Published Jan 21, 2003
You are reading page 4 of "Getting Good Care in the Hospital requires Vigilance"
l am sooooooooo MAD....grrrrrrr...l just sent an addendum to my privious e-mail...
also wanted to say, l am glad your picture was posted with your article for millions of nurses to see.......l hope your mug is posted in every nurses station in every hospital within a hundred mile radius..........what goes around....blah blah blah
I am so grateful to you all of you who wrote to Ms. Linn and posted your letters here. So many well-expressed lines. At the moment, I'm a little too angry with her to be so classy, but this is what I sent to Ms. Linn:
"I read your article very carefully and, through allnurses.com I am aware of many of the detailed, careful replies you have received. You are responsible for a piece of very sloppy journalism and if I had the time in my caregiving day to criticize your work in similar detail I would be tempted to reply in kind.
Your paltry response to one email, claiming you were criticizing system problems is a cover up. Please count how many times you wrote "nurse" or skilled work performed almost exclusively by nurses, such as giving medications.
A more appropriate response from you would be to offer an apology to the thousands of caring, worked-off-our-feet-and-can't-bring-ourselves-to-leave-the-patients-in-an-even-worse-situation professional nurses, and to make amends by performing some responsible nursing support service within a hard-pressed health care environment. I do not mean the current journalism phase for 'under cover' reporting either. I mean work. You are not able to perform skilled work in a health care environment, but honest work would be a start and would assist you with a reality check.
My credentials: Registered Nurse in the USA and UK. Additional qualifications in pediatric and community nursing. Thirty-one years of experience, some spent teaching and mentoring students or new graduates. Experience in a developing country, unpaid. Oh, and a Master's degree studied for while working full time, funded by myself. My patients are my references. I am a fulfilled, professional woman who would like to see improved conditions for my patient's sake.
This profile is similar to many nurses who have written to you. I am nothing special in professional nursing. Please stop and think before you write again."
Here's the reply I got:
The opinion column addressed "system" problems that can only be resolved by administrators or reforms that go far beyond hospitals. Nobody expects nurses to empty trash. Why would anybody blame nurses, but often families go to the nurses stations with those concerns because they don't know where else to turn.
She is correct. It's good that she (or her posse) replied and I kinda like what this response says, BUT it doesn't quite reflect what we have written to her about and that is...what is HER role as a journalist to report fair and accurately.
l still say it's half-assed journalism...maybe not even half.....
MomNRN, BSN, RN
Although it is nice that she replied, and I do applaud all of you who sent her messages, the fact remains that her crappy story is still published. It has still been read by many, and those biased views still shared throughout her community.
Your eloquent messages should be shared with the paper and readers with which she shared her views with. Until "the people" hear from the nurses, they will often repeat the stories they hear.
don't know how to post this as a link, maybe some of my cyber friends can help out there.....this is e-mail addy for letters to the editor of the post gazette......so lets have at it!
so l sent off my letter.............already got a confirmation from the post gazette...May l suggest that those who already responded to Ms Linn, just highlight your text, right cursor and copy the text, right cursor and paste and send copies to the letters to the editor section...thanks...heres mine:
I responded to Ms Linn's recent article "Getting good care in the hospital requires vigilance". I want to make public my response to her and her return response to me... What ever happened to unbiased and fair journalism? As an RN l find your article "Getting good care in the hospital requires vigilance" reprehensable in placing the blame on nurses. Surely as an informed reporter you have heard of the nursing shortage. In your article you suggest family members approach nursing staff in a defensive and near hostile manner. Writing down names of everyone who comes in the room...puleeeez! Nurses are responsible for life and death issues such as treatments, medications and ever vigilent assessments of critical patients looking for subtle clues that a patient's condition is slipping. It is an ignorant myth that nurses function in the same capacity as airline attendents...thanks largely to moronic medical shows like ER and Strong Medicine etc. Pillows, maintenence, and yes, even hygein take a back seat to more critical life matters. Perhaps the nurse is busy answering call lights of 7 other patients. Also, the ancillary help has been cut to the bone,much fewer nursing assistants and lab techs, housekeeping. I could go on. Nurses work under deplorable conditions, and deal with difficult families like you have encouraged and they do so working 12+hr shifts many times without breaks on units that are severely short staffed.....hence...the nursing shortage. Thanks to ignorant advice like you provided, the situation will only get worse. I would refuse an assingment to care for a patient with family members such as you encourage....Yes, hostility makes me work better for sure!
If you were really interested in improving health care for people, you would expose the vulgar high salaries of hospital CEO's, look into all the "improvements" and building funds going on in hospitals and then ask the question that BEGS to be asked...."You can't afford nurses?" Nurses are front line defense in the ultimate outcomes of patients and are probably the #1 deciding factor in the quality of these outcomes. Doesen't make a whole lot of difference if you had a talented surgeon if the nurse does not deliver the appropriate follow up care. If she has too many high acuity patients to care for, the patient's care will suffer. Believe me, nurses do not like this either! We are put in a dire predicament, so many of us leave the bedside to persue friendlier fields of nursing. Also, l might add...when expierienced nurses leave the bedside, who takes over?...Inexperienced young nurses, also working in deplorable conditions...even more unsafe.
Ms. Lynn, your blame is sorely misplaced and does a huge diservice to pantients AND nurses. I hope you will re think this and retract, You are wrong!
This article was posted in on the largest international nursing website, allnurses.com with numerous responses from nurses through out the USA. Many of them responded to Ms. Linn as I did an many of us got the same anemic reply:
Thank you for your comment. Who placed the blame on nurses?. It was
obvious the column talked about system problems that can only be addressed
by administrators and reforms that need to go well beyond hospitals.
Now that the damage is done, this is all she had to say. I hope you can appreciate that the nursing shortage crisis will not be served well be this type of irresponsible and biased journalism.
I didnt get that message at all. Seems to me this reporter is going to dismiss all those great responses. Thanks for the editors address. Im just going to click, copy & paste my letter to her & send it to the newspaper too.
Thanks for the help with letting the editor know how we have responded to her. I have copied my letter and emailed it to the editor.
By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X