Published Mar 11, 1999
Reply to Barton
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Topic: Reply to Barton
posted March 05, 1999 09:01 PM
I have tried for over an hour to get on the ANA web site, but I am getting an 'overloaded' message. Hopefully, it is all the nurses out there writing to tell them of their situations. I'll try again in the AM. We do need to stick together- we could be a very powerful group with the ability to accomplish many great things.
posted March 05, 1999 10:25 PM
posted March 06, 1999 09:00 AM
What I can't understand is why they don't see that it's cheaper to treat people early rather than later when the prognosis is worse and recovery time longer. Prime examples are those people who are working (both parents) that are trying to raise a family but can't afford health insurance so their only way of obtaining medical care is via the ED. Costs a lot more in the long run. Or what about states that don't require insurance co's to pay for mammograms. Earlier diagnosis, earlier tx, better prognosis, less cost. But hospitals and HMOs aren't concerned with the long run, they only care about how much cash can be made now and how can we get a bigger piece of the pie. Sophie and I used to work together so she fully understands about what $$$ can buy. And that includes putting a monetary value on human life. And all this time I thought life was supposed to be priceless.
posted March 06, 1999 09:58 AM
THANK YOU to GigiDues, BethanyJ, and bluesboyj for responding!
GigiDues---Thanks for attempting to e-mail the ANA and I'm SO glad you'll keep trying! It's REALLY good news that their site is OVERLOADED isn't it? I'm SO glad you told me that! We can only hope, as you say, that it is due to overwhelming mail from nurses. I haven't received a response from my e-mail to them on 2-26-99(?) so I plan to e-mail again on Monday (or maybe weekends ARE better since I assume their offices are closed), and then on Monday, if they read their mail, I'm hoping they have a LONG list of e-mail from all of us! Will you let us know if you get through and if you get a response please let us know what it is. THANKS!!
Thanks for responding! Have you been able to get through to the ANA? Please let us know if you do and what they say, will you?--and don't forget those state legislators!! THANKS!!
Sounds like you've had one bad experience with health care legislation out there, but I beg you not to give up! Please e-mail the ANA and your legislators and let us know what happens, ok?
By the way all, I try to keep my mail to them short and to the point--(so I get my message across before they get bored)--something like:
"To Whom it May Concern: (for ANA, otherwise legislators name and title)
I would like to know if the American Nurses Association is doing anything about nurse understaffing. If so, please explain what it is and please tell me what I can do to help.
Please KEEP UP the communications with the ANA and legislators and please keep posting results so we can all see the positive steps we are taking and keep each others' spirits buoyed!!
THANKS TO ALL!!
posted March 07, 1999 12:30 AM
I also used brief messages to my legislators. I directed them to this message board, stressed understaffing is a national concern among nurses and wouldn't it be GREAT if it was *OUR* wonderful state that was the forerunner in instituting changes to improve the staffing and thus quality of patient care. I'm hoping this angle will work. I intend to keep sending my messages on a weekly basis until I get a response. I should rephrase that to say until I get the response I want to hear. haha. I will post any response I receive.
posted March 07, 1999 08:43 AM
posted March 07, 1999 12:22 PM
Way to go BethanyJ!! Yes, it would be nice if "our little group" gained enough support, with letters from nurses everywhere, to effect a positive change in staffing!
Thanks for your stamina---keep up those letters and e-mails!
I have e-mailed the ANA ([email protected])on 2-26, 3-3, and 3-7, 1999 and have not received responses, BUT I am not giving up!
I also could not get to the ANA sites at [email protected] OR http://www.nursingworld.org----(I hope these addy's are correct.)
HOWEVER, I believe that one CAN E-MAIL the ANA at [email protected]'s the address I've been using. (I hope the mail is getting there! Ha!)
I also e-mailed the Florida Nurses Association and begged them to make this issue one of their "priority" legislative issues and told them that I had written the ANA and Rep. C. W. Young.
I wrote to Rep. C. W. Young (he doesn't have e-mail apparently). I'm afraid my letter was not as brief as I've suggested (Ha!)and after describing our problems I told him that we ARE NOT WHINING--that as licensed personnel we have many opportunities for advancement not previously available--that we FEAR for our patients' well-being and CHOOSE to remain in bedside care!
I also used your suggestion and referred him to this site under "General Discussion Topics".
I agree that the media is a good way to go. Have you had any dealings with them? Could you advise us on how to approach them and what we can legally say?
Keep up the letters and e-mail folks!! I feel momentum here and it feels GOOD and PROMISING!
PLEASE post any and all mail you've written and received about this!
