If You Worked with Florence Nightingale

If you worked with Florence Nightingale, I imagine she’d inspire you to be better. I bet she would be the type of nurse that would encourage you to strive for great things. I think she would have you believe that absolutely anything is possible, and that we should always aim for greatness.  It is with her in mind that I ask every nurse who reads this to reflect on your practice, your patients, and your profession. What can we do to make things better for ourselves, for the people that we serve, and for the profession that so strongly defines us?  With one of my first experiences with maternal death, I realized early in my nursing career that we have so much work to do.

It is with great hesitation that I talk about something that I have been working on for months. To be honest, I am always afraid of failure, but my sincere desire for things to be better for everyone urges me to just try. I don’t know if I’ll fail. I don’t know if people will respond. But I have to tell myself that if action is activated in even just one person, then what we all do is worth it.

Until I figure out exactly how I can contribute to the big scheme of things, I will support organizations that are already doing great work for the group of people that matter the most to me. I have started a nonprofit organization called NursesWomenBabies. With this nonprofit, I will highlight the talents of nurses and women. Money made from the sale of any items donated to NursesWomenBabies will go to organizations that support the advancement of nurses, women, and/or babies 😃

Capture

Being a member of AWHONN since I graduated nursing school, I have decided to highlight the Every Woman, Every Baby campaign first. If you decide to make a donation straight to Every Woman, Every Baby, please list Adventures of a Labor Nurse under “additional comments” so I will know who to personally thank (and of course, there will be surprises!)

If you have something you would like to donate, or know of an organization or charity that you would like me to consider highlighting in the future, please contact me here.

So today I begin another adventure 😃 I will start the donation process. For any products I’m asked to review, I will donate the money made from reviewing or selling the product.  You can see our progress here and be sure to thank people who love #nurseswomenbabies!

 

Until my next delivery ❤


7 thoughts on “If You Worked with Florence Nightingale

  • August 14, 2015 at 3:57 pm
    Permalink

    If I could talk to nurses like I talk to my 6 year old.

    Shelly Lopez Gray, an RN who is obviously very burned out in her job, wrote a piece entitled “If Nurses Could Talk To You Like They Talk to Their Kids”, published on the Huffington Post.

    Let me explain it to Ms. Gray, and other nurses, the way I explain things to my child, so that you will have a better perspective of the patient’s point of view.

    Ms. Gray complains that patients in the labor unit do not clean up their rooms, wear cosmetics or fix their hair. Although a patient would certainly look prettier if she had on makeup and rolled her hair, this often isn’t possible. For example, she may have had an emergency birth with no time to collect her cosmetics or even a hairbrush from her home. She probably doesn’t feel well, like most patients in hospitals, and so that means she doesn’t feel like doing her basic grooming routine. You should try to have some compassion instead of mocking her. She may be taking a lot of painkillers, or she might have just had major surgery. That’s right – major surgery with a six week recovery time. Do you know which surgery I am talking about? Its called a caesarean section. It is also important to remember that not all L&D patients are young, strong and healthy. Some have serious illnesses or other complications with their birth, and sadly, some have babies that were not born healthy. They may have just received bad news that their newborn failed his hearing test or their preemie isn’t doing well in the NICU. This is a time when things like curling eyelashes and rolling hair just don’t seem that important anymore. Do you understand?

    Also, wearing cosmetics can disguise health issues that maybe you nurses need to be more attuned to. I had very severe anemia when I was in the hospital after having a c-section, and it was never noticed by any of the nurses (perhaps they were too busy judging my hairstyle, who knows). However, if a patient wears cosmetics, it might be even more difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of anemia or other serious conditions. Your job as a nurse is to be more concerned about the health of your patients, than whether or not they look ready for a fashion shoot. Make any sense? Okay, here is the big dose of humility for you: You are just an ordinary person, working an ordinary job, and you have no right to demand that someone look their personal best for you at all times.

