I feel like giving something away. – FREE STUFF!

By March 13, 2016Contest

So, today is a fabulous sunday.  I am so PSYCHED that we did so well in the twitter party.  Thanks for the NurseFriendly.com assist, Andrew!


Write me a comment under this post and click the button to FOLLOW the blog.  Tell me why you are fighting for safe staffing.  Tell me something that you have witnessed that inspires you to make hospitals safer for patients!

Make it speak to me….and….

SMYS will buy you a custom  Ultrascope from Nurseborn! Nurseborn is a nurse-owned company, and Sarah Mott has guest blogged here.  nurseborn

SMYS Admins and Directors are not eligible. All we ask is a picture of you with your new stethoscope!

Tell me your plans for the federal and state staffing rallies, too! I want to hear all about it!

When #NursesTakeDC and #SafeStaffing50 happens, I want to see wide participation!.  We are motivated, professional, and have first hand knowledge of the danger our patients are placed in every single day. I believe that you can be the catalyst of change.  I believe in YOU.  Please believe in yourself.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead




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Author Janie Garner

More posts by Janie Garner

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Wendy Drys says:

    I spent many years in the ER. A few as a tech, 10+ as an RN. I have apologized profusely to patients for things that are quite frankly inexcusable. They are left on hospital stretchers for days, left in chairs in the hallway or the waiting room for hours. Their call bells are unanswered for far too long. Nurses get blamed and often accept it, even when it’s usually out of their control. Not only are ERs understaffed, we don’t stop accepting patients when we can’t safely handle anymore. So if the floors are understaffed, they can close their doors to protect their patients and staff. Meanwhile, every nook and cranny of the ER gets used regardless of presence of staff to care for these patients. It’s unsafe for everyone. It forces many great nurses out of the profession. You can imagine where things are headed ..

  • Tiffany says:

    Here’s my take: my hubby has been in the hospital for the past 9 days. He started with pna in his right lung on the med/surge floor with a 7:1 ratio. He continued to get worse because his nurse wasn’t able to spend enough time with him to realize his treatment wasn’t working. On Thursday, a ct was done and we found out his pna had spread to his left lung and about 85% of each lung was affected. They scheduled a bronchoscopy for Friday to get a biopsy of each lung and to suction a little. Before the surgeon was able to suction, my hubby’s O2 dropped below 60. They moved him to the ICU with a 2:1 ratio after the procedure. Since moving him, he has made great strides in his recovery. His nurse has answered every call light within 2 minutes and has been able to give him more thorough assessments. His ICU nurse was also the one who thought, “Maybe the 5 mg of prednisone he takes on a regular basis isn’t sufficient to help him beat this.” She recommended that change and now he’s receiving 35mg. Would she have noticed if she had had more patients? Probably not. He is moving back down to med/surge tonight and while I realize that’s a good thing because it’s the next step to coming home, I’m terrified. The what ifs keep playing over in my mind. Not only does safe staffing save lives, but UNsafe staffing can kill. It came close to happening to my hubby.

  • Kristine Warnecke, BSN, RN says:

    I’ve always knew I would be a nurse, it’s what I was born to do. So when it happened and I was that new nurse, I was quit surprised to find out that the 1:4-5 ratio the floor I was hired to work on was only a temporary trial and soon taken away because we nurses were still staying over to finish up charting. That’s when we started our shift with a 1:4 -5 and ending at time with 1:10, yes that is correct. Guess what, we were having to stay even later to finish up charting. Oh did I mention this was on a neuro-med floor with 7 beds being EMU’s and the rest a combination of CVA’s, MS, Parkinson, mysterious neurological symptoms, and those just in for chemo. I thought this must be the new normal and like the rest of the team did my best, feeling that it never would be. Then I was sent to Stanford Healthcare in Palo Alto, CA for my own brain surgery. What an eye opening experience that was! These nurse’s were to actually be a nurse. What I found out after I was moved from the Neuro ICU to floor left me in awe. The nurse manager was doing her rounds and popped in while I was attempting to read an article in my Neurology Nursing Journal and ask if I was too a neuro nurse, I told I had been before surgery and hopped to return to it after. Then I said how impressed I was with care they gave there, and how did they manage to get such awesome nurse to patient ratio’s? That’s when she told me it was the law in CA. That’s the moment I knew I had to do something to change the nurse to patient ratio’s in my state and elsewhere. Every patient and nurse deserves the best, we shouldn’t leave work worrying that our patients don’t have adequate coverage for the next shift. So thank you for forming this group to give me the chance to help make this change for everyone.

