Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nursing != kumbaya

I hate cute.

I was always a kid with a dark streak. I was reading Alfred Hitchcock books when I was 11. I loved Nancy Drew, hated Barbie. My mom didn't get a girl who loved pink and lavendar, my mother was clawing at her face and moaning, "Could you PLEASE wear ANOTHER COLOR BESIDES BLACK?!?!"

I taught myself to program as a proto-teenager. Later, I chopped my blonde locks into something spiky my parents hated. Later, I went to college in a large city, studied art, smoked heavily and occasionally did illegal substances. I drank a lot of coffee. I made very large and disturbing oil paintings. Later, I translated those self-taught programming skills into my own business, and worked as a nerd for many years. I can code in 5 languages and can understand at least twice that number.

I don't smoke anymore. I stopped the drugs many years ago after an (deserved) incident with strychnine.

I became a nurse because I was at my dying grandfather's bedside. I wanted then, and still want, to ultimately be a hospice nurse. I'm more comfortable with death than with birth. The teenage dark streak was actually not rebellion, I really am creepy. But I want to do it not because I'm creepy, but because I get that dark is scary and I am not afraid to be present with somebody and provide comfort and good clinical care while they're afraid.

My point of telling you this is to say that nowhere in my life did I learn kumbaya. At no time did I ever gravitate to cute. Gender roles are not something I get.

The nursing I learned from my professors is one of clinical assessment, nursing judgement, pathophysiology and pharmacology. One of chemistry medmath and sound skills of listening and feedback grounded in clinical psych.

There are days I think I learned nursing from Betelgeuse. I don't know where that nursing is.

Too much of nursing is cute. Several people have blogged lately and railed against SpongeBob scrubs. I am in accord. I do wear patterns, Chinese coins, African masks, and Art Deco butterflies (which could be construed = cute), southwest Navajo motifs...in reds and dark purples and blues and greens. My excuse for not wearing solids is the art background. This might be a lame excuse.

I went to the Nurse Practice Council meeting for the first time last week. The love at that meeting made me feel like I was choking in a sea of cotton candy. "I want to thank SoNSo for their contribution and for..." "I want to thank you all for being here today...." "You all have done such a wonderful job with..."

We were all so busy thanking and congratulating each other, that nothing got accomplished.

I've had geek meetings that nothing gets accomplished, too. But it's "There's this problem with the code..." "This module keeps breaking...." "The customer wants this..." It may not translate to actionable items, but there's a lot less smiling sweetly and nodding and CLAPPING

...GOD...they CLAPPED that I had come to the meeting cos I said I was curious about NPC and what they're working on and wanted to see what I could do.

At a geek meeting, I'd've been saddled with the chunk of code that was written by Aramaic-speaking monkeys tripping on acid for that kind of volunteerism.

The trouble with kumbaya is that it isn't professionalism. So much huggy feely isn't discussion of how the latest clinical study could be communicated to, and implemented into the units. If we all need to be in consensus and accord, it flattens out the need for a person to drive hard up a clinical ladder for more responsibility, more autonomy, better pay, more respect.

If I, Joe Nobody, get the same vote weight at the table as the CNO...I think that's a problem. Really, I do. That woman defended her doctoral dissertation this week...who the f#ck am I next to her? If my vote and voice counts the same, doesn't that change a little bit my drive to go BE her in 10 years? Sure, I want a voice. But I'm okay with hierarchy, because my voice is still inexperienced and it's appropriate for more experience and better education to be at the steering wheel.

****

Just helped another nurse with a patient who was incontinent. "Let me help you clean up the pee-pee," she said.

...What's the solution? Wait until all the Granny Sunshines retire? What?!? Help me out here! How will we ever get intelligent professionals who WANT to be nurses when they "help clean up the pee-pee" and hug and kumbaya corn syrup all over each other...

!!

#!/bin/msh
#
read @vars /bin/rant.dat
foreach $vars
do
echo "And THIS is ANOTHER thing that makes me crazy:" $_
loop

exit 0

******
splat.... bang .....
/jo

1 comment:

oncRN said...

we may be kindred spirits.