Angry Nurse - page 6

I am wondering if this has happened to any of you.... I got "talked to" by my Assistant Nurse Manager (charge nurse) because of an incident with a patient. My patient asked for some water, and I went... Read More

  1. Visit  pickledpepperRN profile page
    0
    There is no logic in making nurses accountable for the nursing care without the means to provide that care. Nursing administrators as the heads of the most important department in the hospital should have the authority and budget to provide the staffing and equipment it takes to ensure quality care. They are accountable to the patient as nurses, but to the bottom line as management. VERY wrong!
    Most if not all states require the nursing department to be headed by an RN. They need to organize as a professional group and insist they be given what is needed to de the job they are hired to do.

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  2. Visit  OC_An Khe profile page
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    First, Happy thanksgiving to all the posters on these boards. You have all provided interesting lines of thought. In most hospitals even the VP of nursing have their hands tied by the bean counters. Until the bean counters realize that there are taking enormous financial risks by not providing adequate resources for nursing nothing will change. Nothing destroys the reputation of a hospital faster then the patients perception of inadequate nursing care. Additionally that hospital becomes the employer of last resort among the RN's. The hospital has fewer RN's and can't recruit enough RN's to meet patient needs. Eventually patient go elsewhere. Risk managers can help but its the CEO and the Board of Directors that really need to know our concerns. If they are not responsive (and a lot aren't) then the public neds to be made aware.
  3. Visit  JenAZ profile page
    1
    Something interesting happened recently in Kansas. The family of a patient sued a hospital for "understaffing." The patient began to have respiratory difficulty, the family tried to find a nurse and couldn't. The patient ended up having a stroke and suffered significant brain damage. The family discovered how understaffed the unit was, and won the lawsuit. I think it is one of the first lawsuits over staffing initiated by a patient.
    Anyway, I disagree with the poster who said lawsuits against the hospital can lead to even worse understaffing, or loss of jobs. Just the opposite!! This particular hospital is a "for-profit" institution, and since the lawsuit, has increased the base pay for nursing staff by $2!! It is also aggressively recruiting new nurses by offering bonuses. These hospitals can afford to shell out for the first lawsuit, but certainly don't want to open the door to more by cutting staff further!!
    As for the ethical implications of telling patients about staffing problems, I don't know. I have been asked by patients and their families how many patients I have, and I have always told them, but I don't know if that means anything to someone who doesn't know exactly what the job entails. Instead of saying "We're understaffed," we say things like "we're REALLY busy tonight," or "we have ALOT of patients on the unit tonight."
    I think it will take many more lawsuits by families and patients directly related to staffing issues before any change will happen. The public does need to be educated about the problem, perhaps through the media. I'm sick of hospitals crying "Nursing Shortage" as if there are NO nurses. The only shortage there is is a shortage of smart people willing to work in a situation where their license is on the line everyday, and where they can't do what they have trained for years to do (help people heal) because they're too busy with paperwork and trying to make sure that everybody ELSE is doing their job! Until hospitals change their ways, they can expect to lose staff and get sued on a regular basis! Ahhh, I could go on FOREVER on this subject, so I better shut up now!! Good luck to everybody!
    Jenny


    [This message has been edited by JenAZ (edited November 25, 2000).]
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  4. Visit  OC_An Khe profile page
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    There is a belief that there isn't a RN shortage. Many believe this, especially admin types. They believe there are plenty of RN's out there but that they do not want to work. Gee I wonder why they don't want to work in a field where they get little respect ,virtually no recognition and as to rewards....
  5. Visit  CHPN1680 profile page
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    As nursing professionals, it is our duty to put the patient's well-being first. I can't see any benefit to the patient in telling them that you are short staffed. It just creates more anxiety and concern. The correct and professional way to deal with the situation is the apologize for the delay stating that you had an urgent matter to take care of for another patient. If the patient/family is not satisfied, you can cetainly direct them to the appropriate supervisory person who can handle it from there. Then, you just have to let it go. There will always be difficult families and patients. It comes with the territory.

    The stress involved in being a nurse is tremendous these days. It is the reason that more people are leaving the profession than are entering it. This is scary as more people are needing care and there are less of us to give it.

    I hear repeated themes of blame on "Administration" for staffing problems. I think that we all need to realize that the causes of the nursing shortage reach far beyond our local "Administrations". They are only a part of the problem.
    The staff shortage in nursing is now affecting most parts of the country. It is not new and it is not going away anytime soon. What I have not been hearing from nurses are possible solutions to solve the staffing problems. We can complain all we want, but what about being proactive? Have you written any letters to your local, state and federal political representatives lately?
    Have you been involved in any nursing organizations that are advocating for our profession?
    We all need a place to vent our frustrations and discuss the problems arising from this crisis. Let us also be part of a process that can lead to solutions.



