Did you recieve or read October Nursing 2002 - page 2

In it there is article by RN under "sharing" in the index called My Worst Enemy. It is a first hand account by a nurse that makes peace with a controling, critical supervisor. This relationship... Read More

  1. by   abrenrn
    All right, I keep breaking promises.

    I have seen this type of thing in other nursing journals, organizations as well. I remember at one point during a nurses week hospitals were thoughtful enough to note the stress we were under. They offered workshops on time management and stress reduction. It might have been more helpful if they had thought about reducing some of the stress and given us a bit more time to manage.

    I submitted an article to AJN. It was rejected - not because it wasn't well written and thought provoking. It was not "positive enough". The editor felt more important that we strive to show what we do, not focus on the negative.

    Florence Nightengale brought a few quickly trained nurses to the crimean war and reduced the death rate - I forget how much - of wounded soldiers such that the public - people's whose sons, friends, husbands could now hope for their return after an injury - adored her. Longfellow wrote a poem; a statue was built; against a great deal of hostility from the medical community she was given the funds to start an independent school of nursing.

    Who remembers her now? What do nurses think of her now? I think anyone who wants to pass judgement on her needs to read Notes on Nursing carefully. She was brilliant. Sadly, she also acquiesced to sexual divisions, class distinctions and, possibly, liked being the "single" force. As a result, the entire direction of professional nursing was lost almost and we face this incredibly dysfuctional situation:

    The profession is put last behind interests of hospitals, schools, and physicians. Organized nursing will hint at problems but never have I seen them publish an article that basically tells hospitals to stop complaining about the nursing shortage the created when they laid off mass numbers of nurses as advised by highly paid consultants who basically said, "you don't need to spend this much money taking care of patients, show your nurses aides how to change dressings, how to catheterize and you'll save a fortune."

    So, nurses who had been given bonuses a few years before were laid off, nurses could not find jobs, and students stopped going to nursing school. A couple of years before everyone I knew, it seemed, was seeing me as having made a brilliant career move switching from computers to nursing a few years earlier (at the time I did the same people were saying "are you crazy, you're too smart to be a nurse."

    This is was I noticed, experienced. Going from "are you crazy" when I started nursing school in 1985 to, "you were so smart" in 989. I graduated in 1987, got every job I applied for, as did all my classmates. The class I was in was not a "full size" class nor did everyone really have sufficient preparation for a nusing pogram. In 1985 few people were willing to go into a "bad neighborhood" to go to nursing school - while applicants to the same schools PT, OT and MD pograms continued plentiful. They gave up before the 1989 boon, stopped the upper division BS program and now only offer RN to BS. Closed too soon - in 1989 I knew people working their asses off to get into an RN program.

    Then, somewhere in the early nineties I heard that graduates were having trouble finding jobs. I couldn't believe it. I also was not working for a hospital at the time. But, the health dept where I was working was starting to not hire nurses, discouraging others from staying. This Health Dept now has a small percentage of their staff who are RNs, once we were the majority.

    While going for my masters, another student told how her hospital's UTI rate had skyrocketed ever since they started training nurses aides to do it, though this information was provided in a kind of hush hush manner. Recent research I read in the newspaper has identified the number of RNs on the floor as the only factor associated with positive patients outcomes. I got the feeling reading it that, while they've noticed it, they can't figure out why RNs are so important.

    Here's why. We are NOT just nice, caring people. We know what we're doing because we are taught through didactic and hands on methods and, if we are professional, we stay up to date with the clinical issues we see in our practice.

    But - "Nursing", the profession, does not want to admit to that. It would mean the public might recognize when one of us actually makes a mistake. Better to think that we are too stupid to know anything about the meds we administer then let them read about how one nurse screwed up, gave a dangerous med, and the patient died. All focus went on prescriber. None on nurse - it never occurred to anyone (and I mentioned it to non-nurses) that a nurse could and should have prevented this from happening - it' s a professionally licensed expectation though. So, all the newspaper coverage focused on the resident - and the conditions under which he worked. Since nobody looked at the nurse, nobody noticed if she was on a double shift, understaffed, etc.

