Please Tell Us If You Are Contacting Legislators/ANA, etc. Re: Nursing Concerns

  1. Hi ALL!!

    Please see my last post under "Topic--Reply to Barton" and tell us what you think!

    Should we change over to this forum or not?

    (Brian, I DID eventually get to post here! LOL!!)



  2. Visit barton profile page

    About barton

    Joined: Feb '99; Posts: 129; Likes: 2


  3. by   barton

    Thanks for your compliment and support!

    I HAVE noticed the incresing numbers of registered users and this IS encouraging!!

    Any ideas today on the "Mission Statement"?

    Any responses yet?





  4. by   Sophie
    Hello All. I've been busy at the bedside, and away from the computer, but am catching up on all the recent posts. I have been gathering assignment sheets from work that show when we are 1, 2 nurses short etc. I figure any documentation is good to keep, since things have a way of disappearing at work sometimes!? The TV exposure of course sounds great. This is such a serious topic, I think it will eventually makes it's way onto some news program sooner or later anyway, so why not with this topic and via this group of concerned nurses! Barton, Bethany, Brian, Gigi and all others, keep up the good work. I have submitted a few examples of the problems that I've seen on a website called "patientwatch" at <> .The coordinator there is interested in any examples we could give. This is a California Nurses Assn. site, and their site is Even is you are not from Cal. I imagine they would still be interested in what you have to say. Let's keep it rolling! Sophie
  5. by   BethanyJ
    Hiya barton!
    I'm glad to hear you've gotten a response from ANA. That's great news!!! I'm still waiting for a response. I'm sure it'll be anytime now
    I've looked over the mission statement and really can't think of anything to add/change/delete at this time. My goal in all of this is to see the focus changed from profit gains to PATIENTS FIRST!!!
  6. by   barton

    THANKS for the post! I LOVE IT that you gathered some assignment sheets-----imagine ANYONE, with a medical/nursing background, reading the patients' charts AND THEN seeing the assignment sheets for those same patients!! I think THAT would put the FEAR OF GOD into ANYONE, since ALL people are potential patients!

    I believe that eventually, at least some of our horror stories about inadequate and unlicensed staffing WILL make it to television or some type of media, and that is ONE of the reasons I believe that we need to continue to POST, POST, POST and DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT and CONTINUE TO WRITE, WRITE, WRITE to our legislators, the ANA, the state nursing associations, the AARP, Sylvia Johnson at ABC's 20/20 (THANKS AGAIN Canrckid!), and any other appropriate organizations that are potential vehicles for positive change! IF ANY of them STOP HEARING from us, I'm concerned that they will forget about our dilemna or assume that it has been resolved. I imagine that research, production, etc. takes the media weeks or months to complete on a story of this magnitude, so PLEASE don't give up your efforts if we don't see immediate results!

    At present, I await a response from Rep.Young (I faxed a letter only a few days ago), the ANA, and the FNA (FL). I continue to e-mail the ANA and FNA at polite intervals. I will post any responses I receive.

    Since I believe that certain legislators, Sylvia Johnson and other people/organizations have been INVITED TO READ our posts, I URGE all of you to continue to post. How else can our readers/"posters" know what our mission is? They and we NEED ALL THE INFO we can get to effect positive change, right?

    Another piece of GREAT NEWS is that LRichardson has agreed to post, when ready, the editorial she is writing for a city newspaper!!

    AND a BIG THANK YOU to the administrator of this site, Brian Short, for the VERY LARGE and VERY RED forwarding messages he has left at our previous forum, referring people to THIS forum!!

    HUGS TO ALL!!!


    P.S.--Please don't forget to give your suggestions re: adding to, deleting from, or rewriting my suggested "Mission Statement" (posted on our previous forum)! Thanks!

  7. by   barton

    Thanks again for your CONTINUED responses and for reviewing my loosely written and proposed "Mission Statement" (for this forum). I agree with you that patients should COME FIRST!

