Archive for November, 2011

Haiku Helps Nurse Cope with Working in the ER

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing Specialties

Is there a more stressful place to work than the ER?

People deal with the stress in a variety of ways — hobbies, friendships, and often a hefty dose of black humor.

Nurse Jason Hautala has found that haiku gives him a way to process the stress and drama of his job.

Given the nature of his job as an emergency department nurse, Hautala has learned that friends are not eager to hear about his work.

“They don’t want to talk about scrotal maggots over a rice dinner,” said the Longview native, who now lives and works in the Puget Sound region.

Male Nurse Claims He Was Fired For Treating Muslim Women

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

Here’s another story about nurses being told that they cannot work with patients for reasons unrelated to their skills per se — in this case it is about the nurse’s gender rather than race, though. A male registered nurse says that he was fired because some Muslim people in his community of Dearborn, MI were uncomfortable with him treating Muslim women.

John Benitez Jr. filed a sex discrimination suit Wednesday in Detroit U.S. District Court after getting the go-ahead from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a “right to sue” letter Oct. 19.


In a complaint filed on his behalf, his lawyer, Deborah L. Gordon, said Benitez joined Dearborn’s Health Department in September 2010. The 63-year-old Madison Heights resident has a three-decade nursing career. Dearborn has a large Muslim community and one of the largest Arab immigrant communities in the U.S.

Practice Makes Perfect

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

We recently excerpted an article about nursing mannequins, which allow nurses to practice their skills before they unleash the needles (and other indignities) on a real human. However, not everyone has access to that kind of high-tech help.

So what is that like for the nurses who have to practice drawing blood for the first time, for example? Theresa Brown, writing in the NYT’s Well blog, describes the day she learned how to draw blood, as an instructor looked on:

We don’t usually tell patients when we are practicing on them because it makes them hesitant and nervous, but they often figure it out anyway. If they ask, we don’t lie, but we try to answer in a way that puts them at ease. To the patient who asked why someone was watching everything I did, my instructor explained that I was a nurse, and that we were just “reviewing peripheral sticks.”

I wish I could say I remembered all of my patients from that day perfectly — those from whom I managed to draw blood effortlessly and those from whom I didn’t. (more…)

Night Shift Napping Makes Better Nurses

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

Napping on the job used to be cause for immediate dismissal in most professions, but nurses on the night shift can become better, healthier nurses if they take the occasional nap.

In a study conducted by the University of Manitobain Winnipeg, researchers identified several key points that support the importance of a nightly snooze by the nursing staff. Taking into account a number of variables — work schedules, environment, nap vs. non-napping experiences, perceptions of the subject matter, barriers to napping, and individual preferences — interviewers talked to 13 critical care nurses, some of whom preferred to nap, and others who found it simply didn’t fit with their nursing practice.

Wendy Fallis, Ph.D., RN, the co-lead investigator, reported that the nurses who preferred to take a nap felt “revived and alert” after a short rest. (more…)

Robot Dummies Help Nursing Students

Posted in Nursing, Nursing School

The robots don’t give the students answers, and it’s not because the robots are dumb, either.

They’re dummies that are robots, and they provide learning opportunities for nursing students while sparing actual humans the discomfort that results from being practiced upon.  (I remember my mom practicing her blood drawing technique on my dad when she was in nursing school and had graduated from oranges.  He didn’t appreciate it much.) (more…)

It’s Nurse Practitioner Week!

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing Specialties

Are you a Nurse Practitioner?  If so, this is your week!  National NP Week is November 13th through 19th.This article celebrates NPs and the important place they have in healthcare.

NPs are licensed, expert clinicians who have been providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare services for nearly half a century.  In addition to diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illness, NPs place a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention, working as a partner with their patients to help them make educated healthcare decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.


A World War II Nurse Looks Back

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Travel Nursing

Veteran’s Day has special resonance for 93-year-old Edna Bremenkamp Poole. Not only did her husband serve in World War II, but she did too, as a nurse. In this article she looks back at her service:

Poole is a World War II veteran who crossed both oceans in her five years of service. In 1942 at the age of 24, she enlisted as a nurse. The native of Colby, KS already had two brothers serving, one in the Signal Corps and the other in the Navy.

“They needed nurses, so I enlisted,” she said. (more…)

Patients’ Happiness and Medicare Reimbursement

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

There are many reasons a patient may be happy or unhappy with his or her hospital stay.  The most obvious reason is whether the health issue necessitating that stay has been resolved.  But there are many other reasons that patients might or might not be happy, from whether the sink in their room was too small to the lack of current and interesting magazines at hand.  The New York Times explains how these seemingly small issues can have a big effect on hospitals:

Winning praise from patients has become a pressing — and often elusive — obsession for NYU and for hospitals nationwide. In the coming months, Medicare will start taking patient satisfaction into account when reimbursing hospitals. Disgruntled patients will mean reduced revenue, a frightening prospect for hospitals already facing empty beds because of the recession and pressure from insurers to hold down costs.


Confronting Incivility in Nursing

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

Nurses encounter difficult patients all the time; occasionally, family members chime in and offer their hostility as well. But as part of a team of nurses caring for patients in an already stressful situation, nurses don’t expect to encounter incivility in their colleagues. Aren’t they supposed to have your back? Unfortunately incivility is no longer limited to patients and family members. When viewed on a colleague to colleague basis, incivility is on the increase.

Dr. Cynthia Clark and Sara Ahten, both registered nurses, recently studied this growing trend and found that serious issues such as physical violence can result from incivility as minor as eye-rolling. (more…)

“Too Black”: Georgia Company Allegedly Prevented Black Nurses From Caring For White Patients

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Specialties

ABC reports that a nursing-service company is being sued by four women who allege that civil right violations occurred.

“Accord employs a policy of illegal discrimination in the hiring and placement of its home healthcare employees for the express purpose of accommodating the illegal preferences of its clients,” the lawsuit alleges.

Accord has denied the allegations.

The lawsuit alleges that Accord “routinely declined to place nurses and nurse aides they described as ‘too black’ or ‘too foreign’ or ‘too old.’”

Tracee Goodman, one of the plaintiffs, worked in human resources at Accord for more than two years.  Administrators routinely asked her about the race and age of applicants, giving preference to white applicants, she told ABC News.