These are student nurses!
Apparently calisthenics were part of the curriculum back in the day.
Nursing school was a lot more than studying and clinicals, you know.
One had to learn the niceties of society and proper etiquette, too!
I have an entire photo shoot on the life of a student nurse in the 1940s. When I post them, I’ll warn you ahead of time. You won’t want to be eating or drinking while you read, as aspiration is to be avoided at all costs!
If you have not yet voted in our poll for topics to cover at next year’s medblogger conference, please do so! The poll stays up until the end of November.
I am amazed at the number of opportunities that are open for us next year! One minute it seems impossible and the next minute opportunities are there that we didn’t even know existed.
I’ll keep you posted on what is happening as details are finalized.
And now for our feature presentation:
Is it just me or has the nursing profession gone insane?
Let me give you a, shall we say, hypothetical situation.
Let’s say you work in a medium-sized community hospital.
The nurses in this medium-sized community hospital have busted their butts over the last year or two implementing Joint Commission standards surrounding medication administration.
- The chart containing the medication order is taken to the bedside so that the medication can be checked against the order before administering.
- All medications are either drawn up at the bedside or labeled in the med room when they are drawn up.
- All patients are identified with two identifiers – full name and birth date (and they must say both!).
- Full and complete (as much as possible) medication lists are obtained on arrival to facilitate medication reconciliation.
Let’s say these procedures have led to a dramatic drop in medication errors, which is what they were designed to do.
Time for celebration? Time for kudos? Time for acknowledging that our work has been effective, that the patients are safe, that this is a wonderful statistic and good for us, let’s keep up the good work?
What the nurses in this hypothetical department get (and this has happened twice, hypothetically, of course) is a note from the pharmacy stating that their percentage of medication errors is not up to what is expected, ergo they are not reporting their med errors.
Pardon my language.
Maybe I’m crazy, but there is a certain percentage of med errors expected of us the nurses in this ER?
That isn’t even the most astounding part of this Catch-22.
What the pharmacy is saying is, if I can paraphrase, “We know you are making these errors but you are not reporting them, meaning you are not acting ethically or professionally.”
This is bull****.
Pardon my language.
And who was sticking up for the nurses in this hypothetical ER? Who went to pharmacy and said, “Hey, buddy, we’re a damn good group of professional nurses and did it ever occur to you that our errors are down because we have worked our asses off to GET them down.”
Pardon my language.
No one did. Nada. No chance for feedback, as this pharmacy feedback was first put on a post-it note on the Pyxis and then repeated in a note that functions as a staff meeting.
In this hypothetical ER.
So all of the work, the extra vigilance, the extra time in filling out extra paperwork, the time actually doing what we those nurses were supposed to do (and then some) led to an improvement in patient care.
So obviously they are doing something wrong in not having their medication errors up to par level.
Am I nuts? Have I gone insane? Does anyone else see the ludicrousness of this scenario?
All I know is that there is a hypothetical nurse getting fed up with a hypothetical middle sized community emergency department.
Are there ANY hospitals out there who treat nurses with any modicum of respect?
A hospital where someone might stand UP for their nurses when something like this is comes up?
Please, let me know.
Because I am losing faith in the ability of this profession to stand up for itself.
I’m thinking a letter to the hypothetical Chief Nursing Officer with a cc to the manager of this hypothetical emergency department might be in order.
Lord knows it won’t change a thing, but there is a hypothetical nurse who might feel better.