Thursday, September 17, 2009

Advocacy

From the very first day of nursing school...the very first HOUR, actually, they tell you that you MUST be your patient's advocate- you are the ONLY THING BETWEEN YOUR PATIENT AND A MESSY DEMISE...or at the very least a hospital acquired infection, mental anguish, whatever.

And then, after this indoctrination, you're sent out, bright and shiny and optimistic, into a clinical setting. Where, at least at THIS clinical, you get chewed out if you ever dare to DO any patient advocacy. In this case, it was trying to get everyone to actually glove and gown before coming into the room with someone infected with ESBL...which is a NASTY little bug, version of E. coli...this is in addition to the standard MRSA. I just politely asked a doctor to please put on a gown over his lab coat (which i doubt he ever washes), and was told by my instructor that it was not my place to tell doctors what to do. MY place as a patient advocate is apparently to "Advocate By Setting A Good Example".

So...how are we training our nurses of the future if we start silencing them before they even graduate?

5 comments:

LivingDeadNurse said...

ouch did the doctor chew ur butt?

little d, S.N. said...

No, HE actually just sort of blinked a few times and got a gown. I'm not sure he was entirely awake at the time.

UnsinkableMB said...

Good for you! You did the right thing. Unfortunately, you will find a lot of this in the hospital setting. I would have played "innocent" and replied, "Oh... I'm sorry... I thought it was bad to spread ESBL in the hospital." :P

Keep up the good work!

little d, S.N. said...

I do "innocent and clueless" quite well...but my instructor already dislikes me, i was afraid that would make it worse

Little Woman said...

As someone who is very frequently a patient, I want to thank you for trying your hardest for being a patient advocate... even in such an indirect way as to keep one patient's bug from spreading to others. I've had some really terrible nurses and some really good ones, and I can still remember the good ones' names. We do notice, and we appreciate it.