CAN you believe this! - Bad Portrayal of nurses in my local paper - page 4
Just wanted to pass on a nasty thing published in the Edmonoton Sun this Saturday Nov 4/06. I am in an outrage as this writer obviously does not understand our work beyond simple tasks. Is this... Read More
Nov 5, '06Quote from cardiacRN2006HA! I've seen doctors try to feed babies. It's funny.No, he probably thinks the doctors take care of those babies. He thinks we feed 9lb chubby babies as we rock back and forth in the rocker all the while raking in the dough and causing the nursing shortage.
Nov 5, '06Here's what I write to the editor. I hope it makes it back to Mr. Ball somehow:
I really don't know where to begin.....but I'll start with asking T.A. Ball if he feels that giving someone a Lasix concurrently with an ACE inhibitor is a good idea or not? And since I'm sure he's wondering, ACE means Angiotensin Converting Enzyme.
And what particular liver enzyme metabolizes these two different types of drugs (I'll give you a hint, there's about 20 of them)? Becasue they could compete, and if we (nurses) don't catch it you could die. And who the hell do you think makes the decision whether that nasty wheeze you've developed constitutes a respiratory emergency or not?
The doctor you say?
Sorry Mr. Ball, but the doctor is doing something else and all that's available are some nurses who essentially have to diagnose and begin treating your failing condition before someone can track down a doctor. While we're watching with a well trained scientific eye for changes in your condition, we are also managing the throngs of those under us and around us to make sure, that yet again, you don't die.
Nurses rule the hospital. If you've ever been in one, you will have quickly noticed that doctors aren't around very much (in fact, you may have seen one for about 15 minutes once or twice during an entire week long stay). Who is assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating your care? Nurses, that's who. And it took years of intense training for us to learn how to do so properly and well.
I'm not worried though, it's not a matter of 'if', but 'when' you will realize I'm right and that you were an idiot. Old age and neediness falls upon us all, and when it falls upon you a nurse will be there to catch you.
Nov 5, '06I did send my reply to the editor also. You gals from Edmondson will have to keep us informed. I am certain the editors mailbox will be overflowing!
Nov 6, '06OH Oh heres mine!
" THERE WOULDN’T be a nurse shortage if nurses performed duties that were conducive with their pay. Nurses are simply line workers who perform very low-level, repetitive tasks that could be done by individuals with no education. Emptying bed pans, changing catheters, helping the elderly to the washroom and feeding babies require the skill level of an uneducated person paid minimum wage. To justify their pay, nurses should be expected to perform higherlevel tasks such as managing workers and making higher-level decisions.
Wow- I am surely sorry that I just spent 5 years in college earning my BSN. If I had only spoken with T.A, Ball before that I could have found one of these line worker jobs and saved a lot of time and money. But I do have a few questions. Which of the 4 essential nursing skills will help me titrate your cardizem drip when your heart rate and or blood pressure are out of whack? If I know how to feed the baby will that mean that I can teach a new mother to breast feed and does that also enable me to look at a fetal monitor and recognize when a baby is in distress? What happens when I get that elderly lady to the bathroom and she has a vagal response? While I am changing out catheters will my lack of education cause me to ignore the need to use sterile technique? We are not just pill waitresses. For your information- nurses make life or death decisions every day and along the way we do perform the tasks you described. And it would be very nice to have 'workers' to manage- but it seems that most hospitals are phasing out the nurses aides and techs in favor of total patient care by the nurse.
Good luck to you, T.A. Ball if your hospital only hires these line worker nurses. Your gonna need it.
Nov 6, '06Tddowney and Tachybrady have it right here - listen to this letter very carefully - it says that there WOULDN'T be a nursing shortage if nurses performed duties that were conducive to their pay. I think T. Ball is emphasizing the fact that nurses leave nursing because they don't get paid ENOUGH for the job that they do.This letter is meant to cause a stir, to make people think....I believe he is using IRONY to put his point across. Irony is saying the opposite of what one means, it implies a discrepancy between what something seems to be and what it actually is. If you read his letter carefully, he just may be on our side....
Nov 6, '06You have to ask, why would there be a nursing shortage if we all get paid so well, just to sit around on our butts all day long!!
Nov 6, '06I have found such ignorance 9 times out of 10, can't be corrected. Why? Because such people don't care to be educated at all. I bet all the words written in rebuttal will fall on deaf ears, in his case. BUT they may open up many other eyes in the process, and that to me, can't be a bad thing. I just personally, would be careful how much vitriolic anger I would infuse into any editorial I wrote, as I would be representing nurses nationwide, and usually people will listen more openly when the tone is not too angry or adversarial. Keep fighting the good fight!
