Nurses learn on trip to Germany

  1. Read this article. I like the idea. Physicians have been using this type of exchange learning for years. I appreciate the comments about socialized medicine. I am certainly not a big fan. I believe we need a system with affordable healthcare for all but most models studied have many discrepencies.Nurses learn on trip to Germany
    By Keith Uhlig
    For the News-Herald

    WAUSAU Northcentral Technical College nursing student Linda Pempek hopes someday to be a psychiatric nurse so when she toured the German hospital where scientists discovered Alzheimers disease, she was excited.

    It was just fantastic, just to be there, (among) the history. The building is a memorial, said Pempek, 38, of Athens. The original documents were displayed on the wall. It was just overwhelming. I still get goose bumps talking about it.

    Pempek was among 10 nursing students from NTC and a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh program who traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, last month to learn about the health care system there. The area program is based at the University of Wisconsin-MarathonCounty campus inWausau.

    In October, German nursing students will come to the Wausau area to learn about health care and its system of delivery in this country.

    NTC and UW-Oshkosh school officials say the new program is important because it exposes nursing students to a different medical framework. And it creates a solid foundation of collaboration between the two schools, they say.

    The program was open to NTC students who are working toward associate degrees in nursing and to registered nurses who are earning a bachelors degree in nursing from UW-Oshkosh.

    The idea for the exchange program came from Diane Ernst, director of the UW-Oshkosh Outreach Program based at UWMC.

    She and Jean Flood, team leader for nursing programs at NTC, began the planning process last year.

    The two traveled to Frankfurt, where they found the Goethe University Hospital School of Nursing.

    Officials at Goethe University were open to an exchange program.

    Participants in the two-week study program earned three credits good for both the Northcentral and UW-Oshkosh program.

    The students stayed with host families during their time in Germany and learned the different roles of German nurses.

    Pempek said she got a glimpse into socialized medicine, which she found to be a very inefficient way to deliver general health care.

    We really should be grateful for our health care system, she said.

    Sherry Kleinschmidt, 46, is studying for her bachelors degree while she works at Community Health Care Wausau Hospital as director of the Medical Adolescent Pediatric Department. She also found the exchange experience valuable.

    What I learned is that nurses in America are able to operate much more independently, she said.

    Nursing is viewed as a more respected profession in America, Kleinschmidt concluded.
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    About Chellyse66

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 156; Likes: 9
    R.N. Long Term Care


  3. by   fiestynurse
    "Pempek said she got a glimpse into socialized medicine, which she found to be a very inefficient way to deliver general health care. We really should be grateful for our health care system, she said."

    I agree that learning about other health care systems in the world not only expands our knowledge and understanding of them; it also helps us discover new perspectives on how to improve upon our own. Health care systems in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries primarily reflect three types of programs:

    1) In a single-payer national health insurance system, as demonstrated by Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, health insurance is publicly administered and most physicians are in private practice.
    2) Great Britain and Spain are among the OECD countries with national health services, in which salaried physicians predominate and hospitals are publicly owned and operated.
    3) Highly regulated, universal, multi-payer health insurance systems are illustrated by countries like Germany and France, which have universal health insurance via sickness funds. The sickness funds pay physicians and hospitals uniform rates that are negotiated annually (also known as an "all-payer" system).

    It's important to know what you are talking about when you throw out the term "socialized medicine" and "universal healthcare" Most advocates for Universal health care in the U.S. are for a single-payer national health insurance system. I would like to point out that Germany has one of the oldest health care systems in the world and looks much different from, lets say, Canada's. I am sure that the 44 million uninsured Americans are not "grateful" for our present health care system. And why do we have 41 million Americans without health-care coverage? Because they are not big campaign contributors, and those who profit from the present system are.

