Saturday, August 27, 2011

Many people know this, but here is a reminder of how ridiculous health-care has become.

"Tying Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to patient satisfaction was a component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and will go into effect in October 2012."

That leaves us nurses with but one choice; time to start bribing our patients and families.


I bribed my patient
To write a thank-you letter,
To describe my patient-care as great
Like yours, but mine is better.

But why, all the fuss
About these letters of thanks?,
Because these notes are like money
Into the hospital banks.

Don't call me cynical
When I know this is true,
Uncle Sam will pay us more
If patient-satisfaction grew,
Greater than our last tally
In the previous fiscal quarter,
Because these satisfaction quotients
Are the brick and the mortar,
Of the second-tier reimbursements
When private-insurance halts,
My patient's love me, baby
Because I bring them chocolate malts.

I pose to them a question
“If you could have anything tonight,
What is your desire
Just name it, in lights”
Because I have the power
To the kingdom, (and the keys),
To make your night easier
And surely, everyone agrees,
That a happy, satisfied patient
Writes the best, post-hospital letter,
And although, your care is good
That's why mine is better.


Monday, August 22, 2011

This is a long one, but this is my last opportunity to comment on a local memo, before I head down the road.

Nursing - What the Hell

I’m thinking of instituting a new Blog / Forum titled:
“Nursing – What The Hell?”

Don’t get me wrong, we nurses keep the world turning, but golly-gee, our leaders have the craziest ideas.

For example, the hot topic on the Staff-bathroom wall is the memo that includes the following paragraphs, outlining the latest “What the hell” idea; read along, and see if you agree. I have made special comments, as denoted by the asterisks.

Quote: “As we continue to provide the best care for our patients, we must improve our documentation accordingly. H, D & L(******6) reviewed what was taught to the nursing staff regarding documentation of patient turns. We feel that documenting every shift that the patient was turned every two hours is inadequate. We would like for all of you to begin documenting the individual turns that are being made. For instance, if at 8am, you turn the patient to the right, you will need to document in the I-view, that the patient was turned to the right and so on…..

”We appreciate the care that you give our patients every day.(*1) We want to be able to acknowledge that care, by having you document it in the medical record.(**2) The nursing department managers will be auditing your charting and coaching you as needed.(***3) The data gathered in these audits will be reported back to you, as well as being presented to the hospital leadership team.(****4) It is our desire to see the documentation of patient turns to reach the 100% goal."(*****5) Closed-Quote.

1* This is the sweet, feel-good stroke, before we’re slammed with the message

2** How exactly do they “acknowledge” our care, when we are documenting something? That doesn’t make a lick of sense.

3*** Now we’re going to be audited (to make sure we behave) and coach us if necessary. Oh boy, I love coaching! Perhaps it will be like my High School PE teacher screaming four-letter words during football practice. “Turn the G-D patient, you f**khead, or else I'm going to give you a jalapeno enema!”

4**** Oh boy #2, audit us and then tell the hospital leadership team; maybe they can coach us also.

5***** Look, if you want 100% compliance, we can all continue to lie about it in our charting (as usual).

6****** H, D & L = Huey, Duey and Luey.

It makes me laugh, how our whole frickin' management society in this country, want “100%” compliance. Nothing in nature will ever achieve 100% compliance. How about that cardiogenic-shock patient that will die if we turn him; the morbidly obese patient that fills the bed, and can not be turned; the need for three or four nurses to be available to turn a patient, when there are no nursing assistants;
the patient that wiggles out of position within five minutes of just turning them; and so on. This directive is ludicrous.

There is a severe nursing shortage in America (if one believes the media) and for some reason management doesn't get a clue: we, your valuable, and supposedly appreciated assets, do not feel happy when we are threatened with “audits and coaching, to achieve compliance”.

It all comes down to one thing, you know you are truly valued and appreciated, when the Capo di tutti capi are threatening you. Booyah!

* * * * * * * *

When I posted my pseudo-flier on the wall in the Staff-bathroom (see flier below), some persons actually thought it was true, until they noticed the silly poem at the bottom. Ain't that something? We are so inured (hardened, accustomed) by these types of directives, as to be accepting anything (no matter how ludicrous) that comes our way. That must be the sign of a "true" professional.

Breaking News! Breaking News!

From the

Breaking News Department

Beginning September 1st:

Q2 Turns will require a Witness


Coming soon!!!

XOXO Hospital, is opening a new RN position

Finally, at last;

Witness Nurse

Now, let’s all sing together:

Turn them to the left
Turn them to the right,
Turn ’em supine,
And say, nighty-night.

Turn them around
Forward and back,
Get a witness while you’re at it
It’s the Q2-turn attack,


Turn to the left
Turn to the right,
Stand up, sit down
Fight, fight, fight,
Turn them on their side
Thirty degrees, on the angle,
Have a witness to prove it
It’s the latest fandangle.

Attached to our computer monitors where we chart, are a variety of laminated "prompts" to help us know stuff. I spotted this one last night, because we're a Neuro Unit now. One more reason I'm glad I'm moving on. But, the name of the thing caught my eye, because it had a nice rhythm to it. "Hunt and Hess Assessment Tool".

Hunt and Hess

If you really
Want to impress,
Use the scale
From Hunt and Hess,
For non-traumatic
Sub-arachnoid bleed,
Know your hemispheres
And who they feed.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The term, "evidence-based" always bugs me. It is supposed to be so cutting-edge. But that's this year; what about 5 years from now, when we debunk the whole thing? When there is new evidence, that we were just running around in circles (as usual)? I guess after we implement, nobody will give a rat's ass anyways. Well, out in the hayfield, there is always room for just one more.................

