stand up for yourselves….military nurse

I am a nurse in the military, currently stationed in Japan. I am appalled at the state of affairs over here. I work in OB and the doctors I work with practice rogue medicine, but when you question their rational they get defensive and insinuate that the nurses are incompetent. It’s the same old line, the nurses are stupid and everything is their fault. Whenever anything goes wrong, there is no root cause analysis, no meeting or discussion about the event, this is because it is much easier to just blame it on the nurses. The leadership in this hospital couldn’t care less about our well being or our patients’ safety. All they care about is looking good for the public. If that means we take care of a woman who is way out of our realm of capability due to a serious lack of resources, well then by all means!! And they will make sure that the incident gets published and the hospital leadership is praised. BUT, if one SINGLE thing goes wonky, then “What happened???” is the next question and it is always asked, in a very exasperated and accusatory tone, of the nurses.
I have 85 days left here and then I return to the states. At this point, based on the conduct of this hospital and my leadership, I intend to serve out my requirement and get out! Then I will find a job that requires a bachelor’s degree but is not grudge work.
The ANA is pissed off at the president because he cut a whopping million dollars from the budget that supports nurse development and recruitment. The ANA is way off the mark, the ANA thinks that if the colleges around the world are able to enroll more nursing students, we won’t have a shortage. They are so wrong! It has nothing to do with the schools!!! It has everything to do with the crappy hospital administration and leadership. The leadership thinks that as long as they can keep us quiet, it doesn’t matter what they do to us, it’s the same in any hospital. Nurses have trouble standing up for themselves despite their vast ability to complain. On my unit I listen to nurses complain and their complaints are valid, but when I try to rally them together to speak out, the room goes deathly silent.
I worked with a nurse one night who was apologizing profusely to a doctor for calling him about his patient. I told her not to apologize because that makes him believe he shouldn’t be bothered about his patients. It is the doctor’s responsibility to be there for the patient and when a doctor yells at me for calling him/her, I know it is partly because he or she has been enabled by other nurses in the past.
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the abuse. Nurses are traditionally known to be codependent wimps. Well, I am not one of those and I will not stand for someone telling me otherwise. The hospitals, the health care system, the doctors; none of these organizations would survive if it were not for the backs of the nurses. Nurses give all and are supposed to expect nothing in return, it is part of the grace of being a nurse, but that does not mean the other professions in medicine can take nurses for granted. Nurses are supposed to be cherished, respected, admired for their devotion. Instead, in today’s culture, they are despised, judged, challenged and beaten down. All because the doctors and bosses can, all because we nurses let them.
Well, I say stop it. Stop letting these “people” affect you. When all nurses can stand up and put a stop to the abuse, nursing will improve. I’m not saying it’s a one way street but it’s up to the nurses to show the way. If not, we will continue to cry after work, get stomach ulcers, have chronic pain or diseases and that’s not acceptable. Nurses are highly educated people with a special something about them. I for one am not going to let that shrivel up inside of me.

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