Nurse is a nurse is a nurse - page 6

We really need to do something about the publics understanding of nursing. I'm starting to get really ticked about this and I'm far far from a prideful person. I'm just tired of people not realizing... Read More

  1. by   flashpoint
    I have a HUGE amount of respect for the CNAs here. They work their tails off and do a lot of care that saves us a ton of time. They are, however, NOT nurses. They do a lot of nursing care, but that does not make them nurses. When I am a patient, I have the right to know the qualifications of those caring for me...I don't think I have the right to request only RNs or only licensed nurses though. It doesn't take an RN to give a bath or change bed linen and it really burns me when patients expect that the RNs should be out there (or have the time) to do a lot of those tasks.
  2. by   Furball
    I hear ya liberal....my pulse is ALWAYS 58-62 ( I run a lot) unless I'm climbing a mountain or something. The tech, MA, whatever, at my last physical wrote 80. Hmmmm, I thought maybe I was nervous so took my own pulse....a even 60. Can't even take a freaking pulse?

    That annoyed me. I told my doc to take my pulse...hmmmm 60.....told him to look at what was recorded and my history...he frowned.
    hmmmmmm
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I was a tech while in nursing school . . . not licensed or anything. Just trained by the doc's staff BUT I did know how to do vital signs. However, liberalRN is right . . there is no way to know what a "tech" truly is. I was working under the doc's licence and we signed an agreement as such.

    At our hospital, the CNA's do vitals . . the RN's rarely. So I'd say they were better practiced at taking vitals. Sometimes you just have people who take shortcuts . . . and those come in all shapes and sizes. Like not counting for a full minute for infant heartrates and resp . .. . drives me crazy.

    steph

    (edited to fix grammar)
  4. by   nursbee04
    I am a nursing student (second year) and I am currently working as a "Nurse Tech." At our hospital, a nurse tech is a nursing student that has completed their first semester of nursing school and basically does CNA duties, occasionally gets to do assessments or catheters (with supervision).

    So apparently the term encompasses a variety of ppl.



    edited to add:

    The title "NT" is in HUGE letters on a separate tag hanging below my name tag, and I NEVER introduce myself as a nurse (May 2004...that date seems so far away!!).
    Last edit by nursbee04 on May 20, '03
  5. by   funnygirl_rn
    Originally posted by healingtouchRN
    do ya rent this one? is it on VHS?
    Hi HealingtouchRn! Yes, the movie can be rented on VHS or DVD...at least at Hollywood Videos & Block-busters.
  6. by   funnygirl_rn
    Originally posted by Furball
    I hear ya liberal....my pulse is ALWAYS 58-62 ( I run a lot) unless I'm climbing a mountain or something. The tech, MA, whatever, at my last physical wrote 80. Hmmmm, I thought maybe I was nervous so took my own pulse....a even 60. Can't even take a freaking pulse?

    That annoyed me. I told my doc to take my pulse...hmmmm 60.....told him to look at what was recorded and my history...he frowned.
    hmmmmmm
    Furball... I had the same thing happen to me with both my pulse & BP. My pulse & BP are always low...which is NORMAL for me.
  7. by   liberalrn
    Thanks all. Didn't mean to sound so worked up, but really WHO are these people who touch us in all kinds of ways, at the doc's office, the outpt lab, the ER? It really burns me that every lay person I know will say stuff like,"the nurse came in and helped my mother w/ the dinner tray" or "That nurse did a terrible job drawing blood--she had to try 3 times" Whatever. And given staffing today, I can no longer say that xyz is NOT a nurse, but an aide, that abc is a lab tech (there's that word again) NOT a nurse. If it was the nurse who gave horrible care, then the issue whould be addressed. If we as a profession are taking the fall for other hcp's because of the public's IGNORANCE....that's a whole nother ball of wax!
    And I hear ya about the pulse thingy. I ahd an argument w/ a "tech" years ago re: my 2 y/o daughter's health. I thought she had an ear infection; the "tech" said "she has no fever." (So?). she had bilat. otitis.......a little knowledge and a generic title are dangerous things.
  8. by   Riseupandnurse
    How can the public ever really value and respect nursing until it learns what nursing actually is and does? And how can this happen when nursing can't distinguish or define itself? I remember being shocked in my masters' nursing theory class. I had thought it would be a class about the different ways to nurse; instead, it was all about the theories of what nursing even is.

    Nursing has itself to blame for a lot of the public's confusion. RNs don't insist on a bachelor's degree as an entry level requirement. (Yes, I know there are a lot of good LPNs out there; but the problem is that the public doesn't have any way of knowing what the differences might be.) We accept the generic term "nurse" for all sorts of differently-trained people. Remember the woman who won "Survivor" a couple of years back, Tina? She was a "private nurse". What the heck is that?

    And we refuse to wear anything that would really help to distinguish an RN from other caregivers. We are way too cool for hats. They may have got in the way, but at least people knew who the RNs were. A name tag is fine, but it doesn't go far enough. In the meantime, we are busy shedding our whites and wearing cute little bunny lab coats and fashionable purples and mauves. We look great, but do we look like highly trained professionals?

