September 30, 2011

Loosing Angels (Nurses) at Hospitals

Choosing to be a nurse is a career of the heart. Nurses
are responsible for treating, educating, and helping
patients. One of the reasons that nurses love their
careers because of the level of interaction with patients.
Even though there is continued training, evaluations and
long hours, many times nurses serve 12 hour shifts and
work with up to seven (7) to nine (9) patients at a time. 
This is an awesome responsibility and to ensure that
nurses are professional, responsible and accountable
they are evaluated and monitored.

Nurses are the first line of patient care when a person
goes to the hospital, quotes like,”Constant attention
by a good nurse may be just as important as a major
operation by a surgeon” D. Hammarskjold shows
how immeasurably important a good nurse is.

The demeaning side of a nurse’s life is that they have
very limited options when harshly evaluated and
judged. Nurses can be judged by professional criteria
or personal criteria. The sad part of any evaluation
for a nurse is when a personal evaluation goes bad
and a qualified, dedicated and experienced nurse
is judged so harshly and unfairly they are let go
or fired for no probable cause.

The issue of health care has created such a stir that
people from all age groups struggle with healthcare;
my recent hospital stay has caused me to reevaluate
my healthcare options as a male that is over 45 years
of age. Healthcare has become so controversial it has
become over the years a political issue. D. Cardillo
stated about nurses and their impact on patients that,
“Nurses are the heart of healthcare.”

The heart of the medical profession comes from the
nurses (Angels),  nurses are also the arms that comfort
patients, the heart that contains the love and
compassion needed to help patients, the mental
toughness to decipher medical conditions and
administer sufficient medication to ease pain and discomfort.

When a hospital does not value their nurses their
effectiveness to have first class healthcare and caring for
patients diminishes. Nurses start to fear for their jobs,
patient care is affected and moral drops to the point where
stress, anxiety and worry permeate the medical atmosphere.
These are some of the issues affecting hospitals where the
Angels (nurses) are being hurt from unwarranted disciple,
unfettered   judgments and maybe even bias (in my opinion)
undertones in evaluations and unfair treatment.

Nursing is not like teaching where there is strong Union
support, because of the lack of unionization nurses may
seem to be treated like indentured servants (slaves), that
supposedly was abolished over a century ago.  In recent news
reports nurses have been given more responsibility that even
doctors are not held accountable for.  Data shows that
patients trust nurses more than doctors, from my recent
hospital experience I have had three doctors “advise” me
on my condition (diabetes) staying only at a maximum
of ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes (yes I timed them).
While my nurses stayed longer making sure I was
comfortable, understood my medications, and even
asked about my family’s needs.

This is true professionalism, the thought that these
dedicated nurses both men and women who only make
a fraction of what doctors make and work longer hours
perform professionally and possess the hearts of Angels.
My mind shifts again to how much I or my insurance was
paying a doctor who smiled, shook my hand and
was eager to leave my room, I would truly prefer that money
go to a nurse who I knew would reliably and efficiently
be there at the allotted time with a smile, cheerful heart
and good bedside manner. It seems sometimes that
hospitals do not understand how vital a nurse is.

This is why as posted in “Nursing Times”
April, 2009, S. Payne) that poll of
1,700 people found 95% of people trust nurses ‘a great deal’
or ‘quite a lot’, whereas only 87% of respondents placed
the same level of trust in doctors. 

The only profession that is placed above nurses are firefighters.
Not teachers, law enforcement, politicians, lawyers or other
valuable professions. 
Nursing proudly is the largest
occupation in the health care industry, over 2.6 million
nurses in the United States and growing with the increase
in elderly living longer. To sum up the dedication of nurses
and sacrifices they make, D. Cardillo states, “Nursing is
not for everyone.  It takes a very strong, intelligent, and
compassionate person to take on the ills of the world
with passion and purpose and work to maintain the
health and well-being of the planet.  No wonder we're
exhausted at the end of the day!”

This blog is dedicated to nurses around the world,
especially to those at St. Lukes Hospital, Jacksonville,
Florida that are losing valuable and seasoned nurses
(Angels). To all the nurses let go, fired, and terminated.
The patient in the end is the one adversely affected and
looses out because seasoned and experienced nurses
are being fired, let go, terminated and unsupported.

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