Maybe we need to educate upper management — those multi-million-dollar hospitals with multi-million dollars per year salaried CEOs and board members with their financial perks — that health care professionals and nurses during “Health Care Worker/Nurse Week” in May of each year are no longer in the second grade.
Maybe we need to remind “them” that we are college-educated health care professionals with degrees, like ADNs, BSN, MSNs, RNs, LPNs, educators, NPs, and respiratory therapists.
Last year, our unit on dayshift received pizza for our appreciation month. The night shift received the two pieces leftover from the day shift.
The year before, the staff all received a cookie. If you were a member of the “resource team” and you went from one critical care unit to another, wherever you were needed, you did not get a cookie because you really weren’t a member of that “team.”
One year, we all received lifesavers with a strip of paper that said “thank you for being a lifesaver,” or the institution that gave out real rocks with the statement “you rock” and said that you could paint your rock with whatever color or pattern “empowers you.”
This year, we received shoelaces. That’s correct. Shoelaces with a sticky note that said: “We’re in this together every step of the way.”
Do we need to educate those in the upper echelons that we are not three years old?
Do we need to go through a litany of how we save lives, how we bring patients back to life, how we do CPR, code blues, code cools, how we assist in open-heart surgery and CABGs, dialysis, assist in intubations, manage ventilators, pressors, assist in inserting central lines and arterial lines and titrations of life-saving IV medications, ECMOs, etc.
If you’re exhausted just reading this, imagine a 12-14 hour shift and no break, no 30 minutes, no 15 minutes.
Imagine the 24/7 cerebral perfusion we all do to save your loved one’s life, bring that baby into this world safely, or ease someone into a comfortable, painless death.
Imagine giving us key rings, leftover pizza, chapstick, lifesavers, rocks, shoestrings, or a cookie.
Spare us these incredible insults, disrespect, and disregard for our health care professions.
This year, I collected the shoestrings given to us and donated them to our local homeless shelter downtown.
We refuse to be disrespected anymore.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com