Nov 16, 2007

H.R. 4138

The kiddo is home sick today with a stomach bug. So I thought I would take some time to blog, seeing as I have not had the chance in the past few weeks.
My friend Beth over at PixelRN called my attention to a bill in congress that could be a really good thing for the Healthcare industry.
H. R. 4138 is sitting in congress and if it passes, it could enable the Nursing Staff in Hospitals across the country to determine staffing for their very own units.
I hate to sound cynical but I see Hospitals finding some loophole to get around it if it passes. (i.e. Like hiring one RN to oversee staffing and pressuring that RN to staff scarcely) However, whether it passes or not, it still calls attention to the biggest problem with hospital nursing and could save lives by preventing mistakes, med errors, and give nurses the opportunity to do more of what they do best....caring.
Staffing was part of the reason I left Hospital Nursing. I simply just couldn't do the whole being responsible for 6 patients when more then 3 of them were total care. It's not safe. Nurses burn out.
Hospitals don't seem to get that if they staff well, they lose fewer nurses, therefore saving them money in the long run that they spend on orientation and training.
I hope this Bill passes. But even if it doesn't, it's mere existence is a step in the right direction.


At 22:06, Blogger Stella said...

Thanks for posting this. I plan on calling my congressman's office tomorrow to voice my support for this bill. I am a school nurse now after 17 years in hospital nursing. I toy with the idea of going back, but I just can't do it, for the same reasons you mention.

At 11:11, Blogger Windfall Woman said...

Happy New Year! I see you've had about as much time to blog as I've had!

At 12:23, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it is a step forward, but I see an even bigger problem in the hospitals today, which is a total lack of uncommitted and uncaring adiministrators.It is a shame what has happened to nursing. The same problems are occuring with the physicians as more and more of them are retiring early.

At 08:07, Blogger ettesa said...

Nurses should determine staffing levels mainly because who knows better than them what is needed and where, the admin are fine for deciding what should be placed outside patio furniture or b&q garden furniture but when it comes down to patient care and efficient running of a department they can use stats to assess not hands on experience, in the 60's 70's where a sister would control the wards there was never an issue of over or under staffing and it worked, this should show that the first issue should be care and not profit.

At 11:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this might help but like you I believe adminstration would find a way around it. Where I used to work we had work place violence but no one wanted to hear about it. Also it would be nice if the staff you had was willing to work. Where I worked some PCT's sat at the desk and wouldn't even answer the phone if it rang. There are still many wonderful people working the floors but as those people burn out all that's left are people who couldn't care less. I think as more and more mistakes are made, and more patients treated poorly people will finely get it but it will be to late. How can you get all those people to change their way of thinking. When you hire a good person they sucumb and become part of the problem or leave.

At 13:39, Blogger Unknown said...

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