Nursing Shortage Makes the Prime Time News!

  1. CBS News | Is There A Nurse In The House?

    The CBS Evening News (Dec 28th) -
    Eye on America
    (http://cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,260229-412,00.shtml).

    My pt called me into his room to watch a news report on the nation-wide nursing shortage. After it was over HE said to ME: "how come they didnt mention that you girls have to work like dogs, get no help, and dont get paid half of what you should??? Dont you think THAT has something to do with people not becoming nurses anymore?????"

    The report discussed the nursing shortage for a whole 5 minutes! We made it to prime time! But it was a half-baked report - incomplete & lacking in that it made not one mention of workplace conditions being a factor in the reasons why people are not coming into nursing or why so many are leaving. Not a word about what RNs are fighting for all over the country. Not a hint of any national RN leaders or organizations/associations being interviewed for their point of view on the subject. But plenty of quotes from hospital executives! Not one mention made of or by any experienced RNs!! And it explained that some hospitals are "aggresively fixing the problem" by offering thousands of dollars in sign-on bonuses. (and we all know how well those work!) As far as speaking to RNs on camera, the reporter interviewed only a new grad who was lured to her job by the high sign-on bonus and all she talked about was that money. Arrrrggghhhh!!
    I already wrote my letter to the station, the health editor, the ANA, and my state association. http://cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,260229-412,00.shtml

    email: weekends@cbsnews.com

    It will be forwarded to the appropriate persons.

    Happy Holidays!

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  2. 55 Comments

  3. by   mustangsheba
    That was it? Somebody actually got paid for writing that piece of nothing? Why aren't these hospitals trying to keep the experienced nurses they already have instead of spending thousands of dollars recruiting new grads? Where does this kind of thinking come from? (I use the term loosely.) Why didn't this "reporter" ask some of these questions? Maybe he doesn't know what a nurse looks like unless they're wearing one of those caps or carrying a bed pan. Same old story - nobody has a clue what nurses actually do. I challenge a reporter to follow a nurse, any nurse for a whole shift.
  4. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by mustangsheba:
    [B]That was it? Somebody actually got paid for writing that piece of nothing?

    not only did she write it, it was on the 6:00 news!!

    here's their link for comments:
    http://www.cbs.com/Common/customerse...p_thanks.shtml

  5. by   -jt
    OOPS! wrong link! sorry......

    THIS is the link for comments to be sent to CBS on their nursing shortage story....
    http://www.cbs.com/Common/customerse..._hp_form.shtml

    I'd love to know what the reporter has to say in answer to your excellent questions!
  6. by   OC_An Khe
    The story missed one very salient point, why is a nursing shortage dangerous. It may seem obvious to us, but to people who don't work in the field, it is not. I used the link (thanks) to post a reply/comment to that story. Will let you know if and what kind of response I get.

    [This message has been edited by ocankhe (edited December 30, 2000).]
  7. by   nurshathaway
    I think that it is important that everyone who participates in this BB comment on this report and its half-baked story.

    And I don't just mean via the website comments section, but a letter directly to the reporter. Maybe if she gets enough responses back from the nurses, she may re-investigate her story and tell it straight this time.

    In regards to the mother, Mrs. Kroll, having to stay by her son all the time standing guard. I personally would feel that if a parent choses to stay by their child's bedside that they are in good hands. I would definitely check up often, but I would also find myself geared towards patients that have absolutely no one by them. And if Mrs. Kroll would leave the area, I would request that she inform me and then her son would continue to be looked at with the best healthcare I can provide.
  8. by   reg06
    EXCELLENT replies everyone. I wanted to see this on the evening news but I work nights and didn't wake up on time. I am very upset that it was not bringing up so many very important issues that nurses have been working to address.

    Thank you for posting where we can send in comments about the crappy journalism. I am borrowing the 5 minute clip on video from a friend and will respond to CBS as soon as I can.

    Interesting information about the mainstream media can be found at http://www.fair.org/ This site brings out the facts about how mainstream media journalism is lacking and often misses very crucial information. I plan to write to them as well about the segment on the eening news.

    We need to fight back nurses! We need to wake up the public to what is going on. It takes activism and pressure and UNITY to rise up against corporate driven mongrels who don't give a damn about human beings and only care about PROFIT.

    This brings me to the next question, is it right to have FOR PROFIT healthcare?
    More and more I am starting to really question our system in the U.S. I guess I should start a new post on this issue.

    Keep up the great work out there on awareness and involvement in advancing the nursing profession!!
  9. by   reg06
    Here is my letter to CBS evening new if anyone would like it as a reference for their own letter.

    Dear CBS evening news,

    I am a registered nurse and watched your report on the nursing shortage. I found the report to be conspicuously incomplete - you utterly failed to capture the most important concerns of the nurses themselves.

