Nurse is a nurse is a nurse

  1. 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 that I do infact hold a license and that I went threw a hell of allot to get it and that I do more then just change bed pans etc...

    The other day I ran into my wife's cousin who I haven't seen for about 13 years. We were talking and he asked what I do.

    "I'm a nurse"
    "Oh really? So is my girlfriend"
    "Cool where does she work?"
    "Oh she doesn't work as a nurse anymore she does telemarketing"
    "Really? Why"
    "She makes more money that way"
    "Huh? How much does she make?"
    "Oh minimum wage + bonuses of 2 or 3 dollars"
    Went on like this for a while turns out she was a CNA, ok so I was a CNA once too but I didn't call myself a nurse. CNA's are great and some are damn sharp but they aren't nurses. I just let it go and didn't take the time explain the difference to him.

    A few days later I'm sitting at the nurse station and a doc is complained about her office "nurses". It seems that some of them don't feel comfortable calling lab results to patients or excepting phone orders. So I ask are they nurses or MA's. Well some are nurses but the ones complaining are MA's. All I said was well if I was an MA I wouldn't want to do it either. I don't even think MA's can legally take orders or report test results.

    Had a patient freak out on me the other day when I went to start her IV. "You can't do that I need a doctor!" "Um honey I can call him in here but doubt he has started one in the last 20 years scene med school"

    Anyway I'm feel better after venting and now feel a little silly about being so ticked off but we really do need to do something about this
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  2. 86 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    It's too bad that the doc didn't respect the nurses enough to differentiate them from the MA's. I would find that insulting. Plus I would expect a completely different job description from an MA. I don't think that's the norm.

    I'd also have to beat the snot out of someone who equated being a CNA with an RN. Many years difference in training and in responsibility there. I don't blame you for being upset, but I haven't got any ideas for solutions.
  4. by   gwenith
    This is one of my favourite soap boxes and it comes down to media presentation. Have a think about the stereotypes shown on TV,

    1) the doctor is always the center of attention
    2) Nurses main function in to call the doctor for asnything more brain taxing than handing out bedpans
    3) Nurses spend a lot of time talking to each other and gossiping
    4) Nurses are never depicted as being busy - just too lazy to help.

    It is no wonder that we the attitude that we do get from the general public. I personally see this as the last great fight for nurses - that of turning the media around.
  5. by   graysonret
    Being a male nurse, I've lost count on how many times patients insist on calling me "doctor", even when corrected, or patients who insist on wanting the "nurse"...that is, the assigned CNA...to help them. It can be a bit embarrassing, causing amusement at the nurses' station, but, over time, I've gotten used to it". Maybe I can get a scrub top with a sign on it, "I am your NURSE!". LOL.
  6. by   Katnip
    I would love to see a television show based on nurses. Not like that brainless one a while back, but the way it really is. Real men and women with families, boyfriends, bills, and taxes. I do NOT want to see them tumbling into be with every cute doc who walks by.

    I want them to show the reality of what a nurse does and how a nurse will, when necessary go toe-to-toe with a doc about patient care---and show the nurse is right.

    I want them to show nurses at various stages of their careers-some CNAs working up to LPN, ADNs and BSns. Let them fret over school and career.

    I want them to show nurses holding the dying person's hand, encouranging a para to live, and every ohter thing a nurse does every single day. Show the general public what nurses really do.
  7. by   Furball
    There is a realistic glimpse at what nurses do in the movie "Wit". There's a scene at the end where the RN physically removes an inappropriate MD from the bedside of a dying pt. Check it out.
  8. by   Furball
    http://www.epinions.com/content_89259871876



    Read Review of Wit
    Review Summary About the Author

    WIT - With Emma Thompson and Directed by Mike Nichols
    Feb 06 '03 (Updated Feb 06 '03)


    The Bottom Line
    An excellent movie if you can handle it.


    Full Review
    Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
    I find myself shaken by one of the most powerful movies I have seen in a very long time. I am grateful to Chad (Lemonlime) for referring me to it. He also suggested I read Mfunk75's review - and again I am grateful. Not only did I get to read a truly smashing review, but I encountered Mike's work which was impressive. Not that it is a great honor, but Mike immediately became a member of my WOT.

    So I asked my daughter to go to Blockbusters and rent the movie. At first Jude was reluctant. She had already seen the movie on HBO, and found it too painful to watch again. However she did rent the VHS for me. It was not available on DVD, so I have no comments from the directors, actors or whoever to quote here. Jude watched part of it with me, broke into tears, and refused to stay for the rest of it.

