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Unity

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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SMYS Staff of the week: Jennifer Lombardi Story

By | SMYSStaff, Unity | 3 Comments

 

Jennifer (Story as we call her) has been a nurse (LPN) for 13 years. She has worked in several nursing specialties but most recently has been working in oncology for the past 4 years. She currently works in shirtsmysleukemia research at Massachusetts General. Jennifer has several roles at SMYS including but not limited to moderating the main SMYS group & serving as an SMYS for Change Ambassador for Massachusetts.

What is your favorite thing about working at SMYS?
My Favorite thing about SMYS is the people. I’ve made lots of friends and love seeing everyone come together to support each other. Plus, I love the meme wars!

Why do you volunteer your time to help SMYS?
I volunteer my time because I have seen what this group has accomplished in such a short amount of time and see the potential for what we can become. With these numbers and the passionate members and staff, there is absolutely nothing we can’t achieve.

What do you want SMYS to be when it is all grown up?
When SMYS is all grown up I would love to see it have a physical location, a group that does so much to help people and to make waves in the medical community. Known for our good works, getting safe staffing legislation passed and tackling the next project.

Jennifer is one of the treasures of the SMYS crew. She is always willing to jump in and lend a hand. For example, at the #NursesTakeDC rally she jumped into action to help get hundreds of pizzas delivered to the rally attendees. She ran the SMYS booth at the Nurse Innovation Hackathon at Northeastern University. She, along with other SMYS staff, picked up Janie from the Airport in DC, and even though they got lost, managed to get her to her destination, eventually. Most importantly, she’s a coffee drinker, and will make sure to help you get your morning dose before any SMYS event kicks off. shirt8

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The things I have been doing – I allegedly made a med error on myself.

By | Advocacy, Unity | 2 Comments

I hate packing, and I hate leaving the house.nursborn_sq

I mean, HI! So EXCITED to go to DC 🙂

I have a love-hate relationship with traveling.  The love part is when I come home; the hate part is the rest of it.  I am a dyed-in-the-wool homebody.  Being a guest on RNFM Radio was actually a whole lot of wmhuman interaction for me. It becomes more and more obvious that Electrophysiology is the perfect specialty for Janie.  Either I am sedating a patient, (and I guarantee you that anyone I sedate is not talking to me) or I am having a meaningful relationship with the Claris Workmate Recording System….. which looks like a whole lot of multicolored squiggles to most people.

It is my friend, and it always tells the truth 🙂

Yeah, so that was weird.  I know. We will not talk about that anymore.waldenu_minitype

So, in other news, I am still going to DC in the morning.  My family is tiptoeing around hoping I will not decide to stay home.  Only because this has happened before.  What they don’t know is that wild horses nurseentrecouldn’t drag me away from DC this week.  I am completely motivated to get on a plane and join my fellow NurseWarriors! (TM) in our fight for safe staffing ratios.  I may even bring a dress.  Maybe.

To prepare for this event, there have been people with several organizations organizing, ordering, dreaming, creating, fundraising, gathering, purchasing, networking, and cajoling all of the necessary elements into place.  It is tireless, mostly thankless, and pretty darn frustrating. Organizing nurses is like herding cats, if I am honest. Keeping everyone focused on the endgame, and untangling them from the details takes up a lot of time.  However, it is also the most exciting thing that nurses have done since the 90’s, and I think we all know what that was.  Here we are, in 2016 with the same poor staffing, additional issues complicating our practice, and less time than ever to spend with our patients.  Remember the patients? They have been lost in the shuffle of for-profit healthcare, patient satisfaction, and increasingly heavy documentation.

We do remember the patients. And this is why #NursesTakeDC.INA-Official-logo204x116

Not everyone could arrange to go to DC this year.  Some of you are in Texas, Arkansas, or Arizona.  And some of you couldn’t leave home.  Some of you were afraid of retaliation by your employer if you attended such an event. We are there for you, we will represent you, and hope you can attend next year. Be a part  of the rally;  watch the LiveStream <—Click  of the event on YouTube.  Please go subscribe to our empty YouTube Channel which will soon be full of safe staffing goodness! 🙂

Even though I am a homebody and would prefer to stay at home where I do not have to premedicate to answer the door, I am proud and grateful to be a part of this wonderful event.  I am humbled to be a part of nursing history.  I am grateful to the following people, in no particular order for the following things:HireNurses.com logo

