T.h.e. C.a.l.l.i.n.g

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    I have a burning desire to share something with fellow nurses who are interested in sharing support with each other about our careers. We are currently standing on a threshold of change. Who we are as nurses will be more and more evaluated as the nursing shortage continues. The media, public, and various institutions will be forced to face the shortage with time. What type of reflection do we want to portray to the public. Who are we.....as nurses. What type of profession do we have. What type of profession do we want. Most of all I want to talk about what we do have control over. Not what we do not have control over, but the day to day activities we do, that make or break our outlook on our careers. I want to talk with the nurses that can remember how it felt when we graduated and someone came up and ask us what we did for a living, and we pushed our chest out and with a twinkle in our eyes said "I am a nurse". Do you remember? I want that feeling, I want to keep that feeling.
    I want to talk about what we can do, day to day to improve our working conditions. I am not talking about management, short staffing etc. I want to talk about accountability. (If you happen to be a manager, if the shoe fits, wear it) I want to talk about what I, yes me, the common smoe nurse can do to influence my work environment in a positive manner. I am talking from the ground up, not from the top down. US. It is not the nursing shortages fault that nurses eat their own. It is not the nursing shortages fault there are those nurses that sit on their azzzzszzz while others do the majority of the work. It is not the nursing shortages fault some nurses do not seem to know the meaning of professional ethics. It is not managements fault I forgot to put the towels under my patient to catch my prep overflow, when preparing my patient for surgery last week. I guess I am talking about getting back to nursing basics and each one of us to evaluate where we are and what we want to be. I am a dreamer I admit. If I do not dream they can not come true. But .....underneath the dreamer is a realist. Strong realist. I believe strongly nurses contribute to the nursing shortage. How do I treat the new nurse? How do I treat the students. I am not talking about babysitting these people, I am talking about accountability and professional behavior. Hold them accountable, but hold myself and my actions accountable too. I currently work in a hospital that is 120 miles away from my home. The reason.....well there are several. The number one reason however is.....that I became accountable for my own Carreer, when I found myself in an environment that I could not work in....had tried my darned best to improve with out positive results....I left. I found an environment I do respect and can function in. I was ready to quit nursing. I now love nursing again and feel very passionate about empowering others to find their love for nursing.
    Are there other that feel they can make a difference from the ground up. It I can improve who I am as a nurse, does it affect the environment. If I hold myself accountable to improve my skill level, seek education, gain self respect, treat others with respect, learn how to communicate more clearly......does it have an effect on my working environment? Am I going to sit around and wait for others to change my attitude for me.
    T.thousands
    h heard
    e everywhere

    C calling
    a accountable
    l lustrous
    l leaders
    i influencing
    n nursing
    g generations
    We are at the threshold of change...it is here....we will be what we make it. What do you want to be? What do you want nurses to be seen as? Can you make a difference tomorrow when you go to work?

    respectfully, CwazyCwissyRN

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  2. 26 Comments...

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    Yaaaay, Cwissy ! A woman after my own heart.

    I can't add much to this because you have put it so well.

    All the negatives aside, it remains ultimately up to each one of us as individuals to improve our own personal nursing experience, the experience of those who follow in our footsteps, and the experience of our patients.

    Yes, things really suk sometimes, are far from ideal, and we find ourselves wishing we co be and do so much more. But to be all we can be individually in any given circumstance and to be accountable for our OWN actions or misactions, our attitudes, and the manner in which we treat others is one thing we CAN control.

    If I do THIS well, then I can feel good about myself at the end of the day... regardless of all the negatives.

    Pride in nursing is closely tied to how we feel about ourselves in general... and it DOES reflect in our work, our professionalism, and how we treat others... patients, coworkers, and students alike.
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    Nicely stated. renerian
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    Originally posted by jnette


    Pride in nursing is closely tied to how we feel about ourselves in general... and it DOES reflect in our work, our professionalism, and how we treat others... patients, coworkers, and students alike.
    I agree wholeheartedly. It is so easy to get this backwards. It is so easy to allow our work, the lack of professionalism, the way we are treated, to damage the way we feel about ourselves as nurses. Not to mention what it does to our own personal self image.

    I am curious. Do the students out there feel they are a reflection of nursing. Do you see yourselves as nurses (student nurse) Do you relize you too reflect who we are. Each individual does carry a reflection. Are you holding yourselves accountable for the reflection you carry?
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    excellent thoughts, Chrissy!
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    I couldn't have said this any better myself, Chrissy! Kudos to you for bringing it up for discussion.

