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Are Nurses Oppressed?

Nurses Article   (2,008 Views 42 Comments 722 Words)
by katherinebrewer7 katherinebrewer7 (Member)

30 Likes; 1 Follower; 1 Article; 273 Visitors; 22 Posts

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Nurses have a rewarding profession, but face many challenges in their work. Could oppression be one of them, and what are the solutions? You are reading page 4 of Are Nurses Oppressed?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

brandy1017 works as a RN.

35 Likes; 36,965 Visitors; 2,226 Posts

3 hours ago, NICU Guy said:

Nice little plug for your union.

Sorry, but I don't work where the National Nurses United are.  I wish!  Also not all unions are effective as the National Nurses United have been.  Frankly when we are dealing with the corporate takeover of healthcare where nurses have been turned into replaceable widgets we need all the help we can get!  Shared governance is not a replacement for a strong effective union when they get better working conditions as they have been successful in CA everyone benefits, not just the nurses, but especially the patients.

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brandy1017 works as a RN.

35 Likes; 36,965 Visitors; 2,226 Posts

2 hours ago, anewsns said:

I worked this one job where we we had this policy that you were supposed to smile at everyone you came across- “buy in” to new initiatives (those were the words in the rules) and if we talked about being understaffed we were told we would lose our jobs. We were grossly understaffed. We had to bargain for our vacations and were made to feel guilty for going on vacation. Someone was given a “smile award” every month for following this strict Set of rules that were supposed to promote positivity and boost morale. It makes me furious just to think about it. It was hard to leave because 1.) they “needed” us and 2.) It was a nursing home, sorta hard to get another job after that. I had to do some fighting to get out. We weren’t allowed to have alarms on residents (or psychotropics, no staff for 1:1, no restraints) and one day I was working with a new grad and trying to help her and we had multiple falls and injuries that day amongst our residents. We had this one new white collar lady who said a lot of judgmental things to us that day and me and the other nurse both had to leave the floor crying in frustration while the white collars (including the creator and enforcer of the smile policy) looked on passively smiling (I’m not even exaggerating or being dramatic they were all standing there in a circle watching.) This job is probably why Office Space is my favorite movie and 1984 is my favorite book. “Must step up smile game today!. “ (Read: GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE !) 

I feel like we aren’t oppressed as a group, we have a lot of freedom to move around and make good money- and we can just leave!. However, at certain jobs- perhaps LTC in particular, yes, it certainly does feel oppressive at times! 

Sounds like hell.  I don't know how nurses deal with the challenges of LTC.  The insanely high ratios.   My coworker's wife, also a nurse had 40 patients at night, but when they were short they actually gave her 80 patients one night.  Totally unsafe and insane.  Also your hands are tied behind your back with all the rules such as no restraints and no meds.  How can you possibly keep the patients safe from falling under those conditions?  It is impossible.  Then the utter ignorance and condescension to tell you to smile more, smile all the time.  Glad you were able to get out of there!

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brandy1017 works as a RN.

35 Likes; 36,965 Visitors; 2,226 Posts

20 hours ago, hawaiicarl said:

I prefer to think of nursing as "Golden Handcuffs", or if you prefer a golden birdcage.  Research shows I will live 10 years less in this captivity, because I work nights, but it pays enough to support a family on.  Let alone my increased risk of cancer from my exposure to all the hospital chemicals, and radiation.  How many of our coworkers have died from cancer, but have no other risk factors?

C'est la Vie

Cheers

I don't think there are enough perks to call it golden handcuffs, maybe brass. lol  I too work nights and am aware of the studies of increased cancer rates and many other chronic health problems.  But frankly it isn't so much about extra pay, although that is nice, it is more about peace of mind because nights is calmer.  I don't know how the nurses on days manage they don't have a moment of peace, they are always being interrupted by someone and there isn't any downtime, at least on nights once PM's is over things start to wind down.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

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3 hours ago, Emergent said:

This thread reinforces my thinking regarding nursing education at the higher levels. My impression has always been that it involves a lot of clinically irrelevant material such as this Friere's theory, which sounds like the foundation for a lot of liberal sociological ideologies. 

Is nursing PhD coursework ideological preparation for future policymakers to implement the philosophical outlook of academia?

Not necessarily.   A lot of PhD coursework is on research methodology -- stats, qualitative interpretation strategies, research design, etc.   But the foundation of knowledge (any type of knowledge) is philosophy -- and most programs include some courses focusing on philosophy -- how we know what we know, why we believe what we believe to be true, what does it mean to be a person, ethics, etc.  

That's why it is a "Doctor of Philosophy" degree and not a "Doctor of Nursing Practice" degree.   In PhD programs, the emphasis should be on the foundations of knowledge and the methods of knowledge development so that the graduates are prepared to engage in research responsibly and lead the development on nursing knowledge.    People who want to focus on the physical practice of nursing generally get DNP degrees.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and works as a RN Supervisor.

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23 hours ago, katherinebrewer7 said:

Thank you, and I agree - no one is trying to make light of the fact that certain racial, ethnic, or other socio-political oppression exists and is a serious problem for certain groups. Nor am I trying to diminish the terrible physical and psychological consequences of intense, visible, blatant oppression in other groups. However the more I studied the theory, it appears that oppressive forces, wherever or whoever they are, can happen anywhere, however, the behavior that results is often similar - intergroup hostility being a big one. This is how many nursing scholars have come to define the reason bullying persists in nursing, more so than in other professions or workplaces. In my grappling with this theory in nursing, I certainly agree that I struggled with the equating nursing to, say, systemic racism or ethnic cleansing. But at the same time, there do not have to only be extreme examples in order for other groups to experience oppressive environments. 

Thanks for commenting and challenging the theory - challenges are most definitely welcome!!

The bolded statement is where you lost me.  I don't for a minute believe nurses are victim's of bullying more than other professions or workplaces.  Workplace bullying does exist in nursing, but I don't believe it is nearly as pervasive as you are implicating.  Ask the female workers in male dominated fields like the auto industry or mining or even our military if they have ever felt bullied.  I can say with a fair amount of confidence that they have experienced way more bullying in their workplace than nurses as a group. 

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30 Likes; 1 Follower; 1 Article; 273 Visitors; 22 Posts

19 hours ago, kbrn2002 said:

The bolded statement is where you lost me.  I don't for a minute believe nurses are victim's of bullying more than other professions or workplaces.  Workplace bullying does exist in nursing, but I don't believe it is nearly as pervasive as you are implicating.  Ask the female workers in male dominated fields like the auto industry or mining or even our military if they have ever felt bullied.  I can say with a fair amount of confidence that they have experienced way more bullying in their workplace than nurses as a group. 

True! I agree that was an overstatement on my part

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