Newsreporters interviewing nurses

  1. I just was interviewed by the NY Times for an article they want to do on the nursing shortage. I gave the reporter my name, the part of the city I work in, & lots of info about how short staffing & forced overtime are contributing to the shortage of bedside nurses & how these things are affecting pt care. I gave her many specfic instances that I know of first hand.

    After the whole thing, she tells me that unless I give her the name of my hospital, she will not use any of it. I dont think the name of the hospital is important because these things are not just happening in my hospital & the incidents are more important than the name of the facility. If she prints the name, people who dont use that hospital will think its not a problem for them & will turn the page. She cut the interview & thanked me for my time. What do you make of this? I think she just wanted horror stories & to nail a specific facility when the problem is so much more than that.

    Im thoroughly disgusted
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    About -jt

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 2,662; Likes: 46


  3. by   nursedawn67
    What difference does where you work at make?? She was wrong....the nursing shortage is EVERYWHERE....I think you were right. Thanks for standing up for the rest of us nurses.
  4. by   BadBird
    I agree with you, it does not matter where you work, the issues are the same. I would have said to her , if you are not interested then I am sure another newspaper will be , good by.
  5. by   night owl
    Sounds like she was looking more to stir up trouble for nurses and pinpoint certain incidents with certain facilities. You did the right thing -jt because in the end your DON would be attacking you for opening your mouth and you could be out of a job. That reporter knows the nursing shortage is everywhere, but I think she was looking more to make a name of herself like what's his name? Geraldo Rivera...investigative reporter. Thanks for trying.
  6. by   -jt
    <your DON would be attacking you for opening your mouth and you could be out of a job.>

    LOL!!! Actually, they have been doing that to me for the last 19 yrs. Nothing new there. But if they fired me for it, Id have my job back in a flash because we just got the Nurse Whistleblowers law passed 2 weeks ago! They CANNOT retaliate against the nurse for speaking out. Anyway, my letters on the subject of short staffing & forced overtime are in 2 nursing magazines this month, I did a press conference last month & a newspaper article - my full name is in all of them. I spoke about the same things in those as I told this reporter and none of the others insisted I identify my hospital.

    I did not call the NY Times. They called me. And I stopped what I was doing to answer their questions. While the plumber was in the basement trying to see what he could do with the boiler that blew up, taking my heat & hot water with it, I was on the phone with this reporter.

    She said they wanted to be able to give concrete evidence from real nurses instead of just saying "a nurse said..." so I said OK. I understand that. And gave permission for my name to be used.
    So ok, use my name but talk about the conditions & the incidents that are happening - the facts - not the facility. If they name the hospitals, the focus would be shifted from whats happening to us & the pts to having these hospitals take over the story by defending themselves. I wanted the focus to be on the situation & let everyone who reads it wonder if its the hospital they use, so theyll pay more attention. But then she switched it & said she wanted the name of the facility & to say "a nurse at *** Hospital said..."

    That contradiction didnt make any sense to me. I felt like she was on a witch hunt for horror stories. Right after this, the Bloomberg News Corp called (the new NYC mayors company) - theyre doing a similar story on RN staffing shortages & the effects on pts & were thrilled to have the interview.

    So take THAT, NY Times!
    Last edit by -jt on Apr 12, '02
  7. by   tapper
    The reporter was probably trying to confirm that you were actually a nurse employed by that hospital and not just some random employee who might not be entirely satisfied with the hospital for whatever reason.
  8. by   -jt
    no, I dont think so. She called me. She got my name & number from my professional association after she interviewed them.

    I just think she was trying to give the article a sensationalistic slant that wasnt the message I had in mind.
  9. by   bjpeace
    I agree with the witch hunt theory. Just watch the news/drama shows! There are families that are in litigation with hospitals over the wrong treatment or no treatment and blaming it on the shortage of nurses. Now whether their particular situation is founded remains to be seen. But the point is, if someone has a lawsuit they can make national TV. What struck me the wrong way was that once that family told their story, the show claimed it to be an epidemic of bad care by the burnt-out nurses, and mentioned several other states with snipits of the lawsuites.

    You should write a letter to the editor and name that particular reporter in it. Let your voice be heard in the NYT anyway, the way you wanted in the first place. Kudos for standing up for yourself and the rest of us!