With all due respect, to those who support the ANA with their blood and guts, I think the rest of nursing (ie; the majority) would like to start speaking for themselves instead of the ANA speaking for us.
I HOPE the majority will start speaking for themselves. As I see it, the problem has been with nurses not speaking up. Our lack of action, except to gripe among ourselves, has allowed healthcare administrators an open hand in dictating workplace conditions.
Our profession has been based on service to others, following physcians orders and performing jobs assigned to us. I see Nursing operating in a different light now due to us maturing into a seperate profession that can function somewhat autonomously. We are no longer restricited to bedside practice and can work independently in many areas. Previously we were dependent on private employers in the early days thru 1940's. Hospital's then became the domminate employer setting workplace rules. Our being a hand-maiden to the physician is passe. A Collaborate relationship is the mode today.
What has not occured is Nursing being included as a major player in decision making at the CEO level and in the hospital board rooms. In the the forseable future, NURSING expenses will always be the major cost factor in running a hospital. Patients are hospitalized for NURSING CARE with some physician intervention, but it is the 24hr NURSING ASSESSMENT
AND INTERVENTION that is needed. Under nursing administration, We should be the ones determining how that care is provided and how staffing decisions are made.
Suddenly, the impact of HMO's and insurance companies with their mandate and incentives to lower healthcare costs (especially paperwork burden with prior authorization everything), has led to only the sickest acutely ill, most mobility restricted patients/clients to be hospitalized requiring intensive nursing care. Years ago these clients would have died but with modern medications needing careful monitoring/titrating to avoid interactions/side effects, the intensity of care is enourmous. AND you may have 3 different clients needing this type of care in the same hospital bed within an 8-12hr shift! No wonder bedside nurses are exhausted, no " walkie-talkie" patients to lighten the
load today. It's time nursing expense is itemized seperately, even if listed under room an board, to show our true worth.
SO EVERYONE PLEASE SPEAK UP!
Stepping down from my soapbox.