June 24, 2009, 11:25 am

Healthcare and the Headache

AnacinWell, apparently they call a nurse!

Either that or Nurse Nellie caused the headache.

But we know that nurses never cause doctors to have headaches, so that can’t be what’s happening.


Trust me, there have been a few doctors over the years that have given me major headaches and I have no doubt that I have been the impetus behind a few MD migraines myself!


Man, re-entry sucks.

Four days of Nascar. If it didn’t have four wheels, it did not exist for me last weekend.

You don’t just attend a Nascar race; you absorb it.

Eventually, you re-enter the real world. The adjustment takes a day or two.

I’ve re-entered, but I’m not sure I’m adjusted just yet!


Change of Shift is up tomorrow at RehabRN. Get those last minute submissions in! You can submit through Blog Carnival (button on the right sidebar) or send them directly to “hotelrehab at nyms dot net”.

I’ll be hosting in two weeks – it will mark the start of the fourth year of Change of Shift!!! Time for a new logo!


The guy in the Anacin ad must be doing what I’ve been doing for the last two days.

Trying to get a grip on healthcare reform.

That alone is enough to give you a migraine.

There is so much information and conjecture and opinion and debate, it is difficult to know where to start.

Who gets covered? What gets covered? Who pays? Who decides the charges? Who decides the fees? Who has an agenda: political, financial or otherwise? Private or public plan?

And the most important question of all: Who is fighting for what is best for the patient?

Because, when all is said and done, WE are “the patient”.


Okay, so I’ve come up with some foundations; these are things that I feel must be at the heart of any health care reform debate:

1.   Every citizen must have health care coverage.

2.  Every citizen needs to own their health care coverage.

3.  There should be a choice between private and public plans.

4.  Every citizen must be able to choose between a private or a public plan and switch between as necessary.

5.  Each plan must cover basic health care: physicals, screening, immunizations, well care.

6.  Each plan must cover chronic or catastrophic illnesses. (Diabetes, asthma, MS, cancer – just a few examples)

7. After basic health care and chronic/catastrophic illness, each citizen should be able to choose how they want to be covered. I have heard this called the “cafeteria plan”.


Gee, I don’t ask for much, do I?

We don’t have to invent the wheel here. Other countries have gone before us; there are models of universal coverage we can study.

The operative word here is “study”. Take what is good, understand what does not work and use that knowledge to form a unique form of universal health care that meets the needs of the citizens of the United States.


Probably the easiest way to tackle health care is from a personal angle.

I just found out what my COBRA payment would be if I left my job tomorrow.

I’m hoping my jaw heals before I go to work on Thursday.

But that’s a topic for the next post.


  • Reality Rounds

    June 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I think some incentives for healthy living would also be great. Also, I never thought it was fair that a family with 8 kids, pays the same for work covered health insurance, as a family with one kid. I also do not think it is fair that the CEO pays the same for health insurance as the housekeeper who is making minimum wage. Maybe it should be pro rated based on income? Just a thought.

  • kmom

    June 24, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    There needs to be a way to compare policies if we are to have a choice. It is very hard to tell what a policy will really cover until you use it. That’s too late! ?Standardize and simplify language? We are told to “shop around” but it is much like “bait and switch” in the land of individual health care plans.

  • […] has the peculiar habit of writing about her passion for Nascar racing in, for example, the same post in which she discusses her headache-inducing efforts to make sense of the health care reform […]

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope

    June 25, 2009 at 9:07 am

    just wanted to share that I got offered a position in the Critical Care Internship Program, which begins August 24th! I’ll be working nights in the MSICU! I’m so excited and I had to share since I’ve been reading your blog since probably even BEFORE nursing school!~! (I’ll be a nurse for one year in August).

  • Maureen

    June 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    At this point I would settle for health care that actually took the patients needs into consideration, but it seems like a pipe dream at the moment. . . SIGH. . .

  • NPs Save Lives

    June 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Here’s another pipe dream! Citizens should be able to pick whatever type of health care provider they want and that provider gets recognized as a primary care provider by the insurance companies and actually gets equal pay for equal work. WOW! What a concept! Oh and controlled substance rights in Florida and Alabama would be nice too.. I know, I know…maybe next year..

  • Julie Davis

    June 29, 2009 at 6:20 am

    All good suggestions… However, who’s going to pay for it all? If it’s us, I say, let US vote for the changes & take away the politician’s toys to write their own script. Probably avail in my next life, right?! Cheers, Julie

  • Healthcare Today

    July 2, 2009 at 2:16 am

    Healthcare and the Headache // Emergiblog…

    Some thoughts on health care reform from a nurse’s point of view…

  • Mommy, RN

    July 2, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I agree with your insurance options. My main struggle is with the government funded insurances; with politicians making healthcare decisions for the masses. In healthcare, there is no such thing as “covering the masses,” each person has individual medical needs which require individualized plans/coverage, not a over-generic-ized hit and miss plan for “the masses.” Your cafeteria plan sounds just perfect to cover each individual person and their needs… would that it could also be pro-rated. But alas, I dare say either of those options will ever happen.

  • RunsWithScissors

    July 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I agree. However … the operative word (and this is key) is “citizen”. Illegal aliens, not so much.

  • Joey

    August 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I admit that I have avoided the healthcare discussion because of the reasons you pointed out (TMI, debate, conjecture) but I find this to be a great primer to jump-start the wheels in my head on the subject. Now with healthcare reform being a reality, sitting back is no longer an option.

    Pretty much I have to agree with the commenters before in saying these are excellent foundations, especially the “cafeteria plan.”

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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