Nursing Notes

July 28, 2010

Nurses in the News

Filed under: Nursing — Shirley @ 3:56 am
Tags: , , ,

Here is an article I just found on a new site to me.  This is a site I will be following in the future because I found really useful and informative information there.  The article below is a synopsis of recent issues in the news that have nurses in the forefront.  Some of the stories I have posted here before, but this is still a good article with lots of pertinent information about nursing.

I really believe that we become nurses to help others, not to simply have a job.  Patient safety has to always be our number one priority and sometimes, it appears, we have to fight our own hospitals and the medical profession to make sure our patients are safe while being treated.  It even seems that in doing this, some nurses put their livelihood on the line.  That, I think, defines a calling.  Nurses are the center of patient care.  Without nurses there simply would be no patient care.  We need to start paying attention when all the nurses all around the world are yelling that it is no longer safe to be hospitalized due to staffing shortcomings.

Won’t you leave me a comment about your thoughts or feelings on this topic?

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Nurses. We have no healthcare without them. The majority of these caregivers are truly angels of mercy; others, not so much. We need nurses to set personal high standards for patient care (in spite of Blunt End mandates) and we need them to inspire others to do the same. Nursing is a calling, not a job, but I’m afraid some of the old professional luster has disappeared along with the symbolic white uniforms and those cute little caps. If you want a job go sell lottery tickets at the local gas station. If you want to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors, become a nurse.

I’d like to call your attention to a few stories I’ve been following. They all  have one thing in common; they feature nurses. First up is this story I saw in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Kristeen Klaas, a registered nurse for more than 30 years, was awarded $344,000 in damages last week by a jury after her employer, ValleyCare Medical System retaliated against her for filing patient safety complaints for more than two years. Instead of acting on the information, the hosptial targeted her as a pariah. Her  reports included surgical instruments being left inside patients, a collegue who brought a dog to the operating team’s break room, and a nurse who jumped rope with an electical cord in the O.R. Here’s hoping she finds work in a hospital that appreciates her diligence.

This is a follow-up to a story I covered a few months ago involving 2 nurses from the tiny town of Kermit, Texas. The saga included a physician working in Kermit’s hospital without privileges, the Winkler County Sheriff, the New York Times, and the American Nurses Association. The nurses were vindicated after a criminal trial, but the fallout is far from over.  Last week, the Texas Medical Board charged the doctor at the center of this mess, Rolando Arafiles, Jr, MD, with 9 instances of substandard care, witness intimidation, overbilling, poor medical judgement, and a host of other charges.  Pretty much confirmed everything reported by RNs Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle. MedScape has the details. I smell a TV movie deal… who knows, I might even option this one myself.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about a patient death caused by “alarm fatigue.” Turns out, the Joint Commission has been aware of this phenomenon for almost a decade – aware, but that’s about it. As outrageous as it seems, ignored alarms are a recognized cause of death and injury in hospitals. Remember, it’s a ventilator or a heart monitor we’re talking about here, not a clothes dryer. NurseZone.com has this excellent piece on the whole alarm fatigue issue for those of you who want to know more.

Finally, our friends at USAToday recently printed another outstanding resource for patients nationwide – a map showing states that participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact – a deal that allows a nurse licensed in one state to practice in other participating states. This multi-state license loophole allows bad nurses to leap from jurisdiction to jurisdiction without fear of their previous work record catching up. This piece comes with a coded map that shows which states put their nursing disciplinary documents online and available to the public. Kudos to Team USAToday and to nephew Nick for calling this one to my attention.

Please go to the original site by clicking here to see other articles and to leave them a comment.

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