Thursday, September 17, 2015

A response to The View #nursesunite

So why am I upset over the View co-hosts comment?
Miss Colorado's choice for the talent competition was unique. She stood up and told the world about being a nurse. In a world that values the outside, in a pageant that for all points and appearances values the outside, she spoke of what is inside. She spoke of what every nurse or health professional knows. The value of what we do. We all have that one patient or several patients we won't forget.

The truth is, unless you are welcoming a baby into this world, chances are, you don't want to see us. We take care of you when you are sick, injured, and dying, situations that everyone pretty much doesn't want to have. You don't want to see me walking in your room in my scrubs with a stethoscope. I know that, we all, nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, physical therapists, nursing assistants know this.

When you see us you are vulnerable. Your world is not your own, you are lacking control over things that no one wants to lack control over. You are in pain. You are scared. You feel like crap. Worse of all, you are often dependent on your healthcare team to perform the most basic functions. Who wants to have to ask for help to use the bathroom for Christ sakes?

We know this. And if we are good at our job, we will make it as easy as it can be, and it is not easy to be a patient. But it is even harder to be a nurse. It's hard to watch someone die. It's hard to break ribs doing CPR. It's hard to fight a losing battle. And we all have those days when that is what we are doing.
We may pour all our energy into doing everything we can do to keep someone alive, knowing that it is a futile battle. But still we do it. We do it because it's more than just our job. It's part of who we are. When I was in the Marines, we said "once a Marine always a Marine." Being a nurse is just like that. It forever changes you.
Miss Colorado did what we want every Miss America contestant to do, she stood up, and was a role model. A positive role model. Her talent performance did not deserve ridicule. There was nothing ridiculous about it. It was touching, it was moving. So when you bashed her for performing it, of course you angered 3 million nurses. Your apologies fell flat. I hope you realize that. You have done nothing but antagonize us even more. One day, you will see a nurse walking into a room where you or a loved one needs their care. And you will be grateful that they are there. But you will not, I think, ever understand what it is you did wrong.

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