The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

A Gag Order? Shame on You Temple

Posted by isntshelovlei on March 30, 2010

If you live or work in the tri-state area then you’ve probably heard about the drama brewing around Temple University Hospital and their intention to essentially gag their nursing and allied health staff.

Just this past year, two Texas nurses were prosecuted for voicing their concerns via a so-called anonymous complaint about one docs’ practices. The charges were dropped against one of the nurses; the other nurse was later found not guilty.

And now, Temple President Ann Weaver Hart wants to include a provision in their nursing contracts that basically says that if you do your job, you lose your job. Has the familiar saying “snitches get stitches” now crept into the healthcare system?!? Needless to say—the staff aren’t having it (thankfully and rightfully so).

This is not a joke—and it’s really not about money or nurses and other health care professionals on a power-trip either. This is also bigger than freedom of speech—this is about PATIENT SAFETY. Peoples’ lives are hanging in the balance here. Now I may be a wet-behind-the-ears student nurse but what I do know is that one of the very tenets of nursing practice is patient advocacy. And for some patients, their nurses are their only voices. Nurses are at the front line caring for their patients day in and day out, monitoring them closely. Nurses are more likely than other health care professionals to catch a medication error, notice an unsafe practice, or know when something is just not quite right. If there is something amiss, it is their duty to speak up.  

Hart’s proposition is truly ridiculous. Next thing you know they’ll have patients signing statements upon admission that they can only be treated if the patient promises not to sue…

With that said, Temple nurses plan to strike tomorrow, Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 7am. For updates on this situation, check out Temple Watch.

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Finally—Patients With A Pulse!

Posted by isntshelovlei on October 16, 2009

thumbnailSo we are finally out of the lab and in the hospital—woohoo for making it through all the exams, math tests, and lab practicum that made it possible. For a minute there I was becoming a little unraveled and thought I wasn’t going to make it. Our first day we had hospital orientation—which of course was boring as all hell. Videos upon videos we watched—fire safety, restraints, Accu-Cheks—ancient VHS tapes (do they still make those?) that they’ve probably been using for decades. And since watching TV has become such a rarity in my life these days, having to sit there and actually watch those videos for hours was just pure torture. Afterward we took a tour of our unit and the staff rolled their eyes at us with this “OH GAWD–we’re being invaded by nursing students” look on their faces. But whatever—never mind them. On my way home I stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up a care plan book—Ackley’s Nursing Diagnosis Handbook—I LOVE that thing and highly recommend it. That along with my Medical-Surgical Nursing textbook (which at 2016 pages is more like a nursing bible) helps me crank out care plans with no problem.

Day 2 of clinical we were actually assigned a patient. The nurses were still less than enthusiastic at our presence, but none of them were downright nasty—though there were a couple that were a little more snappish than I would usually tolerate. But since this wasn’t my turf I had to fall back. I was assigned a sweet, older woman who basically had surgery but was discharged from the hospital too soon (imagine that—damn insurance pressure). So she had a fall, which landed her right back where she didn’t want to be. Acute pain, impaired mobility, and risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction were my nursing diagnoses for her. Probably should throw risk for impaired skin integrity in there as well. But basically all I did all day was vitals, hygiene/toileting, and meals. I didn’t get to give meds even though my patient was on plenty of them. I must admit I was bored out of my mind. The downtime at least gave me a chance to get a head start on my care plan. But even that was difficult given how cumbersome the nursing station had become with all the extra bodies—the only place left to sit was probably the bathroom!

And last but not least, we took our Fundamentals midterm last night (NCLEX-style questions of course)—I didn’t think it was so bad. You can usually narrow each question down to just two possible answers anyway. Both might even be right answers, but you have to determine which one is more right. Ah, the joys of nursing school…

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