Go Fourth! Celebrate Independence from Tyranny Like a Nurse

Nurses are gaining momentum for a huge revolution in health care delivery. Like our founders sought, freedom from greed and oppression is hard but a worthy cause.

At the time of the American Revolution Great Britain was a huge force of power. That didn’t stop the original thirteen American colonies from revolting and eventually winning their freedom from tyranny.

This Fourth of July take a moment to reflect how our forefathers gained independence from the strongest empire in the world.

Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Nursing Justice:

1. Find your Voice

Nursing has the largest numbers of healthcare workers yet we have the smallest voices: we are expected to provide compassionate care, but we are forced to work under extremely stressful conditions while we are constantly under-resourced.

Our profession is fast becoming careers in which we must squeeze the actual nursing care around piles of paperwork (or computers). How many of us work through countless hours of unpaid lunches, breaks and after our shifts have finished? Despite this, studies across the nation still say that nurses don’t have enough time with patients, and have had to leave certain care undone during their shifts.

Think Boston Tea Party: What if we all banded together and refused to work through our breaks and work extra? What if oncoming shifts marched into the house supervisor’s office and demanded adequate staffing before taking report from the off-going nurses? The gaps would then become very quickly visible to employers, managers and the public. The message really got across and some action was taken.

Refuse to sip from the status quo. To this day, Americans are still largely coffee drinkers, foregoing the tastes of their oppressors.

2. Encourage communication: if we don’t demand what we need we won’t get it. No one gives up power without a fight. Huge corporations are taking over our hospitals and community healthcare systems.

Remember Paul Revere’s warning? “The British are coming!” Well mega-medical monopolies are here and we must push our congress to pass laws that protect us from tyranny. This November, California is pushing for Proposition 45 an initiative for health insurance rate hikes to be justified by the state insurance commissioner. Stay tuned.

Lastly : 3. United we stand. Work as a team. A team of experts does not make an expert team. Leadership and cohesive loyalty to the objective of Safe Patient Care goes a long way. That which honors dignity and truth will be self-evident and sustaining.

Happy Fourth of JULY!

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