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Lynda Lampert, RN

Lynda Lampert, RN

telemetry, med-surg, post op, ICU
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Lynda Lampert, RN has 4 years experience and specializes in telemetry, med-surg, post op, ICU.

I graduated from nursing school in 2007 and started immediately in a large city hospital. I worked on the telemetry floor, post open heart, and post gastric bypass. We got a good deal of miscellaneous patients, as well. I decided four years ago that I wanted to write, and I've been a freelancer ever since. If you want to know how I became a freelancer or see some of my work, check out http://www.lyndalampert.com/.

Lynda Lampert, RN's Latest Activity

  1. In case you missed it, a "comedian" on the talk television show The View has some very misguided notions about what it takes to be a nurse. Joy Behar, long-time member of the all women panel on the social commentary show, made her ignorance about nurses very clear with some of the comments she made regarding the profession. It all started with the very brave actions of Miss Colorado in the Miss America Pageant. The contestant appeared on the show during the talent section dressed in work scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. She explained how her talent was for nursing, helping people, and caring for others when they are at their worst. Being fashionably feminist, Behar and the other women on the panel are against pageants, but that is an opinion for another site. She began mocking Miss Colorado saying that she was wearing a "doctor's stethoscope" and was dressed in a "nurse's costume." Her comments showed no respect for the profession and what we do on a day to day basis. The next day, after much public backlash, Behar "apologized" by saying that she was only making fun of the pageant and the comments against nurses were only jokes. Nurses have been outraged all across the internet, and rightly so. In fact, a Facebook group called "Show Me Your Stethoscope" has over 600,000 members and hundreds of stethoscope selfies in just the few days since the comments. Although Behar's comments are surprising, what is not is her ignorance. As a nurse, I am not surprised that someone in the spotlight knows very little of what nurses actually do. In fact, I was not aware of it until I put on those scrubs and slung a stethoscope around my neck. No one knows what it is like to be in those shoes, enduring the soaring rush of saving a life and the devastating blow of losing a patient. Traditionally, nurses are seen as doctor's secretaries, and this fueled Behar's comments. Of course a nurse wouldn't need a stethoscope: she -- always a she -- would only need a clipboard to take notes for the doctor. It doesn't occur to the media or the public that nurses are just as involved in hard core medicine as doctors are. As I've always said, give me a nurse with 20 years experience over an intern any day. I believe that this ignorance arises from how nurses are portrayed in the media. When the public thinks of nurses, they think of Florence Nightingale. Nursing has changed considerably since then! What other nurses can stand up as role models, though, that could inform the public of the very serious work done by nurses? Take entertainment. Nurse Jackie, though well known among nurses, has a cult following. She isn't exactly a role model, either. Another nurse show that aired on TNT didn't earn enough ratings, even though it still didn't show nurses in their true light. Grey's Anatomy and House focused so much on the lives of the doctors that they never showed what nurses do. And that's the problem. No one knows what nurses do because no one has shown them. What Behar said was deplorable, ignorant, misinformed, and uneducated, but not surprising. A media talking head would have no idea what goes on in the trenches of a nursing shift. How could they? No one has told them and no one has shown them. More education is needed for the general public about what nurses do. We don't just pass pills. We don't just take orders from the doctor. We don't just wipe behinds. We listen to lung sounds. We assess if someone is dying. We make the call whether to call the doctor or not. We are at the bedside for eight to 12 hours, and we see more of the patient than the doctor ever will. We are the thin white line that exists to protect and serve the patients who need us. Nursing skills matter. Fire away at Behar and get the media's attention. Eradicate this ignorance, but don't be surprised. Don't think they should know better. Nurses are misrepresented in nearly every sphere. It just took one supposedly funny person's ignorant comments to cast light on that fact.
  2. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    True enough, and perhaps I will leave it at that. I hope you don't hurt your backs. I really do. That's the whole point of this, to protect nurses. If you choose body mechanics over mechanical lifts, then you know the consequences now. Happy thoughts to all, Lynda
  3. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    Hi there, Thanks for the constructive feedback. The tone of the article was mine alone. I used this language to: 1. Get the attention of the most people possible 2. Draw attention to the NPR article 3. Start a discussion that would lead to further nurse education 4. Educate nurses on a little-known fact about their practice If you find it melodramatic, well, then, that's really great. Good for you. However, we accomplished our goals of reaching nurses, and that's what counts. The points brought up in the article have been proven over and over again, though many don't want to believe them. It's a win regardless of what you think about the "articles" on this site. Also, the nurse I interviewed, Susan, said that she was a dinosaur because she was from a diploma program. No, there aren't many left, in any state, and ADNs may be on the way to that. I was mirroring what my interviewee was expressing. You can feel free to take it up with her, if you like, about her gross underestimation of how the diploma programs have decreased in usage.