    I know this post will make people mad, but if we really want more recognition and respect, RNs as a group are eventually going to have to bite the bullet and discipline ourselves. Otherwise, we might as well resign ourselves to our public image as bedpan carriers and handmaidens of the physicians. Sometimes I think that would be just fine, if such a role actually existed. At least we wouldn't have the agony and the struggle that go along with the critical thinking that RNs are really faced with in patient care.
  9. by   Jen2
    Hello

    Reading this thread and thought that I would give some of my experiences. Out of High School, I went to school to become an MA. I always wanted to become a RN but wanted to get my feet wet first. I worked in a large specialty practice in my area for four years. Gave injections, vital signs, variouse tests, and phlebotomy. I loved my job. Then the physicians decided that they were going to start doing remicaid infusions in the office. I was then taught by the PA how to do this. I loved the learning experience until I began to learn about the high infusion reaction. I then went to the physicians and told them that I felt very uncomfortable with this and was not qualified to by left alone and monitoring a patient recieving any infusion, especially one such as this. They told me not to worry and that they trusted my judgement. Til this day I do not feel that they trusted my judgement, but that they could hire me as an MA and pay me $8.00 an hour to do this kind of work (illegally of course). I then quit my job here and am know working as a phleb in a hospital. I start my clinicals this fall. Many, Many times I have been called a nurse. I always correct the person in saying "I haven't paid my dues yet." I truly know how hard it is already, and I haven't even started clinicals yet. First you have to get through the pre-reqs, and then getting accepted into a program is a goal all in it's own. Where I work at the nurses and I respect each other. I help them and they help me. I've had many nurses pull blood from a lock for me, just as I've helped nurses find veins and let them use some of my blood for a bedside troponin or glucose. We all need to respect each other and people who haven't paid there dues yet do not need to be calling themselves nurses. I honestly think a big part of this comes from the physicians. They want to think that their MA's are nurses, but if an MA started to requested a nurses pay, I bet this would change. As far as the patients go, as long as they see someone in a uniform and they need something, they think that you are a nurse. It begins with educating the people you are helping, whether your a Rn, LPN, CNA, MA, or whatever. Sorry for rambling. Just some thoughts.
  10. by   MICU RN
    Reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend a few days ago. SHe told me that she works at a peds office and started at the front desk, but now because they thought she was very sharp have promoted her to a medical assisstant. And they gave a raise, 14.00@hr with no benefits, but still not bad considering her education or training. This seems to be how the market is in doctor's offices and I don't let it bother me. But the longer I am a RN and I started with a ADN when I graduated in 1998, the more I am realizing that as long as we have multiple entry points with regards to education, we will always be fighting an upward battle for professional recognition. IF every one else in allied health beside resp therapy needs a min. of a bachelors degree, why do we think we are going to get the respect and compensation other professionals get who require more education? Do we want to more like pharmacist, PT, OT, ect.? Then we have to require at least a bachelors degree to get in the profession. Of course existing RN'S who don't have one would be grandfathered in. But as long as we have all the die hards clamoring that "the amount of education does not make the nurse and we don't need to upgrade education requirements because it as always worked in the past", we will continued to be looked at as "a nurse is a nurse is a nurse". I for one decided to go back to school and I got my BSN and now am going to be starting a graduate school program. ANd one of the things that motivated me was that in this speciality everyone has to have the same education level to be in the profession, no debates or rationalizations on why it is okay to have multiple points of entry. Many nurses would rather complain and threaten to write up everyone instead of taking either personal or professional action to make their situations better. Just my humble opinion.
    Last edit by MICU RN on May 29, '03
  11. by   Kayzee
    I seen the play WIT, and just want to say ...if it ever comes to your town don't miss it. It was fantastic.
  12. by   KevinN
    Late a few nights ago, American Gladiators was on the TV and it was the gladiators against contestents in the medical field. Well, one of the contestents was a CERTIFIED NURSE. She was aknowledged as a nurse the entire show. I have never heard of a CERTIFIED NURSE before. Come to find out she was a CNA. I think if you are a CNA, great!, but you should be acknowledged as a CNA and not a nurse. There is a difference.
  13. by   moonshadeau
    Originally posted by MICU RN
    ...But the longer I am a RN and I started with a ADN when I graduated in 1998, the more I am realizing that as long as we have multiple entry points with regards to education, we will always be fighting an upward battle for professional recognition. IF every one else in allied health beside resp therapy needs a min. of a bachelors degree, why do we think we are going to get the respect and compensation other professionals get who require more education? Do we want to more like pharmacist, PT, OT, ect.? Then we have to require at least a bachelors degree to get in the profession. Of course existing RN'S who don't have one would be grandfathered in. But as long as we have all the die hards clamoring that "the amount of education does not make the nurse and we don't need to upgrade education requirements because it as always worked in the past", we will continued to be looked at as "a nurse is a nurse is a nurse". I for one decided to go back to school and I got my BSN and now am going to be starting a graduate school program. ANd one of the things that motivated me was that in this speciality everyone has to have the same education level to be in the profession, no debates or rationalizations on why it is okay to have multiple points of entry. Many nurses would rather complain and threaten to write up everyone instead of taking either personal or professional action to make their situations better. Just my humble opinion.
    Ok, point of entry has been discussed ad nauseum here. I don't want to see the topic go to that particular direction. Not to say that the poster doesn't have some very good points. In fact, when I speak to new grads at the technical college on behalf of the state nurse's association, I bring this exact point up. No one likes the idea of mandating that you are a nurse after you reach x point on the education scale. Hopefully, it drove home the idea that nurse's need to speak up for themselves.

    The other point that I have to make is that when I started my "nursing" career, I was not even a nurse. I was a nurse tech. Nursing homes are relying quite heavily on the tech position nowadays. I remember doing things that an RN should have been doing, but for my ignorance, I didn't know any better. To my patients, and the aides, I was the nurse. There is one nursing home in the area, that staffs entire floors with nurse techs. One RN for the whole building, of maybe 300 patients. This of course once I recieved my RN is why I said "I am outta here" just as quick as I could.

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