What are controversial nursing topics? Unfortunately the greatest profession in the world does not come without challenges, struggles, fears, and frustrations. Topics such as safe staffing, allow natural death, and alternative medicine are just a few. What other controversial nursing topics exist? Up until a few days ago, nurses felt safe and secure practice their art , feeling protected by policy.
#1 - Staffing and Salary
Nurses enter this profession due to a desire to help people and improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, this desire does not come without a price. The sacrifice nurses make often go unnoticed. Little is said about the nurse who picks up their fifth shift of the week due to staff shortages and sorry for fellow co-workers and patients. Long shifts, missed family events, and poor sleep habits lead to high stress. Issues such as mandated overtime and shifts tug at both sides of the spectrum. We must ensure patients are taken care, however humans can only do so much before fatigue takes over.
As if long hours, lack of sleep, and stress aren't enough, throw in low salaries based on the type of work we do. The responsibility the nurse takes on, the focus, stamina, courage, and devotion most often do not match the pay!
#2 - Choice
Nurses find themselves smack in the middle of the issue of choice. Patient wishes my not align with the care provided, causing confusion, angst, frustration, and moral dilemmas. We may see this during times when treatment continues on those with very poor quality of life or vise versa. We may see people give up and want to stop treatment when we truly can help. The controversial issue of choice brings great challenges to the nursing profession. The ED nurse must still care for the patient suffering from complications following an abortion just the same as the patient facing complications after delivery. We are filled with public and national debate over choice. Unfortunately the government has not caught up with or faced the many issues the nurse faces in real time.
# 3 - Policy Protection
This issue is new to the list and has just pooped into my top 3. Until recently, nurses have been protected by policies and scope of practice to perform their duties in a just fashion. This all came to a screeching halt on July 26, 2017. As a nurse in Utah followed hospital policy on patient consent for blood, an officer of the law did not agree. As the nurse protected the rights of an unconscious patient who was not arrested nor had a warrant for his arrest the demanding police officer quickly and forcefully arrested the nurse. This action has challenged our trust in policy and the law. It leads the nurse to question authority and safety. If an officer demands blood does the nurse just hand it over regardless of face being arrested?
Watch the video of the UTAH RN
Warning: This is hard to watch without feeling angry and hurt
The controversy of following policy regardless of what the law is demanding has been tested. This situation has created many to question their morals and values. What would you do in this situation?
Please watch the conference following this arrest.....
The bond between nurses and the police must be strong and based on trust. We must all do what is best for the patient, not the arrest, evidence, or whatever else the law desires. That needs to come after the nurse cares for the person.