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Twiggi 1,963 Views

Joined: Nov 20, '09; Posts: 37 (30% Liked) ; Likes: 30

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  • Nov 4 '12

    I have long despised the word "disability". While it's certainly an improvement over the frightful "handicapped", it still smacks of patronization, as in "Oh, we can't expect too much from Mary, she's disabled. Don't give her anything hard to do."Thus, I prefer the term "differently abled".

    Yes, it's awkward and doesn't roll off the tongue quite as smoothly, but I think it's a more apt description of nurses who have physical and/or mental health issues, and yet who bring many gifts and talents to this profession in spite---or because---of their condition.

    I wonder sometimes how a nurse who has never been ill in some way is supposed to relate to patients. Not that it's necessary to experience every human misery in order to take care of people, but let's face it: no one who has NOT been overweight or obese at some point in life can possibly understand what it's like to live inside a 300-pound body. Nor can a person who's never battled a serious mental illness comprehend the desperation that drives someone to attempt suicide. Patients need nurses who can at least imagine what they're going through, if not identify with them; they don't need perfect size-2 Mary Sunshine clones preaching at them from some lofty ivory tower.

    That's why it puzzles me that so many institutions, such as hospitals and high-end care facilities, are so leery of hiring nurses with a little sinus condition (so to speak). Whether they like it or not, nurses come in all sizes, ages, genders, and abilities. We are young and we are older; we have bad backs and bum knees; we get migraines and MRSA. Many of us fight anxiety and depression, in no small part due to the stresses of our work; in fact, I'd bet a month's pay that at least a third of us are on prescription medications for these (or similar) conditions.

    And yet, as judgmental as management can be toward nurses with "nonconformities" of one sort or another, that's small potatoes compared with the way nurses themselves view each other. It's a shame, but the truth is, most of us can spot another nurse's weaknesses with the accuracy of a sniper. It doesn't take much for the co-worker who's carrying an extra 50 pounds to be labeled as "lazy", the older nurse to be called "slow", or the one with labile emotions to be whispered about in the break room ("I think there's something wrong with that Mindy girl"). Nurses do eat our young, yes, but also our old and experienced, our empaths, our free spirits.

    What, then, can be done to assure a place at the table for every kind of nurse? Other than a full cultural shift in thinking, a good place to start would be for us as individuals to develop an appreciation of the gifts each of us brings to the profession. For example, I once knew a nurse who was a survivor of domestic violence, a woman so shy that most of our co-workers either ignored her or made fun of her behind her back ("she's so quiet that she could be dead for a week and we'd never know it"). It turned out that she knew how to calm violent patients better than anyone else---a craft undoubtedly learned from years of negotiating with her abuser---and after a couple of demonstrations of this ability, she became the one we all turned to whenever a situation began to escalate.

    Let us also try to view the "differently abled" at least as charitably as we do the perfect (or near-perfect). No one gets up in the morning saying "Let's see, how can I make life more difficult for my co-workers today?" The overweight nurse doesn't want to put anybody out or make them work harder; in fact, she's embarrassed when she can't move as fast as her thinner counterparts. But she's strong and she's kind, and she'll help you with chart checks and fingersticks when you're swamped at the end of your shift.

    Likewise for that odd little duck who runs hot and cold, isn't always sure of herself and tends to get easily distracted by competing priorities. She isn't being scatterbrained on purpose---trust me, the feeling of having all the TV channels on in your head at the same time isn't pleasant. Chances are though, when a psych patient who is desperately needy comes up to the floor and pushes his call button thirty times an hour, she'll probably be the one he opens up to, taking the pressure off other staff members and giving her something to do for which she is uniquely qualified. A win/win situation for all concerned.

    As Kermit the Frog used to say, it's not easy being green........nor is it easy being a nurse with medical or psychological challenges. Let us do our best to remember that everyone has something to offer, and that even the least among us has a talent or ability that can be used to benefit our patients, our employers, and one another.

    It's all good. Namaste.

  • Nov 3 '12

    @blondy: HA! you can tell I'm still a student because I'm full of hope and naivete. :P

    darn it guys! i promise it was supposed to be creepy! Come on, she's a ghooooost!

  • Sep 13 '12

    To me it sounds like you'll be the perfect nurse. Your obviously self and self involved. Exactly what a nurse is right? But don't worry when you have a baby you can take time off, which is the only good thing about being a nurse.

    On a serious note. You are disrespectful and arrogant to nurses as a whole. You obviously have no idea what a nurse actually does.

  • Sep 13 '12

    Quote from steven007
    I want to be a nurse because I want to help people and society.
    I don't like how nursing makes it seem like it's the best and only profession in the world.

