So this is what nursing looks like in 2013


I shake my head so much at work I am going to file for workplace injury.

This week alone I heard of a nurse who indicated an interest in a specific leadership assignment in the unit, but was not considered and now she is all up in arms and filing a grievance. Know why she wasn’t considered a suitable individual? Because she can’t work a full shift. She is ‘medically accommodated’ to work 10 hour shifts on any Monday and Wednesday she works. Why? Because she is going to ‘therapy’ at 17:00. Not physio for an injury that is going to improve, but psychiatric therapy for a break that is never going to heal. So this means ever week at those times, her patient assignment is handed over to another nurse so she can leave and go to therapy. Why can’t she book these appointments on her scheduled days off or trade shifts so she can actually do a full day’s work on the days she is scheduled? Seriously, I asked the same questions.

Or consider the veteran nurse who was administering a patient’s oxycodiene. She went to the automated dispensing cabinet and removed 5 tablets for the dose. The ordered dose was 5 mg. The tablets come in 10 mg. It says when you go to remove the medication what the ordered dose is for that patient. Then she took the medication to the patient who refused it – she had been refusing the medication for several days. So fortunately the patient didn’t actually receive the fatal overdose. But the next step will astound and horrify you. The nurse left the medication at the patient’s bedside where it was found a couple days later, in the bedside drawer by another nurse. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

It starts early. Nursing students who expect ‘medical accommodation’ in their practicum rotations because they are immunosupressed. Oh and they wont be getting any vaccinations either.

In an attempt to train or even shame nurses into providing basic nursing care the educators on one service have put up a sign over each patient’s bed that says ‘Have YOU brushed my teeth today?’ Some staff love it, but there are about 50% who are offended. There seems to always be 50% offended. Grievance? Sure. I am offended. Next week it is going to be ‘Please clean your hands” right there, right over the bed. Going to ruffle some feathers I suspect.

The stories go on and on and I continue to wonder at any impact I might be making. It isn’t just nurses making idiotic decisions. Found out this week that using a bladder scanner is a nursing activity denied to LPNs. Why? Does anyone know why? They can use a doppler. They can give IV push medications, but they cannot use a bladder scanner? How does this make any kind of sense?

Perhaps that is the answer. Ultimately the world has gone restriction mad and the only possible response is to abdicate all rational thought and action in the face of so much silliness. Are the idiotic behaviours we see in the workplace simply a response to the overwhelming stupidity of the licensing and regulating bodies that tells us what we can and cannot do?

As good an answer as any.


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