Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Defining your Why https://anchor.fm/navunite/episodes/Defining-your-Why-ek4vu0
Join Our Movement Today:
Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Defining your Why https://anchor.fm/navunite/episodes/Defining-your-Why-ek4vu0
Join Our Movement Today:
We have been labeled “Frontline Heros” and fighting our WW3 without protection or appropriate healing weapons. The rise of COVID has brought additional exposure to risks, deaths, and have added heightened stress to our jobs. Burnout and PTSD are at epidemic levels and nurses have committed suicide.
We are the largest support group for frontline healthcare workers and labeled the most trusted and respected profession for many years and counting.
Frontline healthcare workers have been sworn to organizational secrecy to not divulge the inadequacies that they negligently failed to prepare for a pandemic. Laws created clearly pointed to healthcare organizations that were supposed to be ready as outlined in government public records.
Profits over patient and healthcare worker lives.
We are looking for dedicated leaders that are ready to stand up and fight the good fight, and to show our government officials there is strength in our numbers to end workplace violence and reveal a broken healthcare system that has failed its commitment to communities and healthcare workers.
Our profession needs us, we are losing too many nurses and dedicated frontline healthcare workers that risk their lives every day to fight the invisible enemy.
Please contact Dr. Sandy, Mary, Kristi, or Nick in the Nurses Against Violence Unite Support Group.
Thank You & Please be Safe!
The NAVUnite Team
http://Facebook.com/groups/NAVUnite Join Our Group for Support!!
New Cloth Mask Covers! Say it Loud Without Saying a Word!!! https://teespring.com/NewNAVUniteGear710?pid=972&cid=103975
#EndHealthcareViolence #Nurses #CNA
What is nursing? Nursing is a state of mind, a passion, a life some of us chose and for some, it chose us. Our battle started with prerequisites and the struggle getting into nursing school. Then when we found out when starting our nursing school journey that we were already in over our heads on the first day! Nursing theory for roughly 20 hours while clinical for another 20 hours on top of homework, working around school, studying and juggling family life. Some students are single parents with no help or social support, I certainly know this to be true! Everyday going nonstop and trying to hang on, then a test would come, some of our fellow classmates would be crying and others sitting in solitude trying to figure out where they went wrong. Others, the slim number of other classmates would be smiling and quietly reading until class resumes. We learn the importance of protecting ourselves to prevent the spread of infection, to adhere by policies from governing bodies, all while juggling 10 different tasks at any given moment to save lives on a daily basis. Nothing prepares you for the day you set on the floor as a new nurse. Winging it on a prayer, the nursing warrior makes it out alive with massive student loan debt from working part-time during school, if they are lucky, missing their kids school events, birthdays, or even knowing what it is like to take a break during the 2-3 years of attending the basic Registered Nurse program. Don’t let me leave out the Licensed Practical Nurses that struggle battling to taking the same type of curriculum over but for a second time to become a Registered Nurse. This is even more badass!! Between Nursing Theory, Clinical Rotations and Homework, the average nursing student is putting in approximately 60 hours of blood, sweat and tears to take care of patients and their families. They say you never understand nursing until you go through what most of us recall as the best/worst experiences of our lives. Would we replace it? Never! We are just working to make it even better!!
How is our profession the best? We care. While most professions count the minutes to clocking out, we make sure your family is tucked in, questions answered, and the relentless charting completed to make sure everything we have done for you is documented. Don’t get me wrong, some days we want to 9-yard dash out the door but in reality, who are we fooling, we have wayyy too much to do and a moral character a Rhino couldn’t breakdown. In times of despair, we choose to listen, sit down and give you company, despite the 5 different ways we are being pulled. At times, more times than not, we don’t even get a bathroom break, eat lunch or get away to sit down because you are our priority. We do without so you have that friendly face when you are tired of not being heard, the one that you see being punched or screamed at the patient across the hall. We manage to quickly bounce back, hiding our anguish and feelings the best that we can so you can feel comfortable. We know how to be flexible, adapt and be resilient, even we shouldn’t. Our humor can be so gross to a regular person, but to the rest of us, we will be laughing so hard that we may snort when we laugh.
