I just started reading this bulletin board a couple of nights ago with my wife (J Nurse). I knew the nursing situation was bad, but I am completely sick as I find out how bad it really is. I was able to sleep last night after reading the posts for hours, tonigh won't be better.
My wife has been working in a hospital in Wisconsin for the last couple of years. She has been telling how bad the conditions are and now they are getting worse. I had always encourage to stand up to the management and voice her opions which she has always done. And we always talked about doing more.
There are so many posts out there that describe the situation so well. After reading them I decided that we had to do something, anything. The problem is what and how? We are not going to let that stop us, but any help will be greatly appreciated.
Our first plans are to start having informational sessions with her fellow employees to get the ball rolling. Then to expand it to the nurses at the other local hospitals and form a local organization with the goal to educate the local public and gain their support.
I am by no means an expert on these issues, but a lot of this is just common sense. How can the hospitals/government hold nurses responsible for the quality of care they give when they have no control over it (number of patients, mandatory OT etc.)? This is outrageous. I was very intrigued about the lawsuit that had been filed against the HMO for the mistake made by a nurse, claiming the HMO was responsible for the lack of staff, training etc. Anybody have more information on that one? I can't find where I saw it.
The articles in the Chicago Tribune were good and I would encourage everyone to print copies and post them where they work to help educate people. They can be found in some of the other postings.
I also heard of some the stuff that has been done in California regarding state government guidelines for staff/patient ratios etc. Where can I get copies of the guidelines?
Based on what I've seen so far (and I have only been tracking this limitedly for the last 6 months) it seems that the nursing organizations aren't doing anything usefull. Alot of talk about needing better quality care along with mom and apple pie, but nothing about working conditions, pay etc. The general public has such a misconception about nursing and what nurses do and get paid that it is ridiculas. I can't believe that my wife started at $16.00 an hour after getting a 4 year degree, passing an examine, and having responsibility of human life on her hand day in and day out. (And $16.00 an hour isn't bad compared to some other areas, but regardless it is way to low across the board)
It is a shame that nurses care so much that hospitals/HMO use that against them and make them feel guilty for asking to get even close to what they deserve.
Also, the energy around the MNM is a good thing. We are willing to do what we can from WI.
Enough ramblings for now. If you can help us out please do, If you need our help let us know. If you are from WI let us know as well.