Dozens of nurses at Northern California hospital balk at wearing locators - page 8

About two dozen nurses at Eden Medical Center near San Jose, Calif., have turned in the personal locator devices the hospital had required them to wear. The hospital contends the devices help provide... Read More

  1. by   live4today
    I would NEVER work where I had to wear a "tracker". I am NOT an animal! SOME hospital authority figures have gone completely MAD!:angryfire
  2. by   BamaBound2bRN
    Well, this is obviously a no win argument. I just wished there were some admins. or DON's to give their perspectives. Technology has always had an evil twin for those that want to abuse it, but I believe that for every abuse there are scores of righteous uses for new technology, and to blindly lump all administrators as "Big Brother" is as demeaning as calling all nurses "Catty".
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from BamaBound2bRN
    Well, this is obviously a no win argument. I just wished there were some admins. or DON's to give their perspectives. Technology has always had an evil twin for those that want to abuse it, but I believe that for every abuse there are scores of righteous uses for new technology, and to blindly lump all administrators as "Big Brother" is as demeaning as calling all nurses "Catty".
    Let's be clear - not all administrators - just administrators that think so low of nurses that they would install this system.

    If you install a 'big brother' system in your hospital, it's not unreasonable for me to express concerns that you are a 'big brother administrator'.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 26, '05
  4. by   rstewart
    [quote=bamabound2brn]
    Quote from rstewart
    well if that is your argument i would suppose that you would have no problem with law enforcement randomly entering and searching your residence and those of your neighbors tonight. in fact what good reason is there for the fourth amendment since "if ya ain't got nothin" to hide......?"

    well, since you brought up the fourth am. lets put it into perspective. the fourth am. does not guarantee no search, just unreasonable. if you are going through an airport security screening for example, or a search of your immediate surroundings during a traffic stop. these are different than coming into your home. most retailers require some sort of package check or clear plastic purses for their employers. but as a matter of fact, i don't have anything to hide and if the local police, sheriff, or even the fbi wanted to search my home, go for it! it sounds to me like there are some unhappy workers who really believe it is an "us against them" mentality with management, and if your situation is that bad, why not quit?

    let's not put up fallacious straw-man arguments to knock down; nobody said that the fourth amendment guaranteed freedom from all searches.

    nor did you need to provide a laundry list of an ever broadening definition of "reasonable"; those of us who value freedom are well aware of the erosion of civil liberties/the intrusion of government. your willingness to hand over your freedom to the local police , sheriff and the fbi amazes me; but please do not expect me to do the same.

    after listening to a "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear" argument with respect to the fourth amendment, why am i not surprised to see an "america love it or leave it" argument with respect to the matter under discussion?
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Another point is that this is a liability issue for nurses. If you are sued along with the hospital, that hospital has a mountain of data on your work habits.

    All the hospital has to do is prove that your actions violated policy or are outside the bounds of a 'prudent' nurse. Your umbrella protection under the hospital falls apart at that point.

    With weeks, months, or years of data on you, you don't think the hospital can find the time when you were sick and in the bathroom 5 times in 1 shift? You don't think that corporate lawyers can't manipulate raw data into a 'report' that points blame for the lawsuit, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the plaintiff's dirty laundry as squarely your fault?

    But I'm being paranoid of management. Of course they have no ulterior motives in tracking nurses.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  6. by   DrEdwina
    Quote from caroladybelle
    So how about locators on the MDs?

    On the Suits?

    On the CEO's?

    What, aren't they important too?
    Hospitals, Clinics and Agencies would save a lot of money if they did use locators on MD's. It would be interesting where their locations may reveal.
  7. by   jmgrn65
    Ok we have used the locaters for many years, most of the smaller units like ICU's don't wear them cause you are easier found. I have never heard of it being used as a method to know how long it takes you to complete a task, time spent in a room etc. As far as I know it is just so that a nurse, cna or unit clerk can look and find the individual, they are seeking. It does not pick up while you are in the bathroom or off the unit, unless you are on another unit. they are only on units not lab, cafe, offices etc.
    Some of the posts i have read seem very far fetched, what I don't understand is one of the posters, has the locaters, pager and a cell phone a little overkill.
    the major complaint I have is when someone finds you in a patients room and they call you in there, if the patient is resting they aren't any more, and they can do all page so it calls in all rooms and that wakes patients up.
    It is convience.
  8. by   BamaBound2bRN
    Some of the posts i have read seem very far fetched
    Thank you to someone who has actual experience And considering some of the personal e-mails I have received on this "PARANOIA" was an understatement!
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I don't think I'm being overly paranoid. Why on earth would you install a system with tracking features if you had no intention of using them? Especially since that is the primary function of the system - finding your co-workers is as simple as having a cell phone on vibrate and much less intrusive to care. And turning off the call light automatically is just a gimmick.

