December 2021 MSNBC op-ed by Truth leader argues that nurses need assistants
December 10, 2021 – Today the MSNBC site posted an op-ed by Truth About Nursing director Sandy Summers explaining that nurses need scribes and more staff support to provide care to patients in the Covid era. The piece argues that this lack of support is due in large part to social and media stereotypes that cast nurses themselves as assistants–as if clerical work is a good use of their time and skills.
As Summers notes, nurses were understaffed even before the pandemic struck, but now they face perhaps unprecedented stress. The common refrain that hospitals are short of “beds” actually means they are short of nurses, she observes, since a bed by itself is just a bed.
The piece argues that one way to ease the current shortage of care would be to shift more work that need not be done by nurses to support staff, such as by bringing in scribes to do the charting. Based on her own recent experience caring for Covid patients in ICUs, Summers points to the burdens that charting, supply gathering, proning patients, blood work, and administrative tasks place on nurses. She explains how more support could free nurses to provide better patient care, which research shows makes the difference between life and death. We thank MSNBC.
See the op-ed “Amid Omicron, nurses don’t just need assistance. They need assistants. Covid-19 is pushing nurses, who were already in short supply, to the brink. Sandy Summers, an ICU nurse and the founder of The Truth About Nursing, says hospitals need to rethink the demands they make of those working in the primarily-female industry,” posted on the MSNBC site on December 10, 2021.
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