The solution to nursing problems - page 6

I posted this before and it seems to have been lost. I think we can corrent all of the major problems in nursing by simply having all of us take the same day off. Let's say February 11th, 2003,... Read More

  1. by   Youda
    <<<The thing is RNs have to take the initiative to go to it , rather than it coming to them. How do you get them to do that?

    It would be great if there could be regular mailings sent to the homes of each of the 2.7 million RNs in this country but who is going to pay for all that paper? We cant ask the ANA members to do it & spend the dues money of their 180,000 RNs on stamps for 2.7 million others who may or may not even be interested. >>>

    That's where the thinking has gone wrong. We HAVE to take it to them. It's the only way this is going to happen. I PM'd you some details on how this can be done VERY inexpensively and without touching the ANA membership dues.
  2. by   Youda
    ceecel.dee, I envy you. God, I really envy you. Here in Missouri the atmosphere is much different. If you step out of the "subservient" role, you can expect to be terminated within a month. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. There is a VERY strong hand hold on nursing here. And word spreads fast if you're a "trouble-maker." Believe me! The corporations and administrators call each other before hiring anyone! And you will NOT get hired if you demand respect. YOu put up, or work at Wendys. It's that simple. And, no, I'm not being paranoid or a reactionary. It's just the way it is.
  3. by   abrenrn
    Another thread to love.

    I have taken a break from nursing, living on savings, and figuring out what to do next. Honestly, despite a BS in math and nursing, an MS in nursing, I think Home Depot is my next best choice.

    Yes, the money would be lower. Yes, I'd have to put up with the same crap as I do in nursing. But, nobody will die if I make a mistake, I won't have to worry about losing my professional liense if a manager expects me to forget about that so I can bathe more patients.

    So, here are the problems I think are at the center of our profession:

    An almost complete disconnection between education, research, and day to day practice. Has anyone addressed a simple yet extremely important issue like is it safer to sign out a med immediately before or immediately after giving? It seems one method continues to be taught while the other has been adapted anywhere I have worked.

    A "profession" that puts the needs of hospitals, community colleges, and physicians before its members. It is in the best interest of all concerned, especially nurses and patients, that the interests of nursing be placed in the center of our profession.

    Finally, a complete lack of understanding by the public as to what nurses are, what we do. Scrubs vs uniforms seemed so nice in the beginning - soon I realized I was dressed the same as CNA's, housekeepers, etc. Only physicians, managers and others looked different. Confusing to the patient, kind of tells me where I am as a nurse.

    People are flabbergasted when you try to tell them that you are an educated professional, with a license. A while back, there was a big story about a girl who died after being given demerol with an MAOI, much press coverage. How could the resident have erred, much exploration of the stress, workload,... I think I was the only person who thought about the nurse, how did she miss it? Well, I'm sure the licensing board thought about it. It never occurred to anyone that a nurse could, and should, have prevented that from happening.

    So, on top of all the other things, educating the public that we are more than people who "dare to care" - a lot of people care about things - perhaps that we are people who "learn to care". I'm a little strange I guess, I thought that the slogan used was terrible, non-nurses continue to see us as caring people who aren't too smart - individual profiles were good.

    Unless there is a general awareness that we are more than doctor's handmaidens, little can be accomplised in the other areas. It bothers me that the ANA does not address this issue.

    Final thought - in school they now teach "critical thinking" but expect rigid, unquestioned following of procedure. Nursing needs to get out of that mode, use protocol, standards of care - i.e. nothing fixed in stone unless it should be.
  4. by   sjoe
    anne--well said.
    We are doing the same thing, but I always call it being "on sabbatical." They usually have lasted 3-6 months in the past, but the present one has lasted 18 months and I still am not very interested in returning to nursing. Maybe there's a message there.
    Last edit by sjoe on Oct 12, '02
  5. by   Youda
    There's a thread to start!
    How many of you are "on sabbatical?"
    I add my voice to that chorus.

    Do you think that contributes to the "nursing shortage?"
  6. by   abrenrn
    I have chosen to call it sabbatical too, will use that term on applicaions. Looked up the word - refers to one year every seven years for rest, research and travel - usually paid in academia. Anyway, I've rested, researched (nursing a lot, so I've learned re Florence Nightengale - l lot!!, history of nusing, current opportunities to work as a PROFESSIONAL nurse (not many, it seems). Even a little travel. I'm not quite at a year yet - tho money is short.

