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gentlegiver 7,667 Views

Joined Mar 11, '07. Posts: 898 (53% Liked) Likes: 1,596

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  • Sep 26 '11

    Feel what way? That we'd like to get the job we want and stay at it? Sure. Am I loyal to employers? As loyal as they are to me. So no.

  • Sep 26 '11

    I'm sure I will get royally flamed for saying this ---- but whether you are pro-union or not, this story most likely came as a result of the ANA-CNA contacting the media for a story, like they did when they tried to get all the LPNs fired in Newhall. They are advancing their point of view at the expense of the "fill-in nurse" who is really no different than a travel nurse, or an agency nurse. Are people dropping dead left and right in hospitals that employ travel or agency nurses?

    Aren't we supposed to abide by a few rules of fair play --- wait until we get all the facts before we announce that "fill-in" nurses are incompetent? How is it ethical for them to say,

    "The first thing I thought was, it was murder - I hate to be so graphic, but that was my first impression," said nurse Alicia Torres, who works in Summit's oncology unit and has spent 27 years at the hospital.

    A fellow nurse said that. How sad.

    Heaven help this nurse if she ever makes a serious mistake. I used to think maybe it was possible for all nurses to coalesce and use numbers to influence policy, but now I know it will never happen.

    I'm talking not about the policies of hospitals, just smearing somebody you've never seen, about a case that occurred while you were not even in the building.

    Here I'll start . . .flamesonb:flamesonb

  • Sep 7 '11

    Eight years.

    That is how long I’ve been in nursing. Just eight years. I haven’t been on AN in a while. I used to frequent the site a lot to vent with others, and help others with advice. Well, today is a ranting kind of day, so here it goes…

    I hate what nursing is becoming. It is become overrun with elite folks who have forgotten what it’s like to just get through your shift. It’s being taken over by money hungry CEOs that are finding neat little ways to package “customer service” with healthcare. Our intelligence is being insulted here! What exactly do I mean by this? Well, what professional do you know gets “scripts” to regurgitate at patients? Why is it that we are not trusted to do our job or say the right thing?

    I understand that healthcare is indeed a business. It has to be. If it weren’t, we’d all be working for free. I got that. I do my job. I put my all into my shift. I advocate for my patients. I’ve gone above and beyond…all without recognition.

    But, I’m deeply saddened…Now I’m being told that isn’t good enough. All I see for the future of healthcare is walking into a patient’s room at the end of my shift saying, “My name is______, if you felt I gave excellent care call 888-tell-them, and rate me a 10.” Heaven forbid you score less than 10 three times…

    Eight years ago, I felt so proud in my whites on graduation day. I felt professional, neat, knowledgeable, and respected. Now, I feel burned up, and abused. For now, I stay in nursing…patients still smile, and thank me at the end of my shift. They cannot detect how I feel under the surface.

    But, I am seriously considering leaving healthcare altogether.

  • Jul 25 '11

    Quote from eriksoln
    Two things came to mind for me here:

    1. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. Healthcare facilities have been pushing and lobbying to make it so they can staff themselves like a fast food restaurant (everyone makes min. wage except management, very few full time workers with benefits etc). As they creep closer and closer to their goal, the quality of workers that now staff healthcare delivery facilities is reflecting their work. Lower class jobs attract lower class people.............PERIOD, no way to dance/micromanage your way around it.
    I can see someone with a retail or fast food background going to nursing school, getting by and beginning their career as an RN.
    Yeah, because "lower-class" people with a past in retail or fast food couldn't possibly be trained as nurses. I, for instance, am Evil Pet Store Girl, who is willing to work for next to nothing just to get into the healthcare field!

    You may think I'm invading your profession because I want to make tons of money, or just because the horrible hospitals are finally stooping low enough to hire scum like me. What I think is that I'm fascinated by human physiology and want to use my God-given smarts to work in a profession where my talents can benefit others. That minimum wage job on which I lived hand-to-mouth for eight years got me through school, and now I can unleash my compassion and critical thinking abilities on the world!

    Instead of passing judgment on everyone's background or looks, we should recognize this as a case of a (likely) very ill person who seems to have found some benefit in endangering the lives of others. I don't understand how income or past work experience has ANYTHING to do with this case.

