Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vanderbilt University Medical Center wants nurses to clean rooms now

I have a lot of readers.  I need your help. I want you to take this blog post and tweet it, copy it, facebook it, refer to it on your blog.

Here's the thing: Vanderbilt University Medical Center has started requiring its nurses to do janitorial work. After a local TV (Eyewitness News 3 in Nashville)  learned of this they interviewed an administrator who said:

"Cleaning the room after the case, including pulling your trash and mopping the floor, are all infection-prevention strategies. And it's all nursing, and it's all surgical tech. You may not believe that, but even Florence Nightingale knew that was true," said a hospital administrator to staff in a video obtained by the Channel 4 I-Team.  One manager said in an email: We have undergone some major budgetary changes ... this means we will need to pull together like never before."

If this sounds like it is just in the OR, alas, no it isn't.  Its all patient rooms.

According to another site (care2 make a difference), Vanderbilt is:

"in the midst of defending itself against lawsuits claiming that they have fired employees in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)".   Also:  "The hospital is also in court over accusations that it has been engaging in Medicare fraud for over a decade".  Could this be why a couple thousand employees have been laid off?

Anyway here's the topper to all of this, a nurse administrator told the nurses:

"refrain from speaking negatively about this in an open forum where our customer can hear. If you need to vent come see me."

Well if the nurses at Vanderbilt can't speak about this we will, all over the country...


jimbo26 said...

Posted to Twitter .

Anonymous said...

Welcome to standard practice in the UK. Domestic staff don't deal with anything blood or body fluid related and work set shifts with set tasks. We used to envy staff on ER prog who called for 'housekeeping' to sort out resus. UK A&E staff have always had to mop out cubicles after a messy one, wash down trolleys as well as wash stuff before sterilising, empty bins and reset and restock bay.

Always seemed crazy when pushing tight waiting times that staff were running round with a mop instead of direct pt care.

Anonymous said...

Such an inefficient use of resources. Never underestimate the value of support staff.

Pharm.Tech. RDC'06

Anonymous said...

This makes no sense at all. Presumably a qualified nurse is paid a higher hourly rate than a janitor.
This may mean less expenditure - but less patients will be seen, waiting times will increase, and care standards will decline, while the nurses are busy mopping floors.

Better to have janitorial staff do the work, and the nurses see to the patients.

Anonymous said...

I can see wait times increase for patients. Hmmmmm, prep MI patient for cath lab or mop floors..... to facilitate patient flow. Lets see, what any competent nurse would choose?

Andrew Lopez said...

Hello Everyone, check in to Twitter Hashtag #NursesCleaningToilets, I'm tagging what I find there :)

Anonymous said...

At my hospital, we've been told to only change hospital bed linens every three days as an "environmental" measure.

girlvet said...

Yea I am so glad to see this spread all over the internet! Thanks guys

Doc Rugrat said...

I'm pretty sure I don't have any readers but I put it in my blog just in case I do.

Anonymous said...

No problem. Recommend start by mopping floor with a couple of hospital administrators first, just to test the new work processes. >;-D

Anonymous said...

As long as the nursing care is included in the room rate, this will continue. Hospitals have never valued nursing care because it is not billable hours. When Florence Nightingale cleaned rooms, she did not have all the paperwork, treatments and medication to give to patients. Nor did she have to hold physicians and residents hands as they made rounds.
It never bothered me to spot clean but to completely clean a room after discharge with the patient load a nurse has to do in horrible.
Nurses need to fight to bill for their services.

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