Ageism in Nursing: A Pervasive Problem - page 4

by VickyRN 14,959 Views | 50 Comments Senior Moderator

Mary stewart, age 62, has worked as a registered nurse on the postpartum unit for the past quarter century. She began her long career in nursing in 1972, with her graduation from a nursing diploma program. Mary is capable,... Read More


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    needless to say, i truly feel for all of the "mary's" that are confronting this type of injustice, my heart goes out to them...aloha~
    lamazeteacher, lindarn, and VickyRN like this.
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    JZ_RN, you make excellent points. "If you're new, go to Hell. If you're old, go to Hell." Well said!

    I'm an older nurse and I love new grads and younger nurses! They are our future and we should treasure and support them. Believe it or not, there are actually times when I'm able to help them with the ins/outs of our electronic healthcare records system and I'm happy to do it.

    But there are some nurses who do "eat our young," and it's a sad situation. There is also a minority who are hostile to older nurses, just assuming that they're going to be rigid and judgmental. Stereotyping is the enemy in both situations.

    I've also encountered patients who don't trust older nurses, younger nurses and/or minority nurses. They only want nurses who look like cable's "Nurse Jackie." And we all know her story! Again -- stereotypes.

    Hang in there. We need you.
    lamazeteacher, lou12, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
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    I don't know how unique my position is - New grad and 52 years old. I thought once my kids got older, I would finally get the chance to have my dream job! With no job prospects after my ADN in 2010, I enrolled in an RN-BSN program, hoping it would make a hiring difference in this tuff economy. All the younger grads from my ADN class have been hired. I'm smart and talented, but I haven't worked outside the home for 27 years, only volunteer hours and some self-employed home health care. My prospect for bankruptcy is looming as my credit cards and student loans have increased while obtaining my BSN this year. Not hiring an older person for insurance reasons is ridiculous. I can't tell you how many of the younger nurses I graduated with have had a baby since getting hired! I now have an empty nest as my two youngest kids move away for college this month. California does not have a nursing shortage! Any advise is welcomed...
    lamazeteacher and lindarn like this.
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    Quote from RNstrong
    I don't know how unique my position is - New grad and 52 years old. I thought once my kids got older, I would finally get the chance to have my dream job! With no job prospects after my ADN in 2010, I enrolled in an RN-BSN program, hoping it would make a hiring difference in this tuff economy. All the younger grads from my ADN class have been hired. I'm smart and talented, but I haven't worked outside the home for 27 years, only volunteer hours and some self-employed home health care. My prospect for bankruptcy is looming as my credit cards and student loans have increased while obtaining my BSN this year. Not hiring an older person for insurance reasons is ridiculous. I can't tell you how many of the younger nurses I graduated with have had a baby since getting hired! I now have an empty nest as my two youngest kids move away for college this month. California does not have a nursing shortage! Any advise is welcomed...
    FOr the most part...there is no nursing shortage nation wide. You are not alone.

    http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...ge-752411.html
    lindarn likes this.
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    I can't agree with your article. I have worked with and still do so several great older nurses who are incrediable people who are extremely knowlagable and hard working, and I wouldn't rather work with anyone else,
    but in the past I have also worked with some older nurses who fit into the sterotypes listed in the first post.

    I felt your post implied that ALL older nurses are wonderful people that should be cherished and idolized and that just isn't true.
    There are are jackasses in all age groups, and frankly, there are just as many lazy, rude and worthless older nurses as there are younger nurses who are lazy rude and worthless.

    Respect is earned, not just given because someone young OR old feels intitled to it.
    Last edit by cjames on Jul 5, '12
    marymary, lindarn, and JZ_RN like this.
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    You certainly saw the issues I faced, almost 20 years ago, Vicky.

    However the bottom line reason for the disregard of laws against prejudice due to age, is - what else?- money! The health insurance companies began charging hugely excessive premiums for employees who were over 55 years of age, over 20 years ago. That's when I got hazed for a minor occurrence that was fabricated, and I was fired.

    Not one to be stopped by that, I got 8 good positions subsequently over the following decade. I hadn't lost any job before, but at each position I got, I received the same inexplicable loss of my job, when my age was discovered (usually by a requirement that I include my birth date on an application for health insurance).

    The last job I had was at Blue Cross/ Blue Shield /Anthem /Wellpoint. The treatment I received there was ludicrous. They wanted me to fill in their application for health insurance, despite my objection, saying that I was covered already (by Medicare). When they said that I had to do it or leave, I sent it in with all the information provided, except my year of birth. The form was sent back to me with the demand that I complete my birth date. An hour after I complied, someone at "Administration" called me to say that I must go to security for another ID badge photo, which would have my (full) birthdate typed under it, as I didn't look my age!