    I posted the name, address, phone and e-mail for Ms. Whittaker (ANA) so that EVERYONE would have the info and ability to correspond with her. Until she responded to my e-mail, all I had was a "generic" e-mail addy to the ANA, but NOW we ALL have a specific person to address at the ANA----PLEASE--EVERYONE---COMMUNICATE with her and post those conversations on this BB!!

    Thank you also BethanyJ, for posting the INVITATION to our BB on the Geriatric Forum here! I have posted , in the last week or so, invitations to our forum on several other forums on this site.

    You help to keep up my spirits with your continued and informative posts BETHANYJ, and I want you to know how much I appreciate that!





  8. by   barton

    Thank you so much for your post! I have a friend who worked in L&D and what you describe IS a LOT of work!

    As for your bladder, a doctor told me a long time ago that we nurses should use the bathroom at the same intervals as we turn our patients (about every two hours) instead of "holding it" like we do. As I said, that was a long time ago--who has time?--Personally, I'm a q8h gal! LOL!!

    I'M SO GLAD THAT YOU FEEL HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT AND THAT YOU FEEL YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! AND you ARE making a difference by giving these addresses to co-workers and copying assignments---the difference you are making is that you are DOING SOMETHING to help our patients and ourselves instead of just complaining. Your charge nurse is an angel to DOCUMENT everything and send it to administration---if something happens (God forbid) to a patient, as a result of understaffing, LET'S SEE THE HOSPITAL TALK ITS WAY OUT OF THAT!! Your charge nurse is making a DIFFERENCE for the same reason you are!

    I have my letter to Ms. Whittaker (ANA) half completed and will send it today. I truly believe that Rep. Young WILL respond to my letter because he is a GOOD man.

    I LOVE the way you said that you will let me know about replies WHEN, and NOT IF you receive them--that tells me that YOU WILL NOT GIVE UP!!

    And Pearl, YOU AND EVERYONE HERE are VERY WELCOME to my efforts!

    Your words of appreciation to me today came at the PERFECT moment, because I was beginning to have some doubts about the "stamina" of this group----I think that change, in our situation, is going to take some time and probably more time than we'd like......but as I've said before, if we make just ONE LOUD and BRIEF CRY to the powers that be and then "shut-up", I believe that we will lose; we must RELENTLESSLY continue our efforts in communication with the ANA, etc. at regular and polite intervals if we wish to have a chance to effect positive change in protecting our patients and ourselves!

    Thank you, Pearl. You gave me the positive feedback I desperately needed in order to personally "re-group"! Please give your charge nurse a BIG THANK YOU AS WELL!!

    Hope to hear from you, your co-workers, and your charge nurse SOON on this BB!

    Your friend in Florida, :-)


    [This message has been edited by barton (edited March 15, 1999).]
  9. by   Canrckid

    As Barton said, thanks for your support.....
    I hope you use some of that documentation and send it along to Sylvia Johnson at ABC news. I was also getting a little disappointed that more of us weren't passing this info along to the media......they can be a very valuable tool, and the most dramatic way to bring our "plight" into public awareness.........I know some of us might feel that this is some sort of "overkill", but we have been "working through channels", and "polite" for far too
    long! Our patients and our ability to adequately care for them is being jeopardized, and we have to move quickly and dramatically before conditions deteriorate too much further. Contacting our area legislators, local and national nursing organizations is an excellent start, but nothing gets them going like media
    attention! Hopefully, Brian's newsletter will spur a large onslaught of stories for Sylvia, and 20/20 will decide to "air" our concerns! NURSE POWER! ;-0....(can you tell I'm a product of the 60's)?


