Monthly Archives: September 2013
A long time ago, my friend Andy was going to be evicted. He couldn’t make rent. His apartment was a wreck, and everything was crashing down on him. So we held a fundraiser. I was broke, but I carefully handcrafted two books of handwritten poetry and sewed them together and other friends bought them at auction for $50 a piece. Andy was saved. The support of our friends helped to bolster him, find ground to stand on, and get back on his feet. It was great. No one ever begrudged Andy a dime.
Crowdfunding sites were really unique not too long ago. First there was Kiva, and I happily chipped in $25 and have watched it be repayed and reloaned over the last couple of years.
Then I joined tumblr, and saw a couple people trying to pay for top or bottom surgery, and threw in a few bucks. Someone’s dog was sick. Someone needed a new laptop for college. A friend of mine needs a car, I don’t mind. An independent band I love is trying to record a new CD. Someone else is going to be evicted. Anything and everything. I try to throw in $5 as often as I can. Sometimes more if I know the person well.
But in the last week, I’ve gotten about 15 requests for Kickstarter funds from different people and I have to say.. I’m tapped out. Financially and emotionally. There are so many people who need money, and me? I’m a nurse. Not exactly raking it in, and I had to face the fact that the amount I’ve been donating to people is starting to seriously affect my life, especially because I don’t always get a full paycheck myself. Every time I miss work due to Meniere’s disease, it’s unpaid.
But still, I want to give. It used to be I could sign up to volunteer some time. Maybe donate clothing or things I didn’t need as much as someone else. Now, it’s just money. Everyone needs money. People need food, people need rent. The Kickstarter funds are starting to be everywhere, for everything.
I really, really wish I had more money to donate. I really don’t have any more. I’m in college. I have bills. I need food. I need all these things I’m donating for. I need to feel okay about not donating to every person who is seeking money for something or other. I don’t know how.
It occurred to me last night that if my husband knew how much I donate he’d be pretty frustrated with me, because he’s taken on a lot of expenses incurred by my doctor’s appointments, exams and college.
I am so very privileged to have what I do have. I’ll probably keep donating every now and then, but I needed to write this down. I feel so goddamned guilty every time I see a new funding request. They are never trivial things. I’ll never say “oh, you should get a job” because these people HAVE jobs. Or they can’t find a job. These are valid needs. I just can’t help everyone and I really, really wish I could.
I remember hearing somewhere that the majority of charity comes from the middle class, not from the wealthy. I feel like these crowdfunding ventures are the middle class, trying to save itself, trying to keep itself afloat. It’s like a bucket brigade, and we’re going to run out of water and people really soon.
So if I don’t donate to your fund, please understand, I just can’t right now. It doesn’t mean I’m not your friend. I’m still your friend with the same job I’ve had all along, unable to get by on my own as well. Hopefully, in more years than I’d like to think, I’ll have my NP license and a better income and I can donate more freely. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to go back to full time at my job, although with my Meniere’s it’s unlikely.
I feel so selfish, and whiny, for going on the internet to seek validation for not donating to every cause that comes by. But I’ve felt this way for a while and it’s not going to get any better. The requests aren’t going to stop coming. I just needed to write this down, get it out somewhere, and hope people understand.
“A cousin of my mom’s survived Polio and lived the rest of his life with its effects. He was not expected to live past his teens but made it to his 40s. I am grateful that modern science can protect us from Polio and other diseases and I choose to take advantage of modern science to give my kid better odds of not dying from a preventable disease. I had heard a lot of noise from people claiming vaccines caused Autism, but never saw any clear evidence. It just seemed to me like people really wanted to point to something as the cause and they latched onto vaccines.”–Jennifer
I have been getting into a lot of discussions about whether vaccines are safe in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s because of a post going viral about a (terrible) Italian court ruling last year (In contrast, American courts
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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –
Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s latest budget moves mean nurses will be responsible for a lot more than patient care.>
The Channel 4 I-Team has learned some Vanderbilt nurses will now be in charge of cleaning patients’ rooms, even bathrooms.
Sanitized environments in hospitals are critical to a patient’s health, but the new cost cutting measure has at least one nurse concerned.
“Cleaning the room after the case, including pulling your trash and mopping the floor, are all infection-prevention strategies. And it’s all nursing, and it’s all surgical tech. You may not believe that, but even Florence Nightingale knew that was true,” said a hospital administrator to staff in a video obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team.
The new cleaning changes were also detailed in an email sent to staff of the Vanderbilt Medical Center East team, which – according to a hospital employee – works in surgery areas and patient rooms.
A manager writes in the email, “We have undergone some major budgetary changes … this means we will need to pull together like never before.”
The email says nurses will now have to pull their own trash and linens, sweep up and spot mop. Nurses, care partners and nursing assistants will be responsible for all patient care areas.
“The priority will be what the patient sees,” the email states.
Also, in bold highlighted text, the email says, “Be sure to wear the appropriate [personal protective equipment] when doing any disinfecting – that includes, a cover up gown, gloves, mask and even an eye shield when necessary.”
Nurses were also told to “refrain from speaking negatively about this in an open forum where our customer can hear. If you need to vent come see me.”
The hospital employee did not want to be identified for fear of losing her job but wanted the public to be aware of the changes.
“This is our new reality. The work still must be done. We must still care for patients, and we must do so in an efficient manner,” the hospital administrator told staff in the video obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team.
The nurse to whom we spoke says before these changes, the hospital’s environmental services department was in charge of cleaning those patient areas and that staff does not have interaction with patients.
The nurse is concerned that doing both cleaning and patient care could lead to cross contamination.
The email obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team does say environmental services will still be handling some cleaning.
In a statement, Assistant Vice Chancellor John Howser, said:
“The safety of our patients is always of foremost concern. All decisions about operational process redesign at the Medical Center are being made in a patient-centric manner and will not affect the safety of patient care.”
The Tennessee Department of Health says it does not specify how a hospital chooses to clean, as long as the employees are appropriately trained and follow CDC guidelines.
If they do that, the state says there should not be any increased risk of infection.
We checked with Lipscomb’s nursing staff. The executive associate dean of nursing, who has been a nurse for 25 years, says she hasn’t heard of a hospital doing this before.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
This really bothers me. As nurses, we already have hundreds of responsibilities, and I believe Vanderbilt’s choice to have nurses clean toilets and mop floors may lead to cross contamination as well as an increase in patient falls and medical errors. I am certain they are not going to decrease the nurse:patient ratio in order to make this change easier on the nurses. Vanderbilt is looking for ways to slash jobs, so they are getting rid of EVS because they can only legally get rid of so many nurses.
Especially insulting is the implication that Florence Nightingale would have wanted nurses to return to doing housekeeping in the hospital. Nightingale wanted nursing to move forward, not backward.
Please help me get this out on social media! Retweet, reblog. Post it on Facebook. Don’t let Vanderbilt harm patients and nurses this way! Use the #Vanderbilt hashtag.