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Monthly Archives: September 2011
Deborah Burger on the California Nurses Strike and Author of The Comfort Garden, Laurie Barkin | Show 423
Casey and Dan talk with RN and co-president of National Nurses United Deborah Burger about the nurses strike in Northern California. Over 23,000 nurses took part in the one day strike against Sutter and Kaiser hospitals. Tragically as we spoke with Deborah about how a lockout adversely affects patient safety, a patient at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center died due to a medical error while under the care of a replacement nurse. Though this was a one-day strike, Sutter refused to let the nurses come back to work for another four days, putting patients in further jeopardy. More on the strike and this story at National Nurses United.
And in studio Casey and Dan welcome RN Laurie Barkin. Laurie is a psychiatric nurse consultant at San Francisco General and has written a fascinatingly vivid account about her twenty years as an elite psychiatric trauma nurse treating San Francisco’s most complicated cases. Her book is called The Comfort Garden.
Deborah Burger on California Nurses’ Strike at Sutter and Kaiser | National Nurses United Sponsored Segment | Show 423
When Nurses are on the Outside There’s Something Wrong Inside
There was big news last week with the nurses strike in Northern California. Over 23,000 nurses took part in the one day strike against Sutter and Kaiser hospitals. Tragically as we spoke with RN and co-president of National Nurses United Deborah Burger, a patient at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center died due to a medical error while under the care of a replacement nurse. Though this was a one-day strike, Sutter refused to let the nurses come back to work for another four days, putting patients in further jeopardy. Read more…
There was big news last week with the nurses strike in Northern California. Over 23,000 nurses took part in the one day strike against Sutter and Kaiser hospitals.
Tragically as we spoke with RN and co-president of National Nurses United Deborah Burger, a patient at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center died due to a medical error while under the care of a replacement nurse.
And in studio Casey and Dan welcome RN Laurie Barkin. Laurie is a psychiatric nurse consultant at San Francisco General and has written a fascinatingly vivid account about her twenty years as an elite psychiatric trauma nurse treating San Francisco’s most complicated cases and how treating the trauma of others affects caregivers.
For more about the drunk Swedish moose and fake bomb threat, you have to tune in to the show…
Since we nurses are proud to deliver evidence-based care, we cannot neglect the proven benefits of prayer in healing our patients.
Gallup polls show that 95% of Americans believe in God. 90% pray. With these statistics, how can we not offer prayer as an adjunct to their healing? Consider this research proving the health benefits:
- Patients affiliated with a religious community had 50% shorter hospital stays than those with none. Those who attend church, temple, or mosque regularly have half the levels of the blood protein interleukin-6, which, in high levels, is associated with AIDS, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. (Duke University’s Center for the Study of Religion, Spirituality, and Health)
- Prayer and religious rituals can relieve stress. Praying 10-20 minutes a day can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and metabolic rates. (Harvard’s Mind/Body Institute)
- Patients who were prayed for but didn’t know it had fewer life-threatening complications and needed less medication. (San Francisco Medical Center)
- There is now convincing evidence that people who have strong spiritual beliefs do better, even in serious illness. (St Luke’s Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO.
- Over half of America’s medical schools now teach courses in religion and spirituality and the important impact on patient health.
Caring for those in need includes standing up for patients against corporate greed and disinterest in the human costs of cuts in staffing and services. There are 23,000 nurses on the street for theCalifornia Kaiser and Sutter Health strike doing just that. We’re with them.
We’re rewinding our show with Boston RN Karen Higgins, past president of Massachusetts Nurses Association and one of three co-presidents for National Nurses United who talks about nurse activism. Corporate health care is looking at the bottom line but they aren’t seeing it. Nurses face the results of cost cutting up close every day. Karen says, “When hospitals feel the need to save money, the first place they cut unfortunately are the ones who take care of patients and the vast majority of who that is, is nurses…Patient care suffers and patients suffer.”
Karen also shares her views on the continuing need for single payer health care in our country, the urgency regarding nurse-patient ratios and other important issues that affect all of us. It seems the hospitals are looking at more ways to cut staffing (this is in the face of a health care crisis) in preparation for Obama Care kicking in. Read more…
Mental health professionals at Kaiser Permanente speak out about understaffing at Kaiser and its impact on patient care, in advance of a statewide strike. Fighting the good fight. We applaud you for your sympathy strike support California Nurses Association and National Nurses United. This is a great video about why Kaiser health care workers are striking. We can all be agents for change. Money is not more important than people.
As nurses living busy lives, I think we can all agree that we need to “keep it simple” when it comes to our work attire. In the business world, the term “dress for success” is a given. In our world, we hear “Nurses are angels in comfort shoes.” Sometimes I fear we take it a step too far when it comes to comfort.
Have we become too relaxed in our appearance these days? Are our old scrubs just that…old scrubs?! Tennis shoes have replaced those old iconic (and impractical) white nurse’s shoes, but are they tattered and worn and heaven forbid…dingy? No nurses caps adorn our curls (or blow outs) these days, but we know and understand that it wasn’t the cap that made the nurse. It was the nurse under the cap that was important.
Studies have shown that our patients make a judgment call about us within sixty seconds of meeting us. In those few moments, they decide whether or not we are a “good” nurse or not! What?! Do you mean it matters what we look like? Don’t patients know the pressure we’re under? Don’t they understand the responsibilities we carry as health professionals? Our physical appearance should not be so important…but it is. Read more…
Ever showed up for work, wondering…who’s got the house? Nurse managers don’t wonder, of course, they just pray…Oh God, don’t tell me I have the house tonight.The one-house nurses found their career home right after school, and stayed there. Other nurses, like me, were peripatetic, wandering from house to house. We found something to take away from each house, something bigger than the tape rolls and alcohol pledgets that rode home in our uniform pockets: often it was the love and trust of a special patient. Ever seen the house when no one was at home? I did, once.
A campus-style psychiatric hospital I’d worked at had just closed. Before it was battened down against trespassers, I took myself a long walk through it one evening. No patients. No staff. No cars. Lots of echoes though, my own footsteps and sounds from birds and field animals bouncing around the pretty Tudor-style cottages. The sun’s long, setting rays slanted into my eyes.
I was asked afterward why I hadn’t been afraid to walk around the place alone like that. After all, it had been home to sixty years’ worth of patients wrestling their demons…wasn’t I afraid the house was haunted?
Of course it was haunted. Read more…
Donna always brings us up to speed on the issues that are important…at least to us they are. We’ll get an update on the nurses’ Main Street Campaign (more about that at nationalnursesunited.com), the state of Social Security and Medicare, a Wall Street sales tax and much more.
We have comedian Lynn Ruth Miller with us and she is wound up like a top! Find out what the Dust Bowl and Lynn Ruth have in common. Lynn Ruth is always….well, pretty out there but always an inspiration. At the ripe age of 78 years young…most of us can’t keep up with her. Read more…