    One of the things Chad liked about the movie was the reference to a poem by John Donne, a fifteenth century poet that he shares my admiration for.

    I must say I was not disappointed. This is not about the poet, or even too much about his work, although his famous "Death be not Proud" is elaborated on. It is a story about terminal illness - the advanced stages of ovarian cancer. You will be absolutely glued to your armchair, and you will think about it long after the movie is finished.

    The director of the movie is Mike Nichols who also directed The Graduate. He did an amazing job in this one. The background music throughout the film is soft classical, and it works. It is never obtrusive, and always fits the mood.

    THE STORY

    Emma Thompson plays the lead - a strict mid-life Professor , Vivian Bearing. We see her at the doctor's office where she learns she is terminally ill with ovarian cancer. She is a professor of poetry, focusing I think, on John Donne. She takes the news of her eminent death calmly. She is tough, sophisticated, and very much in control. When the doctor, a character who was cold and too scientific to be likable, told her there was an alternate treatment that might save her if she was interested. He told her the treatment would be rough,and it was comparatively new. However if she was brave enough to try it she would be making a valuable donation to science. He wasn't kidding. From a strong woman in complete control of her life, Bearing became a numbered guinea pig for the Doctor's improvised tests. Christopher Lloyd played this doctor as a scientist who was more concerned with the results of his experimental tests then he was with his patient.

    This movie was never released to the theater circuit, but went directly to HBO. This made it ineligible for the Academy Awards. I cannot understand how that could have happened. A performance so outstanding, a script so thought provoking, and the setting so familiar should have been seen by many more people. Also Emma Thompson should have won the Academy Award hands down. I knew she was acting, but her performance was so real I thought for a few startling minutes that it was actually happening.

    There were a few scenes (flash backs) apart from the sterile hospital rooms. They were few, and served to make Bearing a person you could relate to on a personal basis.

    The actual treatment time for us starts with Bearing in the hospital. Her first chemo has advanced to the point where she has lost her hair. She wears a jaunty baseball cap to cover her baldness. She is upbeat, and speaks to the viewers directly - as though she were thinking out loud. It was effective.

    I didn't realize how sick she actually was until her violent vomiting shook her, and her baseball cap came off. She often quotes Donne's "Death be Not Proud," and we see how she came to understand the poem by a flashback to her time in college when it was explained by her professor, played by E.M.Ashford. Before the story ends, the old retired female professor will play an important role.

    Bearing (played by Thompson) runs the course of continued treatments, called "full treatment": being treated as a number, and being displayed in all of her hospital gowned glory to be viewed by aspiring doctors. She progresses from dignity, to complete misery that cannot focus on anything but her unbearable pain.

    One of the interns turns out to be a former student of hers. He, too, is intent on being an impersonal man of science, although now and then the humanitarian in him tries to emerge. He was played JasonPosner.

    Bearing's nurse, played by Eileen Atkins, seems to be the only sympathetic hospital character. She is concerned about her suffering patient as a person and friend, and does what she can to make things a little better for her. She is the one who informs Bearing that she has the right to suspend treatment - and order the life saving methods to be stopped so that nature can take its course.

    There are a few moments of humor. Bearing takes an interest in the young doctor who was a former student, even though he admits he took her course only because it was required for pre-med students to be well rounded. He told her she gave him an A minus. Once after being displayed so that student doctors could see the progression of her cancer, Bearing muttered, "I wish I had given him an A."

    In the hospital, every new treatment would be delivered by a technician who would ask routine questions over and over again, starting with "What's your name?" This time, with a wry smile, Bearing announced "Lucy Countess of Bedford". This was a beloved patron for John Donne, and he wrote many elegies for her. The "Death be not proud" devine poem by Donne is one of the focal points for Bearing, although at the end when her iron will snapped, she no longer wanted to hear anything about John Donne.

    Anyway, the technician didn't know what she was talking about, and it was a small joke Bearing shared with the viewers. Thompson's facial expressions showed pride, hidden amusement, chagrin, will power, dignity, humiliation, intelect,and unbelievable pain. Another little joke was when the sympathetic nurse replied to Bearing's question about some medication "Is it soporific?" the nurce answered, "I don't know about that, but it sure does make you sleepy." Until the very last, Bearing kept up her spirits with little jokes that she tried to share with us.

    I won't tell you the actual end, because I do hope you rent this. I don't write good movie reviews, and I don't really like a lot of movies, but this one I have to say is great. The human spirit beats the scientific analysis every time. I don't know how the movie earned the name WIT. I hope somebody can enlighten me on that.

