Sunday, April 10, 2016

I'm from the government...I'm here to help...

I love that staffing ratios are being discussed and I hope hospitals do make it a priority figure it out.

However, I also hope that my fellow nurses keep a firm grip on the reality of a nation wide nursing shortage combined with more and more people using hospitals. (ER, particularly).

I work in an ED where our assignment is 3 beds. Early in the shift, we may have 4, until our grid staffs up for the busier time of day.  Or, if the bus unloads, we may get 4.  Our charge nurses generally do an excellent job of considering the acuity of our other patients before assigning a 4th.

There are, sadly, those companies that operate hospitals that put bottom line as their primary driver and routinely overload their nurses -- I won't name names but suffice it to say I disliked Gov. Scott a long time before he was governor.

The fact remains that I have worked across the country and most hospitals realize that staffing ratios save lives and so try to keep safe ratios.  Damage to patients will damage a bottom line.

But, how is a hospital meant to give no nurse more than a government mandated number of patients, fill all the government mandated blanks in the computer charting system, complete all the government mandated forms and make everyone happy enough to not have the government provided funds diminished while also caring for all the patients the government mandates we see regardless if they have an emergency,  and whether or not they can pay...though the government mandates they have insurance.?

We need a fix.

We need to all recognize that there is no easy fix.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Shoulda been an IT guy...

I grow weary of the cacophony of voices bemoaning the lack of 6 figure jobs immediately upon graduation from university.
1. University education USED to be something achieved only by those with plenty of money or a driving desire to better their situation such that they got scholarships or else they worked their way through college. Obviously, the first group already had a leg up, but let's consider the other two. This would be 2 out of 3, not 1%, with me?
* The one with enough drive and intelligence to get scholarships probably also had to work to get through. We are not talking about athletic, but rather academic scholarships. Those once required one to actually perform above expectations to achieve. Those tend to be handed out to folks who don't fit into the first group and are only successfully completed by people with a stake in their personal success.
* The one who only completed university by simultaneously working, sometimes menial labor, maybe more than one job WHILE attending school only completes their degree through strenuous hard work and dedication. (I may be in this category, so I speak with some authority).
These 2 of 3 people STILL did not complete their degree with any idea that they should immediately have money and opportunity rained on them. They realized it was only one step on a long road to achievement. And they worked hard to do just that.
2. Currently, the NORM is for people to have a university degree So, if you have the precisely same degree as millions of others, you are not immediately marketable. If your degree is not in one of the very difficult to obtain STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) categories, but rather fine arts (nothing wrong with fine arts, love fine arts, but we are talking marketability here) or "University Studies" (swear to Tebow, that's a real degree) or something similarly attainable by every average Joe, you have not yet found your way to shine. You may, with a degree in those fields, go on to change the world, but that does not legitimize some beef about not being able to find gainful employment immediately upon graduation.
3. Learn a skill. Check out mikeroweworks It's all about promoting skilled labor. Know what there is definitely a shortage of? Nope, not lawyers (really? Gonna sue your law school because you didn't land a partner track spot?) Plumbers. Electricians. Masons. Carpenters. Mechanics. You know, all those people we pay through the nose because there are so few of them and yet we ALL need them? Do that.
Do SOMETHING, but stop blaming the government, the establishment, the previous generation, anyone but yourself. And DO SOMETHING.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

PSA from Nurse Bananahammock, the VIP edition

So...this showed up on my fb feed tonight...
Here's my $0.02:
When an administrator says to me,
"This patient is a VIP, give them good care.
What I hear is,
"Don't give your usual crappy care."
It's insulting. It demeans my professionalism and my ethics and belittles any of my other patients as being not worth my best efforts.
The speed at which I accomplish tasks in the care of my patient is not determined by their perceived importance to my boss, it is prioritized by the emergent nature of my patient's condition.
If I have a sick patient who is homeless, they will receive the very best care I have to offer, the most compassionate and diligent practice of my craft.
The same is true for a CEO, a fast food worker, a car mechanic or a famous sports star.