People think nursing is overpaid?!
- 0Apr 2, '12 by Good Morning, GilJust saw an older post pop up (from 2004) since someone else just replied to it. Nursing is overpaid?! People actually think this? And, they think that we are lazy, uncaring, or rude?! This poll apparently was done back in 2004 on AOL, and I know we always get one of the most trusted professions, so hopefully that was just a small sample of people and the results were skewed.
I hope that this isn't true now or as true, but a previous patient replied to it and said they had a bad experience and believe nurses are overpaid. Has anyone seen any recent polls on what patients think of their nurses? Patients and their family members need to be able to trust us to take care of them or that leads to unnecessary anxiety for the patient, and makes for a negative hospital experience. I think patients/family members trust those nurses that are good nurses, which makes sense. Nurses need to be caring, and skilled, intelligent, etc.
These people that do not think highly of nurses must have had one or two that were lazy, rude, or uncaring. Unfortunately, a bad apple can ruin it for the whole bunch. Of course, there are always those that are never happy regardless of what you do; you could be the best nurse ever, and they would complain because you drew stat blood cultures, and gave them a stat antibiotic that saved their life before giving them their sprite zero lol. But, I don't think that accounted for an entire poll. Has anyone seen any other polls done recently? I think nursing care varies from unit to unit and place to place. When you hear of negative experiences, it's typically from an entire unit or facility (and that's probably because the patient ratios are poor there).
This doesn't bother me too much, but it does bother me when nurses are not good nurses. Patients rely on us to take care of them in their time of need and are dependent once they hit that hospital door. And, patients wouldn't think we are lazy if they didn't encounter a lazy nurse or 2 in their time. Unfortunately, you can have 40 great nurses, but 1 bad nurse will overshadow the great ones in peoples' minds.
I'm fortunate to work with a wonderful bunch who are great with the patients, advocate for them, are intelligent, and work well as a team. We don't let another nurse drown. We help her/him so the patient gets what they need.
- 2Apr 2, '12 by Altra GuideEndless threads on this topic, each with a different twist.
The problem: perception is reality.
A patient/family member's perception may be that a nurse is a "bad nurse" or "lazy" because s/he "didn't care" about getting the Sprite Zero ... when in fact s/he simply prioritized it below listening to breath sounds or checking why the monitor was alarming.
The nursing profession itself sometimes reinforces this dichotomy, with platitudes such as, "patients don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
The eternal optomist in me wonders if we are nearing some kind of shift ... medical academia is beginning to take note of the disconnect between patient satisfaction and actual medical outcomes.
Arch Intern Med -- Abstract: The Cost of Satisfaction: A National Study of Patient Satisfaction, Health Care Utilization, Expenditures, and Mortality, March 12, 2012, Fenton et al. 172 (5): 405
- 1Apr 2, '12 by Good Morning, GilThanks for the article, Altra! Yeah, I was thinking of that, too. For instance, after you admit your patient, get them somewhat stabilized, you call back to the waiting room to allow the family member to come back to do the admission, and update them to lessen their anxiety, etc. They get there, and immediately ask for some little something that you already just did before they got back there (mouth swab, etc). And, then after you update them, and tell them you need to go check the tube system for a medication they need now, they look at you like some great injustice has been done, and you're not doing enough to make their family member comfortable
In all reality, the things they typically ask for just make the family member feel better; the patient is usually obtunded or something lol, but I do understand the psychological thing behind it; all the family has control over or understands sometimes are the little things, like "can we have another washcloth for his forehead?" or "when will he eat again?" when there's a chance he might not be able to breathe again on his own lol, etc). And, I always make my patients comfortable, but obviously, there are priorities. However, when I explain why I need to do something, they usually understand. Most people just don't realize the extent of their family member's illness until we explain it (and even then sometimes, they don't get it) or all that we nurses need to accomplish in a shift. In ICU especially, it can be harder for family members to grasp; they don't seem to worry as much when the patient doesn't have as many lines coming out yet (but I'm thinking, this one has potential to go bad, and explain the process to them), but when they see their family member vented, they freak out more, even if that person is more stable than a non-vented patient, and you will be able to wean them off no problem the next day.