Friday, October 29, 2010

Patient Ratio Laws, Careful what you Wish For.

I'm seeing it more and more with hospitals crying about the lack of money.
This time it is the Nursing Assistants taking a hit, by being given a larger number of patients to care for, or cut all together.
I first noticed this at Kaiser Hospitals in California when they pulled most or all the nursing assistants from the floors, and made the nurses do total care for the patients, all in order to save a few dollars. I think it was also a little retaliation, because California nurses pushed and got laws passed for the number of patients they could care for at one time. However, talking to travel nurses it is happening in other states also.

This is just a bad business model and another reason patients are not satisfied. As a nurse you get trapped into making decisions between patients that you should not have to make. When I should be helping a fresh post-op patient with pain control and getting settled, instead I am making sure my confused, unstable and impulsive 88 yr old man is not falling out of bed because he thinks he needs the bathroom.

I love a good nursing assistant and jump to help them when I can, but in reality it is the patients suffering as they wait long to be fed, transported or cleaned.
To all you hospital bean counters who think of money before patients 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nurse Killed in State run Mental Hospital

So sad and condolences to this nurses family and friends. It makes me ask why was this man not under constant control?
Years ago before I became an RN I worked in a government operated long-term mental health facility as an aide, but sometimes I felt like a caretaker for grown adults, and it was unpredictable.
Truthfully, I loved my clients and 99% of the time they were great and fun to be around. But, every once in a while there was a reason they were located there, and would end up spending time deescalating from some crisis in a padded room. That was the thing, sometimes you knew what set someone off, other times it just happened and you were caught in the middle. My facility was for people not safe enough to be in public unsupervised, but it was not a full lock-down psych facility, like where this nurse was killed last week.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Pitbull Killing

Another Pitbull attack and a baby killed. I am so sick of hearing about these dogs killing people and especially children, then people defending this breed saying it's the owners. No, there is plenty of blame for the dog itself that was originally bred to take on bulls.
I love dogs and have been around them most of my life, but when is the last time you heard of a Labrador or Springer Spaniel attacking and killing without provocation. Just like you don't keep a Python in the house with a child, you do not keep a dog like this around unsupervised with any vulnerable people.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It seems like every quarter I try to find a good balance between school, work and life, although I guess most of my life right now is school and work. Having done semesters previously at first I did not like the quarter system this university uses, but now I like the fact that it is fast paced and over in 11 weeks. For me now four quarters seem to go better into the school year than my memory of doing two semesters and a summer term. Just need to stay on top of things because it gets easy to fall behind.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dust aka Dead Skin

Ever get that sun beam shinning through the window which suddenly illuminates all the little dust particles in the air making a perfectly shaped column slicing through your living room. We all know those dust particles are made up of dried skin, pollen, dust mites, their feces and various other household products.

It has also been shown that sunshine coming in a patients room makes them happier and they recover quicker, even if it is only for a few hours a day. Really aren't we all happier with a little sunshine?

So how does this relate? While helping with a patient the other day who was stubborn about ambulating two days after heart surgery, but it was time for him to move. A co-worker who would not take no for an answer got him up as he complained while squeezing his heart shaped pillow to his chest.

Being the good assistant and trying to make the patient feel better I said I would grab him some clean sheets, as I ripped the old ones off the bed. As they flew off and traveled through the air a plume of dust, aka dead skin illuminated in the sunlight of the patients window. Not wanting to breath in what I was seeing I did the old nurses trick of holding my breathe and walking away towards imaginary clean air, but there really is no such thing in a hospital. I really can't imagine how many things we breath in during a shift at work.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Group Projects

I hate group projects. I know that as a nurse they say we regularly work in groups and healthcare teams, but please don't pretend that it is the same thing as working with four randomly assigned people in a social research class. Just one more hoop to jump through on the way to become a nurse practitioner.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

McDonald's Health Insurance

After you read this article on McDonald's health insurance you see what an embarrassment it is. On top of that now they now have been allowed to postpone their implementation of the new healthcare law for a year.
As a whole they probably create more health care customers and costs than any other company by simply target marketing their products in the same way that tobacco companies did decades ago.

But don't worry they have the resource to give away millions of dollars, tropical vacations, cars and free food to customers playing this years version of McDonald's Monopoly game.

Gee, I wonder how they make all that money?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Smoking Chimp

I have never heard of this famous smoking chimpanzee, but it appears he died in a South African zoo at the age of 52. From news clips I've read it seems that years ago someone threw a lit cigarette into the cage and he started smoking it, of course other zoo visitors then did the same thing. My question is who was the first douche bag to throw their lit cigarette? Was someone watching the chimpanzees and thought, hey it would be funny to throw my lit smoke at that monkey.
Maybe the American Heart Association can help me understand too, if the average age of a captive chimp is 40 years old, then why did a smoking one live 12 years past that?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wearing your Scrubs in Public

You see someone in the grocery store wearing scrubs and 99% of the time one of two things is happening. First, they are on their way to work and decide to run in for some coffee or maybe today is their day to buy snacks for the break-room. At this point the scrubs are probably clean and won't bring too many germs into the hospital from the outside world.

Second and more common, the person is on their way home after work and run some errands or pick up dinner at the grocery store. They stroll up and down the aisles wearing dirty scrubs that contain various pathogens of viruses and germs, that are complimented with medicines, creams and ointments, all intertwined with body secretion from just about every orifice and some that shouldn't be.

I felt like saying something yesterday after observing a woman with obviously dirty scrubs in my store, handling the fruits and vegetables, but I have been guilty of the same thing.

I was thinking of adding a picture but when you google dirty nurses uniforms the results are a whole different kind of dirty.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nice few weeks off except with only days before school starting my throat was getting sore and ticklish. No problem I thought it will go away, but I was not so lucky.
I probably touched something before, during or after my flight home that way made its way into my body. Some little virus waiting on the door handle for me to come along, or a little germ hiding on that knob to lower the tray on the plane, I was only anticipated a bag of nuts and some ginger ale, not a week of phlegm stuck in my throat. Classes seem twice as long when you feel like shit, but generic cold and flu tabs worked rather well and made sitting for hours doable. Now I just need the motivation to return.