Esteemed colleagues, fellow nurses and distinguished readers,
Allow me to introduce you to the “Yacker Tracker”!
This cute little mechanical advice was designed for use in a classroom.
You know, the place where children learn the difference between their “inside” and “outside” voice?
Green means, “very good, you aren’t too loud!”.
Yellow means, “Uh oh…you’re a bit on the noisy side!”
Red means you’ve hit the decible level of a Led Zeppelin concert, thereby triggering an alarm that is certain to bring the conversation of school children to a screeching halt.
This classroom gadget is found wherever fine goods are sold to elementary school teachers.
Guess where else you can find this machine for keeping children in line?
In my emergency department and every other nursing station in my hospital.
Not discreetly placed about the facility, but mounted on the walls!
Here we have a group of emergency department nurses demonstrating the actual appliance.
Note the look of shock as our cute little staff members realize they have entered the yellow zone.
Observe the JCAHO-mandated covering of the mouth to prevent any further vocalizations, thereby reducing the noise at the nursing station.
“Stop the yakking!”
Because we all know that emergency departments are supposed to be nice and quiet, right boys and girls?
And professional men and women do tend to yak, don’t they?
So…let’s insult them by installing insulting toys on the walls to keep them from yakking!
We wouldn’t want to provide an educational opportunity by providing data from, oh, evidence-based studies that show the effect of noise in the environment so that as professionals, appropriate behavior modifications can be made.
Why, that would be fighting fair and we all know bullies don’t do that!
All they deserve is a cutesy toy that is oh, so professional looking to patients and visitors!
So boys and girls, always use your inside voice when you are inside the hospital!
Don’t set off the red if your patient’s in bed,
If you set off the light you’ll give the patients a fright!
Especially at night!
I’m beginning to think I’m working at Pee Wee’s Playhouse Medical Center.
This would be hilarious if every word of it wasn’t true (except the JCAHO covering-of the-mouth. That is next year’s policy…).
Pretty soon we’ll have Chairy, Globey, Miss Yvonne and Billy Baloney on staff.
What’s next, the King of Cartoons pulling a night shift as an ER doc?
Having to ask “Mother, May I?” before you give a medication? (Oh, wait, that’s already happening…..)
So here’s to the head honchos, whoever they may be, who have shown so much faith in the professionalism of their nursing staff.
Maybe you can skip the cute little keychains this Nurses’s Week and take down these obnoxious road signs that make my colleagues and I feel like we are in preschool.
Or, keep on dumbing us down. Eventually you will get what you play for.