[Solved] struggles of being a nurse

Rose Parma was her name. A registered nurse in California Central Valley claims that nursing school did not prepare her for the brutality she would face in her career (Cambell). One night after working long hours, she recalled an experience where a patient was extremely delirious and angry. The patient had kicked Rose very aggressively in her pelvis, that it might have caused serious damage to her child that she was carrying at the time (Cambell). After she had reported the incident to the hospital, they did not do anything about it. The hospital made it seem as if it was Rose’s fault for dealing with such an aggregated patient. Her story represents the violent experiences that nurses have to go through and there are many other individuals whose stories and experiences have not been told. In the health departments and other medical environments, nurses are always going to be needed and are always going to continue to grow as time progresses.

The nursing profession is not always the easiest profession. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get into, but individuals who are willing to put in the work get it done and end up with the career they would love doing for possibly the rest of their life. It is known to a majority of individuals that nurses typically work long hours per shift and work to the fullest,  even when exhausted. Nurses are always putting their patients needs before their own and provide the best care possible. With all of these wonderful reasons to become a nurse, unfortunately there are downfalls to being in this profession. While the nursing profession is a constantly rising career, there are issues that need to be addressed such as, violence towards nurses, long shifts and unequal salary.  Nurses deal with a numerous amount of tough situations everyday but the violence that nurses receive from patients should not be an issue. Violence towards nurses is now being acknowledged, with the help of hospitals. According to Alexia Cambell a writer for the Atlantic blog discusses that there are hospitals taking precaution. To explain for example a hospital in Massachusetts is offering a self-defense class for staff, in addition, providing hospitals training exercises that discuss violent hospital scenarios (Cambell).

This demonstrates that hospitals want to help out their staff. It also promotes that hospitals want their staff to be safe by giving them tools necessary to feel protected. It seems that hospitals are trying to do what they can to minimize the violent acts.  An additional point that Alexia Cambell makes about violence towards nurses is, she brings up an alarming statistics stating that in the past decade there has been a 110 percent raised rate of violent incidents reported and after a study was taken it says that one in four nurses have been attacked (Cambell). This exemplifies that an alarming rate of 110% of violent incidents have been reported meaning that the staff is reporting these incidents, which is an excellent thing. There have been other incidents reported, such as a story by a woman named Deanna Cignetti. Deanna Cignetti is a registered nurse who explained how an incident occurred where a patient had pinned her to the wall with his forearm pressed against her throat. (Almendrala). This describes how strong the patient could have been and how he could have possibly have hurt Deanna much worse. An additional source comes from National Nurse United. In the article it talks about how on International Women’s Day, a group named National Nurse United marched as an act to urge members of Congress to support the bill. In the bill, the group wants to try to get the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop a standard on workplace violence  (“Nursing”).  It also explains that within the bill it requires health care facilities to develop and use different unit-specific workplace violent prevention plans (“Nursing”).

The violent acts that nurses receive is not acceptable and is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. There is also the issue of over working nurses such as, long hour shifts.  It is known to many individuals that nurses work long hours. For those in the medical field, it seems to be the norm for them to work long hours. According to Nancy J. Brent, a legal informational columnist for Nurse.com, stats that, “twelve-hour shifts are beneficial for many reasons, but one drawback may be an increase in fatigue and less sleep, especially when hours are added to the shift or other stressors compound” (Brent). This explains that nurses working long twelve-hour shifts can be beneficial but may also have its drawbacks. It also gives a specific example that because of the long hour shifts, it can be an increase in fatigue and less sleep. Furthermore, in addition to these points, Nancy J. Brent brings up a excellent point stating “it is vital for nurses to change these age-old working conditions.

Doing so is necessary not only for patients but also for nurses. If a patient injury occurs due to a nurses fatigue or anxiety or short-staffing, the nurses potential liability is at stake” ( Brent). This exemplifies that if it is hard for the nurses to stay awake during their shifts, that it can potentially cause an injury to a patient. It also confirms that if an incident were to happen to a patient while the nurse was not fully aware of what they were doing, the hospital and the nurse could face a potential liability at stake. In addition to these experts an additional source comes from a article titled “12 Hour nursing shifts, are they hard to work and what are their benefits compared to 8 hour shifts” (“12”). This source comes from Registerednursern.com, and the article discusses 12 hour shifts and its benefits stating that the patients of the nurses receive more consistency in care (“12”). This explains that because a 12 hour shift can have less days of work for the week. It seems to be that nurses are not so tired so they personally get to know and provide attention to their patients needs. For example, a patient might have two nurses for the day shift and one for the night shift, so considering that there are more breaks between the shifts and nurses do not feel rushed to get everything done so quickly (“12”).

