What nursing will be like in the FuTuRe!

In a time where our economy is shaky, government is uncertain, and a customer service driven terminally ill health care system, we all tend to wonder out of fear and anxiety what our field will be like in the future.

Let's face it ladies and gents, at the rate we're going at I don't believe many of us will be retiring as soon as we'd like to as our careers continue on unnaturally, many years from now I can easily see the following:

1) It will become common place for 90 year old nurses to be hoofing it up and down the halls of the med/surg floor comments such as, "Is it time for my lunch break yet? I'm having Jevity 1.5 tonight!" and "Damnit, go get the charge nurse I'm leaking embalming fluid again." are certain to be heard. Hospitals will have long been smoke free, but to show compassion to their nursing staff with COPD smoke breaks will be replaced with 2 ten minute nebulizer and Solu-Medrol breaks.

2) To receive health care in this town is to revieve health care YOUR way! That's right, ER's will have a drive through option! I can just hear it now...
"Hello sir, I would like a monitored telemetry bed for the #2 Pneumonia and CHF combo with a large dose of Avelox, a medium dose of Lasix with extra duonebs. And my daughter would like a non telemetry bed for the nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain triple, Dilaudid and Phenergan only please, oh and let's make her admission a 23 hour obs, she's got a date tomorrow night."

3) Nursing Homes will be exactly that, homes for nurses who are too demented to continue working, they'll still be allowed to dress in scrubs and be encouraged to continue "working" within the safe confines of an ill-reputed rest home. Picture all the granny nurses feeding their doll babies ice cream saying things such as "You'll eat your full liquid diet and like it, sonny!" The staff will actually be security guards charged with the duty of keeping us under control, after all by this point we nurses will have become quite violent after all the crap we've gone through.

4) Back at the hospital, fall risk assessments will be for employees only. Hospital visitors will be encouraged to assist any nurse they see with an armband that says "FALL RISK", please assist that nurse to the next room so that she/he may continue performing their duties on the next patient SAFELY!

5) Risk Management will be renamed "Disc Management" in an attempt to help all the aching backs of their loyal health care workers and to determine "who's at risk for slippin' a disc!"

In all seriousness, I do worry tremendously about never being able to retire, working until I'm literally too feeble physically or mentally to work anymore, and about the general state of health care. However, I do find that making light of it makes the worry less intense. Please feel free to add your vision of what futuristic health care will be like!!!

Nursing Ethics: About The Weather

What happens when the nurse who doesn't believe in calling in sick......calls in sick.
Come to think of it, I guess this could have been called "Bashed by Bronchitis", or "Flattened by the Flu", because elements of both illnesses have reared their ugly little heads during the past few days. It started out as a head cold and quickly evolved into fever, sore throat, body aches, and a cough that's turned my chest into raw hamburger; in short, I feel like I've been run over by a truck. While it's nothing like the pneumonia I had in February of 2010 (actually, there isn't much that IS like that, thank God), after spending this entire winter feeling like something the dog found under the house, I am, quite literally, sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I've long prided myself on my stellar immune system, which used to be strong enough to fight off the squirrels in the front yard. While everyone around me was dropping like flies, I soldiered on, taking care of the sick and the weakened, my invisible coat of armor protecting me from all invaders. I figured that I owed it all to being a nurse; after all, we get exposed to just about everything under the sun, and if it doesn't kill us, it makes us almost invincible.

Almost.

Which has made it increasingly difficult to stick to my policy of never calling in sick unless I can't get my head a) out of the toilet, or b) off the pillow. Today, I wasn't totally flat on my back, but the potential consequences of spreading my pestilence to the residents and staff at my ALF were too horrible to be contemplated......and if truth be told, I really didn't relish the prospect of having to exchange my warm, comfy sweats for chilly polyester and making that 40-mile commute.