    Someone must have discovered that action, and when I returned from having the photo taken, I was told that I was fired, and my supervisor asked me to write my own letter of termination..... I said I would only write a letter saying I quit. I did that, and upon seeing it, the supervisor looked like he'd fire me again, if he could. I refused to retract it. I'd used up the unemployment payments to which I was entitled, by then.

    The last insult to my well being, is that the poverty level wasn't raised when social security payments received the recent "cost of living" increase. Now, all those who previously qualified for medicaid/ medi-cal due to their low incomes, is considered above the poverty level, and not qualified for programs in which they were before that. So I couldn't get any additional coverage or the coverage I'd been provided for my medications. Without those, I will die before I would have if I could have the medications. That ridiculous situation will still be there when the ACA is fully in place. So now noncompliance is added to the sin of being old.

    All of you will be subjected to what I experienced, if Romney achieves his (the Republican Party's) purchase of the Presidency! Getting this medical program took over 50 years. Can you wait that long after the ACA is abolished if this happens, and efforts to redo it go to committee after committee, and is rejected over and over again??
    lindarn likes this.
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    Does any of my fellow older nurses reading this thread know of any areas of nursing that would be more receptive to older nurses or which areas of nursing that are predominantly older nurses, more or less our domain?

    Does any of these younger nursing"professionals" or the administrative power that be( CEO's, DON's) reading this thread have a problem with an older nurse having to grapple with whether or not one is poverty level or not, like the poster above. That is a disgrace, that should not be- what is wrong with 'Nursing'? It's time "Nursing" as a "Profession" took a step back and did some "Reflective" analysis of itself( since Nursing like to throw around trendy catch phrases. which I question do they really know their meaning)! And start critically thinking about it's Nursing doctrine/theory/discipline and taking stock into "is Nursing really emulating it's own teachings, fundamentals and ethics", "Nursing is supposed to make attempts to intervene into a patient at the poverty level- the homeless, vulnerable populations( do I really need to spell our what they are for the CEO's and DON's) and set that patient up with appropriate resources- social service, case managment, but refuse and are blind and dumb when it comes to Nursings own"?? I don't get the hypocracy and blatent stupididy,failure aka neglegence on the part of those in those positions.
    Nursing ( nurses) are to apply nursing knowledge to a patient in poverty or on the verge of while in the hospital bed- no money for medication, homeless, no transportation on dischage, which should prompt a social service or case managment referral. And we all go home at the end of shift feeling we did our good job. Public health/community health/home health goes out to the patient on home visits to make sure the patient is able to utilize the tools( a nursing trendy catch phase again) set up for them- the access to care and assist in over coming barriers. But it seems Nursing can not "conceptualize"( another trendy nursing catch phrase) and apply these same principals to it's own members! What's wrong with that picture?? This is why I question of Nursing administrations should not have their Nursing licenses taken from them- they fail to apply the nursing prinicpals to thoses not wearing the patient ID- other nurses. There is an impedment to their nursing judgement- the parasitic relationship and emeshment of money driven doctrine( pretty name=business) clouding prudent nursing judgement and ethics of their Nursing Practice act "Do No harm". CEO's have a responsiblity in this also- they are collecting big bucks for poor job performance and are capable of knowing better( no matter what the educational backround) but choose not to- malpractice.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 8, '12
    lindarn and RNstrong like this.
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    Quote from lamazeteacher
    All of you will be subjected to what I experienced, if Romney achieves his (the Republican Party's) purchase of the Presidency! Getting this medical program took over 50 years. Can you wait that long after the ACA is abolished if this happens, and efforts to redo it go to committee after committee, and is rejected over and over again??
    Ummm... You think a company fires an older employee because of insurance costs? I don't suppose you considered the fact that they pay a group rate based on the number of employees, not how old you are. If your line of thinking made sense no company would hire a female between the ages of 18-30 because about 95% of them will be having babies during that time.

    Let me see if I got this right, you were fired by a company due to your age, and after that found 8 more companies willing to hire you because they didn't know your age, or a close approximation? Was there no interview process with these 8 other companies? These 8 companies then subsequently fired you when they discovered your age? Sounds like perhaps there may have been other factors in play with that.

