- Universal Health care- single payer system: the videos posted below all tell very powerful and moving stories of the victims of our current system. The insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies stand to lose billions if the US adopts a universal health care system. So keep your eyes and hearts open when you think about supporting this issue. I believe if you ask your self what is the right thing to do, you will come to the same conclusion as I have that single payer is a better, fairer way to deliver health care services.
- Mandated staffing ratios: I believe the evidence is clear that legislated ratios are whats needed to force the hospitals to do whats right. We all know that our patients are getting sicker and sicker as the years go by yet our ratios have stayed the same. There are videos and postings below that give examples of the harm that comes from nurses caring for too many patients at one time. For one the nurses eventually gets burned out and leaves acute care or nursing all together or patient dies or has a less than optimal outcome. Don't be fooled all these issues are about money. It will take money to solve these problems. What is your safety worth, what is your life worth. Ask your self that question every time the thought of cost enters your mind. Also consider the fact that we are not talking about breaking the bank but just reducing profits. There's a big difference between the two. All the experts have said it can be done. It is working in California and in Victoria, Australia. If they can afford it and then why can't we all. There's a new book by Suzane Gordon titled "safety in numbers: Nurse-to-patient ratios and the future of health care." Take some time and investigate how ratios have worked for others and see if its something you think we all need on a national level.
- More Nurses: If the above occur we will need many more nurses to fill the gap. We need to increase the size of the nursing school programs to accommodate that need. Even if nothing change as far as universal health care or staffing ratios we still need to increase the number of new nurse just to keep up with those that are retiring. Professors at most colleges make about 60-70% of what you would make working acute care or for a pharmaceutical company or insurance company, (watch the pbs video below on health care in crisis for a good example of the problem). We need to demand that more be done to solve this problem and remind our representatives that one day they will need a nurse and their won't be one their to care for them unless they triple the funding to our community colleges, increase the pay for our nurse educators and offer incentives to attract people to our profession. Not band aids but real reform is what is needed and again its going to cost money.
The money is available to make these changes. It's about our priorities and where we choose to spend our money. I believe we should spend the money now or we will spend much more later.
Please become educated on the subject and give your support to this cause by writing your representatives and speaking to your family and friends about these issues whenever the opportunity presents itself. All big changes and reform start as grass root movements. Your voice is important.