I hesitated putting this blog out there, with the fear of people perceiving me as being too negative. For those whole follow me, you know that “negativity” is everything that I stand against! I am all about lifting up, empowering, and supporting nurses, but sometimes there are just topics that weight heavy on my heart! I’m not really big on writing “How-To” blogs or “5 Tips for x, y, or z.” Those are all effective and great ways to blog, but I’m more of a “lets talk about our feelings” kinda blogger. Take it or leave it 😉
When I became a nurse, it was because I really cared about people. People are my passion! I wanted a job that was going to be fulfilling. A job that was going to make a difference in the lives of others. A job that at the end of the day, I went home and felt like I made someone’s day, and possibly life, a little better. Nursing was that job for me! I worked the hardest I have ever worked for something in my life, getting through school and passing boards!
The Harsh Reality At Hand
As I started my first week of nursing, I was immediately bombarded with chart audits galore, corrections in my documentation, and concerns about my pain reassessments not being documented quick enough. I also found myself hyper focusing on these things and neglecting actual patient interaction. I know that I’m preaching to the choir, but I was completely miffed at how ridiculous the business aspect of healthcare was. It was a giant shock for my young 23 year old self. It was a hard pill to swallow and an adjustment I had to make. Even though I spent my shifts loving and taking really great care of my patients, the hospital is still a business. And at the end of the day, that’s what really mattered to the people that I submitted to. And that was a really harsh reality.
Over the next few years, I had to figure out how to deal with this concept. The concept that everything is about reimbursement and business (or so it seemed). The concept that much of my performance as a nurse was based on how well I documented and checked the boxes, and not so much how I positively impacted someone’s care. This has been and still is a struggle for me. It’s a struggle that I deal with on a daily basis. It’s a struggle that makes me contemplate what I want to do with my life. It’s also the reason that I DO blog, so I can be a positive nursing voice in a corporate healthcare world.
Business Over Lives….Or So It Seems….
I have a really hard time putting business over people’s lives. No other profession has to deal with this concept in the way that we do. We’re not dealing with lattes, or food, or insurance, we’re dealing with peoples lives. If we mess up, there are no do-overs. I get that hospitals are a business, and we have a lot of money hungry fancy people on top calling the shots for us front line nurses, but the struggle and disconnect is that WE are not doing this job for the money and these are people’s LIVES. We aren’t so much worried about the business when are patients are tanking or in a ton of pain. It’s easy to forget to do stuff in those moments and after intense situations. We’re here to take care of LIVES. The way that hospitals are addressing the business side of things with its nurses is negatively affecting the nursing culture in a whole. This ultimately affects patient care. And that’s why we’re all here in the first place. I hate seeing this happen.
None of us put ourselves through 2-4 years of brutal basic training to bring home the benjamins! That’s not it at all. We became nurses because we LOVE people. We want to make a difference every day. So when you have the people up top making me prioritize the business stuff over my actual patient care, it starts to really weigh heavy on my heart. It makes me resent the position that I LOVE!
Is This The Job For Me?
Nursing is an art. It is a talent. It takes an incredibly special person to do this job! It’s not for the weak hearted! I can promise you that no nurse does this job for the money. They do this job because it gives them purpose. It makes a difference to others! I do this job because I simply love taking care of people in their hardest times. I feel absolutely called to be a lover and a caretaker to complete strangers! It’s in my blood to love well, and nursing was the perfect job for me!
It leaves the biggest bruise on my heart when the business of this intimate profession gets in the way of my care. It hurts me in a way that starts to make me question, “Is this job for me?” It seems sometimes completely wrong and unfair to deal with the disgusting business that healthcare can be. I just so badly wish that things in this unique and intimate profession weren’t so money driven. Money truly is the root of all evil. I feel that it’s a really harsh reality with this profession. I love being a nurse, but my heart is a little heavy this week!
The Battle Continues
I don’t know that there is an answer to this. I’ve only been a nurse for 4 years, and wonder how long people have thought this way? Has it gotten worse? How do we draw the line between business and lives? How do I cope with this “business plan” when I’m here to take care of lives. This is part of the reason I am going to DC again with Show Me Your Stethoscope for their 2nd annual Safe Staffing Rally! They understand how this is all affecting this profession and they are doing something about it! I invite you to come as well!
Love on each other well this week. Start a blog not to complain, but to be a voice. To share awareness. Start a blog to be a POSITIVE voice! Every nurse you are working next to is aware of this struggle. It can be a harsh reality, but we need to continue to support and encourage one another. We need to love on our patients well! Our attitudes are game changers, and our kind actions speak volumes! Get involved outside of your hospital to at least help be a change! Thank you for continuing to listen to my heart through my writing! Keep fighting for this profession, and love well!
Your Heart Is Mine,