In its heyday, the timeless US television show Law & Order would occasionally preview an upcoming episode with an attention-grabbing statement, “Ripped from the headlines.” Cynics might argue it made for easy writing for the show writers that week: after all, the episode’s script would effectively take a real-life story affecting the justice system, and crystallize it in a 45-minute block of drama. But it worked: showrunner Dick Wolf employed it multiple times each season. There’s even a list of episodes and the real-life legal situations it pulled the storyline from on Fandom.
What does this have to do with nursing, you ask? Well, if something is shown to work, it becomes best practice worth employing when the situation calls for it. Medical scholars and nursing advocates are nodding their heads boisterously right now.
With National Nurses Week 2019 approaching, we decided to share some of the stories that celebrate just how awesome nurses in the US truly are. Some of them will surprise you, but also remind you why the nursing profession is one of America’s most appreciated.
House (or at least an office) of playing cards
Maureen Walsh is a state senator in Washington State. But after a recent faux pas on the legislative floor in Olympia, you could be forgiven for thinking she was a riverboat card shark trying to pull a fast one on Bret Maverick. Such was the response from registered nurses over actions the Washington State Nurses Association called "incredibly disrespectful and patronizing."
From CBS News:
(The) Republican, was arguing for an amendment that would exclude small hospitals from a bill that would require nurses to have the breaks. Walsh said nurses at small hospitals "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day."
The amendment passed, but not without Walsh’s office being bombarded with over 1,700 decks of playing cards. The hashtag #nursesdontplaycards became a trend on Twitter, filled with stories of diligent, tireless registered nurses who’ve never opened a deck - on break or during regular hours.
Senator Maureen Walsh - Us nurses don't play games. We also don't eat, drink, or pee for 12 hours at a time, because we are too busy saving lives!— Shelley (@ShelleyLBI) April 20, 2019
#MaureenWalsh #nursesdontplaycards pic.twitter.com/1if8usITHp
I’ve never played cards during any of my shifts. What I have done is gone home & finally get to eat/drink/pee & then go to sleep to get up to work another 12 hours without a break. I spend my nights, holidays, weekends caring for your loved ones. #nursesdontplaycards pic.twitter.com/723FE9gzt1— Ashley (@Ashleyy7X) April 20, 2019
For those who love irony, an apologetic Walsh has since stated her mother was a nurse.
Long term care needs
Here’s a story that speaks to our work with long-term care facilities, and how nursing candidates (be they graduate or practicing) can slot into those plans.
There’s a clear skill need, as the following story in Illinois illustrates. State lawmakers in the Land of Lincoln are pondering legislation to address the shortage of nurses. From Heart of Illinois ABC:
One of the long term care nurses said with fewer caregivers and a growing patient list, they can’t keep up.
“These people deserve better. When I go into work I want these people to feel like I treat them as my mom, my grandma, my sister. That’s how I would want my family member to be treated.”
Fewer caregivers? Growing patient list? Dedicated nurses, who treat patients like family? This sounds like the kind of thing Conexus Medstaff and its stable of nurses could help with.
Break out the Sandals
On a lighter note, we switch to a movie quote.
Rene Russo’s character in Tin Cup may have put it best: “Shrinks need shrinks.” We agree: we’ve talked here about the importance of the mental well-being of nurses. Because even the hardest working professional nurses need quality downtime. To nurse themselves, if you will.
To that end, a Sandals resort trip might be just the ticket. Per nurses.org:
The giveaway is dubbed #Maycation and Sandals is promoting the trip as their way of recognizing some of the hardest working people around: nurses, mothers, teachers, and military members. The resort wants to recognize those who “rock” in their everyday lives and reward them with a vacation that “rocks” just as much. Sandals are giving away a grand total of 31 luxury trips.”
If you’re working with Conexus Medstaff, you’ll have a wealth of things you’ll no doubt want to see and do in the US. Of course, you might also dig a free, ahem, #Maycation to the Caribbean.
Adopt a patient
We wrap for the week with something heartwarming, a testament to just how unique a nurse is in the world. From cnn.com:
Liz Smith had always dreamed of becoming a mother and building her own family, but her road to motherhood was rough. She suffered from infertility and went through several treatments that didn't work...
But hospital staffers paid special attention to little Gisele, and one nurse asked Smith whether she had met her. "I said, 'No, why?' She said, 'She needs a medical foster home and you two are the perfect pair,'" Smith recalled Thursday on CNN's "New Day."...
Co-workers, friends, and family joined Smith in October for the adoption day.
Fact is, nurses have quite a few qualities the rest of us could do with adopting.
And with that, we’ll show ourselves out, with a quick reminder that if you want to join a working culture like this in the US, be sure to contact your local Conexus Medstaff team.
To our Conexus Medstaff community, Happy National Nurses Week 2019!