Who takes care of nurses?

Last month something so heart wrenching happened that it changed my perspective forever.

I went up to the surgical floor to make contact with someone because I couldn’t reach anyone on the phone. I walked around through two surgical pods seeing no one.

Then I heard a faint noise. I walked around the desk and there I see an RN crouched on the floor sobbing.

After comforting her, she said she had 12 patients and had only seen half of them 3 hours into her shift because their level of need was so high. I held my post-op patients that day for more than three extra hours to try to help this nurse.

The system is designed to break our nurses. Some say well RPNs can do the same job, but can they really care for those highly complex patients? If we lay off the sobbing nurse, who will care for those 12 acute patients?

This saddens me more than most people could ever know. We had pride in our work. We went the extra mile because it is what we do. We do it for our patients. But oddly enough no one cares for us.

No one says “good job.” "Way to save that child," "way to do a double so your colleague could be with their sick child" or "hey, way to catch those monitor changes and prevent that heart attack."

Nope, they say… "Hmmm need more cuts. Let’s cut the front line first, as always."