Blame the nurse

Today was the Shared Governance Summit that I found and paid for.

Because staff engagement has been… anemic.

Partly due to the staff turnover due to the Great Resignation (if you can call it that).

Partly due to decreased engagement from our hospital leaders.

I get it, they’ve got a lot going on.

All to do with burnout from the pandemic.

I was looking for guidance on creating more buzz around Shared Governance in my own hospital.

Or the hospital system.

The sessions were engaging.

I learned a lot I will be bringing to my hospital council.

But the video clip that one ICU nurse chose to illustrate her session.

Made me incandescent with anger.

I had to take notes.

Well, more notes than I was already taking.

Patients developed a pressure ulcer from the C-Pap mask on the bridge of their nose.

A news person asked this nurse, with a straight face, ‘That’s what a nurse says. What does a doctor say?’


Way to invalidate the entire nursing staff.

Way to go.

This is important.

The news person basically said what the nurse thought was not good enough.

And wanted a man’s take on it.

This is upsetting on many levels.

  1. Nurses have been the backbone of the hospital through the pandemic.
  2. There are reports of doctors who are pitching in and helping, true, but not every patient, every shift.
  3. The nurses were asked to explain their actions that led to patient harm. As though what we just went through as a profession was not heart breaking.
  4. It all comes down to blaming the nurse.

And then there apparently was a root cause analysis done as to why the patient developed a pressure ulcer on the bridge of their nose.


The continuous pressure mask was not designed to be worn 24/7 for weeks on end.

But at least these patients weren’t ventilated.

A handful of people made it out of the ICU alive to go home.

Out of this particular surge.

Of the global pandemic.

Alive because of ventilation.

And proning parties like the ones Florence herself would have had.

Start at one end of the unit.

Keep going until the end of the unit.

Start again.

Nurses have gone through the worst time of our professional lives.

And you want to blame us for it?

Come on, people!

We have to do better than that.

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