For Angie Steiner, nursing is a career full of heartfelt contradictions, connecting life and death.
“It’s messy and real, vulnerable and brave,” recalls Angie. “The names and faces of patients and their families and their stories will forever be etched in my memory.”
When Angie started her career in 1973, she remembers the hospital being run like a military. Her cap had stripes to mark the rise in rank, regulating the separation of junior and senior staff, and attitudes toward women, subordinates, and patients.
“There weren’t that many male nurses,” says Angie. “But male nurses were paid more for the same job.”
“When it comes to doctors, many thought we were handmaidens who were just there to take our temperature and change our clothes,” recalls Angie.
The 1970s saw a significant shift in the way nurses were trained, from hospital-based hands-on learning that applied theoretical concepts to routine practice, to critical thinking and research challenging outdated clinical practice and training nurses. have transitioned to universities that can play a leading role in improving healthcare. .
The impact of these changes has created a trend towards more holistic and patient-centered care.
“Originally the ward was open and had very little privacy,” recalls Angie. “People were immediately disenfranchised and their identities obscured with a ‘let’s put the gown on’ approach.”
“A lot has changed for the better since those days. There’s been a big shift in how we perceive patients as living beings because they’re ‘Mr. Jones’ instead of ’12-bed patients.'” . ”
The many ways in which medical care has improved over the past 50 years have been due in large part to the professional perception of nursing, but even more so to the relentless passion and dedication of nurses themselves.
“Despite past problems, there has always been respect for work: care and dedication,” stresses Angie.
“Working in the field, we know that small things can make a big difference. We need to listen to patients throughout their journey. But it is also important to address underlying concerns, not just physical problems.The ultimate goal is to give patients or clients control over their care and find solutions in which they can participate. is.”
Angie also highlights increased collaboration, the rise of multidisciplinary teams, and better support for healthcare professionals as key improvements in the many changes that have occurred in nursing over her long and varied career.
https://www.nsw.gov.au/health/nbmlhd/news/stories/a-50-year-perspective-on-professional-nursing A 50-Year Perspective of Professional Nursing