Saturday, February 25, 2006

back then

Why is it people always say it was better "back then'?
I was wandering the blogs and stopped to read some nursing blogs and oh boring. The never ending Nurses should be better dressed argument is back again. Nurses of a certain age have complained about this forever. Hospital infection control services banished the nurses cap a million years ago because it was a filthy, germ filled,virus laden ugly thing. The cap fit no one and so it took constant repositioning and repinning to keep the ridiculous thing on the head..meaning nurses were constantly touching themselves.
A million years ago it was considered an insult to the patient if you wore gloves while providing care..some old nurses cleaned up incontinent patients bare handed with the comment "you don't wear gloves to change a babies diaper do you?" all smug and condescending.
Nowadays if you got caught trying that you would get fired for being a moron.
Times change and there are reasons for it.
Nurses don't wear white anymore because it is stupid to wear white in a profession that involves close contact with the entire spectrum of human byproducts, waste and otherwise.
We wear scrubs in certain areas because on occasion we are required to operate at the bedside.

I have no idea why other nurses not involved with the OR wear scrubs or colourful imitation scrubs. Why medical professionals need to wear pseudo pajamas is beyond me..maybe they did a study and found we all had difficulty with zippers and buttons so they went for the stretch waist .
Seeing so many morbidly obese nurses lately I think the scrubs may be because nothing else will fit.
We are supposed to be able to teach our patients about safe and healthy habits and this obese nurse is telling a heart patient how to manage their diet.
Boldly lecturing on the evils of fast food and would be funny if I wasn't a nurse.
You hear patients talking amongst themselves and laughing at the irony .

When I try to tell people how physically demanding nursing is the obese nurse stands in mockery. How do I make anyone believe I work hard when all they see are fat nurses eating at the desk.?

Having self respect is a the heart of the uniform controversy I think. Nurses should look like professionals,clean,neat..presentable. What I see now is not a uniform problem.We have nurses that look slovenly and it's not the uniforms fault. They don't take the time to care for themselves, they are unkempt,overweight and look like they just rolled out of bed.
No dress code is going to fix that.

I think there are a hundred reasons why some nurses can't get their acts together. Maybe it's the twelve hour shifts and terrible schedules that leave no time to do anything but sleep and eat. Or it could be the heavy patient loads with much sicker patients that increases stress and unhappiness. Nursing pays just enough to give the illusion that you can "make" it but not enough that you actually can. So stressing over money and time and throw in family commitments and it is a recipe for disaster. Wearing a fancy uniform with a snazzy cap isn't going to solve a damn thing.

I wish nurses would stop bitching about hats and start trying to tackle the hard questions. A hundred research papers have made it clear that shift work will cut years and years off your life but nurses are still expected to flip from days and nights as if it is completely natural. Twelve hour shifts are barbaric and health destroying but we make no complaint.
We are taking on more and more patients who are sicker and sicker..all of them old with at least five different things wrong with them that have nothing to do with their admission but we still are expected to manage them. We have a patient that comes in for a knee replacement..they are also hypertensive with out of control diabetes, COPD and heart disease. This is our normal patient. On top of all this the patients don't want to work at anything, they refuse to do the exercises, they wont get out of bed..they want to be sick and we want them out of the hospital because a hundred people are waiting for their bed so they can get their knee replacement.
It is our job to force these adults who were completely educated prior to their surgery to get up and to do what they committed to do. These are adults who we have to bully and push all the while trying to control their pain to perfection,keep their wound from getting infected, keep the blood pressure down so they don't stroke out, keep their sugar under control so they don't fall into a coma...blah,blah, blah's ridiculous.
Hilariously it's not just one of these people,most of the time it's five or six..with at least one of them that doesn't speak a word of english.......
So how about we as nurses demand a schedule that doesn't kill us? How about a reasonable patient load so we don't kill you? How about some help? After that I will consider wearing a hat and a starched white uniform.


At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - as nurses we're taught to be empathetic, and non-judgmental. I'm shocked at the comments you've made about overweight/obese nurses. To generalize the behaviors of overweight nurses is to reject the very foundation of nursing. You have just proved to everyone that you truly do not grasp the concept of what it means to be a nurse.

If you truly care about people and have passion in your heart for nursing, you will be a good nurse...size 2 or size 22.

I truly hope that I never get anyone like you taking care of me.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger adventures in disaster said...

How utterly ironic that is what you chose to complain about.

Being morbidly obese is a sign of mental illness, it's not a political statement.
Talking about obesity is not a crime as much as you want it to be.

I don't believe morbidly obese nurses should be holding themselves out as health care professionals. it's ridiculous because by their obvious issues they are not paying any attention to their health.
I want my patients to lose weight if they need to, I want my patient to choose a better diet and get out and exercise...I can educate them because I actually follow some of the rules of healthy living.

Stop trying to shut nurses up when you feel they aren't being saintly enough and get that white cap on so you can spread C-Diff to everyone..I know that appearances mean so much to you, right?


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