Self magazine article - page 3
Anyone read the article in the November issue of the Self magazine about the state of nursing. What were the general thoughts about it how it portrayed nursing and the whistleblowing that it did? ... Read More
Nov 7, '01First of all....BRAVO!!!!! for being willing to speak out!!!
But on a smaller scale than the magazine article, I am going through the exact same thing here in my hospital. Last night we had our monthly staff meeting for the floor. (i will premise this by saying that the past few months our nurse mgr has been either floating or calling off most of our aides. this leaves a 34 bed med/surg, tele, oncology, dialysis unit with 2 aides) Well, as she was about to wrap up the meeting i spoke up and said that we had all had concerns lately about the fact that we were having less and less staff for higher and higher acuity. She asked for specific examples so i told her how on Sunday night I had nine pt's and my aide had 17. Four of my pt's were crashing before my eyes and in the midst of all of these crises along with med passing, assessments and charting on all of the other five pt's...i was expected to answer a call bell for a bed pan (normally that's not a problem, but you all know how some nights go..it's just impossible!!!!!). Well mid-sentence she butted in and yelled "WHY DON'T YOU CUT TO THE CHASE BECAUSE I AM REALLY GETTING TIRED OF HEARING YOU TALK!!!". I just glared at her for a moment and then said "I WANT MORE HELP!!! This isn't safe and i am tired of giving 'less-than' care because we are spread so thin!!!" She said "how dare you try to make me feel bad for staffing issues! you don't do the staffing and have no idea what's involved in it and i refuse to listen to one more word of yours!!!" Then she went on to tell me how inappropriate i was for bringing this up in a staff meeting and that "i would be seeing the consequenses" of it. Then she gathered her papers and walked out. A few moments later I received an e-mail that stated: "I want to see you ASAP!!! No excuses...i mean ASAP!!!". By the end of the meeting i was crying (which i always do when mad, anxious, etc) and everyone walked over and comforted me saying "i'm so sorry you had to learn that way that you just can't speak up. They will always shut you up quickly then punish you for speaking up. That's why we've all learned to just keep our mouths shut" Well, that infuriated me even more!!!! No one should have to "keep their mouths shut" for fear of reprisal. I AM NOT AFRAID TO ROCK THAT BOAT!!!! I can and will speak up when there are things that need fixed and believe me....they do need fixed. MY FIRST ROLE IS AS A PT ADVOCATE.....NOT HOSPITAL ADVOCATE. and my pt's are suffering the consequences because they have to wait for meds, bedpans, treatments, etc because the staff is just not there. it's ridiculous. I'm just waiting to see when i go in today what she has in store for me during our meeting. NURSES NEED TO REMEMBER THEIR VOICES AND SPEAK UP TO MAKE OUR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF OUR PATIENTS BETTER!!!!!!!!
Nov 8, '01received the following e-mail reply from self magazine today re my comments i sent them re this article (see previous post).
thanks for your prompt reply, karen. we'll do our best to get your comments into the january issue. in the meantime, have a good day!
"the pen is mightier than the sword." karen
Nov 9, '01Fiesty--
I must say, that I read the article even before I saw it mentioned here on the bb as i haven't been on line much lately. I put the article on the bulletin board in our break room in hopes that my colleagues will read it.
Congrats on speaking out!
I thought that the article was very well written and supported nurses--specifically RN's.
Good luck to you!
Nov 9, '01I am using this article as a printed inservice article on our unit. Everyone that has read it, and that is most of the staff, aides to RN's, have agreed with and identify with the issues in the article. As said before, the general public needs to know that there are problems and some ways they can keep themselves safer while hospitalized. Even in our small rural hospital, I have noticed more pts asking about their meds, tests and their care in general than ever before, I think its a good thing and encourage them all to be more aware of the care they get and to be more involved with knowledge of health care in general. Don't know how many times I've had someone say, "I don't know what that pill, (etc.) is for , the DR just put me on it, so I take it" or "My wife takes care of all that"
We have noticed more family members staying around that clock with pts, sometimes its a good thing and sometimes they are just a pain, but at least they are an extra set of eyes and ears if anything does go wrong.
