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Open wide and say ahhhhhhhouch! November 11, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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pelosi

They finally got it done… congress passing the 2000 page healthcare “reform” bill during a special vote last saturday. Quite frankly I don’t get it. Why the rush? Why the special vote? Why on the weekend? Is the healthcare situation that bad that we have to pass this 2000 page bill NOW? Seriously, has anyone read the darn thing? Are we out of our minds? What impact could this bill have in the future if this gets signed into law?

I guess you can say that this is a victory for whoever wants this bill passed. And although they can rejoice and celebrate and do all that, I wonder if the American people are celebrating with them. As far as I know, no one has ever read and understood the bill. And if you ask any member of congress who voted for this bill, I bed you they wouldn’t be able to tell you what’s in it. At least not in its entirety. That’s sad… what has America come to?

I’m sure what happens in congress is what happens at our hospitals too. I know you know what I mean… patients signing papers without reading what they are signing. Like a member of congress states, “who’s got time to read the bill?”… yeah, who’s got time to read the consent for the surgery and “other related procedures”. Which doctor has time to sit with the patient and family to answer questions about the proposed procedure when they can write orders like “obtain consent for [whatever procedure]”. No biggie right?

Now that the bill was passed, it has to go through the senate. Unfortunately for madam speaker Pelosi, some senators are saying that this house bill will be DOA. On the other hand, the senate is also cooking up their own version of healthcare reform. Overall, I doubt that healthcare reform will be signed into law before the year’s end as our president suggests. Regardless of what happens this year, or even early next year, the American people loses on this one. What some people think is a “victory” for passing this house bill, is actually a waste of time. Clean up healthcare? I doubt it… they should have done this a long time ago. Unless special interest groups drop their agenda, and I mean ALL SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, we will never truly “clean up” healthcare. There’s just too much at stake on the expense of the American people. I believe the best thing to do right now is to not do anything as drastic as a 2000 page bill (too late) and study the current system OBJECTIVELY without interference from the government or special interest groups, then come up with a solution that solves the problem of waste and fraud. Call me naive, but wouldn’t you do the same in your own house if faced with a problem? Of course you would… you’d put your nurse’s cap on and apply the nursing process! For now, what makes sense to me is to open the market for healthcare insurance providers to operate across state lines, which will increase free market competition and help drive costs down. What’s so wrong with that?

Overall we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. Unfortunately a spoonful of sugar can’t make this medicine go down. Why? Because congress just said… “open wide America… get ready for your ENEMA!

I vote present! October 1, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Fying time

Time surely flies when you’re having fun! For me, it’s more like work and school… not really that fun. It’s been a busy few weeks for me and I haven’t made entries to this so called blog. What a bummer!

What’s more of a bummer is what is happening in our country today… the healthcare debate, the war in Afghanistan, the Acorn vs pimp and prostitute scandal, Iran and her nuclear weapons development because that crazy leader of theirs see our leader as weak, indoctrination of our public school children, tea party goers labeled as “the angry mob that incites violence”, while the G20 protests was described as orderly and peaceful (which in reality was the other way around), etc., etc.

Quite frankly, I’ve never seen anything like this in the last 15 years I’ve been in America. I would have to say that we are living in uncertain times. I think we are starting to see the beginning of the end. Things will only get worse from here. The country is being shaken from its core. Everyone has their own agenda… you can hardly trust anybody anymore.

I have never seen America so divided in terms of Republicans vs Democrats, Liberals vs Conservatives, Black vs White, etc., etc. It’s sad to see how you can be labeled a racist if you oppose or disagree with someone that doesn’t have the same skin color as you do. Can’t we agree to disagree anymore? Has common sense been thrown out the window in America today? What is happening to this country?

Doesn’t it strike you odd that our president has been pushing this public healthcare option, saying that it has to be passed now? Why the rush? It’s like a pushy car salesman telling you that you need to buy this Pinto when you already own a Mercedez. May the people in congress should vote for this public option, Republicans and Democrats alike. They should look up to our president and follow his example when he was a senator… they should vote PRESENT!

