While I'm glad to see nursing issues getting media attention, it's really sad that it's taken a nationwide critical nursing shortage to get anyone to care:
"When arrogant docs drive nurses away, patients suffer--
"Irate doctors hurling surgical clamps at nurses are admittedly rare. So such acts, as outrageous as they are, can't really be blamed for the severe nursing shortage now hobbling hospitals. Nor is it low pay, says nurse Nicola Smith, an 11-year veteran working at UC-Davis Medical Center in California": 'It's a matter of disrespect.'
"Escaping abuse. Nursing is not about the money, trite as that may sound. In the American Journal of Nursing survey, "we found that workplace environment was an even stronger factor than compensation when it came to satisfaction," says internist Alan Rosenstein, author of the study and medical director of VHA's West Coast division. In fact, salaries aren't altogether bad, says Diana Mason, editor of the nursing journal. "As a new nurse, at a New York City hospital, you can start at $60,000." Some hospitals elsewhere are offering signing bonuses of $30,000. 'It doesn't matter," says Mason. "We won't stay in a place that's abusive.'
"What Rosenstein found in his research was that more than 90 percent of his respondents had witnessed yelling, public berating of nurses (and even patients) by doctors, and abusive language. Perhaps more alarming, he also found that doctors don't think such abuse is a big deal. At times, this is because doctors, facing an urgent situation, focus on speed and need rather than their people skills. Still, nurses have had to devise defenses, like announcing "Code White Coat" over the hospital intercom: Nurses hearing the code move to the beleaguered nurse's side and stare at the doctor, making it clear there are witnesses.
"Yet hospitals often seem reluctant to discipline wayward doctors. 'They bring patients to the hospital, and that's a source of revenue,' Rosenstein says.
"So Baptist started trying some new things. Physicians were told there would be no more abusive behavior. Nurses were given power to change the way their wards operated. One thing that changed was the ER, says Diane Wilbanks, vice president of patient care services. A triage nurse replaced a receptionist, reducing waiting times. Nurses also started voting for an outstanding physician each week, and doctors soon began competing for the designation by spending more time teaching nurses."