Friday, June 17, 2011

I have no essay yet, this was my debate

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Written out speech

Good afternoon everyone, today we are going to debate if Nurses are handmaidens for doctors.

We believe that nurses are handmaidens for doctors and not only for them…….

I would like to start with defining the key words of this statement.

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In several dictionaries handmaiden is defined as a female servant or personal assistant.

What caught my attention about this was the fact that is gives a gender within the definition, as we are now in the year 00 and gender plays less of a role in relation to what profession we choose Helen and I have chosen not to concentrate to much on that part of the definition.

As for what a nurse is defined as we found in several dictionaries a definition very close to “A nurse is a person that provides care for the ill or injured people.”

Our own developed definition, as the affirmative party, of nurses as handmaidens for doctors is that a nurse is a person who takes care of the ill and injured by assisting others including doctors.

To fully understand this concept of “taking care” we have to take into account what we have learned about what care is and also what health and being healthy means. We have been listening and discussing these over the last few weeks in tutorials and lectures from all subjects. Being healthy is physical status that can be different for every individual. Even though this is the case the Health Care System is set�up to provide services, to try and reach the status of Health and feeling healthy, for every individual in our society.

The role of the Nurse in this health system is to assist, by taking care of the patient, in getting the patient as close to his/hers “desired healthy status” as is possible.

Some examples of other area’s needed to get an individual to his/hers ideal health status are

-Curing of any possible developed illnesses.(Doctors)

-Maintain/improve mobility to keep/gain independence (Physiotherapist)

-Developing new nutrition habits that will assist their wellbeing and health. (Dietitian).

-Improving or maintaining their mental health (Sociologist / psychiatrist)

So you see; to give a patient the best possible outcome the tasks to achieve are being carried together with other health care professionals, who are responsible for the other aspects of the healthy status of the individual.

Nurses do not cure the patient but care for the patient’s general well being.

To defend our position my fellow speaker, Helen, and I will address the following points

1. The Nursing profession unions, pay rate and workload.

. Case with the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

. Physicians perception of nurses.

4. The perception of the patients, nurses and nursing students.

5. Increasing evidence that Nurses are leaving fulltime positions to go casual.

6. Nurses are performing extra tasks outside their job description.

7. Growing decline of contact with senior physicians and other staff members.

8. Difficulty and low availability of NP positions within Australia.

I will finish my section with a preliminary conclusion.

1 The nursing profession.

Over the past 0 years nursing in Australia has started to develop as a academic degree instead of a practical based training. This has caused many changes in the profession. However, the needs of the patients in the hospital have not changed much. Patients still depend on the nursing staff to assist them with all the “normal routines” they cannot provide themselves at this point in time.

The organizational structure of the health system does not seem to have caught up with the developments of the educational structure of the profession. But what is even more disturbing is the way the remuneration has been left behind. Due to the althuristic character of many nurses and norm standards in the past it took until the 80-s for nurses to be deviant and put their fists down to improve the remuneration backlog. Even today nurses are still fighting to get better pay and working conditions. And the fights is not over yet as only part of the nursing professionals received and are getting better remuneration rates. For example, the Aged Care sector in NSW has still not reached agreement on pay rises.

Nursing is one of few professions in the health system that is still working under award rates in stead of free market rates.

The Union for nurses is still highly present with regards to having to represented nurses in negotiation as about increased pay. There are no doctors Union or awards for doctors, their salaries are not controlled by government bodies.

- Nurses get paid lower then any other health professional. Just out of uni you will be on a basic rate of 18.5 an hour. After years experience, awards still stand at $0.54 an hour while a doctor, a GP, would be looking at around $80 an hour. That is almost a times 4 difference!!!

More examples on rate’s paid to nurses

RN in Nursing home16.1, years 18.01

Unfortunately Australia is not a global exception nurses are still fighting for recognition all over the world. In for example the US and the UK payrates are a bit better but the work conditions and recognition of the value of nurses is still lacking everywhere.

. Case with NSW Industrial Relations committee.

In June 00 the NSWNA(Nurses Association) began a case with the Industrial Relations Commission as a part of their “What is a nurse worth campaign?” to try and solves the states nursing shaortage through iproved wags and conditions.

The IRC is ………………………….

One of the speakers said the following in front of the board “Despite nurses’ added responsibilities doctors are tented to view nurses as handmaidens and there is a definite “superior-subordinate” relationship.”

Due to the fact that there is no order about doctors’ rounds now the nurses are being left chasing junior medical staff.”

. Physisians perception of nurses.

4. Perception of Nurses and Nursing students

How do Nurses look at themselves and their colleagues?

Even in places where you expect nurses to have more autonomy thus is most of the time a farce. Eg. The RN in the nursing home told me that even though she has been taking care of a patient for the last 10 years when she told the doctor that that patient needed a higher medication dose , he still needed to check in himself and checked the patient the next day. The way that she told me this I could see her frustration, she spends whole days with her ad knows everything about that resident she still may not give the prescribed medication in a hire dose without the physician.

What do nursing students think of nursing and why do they want to go into nursing?

Preliminary Conclusion

Caring for human beings when they are out of balance is a big responsibility. Nurses have enough job load on their shoulders without also having to carry the responsibility of the curing part or any of the other the healing processes that should be taken care of by the other health professionals.

Nurses are socially and intellectually well developed professionals that deserve more respect for what they are doing. How ever they currently still have an assisting role with regards to the health process and therefore can be described as being handmaidens for doctors.

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