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Monthly Archives: December 2011
Happy New Year. We wish you lots of laughter and renewal in 2012. Take on caring for yourselves as well as your patients. We liked a post by our Facebook friend, Nurses Interrupted with some ideas on how to make microchanges to help transform the workplace through transforming our relationships with one another:
“Ask yourself this question before you go in for a shift: “When was the last time I put my hand on someone’s shoulder and told them thank you?” Its okay to nurse each other—it just takes a simple touch, making eye contact, a smile of reassurance—all those things take just a moment in time, but they have the power of changing your workplace…and your profession. You never know who might *really need* that reassuring human contact from a colleague…“
On the show this week we replay of our interview with Dr. Connie Mariano who was nominated to the rank of Rear Admiral by President Bill Clinton and eventually served as the White House Physician for President Clinton and President George W. Bush. She has written a wonderful book called The White House Doctor.
Former White House doctor Connie Mariano joins us to discuss her wonderful new book, The White House Doctor, a riveting look into the personal lives of our presidents. Dr. Mariano served as the White House Physician for presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who nominated her to the rank of rear admiral.
Dr Mariano has also achieved an impressive list of “firsts” that include being:
- the first military woman to become the White House Physician to the President,
- the first woman Director of the White House Medical Unit, and
- the first Filipino American in US history to become a Navy Rear Admiral!
I cannot get into specifics but I have a question for all of you fellow nurses. What do you do when you have a patient that is young, experiencing end stage metastatic cancer and they do not know it. The oncologist has not given them the realistic and total picture of their disease process NOR have they been given the tools to deal with the fact that the treatment they are undergoing IS NOT WORKING.
I worked in hospice many years ago and I had a bitter taste in my mouth then, as I do now, when the oncologist continues to throw one chemo/radiation therapy after another at a person who is just getting worse… and then they die in the midst of treatment and everyone around them, including often times their children and spouse are left with the thoughts of “but they were getting better….the doctor said the treatment was hopeful.”
While I was a nurse in the hospice world I had a voice and I could council my patients as they directed me to…I could also have a voice with the team that was treating the patient. I often feel left out in the wind while working these people in the ER. Read more…
Before I was a nurse, I had occasion to be a young patient.
I had a brief but painful procedure to undergo. My nurse was named Anne. She told me that if it hurt, I should just go ahead and scream.
It was nighttime, and all the other patients on the floor were asleep. It must have been the incipient psych nurse coming out in me; I was determined that those other patients not be woken up.
“I’m not going to scream,” I said gamely.
“Well, then, here’s my hand, squeeze it really tight if you need to,” Anne said, resting her right hand in mine.
I needed to, all right. I squeezed really hard, and I screamed anyway, waking all the other patients and probably a couple of the dead down in morgue, not to mention shattering a few glass pipettes down in the lab. I also suspect that I broke a couple of small, unnamed bones in Anne’s hand; as soon as it was all over, I could see that it was already turning purple.
I remembered Anne when I was a student doing a rotation through a same-day surgery unit. They were preparing to do an I&D on a man with a badly suppurating scrotal abscess. Read more…
Donna Smith asks, “Who’s Your Doctor’s Daddy?” and Medical Tips from the Inside | Best of Nurse Talk | Dec 24-24, 2011 | Show 416
We are rewinding one of our best this week while we wield the hot glue gun with care to finish up our last-minute gifts. Plus, we think its important to keep asking, “Who’s Your Doctor’s Daddy?” Our friend and Capitol Hill correspondent Donna Smith (legislative organizer for National Nurses United) says that while healthcare giants buying up hospitals is not new…now they’re also buying up the doctors.
AND we have powerhouse medical paralegal and co-author Corine Mogenis with us to talk about a new book she and partner RN, MBA Patricia Raya have written called Medical Tips from the Inside: Things You Need to Know. Read more…
This Week: Bonus Podcast on Sutter California and Long Beach Memorial Walk-out and Best of Nurse Talk
This week we have a special bonus podcast with Sharon Tobin, RN and 23 year ICU veteran at SUTTER MILLS PENINSULA HOSPITAL talks with Nurse Talk about the upcoming one day walk-out at Sutter hospitals in California. What has happened to big hospitals? Sharon says Mills Peninsula in Burlingame was once a wonderful community hospital, is now a shadow of its former self. LISTEN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ONE DAY WALK-OUT AGAINST SUTTER SET FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22.
