Tag: hospitals

When a Nurse Is the Patient’s Family


Over my years at Ricochet, I’ve been very plain about my choice of career.  It’s my handle.  Most nurses feel similarly; being a nurse isn’t just a job.  It isn’t just a career.  It’s an identity.  Much like the military, nursing school tears you down to rebuild you in the form of a nurse.

We adopt this willingly at first, grudgingly later, then with resignation, then with acceptance, and later, far later, with a touch of regret, perhaps.

On today’s episode of American Wonk, Avik Roy talks to Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee and author of a pathbreaking health care reform bill called the Hospital Competition Act. Should the GOP shed its big business reputation to help kitchen table voters?

More on the Hospital Competition Act here.

Member Post


An FB friend of mine, a well-respected nurse in Michigan, expressed concern about the number of Covid cases going up. A friend of hers said that the numbers to worry about were the serious cases and deaths. Block quoted below are additional comments my nurse friend made from her ongoing experience with this epidemic. I’ve […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news that hospitals in most parts of the country have decent capacity for more patients – a big improvement from earlier in the month. They also recoil as more than 80 percent of Americans want to keep social distancing even if it means more economic damage. And they get a kick out of Elizabeth Warren offering a ridiculously late endorsement of Joe Biden, now that he’s the last one standing for the Democrats.

Testing… Testing…


If I were a certain sort of woman, I’d blame it on The Patriarchy. If I were another sort, I’d blame it on A Culture Insufficiently Supportive of Life. (And, if I were a very specific sort, I’d do both.) Instead, it was the understandable result of The Powers That Be in our neighborhood hospital system not having leeway to make more fine-grained distinctions in a crisis. Which is how pregnant women, who aren’t permitted to receive any in-person prenatal care right now if they have the least little sniffle but no negative lab result for Covid-19, must go through a lengthy, frustrating, and high-exposure screening process to see if they qualify for Covid-19 testing, while the nonpregnant may simply waltz – or rather drive – through safer, low-exposure Covid-19 testing in about 15 minutes.

If you’re pregnant, though, the screening process might take hours, during which you hear, at each step along the way, that you may be ineligible for the lab anyhow – and that’s just your time spent at the walk-in screening center. It doesn’t count the hours (days) you may have spent trying to find a walk-in screening center that hasn’t run out of swabs for the day, and finding out whether you’re even eligible to visit it.

Hey, we made it to Friday!  Join Jim and Greg as they applaud cities and states for gearing up for the worst of coronavirus before it hits.  They also cringe as Washington, D.C., officials claim the COVID-19 peak may not come there until late June or early July. And they call for a common sense review as sheriff’s officials in southern California arrest a man for defying state orders by paddle boarding in the ocean by himself.

QOTD: Every Instant of Every Life


The “Lord’s Prayer” is not to be prayed with resignation: “Father, what will happen will happen,” or “Since it’s an order, I’ll obey”–as though we were being called to attention by a spiritual commander-in-chief. Such an attitude would indicate that “the servant does not know what the master is doing” (John 15:15), which is not at all the case. He who has given up his life guides us along his path, making us acquainted with God’s will so that we do it freely. And the will of God is that each of us contributes to the salvation of mankind. Once we know this, a prodigious perspective opens up before us, affecting both our prayers and daily existence.


Who Would Want to Become a Doctor?


To become a medical doctor in the coming years, a person would need to be extremely dedicated—and a glutton for punishment. I’m beginning to wonder how many people will decide that becoming a doctor is simply not worth the sacrifices.

Many of us already know about some of the costs that a student faces to go to medical school:

The median four-year cost of medical school (including expenses and books) was $278,455 for private schools and $207,866 for public schools in 2013 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. While grants and scholarships account for some of this total, lowering eventual debt to an average of $170,000-interest accrues while doctors are still completing their residencies, sometimes adding as much as 25% to the total debt load.

Hospital Ethics Committees and Death Panels


Remember how people were afraid that based on the Affordable Care Act, “death panels” would be making life and death decisions for their patients? The fact is that at least in hospitals, these panels have existed since the 1970s, in the form of ethics committees. I must say after researching these committees, I’m even more confused and ambivalent about their roles and decisions.

Listening to talk radio in my car, I learned about this issue and how it became a hot topic in Texas. One of the most publicized cases was the case of David Chris Dunn, 46 years old and a former deputy sheriff for Harris County, Texas. He was transferred to Houston Methodist on October 12, 2015. He had a mass on his pancreas which affected his other organs and was in renal failure. The family was told he would die that night, but he didn’t. Over time the medical team met to discuss Dunn’s condition; he wasn’t improving.

One day, J. Richard Cheney, the chairman of the hospital Bioethics Committee entered the room. Dunn’s mother, Evelyn Kelly, woke up to learn that the committee had decided to remove all of Dunn’s life-support machines. Kelly refused to let them take these steps. The committee met again, approved of the doctor’s decision to end medical care. The only option Evelyn Kelly had was to try to get her son transferred to another hospital. She was not surprised to discover that no one would take him.