This is truly a call to action unless we all want to be in the same place thirty years from now. We have to have the courage to change and know that if we have to forge “The New Nurse” we, who have been there, are the ones who have to do it. But in the meantime….
We have to tell our stories! Each of us have them. Stories of patients who suffered because of bad policy, incompetence or poor staffing. Stories of damage caused, and harm that is being caused now. We, as nurses, are the expert witnesses. And there are millions of us.
Politicians and policy makers don’t know any more than regular consumers. Their research is done with pen and paper, not with fluttering hearts and struggling breaths. Their policies are decided with impersonal charts and numbers. We have to let them know what we know or we leave everyone defenseless.
If each nurse tells one story, writes one story, and sends that story to a local or national newspaper, or magazine, calls a TV station and a local Congressmen, we will finally be heard. With every political donation, we could attach a healthcare horror story.
With so many of us telling the truth, we might even be able to help some of those patients that we’ve fought so hard for the right and the knowledge to save.
But as long as we stay silent, as long as we stay separate, we have no power to nurse, to teach, or to change the sick healthcare system we have today. Then we will be party to, and guilty of, sacrificing all the patients we lose to the savage god who runs the Business of Medicine.
If we’re not with our patients, we can’t serve them. The bottom line with replace us with those who are so much less able to comfort those or are dying or intervene for those who can live. If we don’t stand up now–together as one– our patients won’t be able to keep us in hospitals. Without nurses to advocate for them, they will be powerless. And, we, as nurses, will become as extinct as Unicorns.
This is as historical a moment in history as the civil rights movement or equal rights for women. Don’t let’s fail ourselves and those who count on us.
The deficit in this society today is far more treacherous than only a lack of jobs and money. As a progressive society we have a social duty to take care of each other, and our sick, our young and our disabled. Nurses are the only ones who can turn the tide in Healthcare. Nurses Together. It’s that or we sell out and become hostages to the big corporations. What choice will you make? What choice can you make? They can always fire one of us, and two of us, but not 2 or 3 million of us.
And if not now, when?