May 11, 2007, 11:55 pm

Flo’s Pledge: Deal or No Deal?

mom

Now this is rich.

You invite your doctor to dinner.

You serve a beautiful five-course meal with homemade apple pie for dessert.

Perhaps you even serve it a la mode.

As you sit around the table enjoying your after-dinner coffee, your doctor begins to speak to you.

As a friend.

About…

Laxatives?

And then he can’t figure out why he never gets invited back.

Nothing insults a hostess like telling her her gourmet meal was likely to constipate everyone at the table.

*******************************

And nothing will kick you in the derriere like being demoted in the Truth Laid Bear ecosystem.

Yes, I stand before you a Maurading Marsupial, ending many months of residing amongst the Large Mammals of the blogosphere.

How could this happen? All my stats are up. My links are up. My ego is waaaaaay down.

Oh well. At least I now have a pouch – I think. Very handy for toting around my MacBookPro.

******************************

I think that everyone would agree that the Florence Nightingale Pledge is a wee bit dated.

Do you think we should change it?

That is the question asked by Infinia Foresight, a consulting company interested in how nurses would change the pledge to reflect the evolution of what it means to be a nurse.

Or…would you change it at all?

Here is the original pledge. It’s the one I recited at graduation and you probably did, too:

  • I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly,to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
  • I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
  • I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.
  • With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Now here’s my take on what a change would look like:

  • I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in caring for others and to practice my profession faithfully.
  • I will advocate for the patient to the best of my ability, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
  • I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.
  • With loyalty will I endeavor to work with my physician colleagues and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

(The purity part had to go. Keeping it in would disquality ninety-five percent of the profession, yours truly included.)

So basically, I added “caring for others”, stuck in patient advocacy and focused on physicans as colleagues as opposed to bosses.

Otherwise it was still pretty relevant.

*****

But what do you think?

You can weigh in with your opinions at Infinia Foresight and view the various revisions on their Flickr page (including mine).

It is interesting to see how different nurses view their role based on what they would change in the pledge.

Head on over and lend your opinion/revision to the discussion!

7 Comments

  • Teresa
    Teresa

    May 12, 2007 at 8:08 am

    I like your update. I also like this one from the Universal Health blog:

    I take this oath solemnly and with due consideration I promise:

    * To practice nursing based on the scholarship of those who come before me.
    * To hold in esteem the nursing educators, researchers, scholars and experts who have guided my path, and who have shown me entry and welcome into the profession.
    * To hold those entrusted to my care with respect and to acknowledge their inherent worth.
    * To acknowledge the privilege given to me to hold lives in my care, and to render nursing which leads toward health or which supports a peaceful death in partnership with my patient.
    * To hold patient information in the strictest privacy.
    * To hold my colleagues in esteem, and to support and advance the aims of the profession of nursing.
    * To share my professional expertise with those who come after me.
    * To advocate for the empowerment, health and well-being of my patients, even when to do so places my stance in opposition to power.

    I never “took the pledge”. No caps either. BSN program.


  • tscd
    tscd

    May 12, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Gosh, I’m guilty of inappropriate dinner conversation too…but I can’t help it if people insist on airing their medical problems to me at the dinner table!


  • A Bohemian Road Nurse...
    A Bohemian Road Nurse...

    May 12, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    This was a great post! I like your changes to the Flo Pledge! (Er…especially because of the “purity” stuff…but we won’t go there…) But I have to admit that I have sympathy for the hapless doctor. I am one of those people who like to talk about just about anything that pops into my nutty head—and I’ve been know to start talk about topics which have absolutely nothing to do with what everybody else is chatting about—and I’ve also absentmindedly introduced topics which may not have been appropriate for the current situation. In fact, lately I’ve been so abentminded and muddle-brained that I think I need Namenda or something. (I mentioned that, half joking to a co-worker, and she added: “and Razadyne, Geodon, Aricept….”)


  • TC
    TC

    May 12, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    I don’t think we recited the pledge when I graduated. Does that make me NOT a real nurse? (I also never got a cap-sorry Kim)


  • heath
    heath

    May 13, 2007 at 7:27 am

    No pledge for me either as a BScN, but I do think I might have mumbled something like that when I graduated as a LPN.
    I do like most of your revision – except for god. Why the hell does he have to crop up? He certainly has been MIA more often than not and some of us question the rationality of a profession calling in god to witness anything. He is not all that reliable.


  • […] a great response from the nursing community–you may have already read about our project on Emergiblog, Codeblog or Keith’s blog on […]


  • Nurse M
    Nurse M

    May 16, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Even though my pinning ceremony was not all that long ago.. we recited the Nightingale Pledge.
    Yes the pledge is old, but there is a sense of pride that came with saying it. I know that my grandmother said this pledge when she became a nurse in the 30’s.. there is just something about it that felt like I was sharing something with and becoming part of the history of nursing. It felt historic.
    However, it is a little outdated and things so not apply in the same way. I really did like your rendition of the pledge. It kept the main idea but renovated it a bit.
    Has the hippocratic oath every been updated?


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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