    This whole thing is MY PERSPECTIVE based on my nursing education.
    And I am not against feminism and having equal rights, but you give a teenager his first credit card and he goes nuts. I feel like the scholars of nursing are letting letting the new found authority nurses have go to their heads and completely act counter-intuitively to the profession.

    I really get annoyed why people question why I want to go into nursing. The truth is, I don't. And I am leaving, hence why I took calculus, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics as electives. I have been accepted to a masters in pharmaceutical chemistry which I plan on doing. But the fact is, I have nursed in my rotations and I have been a good nurse in my opinion. I have been praised by instructors and patients. Just because I have a view that isn't similar to yours of the nursing profession, doesn't make me less of a nurse. You just prove how arrogant and closed minded nurses can be by assuming that my opinion is clearly wrong and that I am a person who is arrogant themselves. Which, I am. I am confident in my abilities because I have worked so hard to do well in school and to prove to people that I am capable despite adversity. And you seem to ignore the fact that the nursing professors have acted less than professional and have sort of proved my point by acting in a self-indulging, superior manner.

    I accept criticism, but when you can actually argue what I am saying based on facts. You basically just take what I said and add a sarcastic tone to it, to make it seem childish; which in fact makes you look childish as all you can do is restate what I said and be sarcastic about it.
    You want to be a nurse so you can help people, but you don't want to go into nursing?

    You aren't a good nurse. You aren't even a nurse. You have not graduated from an accredited school of nursing, passed the licensing exam or been employed as a nurse. IF you actually were a nurse, your opinion might have some weight. But you aren't. Interestingly enough, and proving a point I've often made, despite the fact that you AREN'T a nurse, you proclaim yourself to be a GOOD nurse.

    As for your nursing professors and their behavior -- we have only your side of the story, and given your attitude, I'm not condemning anyone based on your opinion. We cannot argue with your opinion of your nursing professors based on facts because there aren't any in evidence. What IS in evidence is that you're an arrogant and angry person.

  • Dec 14 '11

    Thanx for the advice... i'm going back and do it again because I really loved learning about the nursing process, skills, and laws. I just have to find a new way of studying... right now i'm trying to find audio textbooks, maybe that will help me out.

  • Dec 14 '11

    Hi, I know how you're feeling right now. I failed my first semester...found out today. I failed my second exam and in order for me to have passed the lecture part of the class, I needed to make an 81 today on the final. Well, I made a 70. I've cried all day and thought about giving up. Nursing is my passion so I refuse to do that. I submitted my readmission form already and pray that I can get a seat in the next class which starts Jan 9, 2012. Don't give up, keep pushing. We will all get through this.

  • Dec 12 '11

    Thanks all !!! My coworkers just blew me away. I'd gone home to get a few things and when I returned to my unit they had set up a "Baby Shower" for me and my little one. It was just spectacular! They got her some clothes and personal items along with a few savings bonds and a big Congrats cake. I thought they all thought I'd gone off the deep end I am so thankful they are pulling for us as well.
    I've had her up walking the halls today and she has been tolerating full liquids well. She is coming along perfectly. Kids are so resilient. She is sleeping soundly now as I sit here next to her. She is so excited about having a new home. I brought a photo album back this evening so she could see the house and her new siblings.She seemed mostly excited that we have a little dog(Bichon Frise). She was just so full of smiles. It's going to be great.
    I agree the day the monsters are put away will be a day worthy of celebration.

  • Dec 12 '11

    i am so appalled by this that i have no real idea where to begin. as a survivor of a brutal and savage rape by a university police officer as an undergraduate student, a woman, a disabled woman, someone who has counseled rape survivors and served as a court-appointed advocate, as well as a human being, i am only too aware of the long and tortuous road back to feeling safe again. but being raped, changes everything! you do get better with time, counseling, the love, acceptance, and support of family and friends, but, you will never ever feel quite as safe as you did before. ever. ever. ever. it's a thin line between not letting the attacker rent space in your brain and take over your thoughts, and slowly resuming your life. but there's the problem of contracting any one of several diseases you'd rather not get, the matter of being retested several times and what testers assume about you when the labs and exams are drawn or preformed, the threat of pregnancy... having to worry, in addition, about insurance coverage is outrageous and offensive. instead, she must be supported and made to feel safe and less vulnerable. to deny her coverage because she might contract full blown aids or the hiv virus, is heinous. this is just one more way to make the victim pay for being victimized. she will be at increased risk for hpv for the rest of her life as well as this aids scare. are we blaming her for having that drink in the bar? not something a lady does? are we blaming her or enjoying her plight due to her occupation? guess what? irrevelant facts.

    bottom line ... she was victimized. she was a rape victim! provide her with the help and support she needs instead of blaming and/or chastizing her and her insurance coverage should be a nonissue!!

    off my soapbox!:spbox:


