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Beware Of Using Social Media As A Nurse

A registered nurse in Saskatchewan, Canada, posted a comment on social media regarding the care of her grandfather who had recently passed away at a long-term care facility.  The comment suggested the staff suffered from a lack of compassion and education. To this nurse’s surprise, charges were filed against her license for harming the standing of the profession of nursing under Canada’s “Registered Nurses Act.”  She was found guilty and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine as well as an additional … [Read more...]

Staying At The Bedside

Recently I’ve read several articles about why nurses leave the bedside.  We all know the sobering fact that hospitals are now run like corporations and seem to be more focused on the bottom line rather than on patient care. Staffing is usually an issue and that everything that is required is difficult to get done in the time allotted. Think about it!  On a day shift, nurses sometimes have 6 to 8 patients.  This means that the nurse has only a little over an hour per patient to perform all … [Read more...]

Give Me A Break

Just about every day I hear that nurses cannot take their required breaks.  If they do take a break, it puts their patients at risk by giving the other nurses more patients to watch. In fact, several lawsuits have been filed against health care institutions claiming that nurses were not getting the breaks there were supposed to take and, even though they worked through those break periods, their paychecks would reflect a 30-minute deduction as if they had actually taken the required … [Read more...]

The Nursing Shortage

I have written on this topic frequently because the nursing shortage is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurse is among the top occupations for growth through the year 2022.  The field is expected to grow 19% between now and then. A 2013 survey conducted by The National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the Forum for State Nursing Workforce Centers found that 55% of the R.N. workforce … [Read more...]

Be A Change Agent To Improve Patient Care

I believe that nurses have the answers to the problems in health care, but either they are afraid to speak up or others don’t listen.  So, how can we make change that will really occur? When you want to make change, think about the end result you are seeking.  That is where you start.  That is your intention of what you want to set. However, whenever there is change, there may be opposition.  For change to occur, look at the payoffs that you are getting for keeping things the same.  Then … [Read more...]

Perils Of Night Shift Nursing

A completely unscientific review of the nurses who I have represented for licensing issues shows that the vast majority of them worked the night shift. The areas where some nurses seem to get in trouble are: (1)    sleeping on the job – because they haven’t adjusted to the night shift schedule; (2)    taking Ambien for sleep during the day in which there may be a concern about impairment; (3)    failure to recognize subtle changes in patients due to the decreased number of staff; (4)    … [Read more...]

Nursing Shortage … It’s Happening Now!

There are more than 3-million nurses in the United States and approximately one-third, about 1-million, are “baby boomers” who are expected to retire soon. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 1.2-million job openings for nurses by 2020 because of growth and the need for replacements.  Right now, hospitals are concerned and I have noticed more recruitment outreach strategies such as job fairs, working with students and providing students with benefits such as paying for … [Read more...]

Have You Missed Your Lunch Break?

A Houston, Texas nurse has filed suit against her employer because she was not given her lunchbreaks.  Even though she worked when she should have been eating her lunch, she was NOT paid for that time.  She was deprived of her break and forced to work for free. This facility had a policy that you only clocked in when you arrived at work and clocked out when your shift ended.  Their bookkeepers then would deduct the one-half hour lunch break from their payable time. However, because of the … [Read more...]