Monday, February 6, 2012

Ethical Debate

Question: Suppose that you are chatting with someone who tells you that she is going to go into nursing (or any other health field) because she can get a good paying job and she won’t get laid off like she has been from other jobs. She goes on to say, “I think sick people can be whiny and demanding, but I can put up with that, smile and do my job." Based on your readings, how would you respond?

Everyone in the class pretty much said, she is wrong. Her reasons invalid etc.

My Answer was: I do not believe that someone going into a field that requires patient centered care should go into the field with a negative bias already. Negativity breeds negativity and eventually that attitude is going to wear off toward the patients or toward coworkers. I would however respect their choices. I try not to judge people strictly based on my opinions or even my personal values. I feel that some people who are not particularly fond of people as a whole, actually can provide sensitive personal care to their patients or clients without prejudice.
I would offer to educate them further on their misconceptions regarding the actual economic stability of a career in the medical field. In actuality the medical field has been hit with layoffs. In fact a large medical health network associated with a prestigious medical school in Massachusetts is set to begin the layoffs of 900 employees. (Globe,2012) In Arizona Carondelet Healthcare Network is planning to layoff 225 medical positions within their network. (layoff tracker, 2011)
Furthermore, I don't believe that it is correct to just tell a person that their plan or the reasons behind that plan are purely wrong. At the very least this person is probably misguided in their views and expectations of the nursing profession and the patients that they will see. After all not all sick patients are whiny. However, perhaps instead of looking at this person's views as merely wrong, maybe here is a place to gain a bit more information behind their motivations for choosing nursing. Maybe what this person meant was," I think the pay is great. I heard its recession proof from the media and nursing school ads, and my family really needs me to work. I can put up with some difficult people in order to do my job and have a smile while doing so." Is she still wrong?

What do you all think?


  1. "Based on your readings, how would you respond?"

    Oh, there's nothing wrong with what she is saying since she really doesn't have any idea of what nursing is all about. However, when she will finally study nursing, I think she cannot say these things. Learning and experience could change people's perspectives (as well as her initial perspective on nursing). Let her be a nurse and she will eventually change her view. Nursing is not just a work, it's absolutely a vocation, a call for passion not a call for the need of a salary. :)

    Peny@nurse scrubs

  2. Even Maricopa Skills Center has stopped their LPN program, so yeah- your answer is dead on!
    And yes, I hate when people get all judgey about a person's motives when you really don't know.. sometimes people say things they don't really mean.

  3. You know I was one of those people who was only doing it for "the job". And when I started school I realized that it was so much more and fell in love with the profession.
    Give the gal time, nursing school will do one of two things, chase her out or win her over. People who don't have motivation to stay with the program or the job won't because you learn soon enough that while the money is good there are WAY easier ways to earn it and WAY easier degrees that can lead you to a good job.
    And hey lets face it, we've all had a few of those "whiny patients" that all you can do is put a smile on your face and do your job

  4. Hmm...I think it takes a lot of heart to be a nurse. If it isn't meant for her, hopefully she will be one of those who are weeded out. I love the patient centered care, and right now I feel like I am being weeded out by an instructor who is just stressed out and wears it on her sleeve! Now I don't have much experience yet, as I have just started, but I picked up a towel soaked with urine and blood today off the floor. That takes dedication. That is putting differences aside and caring for another human who is too sick to take care of themselves.

  5. I think that sometimes the most dedicated nurse just put on a smile and get on with it. The best part of the job is definetively not to be vomited on or picking dirty things off the floor, but it is a part of the puzzle. So I don´t feel judging her is right, but I guess by the first set of placement she will realize if she can do it or now!