  4. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    Dr. Powell-Cope has researched, published, and been peered reviewed on the topic of body mechanics. This is what she says: If you haven't been injured yet, anon, you will be. Your discs are damaged by moving that much weight, whether you feel it or not, whether you do it "right" or not. There is no evidence that body mechanics protects your back any more than just flailing away. If you are serious about back safety, you would use those Hoyers more often and not gamble with your health.
  5. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    This is a great article about how to start a safe lifting program in your hospital. The first step is education, and the second is action. Thanks again, Dr. Powell-Cope!
  6. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    I think lifting under weight lifting circumstances is different than the lifting we do as nurses. You have a strong core. You work one group of muscles at a time. You are not working under awkward body positions. Safety equipment is in place for heavy lifting. Your ability to lift 90 percent of your body weight is under particular circumstances. It isn't the circumstances of a nurse moving a patient from cart to bed. In addition, I'm sure you are 100 percent fit, and not all nurses are. Even fit, you are still doing harm to your discs. In fact, you may have a disc rupture that is asymptomatic. Lifting in a gym and lifting as a nurse are two different things, and the latter is dangerous. It is a lie because we are told body mechanics is the best way. Not the guaranteed way, but the best way to protect you back. Mechanical devices are only given a cursory mention, and everyone is taught body mechanics that DON'T have any scientific backing. As for the 35 pound rule, I'm not sure where it comes from. I believe looking into the origin of that number would be beyond the scope of this article, but it has been confirmed by two experts who have published research on this issue. It would be safe to assume that they know what they are talking about, despite how unbelievable the number sounds. I thought it was unbelievable, too, until I did the interviews and it was confirmed. Again, maybe body mechanics are better than nothing, but that doesn't make them safe. They are a placebo, a lie, and something that facilities are ignoring because it will cost them money. Hasn't anyone wondered why 11 states have laws against manual lifting in health care facilities? It's because it is a problem and the way we are doing it now isn't safe.
  7. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    The nurse I talked to who went through so much with her back had a terrible time with Workmen's Comp. That's another article, too. She was basically bullied into going back to work when she didn't feel 100 percent about her back. Unfortunately, she can't work the bedside anymore, and she was likely replaced with someone younger and cheaper. Newer nurses are not as willing to stand up for their rights and their health, though. Susan, the nurse I talked to, said that she eventually stopped jumping in when lifts were in progress, choosing to take a leg rather than the upper body. It's a widespread problem, and facilities would rather replace nurses than put out the money for mechanical assistive devices.
  8. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    Thank you for your time, Doctor! I was wondering if you could speak to initiating the conversation about safe lifting in your facility? That's a great question!
  9. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    Hi all, Just woke up, so I thought I would address some of the ideas expressed here overnight. The idea of 35 pounds is the maximum weight limit came from my expert at the CDC and was confirmed by Dr. Powell-Cope. It is the maximum for all jobs. Incidentally, I asked my husband the same thing, as he works in a factory, and he said that they lift far more than that, too. I guess that is the safe lifting threshold, but I didn't come up with it. It was quoted to me by experts, and I believe I read it in some literature, as well, though they said 51 pounds. As for taking care of your back, that will be in part two of this article series, hopefully, to be published next week. I feel I was lied to because I was taught to lift that way and not taught how important it is to lift with assistive devices. I was taught we didn't need them, but they were nice to have. According to evidenced based research that has been available since at least 2000, that's not true. I wasn't guaranteed, but I don't think that it is beyond logic to make the leap that the way I'm being taught is the best way. Nice to hear of the lifts above the bed. You must work in a good facility. Even Dr. Collins at the CDC said that there was no way to go total hands off. Nurses will still put their backs in danger, but it will be far less danger when mechanical assistance is used. The problem is that many nurses are unaware that they are in this danger because schools and facilities don't tell you -- or you're aren't up on the current lifting research. As for getting upper management to listen, I would say that you should start talking to lower management first. Come armed with evidenced based materials, proof from the CDC, possible reports to OSHA. Unfortunately, right now, there is nothing to force them to help you. You can try, but it is money that will decide the issue. Money and politics, unfortunately, will determine our safety. But it isn't the first time and it won't be the last. Lynda
