what would you tell

Nurses General Nursing


the public if you were asked what the problems are in nursing right now.

answer this:

i want you to know:


657 Posts

what im trying to figure out is if one of us were writing an article for a paper or magazine what would we want to include.

we talk about getting our message out to the public ....what is our message?

ill start...

i want you to know that with the increasing nursing shortage we are being assigned more patients than we can handle. if i am working at night and i have 12 patients, how much care can i really give them all? i am worried about the safety of my patients


6,011 Posts


I'd want the public to know that their perception of what a Nurse is "supposed to do" is no longer realistic. What they see on TV...all the romance and hand holding and cute interns.....gag me... doesn't exist now...IF it ever did.

I'd want them to know that we are NOT out to deceive them...we are doing the best we can.

I'd want them to know we are human and we DO have feelings. We are NOT ignoring their needs....we are trying to fit everything into an impossible span of time........

We are being used as pawns in a war between the CEO and the insurance industry....and we are being crushed to death.

The first thing the clipboard people say at a budget meeting is NURSING SALARIES ARE OUR BIGGEST EXPENSE.

_______WELL DUH!________

No one bothers to mention that without the NURSES there is no need for a budget cause there will BE no health care. Want to see Mr. Armani suit tote a bedpan Hmmmmm. I think I might PAY to see that one.

We are being given an outrageous task, for a ridiculous wage, worked outlandish hours......and then expected to GRIN AND LOVE IT.

I ain't grinnin' gals and guys.

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

I agree that the real evil is the insurance companies--they squeeze the hospitals w/inadequate reimbursement, the hospitals turn around and make it nearly impossible to give good care.

Then the newspapers come out and say nursing mistakes are killing pts.:eek: Whatever do they expect?


34 Posts

Well, also the whole public attitude toward nursing has changed too. A lot of us against them. I know where I work, the pts./families are so out of control they are almost detrimental to the pt's. health, contributing to a stressful environment ("What do you mean you can't wash my daughter's hair?" -for the 3rd time this week and includes washing, conditioning, detangling, blowdrying, and styling), alienating the staff ("I am very disappointed you are 10" late putting her hand splints on, what do we pay you for?"), and have been found "helping" their family member (putting air into pilot balloon of trach., adjusting chest tubes). Of course, we're taking care of the individual incidents 1 by 1 as they occur, but public mentality is so different then even 10 years ago. I want the public to know that we are here for health care, particularly for the patient (and often the family), that we should work together as a team for the best possible outcome. Isn't that what it's all about?!


657 Posts

i dont know where they get it....media probably...but that damn us against them attitude really stinks. some families come in to the hospital prepared for battle. its detrimental to care and it really is counterproductive to their cause.

we as nurses have to do some public relations work. we are such a large group and we need one unified voice. where do we begin?


6,620 Posts

I would want people to know what nurses DO!!! Then maybe they would understand the stress that comes with this job. I would want them to know about short staffing, about mandatory OT, about diminishing standards of patient care as the nurse to patient ratio gets to be unmanageable. I would want them to know that things are getting bad in hospitals. Really bad. I want people to know that I am not superwoman or Florence Nightingale and no, I am not here to be your waitress, and yes I need a lot of specialized knowledge to do this job, and no, the doctor is not going to come here unless I tell him he needs to because I am his eyes and ears and yes, I deserve a decent wage for what I do thank you very much.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

people seem to understand that the nurses have too much to do in too little time but when push comes to shove they don't want their family member to do without any of the flufffing and puffing and fussing over. which i understand, but no one seems to get that when every family feels this way, and we only have so much time the nurse gets put in an impossible situation, hence burnout.

and while we are on the subject, can someone explain to me why insurance can refuse to pay for something like an iv pump if policy says an infusion does not run without a pump, but the nurse didn't specifically document a pump. if we say we did it in the policy it's done for everyone.

and if someone enters a private facility and they or their insurance agent is told we charge half a million dollars for a service why are they allowed to get it done and then say, sorry, we'll only pay you $100, and the hospital has no recourse to collect the money? why not?


1,301 Posts

Hi. It's difficult to tell many of my patients anything when they are in a different reality from me, although I have some that are still in the "mainstream" and understand what it's like out in the "jungle." With these patients or family members, I'm able to discuss changes in healthcare and how it affects my ability to care for them and their ability to care for each other.

But, it's a clash of cultures in the health care industry and everyone seems to have their own special brand of "needs." As I look back, a hodge-podge of things occurred that has put us in the position we're in. There's really not one source that I can solely blame. I do know that nursing may have missed it's opportunity to control it's destiny back in the 1960's and 1970's before profit became fashionable. It was at that point that I believe that nursing shortages after that time were/are caused by economics instead of simple lack of numbers.

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