Sad to say, the image of nurses has been distorted for many decades through the media contrast to the initial positive image of the nurses during World War II. In some media, nurses are often portrayed as not being knowledgeable, professional and responsible. However, in the real world, people have chosen the nurses as the most honest and ethical profession for 17 years (Brenan, 2018). Maybe, this would be a natural consequence if anybody has had an experience meeting the nurses and being treated by the nurses.
There is a great exemplary story about a nurse who showed people exactly what is the authentic nurse. Chantelle Diabate, 31-year-old nurse at a Bronx nursing home, walked through the blizzard over 3km on Sat. Jan. 2016. In her interview, she said that she decided to walk to her job because she felt nobody could make it to work that day due to the extremely inclement weather. Her hunch turned out to be true. There was only one nurse, who was Diabate, came to the nursing home for 840 elderly patients, and the other 50 nurses could not make it.
Diabate worked a double shift with a few staff who chose not to leave the nursing home last night (Castillejo, 2016).
This heartwarming story clearly demonstrates the nurses’ practice standards in many ways which is the professional guide line that recommended for nurses to follow. Regarding Professional Standards provided by College of Nurses of Ontario, Diabate’s story corresponds with accountability, ethics, leaderships and relationships. In terms of the accountability, it expects that nurses demonstrate the responsibility to their clients (College of Nurses of Ontario [CNO], 2002).
Nurses are required to present that they promote actively for clients’ safety and well-being in any circumstance just like Diabate (CNO, 2002). Even though she has a reasonable excuse for her absence due to the bad weather, she cared her patients’ safety first. As well as, she provided the best care as much as she could for patients by accepting a double shift to keep them in secure feeling and prevent the staff shortage during the day. She was just there, where she was really needed (CNO, 2002). Diabate shows us her high quality of ethics on nursing care by putting the nursing value on client well-being prior to the private safety and desire (CNO, 2019).
It would not have been easy to go to work leaving her 3 year-old-girl with a babysitter. She fought an internal conflict about going to work before she stepped into the blizzard because there was no road and transportation available and the snow storm was growing more powerful. The majority of nurses decided to call in sick for the day which could not be criticized by anyone. At this point, Diabate’s ethical mind was more praiseworthy. It could have endangered her while walking, but she took a worthy action for her patients who were totally depending on her. Diabate regarded the patients as her family and respected their well-being above all (CNO, 2019). Regarding the leadership, Diabate demonstrated the professional nurse’s standards as a role model although she never intended that. By the heartwarming story, people got impressed about the nursing profession and the other nurses could be very proud of what she had done for her patients.
Sharing her story affects the perception of the nurses for people to realize how nurses are treating their patient with a sense of duty and lead the nurse and student nurses to find out the best possible solutions in a conflict situation (CNO, 2002). Her leadership was not from coaching or directing somebody, but it was from how she acted (CNO, 2002). In relationships aspect, Diabate showed people an extra ordinary relationship with her parents and co-workers. The reason, she could decide to go through the blizzard, was her family like patients. If she was not there, the patients would have spent the day with lack of assist or care for them which could have broken the mutual trust or resulted in severe health problems (CNO, 2006). It means that the absence of care could affect patients’ health mentally and physically even for only one day. However, Diabate wanted to prevent the abused situation (CNO, 2006). So, she was there for them and assured them that she was thinking of the patients so much as a family. It could make the patients feel relived and secured as therapeutic effects. Diabate showed her respect, trust and empathy on the patients by showing up there (CNO, 2006). It could be called a great example of client-centered care.
As well as, she could be a professional role model for co-workers and future nurses by being there and accepting a double shift. She filled a position for her colleagues and patients, so she could solve future problems (CNO, 2002). While analyzing Diabate’s story, it brings the word “dedication” to my mind. Her dedication on her duty demonstrated that many professional features like accountability, ethics, and nurse-client/nurse-staff relationships as a live example. Nursing is more than a just job for people. Of course, other jobs need all the professional characteristics which are very similar to the nurses, however having the features seem more essential to the nurses because nurses are at the front line of health care.
Becoming a successful nurse requires thoughtful decisions and firm determination in the conflict situations along with Diabate. If someone wants to become a nurse profession, the person should regard that the nursing is not a just job. I was very impressive and could face up the real-world situation by her story. Moreover, her story gave a chance to put myself into the situation, and could think about what if I were her, how I would have decided. I strongly believe that Diabate story makes a big impression to people who have read or heard about her story. This story is showing how the nurse is ethical, responsible, and accountable with the profession, and it could affect people’s understanding on the nurses and nursing with positive perceptions. By perceiving valuable image of the nurse, the distance between patients and nurses would be closer and build a stronger trust. Looking at Diabate’s story closer, I could realize that the importance of managing my personal life as well. She is a mom of 3-year-old girl, but she prepared a babysitter for her daughter, so she did not worry about her girl even during a double shift.
Also, she chose the place to live where was only two miles away from home to get to work quickly and be able to walk to the nursing home when there is not any transportation available. These things look like they do not relate with a professionalism of the job, but the choices allow her to work with peace of mind. To boost the nursing profession, I would consider my private environment first so I could focus on client care. Reflection on a great role model of the nurse like Diabate in the real world would influence future nurses to set the positive nursing identity that they want to be. By applying myself into the situation, taking some time to think about what if I were there and find what I can do would be helpful process to become a successful nurse. The nurse profession is one of the challenging jobs which requires the personal management and many professional aspects to accomplish their duty, called client-centered care. Still people do not know well how nurses are trying to demonstrate essential characteristics such as accountability, ethics, leaderships and relationships when they are treating the patients. However, there is a countless number of Diabates around people saying, “this is what it means to be a nurse” (Castillejo, 2016).
Brenan, M. (2018). Gallup. Nurses Again Outpace Other Professions for Honesty, Ethics. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/245597/nurses-again-odiautpace-professions-honesty-ethics.aspx?g_source=link_NEWSV9&g_medium=related_tile1&g_campaign=item_1654&g_content=Nurses%2520Again%2520Outpace%2520Other%2520Professions%2520for%2520Honesty%2c%2520Ethics
Castillejo, E. (2016). Abc News. Nurse Walked Nearly Two Miles in the Blizzard to Get to Work. Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/US/nurse-walked-miles-blizzard-work/story?id=36506503
College of Nurses of Ontario. (2019). Practice standard: Ethics. Toronto: College of Nurses of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/41034_ethics.pdf
College of Nurses of Ontario. (2002). Practice standard: Professional standard. Toronto: College of Nurses of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/41006_profstds.pdf
College of Nurses of Ontario. (2006). Practice standard: Therapeutic nurse-client relationship. Toronto: College of Nurses of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/41033_therapeutic.pdf
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