Letter to the Editor

Nurses are the foundation of health care Nobody knows what you do better than you, right? This is why nursing is self-regulated.

Nurses are the

foundation of health care

Nobody knows what you do better than you, right?

This is why nursing is self-regulated.

Registered nurses are the hub of health care in the Yukon, in Canada and around the world.

Registered nurses are the one health care profession that is the staple.

Allied health professions, from medicine to pharmacy, are all on the same page in trying to keep the population healthy.

But they go home.

At this point, nursing takes on these roles as well.

Nursing is about being adaptable, being flexible and being empathetic.

Nursing is about getting to know people, their families and their situation.

Whether giving birth, recovering from a traumatic accident, recovering from surgery or learning to deal with a chronic illness, nursing is about exploring one’s situation, delving into one’s coping mechanisms, and helping to employ all of the individual and family-specific resources to adapt, overcome, and rise above one’s health crisis.

Sometimes nursing works so hard to empower people to get back on their feet that many don’t realize all that’s been done – especially behind the scenes.

Today all nurses are degree and master’s prepared, with many having other degrees and complimentary education.

We are registered in whatever province or territory we work, and must meet certain criteria to keep this registration.

We do this to ensure that the best possible professionals are keeping everyone healthy.

Our commitment to continuing competencies, quality assurance, ongoing education and protection of your confidentiality is strong, taught in our schools and upheld through our self-regulation.

It has been frustrating to me, thus far in my profession as a nurse, to know that many people in the public do not understand what nurses do — some of this is because of varied depictions of nursing or health care in the media.

Further, lately I have been equally frustrated on how poorly people, even many nurses, understand the significance of self-regulation.

Nurses are self-regulated in every province and territory with the Yukon’s YRNA having just celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

We have a mission, goals and values to which we aspire and meet monthly as a board to uphold.

Board members are voted in and volunteer their time, ensuring that all nurses in the Yukon practice to a high standard, that YRNA is continually up to date on standards of care, and that we make up part of the national nursing voice through membership in the Canadian Nurses Association.

YRNA has a dedicated, wonderful staff, and nurses who volunteer their time serving on the discipline committee, the complaints committee, nursing practice committee, education committee, registration committee, and nominations committee. 

The number of nurses in the Yukon is over 300 strong.

Therefore, chances are that if you’re not a nurse, several of your friends are.

Talk to them, learn about nursing, help keep this fabulous self-regulated profession strong.

Sean Secord, registered nurse

Whitehorse

See no evil

I think there must be a great number of government and industry leaders who wander across streets with their eyes closed.

This must be true, particularly true on quiet, residential streets where kids play road-hockey and housewives wander about on afternoon visits with the neighbours.

After all, there is no scientific certainty that doing so will get them hit by a car.

And, even if they do get hit, there is no certainty that they will be injured.

They might be able to do this hundreds of times, indeed every time they cross even the busiest streets, without damage, so why bother keeping one’s eyes open.

I have tried this experiment myself, and it worked perfectly.

With my eyes closed I did hear the screeching of tires and some rather loud yelling, but no one hit me.

At this time, there is no scientific certainty at all that this is a dangerous practice.

These politicians and industrial leaders are the same people who have whistled past the potential graveyard of global warming for decades.

They are the ones who have rejected all action until they could be assured to a scientific certainty of the probability of global disaster.

And don’t let that report out of Paris fool you. The French are notoriously emotional and hair-triggered about these things.

There are still a lot of climatologists around who will state most emphatically that evidence that the actions of man have any influence on the weather is at best inconclusive.

The deviations in weather patterns still fall within the norms established over the past few geological eras.

These same climatologists, by the way, will then explain that we need more studies and suggest further contributions to the people who fund their work.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the theory of global warming has languished so long on the shelves before attracting serious attention.

Silent Spring was published 15 years before anyone banned the use of DDT.

It took almost 20 years from the discovery of the effects of CFC’s on ozone and the implementation of the Montreal protocols.

There were published studies of greenhouse gases at the beginning of the 20th century, but here we are in the early stages of the 21st before serious consideration is given to doing something about it.

We can expect to see industry change its tack any time soon.

Even though the consensus of the world’s leading climatologists may have coalesced around the effects of cars and coal-burning plants on climate change, there is no scientific certainty that global warming is a bad thing.

Already we are seeing articles in respected publications extolling the virtue to agriculture of more carbon in the atmosphere and a modest increase in heat units.

Indeed, this may be true for North America, but it may be harder to convince the citizens of Bangladesh and the Seychelles, whose countries are slowly sinking as sea levels rise.

People who carefully confirmed that their Florida land was firm will not be happy when they find, in a few decades, that they bought swampland after all.

But, of course there is no scientific certainty to any of this.

To those who continue to rant about the lack of scientific certainty every time an environmental issue is raised, even before they have studied the facts, I strongly recommend the experiment of crossing a busy road with their eyes closed.

Perhaps it should be made mandatory.

Dan Jamieson

Via e-mail

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