On being a nurse: Snippets from the frontline

Florence Nightingale once said on nursing:  “…the very first requirement in a hospital, that it should do the sick no harm.”

A considerable amount of my early clinical education in a hospital was acquired from nurses.  They helped me smooth the transition from book-learned medicine to the application of that knowledge.
 
Many nurses started as aides, and rose to achieve their RN degrees.  Today, I see all of these women and men adhering to the commitment of diligently caring for their patients.
 
For those in an acute care hospital where patients are hurriedly pushed through, nurses are struggling to sustain their Florence Nightingale pledge.
 
They have to spend more time on the computer than talking with their patient.  Too often I see them not eating lunch or taking breaks.  Yet, because their patients are acutely ill, they stay by the bedside giving aid and comfort.
 
Now their day is “stopwatch” timed, and if they do not achieve a statistically created goal, their “performance evaluation” is negatively rated minimizing pay raises.
 
Nursing is not easy in this mechanized world.
 
So when you or your loved one is hospitalized, acknowledge their work, and give them a well-deserved “Thank you!”
 
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.
 

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