I think I allowed my feelings to be hurt this evening in class and I want opinions from other nurses as to whether I am just being oversensitive.
I am in a class for foster parents looking to be approved to care for special needs and medically fragile children. The class was split into workshop groups for part of the session and we shared our experience with biological children, foster children, and children with special needs. We made a poster board collage of all of our experiences to present to the class. After the break the instructor brought in three people who are foster-adoptive parents of children with special needs to tell us about their experiences.
The instructor told one parent to share her experience and she did. It was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Listening to her was simply exhilirating. Then the instructor remembered our collages and since time was winding down she wanted us to present before the other two spoke. The spokesperson for our group went through the collage and talked about our different circumstances. The collage had all of our occupations listed on the board (barista, teacher, truck driver, stay at home mom, nurse, unemployed/WEP). As she went through the list she pointed us each out. I don't know why exactly but she did. The WEP mother was embarrassed because she didn't want the whole class to know she was on welfare. The goal of the collage was to demonstrate that even though we come from very different walks of life we are all working towards the same goal.
After the presentations the other two moms spoke. When the last mom spoke she was downright rude in tone. She talked about how she hopes none of us go into this endeavors with blinders on. She said her child received 24 hour nursing and how she didn't trust NURSES. She said that more than once caught the nurses doing inadequate jobs and had to fire them. The whole time she is looking at me. She said that she hoped none of our children needed nursing services because the nurses in our area are incompetent and overpaid. She suggested that if we needed nursing services that we invest in surveillance cameras and keep them on at all times that the nurse was in the home. She said that if our children are hospitalized that we better set up camp in the room and watch the nurses like hawks.
She then said that she was particularly concerned that some of us are there because of the stipend and she believed some of us were doing this simply for the money. This was an obvious jab at the unemployed mom because then she started looking directly at her, so I know she has some hang ups and prejudgments. Nonetheless, she went on to share a very small story about her two special needs children but it was nothing compared to the long time she spent on putting down nurses and calling out the class for doing it "for the money" :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire.
I was livid. Absolutely livid. And embarrassed because everyone knew I was a nurse. DH said I took it personally and was over reacting. He says that she really didn't make that many judgments against nurses or the unemployed mom but I WATCHED her body language and I listened to her words. Professionally and personally I felt attacked and offended. I was upset for the unemployed mom who felt she had to defend her desire to foster medically fragile children after class. Obviously I am not the only one feeling called out.
Was I wrong? Was she not putting down nurses or is it just me?
Jun 11, '08
by SharonH, RN
The lady's a jerk. She's was putting down nurses and you should feel insulted. After all, that was her intent
If you meet up with her again and she tries the same thing, cut her off with "Gosh you're judgmental" and walk away.
Last edit by SharonH, RN on Jun 11, '08