Tag Archives: Hospitals

Community EMT proposal must protect public

6 Mar stacy2

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Dealing with discharged patients continues to be one of the most confounding problems with hospital care. Nurses often don’t have the time to give patients all the education they need when they leave the hospital. The result: many go home confused, unable to care for themselves, and unsure how to get better.


Rep. Tara Mack (R- Apple Valley) Community EMT bill (HF261) enables EMTs to visit discharged patients the day after they get home, but the bill doesn’t actually specify what CEMTs can and can’t do.   The result could be agencies that allow CEMTs’ work to infringe on what nurses are specifically trained and prepared to do.


“Anybody can take vital signs but it’s what you do with that information that’s dependent on your training,” said Stacy Enger, an ER nurse at Methodist Hospital, “As a nurse, I’m trained and licensed to assess, intervene, and most importantly, re-assess patients.”


Enger testified at the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee hearing on the bill that she’s seen the effects of firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics who visit discharged patients already. Agencies in the west Metro, including Edina, St. Louis Park, and Eden Prairie have already begun the CEMT program with the help of Methodist.


“Edina and Burnsville use volunteer firefighters and there’s a clear difference in what we learn about a patient coming in with those departments versus one who comes in from a paramedic from North Memorial, Allina, or HCMC,” Enger said.


The Chief Nursing Officer at Methodist, who testified for the bill, confirmed that they still get many questions on the hospital nurse triage line even with the program.   The bill also has the support of the Professional Fire Fighters Association, which claims that 80 percent of their firefighters’ work is now healthcare.


MNA Nursing Policy Specialist, Mat Keller, pointed to the many problems that still exist in the legal language of the bill. He noted that the language allows CEMTs can do anything to intervene that prevents emergency department caring for the patient.   He said that could include anything from administering IVs to delivering a baby.


“It is important to remember that an EMT certification requires only 120 hours of training,” said Keller, a nurse and an attorney, “this equates to about half of one college semester. Furthermore, those 120 hours are dedicated to teaching EMTs the things they need to know in order to fulfill their role, which is to operate in emergency situations.”


Even proponents of the bill admit that CEMTs would probably only spend 15-20 minutes with a patient during their visit, which doesn’t allow for a proper assessment.


“Let’s say I’ve come to see you, and one thing I do is get you up and help you walk around,” Enger said, “one of the first things I’m looking for is if you are a fall risk. Can you get around? Are there things in your way that you might trip over or hit with a walker or crutches? We call it a “road test.” Sometimes, you road test somebody and you realize that the house needs to be de-cluttered or maybe rails or supports need to be installed somewhere. Sometimes, you road test somebody and they’re very quickly out of breath. We have to figure out if it’s because you are or have been a smoker. Or maybe it’s because you’ve gotten a hospital-acquired infection, which might turn into a fatal pneumonia?”


Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), an RN, mentioned her time caring for patients at the bedside and in the home setting. Murphy urged “more work “ on the bill to delineate tasks and eliminate any infringement on the scope of practice.


Rep. Mack admitted that another issue to be worked on is which Minnesota board will oversee CEMTs. The bill names the Emergency Medical Services Board, but, as Keller noted, these actions would only be non-emergency situations.


HF261 was passed over for possible inclusion in the final Health and Human Services bill. MNA will continue to visit the Capitol with nurses to work with legislators on making the bill something that can truly benefit the patients of Minnesota.

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 27, 2012 – MNA RNs Help Recovering Patient See Son’s West Coast Wedding

27 Aug


Worth Watching: MNA RNs help recovering patient see his son’s West Coast wedding.


Worth Reading: The Center For Public Integrity has a series out on how politicians are manipulating the facts about medicare during election season.

Moody’s Investors Service has declared that not-for-profit hospitals are financially stable for now, but the fiscal realities of the Affordable Care Act could darken that picture in the future.


Right-to-work: “They want to run us to death.”

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 24, 2012 – Fairview Wants to Spend $53m … on Buildings; Boston RNs Ponder Strike Vote; A Night ER Staff Will Never Forget

24 Aug


Fairview Health Services wants to spend $53 million to … wait for it … make capital improvements.

From The New York Times: A Night the ER Staff in Aurora, Colorado will never forget.


Hundreds of nurses in the Boston area will vote next week whether or not to authorize a strike.

