Monthly Archives

October 2015

I’m just here for the cat memes

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tucker-max-cat-meme
When SMYS happened, I was pretty shocked.  I was so excited to unite so many healthcare providers in one virtual place! I assembled an engaged, intelligent admin team.  I started thinking about our options for advocacy, because I knew that this huge group of healthcare providers would want to do things to advance healthcare.  Most importantly, the ability to care for our patients safely, in a well-compensated position, and given the respect we deserve.

I fear that I may have been wrong.

Why do they give me so many patients and pay me nothing? Because I let them....oh.

Why do they give me so many patients and pay me nothing? Because I let them….oh.

We asked eight hundred thousand professionals to share a safe staffing petition and sign it……for their own good.  Because ANY safe staffing guidelines are way better than none.  And make no mistake, the non-union healthcare providers in this country are abused constantly in this way. We asked you to protect YOUR PATIENTS, AND YOUR LICENSE.  We couldn’t get even half of the one hundred thousand signatures required.

Because apparently, most of our audience didn’t care. We blamed the format of the Facebook page, and moved on to increased inpatient beds for psychiatric patients. We knew that the healthcare community would rise to the occasion.  Every healthcare provider knows that the homeless and mentally ill population increases daily.  They have no support system, and no resources.  They need inpatient care, so they can live in a decent way.  All people deserve their dignity.

Couldn’t get one thousand signatures.

So we decided that we would do something that everyone agrees with.  Patient Satisfaction scores are the bane of the hospital.  Everyone complains about meeting these impossible standards.  We lose money every day because mostly angry people return surveys. We cannot function as both a hospital and a 5 star hotel.  We have to concentrate on the physical and emotional well-being of our patients.  

A week, and only five thousand signatures.

So, you need to ask yourself what you would change about your job.  Then you need to consider what you are actually willing to do to change it.  At this point, I see over half a million people who are unwilling to sign a petition.  Are you willing to lobby? Are you willing to write letters? Are you willing to unite and become a strong entity that can make a difference? Are you willing to support your fellow healthcare professionals instead of picking them apart? Are you willing to stay out of discussions that upset you, and contribute your knowledge to the ones that interest you?

Or are you just here for the cat memes?

I want to show the world our stethoscopes.

Love, Janie

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The Healthcare Team, and why it ISN’T

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Oh, are you scratching my kneecap with the cap? Thank you, it itched.

Oh, are you scratching my kneecap with the cap? Thank you, it itched.

Today, a member of #showmeyourstethoscope posted a picture that made me go…HUH?

Nancy Compton posted this with a ‘What is wrong with this picture?’ sort of quote. The members naturally chimed in and we all laughed….and it struck me that WAY more was wrong with this picture than the obviously fake medical procedure going on here.

Why didn’t anyone ask a single member of the Healthcare Team to look at this picture before it went to print in a magazine? Why do non-medical people think that they are better qualified to judge medical care than the professionals? If you had thrown one CNA, Doctor, Nurse, or hospital housekeeper into this scene and asked for their opinion, they could have told you that it looked ridiculous.  Also, the photoshopped body parts are pretty bad.  ‘Graphic Admin’ agrees. This is obviously a hospital system’s magazine. They probably had a plethora of real healthcare people to ask, and they chose not to.  Why?

Because they know better.

There was a hospital built in the last decade completely based on a book that I will not mention here.   The doors on the ICU were basically soundproof, and there was no central monitoring station.  It was nice and quiet in the rooms, which is lovely for patient satisfaction……….. Do I even have to tell you what happened? Of course not.

So naturally, I have to tie this into other healthcare woes. Guess who built the EP lab I work in? Someone who didn’t do EP, and in fact only stood at procedure tables…..doing procedures.  The lab is gorgeous but set up ALL WRONG.  The space was wasted because NOBODY asked an EP Professional for their opinion. LIKE AN EP TECH. The room is a patient transport nightmare because nobody ASKED A NURSE.  The monitors in the prep room are not compatible with the monitors in the procedure room.  There are a ton of other problems, but you get my meaning.

At what point will healthcare organizations decide to LISTEN to their staff? I have been asked my opinion a few times when an area was renovated, but my suggestions were never implemented. I assume now that they made too much sense. Because I am cynical like that.

Medicare also ‘knows better’.  They decided to reimburse healthcare organizations for patient care based on questions that are completely subjective. The data shows that patient satisfaction does not translate to favorable patient outcomes, and in fact may be an indicator for negative outcomes.  However, they know the truth.  They just don’t want to pay, and this is a way to do it legally.    So, obligatory link to petition here.

The kid would be adorable if it didn’t look like he was peering down at a pair of disembodied adult legs.

Also, buy one of these shirts to contribute to our scholarship fund.

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We have a future. I cannot wait to see it.

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You know, I have been a little down lately.  My ‘brilliant’ idea seemed to be degenerating into a bunch of arguments about religion, vaccinations, and ‘howCanIpossiblyMakethisSomethingThatWillOffendMe?’ I know that all popular online communities go through the initial surge of memberships, the camaraderie and honeymoon phase, the marriage counseling phase, the drunken, vicious fight phase……..well, you see where this is going.

And then this post appeared:

The pic on the left was me exactly two weeks before graduating from nursing school July 2009. Dr’s told my family I would die. The pic on the right is me present day; A RN. Received my degree exactly one year after being taken off life support. Multiple organ failure, sepsis, DIC. #survivor#miraclesDOhappen.

Oh my goodness!

Oh my goodness!

So, naturally I was stunned.  The thread went on, all positive posts and talk of miracles……then this happened:

The Reveal

Click image so you can see this

So, no matter what happens from this moment forward, creating and moderating the FB group was worth it.  18/18 Admins approve.  I adore this place.  I am not sure how, but we will make a difference.  It is starting with an only moderately successful T-shirt sale to raise money for scholarships, but it can go anywhere from here.  Where would you like it to go?

We will still Show the World our Stethoscopes, battered as they may be.  The stories they have witnessed are priceless.

Love,

Janie

Ps: I may have a further post on this subject, depending on what those involved would like me to do.

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Ostomy blues

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A story for students about an ostomy patient from your friendly blogger:

When I was an ER Nurse, I was the ostomy whisperer. My coworkers HATED them, and I didn’t mind a whole lot. Also, I used to work SICU so I dealt with them a lot. I had a patient who showed up at the ER about 10 times because her INSURANCE COMPANY was delaying her ostomy supplies and she couldn’t afford them out of pocket. She was SO humiliated. She would come in, and I would change her bag, and later on I had her do it with my supervision, She had electrical tape holding the bag on sometimes. It was pathetic that a human being could not have her elimination needs taken care of except at an ER . She was a classy, sweet lady forced to have excrement dripping off of her clothes She would ask me my schedule so I would be there when she came in. I got a nice card from her after her supplies came through. I used the opportunity to give her the ‘tips and tricks’ for ostomy care, and I hope it helped her through a bad situation.

Insurance companies are obstructive at times, but this is a familiar story.  The question is, Why wasn’t the patient given enough supplies to see her through? Can’t vendors of ostomy supplies give hospitals care packages of supplies to get a patient through the interminable period when the supplies aren’t covered by insurance? They will see plenty of money for the supplies, as many people are NEVER getting that ostomy taken down.

As nurses, can we advocate for this?

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After Oregon, how do we help?

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We set up a petition for adequate mental health care in the US.  In the wake of the shooting in Oregon, I feel like this is the right thing to do.  We need 100,000 signatures and you have to confirm by email.  Please share everywhere.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allocate-funding-states-construction-long-term-psychiatric-inpatient-care-seriously-ill

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