    I share your passion for nursing, and each day I strive as you do to make my little part in it as rewarding as possible for my patients and my co-workers, as well as for myself. I can't do everything, but I can do SOMETHING to bolster the image of nursing and to help improve my work environment, even if it's being extra kind to a patient who's been labeled "difficult", or stepping up to take the next admit (even if it's not my "turn") when my load isn't quite as heavy as my co-worker's. That doesn't mean putting up with being used or abused......if a patient load is unsafe, I will stand up for myself and my patients and demand additional help. But it does mean working hard, and it means realizing that we're all on the same team and we need each other to survive. We can't afford to eat our young or let our more experienced nurses burn out........but the only people who can help us is US. And maybe that's the biggest factor in whether nursing survives as a profession: we simply MUST take responsibility for ourselves and our own practice.
  8. 0
    originally posted by mjlrn97
    i can't do everything, but i can do something to bolster the image of nursing and to help improve my work environment, even if it's being extra kind to a patient who's been labeled "difficult", or stepping up to take the next admit (even if it's not my "turn") when my load isn't quite as heavy as my co-worker's. that doesn't mean putting up with being used or abused......if a patient load is unsafe, i will stand up for myself and my patients and demand additional help. but it does mean working hard, and it means realizing that we're all on the same team and we need each other to survive. we can't afford to eat our young or let our more experienced nurses burn out........but the only people who can help us is us. and maybe that's the biggest factor in whether nursing survives as a profession: we simply must take responsibility for ourselves and our own practice.
    wow, you all have such a gift when it comes to expressing youselves, so well worded, and i agree with your thoughts

    i particularly like the part here about working hard and realizing that we are all on the same team and we need each other to survive. also taking responsibility for ourselves and our own practice. gee you an jnette said so much in such a short space. that is something i really need to work on......i have a tendency to ramble.
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    yes! yes! YES!

    I think setting the best possible example and praising others for specific actions creates the pride we need to continue.

    A young man was dying. He would doze and make me wonder if he was unconcious. The he would open his eyes and thank the first person he saw.
    He thanked his Dad for taking him on errands when he was a little boy.
    Less than an hour before he dies he thanked me for making him hot chocolate in the middle of a night.
    That was 20 years ago and I think all of us learned from him.

    Many of us work together still. We are kind to new nurses, travelers, and registry.
    I wish all could experience our team. We still have the same problems but working together makes a BIG difference. I get teased but the honesty is such that my fellow nurses can just tell me when I get on their nerves. We take a LOT of CE classes and share what we learn. Quality care is expected and we truly help each other.
    Many places where I go as registry have similar units.
    No, we don't have openings on the night shift.
  10. 0
    Originally posted by cwazycwissyRN
    I am curious. Do the students out there feel they are a reflection of nursing. Do you see yourselves as nurses (student nurse) Do you relize you too reflect who we are. Each individual does carry a reflection. Are you holding yourselves accountable for the reflection you carry?
    Personally, I would say student nurses, on a percentage basis, do a much better job of reflecting what nursing is. We are new, just instilled with what our instructors have told us about how important nurses are. We are sacrificing our time and money to learn a profession where we feel we matter and can make a difference to the sick. We are excited and want to do right. And then we go to clinicals and are assigned to the burned out, beaten up by management nurse who believes the only way to do things is her way. She treats us like management treats her. She says I spend too much time with each pt while giving meds. I ask each resident how they are feeling today (I am assessing while giving meds). Instead of waiting for a reply, the nurse thinks that as soon as they open their mouth to reply you are to stuff the meds down their gullet. No, I am not a student that knows it all, but I have learned in class some of the "shortcuts" you are telling me to do are not safe and I refuse to do them. So, just like management, you get even with me by what you write on my eval. But the following week, same facility, I am assigned a nurse that still remembers what being a nurse means. She teaches, listens to my questions and doesn't view me as a waste of her time. I am in heaven learning what she has to teach me. Her eval is opposite from the first.

    So, now I would like to know from all you burned out, chewed up and spit out, thought of as know nothings and given no respect nurses, is the idea presented by the originator of this thread enough for you? Can Maslow be digested to this?
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    Todd...

    Sadly, much of what you state here is true. But I believe the intent of the OP was to addresse ALL nurses... yes, even those of us who do as you described in your first example.

    There are good and not so good in "lifers", "newbies", and student nurses alike.

    This is why it is so important for EACH of us to take a look inside... for that which is inside us does slip out in our words and actions... or lack thereof.

    I do believe most student nurses ARE filled with that refreshing idealism, eager to do right, to learn, and to be all that they are being taught they should be. Then again, I have seen a few come through our doors that have made me wonder.... what ARE they thinking? The attitude displayed is one of total disinterest, boredom, and "is it time to go yet"?

    So as you see, it is an INDIVIDUAL thing... no way can we generalize or label nurses and/or students as a whole.

    I believe Cwissy is attempting to get each of us to evaluate or RE-evaluate what makes us passionate about what we do... and to rekindle that flame of our "first love" of nursing.

    To recognize that who we are as nurses, how we fullfill that role in ALL aspects of the profession should never be soley dependant on external circumstances or on "others"... but on who WE are as individuals, and on our own values.


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