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Social Justice November 17, 2007

Posted by mariemanthey in Academia, Nursing Salons.
Tags: , , , , ,

The aftermath to the Summit of Sages has been fascinating. I have been in two major discussions with nurses about social justice with almost explosive results.The first was at the Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau and the second was a week later at a Salon in my home.

At the Zeta Chapter about 50 attendees heard three nurse leaders from here in the Twin Cities speak about the issue of Social Justice from the perspective of their workplace. The first person is a CNO of a specialty hospital that provides coordinated care for children with severe developmental disabilities. She spoke of finding there were NO similar services available to their patients as they become adults. The whole segment of adults with developmental disabilities from childhood have no specialty in or out patient service providers.

The second speaker is from a local liberal arts college with a major nursing program who spoke about a college-wide initiative to eliminate abusive or violent communications among students and faculty members.

And the third CNO of a local community hospital spoke of her previous experience in the Canadian system where no one goes bankrupt or loses their home because of illness and no one dies because they can’t afford health care. She also spoke of the young adults who arrive in their ER due to a sports injury with no insurance because they are no longer on their parents plan and not yet established themselves.

After these three speakers, the audience entered into a free-flowing passionate discussion about the fact that as nurses we see the effects of this crazy “non-system” of health care … and yet we seldom speak about what we know. There was a strong consensus about the need for nurses to speak up about what we know and about how we think the system should change.

The second discussion was at a Salon a week later and again, the stories about what we know were overwhelming. A quick summary:

  • ER Nurse Manager told of 3 patients in 2 weeks who died upon arrival at the ER door, having waited too long because they didn’t have insurance. Upon arrival at the place of help, they simply gave up the struggle. She also told of a man arriving in a friend’s car with a bleeding leg. She looked at it while he was still in the car and realized it was shooting arterial blood. He waited some time for his friend because he couldn’t afford an ambulance.
  • A Medical ICU nurse told of excessive end-of-life activities that have astronomical costs for elderly patients with no hope of recovery.
  • Another nurse told of the multiple-birth cases where 5 and 6 babies are born, most of whom cannot survive but whose care is always extremely costly.

The point that was made over and over again is that as nurses we are at the point of care and see the effects of the current health care crises on the lives of our citizens. the discussion ended with a commitment to find ways to speak our  “truth-to-power.”


1. HoovaJahRat - March 7, 2009

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+7 960 200 9209

mariemanthey - June 21, 2009

Can you comment in English?

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