Here’s a taste of my second book, “Oh Sh*t, I Almost Quit! A Little Book of Big Battles in Nursing and Beyond.” I hope to have this completed by early spring…and I’m tossing it out into the universe for some pressure on myself to keep writing. So have at it, friends! More to come! xo
When the call bells and telemetry alarms bring you back down from cloud nine, you’ll be forced to dive headfirst into your running to-do list once again. When that moment comes, you won’t have time to stop and consider hopes and dreams: you’re working to just make it through the shift. That’s why I am asking you – nay, begging – as an educated professional, you must find a way to take the inner workings of your nursing needs and make them public. I’m not asking you to write a friggen’ book about it: that’s reserved for a select few of us who choose to live dangerously and toe the line between “gainfully employed” and “definitely fired.” I am, however, insisting that you start to start doing your research. I ask that you question the status quo. I advise you to find a way to establish a difference between what are considered tasks associated with your prescribed list of professional obligations, and those that enter a gray area.
A wake up call is rarely pleasant. Even at the Ritz, you’re startled out of your dream state…hair matted…drool on your pillow…abruptly forced to leave behind your cocoon of warmth and comfort at the hands of some concierge named Stewart. Stewart’s job isn’t to coddle you and cradle you into a gentle transition toward wakefulness: he just needs to make sure you get your ass up. Today, my name is Stewart. I’m here to wake your ass up. Because the longer you remain cloaked in the coziness of the current state of nursing affairs, the harder it’s going to be to turn the eternal nurse fantasy into reality. The longer you remain content in the ways that nursing practice devolves – our progress and advancements outweighed by the crack of a finance-driven whip – the harder it’s going to be for a wake up call to be effective. Stewart and his incessant redial won’t do the trick: it’s going to require a sonic boom to snap you out of it. Do you really want to wait and see what kind of bomb they drop on nursing next? I’m not so sure about that. Grey’s Anatomy is dramatic. This? This is our reality. This is nursing. Don’t ignore the wake up call. I think that maybe I have a flair for the dramatic. And perhaps I utilize some strong terminology to paint a picture of where and why nursing domain has become stagnant. And there’s a good chance that you’re questioning whether I am blowing the topic out of proportion, and why I don’t just suck it up and deal with the day to day reality of nursing like everyone else.
Sure. You’re correct. Nobody can die or anything if we don’t have adequate resources to provide patient care. It wouldn’t be an emergency if a patient slips and falls climbing out of bed and cracks their skull on a bedside table…especially if that patient was on a blood thinning agent, right? And it wouldn’t be a big deal if a patient removed his own breathing tube and respiratory arrested while we were too busy dealing with your tripled ICU assignment…since, really, what’s the harm in adding one more critically ill patient to your load? It would be perfectly acceptable for our elderly patient to develop a Martian looking crater above her ass-crack because all of our help to reposition her is busy doing damage control elsewhere, am I right? And who gives a shit if a patient accidentally exsanguinates / receives the incorrect medication / cardiac arrests / flat out ceases to exist any longer because we, as nurses, are unable to be in a thousand different places at once? As long as the hospital stays under budget…what’s the harm in an occasional expiration now and then, since a death certificate is less damning than scoring a four on a Press Ganey Survey? Dramatic? I’m not so sure about that. Grey’s Anatomy is dramatic. This? This is our reality. This is nursing. Don’t ignore the wake up call.