Indirect Vertical Violence: Knowledge Falls Short

I find it ignorant when people say “he/she is ONLY a nursing assistant, they can’t do that.”

Continue reading to find out what I rant on about now…

More recently, I watched a registered nurse (RN) get criticized by a nurse practitioner (NP) for delegating a minuscule task to an licensed vocational nurse (LVN). I know the denominations are endless and a mind-shank. But, bare with me.

So, then it got me thinking. In my professional career, I’ve seen CNAs know how to operate IV pumps, G-tubes, etc. Completely out of their scope! And even further, I was once criticized for letting 1st semester nursing students pass medications (even when if they were supervised and educated the whole time…which I think is stupid). But, that’s for another topic.

My point is, I find it ignorant and passive to assume someone of a “lesser certification” is incompetent/incapable of doing something or knowing something.

Because we live in a society of merit and credibility, if something goes wrong, it falls on the more certified person. And that’s the reason why I think there’s this sort of vertical workforce tension. It makes those of higher rankings walk around with their heads so far up their behinds. It’s too cute. However, in my experiences, there’s a lot more knowledgeable and capable less certified individuals out there, who SHOULD be taking on greater roles. That’s the truth.

If you take a gander in the community, when I worked in a subacute rehabilitation facility, let me tell you…LVNs ran that place. And it was sad because many of the RNs didn’t know and didn’t do jack. Yet, the RNs got paid the bigger bucks.

Though, in the perspective of business owners, outsourcing to lower certified positions to run a facility is certainly less costly. But, it’s only a matter of time before our State and Federal bodies really start looking closer into this. Maybe… Nevertheless, more work for less pay is stuck in a stand still, because people need those jobs. People are struggling and they have a life too. But, I digress. That’s for another topic.

Vertical indifference is everywhere, no matter what profession or field you’re in. And I hardly doubt it’ll change. Often times, we over use the act of “delegating” to those who are less certified, even when people are drowning in work. We belittle them.

Instead, when we are truly able to, we should uplift/encourage one another, teach each other, and work together. We should even take the liberty to learn something from those less certified. It’ll be good for us. It’ll keep us on our toes. We shouldn’t be stubborn or think “we are too good to learn from someone else.” Take that pride away. Medicine is a continuously growing field. We must continue to learn and teach. We will always be students and teachers, in some ways or another.

I just thought I’d shine some light on it.



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

One thought on “Indirect Vertical Violence: Knowledge Falls Short”

  1. I definitely agree we should support each other and recognize each others’ knowledge and skills. Things can get dicey though if someone is carrying out a task that’s clearly outside their scope of practice, because if something does go wrong, the person probably wouldn’t have the protection they normally would, and the same would be true if someone was delegating in a way that wasn’t consistent with their own professional practice standards.

    Liked by 1 person

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