“Nursing: Isn’t that Sweet?”

As a nurse, I’m an advocate for patients and I educate the public about the facts of this profession, which until recently has been too silent:

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3 thoughts on ““Nursing: Isn’t that Sweet?”

    • It’s so true and true of other professions, like teaching I’m sure. But nursing requires so much; and I don’t need to preach to the choice on thaat, but I’ll include a link, which I hope will ‘go through’, my first article (in the Sun-Times and another magazinee): as it appeared in the Sun-Times:
      Nurses do More than Meets the Eye

      April 9, 2003 – Chicago Sun-Times

      Traditionally, doctors lead the health care team, with much help from nurses, aides, therapists, technicians and an immense support staff. Because registered nurses form the largest part of the direct care team and have the most contact with patients, you may be curious to know what they do.

      All nursing students study anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition and psychology, often possessing college, advanced and graduate degrees. Nurses also learn interventions and approaches to care.

      Skillfully, we assess every system, at the same time evaluating patients in mind, body and spirit. Nurses have many ways of gauging fluid retention and dehydration, but sometimes rely on a gentle pinch of a patient’s skin. We know heart irregularities, read EKGs, and are responsible for notifying the doctor to discuss and provide treatment. Also, nurses must notify doctors when wounds show signs of poor healing and possible infection. Assessments of skin, nails, hair and laboratory values help determine nutritional status.

      Nurses assess pain, sometimes recommending pain medications, with a followup reassessment. Nurses dispense medications, knowing how they affect the body, and indications for giving them safely.

      How often does a doctor overwhelm a patient with information, only to leave a nurse to ”pick up the pieces”? This isn’t always the doctor’s “fault”; their training is not always in calming fearful patients.

      Not only do nurses have that ability, but it is who they are. Generally, nurses remain at the bedside to talk with and care for the dying patient, console and help the patient and family understand stages of grief; at the same time preparing all for the patient’s death.

      While committed to our profession and devoted to our patients, knowledge of and respect for our contributions to health care has been absent for far too long. All of this contributes to a general lack of public awareness of nursing’s contributions; it’s one reason we face a shortage of nurses.

      Anne Nowlin, Des Plaines

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