Below is a timeline of the journey that I have been on for the past few months. I wanted to provide this timeline to show you that it takes hard work and dedication to find sources that fit specific topics, but that it is all worth it in the end because learning the history of nurses and the process that they have gone through allows you to appreciate the career. It also shows that there are so many sources that speak about nursing and they go into detail about the the different aspects to nursing, which can be very beneficial to you.
Below is a letter that I wrote full of information and facts that would be very informative. I ask that you read every detail and understand that there needs to be a change in this system. Forced overtime is a real problem that many nurses are facing and if they refuse to work overtime, they may get fired. By forcing overtime, there is a serious threat to the health of the nurses and their patients. So once again I ask that you please read this letter and take initiative to make a change in what is going on in nursing.
Dear Hospital Employers:
A major concern and question that has arisen in the nursing field is forced overtime. Forced overtime has been around for many years and it is legal, but it has a negative affect on nurses and patients. Employers are allowed to force their employees to work overtime and employees can be terminated if they refuse to work, which creates a great problem in the work place. Forced overtime for nurses needs to be removed from the system because it has caused great danger to the nurses and patients by risking the nurses’ health, leading the nurses to burnout and risking the lives of patients by placing them in the care of nurses who are overly exhausted.
Overtime Leading to Sleep Deprivation
Forcing nurses to work overtime right after their shift leads to major health risks for the nurse. One of the main health risks that nurses experience is sleep deprivation. They experience this because they are forced to work a twelve hour shift and then sometimes forced to work overtime. Often their overtime consists of a second 12 hour shift that they need to pick up because the nurse after them called out. By forcing nurses to work overtime, they become sleep deprived, which leads to many complications in the health in the nurse. According to NICHD, “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories”(How is the body affected by sleep deprivation, 2016).This just shows that a nurse who is sleep deprived is not able to make critical decisions for a patient in a quick instance.
Being sleep deprived leads to poor hand-eye coordination, which is a key component for a nurse. In a study, “Sleep-deprived people who were tested using a driving simulator or performing hand-eye coordination tasks did as badly as, or worse than, people who were intoxicated.” (How is the body affected by sleep deprivation, 2016). As an employer at a hospital it is important that you make a change because a nurse who has poor hand-eye coordination due to sleep deprivation, is not capable of putting an IV in a patient.
Victims of Forced Overtime Become Victims of Nurse Burnout
Another component that forced overtime leads to is burnout. Nurses who are forced to work overtime often experience burnout which can be associated with the longer and extra shifts. “Burnout is categorized as physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. While stress is defined by over-engagement, burnout is defined by disengagement. Burnout can lead to dulled emotions and detachment. It undermines motivation, leaving a sense of hopelessness. For those experiencing burnout, every day is a bad day.” (Ericksen, 2018).By forcing nurses to work overtime, hospitals are forcing nurses to experience burnout.
One of the main reasons why so many nurses have to work overtime is because the hospitals are understaffed. Since hospitals are understaffed, nurses are forced to work twelve hour shifts and then they are forced to work overtime due to another nurse calling out. According to Ericksen (2018), burnout is often caused by longer hours worked in the hospital and can result in “greater fatigue and an increased chance of error in nursing” (Ericksen, 2018). If all nurses become a victim of burnout, the nurses will not be able to work due to their condition, which then leads to a greater consequence.
Patient Endangerment Due to Overtime
Not only are nurses in danger, but so are the patients of the hospital. By forcing nurses to work overtime, hospitals are putting patients at rick because the nurses are not fit to work double shifts. Patients need to the top of the line care and with nurses being too tired and not very attentive to the patients, patients will only get worse. According to Bae (2014), “Working overtime is also positively associated with adverse patient outcomes such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections, decubitus ulcers, and medical errors” (Bae & Yoon, 2014).This is clear evidence that it is very dangerous for patients, when employers force nurses to work overtime because it leads to the patients getting worse. This exposes patients to diseases and infections that would not have happened if the hospital had a sufficient amount of nursing staff.
