i thought everyone might enjoy this. a friend of mine e-mailed it to me and i think it's definately worth sharing and/or printing out and sticking next to the elevator by the patient satisfaction score cards
"I'm not sure who this was written by....
"Patients aren't always satisfied with how well nurses communicate,
a recent Medicare survey revealed. Well, nurses had no trouble communicating with me after I defended them (last) Sunday.
Nurses from recovery rooms, coronary care, pediatrics, geriatrics,
ER and Trauma units e-mailed me across the country.
Here's what they had to say:
Come walk in our shoes for a 12-hour shift. Come see the joy,
the tragedy, the comedy, the 100 ways we are pulled and pushed,
then rate my "pleasant greeting", "answers call light in timely fashion", "states name of patient."
Use the bathroom now, because you might not get the chance again
until your shift ends. Wear comfortable shoes. Don't worry if they're
clean. They'll end up with blood and vomit on them.
We are the patient's advocate, the doctors' eyes and ears, and
everyone's scapegoat. We can page your doctor but we can't make
that doctor magically appear. We check your stitches, wipe your
blood, drain your pus and empty your bedpan.
Nursing is a tough job, but we're tougher. We've been yelled at by administrators,
supervisors and doctors. We've been kicked, slapped, punched, spat on,
and sexually harassed by patients in various states of delirium, mental illness,
arrogance, and intoxication. We've even had chairs and food trays thrown at us.
We work mandatory overtime, weekends and holidays. We eat Thanksgiving and
Christmas dinners with coworkers.
We deal with families who ignore visiting hours, bring food to
patients on restricted diets, and insist on staying the night even
though it's not a private room. We deal with the Florida son who
orders us around to show a parent he's neglected for years that he
cares. We cannot be at your side every waking minute. We have
10 other patients. We cannot answer 5 call lights at once. We
can't stop doing CPR on a patient because you ran out of tissues.
We are not maids, beauticians, or cocktail waitresses.
We are professionals with college degrees.
We hate that we can't spend more bedside time with you.
Swearing at us will not make us move faster. Taking better care
of your health would help. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Start
exercising. Stop drinking.
How do we survive? We ignore the nasty comments, the
demanding relatives, the crazy staffing grids. We count to 10
before speaking. We pray every morning for strength and
wisdom, patience and empathy. We drive home tired and
frustrated, telling ourselves over and over , "I'm not the nurse I
want to be, but I'm the best nurse the hospital staffing allows me
to be." We fall asleep praying for the ones who won't survive the
There is no finish line, ever. Nursing is demanding, fulfilling, and
we can't imagine doing anything else. Nothing beats washing blood
and glass off a car crash survivor , stabilizing a broken neck,
saving a diabetic's leg, keeping a cancer patient in remission.
The day we send a patient home we relish the unbelievable
resilience of the human body and spirit.
We did not become nurses for the hours, the salary, or the
glamour of it all. We became nurses to make a difference.
We don't ask for much. One sincere Thank You makes all the
thankless hours worth it."