Safety Net or Security Blanket?
I had intended posting a different blog this month but I just can’t let this thought go. In a grey week in January, our wonderful nurses and midwives have to go out on strike just to earn a living wage, while in the same breath our government feel justified in giving themselves a pay rise. Now, what is wrong with that picture? As I observe it, one group merely needs a safety net, while the other wants a security blanket.
Our nurses and midwives have a special calling that puts them on the front line at the most vulnerable and often traumatic moments in life. All they ask in return is that they are supported in that calling. Standard Safety Needs is only the second step on ‘Maslows Hierarchy of Needs’. The truth is they are not even supported on the first step which is basic Physiological Needs! Most cannot, and may never be able to afford their own place to rest. They are forced to drive long distances to stay with family or room share, with emotional recounts after a 12 hour shift of standing all day with no way of getting a glass of water, or even a toilet break, leading to recurring kidney problems and infections. The truth is they are walking a tight rope without a safety net.
On the other hand we have those who prefer to suck their thumb and wrap themselves in a security blanket – a symbol of immaturity, helplessness, and insecurity. Clutching tightly to their golden blanket, stitched by hands of our creators, behind the bars of their collective cot.
I’m called to mind my favourite quote from college “If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.” Jan Carlzon when he went in to sort out the problems at SAS airlines.
My message to Minister Harris on this matter and the whole sorry ‘not fit for purpose’ HSE is to get out of the nursery, and swap the security blanket for a safety net and lead from the front with the nurses, midwives and those at the frontline.