Happy Nurses Week

IPROB, an electronic charting system for Labor,Delivery, and Postpartum, was introduced at our hospital a few days before nurses week, 2007.

You might call this a lesson in mind over matter and attitude. In most cases, minds were running amok, without direction, in raw fear states with many nurses breaking down in tears.

Speaking for myself, I was on the verge of tears for a four hour period the first evening I had to deal with it. I was working in the emergency area of our hospital, and it was busy.

Help was just a phone call away, and I did call, particularly when I had no idea how to admit or discharge a patient.

The fact that everyone else was in a state of near panic placed a dark vibrational cloud over the entire hospital.

I came to accept a common site: of doctors and nurses huddled over a computer, making sense (or nonsense) over data placed in the computer, and by trial and error, were deciding what to do next.

By the end of my first four hours of a twelve hour shift, I had an AHA experience. An inner voice of calm penetrated my psyche and seemed to whisper,”This isn’t so bad! You can do it!”

I began to draw on my already growing experience with computers, and put some missing pieces together.

I noticed the IPROB Help Team, besides the nurses who had helped bring the system to our unit, were Israeli men and women. Detached from our pain, they answered questions calmly.

And I liked them.

They were an amazing group who helped create IPROB about ten years ago. This team goes to the Hospitals that are going “live” and answer questions and ease the transition.

I decided to engage in conversation with them.

Do you have IPROB in Israel?

No, the system is too expensive for the frugal consciousness there, they said.

Do you like the Universal Health care system in Israel?

We absolutely love it, they said.

Do you all have to serve in the military?

Yes, a mandatory 2-3 year (or more) stint is accepted by all.

Are you afraid to go out in the streets? Is it dangerous?

Not one of us had ever experienced terrorism, they said.

Or so they said.

The horror of terrorism wasn’t exactly the correct aura we needed to create on top of the underlying fear surrounding IPROB.

The subject of terrorism was quickly dropped.

We were smack in the middle of a volatile environment.

People all have full and challenging lives. The reality of yet another stress-or seems to be effecting older nurses, in particular.

They (we) are questioning whether or not we want to live in a fast paced technological workplace, with computers sucking out our vital energy.

We question whether or not we want to retire sooner than later.

This is a problem in light of the nursing shortage.

Electronic charting in the medical record is sweeping the medical industry.

How many older nurses are retiring earlier because of it?

And as we know, the retirement of older nurses is bad news for health care to begin with.

If nurses are retiring sooner than later because of systems that challenge a person’s ability to cope, then we are in for a nursing shortage crisis that far surpasses what we had predicted.

Happy Nurses Week!

Keep the faith!!