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February 18, 2016

Safe Staffing Now!

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

By Jalil Johnson, APRN
Feb. 18, 2016

There is overwhelming evidence that safe staffing negativity impacts patient outcomes, nursing care, and nursing staff. This is no secret. Regardless of which side of healthcare we fall on (consumer or practitioner), and regardless of our level of nursing practice, unsafe staffing will affect us all at some point. (continue reading)


 

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A Junior High Sign……and it is PERFECT for hospitals!

By | Education, Nursing, Workplace Violence | 2 Comments

Today, my youngest was sick at school and I had to pick him up midway through the day. I was able to actually look around the school office for a moment, and found this sign.

think2Perhaps you just totally rolled your eyes at me, and I am ok with that.  It bounced off of my brain and made me think about how much easier life would be at work if we followed these suggestions.

 

A Scenario:

Your coworker is late, it is the third time in as many weeks.  She has a sick mom, and has been taking care of her. Her routine is not settling down as fast as she would like.  She has two children to take to school, her husband isn’t home to take the kids to school because he works nights, and her mother needs medications in the morning.  Because she has new onset dementia and a recently replaced hip, your coworker is concerned about her compliance with her medications and nutrition, as well as her ADL’s.

Your coworker arrives, 20 minutes late.  You have things to do this morning, and she has put you way behind.  You are back at work for 12 hours tonight, and you didn’t get all the sleep you wanted yesterday either.

How do you respond?

“You are always late now! Aren’t you going to get a home health aide or something?”

  • Is it TRUE that your coworker is always late? No. She has been late three times in three weeks after a life-changing event. 
  • Is it HELPFUL to say this, at this moment in time? No.  Your coworker is stressed out because of her recent life changes, and is probably very embarrassed about being late all of a sudden. It will likely make her defensive, and then she has to go deal with an entire nursing assignment all day, knowing you are angry.
  • Is it INSPIRING to say this? No.  Telling someone that they are not meeting your expectations is never inspiring for them.  Suggesting a solution can be.
  • Is it NECESSARY to say this? No, your coworker knows she is late.  She knows that she is inconveniencing you.  And if you would like to address it, now is not the time anyway.  Not when you are upset.
  • Is this a KIND thing to say? Obviously not.  It may make you feel better initially because you were able to vent, but it will make you feel worse after you have time to think about it.

How about this?

“Janie, I know you are having a hard time. I hope your mom is ok. I don’t want you to get in trouble for tardy arrivals.  Maybe you should think about hiring a home health aide to give you a hand.  You have to be tired.”

Same message, peppered with kindness.kind

  • It is true, she is having a hard time.
  • It was helpful to suggest a home health aide.
  • It is inspiring for her to know that there is help available, and that her work family has her back.
  • It is necessary to address at some point, because you are being totally inconvenienced.
  • It was said kindly, and may really help your coworker realize that she has a really full plate and needs help.

 

Maybe we can work toward this.  We are so kind to our patients.  Maybe we need to THINK before we react in these situations.

Love,

 

Janie

 

 

 

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34 doctors, nurses at Cincinnati VA alarmed by cost cutting, quality of care

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

(From WCPO, Cincinnati OH) Nearly three dozen whistleblowers have come forward saying the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati is in a state of disorder. They say veterans are not getting the care they need in the backyard of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald, the former chief executive of Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co.
(continue reading)

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Nursing when you are broken – Injured Nurses

By | Healthcare Policy, Nursing, Workplace Safety | 8 Comments

I have been kicking around for a little while; long enough to know that some of my coworkers work in terrible physical pain.

I had been a nurse for about three years when I tore my trapezius moving a patient.  The correct safe patient handling equipment was all covered in stool, and there were no more in the house. lift1 I always used available safety equipment if possible, but the poor woman had C Diff, the family refused to let me insert a fecal management system for some weird reason, and she had defecated on the entire supply of maxislides over the weekend.  Though I asked for more of them, none were available until Monday.  On Sunday night, I finally tore my trapezius. She weighed over 400 lbs, and could not even help you a little.  She was pretty sick.

I went to employee health at the end of the shift, and was essentially rudely grilled about why I did not use the patient handling equipment.  

Surprised, and in pain, I told her that the hospital was out of them.  She actually rolled her eyes.  And it was on. And a weeks-long fight with HR began.

Ultimately, my shoulder healed fine. sphm However, it was one of the reasons I left this employer.  I constantly had three heavy patients in the ICU, and when they were unable to keep proper equipment in stock, I was blamed for my injury.  Not cool.

I have friends who work in pain every single day.  Almost every one of them was injured at work.  And I would say that 80% fail to report their injury.  They know what will happen.  A good friend of mine is currently unable to work in her specialty because of a clear work-related injury.  The doctor they sent her to obviously mixed up her notes with another patient’s, wrote stuff in her chart that never happened, and her Worker’s comp claim was denied.  And she is unable to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time.

It is time that healthcare corporations are held accountable for the dangerous work we do.  I am sick of hearing about WC claims being denied where clear injury is present.  They have a responsibility to provide a safe environment.  Are you going to hold them to it?

Love,

Janie

 

 

 

 

 

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