Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson shared her talent with the world during the Miss America competition. She didn’t take singing or violin lessons. She didn’t twirl a baton. She shared some insight on the skill and talent of nursing.
Miss Colorado spoke about Joe, the patient that reminded her why she wanted to be a nurse. It was a beautiful monolog, full of heartfelt emotions. (You can watch it here.)
The ignorant, catty women of the TV show “The View” picked apart Kelley Johnson, calling her scrubs a “costume” and calling her stethoscope a “doctor stethoscope.” They took her emotions, which are very real to the over 3 million nurses in the United States, and made a mockery of them, saying it sounded more like emails and less like a monologue.
And if that wasn’t offensive enough Michelle Collins went on Twitter calling nurses angry and saying we all need a Valium.
Initially I was furious (and rightfully so). And no, Michelle, it wasn’t hidden anger. It was nearly a full-blown rampage, fueled by the offensive comments on The View. Joy Behar referred to Miss Colorado’s scrubs as a costume. A costume is not something you wear while assisting in the birth of a newborn child. You do not wear a costume while administering chemo to a dying child that you are fighting to save. You most certainly do not wear a costume while you are holding the hand of a patient with no family who is about to take their last breath, and you refuse to let them die alone. Costumes do not protect you from the bodily fluids of the strangers that you take care of as if they were your own family.
Scrubs are one of the only barriers we have to protect ourselves, and we take that very seriously. Have you, ladies of The View, ever risked yourself for someone you don’t even know? Do you know what it is like to take care of a patient with AIDS, knowing that your scrubs and a pair of gloves are all that protect you if something goes wrong? Do you know the fear of taking care of a respiratory patient, up close and personal while you assess their lungs (yes, with that doctor’s stethoscope) and obtain sputum samples, only to later find out they had tuberculosis? I imagine you are appalled by this, yet nurses do these things every day, without any hesitation.
And that doctor’s stethoscope comment? The ignorance and idiocy of that comment alone should have everyone involved in The View fired. If you truly believe that only doctors use stethoscopes then you are either a babbling, mindless idiot that should not be allowed to be on television or somehow so fortunate that you have never set foot in a hospital, doctor’s office, or nursing home. We have enough problems with uneducated, self-entitled jerks spouting off incorrect, mean comments via social media and we don’t need people on a national television show perpetuating the ignorant bullying. That nurse’s stethoscope is not only the ears that alarm the nurse to a change in their patient, every subtle little difference from the assessment before, but it’s often times the only way the doctor can hear the vital organs of the patient. That’s right, often times the doctor is not there and has to rely solely on the educated assessment by the nurse and their stethoscope. And let’s not even talk about how every nurse has had a doctor borrow their stethoscope and I bet a majority of those nurses had to buy a new one to replace one a doctor walked off with.
Nursing, which is consistently named the most trusted profession, has come together to help educate the women on The View about what a nurse really is. Blogs have been posted, Twitter was trending, and the American Nurses Association released a statement. The outrage was so strong that The View offered what I thought would be an apology but actually offended me even more. So you think nurses wear costumes, take doctor’s stethoscopes, and have secret anger, but you also think that we aren’t smart enough to follow the word vomit that comes out of your mouth on your daytime talk show?
Yes, Raven, I did hear exactly what was said. Did you? Based on your snotty tone and what appears to be an eye roll, I’m guessing that you not only listened but that you agree. Shame on you.
And to you, Michelle Collins, you can keep your money. I prefer to earn my money in a dignified way.
And to you, Joy Behar, yes, you are being stupid and inattentive. Maybe that’s why you don’t understanding nursing. Those are two qualities that nurses cannot possess or someone could die. Yes, our job really is that serious.
I hope that you now understand just how hard the art and science of nursing is. It is truly a God-given talent, and people often say “I don’t know how you do it. I could never be a nurse.” And they are probably right. Just like not everyone can sing or play an instrument, not everyone can be a nurse. I’m so proud of Kelley Johnson for sharing the talent that is so often overlooked.
Although this is generally a travel blog, the reason I’m able to travel so often is my career as a nurse. Thank you for listening.