😉

Universal Health (I don’t) Care Coverage September 7, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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smallstetman

The debate rages on… the president pushing his agenda, “angry mobs” storming townhall meetings across the country…(Oops, correction) not angry mobs… “furious mobs”  (Oops, sorry again)… not “furious mobs”… just good ol’ common sense and critically thinking Americans who can smell dead fish from a mile away. It’s nice to know that that America still exists!

I think what the president ought to do is just STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN

STOP pushing the health care agenda…

LOOK at the current healthcare situation and do a comprehensive study…

LISTEN to the people and what they say…

I find it odd that a president, who hasn’t gone to church (as far as I know), who hid behind his desk during the National Day of Prayer, all of a sudden calls on the religious leaders of the country to urge them to tell their congregation that it is our “moral obligation” to get health care to the masses. It’s like atheists who cry “God save me!” when their plane is about to crash. I don’t think there has been any comprehensive studies made on the current health care situation of the country (unless you know of some, I’d like to hear from you). I believe this is what we need… not universal healthcare… at least not now.

Yes, health care is definitely important , especially today and in this uncertain economy. We all agree that the cost of health care has gone up as more and more people live longer, sicker lives. And although the thought of health care for everyone may be a noble idea, the reality is that, not everyone wants healthcare. Simply put, if one doesn’t care about their health, why should the rest of us have to pay for it? After all, this is AMERICA. We can do anything we want because we have the FREEDOM to do anything we want! Right?

We can decide not to live healthy, we can decide to live wrecklessly, we can decide to sit in front of the TV all day munching on salty tortilla chips and downing gallons and gallons of soda while piling on the ice cream and chocolate chip cookies till it comes out of our noses. We can decide to drink cases of beer or hard liquor till our liver turns yellow and we start pooping blood that gushes out where the sun don’t shine while we’re being turned in the ICU because we wanted “just one more sip” for 10 years. Heck, we can smoke all the cigarettes that can fit in our mouth all at once and go through 3 cases a day till we end up intubated in the ICU and dependent on a vent. We can eat all we can in those chinese buffets and Mexican restaurants til we get so big that nurses break their backs when they give us bed baths or turn us to prevent pressure sores. That’s all good, it’s your business, you’re paying your health premiums, do whatever you want. Live la viva loca. But what about those that don’t pay their health premiums or do not have healthcare coverage that live life in wreckless abandon? Don’t judge me… mind your own business!

Here’s the deal… and I think here’s were the debate comes in. There are definitely people that NEED health care because of their medical condition that IS NOT THEIR FAULT. For example, those who were born with developmental or congenital anomalies, those that were stricken with an uncurable degenerative disease who were otherwise healthy, those who are stricken with diseases of old age, etc., etc. There are also those that NEED health care because of disabilities that IS NOT THEIR FAULT. For example, those who got injured severely on the job, that lost all limbs or sustained a devastating head injury, unforseen accidents that caused their disabilities, victims of violent crimes, our veterans (most definitely), etc., etc. I’m sure we can name other situations that someone would need health care becuase of an unfortunate event that IS NOT THEIR FAULT.

On the other hand, there are those that NEED health care, BUT was caused by their wrecklessness. For example, drunk drivers getting into a car wreck and ending up paralyzed, victims of self inflicted gun shot wounds because of playing Russian Roulette, a failed suicide attempt (this is iffy), etc., etc. The list goes on, and on.

How about the people who have Medicare… those who’ve worked hard all their lives, were productive members of society who because of the frailty of old age are sick. They take care of themselves as much as they can, they take their medications religiously, they follow doctor’s advice, they do everything they can to live healthy lives. I’m sure they would definitely need healthcare. Then there are some who, for some reason or another, did not work hard, who couldn’t find a job, who were not fortunate enough to get educated and thus couldn’t find a job, who get sick because of poverty, who just did not have the means to contribute to Medicare. They need healthcare too, but who’s paying for that?

How about the difference between, universal healthcare access, and healthcare entitlement. Am I more entitled to healthcare because I contributed to society by working hard and raising my familiy right? Or do I expect other people to pay for my healthcare and continue to live my life as unhealthy as I please because I am entitled to it?

