Through the Eyes of Nurses

On February 25th in the New York Times, two stories appeared about nurses. Both sobering. Both timely. Both essential.

In my last post, I celebrated the fact that although the pandemic is killing scores of people and putting a strain on resources, including health care personnel, nurses have been in the forefront of the media getting the recognition that they have long deserved. And more nurses are speaking out by telling their stories. Long overdue. 

However, the two stories in the NYT need to be read/viewed. One is by Theresa Brown who I have many times spot-lighted here because of her accurate assessment (my view) of nursing issues. A nurse herself, she has been calling attention to the nursing profession in the media and through her books. 

Brown’s piece: Covid-19 Is “Probably Going to End My Career,” is an exposé of what is terribly wrong in the profession and what should be done. She writes bravely and honestly about the precarious state of organized nursing. 

The second article, One I.C.U. Two nurses with cameras, is written, not by a nurse, but by a photojournalist. He filmed a fifteen-minute video that is raw footage of two nurses working with dying Covid patients in the ICU. Unvarnished, compelling and poignant. It’s a must watch that shows exactly what nurses experience during their shifts.    

I’ve attached the links to both essays. The fifteen-minute video is imbedded in both. 

Covid-19 Is “Probably Going to End My Career 

One I.C.U. Two nurses with cameras

Nurses Gain the Attention They Deserve

Since the beginning of the Pandemic, the visibility of nurses continues to increase. It is unfortunate that it took the Covid-19 virus to open a door allowing the general public to witness what nurses actually do: they save the lives of their patients as they risk their own, jeopardizing the health and lives of their families as well. 

For years, I have believed we nurses don’t get the attention we deserve. We don’t speak out about what we do on a daily basis that makes a difference and the news media tends to ignore nurses, placing more attention on physicians. 

Well, so much has changed as evidenced recently by the following:

  1.  A new show on NBC called the Nurses premiered on Monday, December 7th. I have only watched the first episode so far but if you suspend belief that a group of nurses can enter a hospital and begin to give care immediately, you will see capable, skilled nurses who work alongside physicians, not as the proverbial handmaidens, but as equal professionals. I intend to follow this show. 
  • There have been many firsthand stories in the newspapers written by nurses on the front lines. I have covered some on these in this Blog. Most recently the Washington Post, What seven ICU nurses want you to know about the battle against covid-19, December 12, 2020, spotlighted the ICU nurses caring for the sickest COVID-19 patients. I have received comments from my friends that the stories are poignant. 
Continue reading “Nurses Gain the Attention They Deserve”