Category

Advocacy

Thank you Massachusetts Nursing Association

By | Advocacy, Healthcare Policy, Nursing, Unity | No Comments


This year more nursing unions joined with their brothers and sisters at NursesTakeDC, the frontline nurse led grassroots movement fighting for safe staffing. The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) was one of the unions rallying in DC and deserves special recognition. Specifically, we’d like to acknowledge MNA president Donna Kelley Williams RN for her tenacious leadership and advocacy in Massachusetts. The MNA leads the fight for ‘safe patient limits’’; a term they developed that perfectly describes what we are fighting for.

Thanks to the tireless push from the MNA, Massachusetts voters will have a ballot question this November 2018 that decides if ‘safe patient limits’ will be written into state law. Nurses overwhelmingly support safe patient limits. However, the voters of Massachusetts will determine if this becomes a law or not. So far the polls suggest that voters will choose ‘yes’ to safe patient limits, but the fight isn’t over yet!

Massachusetts policy is often viewed as forecast of future national policy. This ballot question is monumental as several states have legislation that has been introduced but has yet to reach committee or the house floor for a vote. A win for Massachusetts nurses could tip the scales in the favor of nurses.

We’ve watched the MNA support the nurses of Massachusetts in their fight for safe patient limits. Now it’s time to do more that watch them work. Now we must support the nurses of Massachusetts in their push for safe patient limits in Massachusetts. We must gain public support and momentum to vote ‘yes’ on this ballot question. At SMYS we believe nurses should support nurses; nursing organizations should support each other; and all nurses in all settings, practicing at all levels should support policy that benefits nurses. Leading up to the November vote, we encourage every nurse to support the nurses of Massachusetts in any way they can.

Social media is a powerful tool. Every nurse can help this cause by sharing information about the ballot question online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you live in Massachusetts or one of the neighboring states (Main, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island), please consider showing up in person to support the Massachusetts nurses. A win for safe patient limits in Massachusetts is a win for all nurses and patients.

 

Thank you for being here and helping nurses unite,

Jalil A. Johnson PhD, MS, APRN, ANP-BC

Show Me Your Stethoscope Foundation I CEO

NursesTakeDC | Organizer

 

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It all comes back to staffing

By | Advocacy, Blog, Kathleen Bartholomew, Nurse Politics, professional, Workplace Safety | No Comments

This is the second guest blog post in a series of blog posts by Kathleen Bartholomew, author of The Dauntless Nurse. Make sure you check out her first blog post, “How much weed is too much weed for Nurses?“.

It’s been 14 years since the Institute of Medicine recommended that nurses not work more than 12 hours within 24 hours.

It’s been 8 years since the Joint Commission issued a sentinel event alert based on the evidence that connected extended work hours, fatigue and decreased patient and worker safety.

It’s been 4 years since Elizabeth Jasper was killed driving home after a 12 hour shift and Editor-in-Chief Maureen Shawn Kennedy wrote an editorial in the AJN pointing out that “Best practices” should also cover the health and safety of those who practice.”

What’s changed? If you listen to the voices of thousands of nurses on the front line, the answer is “Nothing – in fact, it’s gotten worse”. What is staffing like where you work? And how do you normally cope with short staffing situations?
Negative repercussions can be very subtle. One example would be the manager telling you that she can’t approve your time off (when she/he had previously agreed.) It’s difficult, but important, to still act professionally in all of these situations and to find common ground. One nurse approached her manager and began the conversation by saying, “I know you care about the patients and nurses here as much as I do….”

Do you ever feel retaliated against for standing up for safe staffing? Here is a list of some things you can do because so often we feel hopeless and underestimate our power:
• Make a report to the Joint Commission patientsafetyreport@jointcommission.org
• Never skip a meal or break – call your manager or house supervisor to step in for you and then keep going up the chain of command. File a missed break/meal report.
• Don’t feel responsible for your organizations failure to hire an adequate number of nurses – travelers, temporary nurses and a float pool are options they know they have
• Advocate for a resource pool to your Board of Directors by using specific examples from your daily practice of how unsafe staffing effected both nurse and patient safety
• Contribute money to your state’s Nursing Political Action Committee
• Stay connected to your 675,000 peers in Show Me Your Stethoscope!

But remember, the day that the profession of nursing is respected will be when nurses have the power to decide for themselves how many nurses they need. And that day is long overdue.

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Why would a rape deserve a 6 month sentence on any planet?

By | Advocacy, Events, Healthcare Policy | One Comment

Brock Allen Turner.brockturner

Some would describe him as a promising Stanford student, and competitive swimmer.

I would not.

