Thank you for the honest patient account of your experiences. And thank you for stating the truth concerning large health care corporations,of which the St. Joseph Health System/St. Joe's is one. Nurses experience this corporate driven health care system on a daily basis, as they run as fast as they can to provide the safe, therapeutic, competant care nurses (most) wish to provide to the sick and dying. They trip over the Toyota Lean Hurdles the corporate system places before them. Direct care nurses are being given responsibility for more, and more non-patient duties. ie. HIT (Health Information Technology) Perhaps the individual with the bible could donate some time to the Pastorial Care Department, or hard working Volunteers at St. Joes. If you have questions, find a "direct care/bedside" RN working at St. Joes, and ask them.
Again the writers of these comments are missing the point. The issue is not cameras in the ICU, where they have been for a long time, but cameras in locker/break rooms where nurses change clothes, and where there are no patients. The key word here is COVERT personal surveillence, in a private break area. This is illegal. No nurse is questioning keeping patients safe. Nurses object to being spied on when they change clothes, and attend to personal business on their breaks. I reiterate, this is disrespectful and appalling.
Many valid points have been made in this exchange. I certainly understand the lay publics' desire for safe, therapeutic, competant nursing care. I have been delivering such care in SJH ICU for the past 23 years. I have served many patients and their families in this community, and have been priviledged to share in their heartache, fear, and end of life issues. I work long, arduous hours, many days without any break. I, like my colleagues, are responsible, caring members of the nursing profession.
The nurses at SJH have been aware for many years that there are cameras in strategic locations in the parking lots, and the entrances and exits of the hospital. No nurse has an issue with these cameras. There have been cameras in ICU patient rooms for many years. We do not want our confused patients injuring themselves, pulling out life sustaining breathing tubes, or IVs. However, when the cameras are there to monitor the nurses, something is wrong with a management who would hire nurses that need to be watched by a camera. The management issues in this ICU predate by far the issues of the infamous, terminated ICU night shift nurses. But this is not the real issue. There is a locker/bathroom area immediately outside the ICU proper. It has a punch keyed door to allow entrance. ICU nurses have historical used this locker room to change clothes, pump their breasts, and have a private place to attend to private matters on their breaks. There are no patients in this locker room. And there is an expectaion of privacy in this room. In this room was installed a covert smoke detector/camera. This is what the nurses find disrespectful and appalling. There are laws that protect individual privacy.
SJH states they did not know nurses changed their clothes in this room. For 23 years I have changed my clothes in this locker/break room. Nurses are owed an apology, and decent, hands-on, engaged, positive, "patient centered" management.
In all the numbers, and talk about "standardized processes developed from evidenced based guidelines" no one address the elephant in the room, the lack of nurses. It is not the nursing shortage that has produced this effect. It is the working conditions in which nurses are required to function. The words "goal of perfect care" are easy to state. What nurses are demanding....increase nursing staff. The Lean Toyota Model requires minimal staffing, work faster,staff to numbers,(we do have a ratio law in California), not to patient acuity. For each patient added to a nurses' work load, above what is safe, as determined by the nurse who evaluates the patient's "acuity" status, mortality goes up. This fact is well documented in scientific studies. The SJHS must include this piece, and staff appropriately, if they expect changes in patient outcome statistics. The SJHS must address the need to restore safe nurse staffing levels to protect patients from risk caused by managed care driven staffing changes.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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