The solution to nursing problems - page 7

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
    welcome, azure_skies!

  2. by   -jt
    <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.>

    Thats the fault of the nursing eduation programs in this country that do not teach nursing history. Would we have been graduating generations of enabling handmaiden doormats if, in nursing school, we had been required to study our nursing history & the writings of activist RNs like Lillian Wald - who fought for womens rights in the workplace & national labor laws, organized women into labor unions, and in her spare time created the concept of home care & the Visiting Nurses Assoc, while helping to establish the NAACP - and did it all 100 years ago?

    What is wrong with todays nurses is that they dont know from where they came & the great fighters that came before us - who are probably turning over in their graves right now watching what nurses will allow to be done to themselves. If not for ourselves, then at least out of respect for RNs like Lillian Wald who fought so hard to make sure we have as much as we have today, we should feel obligated to continue the fight for improvements.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 16, '02
  3. by   outbackannie
    I work at a "For-Profit" Hospital which is a part of a chain of health care facilities located throughout the USA.. Nursing and ancillary staff is one of the lowest budgeted categories. It makes me angry and feel insulted when we are berated in the interest of patient care for having overtime or are denied requests for basic equipment (like IV pumps or dynamaps) and I happen to pass the Physician's lounge to view extravagant full-course meals provided by the hospital to entice the docs to attend a meeting.

    In January 2003, thanks to the California Nurse's Association, hospitals in California will be required by law to maintain a nurse-patient ratio prescribed by law depending on the department; i.e. Med-Surg 1:5, ICU 1:2, etc.

    My point is that the State's Nursing Association is the most powerful "union" which can effect legislation forcing hospitals to make changes which directly benifit nursing and patient care.
  4. by   gojack
    I think that the main problem that nurses have, is that the administrators run the State Boards. We are scared to speak up because we know that there are unscrupulous people over us, that will try to yank our licenses in a heartbeat if it serves their purposes. We can see how the patients are treated, and we come to know that we can expect no better for ourselves.

    This comes about because there are 2 groups of RNs; one group that does the work, and the other group that call themselves RNs, but in reality, have been incorporated into low level administrators. This fools the general public, and it fools many of our fellow workers.

    The only solution to this, is to try to unite all the real care-givers whether they be licensed or not. Nurses need to fight for the LVNs and CNAs to be able, even, to fight for themselves.

    The best way would be to begin a fight for all nursing personnel, licensed or non-licensed, to have PAID BY THE EMPLOYER medical benefits. It's a crime that care givers are working without health coverage themselves. Especially for the lowest paid CNAs.

    Judge all unions, state nurses associations, and any other nurses professional organizations by how they mobilize (or not) their membership around this issue. This is how to unite the nursing profession in the days ahead. And then we should go on to overthrow the yoke of the State Boards working on administration's side.

    We have to realize that nurses' enemies are semi-criminals in nature. They will trample us just like they have trampled patient's health care, if we just continue to allow them to do so. We can expect no mercy if we are passive.
  5. by   James Huffman
    In North Carolina, the Board of Nursing is elected by all nurses in the state. Depending on one's specialty area, nurses can also run for the board. NC nurses have the right and ability to change the board, and -- over the long haul -- the course of nursing in our state.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  6. by   Youda
    Wow, gojack! I'm sorry you've had this experience with your BON. In my state, the BON is very supportive and pro-bedside RNs. I never hesitate to call and ask for advice or help about a practice issue. I suddenly appreciate them all the more. Thank you to the Missouri BON!
  7. by   teamrn
    I've read some great ideas in the above posts. However, where was everyone at this year's Million Nurse March on Washington, at the Capitol Mall? I and others talked it up alot on this and other message boards, but when push came to shove, only the organizers showed up.:imbar

    Seems that we nurses are great at complaining, but when it comes to solving the problem, we retreat. Think about it, if the shoe fits
  8. by   montroyal
    Originally posted by Youda
    A nurse cannot just walk off the floor without a relief. It is illegal to do that by every Nurse Practice Act I know of. That nurse would lose her license, plain and simple. While I'm all for change and speaking up, I'm not inclined to sacrifice my license to do it.
    In most states it is illegal to work more than 16 hours at a time.Not only that, it is unsafe for the patients. No Board of Nursing would charge a nurse for patient abandenment if the nurse refused to work any hours he/she felt would be unsafe for the patients. Keep in mind, the hospitals are the ones who agree to accept and care for the patients. It is their responsibility to ensure that the facility is staffed. If they can not meet this obligation, it is their responsibility to transfer the patient to a facility that can.

