I am sure that I am beating the dead horse here but the question still remains. What happened to nursing? I have been a practicing LPN for greater than 14 years. In this short amount of time, I have gone from nurse to secretary, private investigator, detective, lawyer and oh, let me not forget...maintenance man. Don't our patients deserve more?
Listen, I am not sure about the other states but I can tell you that the State of Kansas has made it impossible to practice nursing. Instead of spending 8 or 12 or even 16 hours taking care of the ill, we instead spend the time covering our you know whats. I continuously find myself running away from the patients so I can finish the twenty tons of paperwork that I have waiting for me on any given day.
I know this is kind of jumping all over the place but I am just wondering when a bruise on someone who is 80 or 90 years old automatically became a reason to investigate for abuse of neglect. They are elderly, they bruise, that's just what they do. Their skin is xerotic and it tears easily. If they have dementia on top of that scratch or bruise and they are not able to tell you how it got there, you're really in trouble - now you have a report to call into the state. Most of the time when I get a bruise, I don't know how I got it - I am 35!
Since we're on the topic, why in the world does every single complaint have to be a logged "grievance." A patient doesn't like the food one evening so he or she complains and bang!!! A grievance that requires hours of paperwork. A family member complains that a nurse is not doing his or her job as they think it should be done...oh yes, you've got it..another grievance.
Someone falls because they have dementia and have just broken a hip. They don't remember that they are not able to walk on their own - now...an incident report. I can understand the need for this one but isn't a single page enough? Why must we repeat the same thing on five different pieces of paper and then do it again in the nurses notes. God for bid if you have to perform neuro checks!! You are so busy being a broken record that there is no time for that. NO time for the patient!!! And whatever you do, don't let a patient lose weight - even if they weigh 500 pounds because you will be neglecting them.
I do agree that the State and Federal governments were wise in putting some programs and regulations into place to prevent or identify abuse of neglect but they have gone just a little too far. They have taken away our job, our vocation, our morals, values and dreams. They have left patients to fend for themselves. The have forced us to sit at a desk. I wonder when they will wake up?
To end my bitter paragraphs, I just want to say that we are certainly not paid enough for what we do and the risks that we take everyday nor are we recognized enough. I wish I had a foghorn so I could shout it to the world. Put us right up there with police officers and fire fighters because this is what we are and this is where we belong!!!