Monday, November 25, 2013

A Nurse's Role: Medical Records Perspective

I was bounced around the hospital one day and passed by a room where a bunch of people were having a little party for a man who was leaving his position.

I started dreaming of an opportunity to transfer to an office job.

The man ducked out right after the toast.  I followed him to his office.  You have to stalk people for jobs nowadays.

He oversees the (chaotic) medical records department and was leaving because it is too, well, chaotic.  He had some fancy letters after his name, that looked like a certification, but not a degree.  So I asked.

He couldn't recall what each letter stood for.  He seemed confused as to why I would possibly inquire about such a position.

"You have to have a degree to do my job," he scolded me, miffed.

Now I was annoyed.  "I have a degree, a BSN," I retorted.

"A BSN?  What is that?  I have never heard of it."  He shook his head, as if I was spinning fantasy.

"A Bachelor's of Science in Nursing," I explained.

"There is no such degree," he continued, still not convinced.  "Nursing school doesn't give degrees.  You have to go to a college to get a degree."

Now I was the one who couldn't believe my ears.  "You read medical records and have never seen the letters after a nurse's name?  BSN, RN."

"I don't read nurse's notes," he huffed, as if doing such a thing was an insult.  "Regardless, a nurse could not possibly do my job because you need training in how to read a medical record, as well as training in health care and a degree in a medically-related field."

"What do you think nursing is?" I asked him.

He walked away.

I forget this.  Perhaps most nurses do.  Unless you are a nurse, you don't know what nurses do.  Here is a man who is employed in a hospital, reading records created and maintained by nurses, who has deleted the nurse's role from his mind.  I didn't ask what he thought nurses did at the hospital.

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