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JCAHO Day! April 28, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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I wish everyday was JCAHO day.

You might think I’m crazy. Afterall, who wants to be working with someone breathing down your neck? I’ve always wondered what the big deal was when the facility knows JCAHO is coming to town. As far as I know, it should be a day of rejoicing. “Why?”… here’s why…

First of all, everybody is on high alert. You should see the look on their faces… like dear in headlights. For some reason all the “good China” comes out… you know, perfect staffing, linen without holes, trash is picked up and emptied by housekeeping, urinals have labels on them, and you wouldn’t find gum stuck under the overbed table… it’s that clean! The list goes on, and on…

It’s like that old cliche, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, the cat comes about once a year (twice if we’re lucky). That leaves us with about 364 days of “fooling around”, then comes JCAHO day when everything seem to miraculously come in order. The only problem with this is another old cliche, “Practice makes perfect.”

Have you seen an orchestra perform? Flawless! How do you think they achieved such a performance? Practice, practice, practice. I think this should be the same with us in the health care field. We need to practice, practice, practice. It’s hard to practice when you don’t have the stuff you need to practice with… you know, linen, supplies, manpower, etc.

Despite all the hooplah, I’ve never heard of any hospital that’s been shut down by JCAHO. Maybe I’m just too naive. If you do know of one, shoot me a line. I’d like to know the circumstance behind the shutdown. Nevertheless I figured this much… they can’t shut MMC down. Why? Economics… we’re a level 3 trauma center… the only one in the Rio Grande Valley. I don’t think the other hospitals like DHR would like us to shut down either. After all,  who’s gonna take all the “drop ins”? (Which, by the way, is another story!)

Rah…Rah…Rah… Siss… Boom… Bah! (Blah, Blah!) April 23, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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I just came out of an ICU mandatory meeting. It felt more like a pep rally to me. I don’t know if it was a good one given the current circumstance. We’ve been working really short lately and morale is somewhat low. The main speaker was our new CNO. Wow, I didn’t think we had one. Never saw one in 3 years that I’ve been working here. Like a whiff of fresh air she “talked nurse” to us. Of course, this doesn’t come without a bit of skepticism on our part (at least for me). After all, how many times do you hear management build you up on lip service and come short on delivery? I like all the ideas she presented thus far… “take care of yourself”, “take care of each other”, “we’re working for you not against you”… I’ve heard it all. I’d rather see it. You know the cliche… “Action speaks louder than words.”

She went on to tell us that our director was straddling a fence… made of barbed wire. I guess you can say being in management, you’re middle man between making your boses (the board of hospital administrators) happy, as well as making your subordinates happy. Hmmm… I wonder who built the darn fence in the first place? Nevertheless, the new CNO wanted us to work as a unified nursing team… not just ICU, but throughout the hospital. Overall I think it is a grand idea… I just hope the higher ups have the balls to back her up. She made me think deeper when she said, we’re in the “business of nursing”. Not only do we take care of sick people, we also have to do it with the limited resource we have, an therefore we have to be creative. I guess she’s right. We’re not only nurses… we’re scientists, businessmen (and women), mother, father, brother, sister, auditors, etc, etc. You name it, that’s what we are.

Overall the message was… just wait and see… and wait… and wait… and wait again, just like before… because CNOs don’t last very long especially if hospital administration and corporate officers control everything. Even if you have the best and grandest idea in the world hear this… NOTHING WILL HAPPEN UNLESS YOU CAN PULL SOME CORPORATE STRINGS… because the bottom line is… THEY ARE PULLING YOUR STRINGS! SO… LET’S GET ON WITH THE SHOW SHALL WE? 🙂

ICU in the ICU April 11, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Critical care needs to go into critical care. At least where I work. It’s been 2 weeks now that I’ve had to take 3 patients, and it seems like it’s not getting any better. On top of this our managers have the audacity to remind us of avoiding “incremental overtime”. Talk about adding salt to an open wound! “You need to manage your time better” she says. Manage time? How about trying to manage patient load? Better yet, manage staffing and figure out how to retain nurses!

Unfortunately, we are nurses. We bend over and take it up where the sun don’t shine, and the sad part is that there’s nothing we can do about it… no union, no nurses’ advocate, not even an incentive at least for having to take up more patient load. Gosh darn it, the hospital is saving money by cutting us short and in the end, we are responsible for all the stuff we “overlook” because we “need to manage our time better” because we have 3 patients! If this doesn’t make you mad, I don’t know what else will. Then to add icing to the cake you got an electronic medical records system called OPUS which is worth diddly squat! What the heck is this world coming to? Nursing shortage? What nursing shortage? This is why we’re having a nursing shortage… they are killing the nurses! When will nurses band together to stop the bull sh**? That would be the day…

For the meantime, take care of yourself. How? Do the back bends 4 to 5 times a day so you get used to it and grow those back muscles since this is what you’ll be doing most of the time (at least what I do at work). Then do squats at least 3 sets of 12 repetitions 3 – 4 times a day to build those leg muscles so when the day comes that you can finally whip hospital a**, you got those leg muscles to send them to the moon! Just kidding! 🙂