When I Go On Medicare . . . Who Will Change My Bedpan? - page 2

When I Go On Medicare . . . Who Will Change My Bedpan? by Jan Jennings In ten short years I will reach age 65 and will be enrolled in one form or another of the Medicare Program. But, when I... Read More

  1. by   Youda
    eddy, I was being facetious. European countries that are doing this have already shown us that this, too, has a lot of problems. Yet, those systems also have some advantages. Realistically, I don't think de-profitizing healthcare is the least bit feasible, though.

    I don't have an issue with anyone making a profit. However, I do have a problem when profit is the ends and the means. Healthcare is one of the few "profit" industries that are consistently allowed to produce an unsafe, inferior "product." Firestone came under great disrepute for doing this. Enron did, too. If Chrysler manufactured an automobile that killed people because it was manufactured so substandard that it caused many, provable deaths, there would be such a public outcry . . . Or what if the pharmaceutical industry produced a medication that was causing provable deaths? Would the FDA respond? Would there be class-action lawsuits? You bet!

    But, in healthcare, the end "product" is the same: provable deaths. Yet, Congress consistently makes great speeches (when CNN or primetime CSPAN is there), but their sole contribution to this issue in the 107th is to pass a bill without clear appropriation for it. The rest of the bills will quietly go away at the urging of the lobbyists and PACs of the huge healthcare corporations unless a lot of people start hollering very loudly and very persistently.

    Granted, I can take the lack of appropriation with a small grain of salt because of the need to combat terrorist activity at home and abroad. Much of the appropriations for the 107th went to this kind of funding.

    Yet, it is interesting that Agriculture, medical research, alternate energy sources, etc., were funded. It is interesting that, after Homeland Security, so many things took precedence over the one and only bill that even hinted at some relief for nurses and to protect the wellness and safety of the entire population! Where the other bills affected small segments of the country, relief for nurses affect every man, woman, and child in this country; yet this did not get clear funding.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the public has got to be educated. At this point, they accept the deaths of their loved ones as inevitable and do not see the root cause of these premature deaths, nor can they understand the sequence of events that led up to them . . . simply because they aren't nurses.

    This is the biggest travesty, the biggest fraud, ever perpetrated upon the public. It is tantamount to mass murder, or at least mass negligent homicides. Yet, those investors are still going to get their quarterly dividend check, their blood money.

    Something is seriously wrong here.

    Where else in America is a corporation or industry allowed to cause deaths because of a greedy run for profit, without the slightest conscious?

    It's just plain government sanctioned homicide.
  2. by   lee1
    "This is the biggest travesty, the biggest fraud, ever perpetrated upon the public. It is tantamount to mass murder, or at least mass negligent homicides. Yet, those investors are still going to get their quarterly dividend check, their blood money.

    Something is seriously wrong here.

    Where else in America is a corporation or industry allowed to cause deaths because of a greedy run for profit, without the slightest conscious?

    It's just plain government sanctioned homicide."

    This should be able to make headline news. Why doesn't it???? Is the media too ethical to make people understand their lives are at stake???? (they don't seem to be frightened of showing constant repetitions of the lastest gorey news) Who is paying them to keep quiet is more the wonder?????
    There are many nurses now working for agencies/travelers that owe no allegiance to hospitals, even if they work in them. Why don't more speak up????
  3. by   Youda
    In Missouri, there's SB1923. We're hopeful it will get reintroduced in the next legislative session. SB1923 is a bill introduced by Joan Barry. Rep. Joan Barry, before being elected to the Missouri House of Representatives is/was a staff R.N. SB1923, if passed in Missouri, outlines specific ACUITY-based staffing levels. If you're interested in reading this wonderful bill,
    http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills02...02/HB1923I.htm

    During committee hearings, the opposition's problem with the bill was:
    OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that the current
    nursing shortage will continue to cause staffing problems for
    hospitals in Missouri. The acuity system established by the bill
    will be expensive for hospitals to implement. The bill will
    increase the amount of paperwork required to implement the nurse
    staffing requirements based on an acuity system.

