Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nurses, Caring, and Oxygen Masks

Nurses are generally very good at caring for others, and many of us fall flat on our faces when it comes to caring for ourselves. So, aren't we going against the popular wisdom of the "oxygen mask theory" when we give and give without meeting our own needs?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Disneyfication of Nursing?

A recent article on describes efforts by hospitals to offer specialized training to nurses in customer service and courtesy. According to some reports, many hospitals are hiring outside consultants in order to boost customer satisfaction surveys in response to Medicare's new ruling that they will begin basing a small percentage of payments to hospitals in accordance with facilities' "patient experience" scores.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nurses Need Support

The more nurses I talk to, whether in my clinical nursing work or as a coach for nurses, it's increasingly obvious to me that nurses simply need support. While "Nurses Day" and the accompanying flowers, buttons and pens may be nice gestures, Nurses Day and other such celebrations would mean a whole lot more if meaningful support---not platitudes---were offered to nurses who so desperately need it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gender, Healthcare and Communication

Last night on RN.FM Radio during a discussion with Beth Boynton, the nurse author of "Confident Voices: The Nurses' Guide to Improving Communication and Creating Positive Workplaces", we touched on the subject of gender and its effects on communication. Countless books on communication between the sexes have been written---the ones most readily coming to mind being those by Deborah Tannen, including "You Just Don't Understand" and "That's Not What I Meant"---and I am keen to point out that there is currently no book on the market of which I am aware that specifically discusses the gender aspects of communication within healthcare.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Burden of Medical Bills

A recent study released by the CDC (and reported on Medscape and other sites) states the blunt fact that 20% of American households have difficulty paying their medical bills. And the National Center for Health Statistics states that 1 in 5 Americans has lived in a family that could not pay its medical bills in the last 12 months.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Is True Preventive Care a Reality?

Last night on RN.FM Radio, we were discussing the challenges of delivering true preventive care at a time when the economics of health care often seem to be moving us in the opposite direction. Mountains of research have shown that preventive medicine and interventions can dramatically decrease the cost of health care over time, but it seems that some insurance companies still don't bite the preventive medicine bait.