  • Angela Sanabria says:

    I’ve been in nursing since 1998. I have had to take several breaks from nursing related to burnout. Being a nurse is emotional enough without adding the extra stress of not having enough staff to safely take care of our patients. I am fighting for safe staffing not only for the nurses, but also for the patients. There are to many errors that hurt and sometimes kill patients related to unsafe staffing.

  • Yvonne says:

    Nursing is more than an assembly line occupation. It is a calling. Nurses need to spend time with patients, find out their needs, wants, fears, and hopes. Save staffing allows time to form a trusting relationship so patient education is more than a discharge instruction. This is especially critical in the Emergency Department where time is precious and opportunities are fleeting.

  • Kate Zaiger says:

    I’m fighting for safe staffing because nursing should not be a balancing act. It puts our patients at risk and it puts us at risk. im fighting for safe staffing so we can do what we were trained to do- save lives.

  • April Guarnieri says:

    I’ve worked as a CNA for 5 years, and am currently pursuing my RN and will graduate this May!. I’ve worked in hospitals, ltc, and assisted living. No facility is really better than the other. As an aide, staffing affects me as well. I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve worked short which left it extremely unsafe for my patients. One time, I had 26 patients all to myself, on a cardiac unit at a hospital on day shift , and at the time I was a tech which meant I drew labs. It was impossible to get any patient care done properly with having to draw cbcs and trops every couple hours. I like to be an advocate for my patients. And over time, I’ve learned to take a stand and really fight for them. They deserve good, safe, quality care. I treat them as if they’re my own family. When I work short, they get shorted. I don’t get to spend that extra couple minutes letting them just talk because they’re lonely. If we’re short, I may not get to completely wash every patient and they may go a day, or two, or three, without a bath depending on the other aides working. Lately, it’s not that we’re short, it’s simply that we aren’t staffed accordingly for the acuity of our patients. Out of my 12 patients I had last weekend, 8 were completes, and 4 of those needed assistance feeding. It’s simply impossible to do everything that needs to be done, while making sure this patient doesn’t climb out of bed and hurt themself, and to make sure the other one doesn’t walk alone to the bathroom and fall. It takes a toll and leaves me feeling helpless. I’m only one person. I can only do so much. And when I’m not staffed appropriately, I am unable to give my patients the care they need and the care they deserve. I will fight for better staffing each and every day. Because unless they work it, day in and day out, they will never know what it’s truly like.

  • Jessica Lennon says:

    It’s really quite simple. I can’t take care of my patients the way they deserve. I’m no longer able to talk to them, educate, make them comfortable, etc. Because I have too many other patients to care for as well. It has gotten to the point where I have to prioritize my priorities. It’s overwhelming and disheartening. Short staffing also creates a hostile working environment. The doctors, nurses, aides, EMS are all on edge and miserable which trickles down to the patient. I tweeted my heart out yesterday and I’m actually worried that I might get in trouble for it. I work in an Emergency Department and am always being yelled at for not bringing a patient in from lobby quick enough, not calling to the floor quick enough for admitted patients. I am a professional taking care of human lives and being yelled at for not doing it fast enough. Should I start yelling at my elderly patient for not getting to the bathroom with their walker quicker, or the toddler refusing to take medicine through a syringe, or the cardiac arrest to hurry up and die. I love taking care of people when they are sick. I love teaching and making them comfortable. Easing fear in a child that needs an IV. How can I do all of this quicker??? I can’t, and the patients suffer as do I.

  • Alison Melle says:

    Nurses must stop eating their young! I am focusing on nurse bullying for my capstone project, and based on literature, I think some nurses bully others because they were oppressed, professionally. Some studies say that nurses are stuck in these situations and that is why they lash out horizontally. Not anymore. Nurses are empowered! We are going to change the world. By changing our professions and fixing the staffing problems we will make our voices heard and will no longer feel powerless. With these changes, although they will take time, nurses can stop taking their frustrations out on each other.

  • Monique Pinkston says:

    It’s just the right thing to do. I’m going to try to go to Jeff City on May 12th.

  • Vanessa Wilson says:

    My name is Nessa Wilson, and I’m a self-confessed workaholic. Since graduating nursing school, I’ve supported my husband and children. I had the great fortune of being hired before I even took the NCLEX. I was hired because of my academic standing, yet nothing could really prepare me for what I saw in the “real world.”

