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Facebook posts could cost five California nurses their jobs

A few years ago, hospitals did not have to worry about patient information being posted on the internet, as social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook were not as popular as they have become today. Tri-City Medical Center in CA may be wishing for the days before computers, as five nurses’ jobs are in jeopardy and a sixth will be disciplined for allegedly posting patient information on Facebook. [more]

A picture is worth 1,000 words: Tell your nursing story in photos

In a continuing effort to recognize nurses, the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) is requesting high quality photos that depict nurses’ work and the relationships they form with patients and families. The winning photograph will be featured in an AARP print and/or web publication.

CCNA hopes to gather images of nurses across all healthcare settings in professional practice and leadership roles, as well as in recruitment and retention activities, and nursing education.

The contest is running through June 25, 2010, and all rules can be found by clicking here.

Even if your submission is not a winner, all qualifying photos will be featured in the CCNA’s new public repository of images.

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The Maddeningly Difficult Patient

The maddeningly difficult patient presents a maddeningly difficult challenge —almost daily.

Oops. I said “difficult patient” and I vowed never to use that term. I think it’s much more constructive to talk about “difficult situations” and the “difficult-for-me patient”. The fact is, because patients and families are so anxious during healthcare experiences and so out of their element, many people do not behave at their best. They are not inherently difficult. The situation is difficult for them. (Click here to read more about “The Difficult-for-me Patient”)

Yet, since challenging patients and families produce so much stress for service providers, I am constantly trying to learn about ways to help. Recently, at a large medical group, I ran a focus group with nurses, billing reps, registrars, phlebotomists and others known for dealing with difficult situations well. [more]

June 1 nursing strike postponed; National Nurses United prepare for June 10 strike

June 10 could mark the largest registered nurses strike in U.S. history if nurses from California and Minnesota cannot reach an agreement in contract negotiations. Originally scheduled for June 1, nurses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, rejected pension and labor proposals from the hospitals, and believed there was no other option but to strike the day after their contracts ended.

Now, as many as 25,000 nurses are set to strike on June 10 over patient safety in U.S. hospitals. Thirteen thousand nurses in California and 12,000 in Minnesota are set to strike, even though each strike was not coordinated to fall on the same day. All of the nurses are members of the National Nurses United, the nation’s largest professional association and union for nurses. The nurses are also members of the California and Minnesota Nurses Association.

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Bedside nurses encouraged to be patient safety champions

The University of Kansas Hospital (KUMED) in Kansas City, KS, has created a program to encourage nurse involvement in patient safety. The program, Quality Safety Investigators (QSI), is a way to improve bedside nurses’ involvement in championing quality and patient care. KUMED provides each nurse involved in the program with tools, resources, and training that focus on unit-specific initiatives. [more]

Stressed out nurses are more likely to have heart attacks

The New York Times recently blogged about studies regarding the ill effects of workplace stress. However, when reading the article, one particular statistic caught my attention: Nurses struggling with excessive work pressure have DOUBLE the risk for a heart attack.

This statistic comes from a study conducted by Danish researchers (the full study can be found here) and was conducted over a 15-year period. In addition to this finding, a British study tracked 6,000 workers for 11 years and found those regularly working more than 10 hours per day had a 60% higher risk for heart disease than those who only worked seven hours daily.

Both these thoughts are frightening, as most nurses work more than seven hours per day, and can be even more prone to have a heart attack! [more]

Twin Cities nurses prepare for strike

After months of negotiations, nurses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, have voted and authorized a one-day strike to take place on June 1 at 14 metro hospitals because nurses and healthcare officials could not settle on a new contract that satisfies both parties.

The vote consisted of 9,000 nurses of the 12,000 in the hospital system, with 90% voting to reject pension and labor proposals from the hospitals. Prior to the vote, nurses and healthcare executives tried to reach an agreement to no avail. Each party stood strong in its beliefs and the nurses felt they had no choice but to strike.

The Twin Cities Daily Planet summed up some of the issues discussed, which ranged from patient care to pension. [more]

In the city, some registered nurses may not make the cut

As many healthcare organizations battle the nursing shortage that is only expected to worsen as baby boomers retire and the need for healthcare grows, new nurses entering the field in cities may be greeted with this: An associate degree in nursing is not good enough.

For many new nurses, this may come as a bit of a shock. One Philadelphia nurse received this answer when applying for jobs this spring as he was turned away because organizations were only looking for nurses with a nursing degree or bachelor of science in nursing, and not an associate degree. Even though this nurse was an RN, the organization was not satisfied with his degree because anyone can obtain this degree from a community college.

Those looking to become a nurse have three different options. They can go to school for four years and get a nursing degree or bachelor of science in nursing. Option two: They can get associate’s degrees and only go to school for two to three years, while option three has the individual going to a diploma school for about three years. All three require would-be RNs to pass a licensing exam that tests basic skills; starting pay is about the same. [more]

In honor of Nurses Week: 10 Reasons to Become a Nurse

I would like to introduce Jennifer Johnson, who will be a guest blogger on the topic of nurse practitioner schools among other hot topics in nursing. Welcome Jennifer to the Leaders’ Lounge!

Here is a list of 10 reasons to become a nurse:

  1. To meet a critical need. There is a great need for qualified nursing professionals to fill vacant positions at healthcare facilities across the country. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the nursing shortage is only expected to increase.
  2. To ease pain and suffering. Nursing is the sort of profession where one’s daily responsibilities directly contribute to helping patients improve their condition. Rarely a day goes by where a nurse is not making someone’s life better and taking steps to improve someone’s health. Whether you’re a military nurse caring for wounded soldiers in the field or an oncology nurse preparing a patient for chemotherapy, your work makes a difference. For this reason, many nurses find their work very rewarding.
  3. Nurses are in-demand and will be for years to come. A good RN doesn’t stay unemployed for long in the U.S., and it’s likely to stay that way well into the future
  4. To teach patients how to live a healthier lifestyle. Patient education is a huge part of being a nurse. Not only do nurses educate patients on how to appropriately manage their diseases and conditions, but they also encourage them to make lifestyle changes that can contribute greatly to the patient’s overall health.
  5. Nurses can specialize. If you have a passion to work with a particular population group, such as newborns, children, or the elderly, you will have the opportunity to work specifically with those patients. Over time, nurses gain the skills necessary to become certified in a specific area and can seek out work in areas that are of particular interest to them. [more]

A Touch. A Word. A Cause for Healing: Honoring nurses

This post is from Ron Watson who is director of communications for Doylestown Hospital in Doylestown, PA. He discusses his experience at Doylestown, where he was hospitalized for 10 days and now praises his nurses for all they did.

I’m familiar with order sets and eMAR. I understand root cause analysis and composite scores. I can recite our hospital’s infection rates, patient satisfaction scores, and average length of stay.

I was clueless about nursing and the healing power of a touch, a word, a smile.

Ten days as a patient in Doylestown Hospital were an education. As I went from sick to sicker to surgery and recovery, fleeting moments with nurses and techs were lessons in the meaning of health “care.”

It was obvious from the start. I was in the ER with abdominal pain. A CT scan was ordered. When the contrast agent returned with the force of a fire hydrant, a nurse and tech consoled me and contained the mess. When I stopped long enough for a deep breath, Annemarie, my nurse, was already wiping the perspiration from my brow. [more]