Nurses are finding new and innovative ways to help those in need around the world, but not every nurse can live up to that standard. Here are some of the best and worst stories in nursing this summer.
University of Victoria researcher Kelli Stajduhar, a palliative care nurse, is leading the charge on healthcare for the homeless in her community. Because of the many barriers for homeless people to get healthcare, Stajduhar wants to go to them and provide healthcare where they are: downtown, in shelters, or in a housing complex. She thinks that outreach can improve the lives of the homeless, and get them the care they need. (Source: CBC)
Another nurse is looking for new ways to help the most vulnerable: Dawn Bounds, a nursing professor at Rush University College of Nursing, has published her extensive research on sex trafficking in the U.S. This research has the potential to save lives of at-risk young girls, and Bounds is planning to use this research to implement a runaway intervention program in Chicago. (Source: Nurse.com)
A New Jersey nurse broke the cardinal rule of healthcare when she was caught on video stabbing a disabled child with a needle six times. The nurse used physical abuse to control the autistic boy’s behavior, threatening him with the needle and other physical violence according to reports. (Source: The AP)
Nursing is often considered the most trustworthy profession, but this story might undermine that reputation. A nurse manager at St. Richard’s Hospital in the UK pled guilty to the theft of a dying man’s watch. The man’s Submariner Rolex was a family heirloom, and the nurse manager plead guilty to the stealing the watch after them man was admitted to the ED after suffering a heart attack. (Source: The Argus)
As the winter winds down, I thought I’d round up some of the best and worst stories from the world of nursing to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Braving the cold
During a winter storm that called for a state of emergency, one brave nurse made the trek to get to her overnight shift at Hebrew Home. Chantelle Diabate, a licensed practical nurse, waked an hour and a half in blizzard conditions to make her shift; she was the only nurse that made it in that night. “As long as my daughter was safe [with a baby-sitter], I knew I had to come back and take care of my second family,” she said. “I knew they needed people and it was an emergency.” (via: The Source)
When winter weather hit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, the nurses there were faced with a different problem. The children of the hospital were eager to get out and build an Olaf of their own, but unable to leave due to their health conditions. One nurse took it upon herself to fill up tubs with fresh snow so the kids could play. The kids were able to build and color their own snowmen, and enjoy the benefits of snow without leaving the comfort of the hospital. (via CBS News)
Feeling the heat
The director of nursing services at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center in Columbus, Indiana was arrested last month. It turns out, she had allegedly been posing as a registered nurse after stealing the identity of another nurse. She oversaw nurses at the center for over a year before being caught, fired and arrested. (via Becker’s Hospital Review)
Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania nurse was arrested for reckless endangerment after showing up to work intoxicated. The nurse spent the afternoon drinking at the casino, forgetting he was on call later that night. He was called for an emergency surgery after 10 p.m. and went to work intoxicated. He was seen on security footage stumbling, and staff members reported that he was having trouble punching in and had slurred speech. He has also been charged with DUI and public drunkenness. (via Outpatient Surgery Magazine)
Do you have a great nursing story that you’re dying to tell? Feel free to send them in to email@example.com, and we might report on it here!
Editor’s note: The below post is authored by Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, who is hoping to represent the profession of nursing as the nurse expert on the Dr. Oz show. Dr. Oz is conducting a nationwide search to find the perfect nurse to join his team and is accepting nominations. Visit the webpage at the bottom of this post to nominate Kathleen.
I am on a journey to make healthcare better.
For 15 years I have dedicated my life to empowering nurses and understanding the hidden forces that threaten our identity and potential. What would happen if your patients understood not only their pivotal role in healing, but also the real work of nursing? The trajectory of illness and disease in this country would be radically altered.
As a mother of five children, I have the life experiences that resonate with the general public at a gut level. As an author of five books on the healthcare culture, I have the understanding and expertise to be a voice for this noble profession. And as a seasoned public speaker, I have collected stories from across this nation that poignantly reflect not only nurses’ reality, but the experiences of many of our patients as well.
