Having fulfilled my lifelong dream to become a registered nurse, I embarked on a journey of a lifetime. I discovered there were vast opportunities awaiting me.
Nursing is unlike any other profession. A fundamental license to practice as a nurse opens the doors to uncounted variations on a theme; science based compassionate care.
From clinical bedside nursing to advanced practice Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Anesthetists. The scope of our ability to practice seems limitless.
Florence Nightingale set the standard. She collected data and made health policy based on science. She started formal training for nurses. She met head on the challenges of nursing in the battlefield, contracting illnesses herself that would affect her health the rest of her life. May 12, 2020- Happy 200th birthday Florence.
Over my 48 years in Nursing I have worked in General Pediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, Inpatient Acute Psych, Doctors' office, Adult Med-Surg, Pediatric Head Injury, Forensic Corrections in a jail, Home Health, Hospice and now as a Nurse Entrepreneur.
Each and every job was my favorite.
I worked as part of a team in every instance and those team members saved my ass in a number of cases.
When I became fed up, infuriated and in a rage with a hospital visitor screaming at me and my nurse colleagues that he would have us all fired and sue us unless we gave his mother good care (his mother was full of bed sores due to his neglect) it was my head nurse who intervened.
There were 7 of us in this patients room trying to transfer the large, elderly patient from the ambulance gurney to the bed. The son persisted in filling the room with expletives and threats. Visitors quickly shut patient room doors to spare them the debacle. My last button pushed, I turned and headed to the door.
"Where are you going?", asked my head nurse.
In a low growl I told her I was going to the nurses lounge, get my wallet, tear up my nursing license and then come back and shove an IV pole up this visitors behind. My head nurse wrapped her hand around my upper arm and quietly said, "Remember, You are here to help the patient. Now, get back to your job"
Immediately I refocused. Thanks to her guidance I released the anger and put that energy into my healing hands. I held those words close to my heart in other times when challenged by difficult patients, family members, doctors or other nurses.
Teamwork and support from my sister and brother nurses is what has kept me in nursing.
Now there is Covid-19.
Nursing unlike any other modern challenge. Nurses working in a broken healthcare system that has failed in the three basic ethical duties: to plan for staff, space and supplies. To safeguard workers and protect vulnerable populations and to guide a fair allocation of resources during a crisis.
Nurses are dying delivering patient care to acutely ill infected patients. Patients are dying in unbelievable numbers with nurses as surrogate family. Nurses are experiencing severe physical and emotional trauma from Covid-19 that could disable them for life.
Nurses. Women and men. Risking everything to follow their calling.
But. Now, in 2020, nurses are letting their voices be heard. In communities, in Congress and across all social media platforms.
We are science trained professionals. You cannot change the rules because supplies are low. You cannot expect us to tolerate insufficient PPE because the federal stockpiles need conserving.
Nurses, tell your story. Tell it so others will know what we see, what we smell, what we hear and what we feel.
The culture of nursing must change. The culture of healthcare must change to protect us.
I stand in solidarity with you. I want to hear your stories.
Together we make impossible, possible.