Archive for February, 2012
Mr. CD, 88, took a little tumble at the nursing home when he slipped on a loose rug (or something, the details are a little vague here), obtained for his trouble a scalp laceration the length of Q-tip on his temple, bled like a stuck pig, transported by EMS, triaged, assessed by both MD and RN, x-rayed, CT’d, declared medically cleared and fit to go home, deblooded, stapled, tetanus’d, acquired a head dressing worthy of a maharajah, and finally sent back to the nursing via a private ambulance and their ill-paid yet (hopefully) competent attendants.
Whereupon the RPN (i.e. LPN for you out of province types) or whoever was minding the door of the nursing home refused to take the patient back.
“Oh my God, he needs to go back the emerg,” she said, eyeing, perhaps, the overwrought head bandage. “He has a skull fracture! I can tell!” And promptly sent him back, alert, oriented x 3 — and bemused.
I have only two possible explanations for her extraordinary statement: she either is wasting her time at the nursing home and depriving humanity of a set of assessment skill so exquisite she can, using her psychic x-ray powers, detect a skull fracture under approximately twenty layers of clean, white 4 x 4 sponges and tape gauze, or else she thinks despite all the assessments and investigations, we are complete boobs. ( Admittedly, I have a sneaking sympathy at times for the second possibility.)
There is actually a third possibility, but I am far too polite to mention it.
That’s all I got. Feel free to insert your own snark.
Anti-pink ribbon breast cancer awareness from Rethink Breast Cancer. The charity bills itself as the “first-ever, Canadian breast cancer charity to bring bold, relevant awareness to the under-40 crowd; foster a new generation of young and influential breast cancer supporters; infuse sass and style into the cause; and, most importantly, respond to the unique needs of young (or youngish) women going through it.” And adds in bold type: “No pink ribbons required.”
The video gave me a tiny thrill watching too, and evidently a lot of other people too — it’s had over 2 million hits on YouTube. (Take that, Susan G. Komen!) Of course there are apps for Android and iPhone.
OK, not really famous, but published on Kevin Pho’s site, KevinMD.com. Check it out, and Retweet/Like/comment as you will — it’s all in a good cause. I’ll repost it here sometime next week.
I am this morning getting an uptick in visitors from KevinMD.com. Welcome, and free to poke around.
Lovely and not quite what you expect. [Couch mode here.]
Gob-smacklingly stupid or hip advertising? I’m leaning towards the former. Via CBC:
A Stockholm hospital that published an online ad looking to fill a summer position with a nurse who is “TV-series hot” says it was “written to catch people’s attention.”
“We want people to be curious and have a little imagination,” said Elisabeth Gauffin, head nurse at Stockholm South General Hospital (Södersjukhuset) to the Metro newspaper.
The ad read, in Swedish:
“You will be motivated, professional, and have a sense of humour. And of course, you will be TV-series hot or a Söder hipster. Throw in a nurse’s education and you are welcome to seek a summer job at Södersjukhuset’s emergency department.”
(“Söder” literally means “south,” but here refers to Södermalm, a fashionable district in Stockholm. Think “Soho.”)
The hospital’s nursing manager said the phrasing wasn’t meant to exclude anyone based on looks.
I (sort of) get what the hospital was trying to do. Readers may have noticed I’m not without a sense of humour. But I’m not sure the “And of course” phrasing of the ad effectively signals the intended irony. It’s a little pathetic the hospital needs to rely on a tired old cliché to recruit nurses. Ultimately, I think, the ad trivializes what nurses actually do in Emergency departments, and reinforces public perceptions and stereotypes. As a well-seasoned RN, I would be somewhat disinclined to work there. But maybe it’s all lost in translation, and the ad is deliciously funny in the original Swedish.
Incidentally, for the record, I am not “TV series hot.” On the other hand, I know to work the buttons on a defibrillator.
[Thanks to my friend Leigh for sending this along to me. Her comment: “Laugh or cry?? Mostly exasperation I think. Add more horror that the survey results show that people think this is appropriate!”]
News flash! From Fierce Medical News, here’s the shocking headline:
Docs, nurses miscommunicate on respect, job role
When you guys pick yourselves off the floor from laughing, here’s the money quote:
In particular, the survey found differing views of how doctors treat nurses. According to 42 percent of nurse leaders, physician abuse or disrespect of nurses was common, whereas only 13 percent of physician leaders said it was common. Fifty-eight percent of nurse leaders considered disrespect for nurses uncommon, while 88 percent of physician leaders said it was uncommon at their healthcare organizations.
“I do believe nurses and physicians are on two different pages when it comes to communication,” Pam Kadlick, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer for Ohio’s Mercy St. Anne Hospital, said in a HealthLeaders Media article. “Nurses have a tendency to give a very detailed report, more than what a physician may want to hear; hence, the physician may interrupt, seem to be abrupt, even rude at times.”
But most physicians don’t consider such behavior to be disrespectful, she noted.
You’re telling me abuse of nurses is all about physicians being insensitive, maybe, and nurses having too many hurt fee-fees? Really? And nurses are supposed to be surprised that physicians “don’t consider such behavior to be disrespectful?”
Why does this sound like a ’80s sitcom?
Why does this sound like this report is trying to validate abusive physician behaviour?
You can only shake your head. And you just know, somewhere, in a darkened office maybe, in an obscure corner of a mega health care corporation, a manager is reading this report and exclaiming, “I knew nurses were to blame!”
I will very happily concede abusive behaviour of all kinds has declined markedly in my own time as a nurse, though I will say I work in an institution that enforces a zero tolerance policy against abusive behaviour. Moreover, the physicians I work with, shoulder to shoulder, are lovely and professional, and there is a true sense of collaboration. This makes for excellent patient care.
However, by no means is this true everywhere. So let’s not pretend the brow-beating, the mocking, the chart-throwing, the patronizing — to be blunt, treating nurses like you wouldn’t treat your mother, daughter, wife, bank clerk, Wal-Mart greeter, housekeeper, or dog — still doesn’t go on. Denial will never fix the problem, either from physicians — or nurses.
In Winter in My Room
In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm –
Pink, lank and warm –
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home –
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along.
A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I’d not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood –
A snake with mottles rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power –
The very string with which
I tied him — too
When he was mean and new
That string was there –
I shrank — “How fair you are”!
Propitiation’s claw –
“Afraid,” he hissed
“No cordiality” –
He fathomed me –
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream.
— Emily Dickinson