    Testifying against the bill was Missouri Hospital Association.

    ------------

    So, to answer your question, lee1 about why isn't this message carried in every newspaper? Because the hospitals are worried about COST and PAPERWORK, not lives.

    As I said, something is seriously wrong here.
  4. by   -jt
    <That's why I say educating the public should be the most important mission of the ANA, local unions and every nurse who is concerned about these problems (which should be all of us).>

    Exactly. The ANA & UAN are participating in articles currently being written on the subject by the Readers Digest and the Washington Post. The UAN (the national staff RN labor union arm of the ANA, both of which I am a member), asked me to speak my point of view as a staff RN at the bedside. I was interviewed by the reporter for Readers Digest for over an hour yesterday and I have an appointment to interview with the reporter from the Washington Post. Topic: why nurses are leaving the bedside & how nurses working conditions affect the pt - the public.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 25, '02
  5. by   eddy
    lee1,
    I think there is a great deal of fear involved when it comes to ageny/travel nurses. If they report something on a facility, the facility generally tries to pull the revenge card in many ways. For one, they talk to other collegues in area facilities and try to get the person black-balled. Another, they try to spur an investigation of the nurse's license. It's funny how this is suppossed to be an anonymous reporting, yet the names of those who report always end up surfacing.

    The typical end result is the nurse is left defending her/himself and little or nothing comes out of the reporting. It's wrong and quite sad, but I have seen it all too many times.

    I recently reported a facility myself recently. You can view the long thread in the Geri section. In my case, they also tried to pull the revenge card as above. However, I had too many people backing me up for them to get anywhere. I am still concerned that due to my reporting the facility that I will not be allowed to step foot in many facilities because of the efforts of the administration to "get back at me". However, in my case I felt that there was no alternative, and "what's right is right".

    -eddy
  6. by   -jt
    If you get any retaliation or are blackballed, sue them for lost wages, and every other cent your labor lawyer can think of using the Whislteblowers law
  7. by   -jt
    <Not one question answered. But then I guess I didn't expect one to be.>

    Maybe not be we made a dent. I received a reply too & he is going to be writing about the clinical issues & workplace problems that are driving nurses away. Should be very enlightening for his readership. Every little bit helps.
  8. by   Youda
    -jt, Bless your heart! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
    I am so glad you have the opportunity to speak for nurses with national publications. Please let us know when the articles are published. I can't think of anyone more knowledgeable to talk about this subject. My heart is smiling.

    eddy, your experience with retaliation is all too common. As the large corporations continue to buy up more and more facilities, they are getting bigger and bigger. Soon a handful of them will control the entire industry: setting healthcare costs, nurses' salaries, standards of care. There won't be a choice anymore, as if we had a huge choice now! Most states do not have any real protection for whistleblowers. And if you get one corporation mad at you because you did your job, you can expect to cut your job opportunities down to almost nothing, because the same corporations own everything in an entire area.

    But, then, I'm preaching to the choir, as they say.
  9. by   rncountry
    Julie, how wonderful! Make sure we have access to the articles when they are published would you please? I certainly look forward to it.
    When I came home yesterday the first thing my daughter told me was that the nursing shortage had been talked about in school, she is taking current events right now and they go through the Lansing paper each day. The JAMA findings were right there front and center. She was quite proud of herself to be able to tell the rest of the class what the reasons for the nursing shortage are. Then I got a phone call from my sister about the same thing, an email from the candidate that I have been campaigning for, and lastly a phone call from my brother in law in Northern Michigan. Last night I printed off the study and took it to the infection control class I had been going through the last three days. Little dents here and there, will eventually add up to something, I'm sure. I do get discouraged sometimes though, things seem to move so slow when the solutions seem so obvious to me.
    Eddy, I want you to know that I also went through retaliation. It was a most difficult time. Yet, I would not hesitate to do it again. I always have to be able to look at myself in the mirror.
    I may have some hope for Mr. Jennings. I believe I will write to him again, very professionally of course. Had to wait though so I didn't write something awful. As I've gotten older I have learned better not to let my temper get the best of me. Well, most of the time anyway!
  10. by   -jt
    <The JAMA findings were right there front and center. She was quite proud of herself to be able to tell the rest of the class what the reasons for the nursing shortage are. Then I got a phone call from my sister about the same thing, an email from the candidate that I have been campaigning for, and lastly a phone call from my brother in law in Northern Michigan.>

    Thats wonderful but it just irritates me that we still cant get any attention until the doctors give it to us. Where was everybody when the ANA published similar results in its study Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes in the Inpatient Hospital Setting," which was released in May 2000.

    The ANA study looked at hospital and Medicare data in nine states in five categories of adverse outcomes: length of hospital stay, hospital-acquired pneumonia, postoperative infection, bed sores and hospital-acquired urinary tract infections. All five measures were markedly lower with higher levels of RN involvement in patient care. The JAMA study only looked at Pennsylvania.

    Two other studies published this year, one in the New England Journal of Medicine and one by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), also found direct links between nurse staffing levels and better patient outcomes.

    Little news coverage for those, but JAMA talks about it just this week & suddenly the whole world wakes up. I guess its a good thing however it happens but we just dont have enough respect out there for what we say & PROVE ourselves for it to be newsworthy on our own. Thats bothering me so Im not feeling to happy about all this sudden coverage that JAMA has just discovered the problem. But Ill get over it.
  11. by   jamistlc
    Originally posted by rncountry
    Here is the response I got back.

    Dear Whomever: I don't know if I am writing to David or Helen or both:

    My article was not targeted at nursing. The fact is there simply will
    not be enough healthcare workers of all types to meet the demands of the
    baby boomers. That is a fact. I wish it were not so . . . but it is.
    We simply do not have enough prospective U.S. citizens to fill all of
    the vacancies for positions that are developing over the course of the
    next 10-20 years???

    With respect to nursing, the challenges are so extensive, I hardly know
    where to begin. The women's movement have moved into this generation
    many women onto our Medical Staff's who would in an earlier generation
    been nurses. The biggest factor is the one you highlight. The nursing
    duties, responsibilities and working conditions are so difficult, it is
    hard to know how we keep anyone doing these jobs. .......

    Greetings my fellow NURSES,

    I am VERY OFFENDED at this comment made by this guy about gender roles! I am a MALE Nurse and proud of it. Where is he coming from the 19th century? Apparently a Nurse is for emptying bed pans and Doctors save lives. A nurse is a female and a Doctor is a Male APPARENTLY, in this persons head. dam he really is out of touch with his staff, apparently! Sexism is dead and to think that if we had less female Docs we would have more Nurses is a crock of BM!:roll Then where do the male nurses out there fit into his explanation?
  12. by   Cascadians
    When he is a patient, if those attitudes seep out, he may indeed have trouble getting prompt attention to his call lights

    He definitely is not doing current bedside work in LTC or he would know he would have more trouble getting his Attends changed or his urinal emptied

    The guy is a dinosaur.

    And good luck dude when you're demented getting a barely-English-speaking helper to actually communicate with you and understand your needs.

    From The Assisted Suicide State, the obvious upcoming answer to the burgeoning frail confused elder problem: euthanasia. Demographics.
  13. by   jones58
    If MacDonalds is his favorite restaurant he has every right to worry about that bedpan issue. Nurse do alot more than empty bedpans though. We teach alot about healthy habits, and eating at MacDonalds everyday for the last 40 years is not healthy. Sitting in the car to wait for this food is not healthy either. He may have made some good points about the future of all of us, but I think we have alot more to tell and teach than he does.

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