  • Jul 15 '11

    i don't know if the all nurses gods/godesses will let me post this or not, but i'm gonna try.
    i really just want to say: thank you ruby vee!
    i think we all need to pay attention to ruby vee. her posts are inspirational, educational, and no-nonsense. i am a nurse of about 16 years and cna for 9 years before that, so i am no inexperienced/new grad spring chicken, but i still get so much knowledge from reading ruby's posts! i just think she deserves an extra special kudos for passing on all her wisdom to the rest of us.

  • Jul 3 '11

    I personally have better things to do with my time. I don't eat at Hooters nor do I know anyone that would. I could care less what they portray nurses as and I don't need to watch the video to know what it's all about. But feel free to get all riled over it on my behalf. There are honestly way more important issues in the world right now.

  • Jul 1 '11

    Today my region was inundated with multiple freak traffic accidents. Two of the accidents involved semi trucks that had overturned and burst into flames. My hospital received many of the victims.

    The charge nurse that was relieving me tonight was an hour and a half late getting to work because of the detours resulting from one of the accidents. She came in flustered, apologetic, and ranting about how bad the traffic was. When I told her that our hospital was treating many of the victims, and that we were still on standby for trauma surgery, she became quiet. Then she said, "Canes, I need to readjust my perspective. I need to think about these patients and their families instead of how flustered the damned traffic made me."

    A little perspective goes a long way. I am asking you guys-the AN members-to keep these victims in your thoughts as you go about your day today. I know that you don't know them, and I realize it doesn't affect you. But this tragedy was a big wake up call for me as a nurse. I will not complain about my day today, even though it was the Seventh Level of Hell. I am healthy, my family members are healthy, and I am not the doc that had to tell these family members that their loved ones are in serious condition. I still don't know how these trauma docs do what they do from day to day. It must be exhausting for them mentally and physically.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to these victims, families, and the doctors and nurses that had to care for them. We were overloaded with tragedy today, and I am thankful that we had such skilled health care providers to take care of the victims of this awful tragedy.

    I won't be complaining for a while.

  • Jun 29 '11

    He was a Vietnam veteran, a 61-year-old black man with a dialysis port in his chest and bilateral leg amputations who lay in his narrow nursing-home bed, watching an NBA game on the 42-inch flat-screen TV perched precariously on the wall shelf above his dresser. But his nearly-sightless eyes were twinkling and his smile was sincere as my co-worker introduced me to him as the new charge nurse on the ICF unit where he'd lived for the past five years.

    "Hi, babe," he said in a soft voice as we shook hands. "How're you doing?"

    That would be Harry's greeting at the start of every evening shift I worked for the next nineteen months. I usually met him at the door as he was being wheeled back to his room from dialysis, but on the days he wasn't scheduled, he'd say it when I was doing his 1700 fingerstick. Otherwise, he didn't talk much, and he rarely complained, no matter how much it hurt when I had to disimpact him due to the massive quantities of pain meds needed to combat his phantom limb pain and the neuropathy caused by his diabetes. Unfortunately for Harry, he also had a bullet lodged so close to his spinal cord that it couldn't be removed without the risk of paralysis, so his back hurt constantly from its impingement on the nerves.

    Thrice-weekly trips to the dialysis center, and the frequent visits from his wife and his ten children, were his only link to any semblance of normal life. Otherwise, he left his bed only to be Hoyer-lifted into the bath chair twice a week for his shower; day after day, month after month, year after year, he had patiently lived his life in that bed, staring up at the ceiling or at the TV. While his mind was intact, he was utterly unable to read, use his laptop computer, get around the building, or even go outside to feel the sunshine on his face and the wind in his grizzled hair.

    That would be my idea of life in Hell. For Harry, however, it was just everyday existence, and somehow, he managed to make it enough.

    Over time, he began to open up to me. I doubt he'd ever been naturally outgoing, but there were those nights when he'd tell me stories about his years in the Army and the time he spent in Vietnam. Even though I was a decade younger than Harry, he seemed to appreciate the fact that I was a fellow Baby Boomer and thus we remembered many of the same events, albeit from different perspectives. His wife, Mary, was my age, and we became friends as well. There were some nights when I'd come in to do his 2100 fingerstick, and all three of us would reminisce about the "good old days". This invariably annoyed his roommate, who was 20 years older than Harry but had ears like a lynx: "Dumb kids," he'd mutter, which prompted the normally mild-mannered Harry to wave a single-digit salute in Roomie's general direction and his wife and I to snicker madly behind the privacy curtain that divided the room.

