Nurse Bitty

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What is the reason for the contempt and corruption of the medical system? Is it a lack of knowledge? Or an entitlement view from today’s society? Or a lack of money and insurance?

This poem is a real scenario of the working life of nurse Julie. The actual situation and characters are fictitious. But as an ER nurse, I see this every time I walk through the ER doors to go to work.

A patient comes into the trauma bay by ambulance barely hanging onto life. He was on a tractor that rolled over onto him. He was down in the field for 5 hours. There is blood everywhere. The medical crew must act swiftly for his heart to continue beating.

There is another patient in the adjacent room who tripped five days ago and twisted his ankle. He walked in without a limp. He can see the quick movement and commotion in another room. He knows someone is in trouble. He doesn’t care because his ankle needs repair.

The real dilemma starts in the nurse’s mind. Nurses are perceived to be uncaring if they tell a patient that someone is dying and requires more care. The nurse’s job is to make every person who comes through their doors feel welcome, and medically care for each one.

Do both of these patients have a right to be in the ER? Absolutely! Do they both have a right to good care? Absolutely! But just exactly what does this good care mean?

For patient one, it means to keep him alive and stabilize him so he can heal and lead a productive life. It means to calm the family and give knowledge about what is happening.

For patient two it means to rule out emergent situations such as a broken bone that may cause more serious medical conditions. After all, he did come into the emergency room.

And her role is to care for both with kindness and knowledge. It includes keeping both informed and up to date.

Why is this type of care not good enough for some people? The guy in this poem is rude and mean to his nurse. He calls her names and expects his concerns to take precedence over the care of a dying person. His stay is not about the attention he receives but about the expectations he wants met. And those expectations are strictly selfish.

A company comes along and says, why don’t we let this guy fill out a survey and tell the nurse just how horrible she was because he was late to his party. The nurse is named as Nurse Bitty by the patient, and he is angry with her.

She was kind and patient with him. She gave him drugs to help his pain, and when the pain improved, she gave him food because he asked. But her rating and the rating of the hospital, by this patient, is 1 out of 5 which is inferior.

He leaves the hospital before his papers are prepared for discharge because he is late for his party. But the nurse is the one blamed for the delay in his care.

Why has the medical society set their nurses and doctors up to be treated this way? I believe it is three things.

1. Entitlement

In this world we live in things move so quickly that people feel they have a right to have care that is lightning fast. They do not stop to think of anyone but themselves and what they want. There are those who believe they have the right to be cared for with a minor injury first while another lay dying in the next room.

2. Insurance

Many people now do not have insurance. They either can not afford it or do not work. When they get sick, they do not have the finances to go to urgent care or a doctor where they are expected to pay a copay up front. So, they come to the ER for non-emergent care because they are not required to pay upfront for their care.

3. Knowledge

People do not understand why there is an emergency room. They do not know that the sick and dying have to take priority. They do not have the knowledge that a person who is unstable will require immediate care and will take preference over a less minor injury.

How can society fix this problem? Many people believe they have the answer to this question. If they do then why is the problem getting worse?

We can provide more knowledge and more affordable insurance. But this will not fix the hard-uncaring heart that society calls entitlement. The real answer is in how each person sees another person. If you open your heart to see the bigger picture, the whole world will change.

Our society as a whole is corrupt, and it affects the entire system. One human is not more important than another. God made us all equal and in his image. It is time for everyone to look into their heart and fix their issues before they point the finger at the issues surrounding them. But most do not believe it is their problem.

Just like the guy in this poem, it is the fault of the nurse because he needs to go to a party. He is late, and he feels this gives him the right to treat another with rudeness and contempt.

The world will not change with demonstrations, anger or surveys. It has to start with each person looking into their heart and working to improve themselves.

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1 thought on “Nurse Bitty”

  1. So true! Well written. Nurses biggest battle is not the patient care. The patients no longer have patience or empathy toward one another which comes from our self centered world.?

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