To the President of the United States from the YogaNurse:
Dear Mr. President,
May I be so bold to tell you in my not-so humble opinion the answer to your question, “Where are the nurses?” Elementary dear Watson. Nobody wants the job. Why not? because … “This Job is Killing Me.”
As an advocate for nurses, I currently teach meditation, natural stress relief techniques and medical yoga to nurses and nursing organizations through out the country to help them with morale and wellness on the job. Shockingly, I often hear nurses say these exact words to me: “This job is killing me and I’d kill to get off the floor.” It shocked me because I too said those very words at times in my nursing career, but never out loud, and only to myself. These words are engraved in my psyche as the global lament of way too many nurses. Never mind what country, color, religion or background of the nurse, (I have worked in Canada and the USA) it is the same story and not a pretty one.
Why is this job killing me? There are endless reasons why nurses are “dying” from their work and why the job is literally making them sick. Just a few examples that you can surely relate to: Insufficient staffing, overwork, impossibly long shifts, endless charting, little time for patient care, working with inexperienced nurses, burnt out nurses, slackers, disrespect, conflicts between nurses, nurses and doctors, managers, management, lawsuits and liability, being abused by patients i.e. hitting, biting, scratching, punching, yelling, poor health issues, obesity because the only reward is eating…that is, if you get the chance on any given shift, accusations of improper care, etc. etc. etc… (Your turn, fill in the blanks____. _____. _____.). Enough already, you get the idea.
Answer: Because nobody wants the job! Why? Because the truth is that nursing is one of the world’s hardest jobs.
Regarding the lament of insufficient staffing and improper care, there are multiple reasons. When I worked nights on the floor of the PCU, one or more nurses called in sick almost every shift. Naturally, we were working with a skeleton crew. What else is new? Quite frankly, it’s a miracle that there isn’t MORE that goes wrong on any given shift. It is by the grace of GOD/ESS, spirit, angels that we nurses and our patients are carried to safety the vast majority of the time. I work with nurses who have been showing up for 12 -13 hour shifts for 25-30 years! Many are on multiple medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, anxiety and–and–and–they do an excellent job! I was fortunate to work with a brilliant staff that provided excellent care, as I am sure you do as well. Yet even with this, there are some who are just plain burnt out, and show up because they have no other choice but to pay the bills. The bottom line: INSUFFICIENT STAFFING = INSUFFICIENT CARE = BURN OUT = NURSING SHORTAGE.
Who Cares? Nobody. Really. Except for Donna Karan that is of Urban Zen and yeah the fashion diva. Bless your big ole’ heart Donna for your landmark self-care raising consciousness initiatives to the curriculum for young nurses attending the huge nursing program at Kent State U. Everybody else?’ they‘ pretend to care and make weak little stabs at improving the nursing world. no, no body cares about nurses, not really. Did I mention this already? not even other nurses, or nursing organizations really care. Why is this. In the Yoga Nurse’s not-so humble opinion, it ‘is because many nurses suffer from terrible low self-esteem. NOT the nurses who are in administration or nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists or nurse educators but the rest of the nurses, the majority of them who work in the front lines. In the ER and OR and the heavy duty surgical and medical floors that are the heart of the health care system in hospitals. then there are the pediatric and maternal child nurses who are working it big time, the critical care nurses, the cardiac nurses, the cancer nurses, dialysis nurses, hospice, i could go on and on and forgive me nurses if i left your specialty out. Oh and DO leave a comment here if you care 🙂 for carings’ sake! Nurses also suffer from PTSD, caregiver- compassion fatigue.
Nurses are the servants, slaves of the health care system and could bring it down, literally cripple it. OPRAH!!!! When are you going to do a tribute to nurses show huh???? Everyone is going to be taken care of by a nurse sooner or later, you could say we wipe your asses coming in and going out of this life. And we do it happily 🙂 We are witnesses to your suffering and often the only one there to care and hold your hand and we do it from the heart.
Fabulous Nurses are voted year after year the most TRUSTED PROFESSION by the gallop poles. My life work is to inspire and empower nurses to find their power, to be bold, courageous, outrageous and stand tall and have the balls to unite and advocate for safe patient care. How by better staffing, meaning a greater nurse to patient ratio. It is really the major issue. Then nurses will not be burnt and burnt out and dying and dying out and dropping out of nursing like flys even when they are mere new grads.
I bow to all nurses, i prostate to them the ones who have been on the front for 30 years, 20 years, 10 , 5 or even one year. it is a calling for sure. i honor you and your wisdom.
So dear President Obama, this is my YogaNursing take on where the nurses are and are not! i know you have your heart in helping health care. nurses are the pearls but they have been over-looked and over-loaded for tooooo long. somethings got to give. God and Goddess and the great Holy spirit bless America. Wake up call ya’all! Oh and I do have some solutions, Yoga Nursing which combines modern nursing science with the benefits of ancient yoga science is my way to rock and soothe and heal our ailing health care system. Donna let’s talk. Blissings.
Annette Tersigni RN— the Yoga Nurse™ is an author, speaker, healer, trainer, and author of the #1 inspirational best seller, “The Richest Woman In Babylon And Manhattan”, Golden Wealth Care + Self Care to replenish your purse and your soul.