Nursing Voices

Friday, July 28, 2006

More From the News Desk

Today in New Mexico, Donna Morrow, a surgical nurse at Plains Regional Medical Center, took her Chihuahua to the vet for his shots, and ended up delivering a baby.
Morrow heard a woman screaming from the vet's restroom, and when she investigated, she found a woman about to give birth. With the help of the vet and a 911 operator, Morrow delivered a healthy baby boy. Take your dog to the vet and deliver a baby. Just goes to prove how nurses can multi-task.

Nursing leaders in the United Kingdom are calling for action after a survey revealed that one in five nurses in the UK have been bullied at work during the past year.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey also showed that a quarter of the nurses who were bullied changed jobs, or left nursing because the problem.

Now for the editorial:

I’m sorry, but no one is going to help nurses with this problem. It’s up to nurses to stop the abuse. I know you’ve heard me say this before, but we teach people how to treat us. Case in point; I was pulled to a medical floor this weekend and was in a patient’s room when I heard yelling out in the hallway. When I walked out of my patient’s room to investigate, I saw two nurses huddled in the hallway, cornered by a doctor. I walked up to the doctor and asked her to keep her voice down because she was disturbing the patients. She turned and glared had me. I thought, “Oh honey, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.” In a rage, she screamed, “Who the hell are you?” I responded in a calm, low voice, “I'm the nurse you're not going to talk to like that. When you can talk in a professional manner, look me up, but until then I have nothing more to say to you." Her jaw dropped. Yeah, she was speechless. No one had set limits with her before. When the thunderstruck doctor left the unit, the two nurses I rescued told me I was going to get in trouble. They said I had to understand that doctors "get like that sometimes,” and that nurses "just have to deal with it." I just rolled my eyes and walked away.

If I took a job on that floor, I would be fired my first day on the unit.
If that sort of behavior is deemed acceptable, it’s a good thing I worked behind locked doors.


Blogger kt said...

oh how i agree with you on that. we are all human beings and there is no need to "talk down" to a nurse or to take it for that matter. last time i checked we were all on the same team working on getting a patient better.
great post!

8:17 AM  
Blogger kario said...

Thank you so much for writing that!When my husband was in the hospital and I thought the doctor might have overlooked something, I asked the nurse to page him and question it. She replied, "Oh, honey, we're just nurses. We don't question the doctors. We just follow their orders." My response was, "Well, then tell him his patient's wife is questioning him and let him know I'd like him to come to the floor right now to discuss it with me." She was terrified! Do they teach nurses to defer to doctors in nursing school or is that something that happens in the workplace? Stand up for yourselves, people, you've trained long and hard for these jobs and you're the patient's first advocate!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Thirty three years ago when I started nursing school, I was taught "fear based" nursing. Students were taught to fear the doctors, because they were gods, the patients, because they can sue the hospital, and hospital administers, because they could fire you. Now I practice "fear-me" based nursing, and I couldn't be happier.

I think students nurses are still taught to be passive around docs. Fortunately, most of the younger docs aren't like the one I tangled with in the hallway. My doctors always treat me with respect.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous may said...

you go girl! and i mean that in a good way :)

12:20 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Courage! I admire courage Mother Jones. I could never abide the sort of gratuitous abuse you describe and my immediate circle knew it. To get respect you have to give respect. Nice work!

12:41 PM  
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9:19 AM  

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