I am writing this letter to try to unite nurses. We are one of the oldest professional organizations, yet we are treated the worst. Nurses work long hours and are sometimes mandated to work double shifts. The job is very hard emotionally and physically.
I have been a nurse in local hospitals for 29 years. Many things have changed, and not for the better. We no longer can give back rubs, comfort dying patients, talk at length with family members about their concerns or even hold the hand of a mother who has just delivered a stillborn baby.
We must smile as we enter a new patient's room after we have just cried with the previous patient. We are the eyes and the ears of every patient. It is the nurse who notices changes in a patient's condition and alerts the doctor, saving many lives. Everyone wants the best, most alert and caring nurse to take care of their loved one.
I have read about all of the improvements made to hospitals, but nothing is being done to increase the number of nurses on every floor. Everything else should come second when compared to staffing. I hope nurses will come together so that we can improve our working conditions, not just for our benefit, but also for our patients.
PAT PAOLUCCI, R.N.