    I am not only a "fan" of Universal coverage for all Americans, but it is my life's work. I guess that makes me a "fanatic" Oh, Geez!
    Last edit by fiestynurse on Jul 21, '01
  4. by   Maria uk
    No you are not just a nurses who wants to see every one having acess to health care. I agree but I am lucky I live in the UK it's not the best system of health care but at least you can get help when yoou need it and nurses do not have to check insurances before delivery of care.

    keep up the good work, who else will speak for those not covered in your country???
  5. by   donmurray
    No-one doubts the excellence of US healthcare, if you can pay for it, but surely a society can be judged on how it cares for its weakest members. Pulling up the ladder behind you once you have made it is hardly ethical or moral.
    Our National Health Service has suffered long term underfunding by Governments, constant reshaping and "modernising", depending on which political party is in power, but it can still offer a wide range of good quality care to all. Administration often are blamed for problems, and the system is not perfect, but management costs are 4% of total budget

    GO! Feistynurse!
  6. by   fiestynurse
    Thanks for the support!! I would also like to comment on the "excellence" of our health care. Sometimes people are fooled by the technology and amount of money that we pour into our system. (An MRI machine on every corner - is just poor allocation of resources and wasteful) The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. as 37th among nations in the world for the overall quality of health care a country provides its people. Here are some interesting statistics to ponder:

    Life expectancy for Women, 1997 (source: OECD, 1999 & NCHS)
    U.S. = 79.4
    U.K. = 79.5
    Germany = 80.3
    Italy = 81.3
    Canada = 81.4
    Sweden = 81.8
    France = 82.3

    Life expectancy for Men, 1997 (same source)
    U.S. = 73.6
    Germany = 74.1
    U.K. = 74.3
    France = 74.6
    Italy = 74.9
    Canada = 75.7
    Sweden = 76.7

    Infant Mortality, 1997 (same source)
    Deaths in 1st year of life/1000 births
    U.S. = 7.2
    Canada = 6
    Italy = 5.8
    Australia = 5.3
    Germany = 4.8
    France = 4.8
    Sweden = 4

    Atleast in Germany you live a little longer and your children have a much better chance of surviving the first year of life!
    Last edit by fiestynurse on Jul 8, '01
  7. by   cargal
    Could you answer some questions for me, as I am kinda clueless, but I find your knowledge on this subject very interesting. Are you saying that a single payor system is govermentally regulated health care delivery, (insurance?( covering all, and the physicians are private. Would hospitals be for profit also? Could you explain the single payor system (Possibly start a thread of its own) a little more in depth? Your response is appreciated. Also, what do you do for your life's work?
  8. by   fiestynurse
    Here is a repeat of a previous post, which explains the single-payer system. I am not saying that this system would be perfect, just better. I try to educate people on the facts and dispel the myths surrounding universal health insurance. I have heavily studied and researched this area and have publicly spoken on the topic. I appreciate everyone's comments, good or bad. I want people to form their own opinions and come to their own conclusions. I certainly don't want to shove my viewpoints down anyone's throat, however, I am passionate about what I envision for Health care in America.
    I am on the Board of Directors for an organization here in California called "Health Care for All."(HCA) HCA helped to write and lead the lobbying effort for the passing of SB480 here in California. This bill moves toward a statewide study and debate on universal health coverage by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to report on universal health care options. HCA continues to be a crucial player in the implementation of this study. It was a hard fought first step for us. Most of the members of HCA are concerned citizens. I am one of only a few health care professionals, who is actively involved. I would also like to mention that I was awarded the new advocate award last year from the American Association of Nurse Attorneys for my presentation on universal health care. ( It was just the encouragement I needed to continue my work in this area)
    The Congressional Budget office projects that single payer would reduce overall costs by $225 billion by 2004 despite the expansion of comprehensive care for all Americans. No other plan projects this kind of savings. There are states studying this system right now and determining how they can make it work.
    The program would be federally financed and administered by a single public insurer at the state or regional level. Premiums, copayments, and deductibles would be eliminated. Employers would pay a 7.0% payroll tax and employees would pay 2.0%, essentially converting premium payments to health care payroll tax. 90-95% of people would pay less overall for health care. Financing includes a $2 per pack cigarette tax. The General Accounting Office projects an administrative savings of 10% through the elimination of private insurance bills and administrative waste, or $100 billion in 1994. This savings would pay for providing medical care to those currently underserved.
    All Americans would receive comprehensive medical benefits under a single payer. Hospital billing would be eliminated. Instead, hospitals would receive an annual lump-sum payment from the government to cover operating expenses-a "global budget" A separate budget would cover such expenses as hospital expansion, the purchase of technology, marketing, etc.
    Doctors would have three options for payment: fee-for-service, salaried postions in hospitals, and salaried positions within group practices or HMOs. Fees would be negotiated between a representative of the fee-for-service practitioners(such as the state medical society) and a state payment board. In most cases, government would serve as administrator, not employer.(this is not "socialized" medicine) Doctors would really have more freedom and say-so then they do now!
    Single payer would be the simplest and most efficiant health care plan that Congress could implement. So, what is keeping our elected officials from going forward with this? First of all, we need campaign finance reform. Secondly, we need a President who will put this at the top of his list of priorities. Secondly, we need a grassroots effort from every healthcare worker and concerned citizen. There are already many organizations and people endorsing this effort and fighting for this very type of healthcare reform. It is the only thing that makes sense!! I hope to see it become a reality in my life-time.
  9. by   fiestynurse
    The Washington Post
    August 11, 2001
    "Burton's German Trip Protested"
    By Juliet Eilperin