    As for cleaning up their rooms, many patients in hospitals can’t do this because, well, they are in the hospital. You know? Sure, they shouldn’t deliberately make a mess of their rooms, but some of that mess may have been created by other people coming into their rooms – lactation consultants, aides, family members, etc. You just don’t know unless you personally monitor their room 24/7. Please don’t attack new moms as lazy slobs who normally keep a messy home or expect others to clean up after them. If something gets spilled on the floor, it is not their responsibility to clean it up – it is YOUR responsibility to either clean it yourself, or get janitorial staff to do it, as soon as possible. It is a fall hazard, and is especially dangerous if the new mom is walking around in her room while carrying her infant.

    Also, Ms. Grey said that the new moms she takes care of have poor hygiene and don’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom or touch their privates. I have a hard time believing that all new moms are like this, so this part was obviously just pure malice. Hand washing is, of course, very important, especially in a hospital, but once again, when someone isn’t feeling well at all, and can barely function, its possible they may forget very basic things. You can’t assume they normally have poor hygiene or don’t know how to clean themselves. I have seen some of you nurses sneeze into your hands and then not clean them. Let’s face it, if all you healthcare workers practiced perfect hygiene, we wouldn’t have diseases like C-diff going around in hospitals. These diseases travel around on your hands, arms and scrub uniforms.

    Ms. Grey also complains that patients “play with their food”. Really, why do you care?

    Lastly, I want to say something that’s not really how I would talk to a child, its from one adult to another. So here goes: Its been an open secret, for generations, that labor nurses are vicious towards their female patients. It seems to give some nurses a feeling of power over other women during the most helpless and vulnerable times of their lives, when they are giving birth and recovering from birth. Some of you ladies really don’t need to be working in Labor & Delivery; and some of you don’t need to be in nursing at all.

    I love the way you sign off “until my next delivery”. Ms. Grey, sweetheart, you won’t be delivering any of my children – ever. YOU are the specific reason that so many women choose home births these days.

    Reply
      • August 17, 2015 at 2:43 pm
        Permalink

        I love your blog! I think it is funny and the things said need to be taken with a grain of salt, and not as a direct insult. I had both of my babies in the hospital and enjoy a caring nurse with a sense of humor. It is always a personal choice, and I would never choose to give birth anywhere other than a hospital. I thank the universe for the amazing nurses and doctors who took care of my baby boy who was delivered not breathing. Without quick medical intervention, he may not have been here today. Nurses are one of the reasons I chose to have a hospital birth….because you all make me feel safe. Even if I didn’t like your blog, I wouldn’t let a personality conflict impact my decision to have a safest delivery possible. Thank you for all that you do.

        Reply
  • August 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm
    Permalink

    Wow- Honestly Shay, I am also a Laobr Nurse and when I read the posts written by Shelly, I feel like she is peering over my shoulder into my daily world. The fact that she I don’t say the things we all are thinking is evidence that I REALLY do LOVE my job- even on bad days. I smile and pick up the garbage and don’t send in the janitorial staff b/c my patient doesn’t need one more person in the room distracting them when they are trying to grab a couple moments of rest.

    Maybe you have a hard time about the hand washing/hygiene thing, but working bedside nursing for 33 years, I do not.

    This is not written as a truth about every single patient we encounter, but enough of us can TOTALLY RELATE to every item she mentioned.

    I’m sorry you had a bad labor experience. As I introduce myself to every patient I tell them, my goal is to make this THEIR VERY BEST experience!

    Reply
    • August 14, 2015 at 7:02 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Cindy. Of course I don’t think these things about every patient. Honestly, I was on vacation with my kids without my husband, and I caught myself constantly saying some of these things….and I thought, hey, I’ve thought some of these things when I take care of some patients! It was meant to be funny, you know if you’re the patient that doesn’t wash your hands after going to the bathroom! Or the one that leaves stuff everywhere. And I was actually thinking of myself as a patient with the “suck it up” comment, because I literally have NO tolerance for pain. ?

      Reply
  • August 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm
    Permalink

    I too related to the experience of patients in that blog. Of course we don’t SAY what we think and of course we all try to give “above and beyond” care to all our patients. This blog is actually better received by other nurses who’ve been there, up close and personal. Patients who are recovering from a bad experience or who just have a big old chip on their shoulder don’t take it the way it was intended. This is a society of ” the offended” who don’t want to see it from anyone else’s point of view, ever.

    Reply

I want to hear what you have to say!

%d bloggers like this: