Category

Workplace Safety

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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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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Workplace Safety….Shoes

By | Workplace Safety | 4 Comments

The sky is blue, the grass is green, and someone is talking about the best shoes to wear to work on Show Me Your Stethoscope.

It would also help if they looked something like these.....just for fun

It would also help if they looked something like these…..just for fun

These are absolutes.

This topic is so prevalent that searching shoes in the group will actually take a moment.  There are literally thousands of posts about the the most comfortable shoes for healthcare workers.  I am going to give you a peek into the admin world here…. every now and then someone will go insane and say “Why don’t they JUST SEARCH THE TOPIC? There are thousands of these posts!”

And yet, they are always popular.  Because we are all looking for THE SHOE.  The shoe that makes you feel like you have had a week off after a 3-in-a-row.  You know, the shoe that makes your back stop hurting, never lets you fall, and doesn’t mess up your pedicure?

I am a Dansko girl.  I have been wearing them forever.  I have home Danskos, between-home-and-the-hospital Danskos, and EP Lab Danskos.  I also have interview Danskos in black patent leather.  I rotate them this way:

  • New shoes are lab shoes
  • Then they get passed down to travel shoes
  • Then they get sanitized and become ‘outside’ shoes at home.
  • Interview shoes – in a box. Don’t touch!

See? There is a system.

So….Don’t be shocked, but I am going to try new work shoes for the first time in a decade.

We have met the owner of Akesso.  Bruce has a pretty interesting product and we decided to promote it for him, but after a few weeks of dropping his ads in postsakesso_logotype and around the website, nada! And I think I know why.  You have no idea what they are! So, I am going to wear Akesso shoes for a month and give you updates about the break-in process and how they perform.

So, know this.  I am not going to ruin my rep with you by telling you I adore shoes that I do not like.  If I hate them, you are going to know.  I kind of doubt I will, though.  There was all kinds of science involved in the design of these shoes. They have been tested by healthcare workers, and they were made FOR healthcare workers.  Bruce tells me they are non-skid, supportive, comfortable, and prevent gross, wet body fluids from penetrating.  So that is totally a win. I see his point, but it is going to be hard sell to pry me away from my clogs.  Seriously.    So, when Bruce did his studies, these shoes felt more non-skid and stable to the people who participated.  We can decide if we agree!shoe

Akesso shoes aren’t quite clogs.  You can look at the website here.  There are a bunch of styles and the site is designed really well.  It’s easy to navigate.  Go take a peek and see if you like them.

Also, some of them are really cute.  I will let you know how we are doing in the blogs entitled ‘Akesso Diary’.  Also, he is interested in letting a few of you try out these innovative shoes, so if you are interested send me an email at janie.garner@smysofficial.com.  Tell me what your specialty is, what your activity is like during a workday, what size shoe you wear, and if work has a dress code that makes you wear a certain color shoes.

I love SCIENCE! 🙂

Love,

Janie, the shoe guinea pig.

 

SMYS20:  this is a 20% discount for SMYS members and a $10.00 donation to SMYS for each pair sold – SMYS20 is good on ALL akesso products.
SMYS30:  this is a 30% discount for SMYS members and a $5.00 donation to SMYS for each pair sold – SMYS30 promo code is good ONLY for white shoes.
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Stopping a ‘Never Event’ – Please read and think about it. Could happen to you.

By | Advocacy, Health, Workplace Safety | No Comments

A recent happening at a Hospital in the US.

A surgical department called for a patient to be transported…..and a patient was transported to the department.

The wrong patient.

So, the nurse gave the correct patient name to the secretary, who gave the wrong name to the nurse.  That nurse gave the name of her patient (who was not having a procedure) to transport.  Transport brought the patient.

And thankfully, the nurse in the surgical area checked the ID band.  Because the patient said, “Well, I might need (this specific surgery that is done in this department)”. error

So we all know what a Never Event is, but I am going to post information anyway. These are the ‘never’ surgical events, from the National Quality Forum:

1. SURGICAL OR INVASIVE PROCEDURE EVENTS

1A. Surgery or other invasive procedure performed on the wrong site (updated)
Applicable in: hospitals, outpatient/office-based surgery centers, ambulatory practice settings/office-based practices, long-term care/skilled nursing facilities

1B. Surgery or other invasive procedure performed on the wrong patient (updated)
Applicable in: hospitals, outpatient/office-based surgery centers, ambulatory practice settings/office-based practices, long-term care/skilled nursing facilities

1C. Wrong surgical or other invasive procedure performed on a patient (updated)
Applicable in: hospitals, outpatient/office-based surgery centers, ambulatory practice settings/office-based practices, long-term care/skilled nursing facilities