    Unfortunately, the hospitals are the ones who are pushing this idea into a reality. Management refuses to accept safe nurse to patient ratio's. To them,this is strictly a bussiness with the eyes on the bottom line. I believe that someday a one day strike will happen. It is preventable, but the hospitals refuse to believe nurses will ever take that strong of a stand to protect the patients we care for.

    The other day, I work a four hour shift in the ICU. One of my patients had an order written by a Pharm D for vicodene elix. The Pharm D wrote it for 10ml with the elix having 500mg Hydrocodone/ 333mg tylenol per 10ml. Thats 100 times the normal dose of hydrocodone. The nurse that was caring for the patient was new and inexperienced. She never questioned the order and she did two chart reviews after the order was written. Thank God she never gave the med, but it goes to show, management just wants a warm body. Something must be done to ensure our patients safety.
  9. by   Youda
    <<<<<I've read some great ideas in the above posts. However, where was everyone at this year's Million Nurse March on Washington, at the Capitol Mall? I and others talked it up alot on this and other message boards, but when push came to shove, only the organizers showed up. >>>>>

    I'm a strong believer that is something is going wrong, you have to figure out the problem, and then find solutions to that problem (not unlike nursing!).

    With all respect, and understanding your frustration, I think it is a mistake to blame people for not showing up and make the conclusion that nurses are willing to complain, but not take some action.

    So, what could have gone wrong? Let me offer a few suggestions from my point of view.

    First, I never heard about it. Never. This means that there is a communication problem somewhere. That doesn't necessarily mean that the organizers failed to publicize well, but that you didn't reach all nurses.

    Secondly, for me to travel to Washington D.C., I would travel around 2,500 miles one-way. This would involve a huge expense and at least a one week "vacation" to attend (assuming I knew about the event). Any nurse west of me, would have farther to travel, so the financial impact would have been a greater burden when you add up mileage, motels, food, etc., just to get there.

    So, what's a solution to overcome these obstacles?

    You have a pre-march ralley of some sort to get all the media covering it. That way you get free publicity and it gets the word out to the nurses who otherwise haven't been aware of the march.

    Secondly, you have multiple marches across the country at the state capitols as well as at Washington. That way nurses can participate who otherwise wouldn't be able to travel so far.

    Thirdly, for those nurses who are working that day, you have an alternate method of participating. Such as a central website where they could log-on and give their support. Or a letter/postcard that they could mail to their legislature or Washington that they could sign and mail.

    My point is simply that you all figure that if someone doesn't show up, they don't care. WRONG. They is plenty of caring and support out here. Please don't confuse support with ability to attend a function.
  10. by   sanakruz
    I would do this, Can it really get off the ground? Would this cause patients deaths? Let the mds work the bedside!!!
  11. by   sanakruz
    Youda Youve hit on something- Coordinated marches all over the US and Canada We could take out newspaper ads alerting all when "WE'RE COMING!!"
  12. by   Youda
    Oh, I like that! We're Coming!

    If the marches were presented as "public service" or "educational" then you could get free newspaper ads, too!
  13. by   outbackannie
    Very good, Youda! Sounds like you implemented your nursing diagnostic skill once again.

    For me to attend a march in Washington, D.C. would be an extreme hardship on my family. They come first. That doesn't mean I don't care about how nurses are treated.

    My philosophy is if you don't want to be a doormat, don't lie down! I've had to tell a few MD's and Administration that they are out of line. I've never had repercussions from doing so.