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 23, 2012 – State Fair Begins; Hospitals Sing Familiar Tune

23 Aug


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Hospitals are blaming health care reform and the economy for cutting back on staffing levels.

Underscoring hospitals’ interest in employee health, 84 percent of medical facilities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that responded to a new survey offer workers a wellness program or activity.

Study: Middle Class Suffered “Worst Decade in Modern History” as wages stagnated, share of income fell.


Join MNA at the State Fair!

If you’re headed to the State Fair, make sure you stop by the MNA booth to say hello!

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 22, 2012 – Tragic Story Gets Worse; Hospitals’ Charity Care in Question

22 Aug


Sad story gets more grief: Jennifer Gallagher, a nurse who cared for Aurora shooting victims at the University of Colorado Hospital last month, drowned on Aug. 6 while swimming in Iowa’s Lake Okoboji.

Montana’s hospitals generally provide a sizable amount of charity care and community benefits, but a study released by the state’s attorney general has questioned the values stated by some of the facilities, reported the Helena Independent Record.

What are the 10 health care jobs most impacted by the new Affordable Care Act? Find out!


From The Huffington Post: What do Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Switzerland have in common? They are four of the top five ranked countries in the conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom. The Heritage Foundation scores countries based on a variety of factors, including the extent to which they depend on the rule of law, have limited government and regulatory efficiency, and the openness of their markets. The Freedom Index then ranks each country based on its score, categorizing them as “Free,” “Mostly Free,” “Moderately Free,” “Mostly Unfree” or “Repressed. For those wondering, the United States ranks tenth and is “Mostly Free.” While Public Citizen does not endorse the index or its criteria, we do find one unique commonality between Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Switzerland that is particularly noteworthy: Each of these countries imposes taxes on financial transactions to curb speculation.

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 20, 2012: Wells Fargo Behaving Badly?

20 Aug


A former Wells Fargo & Co. mortgage consultant has accused the San Francisco-based bank of firing him in order to avoid paying for his daughter’s cancer treatment.


Members of the California Nurses Association urged state lawmakers to set a minimum level of charity care for all nonprofit hospitals in exchange for their lucrative, tax-exempt status. CNA released a study Wednesday concluding that beyond what they delivered in charity care, California’s nonprofit hospitals in 2010 received more than $1.8 billion in government subsidies and benefits from their tax exemption.

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 17, 2012:

17 Aug


Callifornia Nurses: Faulty $45 million computer health care system endangering patients’ lives.

Not-for-profit healthcare institutions have been undergoing audits from outside entities at a significantly higher rate than their for-profit counterparts, according to a new study by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).


Michigan Nurses: Collective Bargaining Keeps Our Patients Safe!

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 15, 2012: Docs Don’t Check Tests; Infection Rates Up

15 Aug


Physicians never checked the results of nearly half of the medical tests ordered the day of a patient’s discharge, according to a recent study.

Reported infection rates at healthcare organizations are up – but that’s not neccessarily bad news. Higher numbers signal better reporting, according to a new report.

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 13, 2012: Nurses Help Cut Mortality Rates in Half

13 Aug


NNU in the News: Health care is among the few sectors of the national economy where unionization is actually increasing. One local sign: nurses at St. Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital recently pulled off rare votes to organize workers at local health institutions.

Nurses at California-based Arrowhead Regional Medical Center said patient care will likely decline if the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors imposes cuts to their pensions and the hospital continues expanding its use of registry nurses.


A nurse-led fast-track sepsis screening and diagnosis program cut mortality rates in half at nine California hospitals.

MNA Daily NewsScan, August 8, 2012 – Women in the Boardroom; Another Verizon Strike Looming?

8 Aug


Women Know Best: Companies with women on their boards performed better in challenging markets than those with all-male boards in a study suggesting that mixing genders may temper risky investment moves and increase return on equity.

Unions representing more than 30,000 workers will gather in Philadelphia this Saturday as part of a “Workers Stand for America” rally.

Verizon workers struck for two energetic weeks last summer in response to billions’ worth of concessions demands from the profitable telecommunications company. Now, after 12 more months of fruitless negotiations, 45,000 Communications Workers and Electrical Workers (IBEW) across the Northeast may be putting down their tools and walking out again.


Nursing schools are bracing for a faculty shortage, according to this story from NPR.


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