My nursing family knows how to have gatherings at work, to make a co-worker feel special, even when they are trying to recover from the last patient they lost. When you are grocery shopping or have an emergency, your first responder is more times than not, a nursing professional, whether it is our lovely Nursing Assistants, an LPN, RN or NP, we are there for you. We give insight, not advice on your boo-boos and if you should go to the ED or to possibly put a bandaid on it. We are loyal to what we do and advocate for you behind closed doors, this is even when you think nobody is on your side. When the doctor makes an error, bless their soul, we are there to make sure your care is correct and do our best to help you through the health challenges. Through it all, we there for you when your family is at home, to hold your hand when taking your last breath, caring for you at your darkest of hours all while putting on a smiling face to greet a new admission. It all sounds like doom and gloom, it can be, especially now. It isn’t very good for my nursing family. Nurses are being furloughed, fired, contracting COVID-19, dying, and trying to help the public understand that this virus is real, and not fake. This is the new world that our nursing students are graduating into.
Now more than ever, we need your help! We have the biggest challenge ever, COVID is ramping back up and we need the public to know that your nursing neighbor, friend, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, cousin, mom or dad need your help. How can you do this? Please wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and call your local representatives to back our profession. Our Frontline Nursing Warriors need proper respirators and PPE. We also hope the public will be patient with us when they are are sick, as hard as it is, we are doing the best that we can with what we have available to us. Nurses and nursing assistants are on the Frontline of the pandemic, they are contracting COVID and being assaulted both verbally and physically by patients on a daily basis when working with all patients. We did not sign up for this, it isn’t a part of our job. If you see a nurse or a nurse’s aide being hurt, please report it for them. They may not be strong enough to say something.
Please your Nurse or Nursing Assistant know about our Facebook online support group Nurses Against Violence Unite, Inc.® http://Facebook.com/groups/NAVUnite it is Free to Join and participation is welcome!
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Please be Safe Out there & Love Your Nurses & Nursing Staff! <3
Dr. Sandra Risoldi
Being a healthcare worker is my superpower, something that I am good at and advocate tirelessly for my nursing profession, and for those that help us with our jobs. With the overpowering emotions that I was feeling from the words being announced that “COVID-19 is here in the States” many emotions began, starting with denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance. Then it came quickly came to me, these are the stages of grief, and the thoughts of massive loss that we will encounter over the next few months wasn’t the nightmare on TV in another land, it was coming right for us.
For me, the denial was thinking the virus was only staying in China. Though it was terrible, people were probably making this out to be a big-nothing deal as usual. Something we do so well as a healthcare worker, we can handle anything, especially with our protective equipment! As the viral wave hit Europe, it was inevitable. It was coming right for us. Living in Orlando, Florida, we have tourists coming here from all over and knew that was spreading right to us. Calmly preparing, getting my “hurricane” supplies at the beginning of March, the news hit a couple of days later…it was here.
Taking it all in, seeing my fellow healthcare workers and first responders on a typical day, knowing how what was about to happen was going to change our country forever. Independence running fiercely through our veins, Americans will not back down. This can either impede an effort or cripple us. It was becoming more noticeable, the influx of people rushing into the ED for minimal reasons, the panic was starting to set in, for some, not so much as the younger folks as infallible as they are. It was almost like time was standing still and seeing the future, trying to bargain it to be okay, that is was all hype. Just wash our hands, everything will be okay, and don’t forget to buy some toilet paper.
Not being a huge TV person, especially the news, I tuned into credible avenues of information and let that guide my decisions. Deeply depressed by knowing that nurses, all health professionals, and first responders are heading into the lion’s den without the protection that we all have seen staff wear in China, that we were about to have massive casualties alone just with frontline caregivers. How our pleas are loud yet not heard. Healthcare workers and first responders put their work clothes on and went after the fear that was ahead, knowing that this could be the last month of their life. Not having proper protection to care for patients was not what we signed up for, as a soldier would not be sent into battle without a weapon. This was not what they taught us in nursing school, as this is just a bad dream.
As we embark on this mission of selflessness, resulting in isolation to aid our communities, we must accept and not forget those that we have already lost and what is to come. Many of you reading this may or may not be nurses or even in the medical field, but know that the stages of grief, are necessary and we are not immune. It is okay, even for the bravest and stoic to grieve, that crying is not a weakness but a way to help release the emotional pain one is feeling. The next few months are going to be rough on all of us, that will change our mental well-being and even cause trauma to a varying degree. Whatever you do, know that these stages are natural and healthy, you must experience them to be resilient and grow.
You are not alone. Please check in with your healthcare worker friend or family member, even neighbor. They may need that friendly conversation. If they are a danger to themselves, please take them to the ED or call 911. If you or know a healthcare worker that is afraid, isolating, or needs to talk, please ask them to join our group for support, Nurses Against Violence Unite, we are open to all healthcare workers. Together we can make the difference. Nobody should feel left behind.
