Baby Seals and Nurses!

The problem isn’t even that Healthcare is a business, it’s that it’s bad business.

Now, I bet you’re wondering how I came to that conclusion or maybe you’re figuring, “Wow, that woman is a real brain trust!” No, No, stick with me. I’ll explain.

I just read a list of the best companies to work for in one of the most successful business magazines, and how they were ranked according to employee satisfaction. The article explained who the companies were and why they were the most fun to work for, and why they commanded the greatest loyalty.

There was Google, Apple, Starbuck’s, Southwest, Netflix, Costco and others that were less familiar to me. So I wondered, What did they do that set them apart? What made the people that worked for them happy?

And there it was: Simple. They cared about the people who worked for them, and considered them human beings worthy of respect. On the list of priorities, their needs came before the bottom line. So how exactly did that work?

Well, some of the benefits were: Learning opportunities and leadership training, profit sharing, time for personal projects, free healthy lunches, massages, on-site fitness centers for exercising and meditation rooms for stress release. Some added perks were health care benefits for part time workers, cash for innovative ideas, personal development classes, flexible schedules, great team environment, and strong potential for advancement.

Now, as nurses, we work in healthcare. How many places do nurses work in that offer those same benefits? And then why wouldn’t we fight for those benefits?

Saying that the business of Healthcare can’t afford to do all of that, to provide those benefits because it would cut into their profits, makes us wonder how those companies above managed to do it. Certainly none of them could be accused of not making enough profit. They are the most successful businesses we have in our modern world.

Still something sets them apart. What could that be?
Maybe, just maybe, they haven’t sacrificed their humanity for progress. Instead, they’ve managed to incorporate it all into their business model, and therefore they’ve become even more successful.

Don’t you think that one of the options open to us in healthcare should be developing a better business model so that we don’t sacrifice ourselves or our patients for the bottom line.

Shouldn’t the business of healthcare be held as accountable, be as responsible as other businesses who are monitored so that they don’t do damage to the environment?

We are called “human resources.” When are hospitals going to go “green” for us? They don’t recycle, they don’t watch their carbon emissions but even more imporatant, they are destroying us, and we are allowing it.

Hey, we are outraged about what people do to baby seals.

Where is our outrage at how nurses are treated.

Time to take the clubs away from the business of healthcare. Time for Healthcare to develop a better business model and grow into a good business. And it’s time for us to hold them accountable or refuse to be part of the destruction they cause.

Better yet, time to develop new ways that benefit the patients, the planet and ourselves.

Self care doesn’t only mean time out, nature walks, spa treatments and meditation, it also means standing for ourselves and pushing hard to change the things that are wrong to try to make them right.

If not us, who? If not now, when?