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Posted 10 months ago
Nursing Crisis Is a Threat to Health,"
as the headline of your Oct. 24 commentary says, not only for patients but also for nurses because of the physical, mental and emotional stress brought on by heavy workloads carried often without sufficient help from nursing assistants, a crucial link in the proper care of hospital patients. A good aide can make all the difference, allowing RNs more quality time to give to their patients. However, another extremely important connection is the often strained relationship with physicians.
As long as doctors, starting from the first-year resident to the specialist and surgeon, relegate nurses to the bottom of the hierarchy -- but expect them to be responsible for every aspect of a patient's care -- the high burnout rate will continue.
Nurses are professional and courteous not only to their patients but also to patients' families, supervisors, physicians, residents, therapists and technicians, no matter how tired and stressed. As long as physicians are not being challenged to do the same, too many demagogues will continue to make nursing an unsatisfying career -- and get away with it.