July 31, 2008
The Kings County ER Incident
I recently saw a Kings County video online. (Emergency Room Death Sparks Outrage) A Kings County Hospital Center surveillance camera caught a patient writhing on the floor while other patients and staffers ignored her.
Esman Green, a 49-year-old Jamaican woman and patient at the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, died last month, unattended and seemingly ignored, on the floor of the Kings County psychiatric emergency room, according to officials. The video shows Green slumping out of her chair and going into convulsions as workers and fellow patients walked by her, doing nothing. How could no one do nothing? Is this hospital care? What happened to morality? Green had been in the King’s County psychiatric ward waiting area for over 24 hours. She was later pronounced dead.
It is now reported that hospital workers falsified the time of the incident on Green's medical records. Meanwhile, federal and city investigators are considering possible criminal charges and the staff involved were suspended or fired. A Civil Rights Suit is now in being filed.
Are we so cynical about patient care that ignorance is now accepted? Do we no longer have time to check on a patient? Was this preventable? Where was the staff? Any staff? Where is the pride in helping a human being today? Isn’t that the bottom line of nursing? Your comments, please...
July 29, 2008
Change of Shift Posts at Emergiblog
New compilation of nurse bloggers has posted. Here is a link for you. Check it out today!
July 24, 2008
New York Times Calling All Nurses!
Wild, loud thunderstorms hit the area pretty badly last night, right when I was on the computer answering a few emails from patients with dystonia. They seem to write at all hours of the night, desperate for answers and a cure. I thought my computer would blow out as well as me. I had fears of being struck by lightening because of my freaky DBS wires acting as antennas!
The New York Times is searching for nurses to feature in a November issue focusing on nursing leadership, compassion, attentiveness, and contribution to society. Four winners — three practicing nurses and one nurse educator — will be chosen from a group of candidates nominated by patients, their families, students, colleagues, and medical organizations. Winners will be featured in the New York Times Magazine in November 2008. Deadline for submissions: August 1, 2008.
To make a nomination , simply click here and begin writing about that special nurse and/or nurse educator today.
July 23, 2008
Are You Ready to Quit Nursing?
I had a long work weekend. Patients kept on coming through the revolving doors of the Emergency Room. Hallways were filled with patients in various states of sickness and health, lying on stretchers or sitting in chairs. A few homeless individuals walked the hallways, chanting to themselves. And now, a new American Nurses Association poll has been released. Seems that many of us want to quit!
About half of the 10,000 nurses surveyed in the poll are thinking about leaving their current jobs -- because they're worried about inadequate nurse staffing levels. Those are staggering numbers -- 50% are thinking about leaving their current jobs. No wonder 1000 RNs picketed outside the Milstein Building at New York-Presbyterian for about a week in early June as the sun beat on the hot pavement. I’m sure that staffing was a key issue.
Back to the survey results -- nearly 75% of the nurses polled by the ANA reported that staffing levels were basically insufficient. On the other hand, approximately 26% said that staffing levels were reasonable in their facilities. (I wonder where they work?)
Are you ready to quit because of staffing levels? Tell us about your staffing experiences. Are they getting better or worse? Can you suggest any solutions?
To contribute to the survey, log onto the ANA site.
July 16, 2008
The AMA and Fake Patients
Lightening strikes and downpours seem to be the agenda for today until I read the latest news from the American Medical Association. Completely surprised me! This was no game of Jeopardy. The Medical Association has initiated a campaign using undercover patients and/or actors to grade and evaluate a clinic, health facility, outpatient center, or an overcrowded emergency room. The goal is to grade the system for future healthcare seekers.
The Ethics Council of the American Medical Association is pressing their members to endorse such practices. How are you going to know the “fake, undercover” patients from those having real pain and real illness? What are your thoughts on this?
July 14, 2008
Change of Shift
Ever wonder why and how nurses started blogging? Check out the most recent edition of Change of Shift, to get the story.
July 07, 2008
What Changes Those Who Enter Nursing Administration?
Have you ever questioned who those nurses are who leave bedside clinical nursing to become nursing administrators? Lately, after watching the picket lines at New York – Presbyterian, I have wondered more and more if those in nursing administration are really nurses? Have they lost touch with bedside nursing? They all seem to reside in posh, mahogany oval offices. (No, not the one in the White House!)
Over the years, I have watched fellow colleagues rise through the ranks, beginning in the role of a bedside nurse like myself with visions of "being a dedicated nurse," eventually graduating to the role of nurse manager, becoming an advanced practice nurse, specialist, or risk manager, then Director of Nursing, and finally moving into the coveted role of VP or CEO of Nursing in a large medical facility. As they rise through the ranks, their contact with bedside nurses seems to become less important. No longer are grand rounds conducted or walk-abouts performed, just to see how former colleagues are doing when assignment acuity rises, along with nurses' sick calls.
I have met some nursing administrators who bring new ideas into a system, just to see their ideas pounced upon by other nursing directors. Are there too many directors within nursing administration today? Are they doing what they are supposed to do? I can never see myself in this role -- losing the compassion, clinical skills, and the reality of everyday nursing would be too distressing to me. Yet, it happens to many nursing administrators.
Why do they change? Is their focus no longer on those of us in the daily trenches or are they instead focusing attention to the bottom line – profits?