The PROFESSION of Nursing

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    When I have stressed out family members hovering about after visiting hours, I tell them, "Go home and rest. Get some sleep. If you don't take care of yourself now, you won't be able to take care of them when they get home." And, I can't help but wonder when nursing, as a profession, will take this same advice. As I progress in my baccalaureate program, I see leaders in the profession emphasizing the need for nursing to become more professionalized. But when health care administrators continue to insist on treating nurses as interchangeable cogs in a machine rather than the professionals we are, it becomes problematic. Until nurses demand, and secure, a seat at the table when health care administration forms policy on staffing, patient loads, support staff, or any other policy that impacts the ability of nurses to deliver safe, effective, evidence-based care...that professional status will continue to elude nursing. It is incumbent upon us as nurses to take care of ourselves if we are to properly and safely care for our patients.

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    Hi dzadzey
    I often wonder how professional nursing is. I don't know many that treat it as a profession TBH. I'm tired of being told by our gov't that we must uphold certain standards (which are too long to post on here), when most nurses just do their tasks, then go home. I see little in the way of professionalism. And the health system is overloaded and I see nurses being blamed for much of it, as we are in the firing line.
    I worked psych the other night. I ALWAYS act professional @ work, despite the **** that is going on in my personal life. I do my work and I do not sit on my mobile, iPhone, etc. Whilst I was running around doing my job, the other 2 nurses are ringing their partners, while patients were buzzing for meds, but because I'm agency and new to the ward, I have no seniority to say anything, for all I know they could have worked 7 days straight.
    But nobody cares re professionalism anymore. There was another thread on here re this ericsohln did I think. People just act how they like now.
    I remember years ago working the old Matron, how people used to stand up when she entered a room, and she toured all the wards every morning. The old nurses used to tell me all their stories re discipline & how not a hair had to be out of place! I'm not saying everything should be as strict now, but when I look at old pictures of the starched uniforms, nurses DID look more professional - now, half of them look as if they've just fallen out of bed.
    I'm studying Primary Health Care models @ the moment, and nurses aren't even mentioned separately in many programs - we are just lumped under the 'allied health care' list. And yet who runs the hospitals after the doctors and everyone has gone home for their long weekends? NURSES. You couldn't find a social worker or physiotherapist here in a hospital over a long weekend - but we nurses have to do it all.
    It makes me sad that we are not seen by the general public as professionals, and until we demand that that is so -as you say - the perception of nurses won't change.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Oct 2, '11
    Love_2_Learn, barbyann, and lindarn like this.
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    Wow, what you are saying is not new, but is very insightful. You are right, in my opinion. Also many may disagree, but I feel nurses are viewed as noting more than the "blue collar workers" in healthcare, as far as administrations are concerned. I see alot of nurses playing on iphones, texting, and whatever else while at work, so is it true? But that's just the latest way to goof off. How can we act more professional? Aren't we professionals already? On the other hand, sometimes it's hard to sqeeze anymore professionalism out of people who are busting their behind at work trying to care for patients, when the staffing sucks, bare minimum to no ancillary staff, and the hidden agenda of management trying to convince nurses how great they (the nurses) are while they try to figure out new ways to cut more staffing. Unfortunately, most of the politics do not favor nursing. Thanks for your interesting post.
    Love_2_Learn, carolmaccas66, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
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    A job where one has to deal with stool (BM) on a routine basis is difficult to see as a "profession".
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    lol, its all about one thing when you get on the top, cash money , its middle managements job to balance the insanity and our jobs , those of us who work the floor to do the work. If you let nurses have a vote will all have 3-4 pt with 1 cns per nurse a cherry picked schedule out off this world benefits and support team , and throw in free child care
    barbyann and lindarn like this.
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    I agree that using one's cellular telephone is unprofessional, but you have to remember that those above us use their cellular telephones...as well as take their one-hour lunch breaks outside of the hospital. SO, if that's unprofessional behavior for nurses, then it is unprofessional behavior for administrators too. If I have organized my time, etc. during my shift, I will send a text message or two. While I am a major proponent of team work, I am not the primary caregiver for another nurse's six patients NOR am I the secondary person responsible for her patients (that is the nursing assistant). I am tertiary.
    Ashley, PICU RN and lindarn like this.
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    how many college educated board certified 'professionals' do you see emptying garbage cans--other than nurses I cannot off the top of my head name ANY.
    just a thought...
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    Having spent a lifetime in nursing and having held many roles, I would like to offer my ideas about the profession of nursing.
    1. While nursing is a profession it is also a trade. Being a trade does not lower or diminish nurses or what nurses do. Nurses are trained to provide custodial care. Nursing is a needed part of the healthcare team. Nurses are no greater or no lesser in importance then others professions. The healthcare team needs all of us just like the body needs all its parts to function well.
    2. I think that the glory days of nursing are behind us. Too many economic issues are present in the world. I have been their to remember the days when nurses were not allow to talk in the hallway and had to stand for a doctor. We have come a long way as has PT/OT/ pharmacy etc.
    3. We need to recruit better quality people into nurses. Too many academically deficient students and too many "dreamers" do not make a great pool of future nurses.
    4. Nursing is a hard job, not a quick buck. Too many people saw nursing as a way to pay the bills until something better came along. When it does not come, the bitterness and disappointment are great. As nurses, we can all name colleagues who are bitter, burnt out, should never have been in nursing, etc, etc.
    5. Nursing needs to reconsider how it trains new nurses. All nurses must be required to complete a formal residency in order to be allowed to sit for their boards. The clinical training provided is weak and not significant to allow the nurse to have even a basic understanding of nursing. The assumption that the nurse will be trained by his or her first employer is wrong. Hospitals have reduced their hiring and other employers like LTC or HH do not have the resources to train and orient new nurses. A residency in a hospital should provide the nurse with the basics of bedside nursing and allow then to know how to assess patient's, pass medications, start IV's, draw blood and have a basic knowlede of IC protocols, NPSG, documentation, falls prevention, etc. Due to money, nurse would have to pay for this training, but I see it as worthwhile. In the 1990"s when getting a job was tough, a few local hospitals set up fee based residency programs. The nurse received 12 weeks of training and exposure to a hospital setting and the hospital received the tution and the students labor.
    6. Nursing needs to set the standard for NP education. I believe it should be a master's degree. Why take more money from students for non essential classes provided in a DNP program. It only consumes time and money that would be better spent working and learning nursing.
    Anyway, my 2 cents.
    AWanderingMinstral likes this.


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