Nursing is an amazing profession that combines both sciences and art to provide holistic care to those that are ill. Therefore, it is in a sense a talent, because art is a talent and not everyone is able to be a nurse.
I believe all of us have seen the controversy surrounding comments made on The View about Miss Colorado’s talent portion; as well as their attempts to right the wrong that comes across to many of us as an insincere apology. So why are millions of nurses offended by a few comments made by those on a morning TV talk show?
Speaking for myself, there are a multitude of reasons that this was so offensive and hurtful to those of us that are nurses, or anyone who provides direct patient care. To begin with, these naive comments are in a sense a reflection of what we fear public has come to see us as… silly nurses that just walk around wearing a “doctor’s stethoscope.” Secondly, the comments are a sign that the American public is not completely aware of several facts about nursing, including the education we receive and the fact that we are more than just the doctor’ assistant, we are nurses with our own professional license that we’ve worked hard to obtain.
Miss Colorado’s talent may have not touched the average American, but almost every nurse I know loved it, and I saw it posted several times throughout my social media news feeds. Why did it touch us? She spoke elegantly and candidly about how nurses feel at times… like we are just a nurse, someone that just brings you medications and comforts you, but has no ability to give orders or answer certain questions because we aren’t doctors?
She reminded us all that being just a nurse is a beautiful thing, we are so much more to our patients. We are the ones that spend 12 hours a day with them, we are the ones that hold their hands, that listen to their fears, that cheer them along during their recovery, that help them in the most vulnerable of times. To many we are providing care that they are no longer able to do on their own and doing it in a way that is not humiliating to them.
This unbelievably short beautiful monologue Miss Colorado offered was a refreshing reminder to us how important we are, even when we may feel like we are just a nurse, unable to make some changes.
So, yes the comments made on The View were silly and spoken without the intention of upsetting millions of nurses and other medical providers, yet they cut us deep. You can see from all the posts that resulted on social media, that nurses are uniting to stand up for our profession. I am so proud to see us all come together on this.
However, I am sadly disappointed by the fact that, with all this media attention, not one member of the nursing community has taken this opportunity to talk about the changes in our profession that have left us so hurt.
With all the ups and downs in healthcare, and the expectations placed on nurses, it is very sad that becoming united may not be enough to change the challenges set in front of us. Yes, we will gather to tell everyone that we use stethoscopes and we go through schooling that teaches us how to assess breath sounds, but we aren’t talking about real issues in nursing.
Not once has anyone mentioned paid for performance, including HCAHPS or other customer satisfaction surveys, no one is talking about nursing shortages, no one is talking about patient ratios, or hospitals not being reimbursed for those patients that have chronic diseases that are hospitalized more than once in 30 days.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could honestly explain to the American public that as nurses we are being put under severe pressure and pushed at times beyond our abilities? Every moment is an opportunity to teach people what we do and why we are such important members in the healthcare community.