Do we want to keep REACTING or do we want a Platform for nurses that works to improve healthcare for both nurses and patients?

By now most people know that the women of “The View” insulted nurses. I found Michelle Collins most offensive, but I don’t like that kind of humor about anyone.  To me, Joy Behar just looked clueless and she certainly didn’t think of “caring” as a real talent.  To give Kelly Johnson (the nurse contestant in Miss America contest) credit she took a risk in presenting “caring” as a talent in a society that values money so much more. That took courage.

I’ve watched the clips a ton of times and what I see is that they were doing their usual “shtick” and they are just completely unaware of what Nurses do every day.  But are they to blame completely?  Or have we been part of the conspiracy of silence that has left most of the public in the dark as to how important we are?  I’m not condoning their remarks–I’m just saying I’ve been in this game a long time, and I’ve never once seen nurses come together in such numbers with a common purpose.  Now let’s make the most of the platform we have now, for I promise it will pass quickly unless we utilize it well…I’ve written over a dozen posts asking, “Okay, so what do you want the public to know about nurses?”

>Click here to add to our growing page of answers!<

We have to admit our part in this whole misunderstanding.  We often defer to a doctor, even now, by saying, “The doctor will explain…” or “The doctor will be in to talk to you.”

Doctors are still like Wizards behind the curtain, and we help them maintain their mystery by not telling all we know to the patients? Why? Isn’t that like telling the patients we’re not smart enough to understand?  I know the legal ramifications but why have we allowed that to be outside of a nurses scope of practice?

Why are we spending all the time we have, after all the training we have, charting notes to keep healthcare companies from being sued?  There can be legal or ward secretaries for that.  That is not the best use of our time.

Psychologists and social workers get paid to listen, assess, and recommend strategies for healing patients and families yet bedside nurses aren’t even allowed to spend the time to do those very things we were trained to do.  And we certainly don’t get paid for it.

Our increase in education may be helping the perception of nursing inside Healthcare but most lay people don’t even know the difference in who’s at the bedside taking care of them. To them whether it’s a CNA, CMA, LPN or RN, if we’re taking care of them, they think we’re nurses.  I’m not being insulting here–I have done all of those jobs– and I did my best patient care while I was an LPN, before I was burdened with all the paperwork that RN’s had to do.  But then who is teaching those at the bedside all they need to know?

Why are we allowing ourselves to be treated in ways that undermine our self esteem, cause us to betray ourselves by not giving all the care we know patients need, and then turning on those patients because we are overworked and understaffed as well as underpaid?

Isn’t our response reminiscent of abused spouses who just “take it” for all those years, and then when they finally retaliate we use “Battered Person” as a defense? Who else are we angry at and what do we want them to know?

Also, some people accused me of using this situation to market my books….all I have to say is that I do writing as nursing, and to educate.  My book was written at a time where HIPPA wasn’t in place in the same way.  That book told the brutal honest truth about facing death, and families, and the hard things including the sexual issues that patients present that occur doing such intimate relationships.  and I got plenty of coverage from it. Which would help our platform. It’s a necessary read for anyone who wants to be near a bedside in healthcare.  Maybe even a cautionary tale to give them a clue what they’ll come up against in just “caring” for patients.

This is our chance.  What to do want?  You can be pretty sure all sponsors are watching this…Make it count.