As promised in last week’s post, Try This: Build nursing team self-esteem, the exercise that Kathleen Bartholomew uses to encourage nurses’ self-esteem has been posted to our Tools Library.
To download the Hierarchy of Voice tool, click here.
Excerpted from Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition, by Kathleen Bartholomew
Hierarchy of Voice
Excerpted from Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition, by Kathleen Bartholomew
Try the following exercise that I often use to encourage nurses’ self-esteem. I call it a “hierarchy of voice” because each step results in greater empowerment. Addressing specific behaviors that are a challenge to a nurse stimulates meaningful conversations about that individual’s stumbling blocks to empowerment and self-esteem.
In performance evaluations, share the following list and ask team members to pick 10 meaningful actions that they would like to [more]
Our mission is to provide you with essential tools, articles, tips, and books to support your practice… and we want you to tell us what you need. What kind of challenges do you face? What subjects excite you? Please take a few minutes to answer our 10 question survey, and give us your wish list!
To thank you for participating in our Nurses Week survey, you also
have an opportunity to win a copy of Kathleen Bartholomew’s
Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships.
Just complete the survey between now and midnight on May 27, 2015, and provide your contact information on the last page.
Click on the link below to begin the survey:
All of your answers are confidential and anonymous, and your contact info will only be used to let you know if you won a handbook. If you have questions related to the survey, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.
⇒ 5/6: You can still use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post.
The stories in The Boston Globe annual “Patients Salute Their Nurses” piece offer an inspiring and humbling testament to all the nursing profession can be.
In 400 thank-you letters from grateful patients, family members, and colleagues, Boston’s nurses received personal acknowledgment and messages of love inspired by their deep commitment to the profession and their patients.
Here are snippets from some of my favorite letters:
Diane goes above and beyond, treating me with dignity and respect, even calling me weekly to check on my weight and well-being. Like a friendly drill sergeant, she reminds me to keep my weight down and to pay attention to what I eat.
Joe provided intense, meticulous, and sensitive care not only to Mike, but also to his extended family. Joe’s quiet and steady presence gave us hope and strength when we needed it most. Mike did not make it through the night, but the blow of his passing was softened by the gift of time that Joe made possible.
Nurses Week is a good time to reflect on what sets the nursing profession apart from so many others. Nurses have a reverence for the work (however flawed circumstances may be on a day-to-day basis), and a commitment to bettering the “caring profession.”
This Nurses Week, please give some thought to what inspires you to reach for excellence. Submit your favorite inspirational quotes and sayings in the comments box below and we will share them so all can be uplifted. We’ll also compile the best into a resource to sustain you on the days when you face challenges.
Here’s a quote from an amazing Australian nurse, Elizabeth Kenney. In the 1930’s, she pioneered the use of physical therapy, rather than immobilization, for polio victims.
It is better to be a lion for a day
than a sheep all your life.
—Elizabeth Kenney, 1880-1952
NOTE⇒ You can use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post through 5/12/2015.
Last week I promised a downloadable version of the whistleblower flowchart. For those who are interested, you can access the file here.
When I read about the fallout on Kim Cheely, the nurse whistle-
blower I wrote about last week, I had to ask myself:
Why do nurses risk their jobs to blow the whistle? Why speak out, when there is danger of ostracism, marginalization, and damage to one’s career? I did a bit more research on the subject, and ran across a thought-provoking study published “down under” a few years ago in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. You may find it interesting also.
Using a qualitative narrative inquiry design, the Understanding whistleblowing: Qualitative insights from nurse whistleblowers study looked into the reasons nurses decided to become whistleblowers, and gathered insights into nurses’ experiences of being whistleblowers. I doubt any nurses reading this will be surprised to learn the primary reason behind the decision to blow the whistle.
It’s simple, nurses are patient advocates. Of course there’s much more to the study, and it makes interesting reading for many reasons, not the least of which is that it used face-to-face data collection methods, and based queries on real experiences and not hypothetical scenarios.
In other words, the questions didn’t ask “what would you do” if you faced with wrongdoing. The subjects of this study had worked through the tough decisions and lived through actual whistleblowing events. You can access the report on this study here.
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