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January 23, 2016

Nurse, you haven’t learned prioritization.

By | Nursing | 4 Comments

When we get close to the end of nursing school, we start to understand the meaning of prioritization.  When we get out of orientation at our first job, we know how bad at it we are.  Over the next few years, we begin to find it easy.  Obviously A comes before B.  I mean who wouldn’t know that?

(the nurse you were a few years or decades ago, but that’s for another day)

The thing they never taught you to prioritize in school was the needs of you and your coworkers.  Nobody really emphasized compassion fatigue or unsafe staffing.  Nobody told you that the administrators of your healthcare organization would use your kindness against you.  Nobody told you that you would be whipped with words like ‘team player’ and ‘letting the patients down’ when the staffing is low.  

They didn’t mention in the interview that while you are earning a pretty good amount of vacation time, you would never be able to use it for more than a few days at a time because of their failure to maintain a decent staffing level.  It was never suggested that anytime you became ill you would be expected to work that way, or be told how you let the team down.

oldnurseNobody mentioned that your ‘liberal raises’ would be non-existent. The salary at which they hired you would not significantly rise, and you would have to job hop to get decent money.  This is because they do not care about you as the person, the NURSE that you are. Retention of employees costs money.  They tell you how bad the economy is, the CEO collects his four million dollar bonus, and you worry about buying Christmas presents.

Time to prioritize, Nurse.  If your patient were dying you would start chest compressions. You would ventilate.  You would call a code.

What are you going to do while your profession is being abused and taken advantage of?   Are you going to stick with your ‘calling’ and refuse to help yourself? Or are you going to unite with Nurses all over the country and make changes that will make you, your coworkers, and your patients safer, happier, and healthier?

Why is this so hard?

We need to forget our differences.  I mean completely forget them.  The healthcare team is made up of those who are democrats, republicans, libertarians, straight, gay, hispanic, black, white, asian, married, single, men, women, LPN’s, RN’s, APN’s, CNA’s, and any other difference you can think of.  We need to be united by the one thing we have in common, the love of our patients.  The very fact that we have dedicated our lives to daring to care for strangers.

Nursing.Nurseunity

So stop concentrating on what divides you.  This is not all about you.  It is about the profession you love.  So love it.  You know what you need to do.

 

Love,

 

Janie

 

This is the link to SMYS for Change. You can keep complaining and do nothing. Or you can be part of the solution and hold those making the money on your license accountable.

 

 

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When Our Reputations Are Soiled

By | Nursing | 6 Comments

A Physician in Manhattan whose name I will not mention here has been accused of one of the worst crimes a healthcare provider can be accused of. Sexual Assault.

This particular physician is famous, and has been widely known as a huge patient advocate throughout the medical community.  He has written at least one book about Physician-Patient relations.  And not the ones that were allegedly going on in that ER Room.  

We can look at this from a few angles.  

  • He sexually assaulted a patient and to protect the safety of the public he must be jailed, and his medical license revoked. His career will be destroyed.
  • He did not sexually assault a patient, rather his patient hallucinated after being given morphine. Which we all know is an occasional adverse reaction to morphine. His career will  be destroyed.
  • His patient was not honest. His career will be destroyed.

Do you see a common theme here?

His career will be destroyed.arrested_doctor (1)

You know, it occurs to me that something like this could happen to me on any day.  When I worked in the ER, a patient threatened to punch one of our techs in the face because we were out of blankets. I told the patient that it was inappropriate and that further threats would cause me to call the police.  It was a holiday weekend and the linen company underestimated our census.  It’s unfortunate. but it happens.  We were using doubled sheets, bedspreads, etc.  The patient was there for a problem which involved some pain, which was addressed. The patient called my boss on Tuesday and told her that I was abusive in my language, and refused to address his pain.  The charting told another story. Luckily, my boss knew I was not abusive, and I had already sent her an email about the threats, and what we needed to do about these things as an organization.

That could have ended differently.

We have seen all sorts of allegations in the news against healthcare providers.  What we barely ever see is the follow up story. Unless it is really juicy and awful.  We never see the stories of those who are cleared from their supposed crimes.

Perhaps there should be some kind of law in place so healthcare providers, teachers, police officers, etc should be innocent until proven guilty.  That means we would have to be kept out of the news until our guilt was determined.  As long as we are barred from practicing during that time, I feel as though it would be appropriate.  The public would be protected and we could possibly work in our profession again. Agree or disagree?

While the public must be protected, it should not be at all costs.  Unfortunately, we must also be protected from them sometimes.  It is terrible to say, but we live in a litigious society.  We also come across many people who are untruthful, or mentally ill, or become angry when we do not give them precisely what they want instead of what they actually need to become healthy.

Can you tell me about a time this happened to you or someone you know? Or maybe about a famous case?

Love,

Janie

 

****Edit to above.  Please re-read this before you assume I am somehow victim-blaming.  My very first response to this was that if he is a dangerous rapist he needs to go to jail and lose his medical license.  I am simply bringing to light the vulnerability of healthcare providers.  I do not know this physician, I do not have a dog in this fight.

 

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