MLK Day: Living the Dream

March with The Nurses Nurse

Monday, January 21, 2013 at 8 a.m.

Meet in Front of Starbucks, across the street from Plaza Park

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Mart...
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joachim Prinz pictured, 1963 (Photo credit: Center for Jewish History, NYC)

241 West 5th St

Oxnard, CA 9303

Nothing makes me feel so good right now than the fact that President Obama’s public inauguration falls on the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the same year of the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream Speech”. More than ever I understand that the civil rights movement needs to continue every day in order to carry on MLK’s work to tear down racial barriers and maintain a stable middleclass.

As nurses we are supposed to care without prejudice, but with emotional conditioning dating prior to Darwin’s theory and embellished by the segregated south, the fruition of equal rights has been affected by an unconscious bias that has perpetuated the lie of “separate but equal”.

After recently seeing the movies, Lincoln and Django I can honestly say that the hurt and hatred of the incomprehensible evils bestowed on the slaves of this country are still in several stages of healing for all Americans.

A human rights principle recognized by all people is health. Without good access to affordable, quality care we perpetuate the illusion of separate but equal. Yet, in the U.S., our healthcare system is being held hostage by big money corporations who sell our well-being to the highest bidder.

Consider this: there were an extraordinary 4 million African Americans in the United States affected by the end of the Civil War who were “free” yet not equal. Today the invisible chains of slavery still bind us with the lack of universal healthcare in America, where many are in bondage to maintain jobs that, if they’re lucky, pay a paltry amount towards medical benefits.

Healthcare discrimination doesn’t fall from our outward appearances, but rather on the size of our wallets. This indignity and the lack of a public option, create disgraceful death panels which determine the amount of medical treatment we deserve, has to be stopped.  Thanks to MLK, my day to day work to achieve colored blindness is the stuff his dream was made of. Meanwhile, the clock still ticks for the dream of quality affordable medical care as a right and not a privilege.  I am hopeful that our first black American president will continue to lead our country to healthcare justice.

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2013: The Year of Nurses Rising, Girl-Power to the Tenth Degree

 

nurses float
2013 Rose Parade, Nurses’ Float .Winner of the Craftsman trophy.

As anyone who saw this year’s Rose Parade can attest, 2013 is the year of women, especially nurses rising.

Sally Bixby, the first RN to be the President of the Rose Parade, encouraged America to see the world through the eyes of a nurse. Women were well represented on the floats and among the participants from all over the globe. This year’s theme– “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”—had many strong women leading the way. From cowgirl stunt riders, women in the military and, of course, nurses, everyone felt the power of hope and promise that feminine energy gives to others.

The all Nurses’ Float, with the theme “A Healing Place,” made every nurse proud when it won the Craftsman trophy. What an honor to participate and earn this prestigious award on our very first try at representing Nurses’ Values. Beginners luck? I think not.

There’s no mistake that nursing is a predominately female profession. Our ability to heal with skill, compassion, and strength makes nursing the backbone of healthcare. Like Wonder Woman’s shield or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s computer wizardry, nurses have super powers to advocate for safety in the middle of the most intense life or death situations.

With the Affordable Care Act looming, nurses are called to duty to set precedent in the direction of healthcare reform. The Nurses’ Float decreed our virtues. Now it is time to lace up our sneakers and take our advocacy skills to the streets to stand up for the value of comprehensive healthcare for all.

We now have a Senate with a democratic majority and more female delegates in Congress than ever before. The stage is set for Nurses Rising and for all women’s voices to be heard as caring, wise, and compassionate leaders who will go wherever we must and do whatever it takes to bring the dream of quality, affordable care to fruition. Now that’s what I call girl power to the tenth degree!

TGIF

Thank God It's Friday
Thank God It’s Friday 

A young man called the hospital shouting,” You gotta help! My wife is going into labor!”

The nurse said, “Stay calm. Is this her first child?”

“No!’ he cried urgently. “This is her husband!”

Maybe to communicate more clearly, we simply need to ask for what we need.
Karyn Baxman

As a nurse I often forget the simple gesture of humility that directs me to ask for help. I easily take on the weight of the world; or my patient’s world, and, at the end of the week,wonder why I feel so burned out. Sometimes, our greatest strength comes from the ability to be vulnerable. Nurse On, but remember to smell the roses along the way.TGIF