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Wednesday, January 26, 2022  

Respect, or Lack ThereofPublished 9/19/2005

I have been doing more research and exploration since my Nursing Shortage series back in August of last year. There are many nurses that refute a nursing shortage exists. There are many theories that have some validity, but the most frequently and extensively expounded on is lack of respect by employers and poor working conditions.

I have been a nurse for ten years now. I began by earning my LVN from a Jr. College in Texas. I worked all over OKC and in every possible setting with the exception of ER and OR. I was always well received and never had any problems or lack of respect. I returned to school in 2002 and earned my ADN and passed NCLEX-RN July 1st 2003. I was already working very frequently at St. Anthony and almost exclusively in CCU. I was hired as staff in CCU on July 14th 2003 and have since been employed and received all of my critical care credentialing and am now one of three dayshift charge nurses.

I have never had any real problems with treatment or respect in any of my levels of employment. Perhaps it is the facilities I have chosen or perhaps I have been lucky. I understand there may be many other factors that contribute to a happy working environment or to the level of respect or treatment an employee receives. One example that I have explored is the difference between male and female acceptance of situations. I do not want to offend anyone. I personally feel that males (unfairly so perhaps) receive an automatic level of respect that females may not receive without having at least once stood up for themselves against someone that is disrespectful.

I have seen physicians that are rude, dismissive, belittling, argumentative and disrespectful. I have even on occasion stood up for co-workers that I felt were being mistreated. I have stood before physicians and asked them to please refrain from being insulting and rude and explained that their behavior is unacceptable. The level of respect you receive is usually in direct response to the respect you give. Presentation is another aspect that can lead to poor treatment. If a physician is asking questions or inquiring about the condition of one of your patients and you are lax or non-compliant with giving or assisting with finding information then you will likely lose some points toward earning the respect you desire.

The respect of the management and co-workers is also often seen as lacking or nonexistent. I may be some sort of Pollyanna but I feel that if we are all more courteous and helpful to each other we can all begin to inspire a more respectful atmosphere in our own working environment. Respect is contagious and will begin to spread if enough people just begin being respectful and courteous and helpful to one another. Managers as well want to have a level of professionalism. What can make an entire setting seem more efficient and together than a team that is all working toward the same goal?

Finally, I must impart this one piece of personal wisdom. I would encourage anyone that is just miserably unhappy and can see no light at the end of the tunnel to seek out a new position. Life is shorter than most of us understand and it can change or end at any moment and if you spend too much time of your life in an unhappy, unappreciated, non-nurturing position you are only hurting yourself.

There is a place that will be the perfect fit for you! You however must have the strength and the courage to leave something that may be comfortable or safe and take a chance on finding the place you desire.

It is my point of view that one person can make a difference! You can be the one that gets the ball rolling toward having a happier more respectable and courteous workplace. You be the one to start being more courteous and helpful and respectful and it will spread as fast as any other contagion.

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