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September 26, 2015

ShowMeYourStethoscope – Inception

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On September 15, 2015, I saw that several news outlets were publishing stories about comments made on a talk show about Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson.  Here is the rest of the story.

I am Janie, the creator of Show Me Your Stethoscope. I am an RN, a mom of two boys plus a bonus son, and live south of St Louis, Missouri. My background is in ICU and ER, and I recently began working in Cardiac Electrophysiology.
I am completely overwhelmed by the response I received when I created this very public Facebook group. I was originally incensed at the gall of the hosts of The View, and the way they spoke about Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado. Kelley poured her heart out to America, and it is obvious that she has a huge passion for Nursing. We need several hundred thousand ‘extra’ nurses to combat the nursing shortage expected by 2020; the disrespect expressed for the nursing profession by influential women with a voice was appalling to me.
I immediately created ‪#‎showmeyourstethoscope‬. I live in the Show Me State, so the name came to me without much trouble. I invited nurses to invite every healthcare provider they knew, and to show us pictures of themselves with their ‘Doctor Stethoscopes’. Just like that, Show Me Your Stethoscope was born. Nurses practicing at every level, Physicians, CNA’s, Paramedics, EMT’s, MA’s, RRT’s, RT’s, and every other healthcare discipline that you can think of flocked to the group to show me their stethoscopes.
I watched the group grow to 50,000 in 4 hours. When I woke up, we had 100,000. An hour later it was 130,000. A week later, and we are over 800,000 and still receiving literally thousands of comments per hour.
In this group I have read stories that made me laugh, made me cry, and made me wonder at the huge group of heath care professionals amassed in this space on the internet. I have heard stories of love for patients, passion for taking care of people, and had my career choice reaffirmed more times that I could even venture to guess.
I realized we had a potential platform for the voices of well over half a million healthcare providers to be heard. How could anyone have that in their hands and fail to use it? I realized that from this place we could do good things for people all over the world, and sure enough the world came to us. We have Nurses in the Show Me Your Stethoscope from so many countries I wouldn’t dare to try to list them here. I know I would leave several out. There are nurses from every populated continent on the earth gathered here.
In this one small place.
It might leave you in shock or make you cry, But let me tell you another story…
In 2011, my oldest son was killed at the very young age of 17. He was hit by a 9 ton tow truck as a pedestrian. I went back to work after about three weeks, still in a daze. That very night, a fellow nurse asked me if I thought Alex was ‘scared when he saw the truck’. I immediately called for relief and reported off for what I thought was the last time. Bedside nursing was over for me.
I accepted a desk job with the company I worked for at the time, SSM Healthcare. It was my job to answer the phone and get patients admitted to appropriate levels of care. I did not leave my home. My soul shriveled to nothing and I was living as the husk of a human being. However, eight months later I admitted to myself that Alex would be ashamed of me for hiding behind a telephone instead of taking care of the patients I loved so much. I was doing nothing for my fellow man, and it was time to move on.
I accepted another position with SSM Healthcare as an ED RN. I made wonderful friends, got a lot of great experience, took care of people, and continued to live as the empty shell I had become. Eventually, I moved on to my current position.
Eight days ago, I read a story online about Kelley Johnson.
Today, though my soul has been crushed by the death of my beloved child, there is a spark of life. My purpose to help others, improve situations, and save lives is igniting that spark. I see Show Me Your Stethoscope as the vehicle that will convey me to that goal.
I feel like I can become useful. That is a powerful thing.
The Administrative Team of SMYS is made up of some of the most passionate and articulate professionals I have ever met. We have Admins with graphic design, writing, education, and advocacy experience. We are all unpaid volunteers attempting to organize the grassroots revolution of healthcare. We have already worked hundreds of collective hours to bring advocacy and charity to this group. You do not know yet what is going on in the background, but I know you will be pleased.
I ask that you trust us to organize and shape this group into a platform from which healthcare professionals can advocate for themselves. I implore you to assist us in charitable works, and show the world that healthcare professionals are able to accomplish anything. I dare the nurses to educate the public about the education and expertise required to safely care for their families.
Show the world your stethoscopes.

#smysofficial #showmeyourstethoscope

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