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Reflections on an Event

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rallypics001

Nurses from all over the US gather to support and raise awareness for staffing ratio legislation. Photo credit: David Miller, RN.

 

Written by David Miller, RN

I’ve never “rallied” before. I am not the rallying kind.

I have watched rallies, protests and marches. There was lots of yelling and noise, and threats of violence or consequences if the agenda or cause was not acted on by those in power. It frequently devolves into an ugly scene, with news cameras covering the mayhem.

This rally, The Rally for Safe Staffing Ratios, was nothing of the kind. The speakers were emphatic and emotional but there were no angry outbursts, or calls for ousting of political leaders. There was no political rhetoric or campaigning. What I saw was a group of nurses, family and friends who gathered to bring to light an issue that all nurses face at some point—not having enough help to safely take care of the patients on their assignments. This can result from inadequate staffing, staff call outs, or other reasons. The stress of knowing we are unable to get to every patient that may need our help, or possible mistakes that could be made can be overwhelming. It is too much for many to take. I have personally seen recent nursing school graduates quit their jobs over this stress. This saddens me, as Nursing can be one of the most rewarding careers out there.

This rally was an amazing example of how people of every race, gender, political opinion, religious beliefs (or non-belief) could come together to speak from the heart about why we do our jobs: patients, and patient safety. This is not about Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives or any other political party. Do we have all the answers? Not yet, but we must begin to talk about it. We must work together to find the solution. I am proud to have been a part of this rally and I look forward to what lies ahead. Nurses United for Patient Safety: it’s a cause I believe in!

dm_cameraDavid Miller is a long term care RN that hails from Virginia. You can see his portfolio of photography work here. If you’re looking for images David captured while in Washington D.C., you can view and purchase them here.

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Akesso Shoes are celebrating Nurses’ Week with us!

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akesso_adakesso Shoes are celebrating the fabulousness of Nurses’ Week with us! They spent May 5-6, 2016 at Boston Medical Center, sharing their thoughtfully  engineered, designed shoes with the medical and nursing community. Especially gracious is the fact that akesso will give back a percentage of sale proceeds to support BMC. How cool is that?

Even better: akesso loves the nursing community so much, they give us a special discount. akesso Shoes were specially designed for nurses after the designer’s family member was cared for by “athletes in scrubs“. (It’s a great story.) Go check them out! If you use promo code SMYS20, there’s a 20% discount on all shoes—and SMYS30 gets you 30% off white shoes. We know a few students who could use the saved cash and the good shoes to get them through clinicals.

Celebrate Nurses’ Week with some new kicks made by somebody who loves you. Go to akesso.com to order what may be the best shoes ever, and peep the company and their doings on Facebook.

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Last call for Red Rally Shirts!

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#nursestakeDC Support Staffing Safety Awareness!

The Staffing Ratios Matter shirt. All funds go to overhead costs of the event and SMYS events, projects and operating costs only. SMYS is a not-for-profit organization.

Do you want to go to the Safe Staffing Rally in DC, but you have nothing to wear? Never fear, you still have 9 HOURS LEFT to get our Staffing Ratios Matter t-shirt to party in! Be part of the Sea Of Red that will occupy Washington, D.C. on May 12, 2016 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday—and yes, there will be cake to celebrate).

It’s on sale through April 22, 2016—estimated delivery May 6, 2016, so it should be in your hands and ready to travel with you to the DC Rally.

About the shirt:

  • The shirts are sourced from well-known producers; they normally are of a cotton-poly blend. The specific shirt is chosen by Bonfire based on what they can bid out for a reasonable production price.
  • Available in unisex, women’s, youth, long-sleeve unisex and hoodie cuts! NO V-NECKS, sorry.
  • The women’s shirts do run small—order up at least one size!
  • You can order it here.
shirtjali

Why, yes, you *will* see this handsome devil at the rally. Jalil Johnson, National Director of SMYS, in his Staffing Ratios Matter shirt.

