I am a nurse. My original speciality was always Peri-operative nursing but more recently I have moved into cosmetic nursing and add to that a dash of palliative Care/Medical/Rehab nursing, and that is my nursing career in a nutshell!
After working for years in an environment where the only contact we had with clients was a quick “hello”, “what are you allergic to?” and “Are you sure that is the leg we are operating on?”, to working on a ward in a public hospital, let me tell you the differences are HUGE!
I am not going to discuss cosmetic nursing, that in itself if a completely different arena of nursing and one which I am totally in love with! what I am going to discuss with you, however, is the treatment of myself and my colleagues by the very patients we are there to look after.
I felt compelled to pen this after talking to a nursing colleague last week, who came into my business for a beauty service. It was upsetting to see how distressed she was by the treatment of her and the staff she worked with by the very patients she is there to look after. Let me tell you, if a customer in Myer’s treated a staff member in an inappropriate manner, they would be escorted off the premises. If a staff member treated another staff member in your business, the way nurses get treated by patients, then they would be sacked! Why is it OK to treat nurses like, dare I say it, Crap!
Please don’t get me wrong, there are amazing patients out there who are grateful for the care they get. But I am going to make a bit of a generalization here, it seems that a lot more patients are coming through the system that are very aggressive, looking for a quick way to make money and know the system and how to milk it! So I am going to list just a few of the behaviours that are unacceptable!
It is NOT ok to inappropriately touch a nurse!
It is NOT ok to fabricate lies which can ultimately ruin a nurses career.
It is NOT ok to expect nurses to clean up excrement just because the patient is too lazy to go to the toilet!
It is NOT ok to be spat on.
It is NOT ok to be hit, by either patient or the family.
It is NOT appropriate to be screamed and sworn at.
It is NOT appropriate to bite.
You get the picture I am sure. What makes these incidents more vile, is the lack of support shown for nurses by our hierarchy. In our game, we are guilty until proven innocent! A very sad but true fact. Many a great nurse has left the profession because they can’t stand the way they are treated, by management and patients alike!
I know what I have written may not change anything. But what I hope you may take from this is if you are a patient in a hospital, don’t leave your manners at the door, be polite and have a little patience. You will always get far more out of nursing staff if you are pleasant to deal with. Nurses, just like patients have rights! Maybe, we should start demanding them!