There is no doubt that the middle class mostly could afford health insurance, and that the wealthy, and politicians, do get the best health care available. There are people in the mid to lower class that have a job that could not, or do not have health insurance. They work and strive to make a living, yet healthcare is out of reach simply because they cannot afford it. Then there are those who are just plain lazy. They think the world owes them a living. They think society owes them from the years of “white man” oppression. They may be able bodied but refuses to work because they are entitled to something anyway. And so, on and so forth.

What can we do? At the moment, we need to do nothing. The best thing we can do is to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN. And although pundits or even the president would say that if we do nothing, we are digging ourselves deeper and deeper into a hole, I believe unless we figure things out first… the what, whys, and hows… the only option we have is to keep healthcare the way it is. There is just too many people involved in this “broken” system that an overnight, over the weekend vote by congress, who do not even read what they are voting for, would solve anything.

I believe that the best healthcare experts the president could and should hear from are those who are at the forefront of healthcare delivery, WE THE NURSES!

We the nurses deliver healthcare. We the nurses see the effects of years of health abuse. We the nurses see the effects of lives lived in wreckless abandon. We the nurses see the mismanagement of healthcare resources. We the nurses see the exploit of physicians who run their practice as a business as opposed to service to the community. We the nurses see how hospitals exploit us for profit. We the nurses are the answer to healthcare reform. BUT WHAT ARE WE THE NURSES DOING?

The Resurrection July 7, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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budding-pink-lotus-flowers-picture

Wow! It has surely been a while since that last time this blog had life. In the span of almost 2 months, a lot has happened in terms of developments in government, the media, and most recently the passing away of a few well known celebrities, so famous, we won’t need to mention them.

In the last couple of months since Mother’s day, our world has changed drastically. Of course any mention here would be in retrospect. And like the crisis of our time, what seemed to be an almost devastating personal crisis would actually breathe new life into my life. I’m glad to say that thanks to God’s grace, His guidance, His mercy, His providence, and leading, the future looks brighter. I believe I’ve cleared a hurdle that kept me back a few years. Now, it’s full steam ahead. Watch out, here I come!

That being said, I’d like to take this time to welcome myself back into the odd world of nurse bloggers, who, without Mother Jonesencouragement, would have seen this blog fade into obscurity. What had started as an outlet to vent on the seeming lack of common sense found at my workplace, intended for a small group of readers, became a speck of dust on the mountain of the nurses’ blogosphere. And although you may not always agree with the opinions expressed here, you are right, and are definitely entitled to mine. Here’s to nurse bloggers and blogging. Cheers! 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day May 10, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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mothersday

Growing up I remember fond memories with my mother. Although she wasn’t home a lot because of her work being a college physician, she always made a point to spend quality time with us. I’m sure she’d rather be home most of the time, however, when duty calls, she had to respond to it even at 2 in the morning. This is one of the reasons why early on I decided not to pursue medicine even when my parents wanted me to follow in her footsteps, or be in the medical profession for that matter. Ironically, I ended up being a nurse. At least I don’t get called at 2 a.m., and with a 3 – 4 day 12-hour work schedule, I get to spend some time with my kids.

I’m sure you have fond memories of you mother too. I’m sure you can remember the joys and pains you caused her has you grew up into adulthood. I know she had her fair share with me, and if not for her love and patience, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

So to all you mothers out there I’d like to salute you and greet you a Happy Mother’s day. There is nothing so dear, so sweet, so nurturing as a mother’s love.

Lights… Camera… ACTION! April 27, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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lightscameraaction_001_200_136

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last century, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one movie in your lifetime. That being said, we all know that what we see on the big screen is a culmination of weeks, even months, of hard work by a group of people who came together to create that spectacle we call a movie.

Unfortunately for those who worked behind the scenes, all the audience remembers are the people who had the leading role. What most people don’t realize is that, these so called movie stars wouldn’t exist if nobody put them on a pedestal. And although looks and talent may be a big factor in their rise to stardom, it is their fans and the people behind them that makes them look good, an important ingredient to achieving celebrity status.