Understaffing at hospitals leads to great complications in the way a hospital is ran. “High patient load and fatigue from long hours can result in inadequate compliance with procedures and less monitoring of patients. As a result, overtime can compromise patients’ health or safety.” (Twarog, 2011). This supports the idea that patients are in danger because the hospitals are understaffed and it furthers the idea that due to forcing overtime, the patients help is at risk.
Now that you have read some of the main consequences that forcing overtime has caused, I ask that you reconsider forcing your nurses to work overtime. I also hope that you can begin hiring more staff to help reduce the need for overtime because by adding more staff, there won’t be a great need for a lot of overtime if the hospital always has nurses to pick up when one cannot come in. I understand that it may cost the hospital more money but the health of your nurses and patients is far more important than the money. Without the nurses your hospital will not be able to run smoothly, so I ask you to please reconsider forcing overtime and stop it completely.
Below is an interview that I conducted with a nurse who has many years of experience. In this interview many of the question focus on what nursing is, the degree she has, what is is like to be a nurse and many more aspects pertaining to nursing. Below there will be an analysis comparing the real-life experience of a nurse and what the media makes it seem like. Please continue to read to learn what really goes on in the career of nursing.
Me: How long have you been a nurse ?
Nurse: I’ve been a nurse over 25 years.
Me: What degrees do you have? Did you get your LPN, RN ?
Nurse: I was a CNA, an LPN, and now an RN.
Me: What school did you go to ? And how was your experience ?
Nurse: The first school I went to Miami Lakes tech. The second school I went to was Sheridan technical college for my LPN and I went to Sacred college, that was my last college, where I received my RN.
Me: Was it hard to find a job after nursing school ?
Nurse: None. It was not hard at all. I got it right on the spot. Once I got my CNA I just went and I started working right away. When I had my LPN, they hired me without a license. They hired me as an after school nurse. I was not a not a nurse, it was working my way through school. I had just finished school and I hadn’t taken the exam for the state license yet, but they hired me.
Me: Where do you work now? Have you always worked there ?
Nurse: No. I work now presently at Palmetto Care Rehab Center. This year will make 20 years of working there. Before, I used to work as a CNA at Pan-American Hospital. This hospital does not exist anymore, this was the hospital near the airport. And then I did Kendall Hospital, I did a lot of hospitals along the line. My favorite job that I have worked is the center that I’m at now.
Me: What is the greatest experience you have experienced as a nurse? Why is this your greatest experience?
Nurse: Well, there are many, but I think that the greatest experience is not as a nurse, but it is that God has given me the privilege that at the end of their time, I’m able to be there holding their hand and preaching to them. I’m able to pray and talk to them and it’s great to see them come to an understanding that God is their lord and savior, no matter what medicine, no matter what you do for them, God is the only one and God has granted me the privilege to see that and cry and repent with them in their deepest and most hurtful times, even upon their death.
Me: Have you ever been forced or asked to work overtime? What was that like ?
Nurse: Yea. Plenty of times. It wasn’t really hard because when you do something that you enjoy, it brings great joy to you because it just means that God is going to provide more money and secondly, since you already have your shift started, it’s easier to continue.
Me: What is one characteristic that you believe is essential for a nurse to have ? Why?
Nurse: God. God is my center. Nobody else. God is the one who places the yearning in my heart, God is the one who has given me the passion to do what I do and God is the one that when I touch a patient, its not me, but it’s through Gods hands that the patient is being healed.
Me: If you could give a piece of advice to anyone seeking to be a nurse.. what would you say?
Nurse: Seek on God, seek on your heart. And then go do what you think is best. There is nothing better to do than be a nurse.
Me: If you could go back and choose a different career would you ? If yes, what career?
Nurse:I wouldn’t. I was born to be a nurse. This is what God created me to do and I don’t see myself in any other career than this one.
The nurse that I interviewed has been a nurse for over 25 years and she is considered an expert in the field of nursing. The highest level nursing that she has accomplished is the RN which is a Registered Nurse. As seen in the interview, nursing a career that is loved very much by the nurses who do it. Nursing is hard work, but as said above by the nurse, when you do what you love, it’s not hard work.
The media states that the typical route to go in order to become a nurse is to go straight to being a Registered Nurse by taking the course and the NCLEX-RNexam. The nurse I interviewed went through a very different process. She began with her Certified Nurse Assistance (CNA) and then she was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and then she became a Registered Nurse (RN). This process does take longer because the nurse is working and going to school at the same time.
