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Professional nurses do care about their patients



Published: Wed, May 30, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Professional nurses do care about their patients

EDITOR:

The recent letter "Nurses at fault for not acting like professionals" is insulting to me as a registered nurse employed by Forum Health.

It is easy to blame the nurses. Why not? We are only doing what has been instilled in us, acting as advocates for our patients. I wonder if certain individuals realize that while a patient is in the hospital the nurse is the only lifeline to the outside world.

When you are in pain who do you call? The nurse. What if the doctor hasn't ordered anything for pain? The nurse calls the doctor.

The idea that nurses call off work because of a hangnail indicates a work ethic,unlike that of any nurse I know. Every day, nurses are exposed to illness and disease. Is it incomprehensible that we get sick too? We are human beings after all. After working 16 hours a day, our minds and bodies are exhausted, thus increasing our susceptibility to infection.

I knew when I entered the nursing profession that it wasn't going to be an easy career. But I was never told that I would have to work 16-hour days or in areas I was not trained in. If airplane pilots have limits on the number of hours they work, why doesn't a nurse? We both have lives in our hands.

To practice nursing safely, we need a clear, rested mind to think clearly, to avoid medication errors as well as to be able to detect subtle changes in a patient's condition. Many nurses are so tired that patient safety is compromised. When is health care going to be about the patients rather than the mighty dollar?

Other hospitals in this area are able to run efficiently without mandatory overtime. And other health-care organizations have instituted vigorous recruiting programs. Why not Forum Health? I recently have spoken to many graduating Youngstown State nursing students who sent r & eacute;sum & eacute;s to Northside hospital months ago but who have yet to be called for an interview.

To the letter writer, I have one last thing to say: I pity the patient in ICU whose nurse found out one half-hour before the end of the shift that he or she has been mandated to work overtime.

Remember that this strike is about the patients. They are our family, our friends and our neighbors. Forum Health nurses are human beings with a conscience who just want to give good, safe, quality care.

RACHEL J. McMILLEN, R.N.

Hubbard

YSU should admit bright high school students

EDITOR:

I was most interested in the recent front page article lamenting Youngstown State University's problems with lack of classroom use. It is interesting to me that YSU has less than 40 percent of its classrooms used and yet my daughter was denied the privilege of attending YSU this fall.

As you probably know, the state of Ohio has a plan for high school students to attend state universities at no cost to the student. Students earn college and high school credit at the same time. I believe it is funded by the state. It really does not matter who funds the program because YSU loses no money by participating in the program.

Yet YSU's and the Youngstown city schools' cut-off date for students to apply for this program has come and gone. Why not reopen the recruitment and registration of these students?

Is it because someone is too lazy to process the paperwork? Is it because YSU does not want these bright young people on campus? Is it because Youngstown city schools want to hold kids back? Why? The reasons seems to be beyond my scope of understanding.

I guess being a 10th grader and getting a 23 on your ACT means very little to anyone running the learning institutions of Youngstown. Maybe my daughter is right when she says YSU is at the bottom of her list of potential colleges.

CHRISTINE M. ROSEBAUGH

Youngstown




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