According to Kristian Ericksen, a content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education, describes in her blog the benefits of working eight hour shifts. A study shown by the National Institute of Nursing Research (Ericksen), displays that nurses who work shifts ten hours or more were two and half times more likely to experience tiredness (Ericksen). This describes that it seems to be that the nurses who work longer hours experience more tiredness and are not always fully awake when working because the long hours take a toll on the body. Working a twelve hour shifts is not for everyone but, it is equally as important that all nurses get paid equal as well.  Gender roles play an incredibly role when it comes to paying nurses. Nurses typically get paid an amount of $72,180 as of 2016 on an average yearly pay. According to Ariane Hegewish a director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (Jimenez), explains that research has shown that men are more likely to engage for a pay increase rather than women (Jimenez). This exemplifies that research has shown that men seem to be more aggressive when it comes to a pay increase. It also discusses that perhaps few women have actually acknowledged the fact that men do in cases, get paid more than women and want something done about it.

Catherine Saint Louis a writer for the New York Times (Louis), explains in her blog that pay gaps does play a part in  nursing when it comes to males getting paid more (Louis). In the same blog there are other points of view from different people. Diana Mason, a professor of nursing at Hunter College of the City of New York and former editor of The American Journal of Nursing (Louis), explains that typically, “a workplace may offer a bit more money to men in order to diversify” (Louis).  She also believes women earn less because that a man is more of an expect because he is a man, so therefore he should get paid more (Louis). This explains that apparently because a man is a man and is more of an expect, that it is enough reason that men get paid more. It also describes that there are not a lot of men who work in the nursing field so this could possibly be an additional reason as to why men get paid more. An additional point that is made about gender pay gap comes from Lindsay Tanner, an associated press for USA Today (Tanner). She explains in her article how, even though women over power the nursing field, men earn more money (Tanner). According to Lindsay there is an explanation as why this is, stating that women nurses sometimes have to leave the office due to having a child, but return to less pay rather than men who continued to work during those leave times (Tanner). This reasoning does make sense, in the sense that men are not the ones having a child, but also that women should get paid for their leave time and because of the leave time, when women go and have their children they should return back to what they were getting paid before rather than return back to getting paid less money than previously.

These mentions are good reasons as to why male nurses get paid more, but there are individuals who do not think there are such things as gender pay gap. It has been argued that nurses working twelve hour shifts can be beneficial. In “advantages and disadvantages of twelve hour shifts. A balanced perspective” Written by, Dr. Martin Moore-Ede, William Sirois and William Davis. Dr. Martin Moore-Ede  is a man with a Ph.D, a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Circardian, a research facility dedicated to  improving health and safety in round-the-clock operations. He discusses and listed an incredible amount of advantages when it comes to nurses working twelve hour shifts (Moore-Ede, et al). To elaborate on this argument, Dr. Martin Moore discusses a point made stating that working longer hours can reduce error, “there are only two shift turnovers per 24-hour day instead of three, thus there are fewer opportunities for miscommunication when there is a changeover in shift work personnel” (Moore-Ede, et al). This explains that because of the two shift turnovers per 24-hour day that there is less mistakes to be made. As a result of the twelve hour shifts advantages, many believe that working the longer shifts is a fit for them, but in reality it is up to the individual.

Though it is a valid point that Dr. Martin Moore makes about the advantages of the twelve hour shifts. Research by Dr. Martin Moore has shown that there are disadvantages to working long shifts as well, one example includes the “unequal distribution of work hours”( Moore-Ede, et al), explaining that over the seven day period twelve hour shifts schedules can change if a person can not make it into work that specific day and with working the over time hours the staff should be paid for every hour that is worked over time.  Many believe that even though male nurses do get paid more than woman nurses that there are reasons as to why this is. According to Scott Maier a Senior Public Information Representative for the University California of San Francisco (Maier). He discusses in his blog that male nurses make more money than female nurses. In the blog he a study done by the American Community Survey that shows that in 2015, the males salary were higher than female salaries every year by approximately $10,000 (Maier). This describes that after the study was taken and found a solution that it showed that males made more money that year. It also describes that even though the nursing profession is a women dominated profession that it shows that men still earn more money.