I still think it's GOOD NEWS that both the ANA sites I've tried are overloaded or whatever, don't you??!!
posted March 07, 1999 03:47 PM
I did finally get on the ANA's web site and was able to e-mail them. Will post any response. Also, I will be encouraging the nurses that I work with to do the same.
posted March 07, 1999 05:20 PM
THE MORE THE MERRIER, HUH?!
posted March 07, 1999 07:00 PM
I don't think that there is anything we can't say to the press--legally speaking as long as the concerns are legitimate and true. However, as bluesboyj wrote--there would be hell to pay even in those states with whistleblower acts enacted for those who chose to speak up. Those pulling the strings and running the show can make life even more miserable than it is now for the nurses who speak up. Suggest nurses DOCUMENT and keep private records at home before they speak up. That way those who speak out via the media will have a little leverage to fall back on when the management turns up the heat. You can bet your bottom dollar that nurses will be asked to provide specifics such as dates and instances to prove that staffing endangered patient care, etc. They will have their own records, undoubtedly fudged somehow to show that no such problem exists in their facility. I'd bank on it. I've heard it's happened before. Then they point to the nurses and label them as troublemakers and whiners. I'm new to this political arena here and don't have a law degree--these are just my thoughts.
posted March 08, 1999 09:08 AM
Thanks for your response. I agree that documentation is the key AND that we might find discrepancies between our documentation and that of administration! Apparently, one of the most valuable tools they gave us in school was the incessant cry, "DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, AND DOCUMENT, huh? I like to think that if 2 or 3 nurses on the same shift have similar documentation, it would negate that of administration.
POINT OF INTEREST:
Have you looked at your state nursing association's web site? Obviously, I am paraphrasing only a small portion of what is written on the Florida Nursing Association site but here goes:
Under "Workplace Advocacy", one of its purposes is to promote the welfare of nurses so that everyone will receive better nursing care. They encourage nurses to call with their concerns, etc., including staffing, and one of their goals is to provide guidance and information to resolve a problem.
This annoys me. Is there no ONE POWER for us to turn to that has the ability to speak and rule definitively?
I am confident however that if we can encourage ALL nurses to contribute to our outpouring of e-mails and letters, that not only might we effect some positive changes, but perhaps we WILL be provided with a law or SOMETHING that will keep our hospitals safely staffed!!
Thanks BethanyJ--Please continue to post---your ideas and info have proven invaluable!
posted March 09, 1999 12:25 PM
I was perusing another Nursing BB, and came across an individual who says she works for a major TV news magazine requesting some info
on the use of assistive personnel to replace RN's at the bedside. I've emailed her explaining what our BB was trying to do and to ask if she might be interested in what we have to say about this and other issues and to ask for her permission to post her email address. I'm not sure if this is legitimate or not, so if this person does exist, I don't want to "alienate" her with unsolicited email. As soon as I have her relpy, I will post........
Waiting on "Pins and Needles".....
posted March 09, 1999 03:49 PM
YOURS IS THE MOST EXCITING NEWS I'VE HEARD SO FAR!!!!!!
I am waiting on pins and needles along with you! I trust that you will post as soon as you hear anything.
I have e-mailed the ANA 3 times (with no response yet), the FNA (Florida--I received a return receipt today that states it was read today--but no response yet), and I faxed a letter to Rep. C. W. Young (FL) just this afternoon.
I have a feeling that the ANA and state nursing associations are receiving a large number of e-mails and letters from this site, and I'm concerned that these associations might be thinking "We'll just let this little "phase" of theirs pass and they'll stop writing."
PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE fellow nurses, DON'T let this happen! I'm not suggesting that we be a nuisance---just PERSISTENT! Please DON'T let them think that we will give up trying to get ADEQUATE and LICENSED staffing for our patients!
Even if I don't receive responses to my mail, I plan to continue writing and e-mailing at regular and polite intervals and I urge all of you to do the same. Please don't give up. If they stop receiving mail from us, because we are discouraged with the lack of response, then I believe we will fail.
PLEASE---EACH OF YOU---TELL ME THAT WE WILL NOT GIVE UP AND THAT WE WILL NOT FAIL!!
Thanks again Canrckid----I am THRILLED and I think that your post gives all of us a much needed piece of OPTIMISM!!
posted March 09, 1999 05:34 PM
So far I have just received an automated response that my messages were received and I will be receiving a written response in the near future. I hope so, but will continue to remail my messages until I do hear something. If I don't, I'll head out on a different front..perhaps television, huh? What local newscast wouldn't jump at the chance to show overworked nurses and endangered patients while administrators are rolling in the dough and not losing an ounce of sleep over the matter??? hmmmm...
barton, I've tried to access the MI Nurses Association website but haven't been able to get anything to load to up. I tried to email them also but got it back through the mail daemon as an unknown user. I'll have to look up the addy and send a letter conventionally.
Hey you guys...have you noticed the registered users on this board are growing rapidly? I'm hoping it's our legal beagles on here sniffing out the territory!!
