RSSArchive for February, 2010

Nurses now aim to improve protection for nurse whistleblowers

Earlier this month, Anne Mitchell, a former administrative nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, TX, was accused and eventually acquitted  for the “misuse of official information.” If she had been convicted, she would have faced 10 years in prison for reporting Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD, to hospital officials.

Mitchell’s acquittal has nurse associations breathing a sigh of relief, but also has associations looking to the future on how to prevent similar cases from happening.

In addition to Texas, only 19 other states have whistleblower protection laws that pertain specifically to healthcare workers in that state. [more]

New findings say progress means more than recognition

A new report in the Harvard Business Review contradicts the idea that employees value recognition of their efforts higher than anything else. Amabile and Kramer write that the top motivator of performance is progress.

The study involved gathering more than 12,000 e-mail diary entries from the participants, which revealed that making progress in one’s work, no matter how little or big, is associated with positive emotions and high motivation. The survey notes when participants experienced progress in their jobs, 76% of people reported it as their best day. [more]

Exploring why nurses eat their young

To those outside the nursing profession, it may be a bit frightening to hear the phrase, “nurses eat their young,” but to any nurse, this is just a standard expression meaning the bullying or harassment of a fellow colleague.

Theresa Brown, RN, delves deeper into the issue of why nurses bully one another, reminiscing about when she first started out as a nurse and experienced senior nurses lying about whether Brown had completed her work.

Brown references Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, a nurse and consultant who literally wrote the book on the topic. In Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Bartholomew addresses how and why back-stabbing, intimidation, and sabotage are all too common on some nursing floors, and provides strategies for how to stop these behaviors.

Brown notes that while many nurses eventually learn to handle the stress of nursing, others burn out and quit, and others fight back like “cornered animals.”

What are your thoughts on this? Have you encountered nurse-to-nurse hostility in your facility?

Source: The Well Blog in The New York Times

Texas nurse faces jail time after reporting physician

It is a nurse’s duty to report any physician practicing bad medicine, but to Anne Mitchell, a former administrative nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, TX, it has turned into a career and life-altering journey.

Mitchell faces trial on February 15 at a state courthouse for the “misuse of official information.” She has been charged with a third-degree felony and faces 10 years in prison after she anonymously reported a physician to the Texas Medical Board in April 2009. As an administrative nurse, Mitchell felt obligated to report Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD, to hospital officials to protect the safety of her patients

Initially, Mitchell and a fellow colleague raised red flags about Arafiles within their own hospital, but had to direct their concern to a state medical board for fear of their concerns going unnoticed. Mitchell and her colleague wrote a letter documenting six different areas “of concern,” and directed the medical board to specific patient files using only the file numbers, while protecting the patients’ names. [more]

Half of nurses plan career change, says survey

AMN Healthcare recently conducted its 2010 Survey of Registered Nurses to address the issues of job satisfaction levels and if the recession is affecting nursing career plans. The survey was sent to registered nurses via e-mail and 1,399 nurses completed the survey.

The survey found that almost half (44%) of all nurses plan to make a career change over the next three years, and that more than one-third of the respondents experience job dissatisfaction. Almost 50% of the respondents were nurses between the ages of 40-49, and 59% of the nurses currently hold a position on their hospital’s permanent staff.

AMN Healthcare’s survey also found:

  • 15% of nurses plan to seek a new place of employment should the economy improve a year from now.
  • 28% of nurses agree with the statement, “I will not be working in this job a year from now.”
  • 46% of nurses agree with the statement “I worry this job is affecting my health.”
  • 29% of nurses plan to take steps in the next one to three years that would take them out of nursing altogether (by retiring or seeking non-nursing jobs) or reduce the volume of clinical work they do (by switching to part-time or less demanding roles).
  • 8% of nurses returned to the nursing workforce over the last two years, 3% for economic reasons. [more]