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    BOBL
  6. Visit  OC_An Khe profile page
    1
    Originally posted by BobL:
    As nursing professionals, it is our duty to put the patient's well-being first. I can't see any benefit to the patient in telling them that you are short staffed. It just creates more anxiety and concern. The correct and professional way to deal with the situation is the apologize for the delay stating that you had an urgent matter to take care of for another patient. If the patient/family is not satisfied, you can cetainly direct them to the appropriate supervisory person who can handle it from there. Then, you just have to let it go. There will always be difficult families and patients. It comes with the territory.

    The stress involved in being a nurse is tremendous these days. It is the reason that more people are leaving the profession than are entering it. This is scary as more people are needing care and there are less of us to give it.

    I hear repeated themes of blame on "Administration" for staffing problems. I think that we all need to realize that the causes of the nursing shortage reach far beyond our local "Administrations". They are only a part of the problem.
    The staff shortage in nursing is now affecting most parts of the country. It is not new and it is not going away anytime soon. What I have not been hearing from nurses are possible solutions to solve the staffing problems. We can complain all we want, but what about being proactive? Have you written any letters to your local, state and federal political representatives lately?
    Have you been involved in any nursing organizations that are advocating for our profession?
    We all need a place to vent our frustrations and discuss the problems arising from this crisis. Let us also be part of a process that can lead to solutions.

    I agree with most of whatyou said in the above post. Particularly about being involved and active in the solution.
    Yes the local facility is pressurred by managed care et. al but that dosn't mean that they have no responsibility. The local administrators (all, not just nursing) set priorities on how the institution will spend and invest it capital. Nursing and patient care seem always to be at the bottom of the list. It's a cost center you know and doesn't generate any revenue. If I can have one nurse take care of 10 patients instead of 6 I have just increased my profit on that group of patients by 40%, and the Nurse isn't going to get any of it. Not even a thank you. So much for rewardand recognition, as to respect well...

    [This message has been edited by ocankhe (edited November 26, 2000).]
    lisaannjamRN likes this.
  7. Visit  041975 profile page
    0
    Originally posted by goldilocksrn:
    I am wondering if this has happened to any of you.... I got "talked to" by my Assistant Nurse Manager (charge nurse) because of an incident with a patient. My patient asked for some water, and I went to get it, but on the way to the kitchen, got stopped by another family member stating my one of my other patients had CP. After 30 minutes, I took my patient her water, only to find out her son called community relations saying that his mother was ignored. I apologized, saying that we were short staffed that day, that I had an emergency to attend to. He said there was no excuse for his mother not getting water. Anyway, I got "talked to" because I was not supposed to tell patients and family members that we are short staffed. What am I supposed to tell them, that I a retard? Why do they think that nurses should take all the blame? What do you think?
  8. Visit  041975 profile page
    0
    HI, I totally understand where you are coming from. It is very frustrating when we can't get to our patient's needs as soon as possible. It might not be okay to tell patient's and their families that we were short staffed but sometimes I wonder if you make them aware of what is going on in the hospitals that they might have some influence. If they are aware of short staffing problems they should start getting concerned and they need to take an effort and start writing letters to the hospital administration to let them know of the concerns of patients not being taken care of like they should be. It might have some influence on the hospital. I feel community invovlement could make a difference.
    Originally posted by goldilocksrn:
    I am wondering if this has happened to any of you.... I got "talked to" by my Assistant Nurse Manager (charge nurse) because of an incident with a patient. My patient asked for some water, and I went to get it, but on the way to the kitchen, got stopped by another family member stating my one of my other patients had CP. After 30 minutes, I took my patient her water, only to find out her son called community relations saying that his mother was ignored. I apologized, saying that we were short staffed that day, that I had an emergency to attend to. He said there was no excuse for his mother not getting water. Anyway, I got "talked to" because I was not supposed to tell patients and family members that we are short staffed. What am I supposed to tell them, that I a retard? Why do they think that nurses should take all the blame? What do you think?
  9. Visit  moOHIO profile page
    0
    Originally posted by goldilocksrn:
    I am wondering if this has happened to any of you.... I got "talked to" by my Assistant Nurse Manager (charge nurse) because of an incident with a patient. My patient asked for some water, and I went to get it, but on the way to the kitchen, got stopped by another family member stating my one of my other patients had CP. After 30 minutes, I took my patient her water, only to find out her son called community relations saying that his mother was ignored. I apologized, saying that we were short staffed that day, that I had an emergency to attend to. He said there was no excuse for his mother not getting water. Anyway, I got "talked to" because I was not supposed to tell patients and family members that we are short staffed. What am I supposed to tell them, that I a retard? Why do they think that nurses should take all the blame? What do you think?
    I would like to respond to this problem, because I feel that it reaches other issues that nurses need to deal with in addition to the nursing shortage.
    Although I sympathize with your situation, fueling the patient's "fire" is counterproductive. The nursing shortage has been widely publicized, yet, we continue to deal with it in less than effective ways. Complaining to patients about it will only achieve minimal results- most of them will not be able to assist us with this problem.
    This is something we're going to have to deal with ourselves.
    Unfortunately, nurses are not educated and socialized as part of a dominant professional culture, as I was in law school. No lawyer I know would tolerate the disrespect for their authority that most staff nurses put up with everyday. Let's face it, we are still predominantly a women's profession and acting authoritatively just isn't a part of our nature. We don't demand that people respect our authority when they are admitted. That is saved for the physician, and we are second-class. I think that once we begin to behave as authority figures within our institutions, we will generate the respect that the profession deserves. And nurse managers had better start to support that if they expect to keep their units staffed AT ALL. We need to let people know what OUR expectations of them are.
    Don't be afraid of asserting yourself, there is no excuse for the rude comments and actions of this patient's family. Try stating THAT to them next time, and then, kindly direct them to get their own water from now on. Good Luck!

