Saturday, August 31, 2013

And We Think WE Have It Bad!

Flickr photo

There was a cartoon floating around Facebook this week about nurses working "only" three 12-hour shifts a week.  While, let's face it, that's not a bad deal, I'm definitely not saying that those three 12's are "only" - those of us doing them know that we don't use the word "only" to describe our work schedules. 

Nurses in the first nursing programs in this country were educated or "trained" (I hate that word) in hospital-based programs.  I guess I was "trained", too, as I went to a hospital-based program initially (me and Flo, way back when).

Anyway, those nursing students in the late 1800's, the early days of formal nursing programs, were treated pretty badly.  They were basically just free labor for the hospital.  They had a year of education and then worked for the hospital for a year before graduation.  They lived at the hospital, they had to be single, they worked 7 days a week and upwards of 70 to 90 hours a week.  Did I mention that they did this for no pay?

I love this quote:

"Hospitals were thus able to create a culture of nurse training that produced a
docile, loyal, dedicated, submissive, and cheap workforce."

from the book A History of Nursing Ideas, edited by Andrist, Nicholas, and Wolf.

I'm pretty sure the healthy work environment movement hadn't taken hold in the 1800's.  I do know some people who would be happy if we were still docile and submissive, though!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Wherever nurses gather, there WILL be weird and funny things said.

"Do you feel my rupture?"

Seriously, why do patients think we want to see/hear/feel/smell their weird stuff? should definitely show that to the doctor...

Little Things That Make Nurses Happy

Today I was cleaning out our deep freeze in preparation for our move and at the bottom of the freezer I found this:

A miniature Reese's Dark!  What a treat!  Did I eat it?  Of course I did!

This started me thinking about how little things make us so happy and what little things make nurses happy:

- A patient who actually knows their medications or brings an up-to-date list with them
- Our favorite meal in the cafeteria
- An unexpected low census day off
- A co-worker who offers to let you go to lunch
- The person getting report from us shows up early
- Good candy on The Magic Food Counter
- Waking up early, realizing you don't have to work today, and going back to sleep

Can you add to the list?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Discharge Myth


 It happens in nursing areas all over the world every day - we get assigned a higher-than-usual number of patients but are told "it's okay, two of yours are going home."

Why do we continue to perpetuate the myth that patients who are being discharged are lower in acuity, that they don't require much care?

It's crazy, and totally not true! Contrary to popular and traditional thinking in nursing, discharges are much higher in acuity and nursing need than admissions.

The time of discharge, from any setting, is one of the most critical for patients.  Those moments between when nurses are taking care of patients and they walk out the door to take care of themselves are crucial.  Those moments are the time when patients need their nurse the most.  Never mind that we are sending patients away with the expectation that they hear, understand, and remember important information about their home care and medications, there are now financial penalties when this does not occur.

However, we continue to be told that discharging patients is a no-brainer, that we can throw the information at them and show them the door, that this is not a priority for nurses.

We need to change the way we think about discharging patients, we need to recognize the important role professional nurses play in preparing patients for life after discharge. 

Quote of the Day

Wherever nurses gather, there WILL be weird and funny things said.

The Quote of the Day yesterday was overheard during report:

"Homeless people don't start out homeless."

I have no idea the context of this statement but it was still funny. And, I suspect, it is true. After all, we did each have a uterus for an original home... None of us did start out homeless.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Delicate Nurses - Not!

I just finished a philosophy of nursing class so pardon me if I get too philosophical.  One of the texts for the course was about the history of nursing and while I'm sure I've read some of this before, it was really fascinating to read again.  The history of nursing is very similar to the history of the role of women in modern society because nursing is a predominantly female profession.

In Victorian times, women were not educated because the prevailing thought (by men, of course) was that the neurological system competed for development with the reproductive system so women were too delicate to be educated; their brains and their ovaries could not both be developed at the same time and, naturally, reproduction took precedence.

Hmmm....I'm thinking about the nurses I work with and "delicate" is not one of the words that comes to mind when I consider how to describe them.  Smart, strong, quick, loud, opinionated, headstrong, determined, and funny, yes.  Delicate?  Not so much.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm Back!

Okay, it's been awhile.  Life got in the way.  BUT...I'm back now and ready to talk NURSING!  My favorite subject.

It's been so long that I even have a new pair of work shoes!

This is a photo from the Dansko site, not may actual shoes (which are already starting to wear a bit and I'm disappointed) - but aren't they great?  I get a lot of compliments on them.

Shoes are big topic of conversation amongst nurses, have you noticed?  We all have our opinions on what's best but my favorite is a friend at work who has two pairs of work shoes, a pair of Birkenstocks and a pair of Danskos and which pair she wears totally depends on which feels right when she gets ready in the morning.  Apparently, some days are just made for Birkenstocks and some are just made for Danskos. She should be working for those companies!

Welcome back to spotsonnursing...I hope to see you soon!