    Contributes to the nursing shortage - along with quitting, changing careers, disability, sure.
  7. by   abrenrn
    Hey - maybe a bunch of us could get a research grant while on sabbatical to study the real reasons for the shortage (just look at these boards), floor practices that contribute to patient safety, and publicize - nationally - the role of nurses, the risks to patients when that role is short-changed.
  8. by   vemiliob
    It seems to be an international problem, but as you see in essence we are all the same. We don't undestand the power that lies behind us.
    For instance in my place there are far more physicians than prepared nurses, but they continue holding a high status while we remain on the botton. They are the clinics and private Hospitals' owners and occupy the 100% of the Public Political Charges in Health Caring.
    We DO NOT realize that no health care institution can function a minute without Nursing. It looks like we all are low profile. "Well, our roots are not the best to build an unconscious basement of self-esteem to allow a sane growing of our professional status". On past times we where male-slaves and female prostitutes or nuns. No duoubt, in the collective imagination we remain so.
    The real problem lies in our deep unconscious. If we don't change it inside, nothing will change it for us.
  9. by   Alley Cat
    Nursing shortage? In our area, there's such an economic crunch that people with college degrees, no matter what field they are in, are willing to push brooms or flip burgers. The clincher? If you have a college degree, employers won't hire you to just flip burgers--you're overqualified. Our facility is in a hiring freeze because of financial problems, we remain understaffed for the winter (and it was bad last year), and there are rumors that there's going to be another big layoff. And then they wonder why there's a shortage? I honestly feel it's been artificially created. The nurses are out there--they're just sick of being treated like crap. Long-term employees feel short changed when hiring bonuses are offered to newcomers, new grads want the same pay that I'm getting after 19 years (3 years of which no raises were given out to anyone), and hospitals are no different in the business world than factories are--we're all just a number, nothing more. Unions have been voted down (too much bad press locally), and I'm not sure I totally agree with that approach--we're talking people here, not machinery parts or assembly lines. I'm not sure of my stance on travelers--there are several who have really bailed us out of bad staffing situations, and my experience has been that they have selected traveling as a way to deal with their own financial crunches and/or burn out.
  10. by   -jt
    <Unions have been voted down (too much bad press locally), and I'm not sure I totally agree with that approach--we're talking people here, not machinery parts or assembly lines. >

    Since we're talking people here, thats all the more reason to become unified. As a union, the law provides you with an equal seat at the table with your employer. The employer knows about $$$ - not about taking care of patients - but YOU do, so its that much more important that you have that equal seat when it comes to the decisions that will affect them. And you get that legally bound only as a union.

    As a union, you have legal backing that obligates the employer to relinquish some of the control to you. You share in the decision making on all issues that affect you, your practice, your pts, and your conditions of employment. Your job is not decided for you. It has to be decided WITH you and with your approval.

    IE: The hospital cant decide its own staffing ratios - how many nurses will take care of how many pts - the NURSES have to have an equal say in that & agree to whatever decision is made by BOTH sides - not what the hospital alone decides.

    Having an equal voice in your workplace is no different if you are working with machinery in a factory or with pts in a hospital. But when you are working with pts in a hospital, its that much more imperative that you do have a say in how that work is to be done & everything that affects you and it. In non-union facilities, you will only get that say IF the employer ALLOWS you to have it. And only for however long he allows it. And only to the extent that he allows it. And whatever input he does allow you to have, he doesnt have to listen to at all. And he can take away your ability to have input at anytime & run rough-shod all over you if he so chooses. Not so in union facilities & thats the key reason why the RNs place is in an RN union.

    In union facilities, the employer cant do any of those things - they must listen to the nurses & take action on their issues together with them. In union facilities, the control of what will be 'allowed' to nurses is taken away from the employer, because the law already gives all that to you & your employer does not have a choice. He is obligated to work with you in good faith & can be punished by the law if he dares try to avoid that.

    The fact that we are working with peoples lives makes it that much important that we do have the legal right to an equal say in the decision making that affects us & those pts & that the employer cant take that power away from us. Because peoples lives depend on us, all the more reason why we should be unified and have the law behind us that guarantees we, as a union, are part of the process in making the decisions that affect those lives.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 15, '02
  11. by   Youda
    The sad fact is the corporations treat people like machinery parts, not the unions. Healthcare has been dehumanized at the expense of profit.
  12. by   ceecel.dee
    The union has been good for us at our place. The management requires no creativity in dealing with problems/issues though either. It's just..."the contract says.." with little care for the individuals paying the dues. We are better off with it, just because of who is on the management "team".
  13. by   Azure_Skies
    I have often wondered about the ramifications of actually acting out this scenario. The problem is, I can't see any of the nurses I work with actually taking that kind of step. We are in our profession because we are kind and compassionate people; that is our strength and our weakness. Our loyalty to our patients, and for some, to our employers stymies any actual unity for this kind of action. What's more, our employers/managers etc. know it.
    If anyone ever did organize a "sick out," I would be there.
    BTW, new to this site.