Sacred Cow

I could have written more
And maybe I will,
Could you get me some water
To swallow that pill?

You see, I'm feeling kind of dry
Parched mind, and not enough to think,
Just get me a glass of water
And give me some time to drink.

There is a lot to be said
And in time, I will say it,
I'll write the usual words
Like a dragon, I will slay it.

Retrospective analysis
Why, that's our bread and butter,
You know, I get all excited
Evidence-based, set's my heart a'flutter,
Then we can all run around
Thumping our chests, stomping our feet,
When we proclaim, we're “evidenced-based”
Why, good golly, that's so neat.

But don't inquire too much
About what we did before,
Why in the hell we did things, that way
How come, we chose the crooked door,
And then again, ten years in the future
When again, we look back to now,
What we think is evidence-based
Will be just another sacred cow.

By golly, I did write more
As if I was appointed, yay, it was my duty,
Now, if you love that evidenced-based stuff
Come on down, and shake your booty.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Goodbye; I'm leaving Timbuktu.


Goodbye to all
Farewell, to thee,
I’m heading off
To Mercy-G,
It’s been a helluva
Wild ride,
But I’m crossing over
To the other side.

‘Tis like a family
Here at McAuley,
Just hanging out
With Mabel and Wally,
Their cousins and nephews
And grandchildren too,
Like a relative revival
In Timbuktu.

You know I won’t miss
All the crap that we do,
I’ll only miss
Mabel, Wally and you.


Friday, August 05, 2011

Feel The Ouch

I haven't written much about Diabetes
The old, the young, the grumpy, the sweeties,
A collection of persons
Everyday, on my path,
They have one thing in common............
At night, they get a bath.

Blood sugar samples
Every six hours
Or more often,
If the crisis is acute
Fingertips scar
They don't soften,
And if blood pressure is low
Maybe a repeat poke
A couple of times,
Even I, feel the ouch
In the midst of my rhymes.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

It's official: I applied for a different hospital position, interviewed, was offered the job on the spot (seniority/experience) and accepted. I'll be moving across town to another subsidiary of this same system, and I'll be able to walk the one-mile to work. But what will I miss from my old job, when I switch over?

Won’t Miss

Nightly bath’s
And cranial drains,
Insulin drips
And hemorrhaged brains,
Delirium tremens
And the overdosed,
The suicides
That meet the holy ghost.

Respiratory failure
And the bundled VAP,
GI Bleeds
With smelly crap,
Gaping wounds
That just won’t heal
Because none of this
Has sex appeal.

Oral-care, and
Q-2 rules,
Turn and baste
And lifting tools,
High-tech equipment
Not ergonomic,
Break-room size?

HAPU-this and
John Hopkins, that,
Acronym’s for everything
Like, who fell flat,
When the family demanded
Elmer, should ambulate,
After 3 months in bed
It’s too damn late.

Patient satisfaction
Screw that up
You’re not forgiven,
Then top-end bosses
Will stomp and snort,
About that juicy
Government support.

Post-op surgicals
Delivered free,
Into this
Convoluted place,
We cover all specialties
Of the human race.

The flier was on the wall
But I had to squint,
The matches were missing
And I had to use flint,
But when I lit up that paper
And followed the ink,
I found a position
That caused me to think,
And ponder the option
A most excellent adventure,
Could I apply in time?
That was the clencher.

I’m moving on
And heading back,
To Billybob
With his heart-attack,
The heart-failure group
And the E-P ablations,
Pacemaker placements
And aberrations,
Bypass and valvular
Heart repairs,
I’ll advise them on diet
And climbing stairs,
Take all of your Plavix
Your Aspirin and Statin,
And if you want to live
You better unfatten.

Can this old dog
Learn a few new tricks?,
I'm betting yes
In a couple of clicks,
And the walk to work
Is one heck of a bonus,
And surely, I won't miss
That pseudomas!


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Back on April 19, I wrote about how our ICU was to be designated as the "go-to" Acute Neuro Unit. I know these things are decided up in lofty offices, and the community at large will benefit, but this addition of yet one more service under our belt, has caused a lot of anxiety and discontent amongst the nursing staff. There have been a number of classes and on-line educations available, and the "official" starting date, was August 1st. I've gone to those classes, and here is my take-away:

Neuro Class

Locked-in State
That's how I feel,
Becoming a Neuro-nurse
Makes me want to squeal;

My reticular activation
Is clearly in doubt,
Psychogenic unresponsiveness
Is my way out.

Nuchal rigidity
That's Viagra of the neck,
Who took the fun out of fundoscopy
Oh my, I'm a nervous wreck,
Then, there is “gaze preference”
Like when I'm lunching at O'Grady's,
My eyes are roaming the room
Looking at all of the ladies,
While Uncle Herniation, snickers in the corner
I'm checking his accomodation,
He has pathological reflexes
And a sociopathic fixation.

They're giving Imhotep
A dose of Nimotop,
Buried alive and resurrected two times
His headache, just won't stop,
It's a neurological emergency
Mummification, just didn't suit him,
Probably the only recourse we have
Is to take him out back, and just shoot him.

What the two of those are
I don't know, I'm under duress,
Global position system, and
Glascow coma scale,
Search and seizure, I'd rather avoid
The thrill of it is beginning to pale

So, Monster Jobs
Is calling to me,
My motor activity
Will set me free,
Jump in my car
Put my foot to the floor,
Take a look at my “run sheet”
As I'm racing out the door.