Author Archive, Susan McNicholas

No Hospital Left Behind

August 15th, 2007  |  Penlight

If you're a nurse working in a hospital, chances are you've recently attended a customer service workshop. I just went to a program on AIDET as part of nursing orientation. A lot of what was talked about was not new:being respectful and attentive, giving clear and concise explanations and including the patient and family in the decision making process. What did surprise was when the instructor said that customer satisfaction scores are now being tied to federal funding. That ... More »

FGM

July 31st, 2007  |  Penlight

Last month the Egyptian government banned all female "circumcision" following the death of a 12 year old girl. Technically it had been banned in 1997, but continued on through a loop hole that allowed it in cases of medical necessity. Research done by Unicef in 2005 found that 96% of Egyptian married women aged 15-49 reported being circumcised. All this was first brought to my attention by TofuLou at her blog, Manifest Destiny. It's a good post and ... More »

Informed Consent

July 24th, 2007  |  Penlight

I remember working on the floor and needing to get a consent signed by the patient. Usually, the doctor would leave the consent filled out on the chart, with the assumption that the physician had gone over the pertinent information with the patient. The nurse would then go in and get the patient's signature. Why the doctor couldn't get the patient to sign and another person to witness was a mystery. As a new nurse, I had concerns:how could I ... More »

Preserving Life

July 17th, 2007  |  Penlight

In April of this year, the Raleigh News and Observer wrote a piece about a small group of RN's in North Carolina who were fighting nurses' roles in executions. According to the article, RN's are allowed to participate in executions of inmates even though this is in direct opposition to the ANA's Code of Ethics. In an earlier piece, the same author, Andrea Weigl, notes that that In 2003, after almost two decades of opposing nurses' participation ... More »

Grief

July 10th, 2007  |  Penlight

An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior-Viktor Frankl I hadn’t been exposed much to death before I was a nurse. AIDS was in full force, having just been upgraded from GRID. I knew several people who died, but none of them well. Although I attended their funerals, I wasn’t involved in their dying. When I went to work on the telemetry unit, most of the patients who died fell into two categories: unexpected codes and the really elderly, ... More »

Are some patients better than others?

July 3rd, 2007  |  Penlight

The Code of Ethics for Nurses, revised and approved in 2001 at the American Nurses Association Convention in 2001, puts forth in its first provision that nurses treat all members of society the same. It says, "The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems." Recently on my blog, donorcycle, a commenter ... More »

Sticks and Stones…

June 26th, 2007  |  Penlight

There’s something to be said for the anonymity of the internet. I found, when I first started blogging, that being anonymous helped me find my voice without worrying about anyone’s preconceptions of who I was. I also know, from experience that I’m not proud of, that it is so easy to flame someone when they don’t know who you are. So it disturbs me when I see blogs that are cynical or derogatory of patients, coworkers or each other. In ... More »

Feeding Tubes and Religion

June 19th, 2007  |  Penlight

I find it hard to believe that we're still debating the removal of feeding tubes. Then I found this article in the Dallas Morning News about the passing of Ruth Graham. Apparently, toward the end of her days, she asked that her artificial feedings be stopped. The same author, Jeffrey Weiss, wrote this on the Dallas News Religion Blog. It highlights the differences Judeo-Christian religions have about this one, end of life, decision. Mrs. Graham was a presbyterian, ... More »

Donation after Cardiac Death

June 12th, 2007  |  Penlight

This past March, The Washington Post wrote this article about the ethics of Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD). It's a topic that's getting more and more attention. As the article points out, in 2006 there were 605 DCD donors, more than double the number from 2003. That's out of 8,022 total donors for 2006, according to a HRSA news release. I know from my own practice that it has created some controversy among the doctors we work with, ... More »

The Joke’s on Us

June 5th, 2007  |  Penlight

It's all a hoax. For those of you who are up on your "weird news of the week", I'm sure you've heard about the new game show that aired in the Netherlands Friday. Called In der grote DonorShow(The Big DonorShow), it featured a woman with a terminal illness who was to choose a recipient for her kidney from three contestants. And you thought Flavor of Love was bad. Last week I thought I was going to ... More »

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