  • Aug 23 '11

    One of the problems is the "Numb". The protesters of the 1960's had the power to shock. (I'm not advocating violence here.) No matter what, the protesters of the 60's could make the viewer sit up in their living room chair and listen and watch. They made their voice and issues known.They captured the nations attention. The ANA should be our voice, our representation. They should be the ones bringing these issues into the news, into the Joe public's home. But they are not. They sit quietly by and let this crap continue. These issues are not being publicized. There are no shocking, reveiling statements or speeches. They had the perfect opportunity- the healthcare reform bill. Where was our ANA in that? Why doesn't the general public still know what nurses do?. Why don't people know how much these CEO's reel in? Why was it a shock when I went to the unemployment this summer- was I looked at like I had 2 heads? Why doen't this country know about pt safety, nursing ratios. Why is the ANA's mouths shut?? Nurses Week is coming up- Is there any nursing protest on the White House lawn?? With all this strife going on in the profession why is it even called "Nurses Week CELEBRATION" What are we celebrating- unemployment, forced resignations, terminations, lower wages, crappy or no benefits, call off/cancelling shifts( placed on call/hold with no pay and no music), being devalued and disrespected by the administration, foreclosure, bankruptcy, requiring nurses to go back to school when they don't have enough money to make ends meet each month. CEO's who are raping the hospital budget and crying poor! What the Hell are we celebrating?

  • Aug 23 '11

    Quote from mollysmamma
    In reading about this case, the parents are very accepting of the fact that the child would in fact die. They had another child who had died of this disorder. They didn't want a whole series of futile treatments in order to try and "save" the life of their child. They simply wanted to take the child home and give him all the love and care they could while facing the inevitable. (The child would respond to his mother's touch and voice.) In order to do that, they needed the trach. After that, the hospital would no longer be needed. The hopital just wanted to withdraw the tube and let him die.

    Are you a nurse? Are you Canadian?

    The risk of surgery on a very ill patient has to be considered by the surgeons. There is a chance that this child would not have made it out of the theatre.

    The risk of post-op infection would be there. The parents would then want everything done to fight the infection to prolong their time with their terminally ill child.

    I've nursed patients who were terminal and only had the surgery at the urging of their family members. Many have died a terrible death despite the staffs best efforts to ease their suffering.

    Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. The parents knew the risks they were taking when they created this child, a previous sibling had died from the same disease.

    You have to look at what is best for the child not what is best for the parent. And unfortunately, this is something this family seems to be unable to do.

  • Aug 23 '11

    Quote from Pigeons
    That is true!! Ughh! How despicable
    Some things they will do to get a good story
    I don't know who filmed but I thought they did to provide evidence to build a case against the place.

  • Aug 23 '11

    Quote from getoverit
    Essentially the same scenario happened in our ICU tonight, obviously not resolved yet.
    The above poster mentioned that nurses must refuse to accept unsafe assignments. Our chief pulmonologist made the exact same suggestion. It sounds good in theory, but what about when nursing managment makes it clear they will fire you if you ever refuse to accept any assignment, regardless of the circumstances? that's the way it is here, and I don't work in a draconian system or anything like that...but I do see where nursing administration talks about patient safety and supporting nurses but in practice they do very little besides making posterboards.

    It is said that people demonstrate the ethics and moral values they think they can afford. This results in situational ethics. By situational ethics, I refer to a person participating in something they know to be wrong or unacceptable in one case where they would not participate in the same wrong or unacceptable thing in another case. For example, a nurse believes the patient to staff ratio is unsafe, but accepts the unsafe assignment because of fear of firing.

    There's enough that can go wrong without the consequences of situational ethics coming into play. Those who practice these situational ethics will find themselves stuck holding the bag when being so short staffed contributes to a horrible outcome. I have seen this time and time again. Before becoming a nurse, I worked as a medical malpractice investigator (defense work) for the state of Louisiana. I have seen nurses in deposition and in court confronted with the state nurse practice act that holds them responsible for accepting or refusing unsafe assignments. Those nurses certainly wish they had refused the unsafe assignment.

    Fear of firing should NOT figure into a person's decision making process. If that's the case then practicing situational ethics will result in all sorts of bad nursing care. If employers don't want to provide adequate materials or supplies or want nurses to cut corners, the nurse who fears being fired will do it. That nurse is trying to keep a job--NOT keeping the patient's safety and well-being a priority.

    When nurses or other employees allows themselves to be manipulated to do one small wrong thing, they make it harder on themselves to refuse to do bigger wrong things. Wrong things add up to catastrophes for patients. A nurse's fear of losing a job can cost patients their lives, limbs, livelihoods, or quality of life.

