Letter to the Editor

Pasadena Star News

911 E. Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91106

Dear Editor:

As an RN, I was ardently opposed to the cookie-cutter nurse-patient ration pushed for by nursing unions that was later signed into law. Instead, I was one of the many nursing professionals that supported an acuity-based system, which allowed a nurse’s skill sets to be matched with the disease matrix of the patient. Why, because patients aren’t widgets and nurses aren’t factory line workers.

In regards to often-touted 2010 research project designed and published by Dr. Aiken, few have identified the flaw in her study. This flaw was her choice to compare a set of California hospitals with a set of hospitals from the East Coast – in short comparing apples to oranges. A better-structured study would’ve been to select a set of California hospital five-years before and those same California hospitals five-years after the nurse-patient ratio was in effect.

Nursing unions shouldn’t oppose the waivers that are allowing hospitals to be flexible during this COVID-19 pandemic. These waivers are allowing hospitals to remain open and compliant with state laws. However, what these same unions could and should be doing is serving as watchdogs to ensure that those hospitals applying for and receiving said waivers comply with all laws and that as the crisis abates that the hospitals withdraw their waivers and return to the state mandated nurse-patient ratio laws. These actions are productive whereas their current actions are not!

Nurses protest lack of PPE

As a RN with decades of experience at various nursing disciplines; I find myself conflicted as I watch my fellow health professionals, in particular nurses, protesting outside their respective hospitals. I fully support nurses who advocate for the patients and for themselves. It’s enshrined in our Nurse Practice Act – we, the nurse, are the patient’s advocate and we can’t cede that responsibility to another “agency”.

During this healthcare crisis our nurses claim to find that they’re lacking the appropriate protection to safeguard their patients, their families, and most importantly themselves. In order to bring light on these issues nurses have taken to the streets to protest with their state goal being to bring pressure to bear on hospital administrators to provide the appropriate safety materials, such as N95 masks, face shields, and other PPE. In turn, many of these same hospital administrators have claimed that these materials have been made available – so why the disconnect?

My experience has taught me that all too often when nurses claim that their concerns are being ignored that it happens for two reasons. The first, administration is either not listening to the nurses or ignoring the nurses’ concerns. The second, the nurses are failing to use their chain of command and thus there’s an appearance that administration isn’t being responsive to the nurses’ concerns. The first garners a great deal of press on behalf of the “beleaguered” nurse, and the second just reinforces the failure of the nursing staff to appropriately use their chain of command – which leads to the same sad result – a feeling that administration isn’t listening. One of my favorite things to do whenever I go to a hospital either to work as a nurse, consultant, or patient is to ask the nurses around me to tell me the name of their Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and you’d be surprised how many can’t tell me that individual’s name.

COVID-19 has shown us the many weak points in our healthcare network. It’s also shown us that our healthcare community is willing to answer the call to serve in many cases putting aside their own needs.   However, I’d like to recommend that the next time nurses chose to protest the failure of their hospital administration to provide appropriate PPE that those same nurses aren’t photographed failing to practice social distancing or not wearing face masks while outside – this somewhat undercuts their claim that requests for safety protocols are being ignored when they can’t practice basic safety protocols during their protest.

The Guardian ran a good article on how long the Coronavirus can survive on various surfaces.  The article can be found by following this link – https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/how-long-does-coronavirus-live-on-different-surfaces?CMP=share_btn_link


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COVID-19 Stats update

(180 countries/regions — 981,221 confirmed cases — 50,230 deaths –  204,605 recovered as of 04/02/2020 at 09:27:01 AM)