I need your stories!

  1. Hello all,
    I am going to write that book. It will be a long work in progress, may never actually get published by anyone other than myself, but what the heck, dad always said can't never did nothing.
    What I am looking for is stories from nurses on the front lines, as well as stories from nurses who have been in management that have stuggled with the demands of good nursing care and budget restrictions.
    I know there are many of us who have experienced the physician who has been abusive, the admin who have also been abusive etc... I am looking for those that are willing to share those stories and stay in contact with me for clarification.
    I want to hear from nursing who have been retailiated against for speaking out. I have experienced this myself and intend on telling my own story as well.
    Please know in advance I will not be using the real name of anyone who is willing to share anything with me. Your identity will always be protected. For myself I will need real names, the real name of the facility problems occured in, and the real name of those involved. I believe I will be the only one that will take any risk here by publishing the information. I can't stress enough, that your identity however, will be protected.
    I am an upfront person. My name is Helen Cook, I live in Nashville MI. Almost big enough to know it is there I have been in nursing 11 years.
    This is request is not limited to American Nurses, I am hoping to hear from Nurses in other countries as well. As most of us are aware the issues I wish to talk about are not an American problem, they are worldwide.
    It is not necessary to pm me. Please send anything to my regular email box at activistrn@yahoo.com
    Thank you in advance to anyone willing to do this.
    Helen
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    Helen, good for you!

    I do have one question. Who is your intended audience for this book? Is it John Q Public, or nursing?

    I think if it's for the public, we would need to know to clarify how much medical language vs laymen's terms we should use. Should we include the clinical impetus that the public may not understand, ie "we had three pt's on IABP (or even to say balloon pumps), two fresh post-op Tetrology repairs, and 4 of ten intubated adult pt's, and 8 nurses on the schedule."

    OK that is really dramatic, but to a lay person it may not drive home just how dramatic it is. Shoudle we explain and break it down so they would get it, for the book?

    Hope my question makes sense.

    Also, why would you need the names of the hospitals? Aren't you concerned about slander? How do you know if the info is entirely accurate or someon'es perception? I would think it would be a little extreme for you to be punished to protect your sources!! Why not just say " a small community hospital in Lancaster Pa" for example?? I don't mind giving my name, but not sure I want to supply all the other details, esp the names of those involved. In many cases esp for any whistleblowers who want to contribute, to print that info is almost as identifying as using their name. I am wondering is it really necessary for you to have those details?? And, if so, can you explain why? Would you be attemtping to validate the info given, or contact the parties to hear their side?? Otherwise, why would you need it?

