Edited Discourse Community statement (Unit 1)

Yudenys Cepeda

Unit 1 project, Speech

Good evening everyone, healthcare organizations and my general public,

  I come to you today with a very significant and impactful issue that is affecting my community of nurses. We come here today in hope of bettering our future. The shortage of nurses we are facing in our country today is not only affecting us but is also affecting our families, neighbors, friends and loved ones. Our reality is here, and we must take action today!

What I’m willing to achieve today is your attention and equal concern so that we can address the shortages of nurses. You may not be aware of the relevance of my concerns. Let me enlighten you with what we are facing. You see, upon statistics, the country may see a nursing shortage of between 200,000 and 450,000 registered nurses; by 2025 if no action is taken. 

Travel nurses have become an alternative for hospitals in need. Travel nurses have pros and cons. When our nearby hospitals face shortages, travel nurses are recruited for assistance. However, it’s a very expensive option. Travel nurses are being paid much more than staff nurses do. This is where the cons take place. Because of the better pay, our staff nurses are leaving their position to become travel nurses. I think that most of you would agree with me when I say that the pay has a huge impact on why most nurses decide to leave. Do you blame them? It’s only right for us to reach our highest salary, especially with the living circumstances we are facing today. What if staff nurses make the same as travel nurses? I think  you and I would agree that most nurses wouldn’t leave their profession so easily. 

This issue does not have minor effects. Because of the shortages, we reflect the possibility of mistakes that potentially could harm the quality of care. What happens when you have so many tasks at once? I believe it’s safe to say that you can’t give your best potential and attention to these tasks because they are all done at once. It’s the same issue nurses are facing. Shortages in nurses are leading to mistakes, and deadly ones. We are experiencing higher morbidity, and mortality rates. Nursing lives are at stake! 

    There are  a few causes concerning nurse shortages. Our nurse staff has 50% of nurses who are under the age of 50, and the other 50% who are over the age of 50. However, the aging population of nurses are retiring from the profession, but not enough nurses are being recruited to 

compensate for the aging population. New higher paying jobs are also a cause for our shortage. Let’s be real, will you go for a high stress job such as nursing, when they are offering you a higher salary at another career? Nurses deserve better pay! 

I am very proud of the actions that have started to take place. More than 70,000 nurses went on strike because of  failure to sign new contracts with the hospitals. We were not being listened to, and concerns were being disregarded. You loaded nurses with extra patients for the same amount of pay.  Nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai in Manhattan went on strike to protest for change. This was a huge accomplishment, nurses returned to work after hospitals agreed to revised contracts and addressed their concerns. If we give this issue more attention, we will be able to extend this protest worldwide. We successfully accomplished one strike, we will be crazy not to try and keep protesting!

Becoming a nurse is not for everyone, but for those who desire this profession, the pandemic we faced of Covid- 19, had a negative impact on them. Because of this, many nurses left the healthcare system. It was a very scary time for us all. Everyone was on lockdown but these nurses worked day and night to be there for our loved ones! They have offered us their support, their time and care. We owe them our respect, and our attention when they need us most. 

The general public, you too can help us in the pursuit of change. The reality is that you have the opportunity to make great changes that will impact our future. Healthcare organizations if you support our nurses, adjust protocols to their needs, and make education a bit more accessible for those with no privileges, I can assure you that we will have a better tomorrow. Our discourse community can’t do this alone, so it is being asked of you to reach out and join our cause. 

Words are much easier said than done. But really think about it. We are all here today, being united because of one cause. Educate yourself furthermore, educate your children, your neighbor and family. If we all come together, we can make a change. 

Being a nurse is a beautiful job. It’s a career that brings fulfillment and joy to our heart. This issue has caused this career to be seen as stressful, impossible and simply “not worth it”. Just picture a safe environment where nurses come to work well rested, happy to assist you and provide you with the best quality care. It’s possible. We must beat the system, we must fight, we must make change today. 

Well, I may not be able to reach and inspire you all today, I’m hoping I can at least leave you with inspiration to help strive for a change. We already protested and initiated our journey. Let us continue. This is our first step in initiating change. A thank you isn’t enough for our nurses, so let us show them that we will fight with them and make the world a better place. 

The future is up to us. Let’s work for a safer and better tomorrow. You matter and our nurses matter; therefore; our healthcare system is a priority. 

Thank you for coming; god bless you all.

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