Nurses' identity in medicine is being addressed at teh Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Annual International Nursing and Midwifery Conference. The conference is the longest established nursing conference of its kind in Europe.
Health systems are failing nurses who are losing their professional identity, according to two decades worth of research into nursing policy carried out by Professor Michael Traynor, Professor of Nursing Policy, School of Health, Middlesex University who spoke at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) 31st Annual Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery Conference.
Approximately 170 nurses and midwives are attending the RCSI's 31st Annual International Nursing and Midwifery Conference entitled 'Nursing and Midwifery Practice in a Global Community: Collaborating and Networking for the Future", which is taking place today, 23rd February 2012.
Speakers from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Ireland will deliver presentations on the professional identity of nurses in medicine. Dr. Karen Morin of the University of Milwaukee started the conference with her opening address entitled "In Good Times and Bad, Collaboration is Key". Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Morin of the University of Milwaukee argued that 'nurses are often the first to be targeted when health care systems are faced with financial constraints. However, recent national reports perceive them to be key contributors to improving the health of the nation'.
Professor Michael Traynor delivered a plenary address entitled, "Nurses' talk about powerlessness and victimhood; slavery and jouissance" based on the theory that some nurses become passive participants in care failings as a result of poor job satisfaction caused by impossible expectations. Professor Traynor said that nursing, "has a religious calling and to talk about being a victim can be positively understood as being part of the duty of self sacrifice. There is an acceptability to be a victim in nursing," he added.
Based on research compiled over the last two decades, Professor Traynor's research focuses on policy issues inspired by the professional identity of nurses and medicine. Speaking about the exploitation of nurses in the health system, Professor Traynor said that there is an 'impossibly idealised expectation' among nurses about what their duty in medicine is and when this is not realised, nurses feel that they are being prevented by something beyond outside of the system.