Hospital Replaces Nurses with “Super Housekeepers”

Hospital officials in Trout Creek, Montana fired all their front line nurses yesterday. Yep, all of ’em.  According to Avrile Fisher, the chief nursing officer (who in a fine bit of irony, was not fired):

“We were looking to cut costs and improve patient care,” said Fisher. “Providing all nurses with alternate employment opportunities was an innovative solution which will allow us to stabilize our budget and remain regional health care leaders.”

[SNIP]

Under the plan, nurses will be replaced by specially trained “Super Housekeepers”, who will assume many of the duties traditionally assigned to nurses. In addition to providing bed baths and feeding patients, the workers will dispense medications, monitor heart rhythms and start intravenous lines.

Reaction to the plan was positive. Edith Roussilon, a patient at the hospital’s Frequent Visitor Clinic, believes the changes will result in faster, safer care. “Those nurses are paid too much,” she said. “I trust the hospital to make the best decision in making sure I get my meds on time.”

Opposition from the state’s nursing association is fierce, but Fisher remains undeterred. “The fact remains,” she added, “that nurses are a drain on the system in terms of resources, and there is no good evidence that patients benefit from nursing care.”

Sign of things to come? Remember when a certain politician said nurses were like hula-hoops, in that they go in and out of fashion?

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  1. #1 by Joni Watson on Friday 01 April 2011 - 1032

    “There is no good evidence that patients benefit from nursing care”??! [face-palm] Please tell me this is a joke. Please.

  2. #2 by Beth Boynton, RN, MS on Friday 01 April 2011 - 1033

    So much of what nurses do is invisible to leaders and patients. I love working with med-techs when there is an optimal balance of professional and paraprofessional staffing. But, the depth of their knowledge, skill, judgment and experience is limited.

    Finding the safest and most cost-effective way to provide patient care is a great goal, but the comments made by decision-makers in Trout Creek suggest an ignorant and dangerous position.

    Good luck to the nurses who were fired and the patients who need care. No doubt the super homemakers will make their best effort and short term costs will decrease. In the long run, though I envision much suffering of patients and the real “drains” on the system, i.e. CEO salaries, big pharma, insurance companies, etc will continue to sail along.

    Beth Boynton, RN, MS

  3. #3 by Joni Watson on Friday 01 April 2011 - 1034

    Har! Har! Had to translate your Wikipedia. April Fool’s on me…although it did *really* irritate me for a bit.

  4. #4 by rww on Friday 01 April 2011 - 1132

    The irony of course is this could actually happen if the tea beggars get their way.

  5. #5 by Jenn Jilks on Friday 01 April 2011 - 1200

    I would seriously not be surprised! Harris is still involved in politics, although in a sideswipe way.

  6. #6 by thenerdynurse on Saturday 02 April 2011 - 1716

    this is a joke?

    April Fools?

    Surely.

  7. #7 by Sean on Saturday 02 April 2011 - 1959

    Heh heh

  8. #8 by kelvin.chen28 on Sunday 03 April 2011 - 2345

    oh that was a good joke …though without the nurses

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