  • David Miller for photographing what will be a piece of our history
  • Jalil Johnson for doing everything I hate to do. Also, for being a tireless advocate for nurses and nursing.
  • Kelley Rieger for getting money to buy signs, fund scholarships, serve appetizers, and such things
  • “Phillip and The J’s” (Jen, Jen, Joan, Jen, and Jay) for doing tons of message board moderating so I can do other stuff (Annie, Sarah, Tommy, etc) 🙂
  • ZDoggMD (Zubin Damania, MD) for supporting nurses in word, in deed, and in song.
  • PJ Allen-Thomas for creating all of the beautiful graphics, and designing all of the T-shirts.  If something was awful, I did it.  (and she cringed)ste
  • Rebecca Love, for sharing her technology and believing in all of us.
  • Sharon Reynolds and Annie Chartrand for managing the joins lobby…say no more.
  • Cathy, Pam, Melissa, and Doris, for everything Rally.
  • Sarah Evans for going to the Rally with me so I cannot cancel.
  • Kelsey Rowell for all of the RAW ENTHUSIASM!
  • Alley S. for pointing us in the right direction and advocating for us, always.
  • Mica Frey-Harris for being an awesome leader, and also for the sweet digs 🙂
  • Vanessa, Nichole and Tama for getting those state rallies DONE.
  • Andrew Lopez for all of the social media advice.  He is the hashtag master.
  • All of the speakers and legislators who are attending.
  • Alex Hopper, Webmaster for tirelessly dealing with my nonstop demands.  And for being pretty.
  • Pat
  • Linda Kirk for Cake Duty, present wrapping, and all kinds of other stuff.
  • The Rally group for awesome discussion, troubleshooting, critical thinking, and BEING THERE!
  • RNFM Radio (Kevin, Keith, and Elizabeth) for somehow making me sound ok.
  • All of the people I forgot who hopefully will not be mortally offended.
  • The Cast of the View for being clueless about what nurses do.
  • All of the businesses who have sponsored this event and given donations for the raffles. (logos in post)
  • Every single solitary person who decided to show me their stethoscope. 

I know I forgot lots of important people.  I am exhausted and I may possibly have made a med error on myself last night.  I know you guys love it when bad things happen to me.

Just FYI, when you mean to give a patient 2 colace, do not give them 2 bisacodyl.

 

Love,

 

Janie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spreading the Gospel of Ratios

By | Advocacy, Events, Healthcare Policy, Nursing, professional, Unity, Workplace Safety | 4 Comments
zdogg

ZDoggMD, representin’.

Huh. Who knew staffing ratios were a big deal?
Oh, right. WE DID.

Nurses everywhere have taken up the call—staffing ratios impact the care and safety of our patients, and keep the profession from burning out and getting hurt on the job. Even a certain Dogg knows it. (See Z-DoggMD’s AMA here.)

(ZdoggMD is on fleek in our Staffing Ratios Matter shirt. Get one here.)

We’re waking up and ready to destroy the current paradigm: doing more with less. SHENANIGANS, Y’ALL. All chronic understaffing has done is increase the rates of morbidity and mortality, and decreased professional satisfaction—which means fewer nurses stay at their jobs…which means fewer nurses are at work…which leads to more injury and infection. Instead of the Circle of Life, it’s the Spiral of Disaster.

Let’s tell our administrators, CEOs and legislators what we know to be true. Are we cool with staffing ratios that endanger patients, decimate the health care worker population and and ultimately increase cost of care? NOPE.

shirt16

Kelsey R. of yourheartismine.net. She knows what’s up!

Here’s what you can do:

  • 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/
  • Get the Staffing Ratios Matter Shirt & rock that thang! It’s the Little Shirt that Could. It’s everywhere, and it’s back on sale. Order here.
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Let’s talk about stereotypes, and double standards. The ‘sexy nurse’

By | Nursing, professional, Unity | 6 Comments
4_cheerleaders-4

Sexy Nurse Basketball Cheerleaders.

We ran into a little double standard today on SMYS, and I would love to talk about it. A guy complained about a picture of barechested guys, identifying as nurses.

Ok, everyone knows I hate the sexy nurse thing.  I. Hate. It.  I try to swallow my feelings because others (non-nurses mostly) think I am very sensitive about it, and I do not like to force my beliefs on anyone.  I had to go on autopilot last Halloween.  The sexy nurse costumes actually cost this group hundreds and maybe thousands of good members, but I didn’t want to add another restriction to the list.

We were all in agreement about the sexy nurse toddler shirt, as it was pretty disgusting. Because making CHILDREN sex objects is just not ok on any level.

At the very beginning of the “Show Me Your Stethoscope” phenomenon, we lost perhaps MORE members than that because of the guy nurse ‘beefcake’ pictures.  There was a nurse who got so many likes on a barechested picture of himself that he imploded when I deleted it (because I felt it was marginalizing male nurses as sex objects, and him in particular).  He was horrified that I deleted his picture, because it got so much attention.  Quite honestly, I am sure he got a lot of attention in his real life, based on that picture. I had a hard time relating.  It is possible that I was insensitive.

meetgreet1

Washington DC Party with SMYS. Flo Approves.

But here is the thing…. There IS a ‘sexy nurse’ stereotype.  I have had patients and physicians mention it.  It is kind of icky.  I feel like it robs our profession of the respect we deserve.  The short vinyl skirt and nurse’s cap are insulting.  It is someone pretending to be a nurse and sexualizing the profession.  We go INSANE when someone impersonates a nurse, but we are not bothered at all when it is accompanied by sexualization? Weird.

A member who we will call R.B. recently posted a ‘shower’ picture showing his safe staffing bracelet.  I found it hysterical, but was that because he was a guy, or because only the back of his shoulder and his hair were visible?

So, is it ok to post barechested pictures of yourself in a healthcare group, identifying as a nurse? I don’t mean ‘is it morally ok?’ or ‘is it ok according to my religion?’ or ‘is it ok with me aesthetically?’.  I mean, is it ok for the profession? Does it perpetuate a stereotype? Does it marginalize nurses? Does your action actually impact the way nurses are seen by the general public?

I know, right? A lot to think about.  You thought you were just showing us the awesome muscles you got at the gym, folks! 🙂 Why is it ok to sexualize MEN in nursing, and not women?

Discuss. Halloween is coming around again.

 

Love,

Janie

 

 

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