CheneyCare for everyone!

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by ohio_eric, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. ohio_eric

    ohio_eric Contributor

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    Nurses Launch National 'CheneyCare' Campaign

    :agreed:

    Oh my goodness gracious. I do love it when irony bites these smug corporate whores right in the ass. :D
     
  2. Jongpil Yun

    Jongpil Yun Contributor

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    Anyone else who's ever worked in a hospital (or even anywhere in the medical industry) will know this -- there is a huge morass of paperwork, poor working conditions, confusing protocol, and a system that just overall doesn't work. No office can communicate with another office because they're using different standards.

    A recent study (check the notes page on the Persiflager's Infectious Disease podcast[/i] Atul Gawande's book Better for source) showed massive improvements in Doctors and nurses handwashing compliance by simply adding a few more washing stations, and shuffling them around where they would actually BE USED. Shit tons of little administrative errors cover the place that would literally save lives if they were solved. We're not talking arcane economic overhaul of some sort, we're talking about moving the handwashing stations outside of the patients room.

    There are not enough doctors, there are DEFINITELY not enough nurses. No one in America wants to be a nurse it seems. All the nurses I know are from the Philippines, Vietnam, or Ethiopia. My mom, when she used to work at Nursing Homes, actually learned Ethiopian language on a conversational level because like thirteen of the nurses there spoke Ethiopian. And the nurses often form little cliques, where the Filipino nurses don't get along with the Vietnamese nurses, or whatever, but the worst is the ghetto American black people.

    I'm not saying it's bad that our nursing staff is all composed of immigrants, if they have the skills, I don't give a shit, but many of them, quite frankly, don't.

    We need more doctors, of every kind. We need more GPs and more specialists. We need more outpatient diagnostic and rehab centers. We NEED. MORE. NURSES. Well qualified ones. We need everyone to have a single system for storing and filing data, so patient records can be moved around without all the inane things that happen now.

    I can tell you, I've worked in nearly ever field here. I've worked for a year in a nursing home, I worked for a few months at an outpatient diagnostics center (ran CTs and MRIs), and I've basically job-shadowed for a week a Doctor at St. Francis hospital here in Seattle.

    Nurses usually fall into a few categories.

    1) Morbidly obese white RN who never gets her ass out of the nursing station
    2) Morbidly obese black LPN who never gets her ass out of the nursing station.
    3) Skinny, domineering Asian RN who has to get everything done while bitching at everyone nonstop (my Mom)

    Nursing Assistants are usually worse:

    1) Tall white guy who looks like he's smoking meth or something. Scary
    2) White trash girl who has heroin tracks over her arms shuffling through the meds looking for some oxycontin to steal. Dangerous, lazy.
    3) Short skinny Filipino women who works relatively hard but doesn't know shit and talks incessantly with the other Filipino nurses in tagalog. Lazy.
    4) Short balding Filipino man who works okay but doesn't know crap either. Lazy.
    5&6) The same as the above two, but they're Vietnamese.
    7) Africans. Have a lot of fun, do their job well, work hard, and don't steal drugs much. Only problem is that their English is meh at best.
    8) American black woman. Either fat, lazy, and incompetent, or fat, abusive, and incompetent. Often scream and get into fights easily, or steal drugs to sell to #2

    And also let me tell you, it is damn near impossible to fire someone, and once you do, it doesn't matter. The nursing shortage is so bad around here that you can get fired for abusing a patient and find a job across the street without an interview. Just walk in, show your credentials, and they'll take you.
     
  3. noodles

    noodles Contributor

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    ^ In response to all that:

    1) This is what happens when you privatize something that should be an entitlement for all. With entitlement, the mission is to do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal. With privatization, the mission is to deliver a certain level of service to the customer for the least possible amount of money, within the scope of acceptable loses.

    Now, this is all well and good when you are talking about, say, consumer electronics. Fabricate the product in China where it is cheaper, and offer a warranty. If the product fails, replace or repair it. Some people slip through the cracks, get angry, and refuse to do business with you again. This is an acceptable loss, because trying to please a greater percentage of customers would have diminishing returns on the profit margin.

    When the business is health care, the product is lives. No matter what pretty face the health care industry or rich conservative politicians want to put on it, the sick truth of the matter is that lives have been turned into a profit margin. It doesn't make sound financial sense to even attempt to save everyone. Population growth on this planet is massive, so it is really not a matter of survival of the species. The acceptable loses who fall through the cracks don't matter, since the lobbyists own the politicians who make the laws. We're simply picking from the candidates that the lobbyists decided to fund.

    2) Doctors and nurses are so hard to find because the health insurance industry has destroyed the private practice and turned doctors into salaried employees. Medical school is insanely expensive, and doctor's salaries are so low that it will take half a career or more to pay off the student loans. Let's not even talk about malpractice insurance. Retirement? Where is the money going to come from. Protocol says doctors need to make more than nurses, so who wants to be a nurse. More and more college goers now pass medicine up for information technology, engineering, or other less expensive studies that will transfer to a far more lucrative, higher paid career options.

    ---

    We don't want to fix the medical industry in this country. By "we", I mean the small percentage of privileged Americans who hold the lion's share of the wealth and dictate the policy that drives our nation.
     
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  4. Jongpil Yun

    Jongpil Yun Contributor

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    I dunno, maybe, but in my experience a lot of the problems have come from the fact that the State runs a lot of health institutions. The nursing homes are the worst. I'd say, with entitlement, the mission is to deliver an acceptable level of care, and with privatized care, the goal is to deliver as much as the customer is willing to pay for. Are either very good? I don't know, but I've never seen a fully privatized health care system so I don't know how it would work. Probably poorly. But I digress.

    In my mind a lot of the problems are that:

    a) Affirmative action fills the staff with incompetent people. You would not believe the proportion of Vietnam vets, alcoholics, women with health issues, etc. Once you stop judging employees by individual merit, inefficiency is bound to creep in. And with a lot of the people, they simply don't care, because they're confident that they won't be fired. It is damn near impossible to fire anyone who works for the State. Private nursing homes are in the same boat (but possibly even worse) because of massive nursing shortages, which brings me to the next item.

    b) Free market forces aren't working on the healthcare staff pay scale like they should be. Whether this is because of government intervention (liberal view) or because free market forces are fundamentally non-applicable to this kind of situation (conservative view) I don't know, but IMO cleaning demented old women's shit while they throw pills and puke at you or bite you or removing several inches of necrotic infected tissue from a stage IV pressure ulcer and finding osteomyelitis that leads to sepsis and death, which is easily the most disgusting smell in the universe, is a 35k/year job. I go on /b/ and laugh off all the shock images because I've seen worse in real life.
     

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