    Shortly after starting my full-time job, I was hired on as a casual employee for a busy LTC center with a rehab component. There are three skilled nursing wings, two rehab wings and two short-term wings. I work on one of the skilled nursing wings, but I haven’t really seen that wing in months because of short staffing issues. I’ve always been elsewhere.

    While I was in school, my instructor made us all promise “not to become that nurse that hollers down the hallway for their CNA to give the patient some care, or to take them to the bathroom.” I promised myself that I would not “become that nurse.”

    Not too long ago, I caught myself doing the same thing!

    Here I am, standing in the hall, in the middle of a busy medpass for my 18 short term patients, 13 were on antibiotics, 3 had chronic wounds that needed treatments, 2 had a change of status, and one was having trouble breathing.

    I left the patient for the CNA to come and put them on the bedpan while I hurried down the hall with my handful of Duoneb, and my insulin in the other.

    It was a long evening shift.

    The previous day shift nurse stayed behind to finish her afternoon admitting paperwork. She stayed with me until 7PM. The other nurse that worked with me had left an hour before 11PM. Most people would have written her up for leaving early. I didn’t. I was merely thankful that she was there. She had already worked the day shift, and volunteered to work the evening. I couldn’t ask for any more from her.

    At the end of my shift at 11PM, the oncoming nurse and I decided that our hypertensive patient was too unstable to keep there. We had two CNAs with us, and one had already called in to say that they were coming in late.

    I looked at my oncoming nurse. She had been my classmate, long ago.

    We had an unbelievable amount of work still needing to be done.
    Instead of leaving to go home, I stayed.

    I did the work that her CNA was supposed to do, and I helped send my patient out to the hospital.

    By the time that I sat down, I was winded and exhausted.

    I had started the day at 18 patients, and ended it with 33. More than half of them were on antibiotics, and all of them were on pain management.

    I looked out at my CNA who was casually pushing her Dynamap around from room-to-room, and I realized that -I- had become that nurse that I had promised not to be.

    I had spent much of my day sending my CNAs to do all the patient care while I struggled to stabilize my patients.

    The sicker ones got all of my attention.

    The healthy ones barely got any.

    Once I had realized what I had done, I felt disgusted with myself.

    This is how nursing had changed for me. There was no way for me to look after 18-33 patients while still giving good, quality care. I couldn’t -really- assess them, as I should wanted to. Things like dinner and potty time was replaced with mountains and mountains of paperwork to document the most trivial of tasks.

    “Resident used the bathroom. Unknown # of occurrences of urine and stool.”

    “Resident used facility phone to speak to family.”

    “Resident requests a knife to cut her meals with.”

    “Resident feels that onions are being hidden in her food, and that kitchen staff is conspiring to kill her.”

    “Resident is highly agitated because she feels that “her remote control was stolen.'”

    “Vital signs stable, please refer to vitals sheet.”

    “Resident’s son is very agitated, and verbally abusive towards staff. He states that he requests that his father be catheterized immediately. Resident does not appear to somehow any s/s of urinary retention, discomfort or agitation. MD made aware of the situation.”

    Nothing made me feel more like a robot.

    I spent more time documenting every task I did than actually doing the task!

    This is time spent away from caring for any one of my 33 patients.
    Time spent away from eating my lunch.
    Time spent away from getting Mrs. Jones a cup of water that I had promised her hours ago.

    The bottom line is, 1:33 is not a safe number.

    That’s too many people with too many things that can go wrong. Even when everything is perfect, something can, and does go wrong.

    What if there’s a code? I have 2 other Nurses in the entire building to help me.

    What if there’s a fire? I have 176 patients, and 9 staff members on hand. (The rehab night nurse has 1:30 ratio, the LTC nurse has a 1:76 ratio, and the short term stay nurse has 1:33)

    This is the reason why I’m for safe staffing.

    This is the reason why I believe in SMYS for Change.

  • Suzy says:

    Many years in LTC, and far too many of those years understaffed… I actually just gave my notice last week, and cited the need for “accuity based staffing”, as opposed to our current “census based staffing”, which is breathtakingly inadequate, as my reason for leaving.

    I was asked “Would you stay for a higher base [pay] rate?”

    I responded that “the only amount of money i will stay for is how ever much it will cost this company to hire, train, and retain adequate, dedicated staff. ”

    “You know we’re cutting hours to account for overtime. We cant afford new staff.”

    “Then this company cannot afford the care these Residents scrimped and saved and sacrificed for – the care they DESERVE. I will not be a lend my license to what I consider to be subpar, bare minimum care. You get better staffing, call me, I truly love these people. But until and unless… Thanks, but I’m out.”