1D. Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other invasive procedure (updated)
Applicable in: hospitals, outpatient/office-based surgery centers, ambulatory practice settings/office-based practices, long-term care/skilled nursing facilities

1E. Intraoperative or immediately postoperative/postprocedure death in an ASA Class 1 patient (updated)
Applicable in: hospitals, outpatient/office-based surgery centers, ambulatory practice settings/office-based practices

The things we do to Prevent these events:

  1. The person who is actually performing the procedure must Mark the site.
  2. ID Must be checked by EVERYONE involved in a handoff of a patient.
  3. We include the procedure in the time-out, and the surgeon, and all people involved with the surgery have verified that the patient is having this procedure and consents to it.
  4. We Count sponges, sharps, etc at the beginning and ending of every case.
  5. We do it right, and pay attention.

Simple enough, right?

vitals_hazards.190.1What happens when you are busy?  Naturally, you do the same things, no matter what.

Unless…

  • The Secretary had four family members at the desk yelling at him, misheard the nurse on the phone, and gave the nurse on the floor a sound-alike name.
  • The nurse on the floor has seven patients on telemetry, and is juggling admissions, discharges, and procedures.  He has had no time to talk to any medical staff, and assumed the procedure was an add on, since the patient had a similar problem.
  • The transporter takes the patient, who has no idea what is going on. The patient trusts the hospital, and the nurse, and doesn’t ask any questions.
  • The nurse in the surgical area immediately verifies the ID band with the OR schedule.  It does not match.  She figures out what happened, and sends the patient back
  • The procedure is done on the correct patient, after the mistake is fixed.

This is why we do the things we do.  That patient could very well have had the wrong procedure done. The surgeon had only briefly met the patient, and we hope that he would have remembered that this was a different face, and checked the ID band himself. We hope the patient would have realized that no one talked to him about the invasive procedure he was about to have done.  We hope that the staff actually did the time out they charted.never

We are members of a profession that owns the trust of the public. We do these things with every patient, every single time because we know that never events are possible.  Perhaps our hospitals and other healthcare facilities can help us prevent never events by staffing us appropriately. Because nobody is perfect.

Love,

 

Janie

 

 

 

 

 

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Patients are depending on you!

By | Nursing, Workplace Safety | No Comments
Rally for Nurse-To-Patient Ratios, May 12, 2016 in Washington DC.
                Visit www.smysofficial.com for details or click this link to join the RALLY Facebook group

Washington, D.C.  May 12, 2016 –Rally for National Nurse-To-Patient Ratios, a rally organized by grassroots nursing organizations will be held in Washington D.C. on May 12, 2016 to raise awareness for proposed safe staffing legislation.

The event will be held by Nurses for National Patient Ratios; A Voice for Nurses Now; and Show Me Your Stethoscope (SMYS), a health care advocacy group based in St. Louis. Illinois Nurses Association and HireNurses.com, of Boston are co-sponsoring the event as well.  The goal of the Rally for National Nurse-To-Patient Ratios is to demonstrate support for S. 864 (National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act) and H.R. 1602 (Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act). These bills seek to establish a federal standard for safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in acute care hospitals, setting a maximum number of patients for which nurses would be allowed to care during a given shift.

The Rally will feature several national speakers and advocates for the cause, including Andrew Lopez, RN, CEO of NurseFriendly; Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, executive director of The Truth About Nursing; and Janie Garner, RN, founder and executive director of SMYS.  Attendees are being encouraged to wear scrubs; bring stethoscopes, and purchase t-shirts supporting the event.

Information about the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (H.R. 1821/S. 2353) will be distributed at the event. This proposal would require hospitals to enact unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans based on each unit’s unique needs.

The event will take place at the corner of First St. NE and Constitution Ave, permit area 9 between 10am-3pm. Individual state rallies promoting safe staffing ratios will also be held at their respective state capitals on the same day.

Health care workers of all practice levels, students in professional health care programs, faculty, and interested members of the public are invited to attend. For more information, please contact Jalil Johnson at jalil.johnson@smysofficial.com or visit smysofficial.com for more detail.

 

Media Contact:

Jalil Johnson

508.331.4544

jalil.johnson@smysofficial.com

If people only realized that their power was in unity…

You are necessary.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  All healthcare professionals and students must unite to safeguard our patients. Hospital Organizations will not do it;  Insurance companies will not do it.  Only you stand between your patients and deadly errors caused by unsafe staffing.

Rally Facebook Page Click NOW to be the change

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