Happy holidays to you all. We are rewinding one of our best this week while wield the hot glue gun with care to finish up our last-minute gifts. Plus, we think its important to keep asking, “Who’s Your Doctor’s Daddy?“
Our friend and Capitol Hill correspondent Donna Smith (legislative organizer for National Nurses United) says that while healthcare giants buying up hospitals is not new…now they’re also buying up the doctors.
AND we have powerhouse medical paralegal and co-author Corine Mogenis with us to talk about a new book she and partner RN, MBA Patricia Raya have written called Medical Tips from the Inside: Things You Need to Know.
Sharon Tobin on Sutter Walk-Out Dec 22, 2011 | National Nurses United Sponsored Segment | Dec. 21, 2011 | Special Bonus Podcast
Sharon Tobin, RN and 23 year ICU veteran at SUTTER MILLS PENINSULA HOSPITAL talks with Nurse Talk about the upcoming one day walk-out at Sutter hospitals in California. What has happened to big hospitals? Sharon says Mills Peninsula in Burlingame was once a wonderful community hospital, is now a shadow of its former self. LISTEN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ONE DAY WALK-OUT AGAINST SUTTER SET FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22. Learn more at NationalNursesUnited.org. Read more…
We live in a world of constant pressure and stress, which seems to be getting more challenging all the time. Especially in healthcare, organizations are forced to do more with less, putting pressure on the staff to exceed the superhuman pace that they are currently working at. Nurses are especially vulnerable to this level of stress because it seems that we, as a profession, are always “picking up the slack” when cutbacks are made in other departments or holds are placed on hiring. I used to laugh in my leadership positions when the CEOs would say, “but we’re not cutting nursing positions”, and, as a CNO, I would argue in a sense, yes, we are. When nurses “pick up the slack”, nurses are absent from the bedside, performing tasks that can be done by other people and at a premium cost. As nurses, we can also add on the emotional stress of what we deal with on a daily basis, followed by the tremendous responsibility of having precious lives in our hands. Oh, and let us compound the work stress by layering on family responsibilities, school responsibilities, day to day activities of survival, and, let’s not forget, somewhere in there we need to sleep. Read more…
As nurses, you are certainly aware that stress is one of the major medical problems of our times. Studies show that nurses are the single sickest group of workers in the workforce. Ouch! This is appalling. When I worked nights in the PCU, I noticed that there were many more obese nurses working nights than days. What have you observed? In my experience, I have noticed that without exception, obese nurses apply to work nights. They want to work nights. These dedicated, long term night shift nurses also are on multiple meds and often discuss how many meds they are on, compare them, etc. What strikes me is that they speak about it in such a way as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. Please understand, I am writing this out of compassion for my fellow nurses, not as a critique. I am telling the truth, and yes, sometimes the truth hurts. We all know by now that working nights increases your risk for disease.
A nurse is the classic poster child for, “Is this job making me sick?”
Talk about, “the patient complained of pain on a scale of…” Many nurses consistently complain of pain. As a nurse working in the HR department of my hospital, shockingly, I have researched that stress related disability claims are estimated to increase by 50% in the next decade. Read more…
Walkout to Target Bay Area Sutter Hospitals, Long Beach Memorial
Nurses Cite Patient Care Issues, Cuts in Healthcare Coverage
Nurses are poised to hold a one-day strike at California’s second largest private hospital, and one of its most profitable corporate hospital chain December 22.
The strike will affect 2,000 RNs at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, and 4,000 RNs who work at eight Bay Area hospitals that are part of the Sutter corporation.
Long Beach RNs have been at odds with hospital management for months over assuring there is safe RN-to-patient staffing at all times. The nurses will also protest hospital demands for sweeping increases in healthcare premiums for nurses. The health care takeaway the hospital is pushing would cost RNs nearly $3,000 more out of pocket in premium costs.
“Nurses are tired of having to fight everyday to protect their patients because of speed up and cost cutting measures,” said Long Beach RN Margie Keenan.
“We are finding it harder to give the quality care we want to give when our employer, like insurance companies, is only focused on the bottom line,” said Keenan. “This undermines our ability to deliver safe patient care. Read more…