Nov 8, '06Quote from dekatnI agree that many people have no idea of what nurses actually do. Even the patients that we take care of, many times only see a few things and they form an image of what our job consists of. What would be a good way to educate the public about what we truly do? there is never enough time to talk to the patients as it it, let alone explain why we perform a certain task and what is the rationale and science behind it (e.g. checking an IV site for example). And would patients really want to hear?This is another sad example of the publics veiw of nursing, they don't have a clue what nursing is all about. Education is the key!!! We have got to find a way to educate and help the public understand what it is we all do, besides, empty bedpans. I never will forget when I announced to my family that I was going to nursing school, one of my family members made the statement that it seemed like a waste of time and money to go to school to learn how to empy bedpans!!
None of us nurses like that the public has a negative/false view of nursing...we need to find ways to change that.
Nov 8, '06My reply:
Well, Mr or Ms Ball, the next time your loved one needs to go to the bathroom, you do it. I'm much too busy polishing my nails and keeping a chair warm for the next shift. After all, according to you, anyone can position a bedpan. Hint: try not to throw up when that explosive diarrhea hits you. I hope you know ACLS and PALS. You'll need it if you want to successfully save your loved one if they should happen into cardiac or respiratory arrest. Better start off figuring out what those letters mean. And when the surgeon yells at you after you saved his butt, don't cry. It happens daily and you need to learn to suck it up. You've got other patients to worry about. And that dying baby whose parents abandoned her? You know, the one that you held in your arms as she took her last breath? Don't cry. Others need you. And while we're on the subject of babies, is it ok if the cord comes out before the baby? Are babies born sunny side up or down? Don't fret. If you're lucky a doctor will be there. If there isn't a doctor then keep your mom on speed dial. She probably knows. Although, chances are she's not speaking to you for being an immature twit after giving her an IM shot (that's intramuscular to you twits) that hit the sciatic nerve. And you got to think fast when those old men whip IT out. Don't worry, it won't be the last time you get peed on. Ooops, maybe that wasn't urine to begin with. What are you going to do for that blood sugar of 45? Give orange juice? What are you going to do if they aren't conscious? What fluids do you start? At what rate? Do you call the doctor now or wait for the patient to stabilize? What are you going to do when a patient, who has a PCA (that's patient controlled analegesia in twit speak) has respirations of 8? Patients can go downhill while you're in the bathroom relieving your bladder. Expect to do that once in a 12 hour shift. And don't expect food. Get used to eating standing. Don't fret about those swollen ankles. You'll learn to buy shoes and socks bigger. You'll learn to spend all the holidays with your friends......at work. You'll learn to love full moons. Make sure you see your doctor because you will need antidepressants after you see another child die due to drunk drivers or child abuse. You'll learn that your very best may just not be good enough to save that dying baby. You are competing with God after all. He holds the purse strings. Try not to bring your work home with you, it upsets the family. Get used to the 5am calls asking if you can come back from your Mediterranean cruise early. Don't worry about getting stuck with dirty needles. It doesn't hurt.
Smiling represses the gag reflex. So the next time you're cleaning up explosive diarrhea, don't smile. I'd love to see you lose your lunch that you ate cold while standing up.
Nov 8, '06here is yet another posting in the paper's opinion section.. the first one is really bad, the next one is a sort of rebuttal.. omg i don't know where to begin how frustrated i feel reading this in the newspaper.
:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
re: oct. 29 letter. i oppose carol carbol's labelling of nurses as professionals. nursing should not be awarded the same status as a true profession such as law, accounting, medicine or dentistry. a true professional performs highly complex tasks and demonstrates a high level of judgment. nurses must follow policy and procedure and make low-level operational decisions. as an accountant, i am insulted that a nurse would believe they are my equal.
(don't get sick.)
re: nov. 4 letter. t.a. ball. i certainly hope that if you ever need a nurse your opinion of nurses takes a drastic change. walk a mile in my shoes! there is a nursing shortage because nurses are overworked and under-appreciated by people such as yourself. i have been a registered nurse for 31 years. i make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. would you want an uneducated person paid minimum wage administering your medications? starting your iv? assessing your wound or incision and changing the dressing without knowing sterile procedure? changing your tracheotomy?