Happy nurses week everybody! I just want to take some time to appreciate some of my favorite people in healthcare! Nurses are absolutely integral to good healthcare. And let me tell you, I work with some amazing nurses. Nurses who care deeply about their patients and work as a team to provide the best care possible for our patients. As a PCT, I am eternally grateful for the assistance and mentorship they give me every single night. But nurses go through a lot to take care of their patients. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession has the highest rate of nonfatal injuries. Injuries are obtained through lifting and transferring patients, and also through assault. Workplace violence is a major issue for nurses. As a PCT, I have been kicked, hit, bitten, pinched, and am frequently screamed and sworn at. All the violence I have experienced has been from patients with dementia, going through alcohol or drug withdrawal, or patients with other forms of mental impairment. While unacceptable, this is expected. But assault is frequently committed by patients and family members who are alert, oriented, and simply pissed off. In addition to these physical stressors, nurses are subject to high levels of fatigue and burnout. Nursing is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining, and many hospitals do not have good systems in place to prevent burnout. Burnout can be isolating and causes good workers to drop out of the field in search of less stressful careers. This leads to high turnover rates and low staffing, which perpetuates the issue. I do not have an easy solution to all of this, but I think we can and should start by recognizing nurses for the amazing, compassionate caregivers they are. If you know a nurse or find yourself in the hospital anytime soon, take a moment to notice all your nurse does for you and their other patients. Let them know how much you appreciate the work they do. Such a small thing to you can make their whole shift better. And don’t limit this to the next seven days, please. Nurses care for their patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They deserve gratitude and respect all year. Thank you to all nurses out there!
For any of you interested in the stats:
https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/ostb4737.pdf (US Bureau of Labor Statistics Incidence of Nonfatal Injury by Industry 2015)