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Posted 3 months ago
It is easy to write the fluffy warm fuzzy stuff about the privilege of being a nurse and it truly is a privilege, but once in a while I get the urge to go naked. 'The Corporate Nurse' is one such article. Nursing is a terrible beauty and sometimes the terrible aspects outweigh the beauty - that's all
I started out on this journey to become a nurse to rid the world of illness or at least help in the fight against it. After nursing school, I proudly took a stand alongside my coworkers against the enemy. For every shift I punched in and punched out I gained another morsel of insight. I saw a flicker of possibility. It made sense to me I mean, what other industry, other than healthcare, offers the opportunity to express a love for humanity. One human being helping another who has become downtrodden and sick. To help a person not at ease or in dis-ease. Of course, sacrifices have to be made to get to that honorary position. Family gatherings and social events are foregone in lieu of up all night studying and preparing for exam after exam. Year after year of self sacrifice and devotion to the dream of making it to that place where you can stand with the knowledge and skills required to meaningfully assist.
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.