Reclaiming our Profession - page 5

I've been a nurse for a few years now. When I was wait-listed for nursing school, it seemed the profession was undergoing a change. Many Diploma programs were being closed in my area, the push was... Read More

  1. by   KeepingItRealEeyore
    WELL PUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. by   dsgrandmarn
    Quote from KeepingItRealEeyore
    WELL PUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks!!!
  3. by   eriksoln
    Quote from dsgrandmarn
    Thanks!!!
    Your welcome.
  4. by   dsgrandmarn
    [FONT=Impact]For what ? I believe I was replying to Keeping It Real Eeyore.
  5. by   Icanseethefinishline
    Quote from mmm333
    Even the women who tended to the ill in prisons in England (who were often convicted of crimes, etc.) were simply seeking a way to find dignity and a role which carried responsibility and offered them means.
    I find this to be the case amongst my classmates more often than not. There is not one I've come across yet who embodies the angel personna. Thank you for your well written response.
  6. by   mmm333
    For most people, there is a completely normal tendency to seek belonging (to society and a profession) and eventually, self-actualization, beyond getting basic needs met. Nursing might attract those who exhibit prosocial or altruistic behavior, but at the end of the day it's Good old Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs at work.
    Last edit by mmm333 on Apr 13, '11
  7. by   timetoshine
    Quote from highlandlass1592
    I've been a nurse for a few years now. When I was wait-listed for nursing school, it seemed the profession was undergoing a change. Many Diploma programs were being closed in my area, the push was again taking place for the Bachelor's degree to be the standard of entry into practice and many nurses in my area were being laid off. When I was finally admitted to nursing school, I embraced the ideas I was being taught wholeheartedly. I LOVED the idea of becoming a nurse. I truly felt I had found my niche.

    As a new nurse, I embraced the idea of being "an angel in white". Advocated the idea that nursing was a "calling" that only special people could answer. When I wasn't able to get a break or even a lunch period, I chalked it up to the idea of my calling. I was sacrificing for my patients, they deserved all I had to give even at my own expense. I looked at older nurses that I worked with, ones who didn't seem to "care" (as I so naively assumed), didn't deserve to be called nurses. Only I, as a young, fresh new nurse-so full of myself, could TRULY care...TRULY understood what it meant to be a nurse.

    Fast forward to the present day. I've been around the block more than a few times now. Counting my time spent first as a nursing assistant then a tech then finally an RN, I've learned an important lesson: I am NOT an "angel in white". I am a highly trained professional, bringing a high level of experience and knowledge to the table. I have skills that have a high value, I work in a PROFESSION that literally is responsible for people's lives. I can make the difference between a patient having a positive outcome or a negative one. It's taken me 18 years to learn this lesson. (Never said I was a quick learner.) Unfortunately, there aren't too many people out there who realize this about my profession.

    I was at Hallmark earlier tonight, looking for a card for a friend who has now been accepted into a Master's program to become an NP. I ran across a few cards that were displayed for Nurses Day, which is fast approaching. I looked at these cards, full of teddy bears, band-aids and sentiment thanking me for my sacrifice, for being an angel. Not one card acknowledged the years of training and study I've undertaken to get to this stage in my career. Not one card acknowledged the responsibility I have in training not only new nurses but new doctors. Not one card recognized my commitment to a profession but to an altrustic idea. To me, these types of sentiment are used to de-value what I do.

    Let me put it to you this way: If I am a nurse because I have some altruistic idea, then it's o.k. for hospitals to not pay me for my years of experience. Let's face it, the more years I have in the profession, the less I am compensated. If I'm an "angel" I should accept my place in the healthcare world and realize it's perfectly all right for me to NOT be paid a decent wage, to NOT be compensated for my knowledge, skills and experience. It's o.k. for hospital administrators to dictate staffing matrixes without considering my input because, after all, as a nurse I'm considered a drain on the bottom line not an asset. I should just "suck it up" and realize I'm powerless to do anything about it. I should recognize it's ok for doctors to belittle me, because if I was truly "that smart" I would have went to medical school, not nursing school. If I'm an "angel", I should look to the hearafter for my reward, I should really be putting most of my earnings into a retirement account so I "won't be a drain on society" when my body wears out and I can no longer work as a nurse (honestly, this was quoted in a nursing Journal I have from the 1940's). It's all right for hospitals to give me patients that are so ill I barely have time to care for them, let alone take a bathroom break for myself. I shouldn't complain when some administrator so full of themselves adds another stupid form I have to fill out because really, they think I have plenty of time to fill out redundant paperwork. Heaven forbid I ask for lifting equipment to move my large patients...we can't afford that stuff and reallly, as a nurse you should be able to find other staff to help you move that patient. Heaven forbid you then injure your back...you must be malingering. No reason for you to get hurt when trying to provide care when you are short staffed, you should just be able to make it work.

    I have decided to turn in my halo. Maybe I should become the "Norma Rae" of my unit, loudly advocating for our staff and patients. I have found my voice and I am now ready to use it. I am a NURSE and as such deserve your respect not a little angel pin. Don't patronize me telling me how I should learn to work smarter, not harder. And don't expect me to use your script, telling my patients "Truly, I have the time" when I don't. You think you can do my job better? Come walk in my shoes for one shift, just one..I guarantee you won't make it.

    It's time for nurses to stand up and say with one voice "We are nurses, this is our profession. We are reclaiming who we are and we're not going to take this anymore!" Who is with me?
    Sad but true.
  8. by   nurse.sandi
    OP great post. I spoke up over and over. I was in the manager's office at 8am when I should of been home in bed...getting reamed for things beyond my control. Then I got hurt. Boy, look out...that was a whole different game to play. I hung up my halo, not by choice, but because other's actions.
  9. by   dtrimblecbond
    IAM, I have been screaming about this since I graduated nursing school in 1998. We are what hospitals are selling!!! We are their bottom line. It is what we do that makes hospitals money and always at the expense of ourselves. It is time for nurses to stand up for themselves. Scream out loud that we are not going to be treated as if we are a liability. Demand that we be compensated fairly. We must insist that we be heard and not by sitting on another redundant committee that acomplishes nothing save getting us to work for free. Viva la revolucion!!!
  10. by   needshaldol
    mmmm I am not so sure if we are the ones that are making the $ for the hospital. The insurance companies are the ones who pay up and if it is a medi-cal then govt pays, which means you and I who work pay for them.
    The fact is : The hospital can not survive without a nursing staff, no way about it. So we are needed in order for them to run the hospital so maybe in a way we are indirectly involved in the $. It is a circle and we are the biggest part of the circle and we have to stay strong because the kids with the biggest circle wins.

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