    Thanks in advance for the clarification.
  4. by   rncountry
    Great questions!
    Should have explained myself a bit better. The book is for the public. So it will be necessary to break down medical terms for them. Some of that I could do myself, but in areas that I am not familiar with myself I will need help. It would be similar to doing patient and family education.
    I do not intend on publishing the specific name of facilities, nor the specific names of those involved, because your right, even without the nurses names to do otherwise may still identify them. The reason I would like the information for myself is so that I can see if there are patterns. If I were to get, say a dozen stories from different people all involving the same facility, that in itself says something. I would not put anything in the book that would make a nurse uncomfortable.
    I do not intend on contacting the other parties involved. This is a book only from the nurses perception, it is our perception that is driving the nursing shortage.
    If I were to contact and interview anyone from admin. or management it would be to ask what they are doing in their facilities for nurses and why. Did they get nursing imput first? What resources have they allocated to the nursing dept? That type of thing.
    This is also a book for nurses, I want to be able to show nurses that it is not wrong to expect decent working conditions, to expect to be treated as more than a cog in the wheel. To make nurses question why we should feel guilty for calling in when sick. We did not cut staffing to the point that if one person calls in it causes chaos. I want nurses to question our safety. Our wages. The risk to our health, our marriages and to our children when we work too much, not to mention the safety to our patients. While there are many active nurses on this board who have learned to say no, there are thousands who have not.
    If anyone was to contact the corp. that fired me after I threatened to report abuse to the state because they wouldn't, they would tell you I was an abusive physco nurse who didn't deserve a license. Despite the fact they settled a whistleblower lawsuit that I generated so they didn't have to go to court over it. I have no intention of putting any nurse through more than they have already gone through. I want to give an opportunity for them to tell their stories knowing that they will be protected. Shouting the truth can be very freeing. I know.
    Please anyone who has further questions, post them and I will answer them.
  5. by   rncountry
    PS, I do have some small concern about libel. That is why I have an appointment with an attorney so I can ensure how to avoid that. Because for my own part of the story I am using real names. But I will use nothing that any other nurse does not want me to.
  6. by   Enabled
    Other nurses may say now that they don't mind their names included but wait 10 years and it could be a very different story. Like nursing notes make up a contract with the help of the attorney and have it signed before starting. Good Luck and do you need a ghost writer.
  7. by   rncountry
    A contract is a good idea, I will explore that.
    Do you have experience writing enabled?
  8. by   hoolahan
    Thanks for the clarification Helen. I've got a good doctor abuse story. I'll work on it, but not til after my CCM exan next Saturday. If you don't hear any more from me and are interested, bump this thread back up, or e-mail me vnarn_nj@yahoo.com
  9. by   rncountry
    Thank you hoolihan, it is much appreciated.
  10. by   Enabled
    rncountry, I do not have writing experience unless you consider term papers and such. I have been told by several people including docs and nurses that I should write a book. I was told I should also write a book about the fiasco of care that I have been given in the past few years. I try not to tell people when in the hospital or outpatient or where ever that I am a nurse but sometimes that information is handy. That being those that are doing the procedures and tests know that you know how they should go as well as what meds to take to treat certain problems. I have been royally SCRE_____________D by the medical community so that I am no longer working because of a missed diagnosis and nontreatment. I have the MRI films to prove something was missed. I can't do anything about it as Florida law says there has to be permanent irreversable damage or death, no thank you, for a lawsuit dealing with malpractice. You see, I had an MRI done several years ago that showed a problem for which medication could have been given to reverse the symptoms. However, I had an MRI a few months ago as I had begun falling. It was added up to fibromyalgia and muscle weakness. I got the report from the doctor with an immediate referral. Well the radiologist was the same for reading both MRIs and a comparison or notation was made about the previous one. I only found this out as I was getting records from medical records for the referral doc and the clerk mentioned it. As soon as I found out, as outpatient records in Florida can be destroyed at seven years, I went to xray now diagnostic imaging, and got the old MRI. Well, I don't know much about MRIs but I could even see the problem. As a result of not knowing I was treated for something else entirely that lead to my being as to leave the hospital. When I had the procedure done so to speak while an employee, it was posted with my name and what I was having done. I had a clear case of not keeping confidentiality. I have known other employess with similar issues that have kept them out of work for months at a time and they returned repeatedly. My doc wanted me to take two weeks off. I was told there wasn't enough staff. Well, when is there enough staff. This was in 99. Since I did not have enough time accumulated I was asked to resign or be terminated. I took the later as I would have been eligible for unemployment. Well, even though Florida is a right to work state I had issues. I was never approached by my employer as they knew that I had a disability. That was not evident when I was hired 10 years ago. They did not offer for me to have a member of the nurses association for our nurses union present. They did not offer a position because of the disability. I know much of this is vague so bare with me.
    With my leaving so to speak the hospital was going to be short staffed more. I find that odd. Here they are complaining about not having the staff and then showing the front door. They also put down which is allowable under the Florida Nurse Practice Act that they would not rehire. I always had satisfactory evaluations.
    A future employer can ask if you worked at a facility, what position, dates of employment, and WOULD YOU REHIRE. That was the nail in the coffin so to speak.
    My doctor then suggested that I apply for disability and see if i could get it until things quieted down. I guess I was lucky as it went through on the first attempt and I know that is rare.
    I was taking a class this spring only to find out that I could have opened the situation if I had filed a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act but that must be done within 180 days.
    Let me clarify something. The situation did NOT involve drugs either the scoffing of or the abusing of, or the use of street drugs.
    I was shocked when I was initially approached as it was on a Sunday in the middle of the shift. It had to have been planned as they nursing supervisor for the evening said she wanted to talk and then there were others present in the office. I am looking into legal action against the radiologist as well as the hospital for wrongful termination. Do I want my job back. NO
    Since 99 the staff on the unit I worked has turned over 3 times with the exception of a few diehards. Isn't that interesting. The nurse manager was sent back to being staff as he did not have a BSN and had no intentions of getting it. Oh well, there is expected monies down the drain. His wife also a nurse left since he was manager and making enough to cover all. Well, she was not happy when she had to return to work.
    So as I said I am not a writer and everyone WATCH YOUR BACK AS PEOPLE WHO YOU WORK WITH WOULD RATHER STAB YOU THAN FACE THE FACT THAT YOU REALLY DO KNOW MORE.
  11. by   P_RN
    Wonderful! The REST of the story needs to get out to the public.
  12. by   VickyRN
    I have lots of stories for you, Helen, some very tragic. IF I ever get time, I will PM you. I think the most heart-renching of my experiences was the RN-CEO/CNO/CFO from Hades who raped and pillaged the small, rural hospital I used to call "home."
  13. by   rncountry
    I will wait patiently. I appreciate your willingness to share.
  14. by   cargal
    Hello all,
    I too will think of some stories , but who and where is the nurse that had been interviewed for a woman's magazine about the nursing shortage, and when it was printed, her name was used, only to have her position as a clincal instructor at a hospital taken away from her. She posted the whole story on allnurses.com about a year and 1/2 ago. I would love to hear how she is doing, and her story would be exactly what you need!

    Blessings,

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