RSSArchive for March, 2010

Study looks at the 2009 economy in nursing

A recent benchmarking report posted on the Strategies for Nurse Managers Web site surveyed 179 nursing professionals in the healthcare industry regarding the effects of the 2009 economy. The results illustrate how the tumultuous 2009 economy had varying effects on facilities of all sizes in acute care, critical access, long-term care, ambulatory, home health, and rehabilitation settings.

Although the data reported do not dissect the particulars at any one institution or among any one age group of nurses, they provide a comprehensive look at the issue among a variety of facilities. The data also provides a glimpse into how each facility dealt with the economic downturn and where they stand in 2010.

The results show most facilities were affected in some way by the economy, as 60% reported cutting back on travel expenses along with renegotiating supplies in 2009. Facilities also reported individual ways specific units helped their facilities cut back on spending—for example, 78% of the respondents said overtime was reduced. [more]

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Book clubs help nurses connect with patients

When the phrase “book club” comes up, one thinks of a group of people, meeting at a coffee shop or a member’s home, discussing the most recent best seller showcased on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime television show. However, the definition of a book club will now have to include nurses reading medical-themed literature to better connect with their patients.

The first hospital to institute the idea of a nurse/physician-based book club was in 1997, and over the past decade, similar ideas and book clubs have become more popular across 25 states, including California, Massachusetts, and New York. [more]

Nurses speak out against “naughty nurse” image

For years, nurses have been fighting an uphill battle to change the way the public views them as professionals. With television shows like Nurse Jackie, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mercy each portraying nurses in a different light, it’s no wonder the public’s view of nurses is skewed. Even the phrase “naughty nurse” has the public believing female nurses should be wearing white stockings, a short skirt, and heels while attending to their patients.

In an effort to change this belief, nurses around the world are speaking out against Mariah Carey’s recent music video for her song “Up Out My Face.” Nurses want Carey to reconsider the video, in which Carey and fellow pop star and rapper Nicki Minaj are wearing white stockings and high heels. [more]

Snow storm paralyzes D.C. area, leaves 11 nurses jobless

In the aftermath of what President Obama dubbed “Snowmaggedon,” the Washington, DC, area slowly dug its way out of record-breaking snowfall. And 11 nurses and five other staffers from the area’s Washington Hospital Center were fired for failing to show up during the back-to-back storms.

When nurses graduate, they take a pledge to “do all in (my) power to raise the standards and the prestige of practical nursing”, but in light of the firing, many are questioning at what point one should draw the line and say nurses should consider their own health and safety first?

Shirley Ricks, one of the nurses who was recently terminated, tells The Washington Post she missed her shift on February 8 because the street she lives on remained unplowed, and her and her husband could only get their driveway cleared.

“I see it so unfair and uncaring,” the paper quotes Ricks as saying. “You call in one day in the biggest snowstorm in history and you’re out. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.” [more]