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Joined Mar 14, '04 - from 'California, USA'. herring_RN is a retired registered nurse. She has '>40 years' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical'. Posts: 15,794 (72% Liked) Likes: 29,917

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  • Jul 25

    In the 1980s I read a newspaper article regarding a trial where a nurse sued a surgeon for $1.00.
    Nurses were quoted saying that the physician had thrown a scalpel into the wall more than once. Employees were actually afraid of him.
    They filled out incident reports, but he still yelled and threw thing regularly.

    The nurse and witnesses testified that the surgeon ordered a sterile packet opened. The wrong packet was opened. The surgeon yelled, "Stupid." and threw the empty plastic packet. It hit the nurse's nose. She sued for pain and suffering. 25 cents for each day it hurt. The judge ruled in her favor and ordered the surgeon to pay $10,000.00 in punitive damages in addition to the dollar she had sued for.

  • Jul 25

    We had a surgeon who often loudly berated nursing staff.
    We started calling a "Code Purple' when that happened. (There was no actual code purple at our facility)
    The unit secretary and other available staff would respond with clipboards documenting in real time what was said and done.
    Copies were provided to our nurse manager, medical director, and risk management.

    Twice it happened in front of a patient. One patient told me the following night that someone from "Customer relations" came to his room and asked about it and apologized for the doctor's behavior.

    The yelling, name calling, and insults stopped.

  • Jul 25

    The only reason for someone to be admitted to a hospital is for nursing care.

  • Jul 24

    The only reason for someone to be admitted to a hospital is for nursing care.

  • Jul 23

    In the 1980s I read a newspaper article regarding a trial where a nurse sued a surgeon for $1.00.
    Nurses were quoted saying that the physician had thrown a scalpel into the wall more than once. Employees were actually afraid of him.
    They filled out incident reports, but he still yelled and threw thing regularly.

    The nurse and witnesses testified that the surgeon ordered a sterile packet opened. The wrong packet was opened. The surgeon yelled, "Stupid." and threw the empty plastic packet. It hit the nurse's nose. She sued for pain and suffering. 25 cents for each day it hurt. The judge ruled in her favor and ordered the surgeon to pay $10,000.00 in punitive damages in addition to the dollar she had sued for.

  • Jul 23

    ... The National Labor Relations Board drew a firm line through one maneuver that has hamstrung union organizing in shops that employ “permatemps” and contract workers side by side with direct employees...
    ... For more than a decade, a union hoping to organize all those workers into a single bargaining unit had to get permission from each of the employers to do so — the ultimate “user” employer and the contract supplier...
    "Anyone familiar with the Act’s history might well wonder why employees must obtain the consent of their employers in order to bargain collectively." — NLRB majority in Miller & Anderson case
    Labor regulators strike another blow against employers shortchanging workers - LA Times

  • Jul 21

    In the 1980s I read a newspaper article regarding a trial where a nurse sued a surgeon for $1.00.
    Nurses were quoted saying that the physician had thrown a scalpel into the wall more than once. Employees were actually afraid of him.
    They filled out incident reports, but he still yelled and threw thing regularly.

    The nurse and witnesses testified that the surgeon ordered a sterile packet opened. The wrong packet was opened. The surgeon yelled, "Stupid." and threw the empty plastic packet. It hit the nurse's nose. She sued for pain and suffering. 25 cents for each day it hurt. The judge ruled in her favor and ordered the surgeon to pay $10,000.00 in punitive damages in addition to the dollar she had sued for.

  • Jul 21

    We had a surgeon who often loudly berated nursing staff.
    We started calling a "Code Purple' when that happened. (There was no actual code purple at our facility)
    The unit secretary and other available staff would respond with clipboards documenting in real time what was said and done.
    Copies were provided to our nurse manager, medical director, and risk management.

    Twice it happened in front of a patient. One patient told me the following night that someone from "Customer relations" came to his room and asked about it and apologized for the doctor's behavior.

    The yelling, name calling, and insults stopped.

  • Jul 19

    The only reason for someone to be admitted to a hospital is for nursing care.

