In honor of National Nurses Week, I just want to take a minute to acknowledge all the hard work that goes into nursing and let you know that “NURSES ROCK”! Pass this message on to a special nurse that you know.
It is no secret that nurse's workloads are frequently overloaded and unfairly balanced at times. Some Massachusetts nurses are taking action and demanding better patient-nurse ratios. Our first article will take a look at what those nurses are doing and what the outcome of their actions could be.
The Workload is The Striking Point
The union that represents registered nurses at both Tufts Medical Center in Boston and Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester notified both health care providers that it plans a one-day strike on May 6th to emphasize the nurses' demand for higher staffing levels. The nurses threatening to strike at Tufts Medical Center and Saint Vincent Hospital are not the only ones. They join fellow nurses at an increasing number of hospitals nationwide where disputes are erupting over how many patients are assigned to each nurse. While the ratios vary by hospital and by shift, an increasing number of hospitals have reduced staff levels in an effort to cut costs. Many tasks once handled by full-time nurses are now being handled by technicians.
The nurses at Tufts say that by forcing them to care for too many patients, the hospital's quality of care is being jeopardized. Hospital officials dispute that assertion. The patient to nurse ratios varies depending on the type of unit and the time of day. For example, a pediatric Tufts nurse cares for at least 1.4 critical care patients while a nurse at Mass General takes care of 1.03 patients. The nurses at both hospitals are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Tufts chief executive Ellen Zane said she believes that the union's parent organization, the National Nurses United is pushing its national agenda of mandatory patient-to-nurse ratios by encouraging the 24 hour walkouts which will force hospitals to spend millions on replacement workers. "It is hypocritical for the MNA/NNU to claim it cares about patient safety while it authorizes a potential walkout that would cause undue stress on patients and their families," Zane said in a statement recently. If the Tufts nurses strike, it would be the first nurses strike at a Boston hospital in 25 years, since the Carney Hospital nurses walked off in 1986. The union must give management 10 days notice before a one day strike. If they take such action, Zane will not allow them to return to work for five days because it doesn't make sense to hire and train hundreds of temporary nurses for one day. The strike could cost the hospital as much as $4.2million dollars.
Chuck Idelson, a spokesman for the national union denies that state and national union leaders have had a role in the Massachusetts disputes. Idelson points out those nurses' workloads are a preeminent issue for nurses throughout the US. More hospitals are being run by firms whose focus is on the bottom line rather than the service they are supposed to be providing to patients.
Working as a Visiting Nurse in Saudi Arabia
As a nurse, you know the skills you have acquired throughout your career are crucial to the healing process of your patients. But do you realize just how important they are? A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that there is a direct correlation between heightened patient mortality and inadequate nurse staffing and care (New England Journal of Medicine, March 2011). Your education, talents, and training are not just crucial to patient care here in the United States, they are also a coveted asset in countries around the globe, including the Middle East.
The nursing industry of Saudi Arabia is actively recruiting American trained nurses to temporarily work in their country in order to improve patient outcome, enhance the quality of nursing culture, and increase the didactic training offered to hospital nursing staff. Current positions open at hospitals throughout the capitol of Riyadh and the city of Jeddah include head nurses, Director of Nursing Services, and Head of Nursing Education.
The Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia is offering a generous remuneration package which includes $8,000-$10,000 USD per month (commensurate with experience), air fare to/from Saudi Arabia, free accommodations, health insurance, and paid vacation time. Apartment housing is generally attached to the hospital compound and is large enough to accommodate you and your family. Contracts last from 6 months to one year with the opportunity for extension. Qualified applicants have a minimum BSN and three to five years experience.
You can experience the exotic culture of the Middle East in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while making a difference in their healthcare system. An extended stay in Saudi Arabia offers an once-in-a-lifetime exposure to the customs, culture, and traditions of this truly historical land. You can shop at the downtown bazaar, sample international cuisine, enjoy recreational activities, and experience the traditions of one of the world's oldest cultures-- all while developing nursing initiatives for patient care.
If you would like more information about working as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, please contact: American Health, 35 W 90th St Suite 5c, New York, NY 10024 or email email@example.com.
Nurse Staffing and Inpatient Hospital Mortality. Jack Needleman, Ph.D., Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N., V. Shane Pankratz, Ph.D., Cynthia L. Leibson, Ph.D., Susanna R. Stevens, M.S., and Marcelline Harris, Ph.D., R.N. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:1037-1045.
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