Does anyone know how to start a revolution? I'd like to know because I think our profession is in serious need of a nationwide strike...quite possibly a global one. Of the 4 hospitals I've worked at 3 of them have awful working conditions....and I've worked in 4 hospitals in several states and different cities so I don't just think its the 'region' I'm in. From the horror stories I've read about nursing in the U.K., I guess I should feel lucky to have an 8:1 ratio, no aids, on a post op ortho floor.
I love caring for people...I became a nurse to care for people, but I'm just darn tired of our 'profession'. We are still treated like waitresses and ****** on severly by upper management and hospital administration in my opinion. There is very little professional respect given to us...there is a lot of talk about giving us respect, but it rarely happens. We mistake all the hot air about respect from our managers/hospital administrators for real respect, just because they talk about it a lot doesn't mean they are doing it.
What is worse is that I feel that it is horribly misleading to encourage ANYONE into our line of work. We talk about being fufilled by helping others and what not in our profession, or at least that's the line of bull I fell for when I decided to become a nurse. Hospitals (75% of them in my experience) don't want us to provide care to patients. You'll be lucky to see your patient again after assessment and med pass. I understand that medicine is a business, BUT here's the kicker: Don't ask me to be compassionate, caring, and customer serivce oriented if your bottom line is more important than my patients. I can't provide good service to 7,8, or 10 people at a time. There's a reason that research is showing that a basice med surg nurse should have no more than 4....you know why? Because that is the number of patients the RESEARCH is showing to be a safe and feesible. And to be frank I'm tired of being the hospital's scapegoat for unmet unreasonable expectations
Why do we allow are selves to put up with being gripped at for staying late but knowing we can't leave until we are done? I've seen nurses clock out on time just to stay for 2 more hours to finish up. THAT IS NOT OKAY! I've seen nurses clock out that they got to have a lunch when I know for certian that they didn't, just because they don't want to get in trouble with management. This is perpetuating false beliefs in what we are capable of!
We brow beat each other when other nurses are not willing to work like a dog and stand up for themselves. It's usually because then we get screwed into taking on the load that that nurse wouldn't take, but really what we should be doing is saying no too. We tell other people who have less loads but still high loads, that they are lucky and should quit complaning about their job. HELLO! We should ALL have reasonable loads and just because you are taking care of 8 people instead of 12 does not mean that either load is good!
We should all be able to go to work and on a regular basis (75% of the time) be able to have 2 breaks and a 30 minute lunch, do a through check of our patient's charts for errors and missed orders, have time to spend with our patients and know their needs, and leave ON TIME!! That shouldn't be a dream! That should be the average day! We should be complaining about missing a break, not missing urinating for 12 hours!
I do not, cannot, understand why there are nurses out there who stab us in the back with the ideal that they took care of 20 people back in the day so we need to shut up and quit complaining about our 8. Well the fact was you were getting screwed back in the day too, I'm sorry they treated you that way, but that doesn't make our current loads right.
We need a revolution. We need to say no, not just for our sakes but for our patients! And it isn't just nurses, this is for most of the people in medicine. 80 - 100 people for a doctor to see in a hospital in a 14 hour shift is crazy unreasonable too. I have a friend who is having to do this right now and I told that to a doctor I worked with and his response is that my friend was 'lucky'. Crazy!!! It's all maddness I tell you and we aren't helping anyone by not be more vocal about it!!!!!!