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Posted 4 months ago
I was working as a registered nurse for a short time when I realized that the enemy had many names the least of which was illness. I was swiftly introduced to the two most prominent names it bore; budget restraints and time. The greater of these was time. There was never enough of it, or stuff, or staff to do the pristine job my nursing school professors had taught me. I had to work at a much faster rate. In college I learned cognitive dissonance to be the space between what must be done and what a person is actually able to do and how the mind fills in the gap. Therein lies the outward boundary of the nursing profession. Nurses work inside the gap and in a tough economy the gap has become a ravine.
The public has no idea that evolution has been to visit healthcare in the hospitals and caused it to evolve into a service industry that competes for market share and for patient satisfaction scores. Long gone are the days of nurses fluffing pillows and patients actually being patient. Nurses are true humanitarians and at the same time highly skilled scientists. They operate millions of dollars worth of equipment every day in specialty units where peoples lives hang by a thread. Healthcare is in dis-ease where outcomes and prognosis can be grim. The disease has spread and is picking up speed day after day like a run away train.
Frequent flyer social abusers occupy a considerable percentage of the census on any given urban weekend aggravated by many avoidable chronic conditions that further clog the system. As a nation, where did we ever get the notion that our personal health, the acquisition and maintenance of it, was the responsibility of a third party. Why do we not teach preventative medicine to our children at home and in the school system. When we visit with our friends and family and get ready to part we might say “take care of yourself,” but that is exactly the message we should freely share.
I often wonder what fate awaits me if I am ever old and infirm and possibly face an overnight stay in hospital. I already know the pillows and mattress are packed with nails and the prospect of an enjoyable stay is mere fantasy. One solace we can count on is, in the face of struggle and possible defeat, healthcare workers continue to freely give that part of themselves that has no price tag. It is intangible. It is simply one human being helping another; one soul lifting up another. Oh yes, it has been exploited, and raped by the mighty and the greedy, however, it is a self replenishing source.