    I mention to nurses - "oh, we have enough troubles already, let's hope they don't notice this." Great. Who did this protect?

    The nurse? No publicity is nice (though I don't think resident was named). I'm sure she lost her license.
    The profession? I still can't convince people that I do more than "follow orders."
    The hospital? Let's see. No public outcry about understaffed, overworked nurses. They were having enough trouble handling the outcry over residents workload, I'm sure they were glad that this wasn't publicised.

    So, only true benefit of this silence was hospital. Hmmm.

    I have dealt with this for over fifteen years now and I give up. I still love taking care of patients but I won't do it as a nurse anymore. I'm tired of having to overcome the prejudice, "well your nice and everything, what does the doctor [or any non-nurse professional] have to say?" Sometimes I kind of lie and say the doctor did want this done (and if the MD had read the things I had and observed what I had seen, he would have - took too much time to try to get him to read and observe or even listen to what I had read and observed). It's simply a time management technique I developed.

    So, if I stay in health care at all it will be as a "health educator", a "patient advocate", perhaps as a psychologist as I am interested in mental health. But I'm tired of fighting.


    PS the license will be helpful if I choose psychology. All I would need is a physician to collaborate and I can write prescriptions. Do you know an MS in nursing program was created in NJ just for this reason? So clinical psycologists could prescribe meds? What does that tell you about our professions concerns for nursing as a whole? Want to use one of our schools as a backdoor for prescribing priviliges? No problem. Hey, the schools need students even if the students have no intention of practicing as nurses are considering themselves nurses.
  2. by   oramar
  3. by   oramar
    Viva La Revolution!
  4. by   sanakruz
    Oramar- I thank you!!
  5. by   abrenrn
    Oramor - thanks!! I just called and ordered a two year subscription. Hope they stick around.

  6. by   sjoe
    Oramar--S & M about sums it up, but this is hardly victimization or abuse, since it was between consenting adults over a period of years. Those two individuals involved might enjoy the movie "Secretary." (Though, frankly, from the account above I have to believe the article is a piece of fiction written for very gullible readers by someone who watches FAR too many soap operas.)

    And of course, MOST nursing magazines I have seen (except "Revolution" which has its own fundamental problems, being based on a 1970s model of ineffective political action) are all about "be a nice little nursie, girls."

    After all, look who advertises in them, the health care facilities and companies that these publications need to please first and foremost. (This is the same constituency to which most nursing schools illogically seem to think they owe their loyalties, rather than to the students, who are PAYING THEM.)
    Last edit by sjoe on Oct 30, '02
  7. by   Agnus
    I was a little surprised the magazine printed it. It more than a little outdated in the attitudes it reflects. I came to the only conlclusion that I could. They printed it because the article fosters understanding toward difficult people. THat is, "there is a reason people are crabs mean etc. and it stems from thier own suffering." However, that said I don't really think even that rational is a very professional in haveing to deal with a person like this.

    Sure the old bat was suffering but that was not justification for her action.

    It reminds me of a story that my mom told about a mean spinster nursing supervisor that she had back in the 1930's. My mom discovered the supervisor was suffering from a broken heart as the only man she loved had jilted her years before. So my mom had sympathy for her and was more understaning. Sheees!

    Talk about enabling.
  8. by   oramar
    You know Angus, I always look behind the things people do for the real reason they do them. I do it because it is what I learned to do on my mama's knee. I sincerly doubt that I need a heavy handed, preachy, santimoneous magazine article to teach me to do what I have been doing all my life. If that I why they wrote the article I am madder than before cause now I am insulted. They can't reach people that have no insight with stuff like this and they insult the skills and intellengence of people who come by the ability naturally.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    To all of you: your words here are powerful, eloquent and articulate. I suggest you forward these comments to Nursing2002......they NEED to see WHAT real-world nurses have to say about such antiquated and inaccurate advice and judgement. I cannot possibly expound on or improve what you all said here. Time now to ACT! Correct this!