Thanks barton for the words of encouragment to stick this out. For me, an unanswered letter is nothing in comparison to understaffed facilities and patients not receiving the care they deserve!
Carry on my friends....
posted March 09, 1999 06:00 PM
An incident happened that I think woke up administrators and supposedly now we have more positions created! I guess I'll have to believe it when I see the new nurses working, but for now it has our hopes up that someone has finally listened that more staff is needed in our unit!
posted March 09, 1999 07:51 PM
GREAT news that you received responses, even if they're automated, they DID say they'd be followed by written replies, which is a BIG step in the right direction, huh?
I agree with you also that TV would REALLY shake things up!
Thanks for your continued efforts and posts and words of encouragement! We musn't give up!
When I e-mailed the ANA today (AGAIN), I told them that I had sent a letter to Rep. Young (FL) and I also asked them (paraphrasing here): What is the point of their association's "lofty" goals for nurses if we can't provide the most basic of care---plenty of LICENSED nurses to provide bedside care?
Yes, I have noticed the number of registered users increasing and I HOPE the right people ARE sniffing around here!
And THANK YOU for YOUR continued support, frequent posts and updates. It really helps keep me (and I bet others) going!!
Thanks for the input! Keep posting and HANG in there with us, OK?
Talk to you all soon!
posted March 09, 1999 07:53 PM
Yea! Here it is! Sending you her response. Make the best of it!
Go ahead and post my name, email, and phone. I am interested in staffing
issues involving nurses and techs, and am willing to hear from anyone who
has a specific concern. I am most interested in hearing about situations
that are ongoing, where patient care is being affected. Anyone may leave
their number and a description of their concern and I will call them back as
soon as I can.
ABC News 20/20
I will email her my thanks, and let her know about this bulletin board where she can read some of the issues for herself......in case there are those of us who are too "shy" to respond. And by all means, all of you pass this info out at your places of employment (discreetly of course!), so we can give input from places other than this BB.
posted March 09, 1999 10:10 PM
I'm glad to see this BB expanding. Just read Canrckid's post, made a copy, and taking it to work! Just to let you know--I emailed the ANA today.
jmccrn--it almost sounds like we work for the same hospital--but we don't!
posted March 09, 1999 11:21 PM
I'm glad to see the BB really getting some good discussion rolling :-) I will highlight these discussions in the next issue of "Nurse-zine" wwnurse.com/Nurse-zine/ (19,000 subscribers). Hopefully will get more nurses involved! The more voices that speak out on these issues, the more likely that voice will be heard. I am glad to see the professionalism by all your post! Keep it positive!
WORLDWIDE NURSE: The Internet's Nursing Directory
[This message has been edited by bshort (edited March 09, 1999).]
posted March 10, 1999 07:32 AM
Good for you! "Nurse-zine", is the perfect vehicle for getting out the word to all those "stressed out" nurses that they now have another route to express their concerns over patient care/safety issues. Please post Sylvia Johnson's verbatim reply to my email, so that those who wish to respond to her, know what she is looking for.....
posted March 10, 1999 11:16 AM
ABC??!!??-------20/20??!!?? This is MAGNIFICENT!! I will e-mail her TODAY!!
As you said, SPREADING BEYOND THIS BB!!
PLEASE FOLKS--WE CAN'T STOP NOW, CAN WE?
If you were standing here right now, I'd KISS you! LOL!! Thanks for bringing the ABC 20/20 info to WORK!! And thank you for e-mailing the ANA.
I think you were reading my mind today! I had planned on posting to you TODAY, to ask what you thought of our ideas and efforts.
NURSE-ZINE!!!!---------19 THOUSAND SUBSCRIBERS??!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
With our posts on this BB, your including us in NURSE-ZINE, 20/20's interest, all of our e-mails/letters to legislators, the ANA, the AARP, the state nursing associations, and with people here spreading "the word", I believe that our optimism and chances of SUCCESS are greater than I'VE EVER SEEN!!!
And, Brian, (b.short), I hope that you will do as Canrckid asked and post Sylvia Johnson's info in the Nurse-zine! Will You?
Thank you Brian, for taking our efforts one BIG STEP FORWARD!
TO ALL OF YOU,
I CONTINUE MY PLEA--DON'T GIVE UP ON CORRESPONDENCE TO THE ANA, LEGISLATORS, ETC.
PLEASE--- DON'T let them think that we are making a BRIEF and WEAK cry for help and that eventually we will "shut up"! I believe that ONLY with CONTINUED efforts will we be taken seriously and get LOTS of LICENSED nurses back to the PATIENT'S BEDSIDE!
THANK YOU ALL!!
posted March 10, 1999 12:08 PM
I hope no one minds that I've invited others from other BB's on wwnurse.com to join in our conversation and efforts.
I hope you don't mind that I told them we have 20/20's interest!!!!!!!!
