Published for Everyday Health, “Why America’s Nurses Are Burning Out” is an article that addresses the issue of nurses leaving the medical field. Written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the article explains that nurses leave the field for the following reasons: bad administration and management, insufficient staffing and scheduling, work related stress, wanting a career as a nurse versus having a passion for nursing. Each of these issues are problems all nurses experience on the job. The nursing field is not meant for everyone. It takes commitment, hard work, dedication, patience, and the ability to differentiate between empathy and sympathy. For a nurse to be successful and committed to the field, the issues Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses must be addressed and examined thoroughly. The article was written to target working nurses, stressed nurses, healthcare coordinators, healthcare administrators and mangers, and the Human Resources and Development Department.
This article is relevant to the public and targeted audience because nurses are the heart of healthcare, and for a hospital or medical facility to run effectively, issues concerning the nursing field need to be addressed. I am currently a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Certified Medication Aide (CMA). I am also enrolled as a full-time Nursing student at Kaplan. So, I know why nurses are burning out. I have experienced all the issues and problems the article addresses. However, I must agree with one issue and strongly disagree with another.
Dr. Gupta writes, “in order for nurses to feel satisfied and fulfilled with their work, the staffing issues must be seriously addressed from a very high level.” I agree with this point. The root of most problems with nurses, is the administration and Human Resources Department. I have worked at two nursing facilities since obtaining my CNA. I left my first job because of bad management. When I had issues, concerns, or questions – I felt that they were not addressed promptly or correctly. The individuals who held the higher-level position, had little no experience in the healthcare department. Thus, they were unable to connect with the nurses and nurse aides, or fully understand their concerns through a nurse or nurse aide perspective. Eva Francis, a former nursing administrator interviewed by Dr. Gupta says, “Nurses also need to be able to express themselves professionally about the workload, and be heard without the fear of threat to their jobs or the fear of begin singled out.” I strongly agree with this because often, the nurse or nurse aide who do go to management and express their questions and concerns, are not taken seriously. Instead, the “old-way” of doing things is the “right away” of doing things. To address this issue, administrator and Human Resource departments needs to have an open-door policy. This policy must be practiced, just as much as it’s preached. Nurses and nurse aides need to have reassurance that their problems and concerns will be addressed and considered by their leaders, without fear of begin fired or singled out.
At the end of the article, it’s stated that “when a person goes into nursing as a profession, it’s either because it’s a career path or a calling.” This is a quote from Jill O’ Hara, former nurse from New York who left the nursing field. What O’Hara states is true. Some people get into nursing because it is a calling for them. This is not a job, but a passion for them. A passion to help care for the sick. Other get into nursing because it is a career choice. It is a job, but not a passion for them. A job with steady income. Though I agree with O’Hara on her view on why a person gets into the nursing profession, I strongly disagree with her on another point. O’Hara also states that, “the career nurse can leave work at the end of the day and let it go, but the nurse who enters the field because she is called to it takes those emotionally charged encounters home with her. They are empathetic, literally connecting emotionally with their patients, and it becomes a part of the energetically.” I strongly disagree with this statement because empathy is a big part of the nursing field and the healthcare field. When a nurse can connect with his or her patient, the bond allows them to see the patient as their own family member or relative, rather than a patient or bed number. When a patient is seen as a human begin, rather than another patient, they are given the best care because the nurses knows them on a deeper level. The ability to have empathy for another human being is key to the medical field. In my experience, nurses who entered the field did so because it was a career choice, rather than a passion or calling, tend to be the nurses who run into issues with patient cares. These nurses are often unpleasant and “numb” to human emotion. As a CNA/CMA and nursing student, knowing what I know – I would choose a nurse who was called to nursing over a nurse who choose it as a career choice.
Overall, nursing is a field that resolves around patients and patience, love and kindness, and sympathy and empathy. The issues that are causing nurses to leave the field are fixable. These are issues that various hospitals and healthcare facilities across the USA need to address. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has done a great job of bringing these issues to light. Now it’s time for the higher level position individuals to meet their nurses halfway, to provide a better working environment for the mental and emotional sanity of the people at the heart of the healthcare system.
Gupta, S., Dr. (2016). Why America's Nurses Are Burning Out. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/why-americas-nurses-are-burning-out/