I’m going to go a little bit outside of my usual feeble attempts at humor and regular sprinkling of profanity and share this post that was written by my friend and personal savior, Liz. You’ve all heard me mention her frequently before, but this time the post is written by her completely, and it covers a serious subject that demands respect. Please feel free to comment below and pass this around to all you know that this pertains to, Nurses, Doctors and Veterans alike.
Now here’s Liz:
[Originally posted on her personal Facebook page and reproduced here with her full permission]
My friends, Again, I apologize for being on my soapbox today. It was brought to my attention by my son that Doug Rhorbeck at Fox News aired a report on June 1, 2016 suggesting that veterans would receive substandard care by allowing advanced practice nurses (ARNP’s and CRNA’s) to practice within the full scope of their licenses. There’s suggestion that nurses, and in particular ARNP’s and CRNA’s, are not trained or qualified to provide care. There is a largely biased opinion that the age old stigma of the nurse being a physician handmaiden that is unqualified to assess any change in patient condition whether it is a RN or an advance practice nurse. Indirectly, you can infer that anyone short of a physician is unqualified to provide care to patients. While I’m not discounting physician training or sacrifices that physicians make, nursing and a number of allied health professionals whether it’s a physical therapist, social worker, EMT’s, etc. have received training to provide care and often times comfort to patients in need. These allied health professionals also make sacrifices to receive advance education and training. Many times our families wait for birthday or holiday celebrations so that we may provide care to those in need. I’m tagging my fellow nurse friends, nurse practitioner friends, and allied health friends. I apologize in advance for the tag, but I know you support me in sharing this story. You can view the link to Fox New’s report and sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/doug-rohrbeck-fox-news-must-make-amends-for-attack-on-nurses-in-va-report
This is my open letter to Fox News:
Hey Fox News,
Here’s a news flash for you. Florence Nightingale is dead! Gone are the days of the nurse being a physician handmaiden. In fact it was Florence Nightingale who promoted education and training of nurses. We now often hold not only years of practice, but advanced degrees and specialized certifications. Nurse practitioners and training for nurse practitioners began in the 1960’s. That means nurse practitioners have been practicing for well over 50 years. As for CRNA’s, their education and training has been around since the 1800’s. Some of current anesthesia practices were developed by whom? A nurse!Her name is Alice McGaw. Every state has a board of nursing and a nurse practice act to ensure public safety. We are governed by that board. This includes nurse practitioners. If our abysmal healthcare system has a chance at improving outcomes, it will happen as a result of the highly trained ARNP’s, CRNA’s, Physician assistants, and yes…..my fellow nurses and allied health professionals. It’s the only way to augment outcomes and improve access.
Furthermore it is often the nurse who identifies the patient’s change in condition first. Why? Because we are at the bedside with the patient. The physician is there a brief time. Nurses are there 24/7. There have been many times in my career I’ve argued with physicians over an observed change that was dismissed. It’s called advocacy. Nurses do it every day and countless lives are saved because of it. I know many of my nurse friends, myself included, have “trained” resident physicians and stopped them from making mistakes by looking at them and saying: “You don’t want to do that”. The smart ones listen to the nurse. Those that don’t often present at their weekly morbidity and mortality conference.
Perhaps an interview with Joy Behr would remind you of the solidarity in the nursing profession. It’s time to eliminate the opinion that nurses are uneducated sex symbols who can only think under the direction of a physician. Nurses are highly skilled, critical thinking, compassionate professionals who look at the patient holistically. It is for this reason I choose to see a Nurse Practitioner when one is available to me. Nurse practitioners take the time to holistically evaluate the patient and in my experience provide superior care to that of a physician.
I am proud of my profession that I have practiced in for 28 years. I demand a retraction and a TRUE and balanced view of the nursing profession. Your suggestion that only a physician can provide quality care is categorically outdated.
Elizabeth Olis MSN, RN-BC, CNL