We nurses all have stories — if we’re lucky, it’s just one — about the time we failed a patient. It’s usually a problem of being too busy: too many cases, too many procedures to keep track of until one critical step, just one, slips through our frenetic fingers and someone gets hurt.
New article in Scrubs Magazine Summer Issue 2013: “How Was Your Day? To Share or Not to Share.” Scrubs is available for free in uniform stores or available for purchase.
Theresa is working on her second book, The Shift. It will be published by Algonquin Press. Manuscript is due December 2013.
The recent firing of Rutgers’ basketball coach Mike Rice for insulting and assaulting players is yet another black mark against the insular culture of hyper-competitiveness in American sports. The arrest of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky and fall from grace of the beloved Joe Paterno are two more. Meanwhile, retired NFL players accuse the league of lying to players about the health risks of repeat head injuries.
Theresa appeared on an episode of 20/20 that aired on May 3, 2013.
A hospital is, by its nature, the scene of constant life-or-death situations. It’s the work we nurses, doctors and other health professionals do; we chose it. The threat of harm can jazz you up or bring you down, but what it should demand, always, is the highest possible level of professionalism. Who’s at risk when that doesn’t occur?
In late October 2010, Amy Berman, a registered nurse and a senior program officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation in New York City, received a diagnosis of Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. This Stage 4 cancer is always metastatic, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body. There is zero probability of a cure, though five-year survival rates vary for individuals.
The visceral phrase “skin in the game” keeps popping up in discussions of American health care policy. It’s the idea that if patients spend their own money on care, they will spend it more carefully, and health care costs will go down. Conservatives worry that as the government becomes more involved with health care, patients will become less responsible about costs because the money being spent — their “skin” — is not their own.
Wisconsin, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine. We all know these place names and what happened there. By the time this column appears, there may well be a new locale to add to the list. Such is the state of enabled and murderous mayhem in the United States.
It’s one of those secrets you normally don’t learn in nursing school: “Don’t go to the hospital in July.” That’s the month when medical residents, newly graduated from medical school, start learning how to be doctors, and they learn by taking care of patients. And learning means making mistakes.
He was one of those salt-of-the-earth guys from the rural part ofPennsylvania. Middle-aged, married with adult kids, he’d worked his whole life running his own small business, a local restaurant that he jokingly called a bordello. His wife worked, too, and she had health insurance, but he wasn’t on her policy. Maybe he couldn’t afford it, or he was saving money by playing the odds. After all, he’d always been healthy. And then one day he had leukemia.