Interview of a Nurse
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For my conducting an interview assignment, I interviewed Sharon Howard RN, BSN. Sharon has held the position of House Supervisor at a hospital in Morristown Tennessee since 1993. Her position as a House Supervisor requires her to delegate nursing care responsibilities throughout the hospital while at the same time overseeing and investigating complaints from patients and/or staff, problems within the hospital, and staffing issues. Sharon graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1990 and has worked in the medical field since.
Sharon has always enjoyed helping people and for this reason she became a nurse. She enjoys her current job because it enables her to be a mentor to younger and more inexperienced nurses while at the same time she is still able to make a difference in the lives of others. If given the opportunity to change professions, Sharon would not leave the medical field, but she would like to become a teacher of nursing.
According to Sharon, one of the hardest parts of nursing is having to deal with the death of a patient. “Someone goes into cardiac arrest and you do not know if they are going to live or die. If you ever get to the point where this does not bother you, it is time to change professions” (Howard, 2011).
Staff to patient ratio, changes in insurance, such as Medicare, and paper work that keeps increasing, has become one of the hot topics in the nursing field. One of Sharon’s biggest concerns is the amount of work that keeps piling up on the nurses. Nurses are given too many patients to care for, as well as too much paper work required by insurance companies. Medicare started new initiatives about core managers, in which they expect hospitals to follow, to ensure patient safety which in turn increases the amount of paper work that a nurse has to complete. This time takes away from time that the nurses should actually be caring for their patients. Due to understaffing and overloading nurses, it is hard for them to get everything done by the end of their shift. Sharon suggested that a good argumentative research topic would be to argue whether or not patients in hospitals are getting the best care due to nurses being forced to care for too many patients; should nurse to patient care ratio be mandatory? Also suggested was, do hospitals really save money by increasing a nurse’s work load instead of hiring enough nurses to do the job.
For someone to be an authority, or possess skills to communicate in the nursing discourse community they need to have the proper education as well as years of experience behind them. Professional organizations or publications in the medical discourse community that Sharon suggested and uses herself are: New England Journal Medicine and American Critical Care Association of Nurses which also has an online forum as well as sends out a monthly newsletter with updates and new topics. According to Sharon, nurses notes need to be factual, objective and not subjective, brief and to the point, they should never speak in first person—“never I, always, the nurse” (Howard, 2011). Publication can use examples but never actual patient names. She feels that it is best not to identify any colleague personally and to make sure research is valid, taking into consideration all variables. Characteristics in a document, such as language set, tone, audience, and format, should be professional and objective, making sure to follow all set rules.