Well, another week of health care in the news. Lots of discussions, arguments, heated debates and the occasional cordial conversation on what changes need to be made. From Obamacare to staffing ratios to violence against health care workers…. lots of news these days affecting healthcare. But what I notice is missing – where are the nurses in these conversations?? I see lots of people and analysts discussing how health care needs this change or that one, but where are the front line workers. Oh, yeah….they are actually doing the work. But if there was every a time, it is now – nurses need to be the change.
And it starts with me. And you.
Well, here I go again…. another highly contagious health scare hits the headlines and I find myself doing research. Yup, talking about measles this time.
No, I am not paranoid, but as a nurse, I feel its my obligation to stay abreast of current health care concerns – I find it even more important as a nursing instructor. So, I am sharing what I know with all of you!
Now, what’s the big deal about measles? Well, considering it was virtually eradicated in the US due to vigilant vaccination programs, most are not familiar with this highly contagious disease. In fact, in 2000 the CDC declared measles eradicated from the US. Unlike the flu, pneumonia or heart disease, we are just not familiar and need to re-educate ourselves on a disease we don’t deal with on a daily basis. (On a more personal note, I do not titer for measles, so that just makes my concern level a little higher…and personal!)
This month I have the honor of hosting the Nurse Blog Carnival and the age old question, “New nursing graduates in specialty areas?”
As a nursing instructor, I get to hear a lot of dreams and goals from my students. I actually encourage it. It helps give them direction and really start thinking about their careers. As with most dreams, they are lofty. Although I encourage dream building, I also try to encourage them to be realistic. I like to remind them that dreams and goals are often obtained after a journey and usually some sacrifice and hard work.
So you arrive on time to clinicals – good job! You are in dress code – awesome! You have all your supplies, a pen, your stethoscope – ready to go save some lives! You get up to the floor, find your patient assignment and BAM – you find out you have to work with “Nurse Ratchet” today! So what do you do? Run for the hills? Cry? – no, there’s no crying in nursing school (at least not in public)! Instead, you are going to figure out how to manage a challenging nurse!
In case you missed volume 1, you can read about it here.
Well, as with many things in life, I always try to aim high. For last week, I had grand plans that I would be able to blog each day from camp, sharing my many adventures as the camp nurse with all of you. Well, I knew we would be busy, but that is putting it mildly! They had us scheduled from the minute we woke up, until the time our tired bodies hit the bed. Sure, I could have stolen a few minutes during free time, but I was having so much fun, it just didn’t happen. There was also this small problem that every time there was “free time”, pretty much every chaperone rushed to the gathering area, where the wi-fi signal was strongest, and tried to connect to the outside world. Let’s just say signal strength was not at its premium.
So I asked one of my students the other day, what is the purpose of the medical records. He replied, “To save us from the attorneys?”. Although joking (I think), this is often the case. So, it begs the question, what should we document and why? Well, first, we have to remember the medical record is the tool for communication among all the health care providers. So, then it becomes obvious, you need to document what everyone should know about the patient and the care that was provided….and be truthful. Simple enough.
Locally we had a verdict of a death of an inmate to the amount of $975 million dollars. Sadly, the inmate was suppose to be monitored by the staff, including the nursing staff. Sure, it was documented she was monitored, however the video told a different story. A few good lessons learned from documentation…. tell the truth and serve the patient. The article goes into great detail of the events and worth the read.
TBO article regarding fraudulent documentation.
I would like to hear your respectful thoughts. Please free to leave a comment.