Monday’s Musings 05/09/22-Happy Nurses Week

Happy nurses week for 2022

The American Nurses Association theme for this week is Nurses Make a Difference. This is to celebrate the impact of all nurses on healthcare and patients; no matter they work in a hospital, or a doctor’s office, or are practicing on their own as a nurse practitioner.

As a group we have lived through some dark times in the last two years.

In 2020, the ANA theme was Year of the Nurse.

And with nurses that I know this hit with a resounding thud.

What we do is very important. We strive for hospital change. We care for patients and ourselves, all at the same time. And, as a group, we are tired and sick of being the scapegoat for systemic problems that arrive that we have tried to fix. In short, we are tired of being the squeaky wheel, of trying to bring up issues and being told to stay in our lane.

Now insurance companies are trying to charge back on premiums to account for rising nursing wages. This is just like when the powers that be, such as Congress, tried to indict travel nursing, and nursing in general, for wage hikes. This is because nurses were leaving the bedside and becoming travel nurses. Remember that?

This was in February.

A nurse is being sentenced on Thursday, 5/12/22. On Florence Nightingale’s birthday. If that is not an attack on nursing, I don’t know what is. She was found guilty in March of criminally negligent homicide for a medication error that led to a patient’s death. She was found liable in the systemic problems of a new medication machine relay with the electronic health record. She was found liable for a medication that should never have been in the area she was in.

Much has been written about the Versed, a sedative, versus the Vecuronium, a paralytic, mistake. And mistakes were made on her part. Oh, yeah. And the policy was stupid to not mandate her monitoring the patient after administration. But to elevate this to a criminal matter with conviction is to chill the reporting structure of the entire medical field. Nurses that I know have told me that they will no longer report errors, even errors as minor as a near miss that did not reach the patient. Because they fear reprisal and prosecution. Surgeons I work with have brought up their concerns about the reporting that they know is not going on. And they have referenced the tragedy happening at Vanderbilt Hospital for nurses.

A patient died. There was medical error that may have contributed to her death. The science, including the medical examiner, has thrown doubt on this. The nurse has been convicted of criminally negligent homicide.

Nurses are mad and quitting in waves over this, as we feel the system that we work in no longer has our back. And those who are left have to keep it together. For the patients.

There is a Nurses March in Washington DC on Thursday, May 12. There is another march happening in Nashville, Tennessee, on behalf of RaDonda Vaught on Friday, May 13.

Happy Nurses Week, everyone. Now get back to work.

This is the feeling that I am getting. You?

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