In the field of healthcare, you can say that the “stars” of the show are nurses. I’m not saying that because I am one, but rather, because it is the way it is. At the end of the shift it is the nurse that gets remembered by the patient, just like a movie goer would remember the star who had the leading role. And just like a movie goer who would judge the actor’s performance as excellent or poor, a patient also makes judgements about the nurses’ performance based on their experience with the nurse.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the people who work in the background are trivial… far from it! In fact, it is the people in the background that make or break the performance. Just think about it for a minute…. You can have stunning special effects, but if the actors aren’t talented the scene starts to look phony. Or, you can have great action, but if the music sucks, the scene sucks. On that note, you can have a star nurse, but if the pharmacy doesn’t deliver that pain medication on time, what can your star nurse do? If xray takes 48 hours to get a report to the chart because it is the weekend, who is to blame? If a bloody dressing cannot be reinforced or changed because central supplies failed to stock the unit, would the patient have to wait till the next day?

Regardless of what department you work… don’t get fooled by the cliche, “we are here for the patient”. NO… the NURSE is here for the patient… you are here for the nurse! Hate the idea, but I believe this is reality. Each supporting department is here for the nurse… labs, pharmacy, xray, housekeeping, central supplies, dietary, information services, you name it. Without the cooperation and full support of these departments, the nursing department suffers, and subsequently, the patient suffers. 

I’m sure you work at a hospital where nurses are held in high esteem, where the nurses’ success is everyone’s success, where management treat nurses as assets instead of liabilities, and where departments work together to solve each other’s problems. But then again, it’s a dog eat dog world out there, and for the most part, nurses are fair game and oftentimes get the short end of the stick unlike movie stars who get the red carpet treatment for their life-saving performances… ya. At least as a nurse, I get to go to Walmart without the pesty paparazzi. 🙂

Welcome home children… April 15, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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We’ve all heard about Obama’s first kill… 3 pirates shot dead. Today the crew of the Maersk Alabama came home to their families… no US casualties, it’s a good day!

For the first time the President did something right… I wonder if the ACLU is going to be on him for ordering the slaying of 3 poor pirates. I hope this sends a message out there that if you mess with America, be prepared to accept the consequences. And although I don’t see how our President is making sense with all that he’s done ever since he took office, I would have to say, “good job Mr. President, you did right on this one!”

Incidentally all throughout the country people are holding Anti-Tax Tea Parties on tax day. Personally I don’t have anything against taxes, after all, Jesus in the Bible said “… Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21). I do have a problem with higher taxes, especially when it is used in wasteful spending. If we only gave 10% of our income to the government regardless of how much we earn, and if the government gets spending under control, I believe this will work and will be good for everyone.

Regardless of what you are celebrating today whether it be the return of the Maersk Alabama crew or the beginning of Tax reform in the US, I hope this day was a good one. I know I had a great day today… spent all afternoon at the Houston Space Center together with my daughter and her 3rd-grade classmates, part of a 3-day field trip. What could be better than that? 🙂

Politically correct 101: Call it anything but March 31, 2009

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american_eagle_239566_08_250_3002 

It’s official, the “war on terror” is over. Our president in his infinite wisdom suggests that calling it the “war on terror” offends people, so, to show the whole world how weak America has become, we call the “war on terror”, “overseas contingency plan”.

That’s sad because growing up, my perception of America was this big brother with strong shoulders who fought for freedom, coming to the aid of those who are too weak to defend themselves, fighting those who threaten to destroy what America stands for. So much for calling it the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. If the president himself cannot stand up and call evil by its right name, who will?

How about you? 🙂

Be a Democrat 101: Foundational Teaching March 29, 2009

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donkey-democrat-logo

There is no doubt that we are living in tough economic and political times. Most experts are saying that we are headed for a depression. Others say, we’re headed towards socialism. Yet most say it’s all Bush’s fault. Regardless of what you believe, I believe there is no greater time to be a Democrat.