    There were bad times, too; times when he'd bottom out at dialysis and come home with both his blood sugar and his BP in the toilet, and his clothing soaked with sweat. Again, he rarely voiced a complaint, even though he must've felt like he'd been run over by a truck. There were also times when he'd have to go to the hospital for a few days because his shunt failed, or because we couldn't get his BP off the floor, or because his stools had become so hard and dry that we couldn't have pried them out with a crowbar. We never knew when we sent him out if he'd come back.......how long can someone's heart hold out under this kind of stress?

    But he did come back, and not long before I left this facility, Harry was picked as Resident of the Month. This was an honor that included the chosen resident's biography and photos put up on the bulletin board for an entire month, plus his or her story told in the facility newsletter. Well, when that board was full, we learned that Harry had once been quite the fashion plate---one memorable black-and-white picture showed a smiling gentleman in a sharp pinstriped suit and fedora! Others depicted him in happier days with his family and pets, and there was one especially striking portrait of Harry in his dress uniform, taken just before he shipped out to 'Nam.

    He got to see the board only once, and that was because I made sure one day to wheel him back to his room from the facility van after dialysis instead of having the aides fetch him. They didn't have the time to stop in the hall and let him check it out; but the look on his face as he took in the brightly-decorated display festooned with red, white, and blue streamers made me instantly glad I'd taken the few minutes to show it to him. "Well, I'll be damned," he whispered in his usual soft voice, grinning widely. "I was a pretty good-lookin' SOB, wasn't I?"

    I haven't seen Harry for quite a while, but I've never stopped thinking of him and his incredible dignity in the face of what many would consider a life not worth living. I didn't know when I went in to have my knee surgery last summer that I'd already worked my last shift at the nursing home; soon afterward, my hours were cut back so severely due to low census that I had no choice but to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, I had no idea that I'd also heard my last "Hi, babe". Two nights ago, I was at home on the computer, scanning my Facebook updates, when I read a post from a former co-worker that made me forget all about checking out my forums here at AN: "We miss you and love you, rest in peace room 310A".

    For a moment, I flipped through the Rolodex file in my brain, frantically searching my memory for residents' names and their assigned rooms in a facility where I hadn't worked in over a year. 310A.........310A.........who'd been in that bed when I was there? I wondered.

    And then I remembered, and my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. Oh, no.......not Harry, oh dear God, not the Sergeant! He was only a little older than my husband, and while he certainly wasn't in good shape, nobody had expected this. It didn't take long to find out from other friends that he'd crumped after dialysis again, only this time he never regained his blood pressure, passing on to the next world before anyone could restart his overworked heart.

    Of course, I'm glad that our weary warrior has laid down his arms and gone on to a place where there is no more dialysis, no more fingersticks, no more pain. But at the same time, there is an ache in my heart where a person used to live, and as I deal with yet another loss---and in my chosen field of nursing, there's a lot of that---I can hear the sad strains of "Taps" playing softly in the background:

    Day is done,
    Gone the sun
    from the lakes, from the hills, from the sky,
    All is well,
    Safely rest,
    God is nigh

  • Jun 26 '11

    Clearly the Dark Elves are the enforcers who go "convince" the obnoxious docs to play nice with the nurses...the dragons are to eat all the upper mgmt who push Press Ganey at the expense of pt safety (gotta have a tie in to original post after all), the hobbits run dietary, and the wizards work in central supply (which is why all the equipment that functions properly is always disappearing).

  • Jun 26 '11

    I agree with you. I have previously mentioned that the not-so-wonderful customer service model has no place in healthcare facilities.

    Customers who angrily throw plates at the restaurant waiter will not be served. If a customer is acting creepy around the pilot on one of the numerous major airlines, we can count on the air marshall to make the person exit the plane before it leaves the ground. Quick-tempered customers who verbally abuse bank tellers will be asked by security to leave. Customers who threaten the bellhop at the local hotel will be told that they cannot stay there any longer. Mouthy patients and demanding family members who hover over the physician at his/her private practice will be asked to leave, and they might even be told to find another doctor by a specific date.

    On the other hand, administration tells nurses to accept the public's deviant behaviors because the 'customers' are sick and not feeling well. Management demands that we coddle to rude visitors because they're 'under stress.' This mentality is wrong on so many levels.

    It is time for abusive patients and menacing visitors to be made responsible for their socially unacceptable actions. There's no way that I would be able to come to another person's workplace, tell them how to do their job, hover over them all day like a helicopter, and curse at them when things are not going my way. This happens to bedside nurses daily.

