Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Superior Nurse to the Rescue?

Being a nurse is not an easy job. Actually, I can't call it a JOB. It's a profession, a vocation that requires utmost dedication and hard work. We know that in being a nurse, we do our best to maintain the lives of our patients in partnership with all the team members of the hospital, mainly, the doctor. We have to maintain the ideal setups and procedures to prevent any nosocomial infections and other complications. But, being ideal is not always applicable to our Philippine Charity Hospitals.

I am a ward nurse in a Charity Hospital here in the Philippines. For a total of 60 patients, our nurse-patient ratio is 1:10, that is if the "higher" nurses do bedside care. But if you count that only the "lower" nurses do bedside care, then it would be 1:20. Do the math for me please. Notice that I quoted the words higher and lower. There is a superiority complex when it comes to the Charity Hospitals. Mostly because other nurses think that they are superior to us when they should realize that we are all nurses and we are all equal when it comes to caring for patients. Actually, I really don't mind because that just means more experience, but inevitably, life gets unfair, and you just have to accept that that complex is so f*cked up. Not all nurses are accepting as I am. I take what they give me and grasp it as a learning experience. I don't view the negative aspect of being as an "inferior" nurse because I know that this will be an opportunity to gain knowledge, and I am sucker for gaining knowledge and wanting to learn more. However, the other nurses may not be as accepting as me. I have to say that being bossed and pushed around could be tiring and irritating. I guess, sometimes, people want it fair and square.

Let's see. Why do most charity nurses get angry when they become bossed around. I'll enumerate some reasons. One, being a bedside care nurse is already a tough job. You have to be alert at all times. You give the care, the attention and communication with all the patients and the relatives. You give the medications, do the monitoring, take the vital signs and give bedside care. With all those happening, why wouldn't you be angry when a "superior" nurse tells you to "do this for me then go down to the lab" or "go down then go back up then down again" or "take this for me, give it, then take the vitals of my admissions after that, do this and do that " or "blah and blah and blah" that much that all you can hear are echoes to your Tympanic Membrane. Second, you are too tired and haven't been able to sit all day and you are just starting to sit when "superior" nurse calls again and ask you to do all of the above. Why wouldn't you be angry as you see "superior" nurse drinking coffee at the pantry or eating a sandwich taking all the time they can get. Third, you are an unpaid volunteer. Why would you not get angry when the "superior" nurse rushes out of endorsement and you get stuck behind? Fourth, you walk and do nursing rounds all day then you hear this during endorsement from a "superior" nurse "My Gluteus hurts because I have been sitting all day doing the charting". Why wouldn't you be?

Don't be angry. Why not you ask? Because when time comes, you are prepared to do bedside emergency care, you are prepared to do any procedure, you are prepared for anything, you, Super Nurse, will be to the rescue and our poor old "Superior Nurse" will be at her mercy.

Be thankful for everything that happens. Observe the nurses around you. Be glad that some "superiors" are willing to share their knowledge. But be happy when you see other "superiors" fail because soon, they'll be begging on their knees for help. Nurses should be equal and hope that you don't encounter a setup as this.

thejanraphaelbc 2012