"The amazing thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools" ..... Doug Lauer
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Corona Pandemic Hits the Nursing Culture Reset Button
A few days ago, I passed by a nearly empty hospital parking lot. The ER entrance was backed up into the street with all sorts of emergency vehicles so there was no shortage of patients. Sirens screamed in the background and the place was hopping.
The lonely vehicles present in the parking lot were of the Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla permutation. It wasn't too hard to deduce where the BMWs and Infinitis with their nursing themed vanity license plates had gone. The self proclaimed elite members of the nursing academic/administrative office sitter complex were holed up in their fancy abodes while a dedicated contingent of bedside nurses were slogging it out in a challenging environment with a crude hodge-podge assemblage of personal protective equipment.
The righteousness of the busy body administrators at the top of the nursing administration pyramid looks especially iffy when lowly bedside nurses lack even the most basic equipment for safe patient care. Bedside nursing is a tough, often thankless undertaking and a lack of support from above for necessary equipment exacerbates the misery. Bedside nurses have a long history of facing insurmountable difficulties. Florence Nightengale lasted only 3 years at the bedside.
In years past, charity hospitals with no concern for personal financial gain were the institutions that sanctioned and preserved nursing culture. No patient was ever asked for an insurance card or copay. Everyone was welcome and eligible for care rendered out of kindness without a preoccupation with remuneration or the bottom line on a spread sheet. There was a strong feeling that we were all in it together for a greater good.
Money is the sand in the gearbox of healthcare today and the end result is a public health meltdown. Reimbursement for heroic, expensive procedures without improvement in patient outcomes grease the skids in hospitals of today. This one for all and all for one approach does not meet the needs of a population that is threatened by a pandemic.
It's no wonder countries with readily available healthcare not dependent on an individual's wealth or yoked to employment are doing so much better. You cannot buy your way out of a pandemic with profit centered care. In the land of the free and the home of the brave we do have the very best healthcare money can buy and it's proving to be lacking. Folks here are lucky if they can even get tested for corona virus.
Nursing is about to change and nobody is sure of the "how," but people in crisis help each other. Caring for those near us begins widening the care net for others. Maybe the nurse office sitters will emerge from behind their computers and help others because it's the right thing to do. Experienced nurse "rockstars" will rejoin the band and help young nurses at the bedside instead of soaking funds from a vulnerable group of nurslings for overpriced video courses. Nursing is not about being an Instagram influencer or money changing hands. It's about helping others without concern for self.
Just maybe the pandemic will transform nurse entrepreneurialism with it's inner impulses geared for money grubbing and influencer prestige to more charitable values delineating our nursing lives - duty and responsibility to our patients. Preoccupation with over indulgent, extravagant, nurse "self care" be damned. We were meant to suffer along with our patients. Oh..and don't let me forget, sometimes at the hands of our patients.https://oldfoolrn.blogspot.com/2015/08/knock-out-punch.html
Posted by Oldfoolrn at 6:58 PM
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Just wondering if you have free covid19 testing widely available in the USA, OFRN.ReplyDelete
Also your website has not been permitting comments - something has been wrong. Best wishes, Sue
covid19 testing is spotty at best here in the USA. It's difficult for me to understand how the talk now is all about reopening when the extent of the problem is so poorly delineated. A lack of testing and PPE along with our healthcare yoked to employment bodes poorly for a favorable outcome.Delete
I checked out the comment issue problem and they are enabled from my end. I really enjoy hearing from you so hopefully, it's straightened out. When this post received zero comments, I figured it was due to my complaining and irascibility!Delete
You remind me of some of the reasons why I took a hiatus from continuing nursing studies back in the mid 70s. Overworked, underpaid, understaffed, permanently injured young women. Thought as a man I could hold up to the physical rigors better. Life took some turns and I never got back to it, but became an EMT for years and a medical lab tech for a shorter time. The MLT position was much later and money had changed healthcare by then. It was disappointing to see the direction that healthcare had taken from the inside. Having nearly all of my family in Europe I keep getting asked about our "healthcare system" such as it is. They usually just shake their heads. All I can do at this age is hope that some good changes will come out of this pandemic, but I really don't expect much. Stay healthy!ReplyDelete
I was in nursing school a bit before your experience. I knew there was little money involved, but I got addicted to the feel good emotions while caring for others. My training hospital was in an impoverished area and the patients were so very grateful. I got really attached to some of them. I found working in this environment was more rewarding than in the more affluent suburb where I grew up.ReplyDelete
Hi again OFRN - your page was throwing my comment out unfortunately but we're back on air again now! Yes we are pretty stunned here at people in the USA being let out with so many active cases still about. We'll be watching how it goes.. I hope you stay isolating!ReplyDelete
AS of today here we have just under 7,000 confirmed cases in Australia with 62 people currently in hospital nation-wide and 97 deaths. We've managed this first wave amazingly well, shutting our borders very fast. Current plans are to open travel between Australia and New Zealand as both countries are at about the same level and we move between these two countries easily.
My neighbour is a nurse in the local hospital ICU and she said it's all fitted out for Covid19 and the staff are bored with no cases - which is a fantastic result, I'd rather they were bored than exhausted! We have massive free screening everywhere now. However we are heading into winter and bracing for a second wave.
I am forever thankful for our free public healthcare system believe me! I'm glad I trained when private (paying) patients were unknown. A recent attempt at privatising one of our public hospitals here (horror!)has resulted in disastrous care and the hospital has been taken over by the government again. Hurrah! Sue.
Wishing a good hearted entity would take over the mess of a healthcare system we have here in the land of the free and home of the brave. Onbamacare was a start in opening access to healthcare, but all it really amounted to was a gratuitous privatization for the insurance carriers. I'm so glad the comment issue was resolved.Delete
Big piles of money always attract vulture capitalists. I don't know which is worse, Big Pharma, insurance companies or hospitals.ReplyDelete
Money can be used quite effectively to winnow the wheat from the chaff with nurses. There were a couple of times our hospital had trouble making payroll. 98% of us showed up ready to go and not a soul missed the 2%ers.Delete
The hospital director (no CEOs back in the day) came up to the OR to thanks us and invited us to a free lunch in the cafeteria.
Michael Moore made a terrific documentary called Sicko which looked at healthcare in Canada, France, the UK and Cuba OFRN - worth watching if you haven't already seen it. SueReplyDelete
I did see that memorable film. The title was all too appropriate!Delete
Sick people have been refusing medical care at an unprecedented rate with high deductible insurance policies. During the pandemic my fate is tied to everyone else's fate. I'm hoping this virus will cause our capitalistic system to crash burn so that everyone can access medical care.ReplyDelete
One of your colleagues is offering a 20% off pandemic sale on nursing education materials. How tacky is that??
Very good article. I god so much benefits from this post.
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