The two things that I thought would be negative, turned out to be positive. At first I thought it would be hard to find a job after nursing school, but she states that it took no time at all to get a job. She got the job right away, which is great. I also thought she would have a negative response when I asked her about the overtime, but her experiences were greater than I thought they would be. She was so positive about everything.
After interviewing her, I realized that Nursing is an amazing career, but it is not for everyone. It takes time, patience, dedication and a lot of love for your job. Nurses devote so much of their time and life to their career. It is very important that we are appreciative of what they do for their patients and that we support them . It’s also important that those who are seeking a career in nursing, do it because they love the career, not for any other reason.
National Council Licensure Examination for a Registered Nurse. This is the exam that a nurse must take in order to be licensed in a state.
Below there is a transcribed piece from the interview that I conducted with a friend who is currently in nursing school and who is currently going through clinicals and all of the hard work of a nursing student. The questions that were asked mainly focus on nursing school and what it is life. The interviewee also provided me with an essay that explained why he choose nursing. I plan to include some information from the essay he provided in an analysis below. So please continue to read to find out more about the reality behind nursing school.
Me: “What nursing school do you go to ?”
Student: “I go to Florida National University”
Me: “Do you like the school you go to?”
Student: “Yes, I love my school because we are a big family. Where we can count on each other”
Me: “How helpful is the school you go to? Like how helpful are the administrators”
Student: “Everyone is helpful because they care about each student and their success and they make our journey so much easier.”
Me: “How helpful are your teachers?”
Student: “The teachers are always present, and always willing to help the students learn better”
Me: “How has your overall experience as a nursing student been?”
Student: “My nursing experience hasn’t been easy because once you start nursing school, your entire social life changes in all senses. And you know that all you need to focus on is to study in order to do well”
Me: “What is your favorite part about nursing?”
Student: “My favorite part of nursing is that I can help people so they can get heal and to make a difference in their lives.”
Me: “What are the clinicals like?”
Student: “Clinicals at my school are not flexible because they set hours sometimes they are 8-12 hours shifts and If you miss one, you need to pay a fee which is not cheap.”
Me: “Is there anything you don’t like about the nursing school? And why don’t you like that?”
Student: “The only thing I don’t like about nursing school is that having a social or personal life is very limited, and people around you don’t understand the process you are going through which is very difficult.”
Me: “Do you know what field of nursing you plan to work in ? And why”
Student: “I want to be a CRNA when I finish my Bachelor but then I want to get my DNPA Degree because that has always been my dream “
Me: “How difficult is nursing school?”
Student: “ “It is really difficult because honestly there is no enough time between one exam from the other there is basically one exam every two weeks sometimes one every week and you have to study a lot of chapters and make your own chapter reviews.”
Me: “If you could go back and choose a different career would you? Why or Why not?”
Student: “Of course I wouldn’t be able to change my mind because even though is hard every time I get more exited about this field and every clinical and every chapter gets me more into it. I just want to learn more about everything.”
According to this nursing student, nursing school has been a great experience. It has been hard but the process of going through it has been easier due to the helpful staff and students. According to the nursing student, the whole nursing cohort is like one big family, they all help each other through all the exams and the courses. The student also stated that the professors are always present and he states “they make our journey so much easier”. I believe that the school that one goes through determines how good ones experience is.
One strict thing that all nursing students must complete is clinicals. Clinicals are mandatory and they range from 8-12 hours, just like a real nursing shift. It may seem negative for many students, but it is clear that its good because it prepares the student for real life. Many experts state that clinicals are imperative because it teaches them to use the skills they learned in the classroom in real life (Abdulmutalib, 2019). This supports the reason why nursing schools would make it mandatory and make those who miss it have to pay for it.
The life of a nursing student can be hard sometimes because they don’t really have a social life due to the time needed to dedicate to school and studying. Students barely have enough time between exams. That was one of the main concerns addressed by the nursing student because they are forced to study so much that is affects this social life. This can be seen as a negative, but in the end, all of the hard work pays off. The nursing student even said that he wouldn’t go back and choose another career. When you truly have a passion for something, all of the hard work is just seen as a step to the future.