    "Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, arranged for an unusual government-paid trip to Frankfurt and Bonn this week to investigate the German postal system. He is also visiting his wife, who is receiving medical care in Frankfurt, according to the congressman's aides."

    There are very serious problems with our health care system, especially in access and coverage in a system that is infamous for wasting our abundant resources. Our national policies continue to favor the entrepreneurial elements in the health care system while continuing to neglect the unmet needs of the people. Unfortunately, the rhetoric continues to drive the displacement
    of our national priorities, as if the unmet needs were merely a nebulous construct, rather than real needs of real people.

    Now, to the difficult part of this message. We need to look at the
    actions of Rep. Burton, a man who is now deeply and intimately involved with the real needs of a real person. This overriding issue makes it impossible to fault his actions. He is making the best decisions he can in a very difficult, trying situation. He has walked away from "the best health care system in the world" and gone to another country that offers some of the best care available. He has walked away from "the most advanced research and technology" to another nation that likewise has advanced research and technology. With FEHBP coverage, he has his choice of any care within the limitations of his plan, but he elects to go to a country that happens to assure that care is covered and accessible for essentially everyone, with virtually no restrictions on providers. At home, he continues to work with elements in our society that want to keep government out of our health care. Yet he accepts a government funded health plan, and even is not above accepting government transportation for a combined personal and quasi-government-business trip. Apparently Rep. Burton does want the government involved in health care when it is providing him and his loved ones with access and coverage.

    Real people have real needs. None of our needs are met by rhetoric. In health care, they are met partly by our own personal efforts. But clearly most of us by ourselves can never assure that we can meet the financial demands of catastrophic illness, nor the public health protections that can be provided only on a population basis, nor the assurance that the health care infrastructure will be there when we need it, nor the assurance that our resources will not be frittered by Wall Street and by the technological and pharmaceutical firms that have their own priorities which they have placed higher than the public good. Real people with real needs can expect those needs to be met only with a combination of personal effort balanced with a public effort that places reality above rhetoric.
  10. by   johnboy
    Gosh, it's hard to tell these politicians apart without a scorecard, so forgive me if I'm wrong, but.....

    1) Is this the same congressman who fathered a child out of wedlock a few years back? (Well actually I'm thinking that he was "wedded" but not to the mother of the child)

    2) If so, is this patient the wife he cheated on, or is this the "other woman" with whom he fathered the child?

    3) Is this really surprising to anyone?

    PS Good work FeistyNurse! We need more people like you here in Cali.