You see, Democrats have had control of Congress for the last 2 years and much more now since the last presidential election. With all the proposed spending, our president, with the bidding or the speaker of the house as well as other interest groups that helped him get into office, has clearly shown us that he is ready and willing to drive the country into the ground blaming the previous administration for the mess we’re in. It’s like blaming the last shift nurse for not doing their job. Nevertheless, to be a Democrat, you need to master a few things. Here are a few fundamental core values of being a Democrat:

1) When things go well claim all the credit. When it doesn’t just say “we’re all in this together” because it’s about America.

2) If the proposed solution clearly wouldn’t work or is void of common sense, blame the Republicans for not coming up with an “alternative”.

3) If Republican’s proposes an “alternative” that could possibly work or solves the problem, just reject it and remind them who won the last election.

4) If Republican’s reject a proposal, just tell them they are “un-American”.

5) Don’t work hard. The government will spread the wealth around.

6) Don’t pay your taxes unless you’re up for cabinet appointment.

7) Democrats are perfect… it’s always someone else that makes a mistake.

Now if everyone was a Democrat, wouldn’t you think we’ll be living in a perfect world?

VIP… very important patient March 25, 2009

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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surgerysm2

As I come to work today someone had told me that our big boss (aka director) is a patient on the 7th floor. “No way” I said. “You better believe it” said my co-worker. I did a quick search and sure enough, her name appeared (HIPAA, what HIPAA?).

It turns out that our boss was going for some type of sugery in the morning. Hmmm I hope she doesn’t end up in the ICU. But then again maybe she should end up in our unit… after all, she runs the place and maybe, just maybe, she’ll find out for herself the frustrations we as nurses have to go through. I could only imagine it right now…

Boss patient: “Nurse I need my pain medication STAT.”

Nurse: “Sorry boss, the pharmacy hasn’t profiled it yet. I already called 3 times and the Pyxis doesn’t have it. Don’t worry, it’s only been two hours since I scanned the order, they usually have it after the third hour.”

nolinenBoss patient: “I want a bath.”

Nurse: “Sorry boss, you’ll have to wait, we didn’t have towels and wash cloths when we started our shift. The morning shift used it all up and didn’t bother to replenish them. Do you mind if I used pillow cases or top sheets instead?”

Boss patient: “Nurse, my dressing needs to be changed.”

nosuppliesNurse: “Ok boss, but can that wait until the morning? Our supply room is lacking supplies. Apparently the morning shift used up all the 4×4 gauze, abdominal pads, and tape without replenishing them. The hospital central supplies department closes at 5 p.m. Besides, no one has bothered to order supplies for the last 2 days, oh yeah, it was the weekend. Actually, the supplies did come, but they just stack the boxes instead of stocking the selves. Do you mind waiting a couple hours while I search for them in those boxes?”

I don’t know about you, but we nurses are supposed to be the company’s “front line soldiers” when it comes to providing care and representing customer service. Problem is, how can we do that if support services like central supplies, pharmacy, or even labs don’t back us up. Regardless of who dropped the ball, it is always the nurses’ fault when patient’s care gets delayed. Is it fair? Definitely not! Does it happen everywhere? No!

I came from a hospital that is well stocked, well supported, and well managed. Pharmacy delivers the meds within 15-30 min, not hours. Time lab draws get done… on time, and central supply rooms are always stocked, just like shelves at Walmart. And to top it of, it was a non-profit community hospital to say the least. Here at MMC, we make profit… on the expense of either the patient, or the nurse. I don’t think even the CEO cares about what is going on in the front line as long as the numbers are right. What ever happened to the “Service Excellence” ideals that we’ve heard about during our orientation?

Despite this I can say that in my 4 years of working here, it has been a lot better. I can say that this hospital is a lot better from when I first started here because of the fact that I’m here!

Patients are treated right because I treat them right…

Things get done because I make sure it gets done…

Equipment gets fixed because I make sure it does, and when they don’t, I just write my director up. She’s bound to listen. 😉

Overall, I think this place could improve a lot more and I know it will. How can it not, I’m here! Fortunately for MMC, I’m not the kind of nurse that bends over and take it up where the sun don’t shine. I’m sure you’ll do the same thing. But then again, I’m 5 Wester, and you’re not! 🙂