  10. by   Sophie
    Hello All! I rec'd email today from Susan Whittaker at the ANA. She suggested that we work through our respective state nursing associations. The webpage she mentioned was ',legislative branch,state government relations,1998 legislative information,safety and quality'. She also encouraged us to join our state associations and that will help us get involved legislatively. I realize this may seem like the slow road to get things done.I believe, in addition to any short-term shock the public may get from the media's exposure to our concerns, this slow road is the means necessary to change laws. Let's not loose our momentum! Document every shift the problems and incidents that occur from the poor staffing etc. that we have spoken about.
  11. by   Laura E
    The legal minds and risk assesors for our institutions are very interested in the specifics of our staffing/safety issues. If you are in charge on a shift, inform your immediate supervisor of your short staffing for that shift. Then document either on an incident form (state"staffing inadequate to meet patient needs" then record who you notified, when and who witnessed)or other form. The value of documenting on an official form is that the hospital attorney has to see it and nursing has to suggest remedial action.This passes legal responsibility up the chain of command. Good luck comrades! our patients are worth it. We're worth it!
  12. by   Pearl
    Dear barton,

    I am a L&D nurse and have been reading these links for a week now. I became very excited and went to my charge nurse, because we were just discussing this. We are so short of nurses that I worked several extra shifts this past week, just to get things covered. Some of our nurses are taking two labor patients at a time along with one to twoe mother-baby couplets to care for. I know that it doesn't sound like much, but when you consider that one of those laboring mom's is 8-9 cm and wanting to 'push', well there goes your plans for the next hour or so. I haven't had a lunch in 3 weeks and i think my bladder as grown, too . I can go a whole shift without having to go now!...(laughing at herself but wondering why)

    Anyway, I have given everyone I work with the addresses posted and have been copying assigment sheets for the past week. My charge nurse is documenting 'everything' on reports sheets to administration. all of this has given me hope and encouragement. i feel like I am making a difference now. I will keep sending my e-mail and letters, and I will let you know 'when' not 'if' I get a response.

    Thank you for all that you are doing.

    Your Friend in Arkansas,
  13. by   Pearl
    Dear barton,

    Your are most welcome for the little boost that you received.(bowing gaciously) Im glad that I was able to encourage you in the same way that you have me.

    Last night was a "perfect" (term used loosely), example of "dangerous" understaffing. I, once again had two labor clients. One had sever PIH with diastolic readings of 110-124. She also had a K+ level off 2.8. Needless to say, most of me evening was spent there with quick trips across the hall to see my other lady smileing. i was supposed to be incresing her Pitocin(she was being induced), but I could not do that in and not be able to monitor her. My shift started at 3 in the afternoon and I left last night/this morning at 3. No lunch and once agian, I thank God for my cast iron, gallon sized bladder!..*LOL*

    My charge nurse and I documented everything and she said that she would hand deliver it to adm. thsis afternoon!(I am OFF today!!! )As fro everyone else visting this site and participating, I seem to be the only one with net access. Where I live, the internet is still considered a "toy" instead of a "tool". Anyway, they have the standard addreses and a few girls said that they would go to the library.

    Haven't heard anything yet, but have not given up hope. How often do you send your posts? what is your "polite" interval?..*L* Anyway, just checking in

  14. by   barton
    Hi Pearl and Hi to All!!

    Pearl, your shift last night sounds like a NIGHTMARE--but Thank God that you, your charge nurse and your co-workers are DOING something about it! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what your charge nurse is doing and I hope you tell her that!

    MY "polite" intervals (LOL)are defined as approximately once or twice a week. I don't know what the others are doing.

    I am relatively new to computers, so the e-mail I wrote to Ms. Whittaker just went out today! Yikes! I meant to send it much sooner, but in the process of writing 1/2 the letter, saving it, retrieving and completing it, I LOST the end of it! It gets even worse after that, but I won't bore everyone with the details. I'll just tell you that I called my husband at work and asked him to give me a step by step on how to send saved mail. I told him that if I couldn't send that e-mail TODAY that I was going to stab myself in my stupid brain (KIDDING!!!!). So I now await a reply from Ms.Whittaker. I also have a return receipt that the FNA received my e-mail, so I'm waiting for a reply there as well.

    Thanks again Pearl for your much needed encouragement to me, and I will give my BEST to encourage you and ALL on this BB!!


    Hugs to all!
    barton at the BBC (Big Bladder Club! LOL!!)