Tuning in to patient cries - Page 3Register Today!
- Jun 3, '11 by BaltimoreHonIn my experience at one Baltimore Hospital the nurses and the techs had a much higher patient load than they should of. When they seemed to be unresponsive to patient call lights it was not that they were ignoring the patient, but rather they were truly busy with other patients. When they did get to the patient that called they were usually apologetic.
I do not think that the patients needs were unreasonable either. It is extremely stressful to be sick and having to be in the hospital is an additional stressor. Even little things that go wrong; ie, missed sticks, remote not working, even just feeling alone, are all additional stressors. I do think that the patient does have some entitlement for things to be made easier and more comfortable for them. The less stress the quicker the recovery (in many cases).
So where does the fault lie? With the management that thinks a 5/6:1 patient to nurse ratio is acceptable.
- Jun 3, '11 by Kooky Korkyone solution i see is to build wards in a circle. eliminate long halls. that way, every room will be visible to the staff. staff would be in a desk area that is in the center of the circle. kaiser permanente has this arrangement at their panorama city facility, maybe at others.
or, bring back wards - no private or semi-private rooms, just a lot of beds in a circular or long hall arrangement, but only curtains between patients. nurses' desk was at one end, although you could put it in the middle. and i guess walls could be between patients' beds but no closing doors to shut out the nurses' view of all the patients.
charity cases were on wards in the past. privacy and stigma were issues. but someone good at pr could probably spin it to make it attractive to today's patients and their worried loved ones.
if a central switchboard is going to answer patients' bells and then text it to or somehow ring the right staff member, the trouble i see there is that a worker's hands might, literally, be tied up, in the middle of a dressing change or already helping someone else.
staffing of insufficient numbers of workers is still a huge part of the problem. apparently, so is laughing hyenas masquerading as nursing staff. i think i would be on the phone to cops, administrators, my family, my neighbor, anybody who could break up these inexcusable parties that take place at the expense of suffering patients.
i know my dad, god rest his beloved soul, had to walk to the n. station to ask for pain rx post-appy when his call light went unanswered too long. and my mom, the sweetest, most wonderful woman who ever lived, had to ask the nurse to send her roommates' visitors home. there were several of them and they were so loud, smoking, etc. mom was really sick after major abdominal surgery. she normally wouldn't ever speak up on her own behalf, so i know she was hurting mightily. i hope i never find out who treated my parents that way, as they would surely get a little talking to from me.
when i was an inpatient once, i had great care. the other time, well, let's just say that i would handle it differently today than i did then. i would get help by calling nursing and hospital admin, instead of passively accepting that "your nurse is at lunch" so there was no one to help me for the next hour.
public perception is also a big problem. q 15 minute rounds in a nursing home? the salesperson for the home probably put that idea in the person's head. wittingly or not, it sets everyone up for failure and disappointment.
we have to get rid of insurance companies and bonuses for the big dogs if healthcare will ever be good for the average worker bee. healthcare should probably be done by religious orders out of love for god and one's fellow man. the current plan is not good for so many poor souls.
- Jun 3, '11 by ADPIE1Well --- hate to say it ... but my grandfather is currently in the hospital... pushed the call bell... the RN answered quickly... he told them that he needed help getting sit up in the bed... because he was trying to eat his dinner and choking on it...(he is currently in there for breathing difficulties and unable to sit him self up he is so weak..) RN came in ... looked at him... said I will be back I have to get someone to help.... SHE NEVER RETURNED>>> I finally went out in the hall got another RN to help me move him... By that time his food was cold ...
Number one rule ... do what you say you will do...
- Jun 3, '11 by herring_RN…whether it’s a request for ice water, help getting to the bathroom or a plea for pain relief, an unanswered call light leaves hospital patients feeling helpless and frustrated.
and for nurses, often the first responders to these calls, the situation is frustrating too: short staffing and a heavy workload often make it impossible to respond as quickly as they would like….
…now some hospitals around the country are starting programs to deal with the problem….
…the company discovered that requests could be handled far more efficiently if call-button calls were sent to a central operator…
the problem is short staffing and the corporation tries to solve it with technology?
the solution needs to be additional staff.
and a culture with patient care the number one concern. we can't let each other ignore patients. no matter how tired we are.
- Jun 6, '11 by chicookie"Don't tell me about the nursing shortage. The problem is with the nurses and their lack of care and consideration for the patients they are asked to care for. Sorry, no sympathy here."
This comment made me cringe. Especially when I saw it was recommended by 65 readers. Wow they want us to be all Suzy Sunshine Super Nurse but they can't give us a break? Or better yet, not act like the Queen/King of the world, demanding something every 5 seconds.
If I saw this person IRL I would say "Hey buddy, you do realize this is a two way street?"
- Jun 7, '11 by ADPIE1no but how long do you want to sit in an "accident"
- Jun 12, '11 by SkyeHawk3I think a call system that could prioritize the need of the patient would be a fantastic time saver. We have that and she is called a unit secretary or clerk, and when you have a good one, they are worth their weight in pure gold. Our secretary answers the call bells and she is able to prioritize enough to let the right person know. The "I need a cup of ice" or "I want another blanket" call from the "I can't breathe" or "I need help NOW" is then forwarded to the staff by phone or beeper/text. Just as a good CNA/PCT is a precious gift from the powers-that-be to any nurse, a good unit secretary is priceless.
Having said all of that, I did cruise through the comment section on that news entry and saw all the complaining. Rare was the thankfulness that a nurse or CNA "came just when I needed them most" or "made things so much better." As with all things, the squeaky wheel gets the oil and it promptly reminds me why after 25 plus years at the bedside I had to get away. It burned me out having to pacify those patients with the owe-me attitude...not the ones with legitimate complaints and needs.
Last edit by SkyeHawk3 on Jun 12, '11 : Reason: grammer correction