Now, calling in sick---even when I'd have to get better to die---is harder for me than giving a speech in front of a roomful of people. I lay there in my recliner, cell phone in hand, rehearsing my excuse over and over again, feeling as guilty as if I were sneaking off to the beach instead of being genuinely ill. And when I finally scared up enough courage to hit the speed-dial button (it's "2" on my Favorites list) and talk to my boss, he........wasn't in yet. I wound up talking to the marketing director, who said something like "Oh, my gosh, I didn't even recognize your voice---you sound TERRIBLE!" and promised me she'd let him know that I wasn't coming in today.

Instantly, I felt even worse: what if she forgot to tell him? What if he thought I just didn't bother to show up, like the last nurse who worked in this building? This is my dream job, I don't want to lose it by being considered a no-show, maybe I should just pull myself together and go in anyway.........

Next thing I knew, it was two hours later. I probably would've slept even longer had I not begun coughing up what felt like part of a lung, and wheezing so audibly I could barely hear myself think. I wished for a dose of the wonderful cough syrup they gave me when I was so sick with the pneumonia last year. I wanted to reach down my throat and scratch until it bled. My tongue itched. My teeth were furry and disgusting. Even my husband didn't want to kiss me. My son, the CNA and newly-minted medication aide, suddenly appeared and loomed over me with his six-foot-one-inches, peering at me with a practiced eye: "Mom," he said cheerfully, "you look like crap."

"I love you too," I retorted. He was the one who'd caught this bug from his fiancee and promptly passed it along to his aunt, his dad, and now me.......and yet, he hadn't missed a day of work. So why did I feel so lousy then?

"That's because you're older and you're a diabetic," he pronounced, looking extraordinarily pleased at his expert assessment as he pecked me on the forehead. "You've just got to take better care of yourself, Mom. Gotta go to work now, see you later!"

I wanted to smack him for his impertinence, but I was moving too slowly to do more than swat at him as he sailed out the door. Smart-aleck kid.....he's got just enough medical knowledge to be a huge PITA. Can't imagine where he came by it. But when I dragged my sorry carcass into the bathroom and got a good look at myself in the mirror, I had to admit he'd been right about one thing: I did look like crap. More to the point, I looked like something the dog had not only found under the house, but tossed around the yard for awhile, buried, dug up again, and deposited on the living-room rug.

This evening, I'm feeling marginally better......still sneezing and wheezing and freezing, but now that the gunk in my lungs is breaking up and I've been able to eat some soup and toast, I think maybe I just. might. live.

Anybody know where I can get my hands on some Phenergan-with-codeine cough syrup??

University's student visas halted


A university has been suspended from sponsoring foreign students after concerns were raised that the student visa system is being abused.
Glasgow Caledonian University is the first university to have its international licence suspended by the UK Borders Agency (UKBA).
It is understood concerns were raised over the amount of time nursing students from the Philippines were spending working during their course following an inspection by UKBA last week.
The university now has 28 days to demonstrate to the Home Office that it has addressed the concerns or it may have its licence revoked.
Phil Taylor, UKBA regional director in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: "I can confirm that Glasgow Caledonian University's tier 4 licence has been suspended following concerns about abuses of the immigration system.
"Highly trusted sponsors bringing in international students must ensure that they are attending the course for which they are enrolled and that they are complying with the requirements of the immigration rules. The UK Border Agency makes regular checks on sponsors, and where we find evidence that they are not fulfilling their duties, we may suspend their licence."
New rules governing student visas, including stricter entrance criteria and limits on work entitlements, came into force in the UK on Thursday.
A Glasgow Caledonian University spokeswoman said: "GCU (Glasgow Caledonian University) is co-operating with the UK Border Agency to address issues specific to a group of international students on the BSC nursing (professional development) and we expect to have these resolved in the near future.
"As conversations are ongoing, the UKBA has asked the university to implement a 28-day suspension of our processing of immigration paperwork, as their processes require.
"While we feel that this action is disproportionate, we are working with them to fully understand the issues and implement any changes needed as a result. Our duty of care to our students is our absolute priority and they have time and again recognised that by voting us top in Scotland for international student support. We are proud of that and will ensure it remains the case as we make any changes requested of us."
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