  • Jun 26 '11

    Ever see the movie Lethal Weapon, when Mel Gibson goes on the roof to talk down the guy threatening to jump? The guy insists he is going to do it blah blah blah..............so Mel looks him right in the eye, gets this "I'm not all there" glare in his eye and asks him "Do you wanna..................HUH.........do you really wanna?" Next thing you know, Mel is pulling him off the ledge, forcing him to make the "jump" he was threatening to do. The guy is so scared by the time its over, he is screaming to get away from Mel.

    I think the next time someone tries to tell me customer service is the focus of healthcare is going to have a very similar incident with me.

    I was talking to some friends who were (yes, the past tense is intentional) big proponents of the push to make the medical field more like the "customer service" industry. I pointed out to them why healthcare can never completely adopt "customer service" policies.

    1. Healthcare is and forever will remain a business. In that aspect, yes, we are much like any other retail/food industry establishment. On the other hand, we have more than any other industry taken the role of public servants. We continuously admit people who we know have no ability to pay their bills because it is our duty to do so.
    Consider for a moment going into McDonald's with the famous line "I'll gladly pay you tuesday for a burger today." Or simply consider going in and saying.............."I can't pay, but I am hungry and you are service oriented sooooo..........hop too with making my burger and don't forget to hold the onion."
    Once the laughter stops, you will quickly find said McDonald's management showing you the door. This is Real Life customer service.
    Is this how you really want your local ER operating? We continuously treat people despite their ability to pay. We do not have the option of turning away customers simply because they are low on funds. Ask the guy who, with no health insurance, who falls and breaks his leg if he likes the RL version of "customer service."

    2. The healthcare field more than any of our "customer service" counterparts must have the ability to personalize our service. We exemplify "Have it your way" more than any Burger King will. Yes, the grocery store will bag your sale exactly how you wish, yes BK will add/subtract whatever condiments to your liking. But we go much further than this. Timing of medications, treatments given (PT/OT, Social Services etc), everything down to how much your legs should be elevated is personalized for the best results for each individual patient.
    Other sevice industries have the luxury of offering a service and placing difinite, concrete parameters on how it can be received. If you don't like their way of offering the service, more than likely they are not the company for you and good luck with your search for someone who does w/e it is (eating out, shampooing carpets) better. Tell me how successful you are in getting the cable guy to come to your home at 11PM becasue "its what I am most comfortable with." Next time you wake up with an urge for a night snack at 2AM and want pizza, tell me how well it goes when you call the pizza joint that closes at 10PM.
    Is a hospital that stops admitting between certain hours what you want? What would you think of a physician who writes med orders like the cable company makes appointments.........."Take one tablet daily until somewhere between April 9th and May 5th"?
    Point is, "customer service" industries are able to set their own parameters of "service" so they don't over promise.
    If you don't agree with their way of doing it, your only real option is to find someone who does it your way, and more than likely it will cost more. This is RL "customer service". In order to cater to many, there are policies in place that allow for a systematic approach to be used. We on the other hand don't have the freedom to go between systematic and personized.

    3. Ever been to a restaraunt where you've been to 1000 times before and gotten.........extra special benefits because you're known as a good tipper? or.............Ever been to a restaraunt for the first time and gotten so/so service because the waitress doesn't know you and is busy with their familiar good tipping crowd?........or, Know of anyone who tends to get bad service at the local restaraunt because they are needy or don't tip?
    Industries in the service industry put a lot of effort into keeping the "good customers" and freeing themselves of the less desireable ones. If you are one of the "less desireable" types, service industries will tell you to pack it up and take your high demands elsewhere. I used to work in the food service industry and have witnessed more than a few times "clients" being told they should probably seek another place for their next meal because they were too demanding.
    Retail and service industries are allowed to draw the line in the sand when someone is out of line. We, as healthcare providers, are not so fortunate. We can be attacked, spit at, verbally abused and all sorts of demands made of our time are needlessly made (often by non-paying patients) but............"Ah well, they are sick so it is their right" is the general opinion of onlookers.
    Do you really want a healthcare system that gives better care to the patients who "tip" best? How about a nurse who can't be bothered getting you pain meds because they are too busy fluffing the pillows of the big tipper? How does a nursing manager telling you to take your demands elsewhere because you have no shoes/shirt on when you need cardioverted sound? Thats RL "customer service".

    My point is, if you want "customer service" to be a part of healthcare, you have to take the good with the bad. It works for the service industries because they can implement it under their own terms. No government fines because the steak was Medium-rare instead of Medium, no being forced into catering to unrealistic demands, freedome to choose who the "good customers" and "bad customers" are and act accordingly.