I hope you don't mind that I told them you were planning to include some of our input in NURSE-ZINE.
I really didn't think any of you would mind these things, but I thought I'd post, just to be sure.
posted March 10, 1999 12:21 PM
Barton, I've had another thought...suppose we should get a new topic list going re: nursing issues/concerns and how they affect our patient care? After we've gotten a few responses we can forward the entire page to our legistlators, ANA, etc. along with our other little notes of concern. Just a thought....
We can also continue to spread the word about this BB in our workplaces to fellow nurses....just post the web site on education/general news bulletin boards in the workplace and advertise it as a great nursing resource...which it is.
posted March 10, 1999 04:07 PM
Great to hear from you! I'm SO glad that you continue to post. I think that updating each other frequently like this is a GREAT way to keep us ALL actively involved. We don't want ANYONE to give up, do we?
I LOVE your idea re: a new topic list re: nursing issues/concerns and how they affect patient care-------and I REALLY like your idea to forward this topic list to legislators, ANA , etc..
I'd like people to continue to write it on THIS topic list though, and here is my reason: I'm concerned that if we move any of our communications to another topic list, the people that have been invited to join/read this BB (legislators, other BB users on this site, media, etc.) might "get lost", so to speak, trying to find us.
WHAT DO YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE THINK?
I also suggest that we ALL brainstorm and form a "Mission Statement".
Perhaps something like this:
We nurses, acting in our roles as patient advocates, and finding no ONE definitive power to represent us, are prepared to perform the following acts to ensure the safe care of our patients and ourselves:
1) We will communicate with any and all parties who are charged with the responsibility of legislating and/or mandating the practices of nurses.
2) Since we believe that nursing administrators and other nurses not currently involved in direct patient care do not have first-hand knowledge of the rapid and dramatic changes in bedside nursing, we will ask our legislators to form a body of nurses, comprised ONLY of currently practicing BEDSIDE nurses.
3) We will charge this body of nurses with the solemn responsibility of formulating a patient acuity system that reflects the true nature of today's more seriously ill hospital patient. Based on this and the additional time that nurses require in using Universal Precautions, they will formulate a safer and more realistic nurse/patient ratio.
4) We will ask our legislators to support these findings as law and to impose a fine on hospitals that do not comply. We will ask them also to withdraw federal dollars, if applicable, from hospitals that repeatedly ignore this law.
Just a start..........and a thought.....my brain is tired! (Ha!)
AS I SAID EARLIER, LET'S ALL BRAINSTORM!!
PLEASE ADD TO, DELETE FROM, REWRITE---(WHATEVER) TO WHAT I'VE JUST WRITTEN, OK?
Hugs to ALL!!!
posted March 10, 1999 06:57 PM
I think that you have a great start on the mission statement... Right now, I can't think of anything to add because my brain cells are on strike. teehee. I'll give it some thought and post again if I can think of anything to add.
I do know that I stand behind what you have written thus far. I'd love to see crucial decisions made by those who know what is going on at the bedside rather than those hidden behind closed doors.
I also have to admit that you have a good point about leaving all posts in here so they can be found easily, and I agree with that.
Talk to ya's later!
PS-- Word must be traveling....the number of registered users continues to climb daily. Woo-hoo!!! More supporters coming our way!!!!!
posted March 10, 1999 07:44 PM
I have created hot links to this and other discussions in the announcement section at the top of the new forum, so new comers can follow the discussion from the beginning.
BTW, I am always open for feedback and suggestions
Also, I have e-mailed Sylvia Johnson ABC News 20/20, and see what she thinks about posting her contact info in Nurse-zine. Only with her permission will I mention her in Nurse-zine.
PLEASE POSR ALL YOUR REPLYS TO THAT YOU HAVE ON THID THREAD TO THE FOLLOWING NEW FORUM:
http://wwnurse.com/bb/cgi/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=Nursing+Issues/Concerns+and+how+they+affect+patient+safety+and+ care.&num ber=79&DaysPrune=60&LastLogin=
I will close this thread so no new post can be posted here.
[This message has been edited by bshort (edited March 10, 1999).]
posted March 10, 1999 11:14 PM
Thanks for your response. I'm glad to hear that you'll be contacting Sylvia Johnson! I agree with you that asking how she wishes this to be handled is the only considerate thing to do.
I tried to post on the neat new forum you created, but could not (I'm not computer savvy and there was some Server thing(?) that prevented me from posting).
In any event, I'm still concerned that some of the people invited to read our posts will get "lost", ESPECIALLY if their computer skills are as limited as MINE!! LOL!!!
Well, I'm sure we can all work this out, huh?
We seem to be doing a darn fine job so far, and I am proud to be associated with the fine group of people I've met here!!
Talk to all of you Thursday!
Lots of hugs to all of you!
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