Or could it? I don’t know…not sure that I even care. I originally had this posted on my Facebook page but removed it so that I could write a proper, well-thought out response. NOT!
My mother was a nurse. I credit her with introducing me to people who are different than me. May sound simple but it is actually a huge life lesson. Often children don’t understand that people are actually not all the same-and don’t all have bodies that work in the exact same manner. Mom used to take me to the nursing home where she worked from time to time to visit with patients. Honestly, there were times that I was afraid-when you are young, a groaning man in a wheelchair can be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, there was always some learning involved, and the glimpse into a different human experience stuck with me…
I became a nurse. I became a nurse because there comes a time in everyone’s life where they need help. I have been helped a lot through the years-I wanted to do something meaningful. I wanted to pass along some of the good karma that I have received. I wanted to engage my brain in learning something that would benefit others…and also myself and my own family in the process. The body is an amazing machine-to understand some of how it works and what it needs is a gift. I started my journey with good intentions.
When I graduated and started work, I began encountering some of the…ahem…issues that our profession is facing currently. I have written about them before and don’t like to dwell on the negativity. I will say that it has always fascinated me that a profession so ensconced in the art of helping is, in many ways, so toxic. I wonder if it is simply because people simply can’t give, give and give without their being some sort of personal debt that ends up manifesting in some negative way? At the risk of sounding sexist, I have also pondered the prevalence of the female population in nursing. As a rule (and please note that I said “as a rule”) women tend to be a little more emotional than men. Ironically, nursing is not always a profession where you will see a great deal of warm, supportive staff-especially towards student or new nurses (and this could also mean seasoned nurse who happen to be “new” to an area”). What up with that? Shouldn’t it be “the more the merrier”? Just another point I have yet to wrap my head around.
And while I’m trying to wrap my head around something…how about this. How can a government system dictate how a unit/floor/hospital should be run when often they have never stepped a toe in one other than for personal use? By numbers? By reports? By how many patients are affected by adverse reactions (including death) because of staffing numbers? Um…hello!!! These are PEOPLE we are talking about. Not papers, not oil, not the stock market-PEOPLE. Somebody’s family member. Somebody’s family member who may not get the care they need because we do not have the appropriate staffing levels to adequately help these patients. Inappropriate staffing levels because there is a lack of funds. Lay-offs due to lack of funds. Interesting. Because I don’t think it is a lack of funds. I think the government is just pushing the envelope…
And then our union. We have a union. Presumably because we are all working towards a common goal. Interestingly, it is not one of my goals to move our union president into a fully furnished house in Fredericton with the surplus of dues left over at the end of the fiscal year. It would be my goal to get those RN’s who have been laid off back into some sort of position I would think. Because if the surplus is that large, we could certainly get a couple of them back to work. The union president already receives a salary-a lives in a perfectly safe and comfortable home I would assume. Yes…there are plenty of other, more resourceful ways, a surplus could be utilized.
There are many days where I am frustrated with my profession. And, as this blog reveals, many days I am blessed by my profession. When I thought about writing this, there was a concern in the back of my head that perhaps I am saying too much. But, now that I think about it, I don’t think we are saying enough. In one of my first years of nursing we discussed some readings that involved “finding your voice”. Our profession has lost our voice. We, as a whole, our not able to do our jobs because of restraints placed upon us by external sources (that means YOU…government…YOU!!!) I also believe that there are some…discrepancies in how we are things are handled at an organizational level (read between the lines here OK?)
I would still have made the choice to become a nurse because of the incredible experiences I have had. The time really has come now, though, for another choice to be made for me professionally.