    The "customer service" approach works for retail and food service because they have liberties that will never be accepted in healthcare. Without said liberties, you can't have the other aspects.......not because I don't think they should be there but because they simply don't work without the balances or ying/yang in place.

    So, to end, I will ask all the proponents of customer service out there:


    "Do you WANNA................huh................do you really wanna?"

  • Jun 26 '11

    Quote from cherrybreeze
    That, or it sounds like someone obtaining an ADN was just "dumb luck" and it could have gone either way.

    Would lindarn say the same about a teacher, that they "barely" have their Bachelor's degree?

    The post was obviously meant to put down ADN nurses as not being good enough (since "they" should change it and make a BSN the entry level degree and all), but last time I checked I took the same NCLEX as a BSN and passed it. I worked with a gal who got a BSN who didn't pass her NCLEX until the fourth try....does that mean SHE barely has her BSN?

    If I could pass the licensing exam with my ADN, it would stand to reason I didn't NEED my BSN. Right?

    Does an MD "barely" have his/her doctorate?

    The reason there are too many nurses is two-fold: facilities are cutting POSITIONS, making the nurses they have do more with less (increasing the number of patients they care for per shift, for example), that's one; the other is that there are simply too many nursing programs out there. They operate on and perpetuate the "nursing shortage" myth. If there were less programs to attend overall, there would not be the crunch there is now to find employment.

    Sure, most teachers are union, but any that I know sure don't like what they are getting paid, union or not. Also, take a look at what has been going on in WI with their unionized employees, and the changes in collective bargaining rights, benefits, etc. Would I want to change nursing to a union here? Nope.

    The wording was meant as a put down, so congrats, it worked.

    I'm inclined to agree with you, but I would also like to add that it appears that--by reading these posts at least--nurses are more willing to blame themselves and the future of nursing (which would be new nurses entering the profession) instead of focusing their frustrations where they belong. Having a higher degree is fine, but having on the job experience in place of that higher degree is just as good. In other words, just because a person doesn't have a degree doesn't mean that they don't use their brain to do their jobs and learn how to do it well. I'm not against higher education, and fully understand that it can be a great equalizer, but please I don't really need to understand the allegory of the cave in order to be an excellent nurse or doctor for that matter--maybe a teacher in literature or journalist or some sort of writer could benefit from it.

    Other industries fight and are lobbying congress to penalize corps that ship jobs over-seas by not giving them any tax breaks among other things. Whether its working or not time will tell, but at least these workers of those industries are focusing the blame where it belongs in terms of some of the reasons for them lost jobs in their fields. Our industry may not be sending jobs over-seas, but they are still giving up are jobs to over-seas by bringing nurses here to fill the nursing shortages here instead of hiring the nurses that are graduating from all these schools to meet the demand of the shortage.

    There is no need for these hospitals to insource tens of thousands of nurses from other countries when there are tens of thousands of nurses passing the NCLEX RN and PN that are looking for jobs.

  • Jun 16 '11

    administrative nonsense in hospitals, such as referring to patients as "customers", only serves to fuel the fire for the "customer's" sense of entitlement.

  • Jun 16 '11

    Welcome to the not-so-wonderful world of customer service.

    If a customer is being pushy toward the pilot on a major airline, the air marshall will keep the person in line or escort them off the plane before it even takes off. If a customer verbally abuses a bank teller, there's a good chance that security will ask the person to leave the premises. If a customer curses at or threatens the waitress at your local pancake restaurant, the manager might call the police. If rude patients and family members hover over the physician at his/her private practice, they will be made to leave.

    However, nurses are expected to suck it up and take it because our 'customers' are sick and not feeling at their best. This mentality is not right. I feel that abusive patients and demanding visitors need to be held accountable for their behaviors and actions.

  • Jun 15 '11

    The medical profession ebbs and flows with LPNs. Please stay strong! We need you. You are a very critical member of the healthcare team and it just takes us time to remember that. Health care facilities that phase out LPNs always regret their decisions and RNs beg to have LPNs back when they realize all that you do! You are front line staff! You know the patients! You know their meds, their treatments, their cares! We need you! And if one facility doesn't another one will be glad to have you. Find the facility that will treat you with the respect you deserve. You education and commitment to healthcare is commendable. STAY STRONG! YOU ARE NEEDED AND WANTED!:redpinkhe


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