Went to a job fair for the biggest health care provider in Wester Pa, probably one of the biggest health care providers in Pa. period. Talked to nurse managers, other upper level managers and recruiters. Guess what, some of them admitted that the last five years were a near disaster for health care. They know that the mistakes they made in the way employees in general were treated and the way nurses in particular were treated has affected patient care and the bottom line in negative ways. These people are not interested in the individual complaints of an old burnt out nurse but they sure are aware that something has happen on the global scale. I actually sensed an overall realization that this so called nursing shortage was institutionally produced and that it can only be reversed by improving conditions. (You are not going to see any CEOs on TV admitting that they screwed up but at least they know.) There is some sort of shift taking place, how long it will take before the nurse at the bedside notices an improvent in conditions I do not know but things are going to improve.
Feb 17, '01
The problem, oramar, with the scenario you describe is how nurses as a group will respond. We are facing 3rd down and 10 in the latter half of the 4th quarter. We not only need a 1st down, we need to score very badly. I sense that the AHA and AMA are being put in their place by their overindulgence in profits, but we nurses have not gone that route yet and really need to press harder to bring the status of nursing to more than a handmaiden.
Nurses must work together as large, medium, or small groups to advance the agenda of nursing and therefore advance the agenda of safe, compassionate patient care. We must transition and overcome our tendency to get totally caught up in our own personal convictions at the exclusion of seeing the bigger picture.
I believe if growing numbers of nurses seize the moment and persevere in sync, we will see light at the end of the tunnel. We have seen the effects of gross arrogance, greed, and paternalism, and they have been devastating.
As you pointed out, egos are not ready to concede responsibility and accountability for the increasing nursing shortage. Hopefully, someone in the media will see this and latch on.
Feb 17, '01
It is sad that even while the health systems that instituted these bad restructing plans are struggling to recover from their effects, I continue to see post from nurses who say their institutions are just now starting to restructure. Can't any of them learn from the mistakes of others?