  10. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    From what I've learned talking to these experts, physical fitness does play a role, but even the most physically fit nurse would still hurt their back without using mechanical assistive devices. Perhaps Dr. Powell-Cope can speak more to this tomorrow. I'm sure she will be around again. The maximum weight a person can safely lift regardless of physical fitness is 35 pounds. That being said, it may be a slippery slope to imply -- not that you did, but you could have -- that only physically fit people are good nurses, allowed to be at the bedside, able to safely lift. I'm sure we could have a big fight about that one. Incidentally, I talked to a physical therapist for my next article, and he said that back pain can be caused by weak leg and core muscles. Those muscles, however, are overtaxed by lifting more than 35 pounds without mechanical assistance, according to both my source at the CDC, the ANA, and Dr. Powell-Cope. So, it's a difficult question and one that I am not entirely qualified to answer. I can find out for you though, or she will post tomorrow. ETA: Nurses who use chiropractors and physical therapists in a preventative fashion tend to do better than those who don't. They still have the back pain, but the use of the professionals can keep them going longer and prevent the back from becoming seriously injured.
  11. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    Still don't believe? Here's one from the ANA: Evidence-Based Practices for Safe Patient Handling and Movement And more: Handle With Care®: The American Nurses Association’s Campaign to Address Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders To quote: "Because patient handling tasks are conventionally performed manually, nurses are significantly exposed to the ergonomic hazard associated with this high risk duty. Manual patient handling characterizes the lifting, transferring, and repositioning of patients without the use of assistive equipment. Nurses have historically been trained to use "proper" body mechanics to prevent injury from lifting and transferring patients. However, questions arise as to the true value and applicability of body mechanics training to the practice of nursing (Nelson, Fragala, & Menzel, 2003)."
  12. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    All I can say to this is that I just checked all of my links, and they work. For instance, this one CDC - Safe Patient Handling - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic. All of this research is based on peer-reviewed, evidence base science that proves that nurses are at least twice as likely to hurt their backs, facilities don't care, and body mechanics are a placebo. Were the experts quoted, experts who dedicate their life to studying the safety of nursing at work, not enough for you? Also, check the NPR article that had far more resources than I could ever manage to get for such a small site. If you even Google "NPR nurses body mechanics" you will see the four-part investigative series they did on this problem. It is real, and it is back by research. How much more proof do you need? In addition, these are not blogs. They are fact sheets put out by the CDC that explain their research. All quotes in this article were obtained over the phone by me, transcribed, and inserted into the article. This is not a rank opinion. It is the truth.
  13. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    LOL, no I felt I was lied to about a lot more, but I won't get into that here. Maybe another article on that one. As for lifts, Hoyers have come a long way and there are now a lot of disposable means of moving patients mechanically. Yes, they do take a lot of time, but so do gait belts. Why would we go the extra mile to keep our patients safe yet not take the time to make ourselves safe? There is no 100 percent solution, but people, some places aren't even trying. There are TONS of equipment solutions out there that can be adapted to any nursing floor, including isolation. Overbed lifts break, but so do IV pumps. Does that mean we don't use them? No. We get them fixed, we find a way, because they make our lives easier and everyone involved safer. The language may be inflammatory, but that is for a reason. Nurses need to know they are in danger, and no one is saying anything. Why aren't people angry about this? It's like being told you will definitely be in a car wreck, no matter how safely you drive. It is about protecting nurses, their health, their livelihoods, and the future of the profession. Yes, I'm angry. I've talked to many experts over the course of these two articles and what I learned made me extremely sad for the nurses at the bedside.
  14. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    Dr. Powell-Cope, what is your opinion of lift team? I know Dr. Collins was scornful of them, but I don't think I had the chance to ask you that question.
  15. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    I feel like we've been lied to. Were we told that body mechanics is only useful to 35 pounds? Were we told that the back breaks down after years of lifting even if you use proper body mechanics? How is it better that you use body mechanics to stave off a back injury for a few years? Why didn't they tell us that mechanical lifts are the only way to be 100 percent safe? The research is out there. Body mechanics have been proven by the CDC, the VA, and the ANA to be outdated, unhelpful, and unsafe. And yet, this is still the norm in every hospital and nursing program. How is it not a lie? Why are the numbers of nurses with back problems higher than all professions? Why are nurses hurt more than factory workers? Do you think they move car parts by pulling on a blanket and tensing their stomachs? Nurses shouldn't be lifting heavy people. Period. And the reason we still do is because no one wants to pay to protect our health.
  16. Lynda Lampert, RN

    Nurses: You've Been LIED to about your Back and Body Mechanics

    If you had mechanical lifts when you started nursing, you wouldn't have had back pain that continued into your career. You wouldn't have needed to see a chiropractor or a physical therapist at all if your lifting was safe. In addition, you admit that you have strong core strength which is not true of a large number of nurses. Usually, core issues are not addressed until after a back problem starts. I'm not saying all back pain ends in surgery. I'm saying nurses will have back pain because body mechanics have been proven not to work.
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