Tuesday, April 15, 2014

duck duck grey duck


Mental health patients are treated like 2nd class citizens in emergency rooms. These days there is a shortage of psychiatrists and beds.  They ended staying hours in the ER, sometimes overnight.  Either that or they are transferred to other hospitals locally or around the state.  Not a good situation.

There are times we have 7-8 psychs in our ER.  We have 3 rooms set up for mental health.  What this means is there is a cart, with nothing on it or underneath it, just a sheet. There is nothing else in the room except a camera.  When we have more than 3 patients we have to put them in regular rooms, using up rooms that could be used for medical patients.  It gets to be a real problem when there are no beds in psych.

So of the nurses came up with this idea.  Why not put a few of them together in one of the bigger rooms. (GUFFAW) The idea being that it frees up other rooms. Um..

Perhaps we could hold group therapy.   Play board games. Sing a longs. How about a rousing game of duck-duck-greyduck?

So there are 3-4 patients sitting on chairs in the room. The cart have been moved out. There is no TV. (don't even go there with me) The patients are in green scrubs. Everybody dressed alike brings prison to mind.. The patients sit and stare at each other. of the patients is becoming agitated. Another patient is talking to himself.  The other patient is scared shitless. Agitated Alan starts pacing in the little space there is.  Hallucinating Harry starts getting paranoid. The 3rd patient runs from the room.

Its hopeless. Nice try thinking outside the box though. Here's a thought: Why don't we treat the mentally ill in this country the same way we treat the physically ill?  What a concept.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I have a well deserved day off.

This is a typical day off for me doing the grocery shopping. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

people get ready... there's a change a comin...

Get ready.  The Affordable Care Act is here, "Obamacare".  Its in place and people are signing up for insurance and they will keep doing that. It ain't going anywhere.  Its going to change healthcare.

Why? It is going to force medicine to decrease costs. Its going to expose how ridiculously expensive health care is in this country.  How inefficient. How medicine has basically become a "cover your butt" and "order as many tests as possible" system.

Health care in this day and age is about one thing: money  Making more of it. for hospital corporations and their administrators salaries and bonuses,  doctors in specialties, insurance companies, drug companies, medical supply manufacturers.  Gone are the days (is they ever really existed) of trying to help people and do whats best for them, replaced by greed.

So how will all of this affect nursing?  You can just about guess.  Here's a list:

1) Just because there may be more patients, don't expect more nurses.  You will be expected to do more and more.
2) Layoffs.  They're coming. The corporation I work for has said they need to cut $100 million in the next year. This is code for: get ready for layoffs.
3) Cut in benefits. Most nurses have decent health insurance. Expect to be changed to lesser plans with higher deductibles. Pensions are on the way out.  Raises will be small.
4) Attempt to use paraprofessionals: Do you work with EMTS in ER? Get ready for management proposing they start to do more nursing tasks.
5) Part of your evaluation will talk about whether you have had any complaints. "Patient satisfaction" is the new buzz phrase

Pretty depressing huh? Yeah it is. I feel I have lived in an era that  future.nurses will look back on and wish they could have worked during it. With unions we have had good pay raises, benefits, control of our profession.

That's changing. Young nurses, like young people do, don't realize what went into getting nurses to this point. They don't care. They don't plan on spending 20 or 30 years in one place. Retirement is far off. They are healthy so insurance isn't as important.

I honestly wonder if nursing will survive the huge changes ahead of us.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

man candy saturday two for the price of one

don't bother to ask why

Life ain't fair.  That's what I was thinking sitting in my car, crying, a couple of days ago. How do you make sense of it? You don't.

My friend has ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  Lou Gehrigs disease. They found out about it about a year ago. Since they live out of town I don't see them all that much.  Its been six months. In that six months the disease has taken its toll. They have to use a electric wheelchair for long distances. Their body and face look different. ravaged. They look like they are dying, which they are.

Its only going to get worse. There is no cure. They will die. As they are dying it will get harder and harder as their muscles waste away.  They will be unable to eat, breathe. Its an awful way to die.

They have two young children, a wife. How do you explain this to children? How do you explain Daddy is going to die?  I don't know.