  • Jul 17

    About single-payer national health insurance: Single-Payer National Health Insurance | Physicians for a National Health Program

    Key Features of Single-Payer
    • Universal, Comprehensive Coverage Only such coverage ensures access, avoids a two-class system, and minimizes expense
    • No out-of-pocket payments Co-payments and deductibles are barriers to access, administratively unwieldy, and unnecessary for cost containment
    • A single insurance plan in each region, administered by a public or quasi-public agency A fragmentary payment system that entrusts private firms with administration ensures the waste of billions of dollars on useless paper pushing and profits. Private insurance duplicating public coverage fosters two-class care and drives up costs; such duplication should be prohibited
    • Global operating budgets for hospitals, nursing homes, allowed group and staff model HMOs and other providers with separate allocation of capital funds Billing on a per-patient basis creates unnecessary administrative complexity and expense. A budget separate from operating expenses will be allowed for capital improvements
    • Free Choice of Providers Patients should be free to seek care from any licensed health care provider, without financial incentives or penalties
    • Public Accountability, Not Corporate Dictates The public has an absolute right to democratically set overall health policies and priorities, but medical decisions must be made by patients and providers rather than dictated from afar. Market mechanisms principally empower employers and insurance bureaucrats pursuing narrow financial interests
    • Ban on For-Profit Health Care Providers Profit seeking inevitably distorts care and diverts resources from patients to investors
    • Protection of the rights of health care and insurance workers A single-payer national health program would eliminate the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people who currently perform billing, advertising, eligibility determination, and other superfluous tasks. These workers must be guaranteed retraining and placement in meaningful jobs.

    from the American Journal of Public Health January 2003, Vol 93, No.1
    Key Features of Single-Payer | Physicians for a National Health Program
    Medicare For All | National Nurses United

  • Jul 12

    Quote from pmabraham
    Because being in a union offers ZERO guarantees of anything being better. So you have less in your paycheck to support those who may not be doing a single thing to make things better. And if they help bad employees stay employed, then they take a part of your pay to make life worse.
    If "bad" employees are kept it is due to incompetent management.
    A union contract generally requires that discipline, including termination, be for "Just Cause".

    The most extreme I read about in the paper was a hospital where employees were allowed to be late routinely because they traveled from another job. Also some took lunch breaks that took up almost half their shift:
    ... Some employees habitually fail to show up, logging weeks, even months, of unexcused absences each year. And those who do come to work often don't do their jobs, causing one consultant in 2002 to remark that they had "retired in place."
    Others are distracted or impaired. County Civil Service Commission filings tell of staff members grabbing and clawingeach other's necks; inspection reports tell of patients literally dying of neglect.
    Underfunding is a myth, but the squandering is real - LA Times
    The most extreme example I've been told about was a nurse who wanted to fight a termination after he was caught with narcotics in his socks. His fellow nurses were there when he refused to stay when the count came up short, ran, and was stopped by security.
    Because the union had to provide representation a rep attended the meeting and took notes as one after another witness reported the same.
    The union refused to go to arbitration, he threatened to sue. He was given a list of attorneys because he was also reported to the board. He never sued.

    I remember once I was asked to attend an arbitration at another facility. An RN had been terminated for rudeness.
    The manager had written her up once before for refusing to care for a patient in ICU and and four others on her telemetry unit. She had fought that because she was not competent to work in ICY and because it was physically in another nearby unit.
    Even though that nurse had prevailed the manager felt there had been progressive discipline.

    The "rudeness" consisted of an accusation that she had been rude to a patient. The assignment sheet did not include that patient.
    In report she was told the patient was discharged and just waiting for a ride. She was getting an admit from ER into that bed.

    About 7:20 pm she saw the patient in a wheelchair in the hallway. The secretary said no one had been able to contact his family to take him home. The nurse called both phone numbers and left a message. She bought him dinner from the cafeteria because he was no longer in the computer. She helped him to the bathroom.
    he then told the charge nurse who called the supervisor. She put her concern that her assignment was unsafe because her patient had no room and with him to care for she was assigned more patients than allowed by the ratio regulations. The supervisor said, "Do the best you can."

    About 10:30 pm she noticed the patient was gone. The secretary told her, "The daughter came and got him."

    She testified at the arbitration that she had told her manager that she had neither discharges the patient nor took him down to the car, but her manager accused her of lying.
    Plus he was no her patient because he had already been discharged.

