Has anyone seen the article in the latest Reader's Digest (Sept 2003)? It's on page 84, and written by John Pekkanen. The title of the article reads," Condition: Critical, With nurses leaving in droves, a stay at the hospital gets scarier everyday." I couldn't find a copy of it online to share, unfortunately.But I do have a subscription to RD & have read the article.It is accurate, in my opinion. I think most of you would be pleased with it. The article highlights short staffing, workplace responsibilities & stresses, patient safety, med errors, etc.It accurately portrays the difficult working conditions nurses face in hospitals right now.
Pekkanen really nails it on the head when he writes about the nursing shortage,"Why can't hospitals simply add staff to prevent this scenario? There's a far more intractable problem than costs: a deepening crisis of morale in nursing. According to a 1999 survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 40 percent of hospital RNs say they are 'dissatisfied' with their job. That's four times the rate for American workers. It gets worse. A recent study of 10,184 nurses published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one in five nurses said they would quit the profession within a year."
Hiring new staff won't fix the problem, and we nurses know it. We were once enthusiastic and dedicated,too. But overtime, stress, routine short staffing and missed breaks have taken their toll. That's not to mention inadequate pay for many nurses, and lack of fair benefits. The nursing shortage won't be fixed until we look at the root problem- nurses are being expected to do too much, and we can't perform our jobs safely or take care of patients or ourselves. I find it refreshing to read an article which addresses the nursing shortage from a nurse's perspective for once.
Also, Reader's Digest is featuring another article next month called, "One Day in Critical Care: A Nurse's Story."
Aug 13, '03
Great ! Thanx for the heads up on this, Kona ! I'll definately be picking it up the very next time I'm out...I'll be sure all my colleagues and DON read it as well.
Aug 13, '03
<It is accurate, in my opinion. I think most of you would be pleased with it. >
I am soooooo glad to hear your review of this article. John got his info from real working nurses. I havent seen the final cut and Im dying to read how he put it all together. But its not out on the shelves around here yet. Do you mind if I send him your comments as feedback?
BTW, when the media does our story like this, they are apt to be there again when we need them if they have received a positive response the first time. Please send comments about this 2 part series on nurses to the editor who worked on it.
Last edit by -jt on Aug 13, '03
Aug 14, '03
I can see I got to get me a copy of readers digest.
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