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What life is this? I have been a nurse 40 year. Every day I wonder what has happened to compassion for others.
I try to find a reason for the failing medical system. Is it the government that has caused the problem? Is it the difference in generations? Is it the lack of insurance for individuals who need care? Is it the lack of security for your job in the workforce? I do not have just one right answer. It is a combination of issues.
Everyone who reads this will have their own opinion of what has caused the problem. And every person has a different solution to the problem.
The real issue here is not who caused the problem but what is it doing to this life we live? It affects the patients, the care given to each person and the workers providing the care.
I have worked in many different types of hospitals. I have done home health to ER nursing and everything in between. I could say I have done it all. But that is not true. I am continually surprised each day by what I see.
I started nursing when there were no pumps to give intravenous medications. Hospitals did not have intensive care units. It was still fast paced but a different sort of speed. Nurses would take care of 40 patients with the help of nursing aids to do the care.
Nurses have not always been at the bedside. Very soon after I began in the field nursing was changing to bedside care. Bedside care is what I love, and this is the reason I continued my schooling.
The progression over the years has been toward standards of care to improve the care given to patients. Then JCAHO companies were developed. Joint Commission Of Accreditation (JCAHO) is an independent company that hospitals pay to evaluate them for a particular certification to reach status.
Today most nurses go to school to help people. Through the need for power and money compassion is lost. All hospitals need to be paid to pay their bills.
The power and need for money come from individual people employed by the hospital. I know some will disagree, but I have seen this demand escalate over the years.
Personnel in management are there to help the hospital make money and stay open. They go to classes to learn to be good leaders. The sad part is, they are taught to belittle nurses to increase job performance.
I am lumping many people into the group of management. Not all managers and hospital administration treat people this way. But if they don’t they are not considered successful in their field. If someone spends extra time in school to land a job as an administrator, they will go to great lengths to do what needs to be done to keep their job. It has become a vicious cycle as the problems with healthcare increase.
The standards of care are written to help everyone give appropriate care to each patient. These have become more complicated as new medical conditions develop. As the standards move forward, the nurses are cut and told to follow the rules to protect their license and the patient yet they are not given the time needed to accomplish this.
I have attempted to paint a picture of the difficulties that have evolved in Nursing. I have done this to help you see that the goals for the care given do not match the goals that management places on nurses. The increasing problems in health care do not allow management to merge these goals.
Nurses are weary from working tirelessly and are told they are doing a great job. But when the money and power take over as the ultimate need these same nurses are led to believe they don’t work hard enough. The production is down, but the staff will be cut to meet the budget.
In an attempt to increase productivity nurses are manipulated to work harder. The real picture is misconstrued to meet the needs of power and money.
I see the bigger picture because I have been at this a long time. The only way this will change is for nurses to stand up for what is right. The right thing is the patient and the safety of the care given to them.
Through manipulation, nurses are kept confused about what the right thing is. To all nurses, I encourage you to band together and stand for what is right and noble. You have to decide the best way to do this. I do not have answers, but we need to bring compassion back to the bedside.