    I can only say that I do hope you see it, and will let me know what you think. Again, I am grateful to Chad and to Mike.

    Virginia




    PS Soporific means....something that will make you sleepy...haha...nurses aren't English majors ya know.



    Recommended
    Yes
    Last edit by Furball on May 12, '03
  9. by   dosamigos76
    Thanks for posting the review for the movie! I may have to get ahold of this one...and maybe some Kleenex.
    Cheryl
  10. by   jnette
    Originally posted by cyberkat
    I would love to see a television show based on nurses. Not like that brainless one a while back, but the way it really is. Real men and women with families, boyfriends, bills, and taxes. I do NOT want to see them tumbling into be with every cute doc who walks by.

    I want them to show the reality of what a nurse does and how a nurse will, when necessary go toe-to-toe with a doc about patient care---and show the nurse is right.

    I want them to show nurses at various stages of their careers-some CNAs working up to LPN, ADNs and BSns. Let them fret over school and career.

    I want them to show nurses holding the dying person's hand, encouranging a para to live, and every ohter thing a nurse does every single day. Show the general public what nurses really do.
    Amen to that ! This is really what's needed... just for starters !

    So when do we pick the cast ? An Allnurses movie by Allnurses members ! With the vast variety we have here we could put together one heck of a good movie !!! And tell/show it like it IS !
  11. by   nursemouse
    Our chaplains give a Death and Dying presentation and show excepts from "Wit". I agree that it is a remarkable movie. (And yes, we do pass out the kleenex). The title comes, I think, from the lead character maintaining her wit throughout the entire degrading process. I've actually been with several groups attending this presentation who debate whether the nurse pressures her patient into accepting a DNR by showing faint disapproval when the patient appears reluctant. It's very subtle, but definitely there. (BTW: I'd have loved to see Eileen Atkins get the Supporting Actress Oscar. Pity they screwed that up).
  12. by   Furball
    The nurse also had time to split a popsicle with her pt.....when was the last time you had THAT knid of time on an average shift?

    The nursing image still needs work in the media....but at least this one showed a brain, courage and compassion.

    I'll have to watch the ending again....I dont recall that "subtle disapproval" by the nurse.
  13. by   Jenny P
    Originally posted by cyberkat
    I would love to see a television show based on nurses. Not like that brainless one a while back, but the way it really is. Real men and women with families, boyfriends, bills, and taxes. ....
    I want them to show the reality of what a nurse does and how a nurse will, when necessary go toe-to-toe with a doc about patient care---and show the nurse is right...... Show the general public what nurses really do.
    Cyberkat; I've had an idea for a nursing show for a long time but don't know where to go with it. In my mind I'd call it "City Nurse, Country Nurse" and have it about 2 sisters who are nurses, following the Mom and Grandmother's footsteps in nursing. One sister would work in a rural setting in a small howpital; one as a float nurse in a city in either based in a large hospital or else as an outside agency nurse. In my mind, I'd have them have occasional flashbacks comparing their Mom's and G-Ma's work also and how it differs from their work.

    I've never thought of going anywhere with this idea; never thought it would be "saleable" to anyone. But if anyone has any idea of what to do and where to take this idea, please let me know; or if anyone thinks it is a good idea and would like to work it into something, please contact me! I think that in my years nursing I probably could provide hundreds of stories!!!

    JennyP
  14. by   rachel h
    The opinion of nursing has got to change. I think that is the most frustrating part of being a nurse. From family members hanging out of a patient's doorway staring at you like you are doing nothing when in fact you are charting, preparing meds or checking a patient's labs to unhappy patients who are going to report whatever it is they're unhappy about to the doctor, because of course, the doctors must be in charge of us nurses.

    And what about the doc's perception of nurses? Now, I'm not including all docs of course, but what do some of them think we do? I kid you not, yesterday I had an order, yes, an actual ORDER for 1) diaper changes prn, and 2) call H.O. with unstable vitals...Really?... you don't say...

    Sorry, I feel myself beginning to vent here, but also what about conversations I have with my friends and family who have no medical background who think the main functions of a nurse's job are to 1) put bedpans underneath people and clean up poop, 2) bathe patients, and 3) feed patients, no thinking required? Makes me want to barf everytime I have to explain to people that there is critical thinking required, I need to know lab values and what they mean, I need to know what all the meds do and how they work, I need to know various s&s so I know when to react and when something is just a minor bump in the road...

    I don't know how this will change... It kind of makes me think of how teachers had to fight for a long time for better pay, benefits and more respect... I think nurses are traveling the same path...
    Last edit by rachel h on May 12, '03

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