    Why would you install such a system? Because it's major selling point is increasing efficiency by tweaking the productivity of your staff. That is exactly how it is advertised to hospitals.

    Look, I'm not saying that hospital administrations stay up late at night trying to figure out ways to 'get the nurses'. What I'm saying is that an administration that would install this system either doesn't care or doesn't understand their nurses and the powerful assets we are.

    All but one of the examples I've given (the potential for lawsuit finger pointing) are examples of abuses of this system actually used by administrators. I've seen them myself, read about them in credible media reports (see the article that started this thread), or have been told about them firsthand by my current co-workers that were subject to these abuses in the past.

    It's not enough to say that an administrator certainly wouldn't use these features. Simply arming themselves with the capability is cause enough for concern. The hospital I left over this system was part of a corporation and local management answered my complaints by saying that it was being installed by corporate and that local management had no say in the matter - but they didn't want and wouldn't use the tracking features. I said, fine, I can accept that - just put that in writing. They flatly refused at that point, "Nurses don't dictate policy."

    I didn't leave because I was worried about being watched. I left because that system is demeaning and unprofessional. Ultimately, however nefarious or innocent that system might be, installing it sends an overt message about just how poorly management thinks of nurses. And I just can't work for somebody that so undervalues the contributions of their nurses.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  10. by   rstewart
    Quote from BamaBound2bRN
    Thank you to someone who has actual experience And considering some of the personal e-mails I have received on this "PARANOIA" was an understatement!
    You know Bama, human beings are rather unique members of the animal kingdom; because of our verbal abilities we need not directly experience events to know that they are noxious or dangerous.
  11. by   BamaBound2bRN
    Quote from rstewart
    You know Bama, human beings are rather unique members of the animal kingdom; because of our verbal abilities we need not directly experience events to know that they are noxious or dangerous.
    Yes, I believe that same comment was said to Columbus, followed by "The World is Flat." I also thought that all sides of an argument must be presented for reasonable people to honestly debate issues? All I am asking is, 1) that people who actually are using the system to give me an input, and 2) don't lump ALL administrators into the "Big Brother" group.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    ZASHAGALKA Thank you!

    They just started this where I occasionally work registry. The sewcretary keeps track of who is wearing which one. If the call light is not answered in two minutes the charge nurse is notified.
    I was on a tele unit but an oncology nurse asked, "Could this be a cancer risk?"

    For me, I'm not going there again. My meal break was interrupted.
  13. by   rstewart
    Quote from bamabound2brn
    yes, i believe that same comment was said to columbus, followed by "the world is flat." i also thought that all sides of an argument must be presented for reasonable people to honestly debate issues? all i am asking is, 1) that people who actually are using the system to give me an input, and 2) don't lump all administrators into the "big brother" group.

    when you hear hoof beats, first think horses not zebras.
    the devices we are discussing are called tracking devices. they are marketed as a means to increase productivity and efficiency. infinately less expensive alternatives exist to contact/locate nurses or to request help (call light systems, pagers, standard cell phones etc) but those devices do not offer timed tracking logs; indeed they are not unlike the devices used to monitor criminals on house arrest.

    now then. you might argue spacenurse's temporary employer purchased their tracking system because of their concern that nurses are not properly compensated for meal breaks which have been interrupted. on the other hand i note that her supervisor is notified if she doesn't answer her call light in a prescribed time period. two explanations for a massive capital outlay, but which is the most likely, the most reasonable motivation for the employer?

    and nobody said that all administrators have become big brother; but those who purchase electronic systems which log an employee's location minute by minute, even if we assume benevelent motives-------if that doesn't fairly exemplify big brotherism what would?

    there is really nothing to debate. employers and employees alike know what tracking devices do-----they track. some employees may feel that the devices are harmless. others may feel that the devices are demeaning, dehumanizing and a blatent invasion of privacy (despite the legal rulings of a distinctly pro business judiciary). and to anyone who has ever worked on a med-surg floor, the potential for misinterpreting/misusing the data is obvious.

    now to revisit my initial statement in this post...please keep in mind that i did not suggest we ignore the zebras, but rather that you consider the most common reasonable explanation first. as a pre-nursing student, you have relatively limited knowledge as to what is common in today's health care environment and what is uncommon. if you are able to gain acceptance to a nursing program and if you are able to complete same you just might find that there are reasons for what you characterize as paranoid behavior.

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