Here’s a fresh look at what the lay news media is doing right when it comes to turning to nurses for expert opinion and highlighting the exceptional work nurses do. Keep it up, news media!
Mass. nurses push for patient limits, WWLP22 News, Boston
Any news story that calls attention to the need for safety nurse-to-patient staff ratios is a worthy one, in my book. This article highlights a recent rally by Massachusetts nurses who are calling for a bill that will implement a fixed nurse-to-patient ratio. Those who oppose the bill, however, worry that a simple number will not take patient complexity into account:
In order for nurses to provide adequate care for your loved ones, they are usually assigned three to four patients a day. But when those numbers jump to five or six, serious complications can develop.
“In the past five, six years it’s gone absolutely downhill,” said Providence Hospital’s Diane Michael. “We don’t have enough people to take care of the patients, we don’t have enough nurses. If one nurse calls out on a shift in the whole building, we’re crippled.”
Nurses trained to help domestic violence victims, WOWT.com, Omaha, Neb.
Profile of nurses in an Omaha, Neb., hospital who are training to provide specialized care to victims of domestic violence:
Instructor Elise Turner said, “What we found is when patients come to the health care setting and they receive skilled expert care by forensic nurses who know how to provide that care, assess their problems, address their concerns, these patients are much more likely to be able to take steps to ensure their own safety.”
School nurses save money, Reuters.com
A recent study that demonstrates the need for full-time school nurses gets the spotlight again this month:
School nurses see 60 to 70 kids each day, according to Anne Sheetz, Sheetz, the study’s senior author. They have to be ready to provide emergency care and mental health services and help manage chronic conditions like diabetes.
Nurses also are charged with teaching other members of the school community about issues such as life-threatening food allergies …“People think of it as doing vision screening and putting on Band-Aids,” Martha Keehner Engelke told Reuters Health. She has studied that topic at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., but wasn’t involved in the new report. “Those things are there, but that’s a really small part of what school nurses do.’ “
“The American Nurse” film is making more headlines; this time on a major network. Says photographer Carolyn Jones, creator of The American Nurse:
“Why don’t we have more nurses at the table when we are talking about hospitals running more efficiently? We should talk to nurses before we go to war. … Our health care system is a disaster and we need them. They understand how we function, and they certainly know how we die.”
Lehigh Valley Hospital hospice nurse take caring to the next level, Lehigh Valley Live, Allentown, Pa.
A portrait of a hospice nurse who provides compassionate and holistic end-of-life care:
The Berks County woman was caring for a terminally ill woman who had three young children and very little time left.
“[The children] were on the unit, but we didn’t want them in the room when she actually died,” said Lisa Bickel, was awarded the Dr. Fred Fister Award for Excellence in Hospice Nursing.
Instead, Bickel and the patient’s sister picked out three stuffed teddy bears. Before giving them to the young children as gifts, Bickel placed the three bears in the arms of their mother, who would pass away that night. “I kept the teddy bears as close to her heart as I could and told the kids that they were close to her heart all night, and that she’d always be a part of them,” Bickel said. “It’s something they could have the rest of their lives.”