Nursing Image & Ability to Influence Politics

images-14…your job is easy to but I don’t want to be a garbage man. Nurses are a mix of maid and babysitter anyone with an 8th-grade diploma could do it, it’s not hard to do. I guess good nurses are around because who else would get coffee for the doctors.

This is an inflammatory comment left by a fool in the midst of a jumble of comments following this article from Michigan. The comment is asinine and I usually would pay it no attention, but I am hearing and reading this genre of spittle more and more often.

This mindset definitely makes me wonder if this is a sad backlash of our economy, our union activities and the employment situations in which nurses are finding themselves – more “labor” (believed by the masses to be unskilled, at that) than “professionals.”

Are we not worthy of respect and a seat at the Big Boy Table? Do they understand how much work we have and that our education is demanding?!

Here are some of my observations:

Neither medical nor legal professionals are standing on State Legislative lawns with signs.

Neither lawyers nor doctors are paid based on a clock-in/clock-out hourly wage – they charge their clients by the hour or for the service provided. They also get quarterly bonuses based on their revenue generation. Even when some physicians become employees of a hospital, their pay is salaried and their bonuses are negotiated. Factories, restaurants and auto-manufacturers pay their labor on a clock-in/clock-out basis.
The great majority of working nurses are employed by hospital facilities and work for hourly wages.

Hospital Executives use the company’s money to be members of a statewide professional lobbying service that intricately details their political strategies and then sends eloquently trained speakers and lawyers to represent their interests as insiders to the government and the media.

The American Medical Association ($420/year for regular membership) and the American Bar Association (Free for first year, then $125 and increasing by $10 – $100 per year of practice capping out at ten plus years of practice at $399/year) charge an annual membership fee that includes political representation, professional lobbyists, media campaigns, political donations to conscientious politicians, peer-reviewed journals, issue committees and voting privileges.

Nurses have professional organizations of which some are members ($70 – $180/year), but there is no centralized organization to represent everyone. Labor unions are attempting to fill this void for nurses (averaging $15 – $25/pay period via payroll deduction = $390 – $650/year) but they appear to be outrageously expensive and seem to present us as an angry “labor force-to-be-reckoned-with” rather than a smooth and classy operating system with clout, money, and influence.

A sad example of nurses being closed out: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) created a committee and was granted $4 million by President Obama to Rethink Nursing. Here are its members:
– Linda Burnes Bolton, chief nursing officer with 914-bed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles;
– Jennie Chin Hansen, president of the AARP;
– C. Martin Harris, chief information officer of the 1,080-bed Cleveland Clinic;
– Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute;
– and John Rowe, professor of health policy at Columbia University and former chairman and CEO of Aetna.