News

Nurses Need Nursing

This Associated Press reports this morning that hospitals throughout the country are having trouble finding and keeping nurses. Part of the problem has to do with the difficulty hospitals are having in transitioning nurses from the training to the actual doing. Let's begin in a Dallas ER, shall we?

Newly minted nurse Katie O'Bryan was determined to stay at her first job at least a year, even if she did leave the hospital every day wanting to quit.

She lasted nine months. The stress of trying to keep her patients from getting much worse as they waited, sometimes for 12 hours, in an overwhelmed Dallas emergency room was just too much. The breaking point came after paramedics brought in a child who'd had seizures. She was told he was stable and to check him in a few minutes, but O'Bryan decided not to wait. She found he had stopped breathing and was turning blue.

"If I hadn't gone right away, he probably would have died," O'Bryan said. "I couldn't do it anymore."
Much later in the story, O'Bryan refuses to name the hospital "because she didn't want to be seen as complaining about a former employer."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky