Published Jan 2, 2005
If you had to pick one thing that you thought was a major problem in nursing what would it be and what would you do about it?
Just curious! :)
Chaya, ASN, RN
Lack of respect in general. Specifically; lack of public knowledge about what it is that nurses really do and lack of visibility of the nursing profession. In every medical format show on TV, nurses are an afterthought, the "filler" material, not as rightfully the most heavily represented fraction of actual staff nor as crucial to hospital operations. What I would do (given unlimited power and influence) would be to pressure the media in all forms to begin to represent nursing giving fairly weighted emphasis to the importance of the position in day-to-day operations of healthcare and the medical field. A certain well-known show could stand to portray more nurses and-oh, I don't know; how about a few nurses that are neither psychopathic nor trying to "get promoted" to being a doctor. Hospitals should increase the visibility of nurses by using nurses at least as part of a team as spokespersons when releasing press comments or the like. I remember following the press coverage for that nightclub fire in RI a couple of years ago. You only ever heard from doctors giving info on every aspect of burn care, but at one point there was an article about the extent of nursing care involved in caring for these patients. If some of the worst burns required 3+ hours a day for dressing changes by nurses, why was the public not kept informed through a nursing "voice"? How many hours a day of actual physician contact did these patients have?
Ultimately, I would think our hospital billing procedures need to be weighted to reflect the actual contribution of nursing in the overall sceme of things- that would be an eye-opener!
I agree with Chaya...definitely a lack of respect but not just from the public, from managers as well as doctors and other support staff. Don't get me started on patient's family members.
If we had support from the docs and administration and were given a measure of autonomy we would better be able to earn the respect of the patients and their families....How many times do you make a statement that is contradicted when the pt or their s.o. complains to the doctor or the supervisor?
snowfreeze, BSN, RN
The I-Me generation produced by the babyboomers....both are working the systems to death and annoying those who have to run the place
The first thing I'd do is make it mandatory for police presence 24 hours at all facilities and any family members who start abusing staff in any way shape or form get slapped with heavy fines or possible jail time depending on how severe their threat to staff may be and immediately escorted off premises permanently.
The second thing that I would do is get rid of the current nursing assistant system where they are only "certified" or "registered" and make them into actual LICENSED health practitioners who are truely responsible for the care they provide or fail to provide. Get rid of the old "RN has the ultimate responsibility" way of thinking.
Example: Patient does not get turned, fed, bathed, whatever form of neglect or abuse. Then the CNA who is assigned to the patient, not the RN gets license disciplinary action/revocation from the board and would be held responsible in lawsuits or criminal charges that could develop.
Not all, but too many of them are well aware that the nurse will be held accountable if things don't get done so it is so easy for them to walk away or select which things they will do or not do for patients on any given shift.
BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN
We don't stick together. We feel the need to eat our young, our old, our opposite shift co-workers, the units we give report to, the units we get report from, the units we float to....
Oh yeah, and what Chaya said too :)
Nursing management who are more interested in furthering their careers while sacrificing what is at the very core of nursing such as pt. safety and the ability to form effective therapeutic relationships w/ our patients. There is no way ANYONE will ever convince me that some of the appalling conditions which nurses, esp. in med-surg are expected to function are safe or reasonable. Yet many managers continue to stick their heads in the sand and side w/ upper management who routinely put nurses and their patients in peril. We need managers who have the courage to be true leaders, not yes men and women. :angryfire
I hear a lot of "no respect" My opinion on nursing's biggest problem is we don't respect ourselves and demand respect from others. People don't know what nurses do? Nurses need to tell them. Don't like what is in the media? Write letters, give interviews. No body is going to do it for us, we have to do it ourselves. Once you take responsibility (as in it is my responsibility to make nursing better) the feelings of powerlessness start to dissipate.
After being in nursing 20 years including teaching for 12 I still nurses being mean to students and new nurses. That's really sad. Take a minute during your next shift to say something kind to a nurse or give them a hand. Explain everything you are doing to patients and families so they have a better understanding.
I hear a lot of "no respect" My opinion on nursing's biggest problem is we don't respect ourselves and demand respect from others. People don't know what nurses do? Nurses need to tell them. Don't like what is in the media? Write letters, give interviews. No body is going to do it for us, we have to do it ourselves. Once you take responsibility (as in it is my responsibility to make nursing better) the feelings of powerlessness start to dissipate. After being in nursing 20 years including teaching for 12 I still nurses being mean to students and new nurses. That's really sad. Take a minute during your next shift to say something kind to a nurse or give them a hand. Explain everything you are doing to patients and families so they have a better understanding.NURSE POWER!
Number one problem in nursing? Lack of solidarity.
UM Review RN, ASN, RN
The Victim Mentality problem. The idea that nurses are victims of the system and they're helpless to change it.
Untrue, and it does drive me nuts.
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