This kind of follows the last blog that I wrote. Nurses need to be more vocal and express their ideas to the appropriate people. Just complaining about things is not useful. Nurses need to express how they feel about things, but then come up with a solution as well.
Reasons Nurses Don’t Do This
Nurses may be vocal, but only to complain about all that is wrong in nursing. This is not going to help. This gets you no where. There is plenty wrong and plenty to complain about, but nothing is going to change when nurses just complain. As the title implies nurses need to express their concerns, but they need to be constructive and they need to be addressed to people that can do something about it.
This does not happen, however. Why not? Probably one of the first answers might be that they are intimidated by management and this may be true. In many situations this is true. People are afraid that they won’t be heard, or they will be laughed at or looked upon as being unhappy or dissatisfied with their work which may result in being fired. All of these are definitely valid, but I think that there are other more deep-seated reasons.
As I have said before nurses were trained “to be seen and not heard”. In years past we were trained to never question a doctor or a superior or to voice your opinion. After all, who do you think you are. Certainly the doctor knows more than you do. You learned to do the job and that is what you did. These things were drilled into us. Your ideas meant nothing.
Nurses have been put down for so long and made to feel inferior for so long, their self-esteem is nil. Even today most of the time, staff nurses are not invited to be a part of ideas and changes in nursing. I remember when I was working in continuing education, I noticed that sinks in the ER were few and far between. The sinks that they did have were not conveniently placed. I knew it had been recently renovated and when I asked about this issue, the answer was that no one had consulted the nurses that work there every day what they needed and where it would be most conveniently placed. The people that spend at least eight hours a day there were not asked anything. I know that this is just a small example, but it points out how valued nurses are even in this situation.
Solving This Issue
It will take time and support for nurses to begin to feel valued enough to make their voices heard and be a part of change in nursing. Nurses need to begin to feel better about themselves to contribute to possible solutions or changes in nursing. Management needs to start letting staff know how important they are and really listen to what they have to say. If management is made aware of complaints and unhappiness on a unit, she needs to find out what the problem is and really listen to what is being said. Staff needs to be able to feel that management really cares and wants to hear. In addition to this she needs to ask what the staff would see as the solution.
Nurses need to seek out the right people to talk to. It is alright to talk to other staff nurses, but it is important to get suggestions or solutions to those that can effect a change. Staff nurses can’t. Someone in management is the person that you need to talk with as they are the ones that may be able to make changes.
Give your self credit. You are very capable and have the ability to think and come up with ideas and suggestions that might make a difference. Recognize your creativity and let others know if you think something will work to make patient care better or to make something easier for the nurses. Do not be fearful. Be vocal and let others know what your ideas are.
Do not give ultimatums or just complaints. No one likes to listen to these things and the response may not be a positive one. Management may tell you to leave if that is how you feel. Nurses are very well-educated today. Most have at least a BSN and many have a Masters or beyond. Nurses have many options today and some are nontraditional ones. So why not consider some of these options instead of either staying where you are or giving ultimatums if you are truly as unhappy as you say you are.
Let me start by saying that I don’t want nurses to mass evacuate nursing. We need nurses, but not unhappy ones. I have already said that nurses need to be more vocal, but in a constructive way that gets things changed or improved. If you can’t do this then move on to one of the many options that nurses have today. Becoming an entrepreneur is one way that may work for you. Start your own business that focuses on nursing or health in some way.
How do you do that? That is what I asked in the beginning. I was lucky enough to finally find Wealthy Affiliate that answered that question for me. Wealthy Affiliate is a company that teaches you step by step how to start an online business. They teach you how to make a website for your business and then how to market your business. In addition to this they have a system to answer any questions that you may have and this is available to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. In addition to this there is a support system that is there for you anytime that you need support. All of this and much, much more is at a low monthly price. Even the hosting is free for up to total of 25 websites. The only additional fee is for the domain and even that is at a reasonable price.
Another exciting offer is that you can try this for 7 days for nothing. That was a feature that got me. I thought what can I lose. By the end of the 7 days I had made a website by following their lessons and knew that I could at least do that. Before that I had no clue as to how to do that. They, also keep you updated with new things and offer a lot of teaching along the way. There is a webinar every week as well as a lot of other teachings.
What do you have to lose? If you are really that unhappy and feel like it is time to start an online business, click here. It can even be tried while still working where you are.
Find your voice and speak up. If you have ideas or solutions to some of the things that you would like to see changed in nursing seek out the right people and let them know. Help to make those changes that would make your life easier and make it better for your patients. You can do it. If you can’t look into starting your own business which in the end might do the same thing and change things in nursing or healthcare.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.