Nurses – WWFD ?
What would Florence Nightingale do in our current state of healthcare? I believe Florence would raise hell today! You see, Florence is not “just a nurse”, but is regarded as the founder of modern, holistic nursing. She influenced public health and policies resulting in reduced infections, better outcomes and reduced morbidity. The following is an open invitation to the close to 3 million nurses in the U.S. to find your inner warrior and take action to heal our nation. I am a concerned RN, rebel, entrepreneur, who has been blessed to provide compassionate care for over 25 yrs! I believe our country is crying out for healthcare transformation. Are we listening?
R.N.’s comprise the largest population of healthcare providers and provide 90% of patient care, but where is our voice in the healthcare setting, policy making and in our own lives? I believe we are facing similar challenges today that Florence Nightingale faced back in the Crimean war days. Nurses are in the front line facing life-threatening superbugs, potentially unsafe staffing levels and an increasingly addicted society, where we consume 80% of the world’s opioid supply! Heroin abuse and alarming overdoses are an unnatural byproduct. The “Lady with the Lamp” observed her patients receiving infusions of arsenic, mercury and opiates that resulted in high mortality rates. Florence treated the “whole person”, body, mind and spirit and fought to reduce toxins in the body. She didn’t just follow orders, but was a patient advocate and facilitated holistic healing worldwide! Her efforts resulted in reduction in costs and improved wellbeing.
True healing comes from listening to our bodies and taking responsibility for our wholeness. Our bodies have innate, natural healing mechanisms which seek to express wellness, balance and harmony. We often deny the internal signals and stressors in our bodies and turn to pill popping, addictions and become disempowered. We need to look beyond the symptoms and profit-seeking pharmaceutical and medical companies and focus on the core cause of disease in ourselves and those we serve. Our beliefs and values shape our decisions, not the money we are spending on health. We spend the most of all developed countries, at 17%, but 29% of us are overweight and we rank the 8th lowest in life expectancy! (1) Sometimes when you win, you lose, my fellow Americans.
Americans consistently rank nurses as the most trusted professionals according to the Gallop poll. Let’s use our trust, compassion and listening skills to shape the future of healthcare one heart at a time. I believe it is time for nurses to assert ourselves, practice “tough love” and raise a little hell! My fellow nurses, let’s find our voice, unite and insist on holistic, patient-centered care. Florence heard and took action. Our healthcare system is broken, unsustainable and in need of enlightenment. Can you refuse an assignment if you feel unable to provide safe, effective care? I left a Director position at a facility that had a 1:16 nurse patient ratio. The patients were largely overweight, overmedicated diabetics, with joint replacements. My nurses relayed that they felt like failures because they felt powerless to make a difference, due to excessive demands. We need safe staffing levels! Our patients are more complicated and taking more medications than ever, a cry for help.
We are the instruments of healing and we have a light inside that yearns to shine. We need to advocate for our patients and open ourselves to the possibilities for rejuvenation and healing in this dance of life. Cycles can be broken, spirits can be restored and harmony achieved in ourselves, our patients and our planet. Nurses, we are the coaches, advocates, catalysts and the trusted healers our world needs. Let’s be the change, carry our lamps, earn the respect we deserve and make a difference. Please share your stories of hope and healing. “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up quickly.” Isaiah 58-8
In love and light, Amelia Herold, RN, BSN, MBA, Reiki practitioner, Wellbeing coach.
1, Ashley C. Allen, 24/7 Wall St. 7/7/2014