I know that nursing school is going to take a lot of time and sacrifices but it will all be worth it. The best part about it all is that you create a family with your cohort and you all help each other out. No one is really alone, which makes the process so much easier.
What have I learned about nursing throughout my research journey?
Throughout my research journey I have learned so much about nursing that I had never known before. I learned more about the mother of nursing, what nursing school was like, some major issues in the career and so much more that has changed my perspective on nursing. I think that it is very important to go into the history of nursing because once you see the hard work that previous nurses had to go through to make it the career it is today, you learn to appreciate the hard work they did and you become more appreciative of your career as a nurse because you realize that you have it easier than they did.
Nursing all begins with the wonderful woman names Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale is the mother of nursing who has written many books on nursing that include advice, experiences, and many other topics that are very informative for those pursing a career in nursing.
The first book I ever read from Florence Nightingale was Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is not. This book was written so well with a lot of useful information on how to properly ensure that you take care of the patient and their room in the best way possible.
In her book, she explains what nursing means to her and she states “It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices” (Nightingale,1860, p.8). She also gives advice to the reader by providing five essentials that is needed in a house. The five essential points: 1. Pure air. 2. Pure water. 3. Efficient drainage. 4. Cleanliness. 5. Light. Without these, no house can be healthy and clean (Nightingale,1860,P. 24). A big part of a patient’s recovery is ensuring that the environment is clean and safe for the patient.
In her book she also includes tips on how to talk to talk to patient and how to observe them. She also states that “an essential part, of the training of every nurse” and how important confidentiality is: Every nurse should be one who is to be depended upon, meaning that a nurse should be a confidential nurse. A nurse cannot gossip or talk vain. “She should never answer questions about her sick except to those who have a right to ask them” (Nightingale, 1860).
The other nurse who wrote a book discussing nursing was Jean McGrath-Brown. She wrote her book based on her thirty-eight years of experience. Just like Nightingale, McGrath-Brown devoted her life to nursing and making sure that it was done correctly. Jean McGrath-Browns’ definition of nursing that it is a noble profession where nurses all over the world give themselves tirelessly and they work hard to ensure that their patients are taken care of and recovering from sickness (McGrath-Brown, 2013).
Throughout her book she gives advice to those who are seeking a career in nursing and to those who are beginning their nursing career at a facility. One of her tips for nurses are that they should smile often, give assurance, speak softly, and take time to listen to their patients. “Listening to a patient can help save lives and bring comfort to a soul” (McGrath-Brown, 2013). Her main concern is to ensure that the patient is comfortable and is recovering well.
In the book she also includes some responsibilities that nurses carry out. One of the most important is the change shift report.The change shift report where the nurse who took care of the patient before you, leaves you a report so that you can understand what is going on with the patient and any medication that they had taken/need to take. “You must give your undivided attention at the time of the report” (McGrath-Brown, 2013).
Lastly, she explains that nursing is very difficult and it is hard to be a nurse, but at the end of the day, the big payoff is seeing a patient recover and knowing that you are fulfilling your purpose in life. I think it is important for anyone who is seeking a career in nursing knows that it is not easy to be a nurse and that it is hard work, but in the end when you truly love it, you are satisfied with a patients recovery.
 It is important to remember that back then, nursing and caring for a patient typically took place so throughout her book she mentions the home as a place that nursing takes place.
Biography on the mother of nursing.
This lovely woman above is Florence Nightingale. Nightingale is known as the mother of nursing all over the world. She was the woman who ensured that nursing began to receive the respect that it deserved.
Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820 and she passed away on August 13, 1910. She lived to be 90 years old and she made many of those years count (Editors, 2009).
Florence Nightingale was born into a wealthy family, meaning that she defied the expectations set on her life by following her dreams and becoming a nurse. Nightingale was able to receive a” classical education, including studies in German, French and Italian” (Editors, 2009). She was well-educated and she had manners, but she was seen as awkward because she never liked to be a center of attention, she liked to work in the background.