Nov 9, '01Oh God, nursiev. I cannot believe what happened to you too! That is reprehensible and I am appalled and dumfounded! You were treatment by your nurse manager was more than unprofessional , it was abusive. Anyone, is there any recourse for what happened to nursiev? I am so saddened by this. Does everything in the nursing profession have to sink to rock bottom before it gets better?
Nursiev, hang in there. Take a breath, and if you can , take a mental health day or two to regroup. Don't let her talk to you and treat you like that!
Feisty, congratulations on your fortitude and voice. I am proud of both of you!
Nov 10, '01Carrie,
thanks so much for your support. I asked one of the other rn's who was in the meeting why she didn't stick up for this issue and she replied "honey, i have my yearly eval on monday and i'm not getting in trouble for you or anyone!!!" Still can't believe it.
Nov 10, '01While I am not in the field, I also have a mouth. When our financial aid office sees me coming they all run for cover because they know that something has gone wrong and someone is not doing their job right.
I took the liberty of copying this web site address and thought that, maybe, if nurses started inundating them (send a copy to your state and federal representative also) with e-mail, it might help. Tell them about the conditions at your particular hospital, and if you are not afraid, name the hospital, names of administrators involved etc.
Maybe this might help nurses (and future nurses like me) get better conditions etc.
This is the web site for JCAHO.
Hope this helps!!
Nov 15, '01You are doing a great job!
Which newspaper should we log on to, and send in our indignant letters to the editor?
Nov 15, '01I picked up the magazine for a friend who was doing a term paper because we thought it might help, but she can't seem to find the article. It was in the November issue right? What was the title? Thanks!
Nov 15, '01Hi Nursiev,
I am also from northern Ohio. I hope I have not just hired on at your place. I just got a new job. Anyway, I, like you and fiesty nurse am not afraid to speak up. I have never been told to shut up but I have been told nicely to stop complaining and find a solution before I come-a-complaining again.
Your nurse manager seems to have issues of her own and just needed an outlet and unfortunately you were close. She should go home and kick her furniture. Since you were taking a very appropriate course of action at a more than appropriate time, I would follow it up when you are ready.
First off, remember you can get another job if you ever have to. No place is worth that much stress. But if you do decide to stay and fight, take it in baby steps.
You could ask an impartial third person to meet with you and your manager. We had a nurse CNS who was always available for things like this.
Look at hospital staffing patterns for your floor for the past month and what your policy recommends for staffing the acuity. I am sure you keep records of patient acuity and staffing is supposed to be based on those records. If those are not available to you, keep your own records.
You could write everything down and also ask the other nurses to write down what they saw there at the staff meeting. I hope at least a couple other nurses would support you. If not, so what. When you meet with her, write everything down. Ask her to repeat things if she talks too fast. That oughta really get her goat.
I have done this before when we had a very unsafe situation on our unit and staff members lives were being threatened, not just licenses. I had a list of questions and wrote down word for word all responses. If that won't shake her up and get her to start thinking clearly, you can tell her, I am sorry, I still feel very strongly that this staffing issue has not been cleared up and I wished that we could have gotten to some sort of resolution but since we can't, then I must take this issue to someone who has the power to help me.
This is why nurses unionize. It is too bad that you work with nurses who just take this type of treatment as the norm. I work with a nurse who told me that being beat up is just a part of being a psych nurse's job. She had just lost her second tooth to patient's hitting her. I told her no job has listed in the job description, " tolerate abuse by patients and don't forget your mouth guard". Especially when there is such a shortage of nurses, your manager can't keep good nurses down.
Sock it to em.
PS. I would also tell her that you expect an apology for her unprofessional behavior at the next staff meeting.