I would describe him as a 19 year old sexual predator who attacked a 23-year old woman, then got off with a six-month sentence because of a judge who isn’t fit to grace the bench. I would also describe him as a young man who is unable to admit when he has done something wrong, and who blames the victim of the sexual assault he committed for the whole scenario.  He plans to start a charity to combat the ‘campus drinking culture’ instead of the rape culture in which he was an active participant.  If not for two Swedish Grad students, he might have left a young woman naked, unconscious, and alone next to a dumpster; like the disposable object he thought she was.  judge-persky

He took an intoxicated and vulnerable young woman from a party and turned her into an inanimate receptacle for his sexual desires.  He obviously did not seek her permission to do so, and had his attorney emotionally violate her in court.  As if this young woman hadn’t gone through enough, the attorney efficiently assassinated her character on the stand. He placed the focus on the fact that she dared drink to intoxication, which is legal. He diverted attention from the fact that Brock Allen Turner engaged in sexual activity with her while she was unconscious, which is illegal. The attorney asked if she had a habit of cheating on her boyfriend, as if that is even in the same ethical universe.  As if she were consenting to relations with a man who violated her unconscious body.

And dared to say a year later that this young woman consented to sex next to a dumpster.

At what point are we going to stop victim blaming and start teaching our sons that sexual assault is unacceptable? When are we going to stop defending wrongdoing on the part of our sons? At what point do we say, “Son, you have done something so absolutely wrong that I am not defending you with my money. Get a public defender”?

At what point will we stop condoning the assault of young women because they have had too much to drink? At what point will we stop thinking: “She Asked For It” ?2952e1cebda59cd2468e3df296a630a2b262969b724e8e85d109f688701d23dc

There is a petition to recall this judge. Click here if you want to sign it.

Disgusting. Morally Bereft.  Heartbreakingly Sad.

 

Love,

 

Janie

 

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Out of the Mouths of Babes – Substance Abuse

By | Advocacy, underserved populations | No Comments

My 12 year old kid: Mom, why do people go to jail for being addicted to drugs?

Me: Well, sweetie….. because the healthcare system is broken, and the justice system is also broken.

My Kid: Shouldn’t they go to counseling? If they weren’t selling drugs to kids or something?

Me: They should. Probably inpatient rehab.

My Kid: Why don’t they?

Me: Because inpatient rehab is expensive

My Kid: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to send them to rehab for six months instead of sending them to prison forever?

Me: Yes, baby. It would. In money and lives.

lightrise

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Fatal healthcare errors

By | Advocacy, Dead | 2 Comments

Healthcare errors are said to be the third leading cause of death in the US at this point.  Depending on who you talk to, between 250,000 and 440,000 deaths each year can be attributed to medical errors. Let us just assume that the lower number is accurate for a moment.  I want to break this down for you.  Data for number of counties and towns (incorporated places) provided by the US census bureau:

  • A quarter of a million deaths each year attributed to medical errors.
  • Five thousands deaths in each state.
  • Eighty people per county.
  • 13 people per town.

Imagine 13 people in your town dying from medical errors this year. Which 13 people will they be? Your kid’s little league coach? Your old piano teacher? The lady who has been giving you fresh tomatoes from her garden for the last decade? A person you have a nodding acquaintance with? A stranger?

Does it matter?  stroke

The public is aware of deaths from breast cancer,  accidents, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza, and suicide.  There are huge campaigns for many of these diseases and disorders.  Pink for the Cure, Strokes, and Suicide Prevention have billboards up in cities all over the nation.  And medical errors are a silent, pervasive killer. We do not notify the public about it, we do not educate them about it, and blatant medical error deaths are very frequently attributed to other causes.

How do I personally know this? I am one nurse out of nearly five million and I can cite TWO deaths which were blamed on other things.  One of the two was a nurse medication error, and she was insanely busy at the time. She gave short-acting insulin instead of long acting insulin.  Nearly 100 units; and the patient died 45 minutes later with a blood sugar of 13. One was a failure-to-rescue death because the nurse was too new to be on her own and didn’t know what she was looking at. The charge nurse was Shift-Report-calloutbusy, and she had no mentor. I personally watched these two patients die.  

And what about the near misses? I have seen someone accidently bolus a patient with an insulin drip because she placed the tubing in the wrong IV pump channel when moving the patient from a chair to a bed.  (that one lived) I have seen patients given medications they were allergic to.  I have seen incidents of the the wrong ACLS protocol drugs being given (or given in the wrong dosage to a pediatric patient). I am ONE NURSE, and I graduated in 2007.

This cannot be.  

As usual, we can attribute these incidents to staffing problems.  No mentor, insanely busy and understaffed, no experienced nurse to back up a new nurse.  How many bodies will we have to step over to get to a point where we are adequately staffed?  Will it be the body of your kid? Your grandfather? Your UPS guy? Your neighbor?

Does it matter?

We educate the public.  We are nurses.  Start educating the public by walking for patient safety to #SavePat.  Details available soon. Rally in DC on May 4, 2017 to convince your legislators that this is one leading cause of death we can actually do something about!

Call AARP and encourage them to educate their members. Call your senator.  Ask them if they are going to #SavePat.CiYuD7mWEAE14Pg

 

Love,

 

Janie

 

 

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