    moOHIO
  10. Visit  mustangsheba profile page
    0
    Hope you all had a great TG. I should be on the treadmill as we speak. Have to put my 2 cents worth in. I think incident reports with copies to everyone, including maybe the Governor, are an excellent idea. The problem is by the end of a shift from hell, most of us can't wait to get our weary bodies out of the door and the thought of spending another half hour doing yet more paper work is about as appealing as a high colonic. If we made out an IR each and every time there was a problem related to understaffing, with copies to everyone, I believe it would leave a very impressive paper trail. And if, at the end of each week, we sent just the NUMBER (the vast number!) of these reports to someone in power, or a bunch of someones, like the hospital administrators, the Governor, 60 minutes, if we made a commitment to do this for as little as a month, we would might even surprise ourselves. There is not a real shortage of nurses as we all know. There is just a shortage of nurses who are willing to subject themselves to the worsening conditions under which we work with no real relief in sight. I think most patients know that hospitals are understaffed. Many are reluctant to use their call lights in a timely manner because they don't want to bother us. It's those squeaky wheels that give us fodder for our burn outs. The ongoing interest and response to the original post sure tells us something, doesn't it? Maybe we'll come up with a real plan. Let's be creative.
  11. Visit  Youda profile page
    0
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by goldilocksrn:
    [B] I am wondering if this has happened to any of you....

    Of course this has happened to most of us! You aren't alone in your frustration and anger. There is a constant balance between providing good patient care and codifying administration. Management vs. the humble worker is an age-old problem in any profession.

    My advice to you is that if you are ever in a similar position (and sooner or later you will be), to apologize for not getting back in a timely fashion. I don't believe in offering excuses or reasons. I don't feel that I should have to explain to anyone when I am being pulled in too many directions at the same time. If the "customer" (and let's get real here -- this isn't a "customer" this is a PATIENT), becomes dissatisfied with the "service" they are "purchasing," then they can get their excuses and explanations from the management that put you in that position in the first place! And, if that "explanation" even hints of them suggesting incompetence or lack of support for you, then you need to find a new employer FAST! You don't want to be there if something more serious comes up.

    As for you and how you handle it, remember that YOUR first priority is to protect your own license, which is the same thing as giving good patient care. You must prioritize and go to the most critical need at that moment. Consider for a moment the complaint that you'd have received if you had been wandering the hall with ice water instead of tending to the more important matter first! That complaint would have been far worse for you than a "politically incorrect" statement about staffing!

    And, finally, if you can't live within the expectations of your facility, find another job. You can walk away knowing that you have your license intact and that you gave good care and made sound nursing judgments. We just don't have to be put-down and misused. It is precisely the "shortage" that allows you to pick and choose your employer. If your nurse manager/management/facility can't treat you with respect, then get out of there FAST!
  12. Visit  fergus51 profile page
    0
    BobL,
    I couldn't disagree with you more. I do believe that a nurse's first obligation is to his/her patient, but the only way to meet that responsibility is to have a reasonable workload.

    We can't be SuperNurse and do everything we'd like to when we have to take care of WAY too many patients, and the only way hospitals will improve staffing levels is if PATIENTS complain. The nurses at our hospial in the ICU were demanding more staff for AGES and got nothing. The first patient's family who threatenned a lawsuit (one member of the family happened to be a doctor) and presto, management decided we needed more nurses. Gee, thanks administrators, why didn't we think of that?
  13. Visit  cinny071 profile page
    0
    Originally posted by fergus51:
    BobL,
    I couldn't disagree with you more. I do believe that a nurse's first obligation is to his/her patient, but the only way to meet that responsibility is to have a reasonable workload.

    We can't be SuperNurse and do everything we'd like to when we have to take care of WAY too many patients, and the only way hospitals will improve staffing levels is if PATIENTS complain. The nurses at our hospial in the ICU were demanding more staff for AGES and got nothing. The first patient's family who threatenned a lawsuit (one member of the family happened to be a doctor) and presto, management decided we needed more nurses. Gee, thanks administrators, why didn't we think of that?


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