    Before you start singing the praises of the ACA I suggest you wait until it goes fully in effect in 2016, and see what happens. Unless you think Obama is the first US President in history that is not a lying politician. Based on the past 3 1/2 years that would be hard to believe.
    DroogieRN likes this.
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    ACA goes into in effect in 2014. It states all will have/ obtain health insurance based in ones ability to pay/income. Sliding scale fees, in effect mostly now. What's not to understand

    If one can afford the full policy rate based on ones income. Then that is what one will pay. Will need paystubs as proof.

    State exchanges will be set up- some states already have these exchanges in place. Insurance companies - Blue Cross/BlueSheild( called: MHP of what ever state), United healthcare( calls it: community and state), Americhoice( I am not familar with their "brand'). These are HMO's or managed cares. And based on where you fit in income wise- that is the company you are 'assigned' to.

    These policies are given at a discounted rate based on ones ability to pay; need a paystub as proof of income or lack of.. If a patient is unemployed and collects unemployment, need the unemplyment stub as proof, they are paying a discounted insurance premimum fee based on their unemployment income( a sliding scale)- could be $50/month could be $100/mo etc. there are co-pays: again based on the patient's income- $10/visit to primary, $20/visit etc. If the patient is working a minimum wage job or any job, which is what is happening now( many people are taking any job they can find, are overqualified for the jobs they found and are working and it pays more than unemployment and were part of the unemployment numbers), where no insurance/health benefits are offered- they too qualify for this. I believe employers, through the ACA, are being given incentives to participate in offering employees in these jobs health care bene's, in the form of being participants in the reduced rate plans. Bottom line: Less of a drain on the states charity care and medicaid because that is the other alternative if no ACA.

    Here is where my skeptism comes in- but it is not with the ACA, it is with the insurance companies. If these insurance companies can afford( and profit) to offer discounted insurance plans/ why have they, in the past and continue to charge other individuals a higher rate. How about, that is called the amounts of profit margin in the insurance industry!! These insurance rates have been negotiable for YEARS, long before ACA! This is not new with the ACA. When a patient with example BC/BS is hospitalized, the hospital contracts/negotiates with the insurance company to reimburse at set rate. That insurance company still makes a profit or they wouldn't do it!!

    If one doesn't qualify and can not afford any of the above plans- They can go to the "free clinics either public health or hospital owned, or at a private community based health center/ clinic. If they go to the private owned CBHC- they are "self Pay"- they go to the primary and are self pay/out of pocket. The fee for the visit is determined based on what the patient can pay for that visit- could be $10; could be $60.

    If they need to go to the hospital then it's charity care- which is a state fund, and an account set up for a patient at a certain hospital, meaning: that patient has met with the financial councelors at Hospital A, if that patient has charity care set up at hospital A, then if that patient 'needs' to go to the hospital, that patient goes to hospital A not hospital B. An active MI needs to go to the hospital- they go to hospital A where their account is set up. 'Needs to go" is not an 'elective' knee replacement does not "need" to go to the hospital/surgery. Charity care will not pay for the elective hospitalization or the surgery.

    Medicaid one must qualify for. it is my understanding that if an adult qualifies for medicaid- that patient will only receive medicaid for 5 years. and then they are dropped if they do not requalify. Children are different- the state has Children's funding(CHIPS) in place up until the child is 18yr old.

    IMHO, ACA is a way to control, if not stop, the price goughing by the insurance companies and those astronomical premiums that have priced people out of health care. If the insurance companies can afford to offer lower cost plans now with ACA( ordered by law), what the h*** were they doing all these years??? Why were so many people in this country without insurance, neglected their health until it was so bad they needed the expensive ED, thus admissions to ICU or were running to the ED for garbage complaints!!! I think ACA is the axe that feel on these big profits and people dying and mamed needless in the name of money.
    Check out the federal Dept of Health and Human Services website: i think i read that people who paid those higher premium rates will be receiving a rebate.
    ACA has other issues addressed: can not drop for chronic disease states, charging or denials for pre exisitng, college age kids on parents policies until age 26.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 8, '12 : Reason: more info
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from kcmylorn
    When a patient with example BC/BS is hospitalized, the hospital contracts/negotiates with the insurance company to reimburse at set rate. That insurance company still makes a profit or they wouldn't do it!!
    You have this backwards... If the hospitals and doctors accept lower payments that helps the ins. companies save money. The hospitals are getting less money. The hospitals make it up in volume.

    When ins. companies are forced to lower their rates they will be subsidized by the govt. This is why so many talk about the US not being able to afford this law. Part of the subsidization will come from the $500 Billion dollars that will be taken out of Medicare.The rest will not be paid solely by those that choose to pay the fine rather than get insurance.They are estimating only 1% of Americans will choose that option.


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