slideshow widget

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dignity, mercy and self worth

A man without dignity, mercy or a feeling of self worth isn't much of a man. Doing the same monotonous thing all day long, and not being allowed to use your noggin, can quickly take away a mans dignity, mercy and feeling of self worth.

First for some definitions:

Dignity: A feeling of worthiness

Mercy: A feeling of self control

Self worth: self esteem; a favorable impression of one's self

In fact, loss of these is one of the first real consequences Henry Ford had realized regarding the thousands of jobs he had created. He worked hard to create jobs for people, and he was proud of this. Now his goal had shifted from creating jobs to improving morale.

After some intense brainstorming sessions with his team, he decided to make it worth any man's effort to endure the monotony of doing the same thing all day on his assembly line. He decided that every man who works for him will earn twice the income ($5 a day back then) of any man who works for any other factory.

Likewise, he decided that he would limit work days to eight hours per day. This was significant, because most jobs back then required a man to be at work as much as 12 and even 16 hours per day and seven days a week. Ford limited the work week to five days.

This was great for family life. If made it possible for men working for him to feed their families and even provide some luxury to their wives and kids, buy a nice home and furniture, and have some time each day to spend with them. The job was demoralizing, but he made it worth it.

As I learned about this on MSNBC Biography of Henry Ford, I had to jump out of my chair, even at the expense of waking my 4 month old boy up, because I couldn't help but to think that this loss of dignity, mercy and self worth was a consequence of respiratory therapists not being able to use their education and experience to do what they think is best for the patients.

In essence, we RTs are at the mercy of doctors and sometimes even nurses. We are told to do a breathing treatment that we think is not needed. Heck, we are told to do many breathing treatments that we KNOW are not indicated. Yet we are not allowed to say anything, we just have do do them.

In the hospital we have order sets that go by the name of protocol. We basically do the same procedures for every patient admitted with a particular DRG. In essence, we treat every patient the same. No thought involved. In essence, working in a hospital as an RT or RN is no different than working on an assembly line.

Yet our bosses are unable to pay us more to make it worth our time. The result is loss of dignity, mercy, and self worth. The result is apathy among RTs.

Now I think being an RT is a great profession. Yet there will come a time when you will realize that much of what we do is the same old monotonous stuff day in and day out. We can do things like visit with patients, save a life here and there, give a useful treatment once in a while, yet other than that it's monotonous -- just like working on the assembly line.

Some hospitals have implemented protocols to remedy this problem. Protocols allow RTs to make decisions at the point when the care is needed. Yet even in hospitals where there are protocols doctors still over rule them. Some RTs are even afraid of the wrath of doctors, so they just do the treatments anyway.

So protocols don't resolve the problem. I had a friend email me once and he said that doctors don't want to believe that a person with an Associate's Degree could possibly know more than they do about something. Yet when it comes to the lungs, it is quite possible we DO know more than most doctors. Sorry, but it's true.

From the beginning of time every person on earth had a role in the family. The roles of each person shifted from society to society,

That was one of the first things Henry Ford realized after he had created the assembly line. He worked hard to create jobs for many, and he cared enough to

Henry Ford was a smart man. He created the assembly line

After he invented the assembly line that helped create the Ford Empire, he noticed that by doing the same monotonous job all day long he had taken away

Facebook Twitter

No comments: