To all nurses,
We were happy to see that the media is finally realizing what we as nurses have known all along. That the amount of trained nursing staff on any given floor has a direct relationship with patient healing and safety. Less nursing staff may mean a higher risk of infection, medication errors, missed symptoms and/or an increase in the hospital stay for the patient. We at the CNG, have been fighting for a public recognition of this problem for some time now. We have been calling and writing our legislators, providing information to 20/20 and writing articles. While our voices on the net are only now being heard, it is not time to stop just because 20/20 did a story. It is time to nudge this spark into a roaring fire.
The 20/20 story was well done in our opinion. It did however, not go far enough. Towards the end, no solutions were given with the exception that the answer might be to certify or license the Techs, Nursing Assistance, ect... As you well know, this is not enough. An RN spends a minimum of two years training and an LPN a minimum of one. Some states have Certified Nursing Assistance and they do not know the first thing about infection control or anatomy/physiology. Why then are they doing dressing changes and placing Foleys?
We are asking all Nurses to let their voices be heard. Call 20/20. Post on their Internet BB. Send this to every nurse you have on your E-mail list. Post this message everywhere you can including any Internet sites you know of. Tell them we must keep the spark alive while adding fuel to the fire. The story was half told. It up to us to let the public know the truth.
Remember this. Hospitals are not afraid of the government. Money in the right place buys anything. Same with unions. Hospitals do not fear them either. What they will fear, is an informed public that is demanding to know, who is taking care of their loved ones. A well trained, experienced, educated and Licensed RN. Or a Tech with six weeks training. The fight is up to us. Just remember, the next patient you care for on your understaffed, undertrained floor, may be someone you love.
Please, let your voice be heard. The Internet BB are anonymous. Letters, phone calls to 20/20 and you legislators may be anonymous too. Just let your voices be heard.
Founding member CNG
The Concerned Nurses Group www.hospitalhub.com/community/cng/index.html