    The daughter testified that the doctor had told her at 3:00 pm her father would stay another night. She went shopping. She didn't have a cell phone with her. When she got home she was surprised and angry with the message. She came to get her father and a nurse seemed to be in a hurry. She pushed him out to the car. That nurse was so rude she wouldn't answer any questions. After her father was in the car she asked, "Why is my father going home? The doctor told me tomorrow."
    She said, "That rude nurse just kept saying, "OK, Bye."

    When the union representative's turn came to question the daughter he said, "Do you know the name of the nurse?
    daughter, "Yes it is *****." (the name of the terminated nurse)
    Union rep, "Did you read her name tag?"
    Daughter, "No ***** told me her name." (gave name of terminated nurae)
    Union rep, "Would you recognize her if you see her?"
    Daughter, "Yes I would. I looked at her face and asked her questions and she just said, "OK. Bye"
    Union rep, "Is she here in this room?"
    The daughter looked at all us women. She made eye contact with me and the six other women at the table and against the wall. Then she said, "No. She is not here."

    The terminated RN began to cry. The arbitrator said, "I will reverse the termination. You will receive my written judgment in three days."

    The RN was crying. She asked her manager, "Why do you hate me?"

    The manager yelled, "Because you look like the woman my husband left me for."

    That was the most exciting arbitration.
    But although most are tedious and boring they are important sometimes when a nurse is terminated and there was no just cause.

  • Jul 10

    Management thinks nurses are an expense.
    Fact is that patients are hospitalized because they need nursing care.
    As soon as they no longer need nursing care they are discharged.
    All other care is available as an outpatient.

    The "product" of a hospital is nursing care.

  • Jul 8

    Information from two sources:

    Background on Pivotal Issue in Brigham and Women’s Hospital Talks: Safe Nurse Staffing for Critical Patients
    ...
    Inadequate nurse staffing is jeopardizing safe patient care. This is a key reason why Brigham nurses are willing to strike. They are fighting at the bargaining table for a restoration of nurse staffing in the area of the hospital where patients go to recover from lung transplants, heated chemotherapy and other serious thoracic procedures.

    Nurses who work in this unit have told the hospital twice now across the bargaining table that their patients are suffering.
    The nurses’ request is simple: Restore nurse staffing levels to what they were last year. The hospital has refused. Management has admitted, however, that following the recent departure of nurses from the thoracic step-down unit, they did not replace the nurses. This created a shortage of specialized thoracic nurses and endangered patient care.

    The hospital also admitted that instead of properly staffing the units, it moved nurses around the schedule, “smoothing” over a serious problem rather than addressing it properly. This is emblematic of a wider concern among Brigham nurses. Staffing is a problem in units throughout the hospital. For example, management consistently breaks the new intensive care unit law that limits nurses to one or, at the most, two ICU patients...
    Background on Pivotal Issue in Brigham and Women’s Hospital Talks: Safe Nurse Staffing for Critical Patients - News & Events - Massachusetts Nurses Association
    Brigham and Women's Hospital nurses to hold strike vote

    ... The nurses, who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, are asking for more comprehensive insurance, more paid time off, higher wages and more staff in the thoracic intermediate-care unit. The nurses say the hospital recently admitted to reducing staff in the unit during the day to make up for a shortage at night.

    The nurses claim the hospital offers fewer benefits to newly hired nurses and provides them with eight fewer days off per year and a health plan with higher premiums. The union also claims hospital administrators have said they'll hire 700 temporary nurses to provide patient care during a potential strike.

    Brigham and Women's Hospital did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon....
    - Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare business news, research, data and events7

  • Jul 2

    I first found ALLNURSES.COM on the 'Alta Vista' search engine when i got my first computer in 1998. My user name was 'spacenurse'.
    In 2004 I changed my user name and got a new join date.

    From the start I found colleagues away from work to discuss all types of nursing issues with.

    I have learned so much clinical and professional information and perspective on thinking about issues here.
    I never mind writing posts to answer a question. If the poster who asked doesn't read it someone else may.

    In 2003 the "Current Events" and another thread were started. They became the "Break Room". I enjoy joking, sharing, and discussing non nursing topics with fellow nurses.

    I keep coming back because there is always something I enjoy or learn from here.

  • Jun 23

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