Unswerving loyalty to duty, constant devotion to truth, and a clear conscience will overcome every discouragement and surely lead the way to usefulness and high achievement. - Grover Cleveland
DON'T MESS WITH the Spirit of Florence Nightingale!
It's time for the press to give voice to the large numbers of those of us who work hard every day taking care of those who come to us in need.......without yelling, without demeaning our hospitals in public, without going on strike. We work for change in professional ways that union organizers can't understand and never will. Because, of course, they are not nurses. They have not got the flame of Florence Nightingale lighting their way.
They are not nurses.
When a nurses strike is planned at a hospital, the union will tell you that patient care is not disrupted but this is simply not true. Services have to be cut back and some units even closed. The hospital must remain open so other nurses are brought in to assure continuity of care. Of course the union calls these nurses "scabs" but many of us would not think twice about being called that. We see it as meeting the needs of our patients who need us. The union can call it what they want to. We care about our patients, not what the union is going to call us. Tell me how you would feel if you were a patient in need at this time. Tell me how you would feel as a nurse. There must be a better way. The nurses of One Voice - Our Voice will never use our patients as pawns to get what we want.
The union organizers who encourage this type of activity have not cared for acutely ill patients in need of immediate care. They have not cared for too many patients at once, knowing it is not the best but doing it because there is a need. They have not cared for dying cancer patients, AIDS patients, children with worried parents, psychotic patients hearing voices, bleeding trauma victims, dying patients with distraught families, and the list goes on.
They have not dealt with a waiting room full of sick patients needing to get a bed in the ER with rooms and hallways at maximum capacity because we can't move patients upstairs due to staffing problems or high census. They have not done this as a nurse. How could they possibly understand or speak for us.
There is no magic potion to create new nurses in this time of a nursing shortage that continues to worsen. Militant activity will only cause those who may be thinking of being a nurse to choose something else.
The best way to bring others into nursing is for us to show what nursing really is. It is up to us as professionals to inspire and motivate others to join this profession with so many opportunities. It is up to us to come up with answers. It is also up to us to be leaders and to welcome new nurses into the profession, teaching and guiding them as they grow.
It is up to us to listen to those who feel unheard, to those who want a union because they feel it is the only way to be heard. It is up to us to lead by example and model more appropriate ways to effect change. It is up to US to come together as one, whether pro union or against unions. IT IS UP TO US to work TOGETHER for change.
Is it hard to be a nurse? Yes. Is it satisfying and rewarding? Yes. Is it a job with a secure future? Yes. We need nurses now more than ever.
Is going on strike possibly detrimental to patient care? Yes and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It's not hard to figure out that there is potential for many problems that can have a negative impact on patient care. Is patient care in jeapordy today due to the nursing shortage? Yes and we all need to come up with solutions together. If you feel in your heart that going on strike is in the best interest of your patients in the long run, go ahead and follow your own conscience but don't expect us to follow you or agree with you.
We do not need people who are not nurses speaking for our profession if they are going to do it in a negative manner or with ineffective and unrealistic solutions. And we definitely do not need militant activity encouraged as a way to solve the nursing shortage!
Make an impact...........Be Professional. Staff nurses have all the answers! Present them in a respectful and professional manner. We do not support negative, bullying behavior and will not be part it.