Monday, June 2, 2008

Why Were You There?

This video is totally unrelated to nursing.


New nurses are getting plunged into the most challenging settings, just like first year teachers are.


The units that regularly have 6 patients per nurse, routinely at least 3 of them on tubefeeds, with trachs or on oxygen, incontinent of stool and urine, and with some sort of fluctuating critical lab value* - those are the inner city schools of the medical world. And the experienced nurses are running in droves from those units. Because the experienced nurses have... experience. They know that is is a shitty situation. They also know that there is zero indication that it will change soon.

So that unit is staffed from the float pool. Or is on the list of getting new recruits.

What is the likelihood that those patients are receiving consistent quality care? Small.

What are the chances that those new nurses will stay on that floor? Slim.

What are the chances they will stay in the profession? Hmmm. Why should they? Will it be different anywhere else?

I'm 6 shifts out of orientation for my student externship, and I am already pissed off. Sobbing in the parking garage. Scurrying and sweating. Forgetting to pee for 7.5 hours. Wondering where the nurse manager is, and if this is just an 'off' day.

No. This is everyday.

And the response that I have gotten when I've tried to discuss this with professors in the past is so similar to what this woman says, it's eerie. They want to know why I'm not being more carefully precepted. I want to know why no one is freaking out.

* These are not ICUs. These are patients on the floor. I know (well, I don't know personally because I haven't done my ICU rotation yet) that the patients in the ICU are so much sicker than this. But the patients on the floor need care at a much lower ratio than 6:1.

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