Archive: October, 2011
I’ve said it before … I love being a nurse … but, sometimes, nurses’ actions are so hypocritical and shameful. Ouch!
Although our managers are not supervising us every minute of every shift, patients are. Consumer driven healthcare is powerful. Companies such as Press Ganey evaluate performance improvement based on patient surveys. I believe that consumer driven healthcare would be ideal if patients were educated about medical issues. But the reality is that our patients’ knowledge of healthcare is based largely on what they see. Social perceptions and stereotypes of nurses start with one bad experience.
When patients act like traditional consumers, they can be dangerous to healthcare outcomes because skills and qualifications are too often overlooked, and “quality” is in the eyes of poeple who lack clinical knowledge. Three years ago, for example, I interviewed for a job with a very busy pediatrics office affiliated with a major Philadelphia hospital. The interview lasted an hour and 15 minutes. Although they had my resume, I was never asked about my clinical experience or pediatric certifications. Instead, 75 minutes were spent discussing customer service, proficiency rates, and the need to keep revenue high. I felt like I was going to be trained to be their robot in a mass production factory.
If you live in a major metropolitan area like Philadelphia, you are more than aware of the “occupy” movements happening nationwide. Therefore, to launch the Inquirer’s newest blog, I would like to invite you to Occupy PhillyRN.
“Occupy” demonstrations are controversial. They began as “Occupy Wall Street” on Sept. 17, 2011 in Manhattan’s Financial District. They are scheduled, public, people-powered movements that have spread to over 100 cities in the United States. Attempting to exhibit the essence of democracy - somewhat similar to a large-scale labor union picketing - protestors are criticized for having no purpose, no clear message, often stirring up unneeded violence, and requiring a heavy police presence.
Nurses often care for patients in less-than-ideal conditions, and aren’t trained to assertively raise their concerns in a public arena. Unions are, strikes by health care workers have become common in big cities, and nurses may find themselves transitioning from caregivers to picketers overnight, hoping to quickly and peacefully resolve disputes.
Mentioned: Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
Nurses enter the profession for two main reasons: They were sick as a child or their parent was a nurse. Well, thankfully, I have been healthy and, other than an optometrist in the family, no one is a healthcare provider. But I owe a big thank you to one nurse who inspired me and gave me a vision of such an awesome career that it kept me from quitting on Day One. The sad part is, I don’t remember her name - just her face and her actions.
It would be quite a thrill for me – perhaps even for her -- if I discovered who she is as a result of this new blog. But my intent with PhillyRN is broader -- to discuss current events, research, trends, and critical issues within and about nursing and, most importantly, our interactions with the people entrusted to our care.
I currently work as a clinical staff and quality improvement nurse in an 30 bed emergency department. Although we are not a trauma center, we see significant cardiac, pulmonary and neurological cases. Emergency care has been my niche for the past eight years, with overlapping experiences in Urgent Care (walk-in centers for basic medical emergency care) and Home Care settings. I’ve chosen not to identify my employer in this blog to avoid any risk of censorship or persuasion. But my employer fully supports my work at PhillyRN. And you should know that all the principles of HIPPA – the universal name for rules protecting privacy of patient health records that came with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 -- will be observed.