Fred Hechinger's "They Tortured My Mother, " Suzanne Gordon's "What Nurses Stand for, " George Simpson's "The War Room at Bellevue"

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Like many systems in the United States of America, the health care system is far from perfect. Through Fred Hechinger’s “They Tortured My Mother,” Suzanne Gordon’s “What Nurses Stand For,” and George Simpson’s “The War Room at Bellevue,” it is clear that the quality of health care varies from hospital to hospital. The system, while in dire need of reconstruction, has some satisfying aspects that often times go unnoticed by the American public. Caring, respectful, and good-natured nurses are the unmentioned backbone of the health care system. Downfalls in the health care system begin with its continuous replacement of trained and experienced nurses with unlicensed assistive personnel, compensation of hospital administrators and chief executive officers of health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and doctors’ apathy towards the quality of the care they administer. The health care system should not be filled with disconcerting aspects because, after all, the care given in hospitals indirectly represents society’s values for caring for its sick and dying and its respect for one’s quality of life.

Nurses are the health care system’s symbol of strength that exudes “care, knowledge, and trust that is critical to patients’ survival” (Gordon 279). Nurses must quickly switch their focus from caring for the patients’ needs, to assisting in crises, to tending to the needs of the patients’ relatives and friends. In times of emergencies in hospitals, nurses are the first responders; they then call a physician and an emergency-response team. When “the patient is stable, [the physician] and the emergency-response team walk out of the treatment area, but the nurses continue to comfort the shaken [patients]” (Gordon 276). Nurses are the first to come and last to leave. This role as the patient’s lifesaver and source of comfort comes from the fact that tending to the body and the soul is a nurse’s major job description. The nursing career is: A matter of...
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