educate others about nursing

  1. I have just finished a term paper for a class in conflict management. When I tried to describe on paper what nurses actually do to deserve decent wages, I realized it could take half of my paper if I were to be truly accurate. "Stick in a catheter" huh? Try sticking a catheter using sterile procedure in a woman whose urethra opens somewhere in her vagina. In the past 100 hours I've worked, I've spent maybe five minutes with a bedpan in my hand. True story. And I haven't had a potty break of my own in that time. There is no way to describe the sometimes grueling hours spent taking care of very sick people with multiple disease processes. You've got to be there.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   janleb
    I have just completed my first yr nursing, and very proud of myself. I know all the knowledge that I am expected to know and do my best to learn and apply what I learn. Well.....my husbands friend called the other day and I chatted with him for awhile. He asked about the kids, and if I was done with school for the year. Then he made a comment about learning how to do bedpan duty!!!!!!! I think this gives us a good idea what the public in general thinks about our profession. Before I entered nursing school I really had no idea of the plite of nurses. Really... it is not making no front page news, only in the nursing mags we buy. what are your views and what can we do to educate others about the nursing profession. I was talking to my instructor the other day and she said when she was in school they were taught to stand when the physician entered the room. I also liked the reference my instructor makes to health care, that we all bring something to the health care plate, either being it physicians, nurses, case managers, RT,PT ect ect...that it all is important and would not be complete without the other. other input I would love to hear!Janice

    PS my current job has to do with marketing, more or less I put product on shelves. I make 13/hr(that is good in our area), the thing is my sister is a new RN and made 15/hr as a med surg nurse. She deals with human beings, life and death and makes 2 more an hour. I think that is a shame.
  4. by   fergus51
    We are in the midst of contract negotiations and an overtime ban which has caused thousands of surgeries and procesures to be cancelled, so the plight of nurses is making front page news here, but people still don't get it. letters to the editor have had captions such as "Nurses need to get real" because they are asking for the highest paid nurses to make about 26$ US.

    People have no idea what nurses do because nurses seldom tell them. I think we need to start talking about what we do and the knowledge needed to do it. My mother thought we just "stuck in" catheters. I explained sterile technique and she was amazed. My brother thought we just "passed pills". I explained the fact that we are responsible for knowing side effects, doses, contraindications and so on. He was shocked. I believe nurses need to really start promoting themselves instead of downplaying what they do.
  5. by   Jenny P
    I haven't touched a bedpan in the past month (now I'll work my 3 12 hour shifts this weekend and my patients will all use them because I said that!). The problem we have (as I see it) is that we do so much for patients that sometimes WE even have trouble defining what we do! It is easier to define the PHYSICAL things (such as bedpans, meds, etc.) about nursing than it is to define the intellectual, emotional, psychological and spiritual things that are all encompassed in the job of nursing. It is a shame that nurses aren't paid better than they are in some parts of the world and country, but at times it may be our own fault because we don't always value what we do either. How many times do we say "I'm just a nurse, but..." Or, how many times do we tell the patient and family that "I noticed this... and called the doctor, and that is why your loved one is still alive, not because the doctor is so great!" We don't do that, do we?
  6. by   imaRN
    Have you ever listened to a good storyteller?
    That is how I have educated my family and friends that are not in the medical field. Now no, I did not line them up in my living room and give them a lecture! It is by telling "real stories", and it is sooo cool to hear THEM tell their friends about how it is in the nursing field! This really happens and people come up to me at parties,gatherings, baseball games, "Hey got any good stories" They want to know the REAL untold truth,(they get fiction on TV and at the Movies) and I don't have to "put down my instution or profession" while doing it! Once they know how it is, they are ready to tell another person or correct another person when they hear the "bedpan routine" So talk, talk ,talk,it is FREE Air Time for our profession!I believe we CAN teach others and also can have FUN doing it!....imaRN

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