Published Apr 6, 2002
Y'all we made the NBC news. Only a couple of years late, but we made it......(said sardonically)
About the "NEW shortage." Of guess what? NURSES! They just discovered this I guess. And then they asked the........AMA....about it.
April 5- Increasingly, there is a severe shortage of nurses in America's hospitals, which is having a direct and sometimes deadly impact on patients and their families.
The American Medical Association says that since the 1980s, the number of women entering nursing has declined as high-paying opportunities for women have expanded in other areas.Many hospital administrators warn that the nursing shortage will only become worse in the years to come. They foresee an aging population filling up hospitals while many of today's nurses are retiring. Nationwide, hospitals have a shortfall of 126,000 nurses. The Journal of The American Medical Association says that number could grow to 400,000 in the next decade or so. Hospitals, desperate to fill vacancies, are trying to attract nurses with offers of big bonuses and higher pay. But so far, this shortage adds up to a chronic medical problem without any quick miracle cure.
Nationwide, hospitals have a shortfall of 126,000 nurses. The Journal of The American Medical Association says that number could grow to 400,000 in the next decade or so.
Hospitals, desperate to fill vacancies, are trying to attract nurses with offers of big bonuses and higher pay. But so far, this shortage adds up to a chronic medical problem without any quick miracle cure.
Whoop dee doo!......
Is it impolite to say "duh" to NBC?
Guest Marj Griggs
In 1989, in an article entitled "Dr. Welby was a Nurse", the author George Wills, mentions the looming nursing shortage. I don't have the article in front of me, but I thought I cut it out of a Newsweek!
P_RN, ADN, RN
I believe that would be DUH, Mr. Brokaw....(actually it was George Lewis' report, as Tom and Brian WIlliams are BOTH in Israel.)
Thanks P_RN for sharing. I read many of your links on this BB and appreciate that you make it so easy for me to keep up with this latest news. Or should I say old news to us. I am glad that the problems would make national news, I knew it would be only a matter of time before a poor outcome of a patient was directly related to the short staffing and shortage of nurses willing or able to work at the bedside.
I thought about posting last night in response to the news broadcast but didnt, since you posted and I can see so many feel the same way, I'll share my thoughts too :)
I was watching and wondered why they only interviewed 1 nurse. She stated a very valid concern and it wasnt even focused on, nor were poor working conditions. The stupid report didnt say WHY there is a shortage except to mention that the age of nurses is growing..groan! I dont call that an indepth news story, isnt the media about getting the *true dirt*?! I think they need to start digging and I agree with those above NBC gets a big DUH!!!
Check out your textbooks and look up the section on nursing history.
There's been a nursing shortage since at least 1930. (Maybe there was one before then, but I suspect that the statisticians weren't as hard at work then ;-) The shortage has never gone away. And no indication it's going to go away any time soon. Sometimes it gets better, sometimes certain areas improve, but there has never a time when we could say there wasn't one.
The point of this? 2 actually. 1. The media is always looking for a story. Two of my brothers are journalists, and putting out a newspaper every day (or substitute TV, radio, ezine, whatever) is tough work, and requires a LOT of stories. If what is in reality an old story can be trotted out, prettied up, and made to look like "Breaking News!", well, most people won't notice. 2. AMA treatment on the nursing shortage? The AMA is the first organization people think of regarding "medical" matters. The ANA has just not been effective in establishing a media presence. The problem is not the media's, it's ours.
Jim Huffman, RN
So very well put, James. We must increase our visibility. I hope UAN will do a better job than the ANA in uniting us to serve our collective interests. It behooves us all to become involved in our respective organizations of choice, and be heard
I am encouraged to hear so many strong nurse voices today!
The nurses in Butler Hospital, Butler, Pa, are striking this week because they want to put patient to nurse ratio's in their contract. I do not believe any other union in the country has attempted this. I do not believe that any other contract has this in it. The hospital is hunkering down to fight this tooth and nail. It may mean the end of Butler Memorial as we know it.
Bravo to the nurses who have the guts to follow this road. If they do get this stipulation into their contract, the union will take off like wildfire in this area.
Our union (New York State Nurses Association) has staffing ratios in many of our contracts & is obtaining them in even more as old contracts come up for negotiations.
At one of our hospitals, St Lukes Roosevelt in Mahattan, RNs have had ratios specified in the contract since the early 1980's. The RNs obtained specific ratios in our contract at my hospital in Dec 2000. Our contract specifies the ratio of RNs to pt, - as well as LPNs and CNAs to RN - by unit and shift.
The hospital fought it tooth & nail too - until we took a strike vote on Dec 6th 2000 & gave a 98.something % approval to our union to strike over it. The hospital suddenly agreed to our ratios & we had a contract by Dec 13th without having to strike. But that was a very tense week.
Stand united & you can do it. Good luck to you.
Last year CBS did a special report on the nursing shortage & previewed one particular hospital in NJ (I think). They cut out the entire interview of Mary Foley - president of the ANA - and experienced nurses who all spoke about difficult working conditions being a major cause of the refusal of nurses to work in hospitals now. They did however show the interviews of several administrators and a new grad who said how thrilled she was with her salary.
Could it be that any remarks by nurses who put some of the blame on the hospitals and management practices were objected to by the hospital that allowed the filming at its facility & were removed by the news editors at the hospitals request?
CBS received some angry feedback from nurses for doing that & was supposed to do another story that told our side. I havent seen one.
Also, The NY Times did a special report on the NURSES "shortage" & interviewed the American MEDICAL Association. Comments by Mary Foley - president of the American NURSES Association - on the "shortage" of NURSES who are willing to accept jobs with unacceptable working conditions were never printed.
In my town, the local newspaper editors are on the boards of directors at both of our hospitals. At both facilities last year, at 2 different times of the year, nurses were inches away from strikes but youd never know why by reading our newspaper stories on it. Not a negative word about what was going on at those hospitals ever appeared. Could it be that somebody has some pull with the press & is preventing the nurses side of the story from getting out?
Anyway, I doubt NBC would go to the fireman's union to discuss the working conditions of police officers so why the heck are they going to doctors to discuss the jobs of nurses? Everybody has pretty good comments here. I hope some of you wrote to NBC, educated them on the real situation, & let them know how they dropped the ball.
I am unclear as to how staffing ratios work. What happens when you have less staff (for whatever reason) than the ratio says you need to care for the patients you have?
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