From a young age, it was clear that nursing was Nightingales calling because as a little girl she would talk to and minister to the ill and poor people around the village that she lived in. From 16 years old, she knew that nursing was the career she wanted to pursue (Editors, 2009). Unfortunately, when Nightingale told her parents that she wanted to be a nurse, they were not happy with her. “Here parents forbade her to pursue nursing” (Editors, 2009). They stated that as a young lady she was supposed to marry a man in the upper social class to maintain her family’s reputation. At the age of 17, her parents tried to force her into a marriage, but she refused and a few years later she enrolled into a nursing school at the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserwerh, Germany (Editors, 2009).
Her career began in the early 1850s, where she worked as a nurse in a hospital for ailing governesses. She performed so well that she impressed every single person that crossed her path. She set so many goals to improve nursing, one of her main goals was to improve the hygiene because that would lead to a lower death rate. She cared so much for nursing that she risked her own health to ensure that her patients received the best care possible (Editors, 2009).
Her next job opportunity was given to her in 1854, where she was asked to assemble a team of nurses to take care of soldiers that were ill or injured. She assembled a team of 34 nurses and sailed them to Crimea to help. The conditions of the hospital were horrid and terrible for taking care of patients, so Nightingale took action and decided to work hard to improve the conditions of the hospital and she ended up reducing the hospital’s death rate by two-thirds (Editors, 2009).
Once the Crimean war was over, she went back to her home town. At her home town they welcomed her home with a hero’s welcome. Even the Queen rewarded Nightingale for her hard work. The Queen gave her an engraved brooch and granted her a prize of $250,000 for all her hard work (Editors, 2009).
Nightingale was so amazing that she decided to use the money for nursing. With that money she funded the St. Thomas’ Hospital, which is where she started the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Nightingale became an inspiration for many and thanks to her “nursing was no longer frowned upon by the upper classes; it has, in fact, come to be viewed as an honorable vocation” (Editors, 2009).
Nightingale worked so hard for nursing, she devoted her entire like to preventing disease and ensuring that patients get the best care. She passed away in August 13 of 1910. There is now a Florence Nightingale Museum where she originally held the Training School for Nurses. The museum holds more than 2,000 artifact that commemorate her.
Now that you see everything that she done, it is clear to say that Florence Nightingale earned her titles as the mother of Nursing. She dedicated her life to making nursing into the career that it is today and I think she would be proud to see what nursing has become today and it’s all thanks to her. I think it’s important to understand everything that she went through so that we can truly appreciate nursing as a career.
Why I decided to pursue a career in nursing/ Why nursing is important to me?
Nursing has always had a special place in my hurt. The first time I had ever considered being a nurse was at my great grandmother’s funeral. At her funeral, my aunt told the super hero story that inspired me to want to be a nurse.
Her super hero story took place on a random day where my great grandma and my aunt were driving down the highway and she noticed a woman panicking and trying to get help from anyone. So she decided to pull over, not knowing if it was a trap or a dangerous situation, and she jumped out of the car without hesitation to help the woman. The woman was trying to get help because her son was choking in the back seat and she could not unblock his airway, so my great grandma came in and cleared his airway within seconds and the little boy lives.
Another one of her super hero stories is that she risked her life and her health for her job. She did not hesitate to put in I.Vs and draw blood from the patients during the HIV breakout. She did not care to put her life in danger because she put her patients like before her own. She took her job very seriously and she saw it as more of a passion rather than a job. She did everything from the bottom of her heart and she never hesitated to help a patient no matter what state the patient was in.
She had a true passion for nursing and it was very clear through all of the work she did and did it all without hesitation, while raising five kids on her own. She was a real boo woman and she worked so hard to make sure that children always had food in their mouths and that they did their homework and that they were in bed early enough for the next day of school. She would leave then sleeping at night to go to work and then she would rush home to make sure they were all up and ready for school the next day.
Seeing everything she did is truly inspiring and it is what led me to want to be a nurse. It would be an honor for me to carry on her legacy as a nurse at the same hospital she worked out. She worked at South Miami hospital for over thirty years, and I plan to do the same. I plan to ensure that my mark is left in the hospital and I plan to inspire others like my great grandmother inspired me.
She was such an amazing woman and I’m sure that she is smiling down at me right now because she knows that I will carry out her legacy and make sure to keep the legacy alive in my children or grandchildren.