    In the news clip about the nursing shortage, there was not a word about what R.N.'s are fighting for all over the country. Why weren't their interviews of national R.N. leaders or organizations/associations about the reasons for the nursing shortage? Why was there an unbalanced amount of quotes favoring hospital executives verses R.N.'s?!

    Now, let me enlighten CBS on some of the core problems facing the nursing profession and health care. CBS needs to take this and air a broader piece of journalism for the nurses.

    First, why wasn't there any mention of unsafe working conditions in the hospitals around the country? The nurse to patient ratio in almost every hospital is dangerous. Patients are more ill then ever before and nurses are expected to do more and more of the care and technical procedures that doctors used to do. The hospitals cut their staff, while the CEO's of these hospital are making millions of dollars every year. The patients suffer worst of all.

    Second, nurses are not being paid enough for the stress and life and death situations they encounter. At the hospital where I work, I recently found out that one of the CEO's got paid over $543,080 last year, which translates to $2,088 per each DAY of work!!!! This does not even include the bonus pay of $70,000 he received. All the while, talented, experienced nurses of 30 years can't even make $50,000 a year.

    Now these are the central reasons for the nursing shortage. This is why so many young people are not going into nursing and why so many experienced nurses are leaving.

    Nurses truly care and want to give the best to their patients. It is this health care as a business for profit that is so hard to understand and quite obviously exacerbates the nursing crisis.

    If people only new what kinds of conditions they are headed for within a hospital, and how over worked, underpaid and short staffed their nurses are, they would be shaking with fear of any illness.

    An idea for the evening news is to follow a R.N. throughout a typical shift in a hospital. Enlighten America and what they have to look forward to when an illness strikes and what nurses have to do to give just the basic care.
  10. by   -jt
    Originally posted by mustangsheba:
    I will try to find a clip somewhere.

    its on the website: http://cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,260229-412,00.shtml

    Great letter. I cant wait to see the one they're getting from the ANA. I expect we will be seeing another report on this issue from CBS in the not too distant future.

    send comments to CBS at:
    http://www.cbs.com/Common/customerse..._hp_form.shtml

  11. by   oramar
    You could just see that the whole segment was controlled and edited by the hospital exectives that were interviewed. Nothing got in or out that they did not want there. The only thing that rang true was the interview with the mother of the child with disabilities, they could not control that.
  12. by   nurshathaway
    Reg, you gave an excellent suggestion...why don't they have a reporter following a nurse through a full shift (preferably a 12-hour shift)? Maybe amongst we can petition a reporter from one of the national networks (such as Dateline or 20/20) to take this challenge. Any suggestions?
  13. by   mustangsheba
    Reg: Great letter! I didn't see this program as I was luxuriating where there was no TV! Out in the country, trees and birds. I will try to find a clip somewhere.
  14. by   cargal
    Originally posted by reg06:
    EXCELLENT replies everyone. I wanted to see this on the evening news but I work nights and didn't wake up on time. I am very upset that it was not bringing up so many very important issues that nurses have been working to address.

    Thank you for posting where we can send in comments about the crappy journalism. I am borrowing the 5 minute clip on video from a friend and will respond to CBS as soon as I can.

    Interesting information about the mainstream media can be found at http://www.fair.org/ This site brings out the facts about how mainstream media journalism is lacking and often misses very crucial information. I plan to write to them as well about the segment on the eening news.

    We need to fight back nurses! We need to wake up the public to what is going on. It takes activism and pressure and UNITY to rise up against corporate driven mongrels who don't give a damn about human beings and only care about PROFIT.

    This brings me to the next question, is it right to have FOR PROFIT healthcare?
    More and more I am starting to really question our system in the U.S. I guess I should start a new post on this issue.

    Keep up the great work out there on awareness and involvement in advancing the nursing profession!!
    There is no doubt in my mind that we need for profit health care. First, our ecomomy is based on capitalism and that is one thing ( not the only thing) that makes America prosper. We also have a healthcare system that is second to none. Why? Because people make Money by being creative and inventive and smart, to go to schools to learn skills to make this system the best, in technology and first rate care. No it is not perfect and we should strive for improvement. The health care in England is antiquated according to our standards- stories of full incision abdominal surgery because they lack the technology and lack of supplies. The socialized system of Canada is even worse- the incredibly long waits for treatment, the long lines and the inferior medical care. Give me the US any time, where I know compensation for inventions and high tech treatments will be available as I age. When the government steps in to socialize or rule, the system will crumble. We've all heard reports about the $800 toilet seats and hammers. Also , isn't that want nurses want, compensation for skills and experience? That is the heart of a capitalistic society and increases incentive for top notch care ( similar to what teachers had experienced in the 70's when increases in income (and working conditions and respect) were needed to to keep them from migrating to other more profitable fields).

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