Nursing Is One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in America: How Can We Change That?

Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston is originally from Williamsport, PA and holds a bachelor's degree in English. She enjoys writing about health and social justice issues. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found curled up reading dystopian fiction or hiking and searching for inspiration. If you like her writing, follow her blog, So Well, So Woman.

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3 Responses

  1. fillyjonk says:

    My family had some experience recently with a home-health-care nurse (long story short: father was in the hospital, when he came home, it was easier for him for someone to come out and check on the dressings than for him to go in to the doctor).

    My parents missed a call from her because the number came up as “unavailable” (and no number) on caller ID. Usually “unavailable” means “scam” so they didn’t answer. Later on, when she was there next, my mom commented on that and she kind of sighed and said “I work with all types of people” (To contact a nurse, you have to go through the home-health agency, and they call them)

    Also, my mom apologized for “dust on the floor” when the nurse had to get down to look at the wound on my dad’s leg and she laughed and said “Dust on the floor is nothing compared to some of the stuff I’ve seen” and she went on to – without breaching any privacies – list some of the stuff she had to deal with.

    On the one hand, I guess I kinda knew that. On the other hand, I was kinda shocked. And that also made me stop contemplating, “Well, maybe if teaching college ever goes to crap, I retool as an LPN or similar nursing degree and do home health” because I’m not sure I’m made of stern enough stuff to deal with what home-health nurses apparently have to deal with.

    One of the sadder things I remember my mom telling me, from an early hospital stay of my dad’s: one of the nurses quietly commented she liked working with him, because “you say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and you don’t yell at me”Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    While I was working for the state legislature I had a summer interim project to prepare a report on why one of the state’s mental health institutes had a much higher rate of on-the-job injuries than the others. It was an old building, with a number of additions scabbed on, and there were dozens of “hiding” places where inmates whose meds were out of whack could lurk and jump the nurses. The state was effectively paying hazard bonuses to keep nurses on staff.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Whenever we discuss healthcare policy, my first intuition is to look at it like a market. “Price is a function of the rate of increase of supply vs. the rate of increase of demand” and whatnot. After hammering on this for a while, I usually get to the point where I come to the question of “will this policy make it harder to be a medical professional?”

    If the answer is “yes”, then the policy will make the whole Health Care Crisis worse. If the answer is “no”, a follow-up question is “will it make it easier?” and the answer to that is usually also a “no”.

    This law, interestingly enough, looks like it’s going to make it easier to be a nurse.

    Which is good.

    That might actually help a little with the Health Care Crisis.Report