  • James Gilreath-Potts says:

    I believe that nurse to patient ratios should be lowered not only in the hospitals but in LTC facilities also. I have worked on and off many years in different LTC facilities, and have witnessed and experienced first hand the shortage of safe staffing in these facilities. I had a resident fall one night and break her hip. Take a guess at the outcome of this story. Unfortunately, the resident was never able to fully recover from the broken hip and passed away a week later. If we had more staff in these facilities, I believe that most of these kinds of situations will occur less often. It is impossible to have one nurse to forty residents and one CNA on each hall staffed, and be able to maintain full safety of our residents. It is vital that we get something in place in legislature to lower these ratios, and we can provide better quality of care and also maintain the safety of our residents and patients at all times. I am trying to work my schedule out so that I can plan to attend our rally at the capital in May. The more nurses we have come together and voice our concerns, I believe it will make a bigger impact on getting some laws into place not only for our safety but also the safety of our patients.

  • Kerri Adams says:

    I want safe staffing ratios for my family! I want to know that when they need treatment that the staff will be able to safely and effectively treat them! One person can only be stretched so far. Mistakes and errors are occurring because nurses are stretched too far. Let’s do this for our families and loved ones.

  • Angel says:

    The night I had to leave a woman on the floor with a broken hip since another patient was found not breathing and I had to leave her on the floor to wait for the paramedics so I could do CPR on another resident since I was the only nurse and the only one allowed to do CPR. I felt awful.. That poor woman laying on the floor in pain and waiting the nurse care for her and then stop and run out of the room leaving her alone. I apologized to her when she came back with the broken hip. No one deserves that kind of care and no nurse should have to leave a patient that is that hurt to care for another person. I know I did the best I could in the situation but it will haunt me forever.

  • Diane kidder says:

    I have watched my mom for years as she’s volunteered at the local nursing home. I myself worked my career in labor and delivery so my staffing was usually adequate and followed ACOG standards. I kept listening to my mom tell story after story about so and so not getting changed for hours, or so and so never gets turned. One evening earlier this year I went with her to visit my mom’s friend. As I sat talking to her in the cafeteria where my mom was feeding her, I saw a couple members of the staff feeding a whole table by themselves. After we got home I asked my mom to tell me what their norm was for staffing. Usually 2 LPN one RN for the over 65 patients in the facility. 2 CNA for the same patients. This is a full scale nursing home and hospice. Some family were there on a regular basis and would help other residents eat but the CNA and LPN are left with all the clothes,bed and diaper changes as well as med passes and turning Q2° when needed. This completely scared the crap out of me. I feared for those patients and for the caregivers and I feared for us younger old folks who will be facing this if not way worse than this several years down the road. Just about that time SMYS formed SMYS for change. I knew I had to be one it big! Because of unfortunate circumstances I can no longer work at the job I love. So this lead to to feel like I had time to put in and I have with what information I’ve gotten from our local state branch. I have not a penny to my name, homeless and healing from a two and a half month bout with sepsis. I am coming to washington. I’ve reserved a car for someone to drive me and I have a place to stay. I feel for the first time in a very long time I do have a purpose for mu nursing and for me. I will see all of you in DC!!!!!

  • Jen says:


    I don’t work for just safe staffing ratios in hospitals, but long term care facilities too. LTC in particular touches my heart closely. I’ve witnessed first hand nurse burnout, grievous errors, neglect, the caring become cold, the lonely despair of our oldest, frail, elderly, die alone because the nurse has 35 patients that shift, and meant to go back but couldn’t! Management lie, backstab, corner cutting, political double standards, that push nursing the edge of disaster. I am the co-ambassador for Utah, an RN-ADN and proud of it, mother of 3 and new DON of an ALF. We unfortunately aren’t having a rally in Utah, there’s not a big enough following, but I’m working on attainments to go to Denver which is the closest to us!

    My oldest child and only daughter, is 22 and starting nursing school this fall. I don’t want her to face what nursing has become. I dearly believe in this cause 100% and will give all of myself to this fight. This isn’t just about nurses, it’s about lives, everyone, everywhere that’s ever needed a nurse! People WILL die, while corporations continue to pocket profits at the expense of those lives lost! If we don’t unite, and unite now I fear it’ll never happen, no one will be safe. It depends on us, every single one of us NOW, TODAY! We have to take a stand! #NursesUnite.

    Sincerely yours

    Jennifer Carter (Fredrickson)

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