We need to 1st talk about how much violence is occurring on the floor, whether it be working in a skilled nursing facility, an assisted living facility, or a hospital setting. The American Nurses Association stated in 2018 that out of 14,000 nurses that answered an anonymous surveying system, 62% stated that they were verbally and physically abused. As a backup to this report in 2019 Bolvin, wrote an article with the American Nurses Association revealing one in five nurses have been physically attacked. These were the only statistics that I could find when working on my doctoral project, with a radius of 30 years trying to find theories, recommendations, and work that pointed to a solution. The biggest problem that was identified as the great depth of how nurses and nursing staff felt how it was not in their best interest to report or that the patient didn’t mean to hurt them.
The most widely spread statement was violence was a part of the job. How could this even be? I was taking a real long look at my career starting over 29 years ago, as a nurses aide assistant climbing the chain to a certified nurse assistant to an ER tech working 15 years knee-deep in bedpans, juggling priorities and the most frontline of all of the health care workers in a health care facility. The expectations of the nurses assistant to have 20 to 30 patients to clean, feed, walk, or even Help the nurse with extra tasks would be almost impossible. When we started in these various positions, we were told this is the way it is. That our jobs were not that important, and a dime a dozen; at $4.25/hour in 1992, I would beg to differ! Most of the time, my whole team, nurses included wouldn’t be able to take a break to attend to the basic human needs because we did not want to feel like we were neglecting our patients or disappoint our employers. At times, I couldn’t get out of my car from the pain I had lifting and turning patients in cranking beds.
How do we know when we have reached our limit? A nurse and the staff caring for the injured, addicted, or those suffering mental illness, the passion runs deep and has invested not only a significant portion of our lives to fulfilling our nursing mission, role, but it is a personal investment as well. We have been forced-fed beliefs of “deal with it”, over a long period of time, along with lack of resources such as supplies, care for patients, and forced to have to care for your patients by yourself, whether they are combative or a total care patient or not. Regardless of the level of care, is a significant safety concern for the patient and the staff caring for them. Is it really staffing or is it conditioning the mind to think that this is OK and the new reality of what you should be expecting throughout your career? Dollars over adequate care. When will we say enough is enough, we are advocates.
Recognizing our limit is when either it’s too far gone and hopeless that we accept what is happening. Learned helplessness has not been explored in nursing as psychology and nursing have been regarded as two different subjects for so long, yet the great nursing theorists have tried to disclose issues, but mental health is not regarded as a priority in the nursing education system. They are two totally different professions? This problem has been conditioning nurses from the very beginning before even starting nursing school that lab values and transactional nursing have more priority, while holistic methods with person-centered care are disappearing. How can we identify the violence within if we have no clue what it is or acts like? The closest thing out there and worded backwards is that de-escalation is the key to a safe work environment, no preventing the problem is!
These are some of the things that we are changing every day with the organization Nurses Against Violence Unite, Inc.™ As our mission is to change the culture in nursing and all health care facilities through bringing awareness, educating, empowering, and eliminating violence in the workplace. Changing the face of health care and nursing is not going to change overnight, as we have to align and be the change. Change within the system is a process that requires a significant focus on building relationships, have healthy coping mechanisms, such as; laughing, activities, social groups that are positive, healthy eating, and identifying when we need to take a break.
These can be beneficial to break the stress level that the healthcare professional is experiencing. Every day, the nursing staff comes forward to discuss issues that they are facing, which includes collective statements of learned helplessness, how the team is stretched, and given high expectations from there employers while being told that they are not doing a good enough job. De-valuing the ones that are making the difference is a wrong business move as the nursing staff is the backbone of healthcare. To identify the problem of violence is one thing, but now is the time to break the cycle of violence, starting from within. Please help me help our healthcare community to heal for not only our patients but also for ourselves and our families.
If you are looking for more support, please visit us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/NAVUnite/
The medical-surgical nurse gets the report on a 49 y.o. man, that fell into a thorn-bush and a foreign body is embedded into his arm. Nurse Allen, who is a seasoned nurse has 4 patients and is receiving a report on Mr. Smith. Allen’s current assignment is an ORIF (hip surgery) completed 2 days prior, MI rule-out, a pain management client that has been requesting PRN pain meds on a scheduled basis since last shift, and a patient that was unresponsive under a bridge yesterday that tested positive for opioids, THC, and alcohol, with a BAL 378, that in the ED was rebounding with IV fluids. Mr. Smith was admitted yesterday and being held in the overflow ED area until some unit beds were discharged. Allen is having a very eventful day as usual and extremely busy, so are the other nurses.
