are expected to know the pharmakonetics of the medications you are on and the signs of any adverse effects these medications may produce, and evaluate the effectiveness of that medication. they are expected to educate you in regards to your condition and treatment, in fact they may be required to teach your spouse/so, or family. they are expected to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching they are expected to be sensitive to your cultural, religious, and personal needs while under our care. they are expected to perform as your advocate at all times, irregardless of whether or not you can speak for yourself, and when we piss someone off higher up the food chain while we advocate on your behalf we do this we suffer the retaliatory consequences. they are expected to ensure your safety while you are a patient, anything that could possible cause you harm while in our care we are responsible for. they are epected to do for you what you are unable to do for yourself, and that includes the simple tasks of brushing your teeth or combing your hair. our job is far more than performing routine repetive tasks. if you think any uneducated person with no training or education in sterile technique should be changing catheters, think again.

    "to justify their pay, nurses should be expected to perform higherlevel tasks such as managing workers and making higher-level decisions."

    contrary to your belief, nurses do not mindlessly follow physicians orders, in fact we are responsible to ensure that any treatment/orders prescribed by a physician is appropriate for you and if not we are responsible to refuse to implement your doctor's order. nurses are expected to manage and coordinate your care with the other disciplines within the hospital. that includes contacting your doctor, arranging your tests, arranging for physiotherapists or occupational therapists, arranging for respiratory therapists, your treatments, and even arranging for spiritual/religious support. in fact nurses also manage each other on the unit. in fact we are responsible to ensure that any other department (xr, lab, dietary, physiotherapy, housekeeping, etc) involved in your care does their job, despite the fact that they have their own supervisors. in fact the nurse is responsible for any care we delegate, including walking you to the bathroom. if what we delegate is not done, or done incorrectly, we are responsible. we are also expected to coordinate your care when you leave, and that includes follow-up appointments and tests, home care, and home instructions. in fact we are legally responsible and accountable for everything we do while your in our care and can be.

    should your condition present or deteriorate to the point that you require life-saving measures, nurses are expected to initiate those measures that will save your life. nurses are expect to manage life and death situations, is that high-level enough for you?

    "there wouldn't be a nurse shortage if nurses performed duties that were conducive with their pay."

    if you think the nursing shortage is due to paying nurses too much, you are sadly mistaken. you obviously don't pay much attention to what the government has done when it comes to restructuring our hospitals and health system. you obviously have not clue as to the horrendous working conditions nurses are forced to work under. nurses often will work past their shifts without overtime, and often without a break. we are expected to tolerate abuse in all forms: verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, etc. we lack upper management support. we are expected to perform our jobs not matter what, despite the fact we often work for institutions that do not create a working environment to facilitate us in that endeavor. in fact nurses are expected to tolerate working conditions that would not be tolerated in any other job.

    nurses are highly educated professionals in charge of you health and well-being while you are in their care. it will be your nurse that will know more about your current condition while you are under their care than your physician. they are accountable and responsible for anything and everything that could possible affect you while you are in their care. apparently you don't think that's worth much if you feel we only deserve minimum wage.

    you are clueless about nurses and the nursing profession. in fact i've only glossed over the surface. perhaps mr. ball you should stick to subjects you actually have knowledge about. since your purpose was to elicit angry responses from nurses, i hope your satisfied.

    yes, this person may be the equivalent of an internet troll, however it does provide an opportunity for nurses to educate the public about what we do.

    dusky, you rock!!

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