Published May 20, 2000
Okay, so maybe some of you HAVE tried to change nursing for the better and just didn't say how. So if we can't change administration how about changing the public's image of us. I can't tell you how many people think all we do is wipe bedpans. WE know that's not true. Wasn't the ANA and many other organizations going to try and change the public's view? I read about that in the Spectrum. What became of that? I wish the public knew what we really did. I've had people tell me,"What does a nurse really do? All she did for me was come in and stick an IV in my arm. I never see them after that." We can start there...couldn't we???
[This message has been edited by TRN (edited May 20, 2000).]
Hi, TRN, I wasn't going to respond to your previous thread so as not to sound negative. I've been a nurse for a LONG time and I have watched ANA , etc, since day one. They have not very often come thru except for the ivory tower types who last saw a patient up close and personal when they were senior students. Good luck, I'm happy to see you newer nurses with the same love of nursing, (it's all I wanted to do from age 12) and I hope you find a way to make the changes. Mostly what we can do to change the perception is one patient at a time. They don't know that nurses are mostly paper pushers nowadays. (As a newlywed, my MIL thought I should become a pink lady (!!!!) since nurses had to perform such nasty jobs, Of course, for her little boy, my husband, nursing wasn't "socially acceptible". Forget the fact that he was an MD and was exceedingly proud of my expertise and reputation as a professional. Or that I supported us thru his residency!!!!)
You go girl!!!!!
I think we should spend much more time with our patients, those of us who do bedside nursing. If I had more time, I would. And, I try to do more than I actually can in the time I have, that's usually why I'm 1-1.5 hours late leaving in the evening, I've got to chart all the things I did with my patients. It all goes back to being short staffed. I don't mind hard work. But I do mind going home feeling like there was something important I didn't get to do because I had too many irons in the fire. Administrations won't change anything until they have to.
I'm not sure about the big nursing organizations, either. I'm not clear on what they have or haven't done. They can claim to have done a lot of things, but without being able to do the background checks on the information, I'm not sure I'd trust them either, as they are a business too.
I'm all for writing to your congressman, legislators and trying to get a bill passed like California did ?last year, with minimum staffing ratios set by the state. That is something that we all need, if they'd do it right.
I'm also all for unionizing, but the right one has to be chosen. We had a union in our hospital a few years ago, big mistake for us. Sold the "non-professionals" down the river and never did get a contract. "Professionals" weren't unionized, because they lumped the RN's with Dieticians, Pharmacists, PT's, etc and we were being wooed nicely with raises and empty promises. (Now there aren't as many of those other "professionals" around, bet some aren't so wooed with our facility now.) Needless to say, it didn't stay long. When unionizing, you have to be careful. They aren't supposed to be able to fire you for union talk, but they do. My husband is proof of that. But the NLRB can get you your job back if you can prove you were fired for that reason. In some states, you don't even have a "right to work" and can get fired for anything, with not much recourse for you.
Sure, I'd like more money. But I'd rather feel like I'm delivering a safer level of care to my patients. Not to mention, that if I'd get to go to lunch break, or get those 15 minute breaks the law says they have to give you, I'd be in a much nicer mood.
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