The patient finally comes to the floor, IV is halfway out of the patient’s arm, the site was now edematous and told that it must have just happened enroute. Nurse Allen asks for assistance for the vitals and he would be right in to say hi to the patient and start their head to toe assessment. Allen stops the fluid, assesses the area and starts another IV site then starts working on the skin assessment. Nurse Allen immediately sees multiple dots/lines in a row that are healed over but the area on his forearm is red, angry, swollen and painful to touch. Mr. Smith was diagnosed with cellulitis and is ordered to start IV antibiotics with an OR consult. Nurse Allen starts the antibiotic therapy, antipyretics, and the patient had a visitor. This was a particularly normal person, a female that holds some resemblance to Mr. Smith and introduced her as his sister visiting out of concern for his well-being. Nurse Allen attempts to take a break, notifies his colleagues and is so excited that he can get to the coffee shop for a little pick-me-up. The charge nurse Maggie walks in to adjust Mr. Smith’s IV pump, it is beeping and annoying the patient in the same room. When Maggie walked in, she saw Mr. Smith actively using a needle to inject a brown liquid into his IV line, this is why the pump was beeping. A code blue was activated as the patient was slumped over and leaning against the bathroom wall, a needle hanging out of his IV tubing.
This patient was sent to the ICU, nurse Allen was written up for not adequately performing a skin assessment, as the needle casing imprint was on the patient’s leg, where the TED hose was pushed down. A blood test was performed, the patient tested positive for opioids and meth that was injected into his arm. Should Allen be liable if the needle was not there during the skin assessment and was possibly brought in from the visitor? Some say absolutely and others may not see it that way. Security is minimal in all healthcare facilities, so much that nurses and CNA’s are unable to keep up with their own assignments and tasks than to be in the room observing contact between a patient and their loved one. Syringes, along with many other objects are being “pocketed” in rectums or flesh folds, not to mention the female genitalia or even brought in by friends and family. This article is not to condemn those who are addicted but to bring awareness about addiction and how it is straining healthcare workers, who are not adequately trained with nursing education or from their facility. Furthermore, a set up for failure. It is not fair or right that nurses should feel that standing up for what is going wrong in healthcare that it is pointless to report. Many lives that we work with depend on healthy nursing staff, we cannot remain healthy if not protected from harm or have resources to become a stronger and a happier workforce.
If you or someone you know that needs a voice, please join us on Facebook at: Nurses Against Violence Unite (click the business name) and join our community today, feel the difference and supported.
Freshly graduated from my Master’s program, with a project focused on de-escalation techniques, I decided to bring to light a sensitive subject among nurses. Before deciding which way that I was going to go with Nurses Against Violence Unite, Inc, NAVUnite for short, the one thing that came up was staffing shortages. But WHY were the floors always short?! Growing up in the nursing field since a kid, 16 years old, I have seen many issues with violence against nursing staff. It wasn’t until I became a nursing instructor is when the dots were connecting. Between lateral and patient on nurse violence, who would want to come to work and deal with that every day? Unless you enjoy the constant negativity, I would have to say this was a direct correlation of why the turnover and injuries are high and job satisfaction scores are so low. My fellow advocate groups shooting for more staffing are marvelous and respect their cause as it indirectly relates to mine. Partnered with a couple of my closest friends that are connected but respect my vision, have supported me through this venture and grateful to them for believing in me. To be honest, I am sure they thought by now I would have given up on this cause but there is no way.
My vision for Nurses Against Violence Unite, Inc, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) is to create an education plan, as it is coming along nicely, to fill the gap of acute mental health and addiction that is a missing piece in the nursing curriculum. There is also roughly 25 hours of mental health training in the nursing frameworks that equates to minimal chronic mental health training and awareness. With the opioid epidemic combined with other substances, nurses are learning from an ancient curriculum. It needs to be modern and reflects the current trends in healthcare. October 2, 2017 was our first free event and plan to continue to them as education is number one along with therapeutic interventions for nursing staff that are on the front line in healthcare.
The events will continue to be free and donations will start to be accepted. With donated funds, we will continue the events, build scholarships for nursing students, build a community online and in-person to help nurses be heard without retaliation or bullying, and resources for nurses to receive free to discounted private therapeutic services that are separate from their employer. Nursing is about caring about others and have been in the field for over 27 years, yes dating myself, we are a family that argues and can still love each other equally, as this is what we do. A team of professionals that have your back and laugh with often because we are a silly and resilient profession that need to stick together to make the change we need in nursing.
If you hate what is happening in nursing, help us change it!
Dr. Sandra Risoldi