Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nurses' Voices

While browsing today at my local worker-owned collective bookstore, I finally purchased a copy of From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public. This book, along with Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care, provide thoughtful and erudite information regarding the state of the nursing profession, its relationship to medicine, and nursing's image vis-a-vis the public and the media.

As a nurse blogger with a modest (and slowly growing) readership, I feel I too must pay attention to the public image of nursing, and do my best to dispel stereotypes, shoring up an image which is frequently tainted by media reports concentrating on striking nurse unions and so-called "killer nurses" who occasionally are prosecuted for malfeasance or worse.

The bloggers of the nursing profession are a front-line voice in the medical wilderness, and I'm pleased and honored to be a member of that informal alliance of minds. Stay tuned as my wider reading engenders further writing fueled by my reaction to the contents of said tomes.


Anonymous said...

Having spent the better part of last summer in various hospitals (acute appendicitis, West Nile, meningitis, encephalitis), I have a very mixed impression about the nursing profession in general. While there are those who truly care and are nurturing to those in need (and I made sure to show my deep appreciation to these souls who I came into contact with), and those who seem to want to be somewhere else, doing other things. Nursing, to them, is merely a job.

Overall, I had two very distinct experiences during the six months I was ill. One hospital (Exempla) was horrid, and the attitudes of the staff reflected that. My visit to that hospital has resulted in litigation for negligence, while the other hospital (Boulder Community Hospital) was the apex of patient care and treatment. To the nurses and staff of the latter hospital, I salute you, and thank the gods for your presence here on earth. And for all nurses and medical staff who don't succumb to the "money first, patient second" attitude, you are awesome.

Keith "Nurse Keith" Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC said...

Christian, I know exactly what you're saying. In my peregrinations, I have come into contact with many a jaded nurse who seems like s/he is just there because that's where the paycheck comes from. This is quite disconcerting as a patient (and also as a colleague).

My advice, for one, would be to always try to go to a "Magnet" hospital, if possible, so designated by a rigorous application and accreditation process as being one of the best in the nation vis-a-vis patient care.

Anonymous said...


The first hospital visit, I voluntarily admitted myself into the ER due to severe abdominal pain, and the fact that I'd been bedridden with the pain for three days prior and it was not subsiding. Exempla was the closest hospital. (I live in a VERY rural area) The second hospital stay was involuntary, as I was not conscious or able to make my own decisions at that time, and so was taken to the facility most readily equipped to deal with an, at that time, unknown and possibly highly contagious illness. I think I just got lucky the second time...but nevertheless, it was someone "upstairs" watching out for me.

And you just love that word "peregrination," don't you? LOL