What you can do to support safe staffing, t-shirt or no t-shirt:

  • Tell your health care friends, teachers and students about how unsafe staffing levels increase the number of adverse patient events, up to and including death
  • Also mention that it can increase the number of workplace injuries
  • Invite them to join us in Washington on May 12, 2016
  • Or, attend a state capitol event on the same day
  • Share this press release with your colleagues, coworkers and friends: http://smysofficial.com/advocacy/safe-staffing/

 

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Behind the Scenes at Show Me Your Stethoscope – PJ

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Hi all! I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of our very valuable team members at SMYS.

pjpic

Meet PJ, Graphic Admin

And she is a ghost..…you have probably never even talked to her.  She is way too busy being a kick-ass hospice nurse and designing graphics for SMYS whenever she is awake and not working.  She is also raising her lovely children, advocating for her patients, and being an active member of her local community.  She is also a fitness and nutrition expert.  Pretty much, PJ is good at everything.  And she is so awesome that you cannot even be annoyed by that.  This is the real deal. She is also a former professional Graphic Designer.  (called out of retirement by….erm….me)

I met PJ when I put out a call for Admin Staff on Day 2 of SMYS.  She was so excited about this organization, and the things she felt could be accomplished by unifying nurses! I was totally blown away.  PJ became admin choice number 5, and then my good friend.  She is completely indispensable.  When I say that SMYS would not exist without her, I am not even kidding.  We would have no brand, no graphics, no money, and no professional shine.

SMYS Logo? PJ.  Rally Shirts? PJ.  Regular SMYS Shirts? Oh…PJ….  SMYS_tm_round

All of the banners and signs and prettiness on the website….

Wait, that’s PJ too.

So what do the rest of us do? 

What PJ Says….or else!

Actually, the rest of us whine things at her like “PJ I need a logo with <this element> by 2:30 today” or “PJ I need a 6 month ONESIE with our logo on it, that’s cool….right?” 🙂

She almost never yells, either.  Even though none of us have any idea what she does, or how long it takes to do it.  

A funny story about PJ and me.  Mostly me being an idiot:

I got bored and decided to make stuff on Zazzle for SMYS.  Pins, buttons, magnets, etc.  PJ was very busy at the time and I was trying to generate revenue for SMYS.  PJ is so traumatized by the absolute junk I designed that she and I never speak of it.  It is a taboo subject.  She turns green and gets woozy.  Because…the fonts don’t match.  The layout and details suck…..and it is simply not up to her standards. She cannot stand for you to own anything with our name on it that is not worthy of you.

So I cut it out.  A LOT.

She did let me design the rally bracelets, because even I could not mess that up.

So When you see PJ Allen-Thomas on the threads, make sure you say hi.  I am not sure you can even imagine how hard she works to give you what you want, and what SMYS needs.  She is my friend, and she is passionate about nursing.  I will always be grateful for her entry into my life.

Love,

 

Janie

 

 

 

 

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Return of the SMYS Rally Shirt!

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#nursestakeDC Support Staffing Safety Awareness!

#nursestakeDC
Support Staffing Safety Awareness!

The people have spoken. THE SHIRT IS BACK ON SALE. Order by 4/22/16; estimated delivery 5/6/16.

About the t-shirt:

  • It’s on sale through April 22, 2016—estimated delivery May 6, 2016, so it should be in your hands and ready to travel with you to the DC Rally.
  • The shirts are sourced from well-known producers; they normally are of a cotton-poly blend. The specific shirt is chosen by Bonfire based on what they can bid out for a reasonable production price.
  • Available in unisex, women’s, youth, long-sleeve unisex and hoodie cuts! NO V-NECKS, sorry.
  • The women’s shirts do run small—order up at least one size!
  • You can order it here.

What you can do to support safe staffing, t-shirt or no t-shirt:

  • Tell your health care friends, teachers and students about how unsafe staffing levels increase the number of adverse patient events, up to and including death
  • Also mention that it can increase the number of workplace injuries
  • Invite them to join us in Washington on May 12, 2016
  • Or, attend a state capitol event on the same day
  • Share this press release with your colleagues, coworkers and friends: http://smysofficial.com/advocacy/safe-staffing/
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