In my 40+ years in nursing, I watched the nursing culture change, in some ways positively, in some ways, negatively. The negative changes I see worry me because they will not help us address important and challenging issues in the future, nor will they enhance the professional practice of nursing. Webster’s Dictionary defines “culture” as “ways of dressing, thinking, talking and acting...” and “the ideas, language, actions, and behaviors that define a given people.” When people look at nurses today, what do they see? When they listen to us talk, what do they hear?
Most importantly, when they watch us, and how we interact with each other, what opinions do they form? I believe that nurses take GREAT care of patients and crumby care of each other. We gossip about each other, nit-pick, tell tales, berate and tear down those whom we should be partnering with to take great care of patients. We do not respect, support or help each other; we communicate in ways that push up apart instead of pulling us together. To effectively and successfully meet future challenges, we need to pull together, help, support and take care of each other. We need to change the culture of nursing, to make it one where we take as good care of each other, as we do of the patients we serve. Only then will we be able to successfully and effectively meet the challenges ahead.
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- General Session: Oral Medicine for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing (102)
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- Ginny Beeson, MSN BSN NEA-BC