    At my first nursing job, I kept a copy of the state nurse practice act in my clipboard. The charge nurse was flabbergasted when I pulled out the nurse practice act and presented it to her when I refused an unsafe assignment. The other nurses were stunned to the point that they didn't speak up and volunteer to take on an unsafe assignment. All the nurses behaved as if they had never heard of the state law. The charge nurse called the nurse manager and they got busy and found staff to come help. I don't know if the nurses were called in or if they floated from another unit. That did not matter to me. My patients were safely provided care.

    An employer can fire an employee at any time over anything. For those with strong beliefs about what's right and what's wrong, it's better to be fired and unemployed and able to sleep at night knowing you did the right thing. I know it for a fact. I am living it. I was instructed by my employer to falsify a medical record, and I refused. I was fired. That was five months ago and I'm still unemployed because the economy is circling the bowl. Lest anyone think I'm living "high on the hog" on unemployment, I'm certainly not. I was denied the $247 per week unemployment benefits and I am appealing it.

    I have bills and responsibilities just like everyone else. I do not regret refusing to falsify records and I will not regret it. That wasn't my first rodeo. Long before I became a nurse, I worked in other fields. In those situations I faced the fall out and the consequences for doing the right thing. I paid the cost both financially and professionally, and it was worth it to me. Eventually my efforts resulted in changes that were a great benefit to many people. I have always slept well.

    I don't believe you can go wrong when you try to do the right thing and keep patient safety and well-being your priority. It may make you unpopular and it may cost you your job, but losing a job is not the end of the world. Losing a patient because you compromised care because of fear of losing a job could certainly result in the loss of your license and the end of your practice in the nursing world. Who wants to contend with that sort of regret?

  • Aug 23 '11

    I can't begin to imagine the grief and guilt this nurse felt but choosing to deal with it by ending her own life is exactly that, her choice. The hospital, the BoN and the people who didn't hire her are not to blame for her suicide, she chose to end her life, she chose to inflict additional grief on her family.

    Do nurses honestly think a nurse who causes the death of a patient should get to keep their job?
    If a nurse caused your caused the death of your loved one you want them to keep their job?
    Would you want a nurse who had cause the death of a patient to care for your loved one?
    As a nurse, would you want to share patient care with a nurse who had caused the death of a patient?
    My answer to all 4 questions is no. q

    The Hospital,BoN, whoever didn't "make" her commit sucide.......I get that......but they certainly lead her to the gun and showed her wher the ammo was kept. I hope you never experience that place that you feel everyone would be better off if you were dead........that you are quite literally worth more dead than alive. The amount of debt and unpaid bills had to be astronomical.....I am sure she was not eligible for unemployment....she's not disabled.....she's shunned. I truley don't believe she "CHOSE to inflict additional grief on her family". I think she knew no other way to save light, just darkness. It is hard to fathom the absolute hopelessness and helplessness as you watch everything you have worked for evaporate in front of your eyes..

    Everything, Everything including your good name gone.............forever.

    I think that a nurse that made an honest mistake deserves that the hospital recognizes that systems errors occur and they need to be fixed. That her true remorse and self punishment can be overhwelming and give her guidence and understanding. If an honest error was made she should be allowed to work....maybe just not in the same department.......let her educate the others how to avoid the same mistake and what that means. I would let a nurse keep her job if it was proved to be truley "accidental" and I would let them care for a loved depends on the circumstances......and yes I would share a patient with a nurse that may have cased a death by accicent.......if she is a good nurse with one horrible nightmare.

    Doctors are reprieved ALL the are murders and child why can't a nurse get a second chance

  • Nov 22 '10

    We do get many members that ask to interview a nurse and they are welcome to ask.

    Members can answer either on the thread or via email/pm.

    I would like to answer some of the questions however I did not train in Canada

  • Nov 20 '10

    This is a success story for me, it may not sound all that impressive for others though.

    I have never completed anything since finishing high school. I started many different degrees and just never found one I clicked with, all the while know what it was a wanted to do.

    Then I applied for nursing, and I forgot about it. I was surprised when I recieved the acceptance letter. I decided to defer for 12 months to save a little money and get ready as it had been a while since I had done any study by then.
    So 12 months later I sat in the nursing lecture theatre for my introduction and orientation lecture.

    Fast forward 4 years, another baby, and here I am today, not only completed my degree, but I am now a registered nurse with a new grad job starting in a week.

    I can't believe how it feels to know that I have finished something. I am a graduate. I am a registered nurse. In the beginning I used to fantasise about what it would be like, but then as I got into the degree, I focused on completing each subject rather than looking too far ahead.

    I just can't believe that I am actually here. I am so happy, and proud of the massive achievement. Nursing is hard work. It requires a lot of knoweldge and expert clinical skills, interpersonal, intuition, professional skills.

    I just wish my mum who was also a RN, was alive today to see this.