Catch me in the ER. How bout dah?

Just an Emergency Department Travel Nurse, Writer, and Weightlifter helping America through their most awkward, hilarious, and heartfelt moments.  I am known as the Nurse with the crazy Magenta hair and have stories of people complimenting my hair before they have coded out; it’s a fact. From Oakland California, to the Navajo Nation and many states beyond, I have seen all shapes, sizes, cultures, and creatures.

But one thing remains the same; there’s a method to our madness in the ER and I’m ready to give some lessons. America needs a little more Emergency Department etiquette as our nursing shortage is incoming and our population soon to be doubling. I welcome any of you through those double doors, but don’t expect free hugs if you’re coming in with a Grey’s Anatomy performance.   You may not like what I have to say, but I’ve got an army of nurses behind me that are wanting you to listen up.

Catch me in the ER,… how bout dah?

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Becoming SupeRNurse

Nursing is tough.  And it can beat you down, and emotionally drain the soul out of your life if you let it.  Nursing can have you wondering at times how many years you can keep nursing on, and if there is another profession that is out there for you.  But at the end of the day, you know this was your calling, and it will always be the self-reward that nursing brings to your life.

Surely other facilities can’t be this bad? Are all emergency departments, “like this?” Maybe another unit/facility/city will be different?  Let me put that to rest.  I have worked in Emergency Department’s and hospitals across this beautiful USA.  There is a universal trend.  Nursing, is not like we think it is before we became RN’s.  And I am here to teach you how to understand it and fall in love with it.

Get your stethoscope ready nurses, because you’re going to want to listen and auscultate well.  Pun intended.  #sorry #getusetothese

 

Patient Satisfaction = Nurse Satisfaction ; can we beat it?

Imagine you are patient walking through the hospital doors and into the Emergency Department.  You have a series of tests done, such as x-rays, cat scans, blood work, consults by the ER physician to other specialized physicians.  After consulting each other, they decide you need to be admitted.  Maybe to the ICU, the medical or surgical floor.  You stay for a few nights, and you are discharged home.  Months later, you get an itemized bill of your hospital visit.  Of course you won’t be expected to pay the entire +$30,000 visit because your insurance will cover this tab.  Over 16 million people are admitted into the hospital annually.  If we do the math of $30k, times 16 million people, we would get one absurd figure.  So how are hospitals reimbursed for the services they provide?
 
Hospitals receive reimbursements through the patients direct portions (though small), through insurance companies, and state funding.  However, insurance companies and state funders now have control of how much they invest in a hospital that may not be performing up to standards, or has a negative ‘quality-of-care measurement’, known as patient satisfaction scores.  Patient satisfaction scores are designed for a large or positive reimbursement to hospitals performing optimally or excelling, and will penalize hospitals that are sub-par and have negative satisfaction scores.  In turn, this makes hospitals strive for higher accommodations to patients in attempts to improve their visit.
So here’s where the bomb drops.
The most interactive person the patient sees is guess who? The nurse.  Thankfully, facilities are starting to realize that happy nurses, means happy patients.  When you have a nurse that has too much going on, and no additional resources, the patient is not going to get the exceptional care the hospital is looking for.  As there are many factors that the nurse is unable to control, such as how long it takes to get a patient to CT Scan when trauma’s and high-acuity patients are taking priority to be scanned, the nurse still is responsible for accommodating and watching over the waiting patient.  Like it or not, this is the reality of nursing.
 
Fred Lee in a TEDx talk, speaks about a study that was done on nurses that have the lowest pain rating whom get the most patient satisfaction scores.  Nurses that have a higher pain rating score and lower satisfaction rate were known to “bring more physical pain” to their patients even if the same tasks were delegated as the “pain free” nurse.  So how do these nurses receive more praise and be considered a “low pain rating” nurse?  The power of communication.  Nurses that use words that are comforting such as “it might pinch, but I will be as GENTLE as I can Mr. Smith”, are most likely to get positive reviews and a low pain rating score.  Fred also talks about how “compassion can effect the immune system if you believe compassion can reduce stress for the patient”.  At the end of the talk, Fred sum’s up the importance of how it is ALL about patient perceptions.  “It is not the service that the patient is going to talk about, it is the experience”.  A hospital is a house of emotions that are both positive and negative. One of the funniest meme’s I’ve seen on Instagram was a quote on a nursing page, “Hospital’s are so wierd, like on one floor a woman is bringing a new human life into the world while the father of her child looks on; and on the floor below her a frat boy is getting a wii-remote removed from his butthole; The Circle of Life.”
 
Bottom line, if you want to beat the negative reviews, you’re going to need to learn how to re-word everything you say so you can appeal to your audience.  It’s no longer about just saving lives kids.  #truthhurts