If you are a nurse, you have a code of ethics and a definition for your profession. “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations”. You can find this definition on almost any major nursing program site or the ANA site: http://www.nursingworld.org. You may wonder why I mention this on this site, but it from my direct observation from recent work at mutiple sites in the VA Hospital system. Nursing abuse of computer systems is commonplace and I saw that the director of nursing and the physician ED director did nothing about these internet surfing nurses who are ignoring their duties, violating federal law and wasting time to be paid to do this. I saw this at every single VA Hospital and it is in busy departments so the care is delayed because of this abuse. Our VA Hospitals and the private sector hospitals need to stop all of this and make it punishable. It is unconscionable. Virtually every nurse at the Raymond G Murphy VA was on the computer surfing the internet all during their shift on every shift. It was commonplace at the Fargo VA Medical Center. The nurses were also very verbally aggressive and this is universal now and believe they are to admonish physicians, deride and derail them even with very sick patients. It is not all but those who simply don’t belong in medicine. My goal in working locums emergency medicine was never to experience and report this but I could not, in good conscience not bring this to the attention of our government and I hope they read this. These are some of the most uneducated and lazy workers in healthcare and they are harming veterans in the process. I cannot say I have seen physicians do this but I suppose it is possible in a slow ED at night especially.
If anything, it should be that if people are without patients they should still not be reading medicine. Likewise, they have no business doing assignments unrelated to work which includes furthering their education studies while at work. You go to work to work. If you have absolutely no patients you still have work. Stocking the ED and improving every aspect of your ED. It should only be work related to your job. So I bring this up to call upon our leaders to do something to stop the abuse and eliminate the abusers. Software lockout and photographing surfers is one method. It costs money but would save in the long run. I have said it before and I will say it again, there are some people who simply don’t belong in medicine. They especially don’t belong in the “front door” of the hospital where time means so much to outcome…ie., the ED. Enough Said. Those of you who don’t do this I applaud. But I see so much that is why I am reporting on it.