An additional point made in this article is an alarming amount of money that the males make rather than the females, stating that ‘over the course of a 30-year career, female RNs will have earned about $155,000 less than male RNs using the adjusted earnings gap, $300,00 less using the unadjusted gap’ (Maier). This explains that according to Scott Maier that male nurses do and typically make more money rather than females, the reasons for this is because male nurses could have a more harder specific job, have gotten more education, might not have as many absences while as for the women they have more absences because of different reasons. One example is an absent of leave when having children and possibly in some cases it could be gender discrimination, which is wrong to discuss but unfortunately it does happen. To elaborate on this statement, it also shows that it seems men have more of an aggressive tone and want more of a raise rather than women.

Though this is a valid point made about the males making more money, it should be noted that it also depends on the specific field a nurse is in. If a female nurse is in the same field as the male nurses it would mean the males and females would be paid the same amount. Nursing is a constantly growing profession. Unfortunately this career is not fit for everyone. There are issues that need to be dealt with such as, violence towards nurses, deciding if long hour shifts are an option, and unequal salary pay. In our society the violent acts that nurses receive simply should not be an issue and nurses should not be fearful to go to work. Hospitals are not really having anything done about this issue, they are saying that it was a nurses choice to join this profession. Issues being dealt with when they first occur should be a major priority, but yet nothing is being done. The sad reality is that hospitals do not want to deal with nurses complaints even if they have some truth to them when it comes to the violence they receive. It is obvious that nurses sacrifice so much dedication to their jobs and should not be treated this way. Nursing is a vital profession in the medical field and nurses like Rose Parma should not have to go through this issues on top of everything else.

Works Cited

  1. “12 Hour Nursing Shifts, Are They Hard To Work And What Are Their Benefits Compared To 8 Hour Shifts?” Registerednursern.com. Registerednursern.com. 2018. Web. 21 March 2018.
  2. Almendrala, Anna. “Violence Against Nurses Is A Serious Problem, But Hospitals Are Basically Policing Themselves.” Huffington Post.com. 14 September 2017. Huffington Post. 2017. Web. 21 February 2018.
  3. Brent, Nancy J. “Long Hours, Shift Work Still Plague Nurses.” Nurse.com. 1 March 2017. Nurse.com. 2017. Web. 14 February 2018.
  4. Cambell, Alexia Fernandez. “Why Violence Against Nurses Has Spiked In The Last Decade.” The Atlantic. 1 December 2016. The Atlantic. 2016. Web. 14 February 2018.
  5. Ericksen, Kristina. “The Nursing Debate: 8-Hour Shifts vs. 12-Hour Shifts.” Rasmussen.edu. 3 March 2016. Rasmussen College, Inc. 2016. Web. 21 March 2018.
  6.  Jimenez, Sallie. “Nurses Speak Out About Gender Pay Gap.” Nurse.com. 2015. Nurse.com. 2015. Web. 21 February 2018.
  7. Louis, Catherine Saint. “Stubborn Pay Gap Is Found In Nursing.” Well.blogs.nytimes.com. 2015.
  8. The New York Times Company. 2015. Web. 21 March 2018.
  9. Maier, Scott. “Male Registered Nurses Make Thousands More In Salary Than Female Counterparts.” Ucsf.edu. 26 March 2015.
  10. The Regents of the University of California 2015. Web. 21 March 2018.
  11.  Moore-Ede, Martin, et al. “Advantages And Disadvantages Of Twelve-Hour Shifts: A Balanced Perspective.” Circadian. 2007. Circadian Information LP. 2007. Web. 20 March 2018.
  12. ‘Nursing Applaud Introduction Of Federal Legislation To Prevent Workplace Violence In Health Care Facilities.’ Nationalnurseunited.org. 8 March 2018.
  13. National Nurse United 2018. Web. 21 March 2018.  Tanner, Lindsay. ‘
  14. Women Dominate Nursing Field, Yet Men Make More.’ USAToday.com. 25 March 2015. USA Today Network 2015. Web. 21 March 2018.

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