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Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 11/3/2001

RN staffing levels are critical to good care

On behalf of Toledo area registered nurses, I commend Michael Woods and The Blade for educating the public by publishing the results of a federal study which asserts that levels and quality of hospital registered nurse staffing directly correlate to the outcome patients can expect.

Nurses know that patients yearn for care and compassion, knowledge and experience, not customer service. We know that truer words were never spoken when a nursing leader said, “You need a nurse to save your life!” We nurses know that adequate numbers of us are needed in hospitals to care for you in a knowledgeable fashion, to prevent complications, infections, and, yes, reduce length of stay.

The public should be very concerned about nursing layoffs in the community, despite large numbers of nursing jobs left unfilled. The public should be very concerned about the de-skilling of the RN work force, using “patient care assistants.” They should be very concerned about the types and patterns of RN staffing shortages Mr. Woods describes, because they will have a measurable, documented effect on their hospitalization.

Cutbacks in hospitals that result in these types of RN staffing issues are aimed at improving the bottom line of hospitals. The cutbacks defy thoughtful planning and serve only to advance the views of pricey consultants or administrators who understand little about what the primary aim of a health-care delivery system should be: the care and cure of patients.

The “hospital wars” are a well documented phenomena in this community. As the next volley, I urge the public to demand that the competitors publicly disclose their RN staffing patterns, plans, and nurse-patient ratios so that an informed choice can be made. I challenge the competitors to commit to educating, recruiting, and retaining RN staff and to becoming the “hospital of choice.”

CATHERINE BOOHER

Perrysburg

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The opening of ProMedica's Bay View Community Hospital again focuses attention to the ongoing “hospital wars” that plague our area.

The luxury, hotel-like accommodations for patients and families bespeaks a misguided perspective of the primary purpose of a hospital as a facility dedicated to effective, efficient, and economical patient care. Reasonable patient comfort and attention to family anxieties and concerns are integral to good care, particularly during an urgent hospitalization. Unquestionably, niceties such as DVD television, liberal menus, and “family room” convenience for visitors are unwarranted.

Advances in medical knowledge and technology have fostered increased use of ambulatory care settings and shortened hospital stays, thereby helping to reduce health-care costs. These efforts often are stymied by managed-care dictates and health insurance constraints. A hospital administrator's elation about amenities that may encourage unnecessary hospitalization and/or prolonged stay is irresponsible.

ProMedica's avowed strategy to build or buy hospitals to serve as “feeders” to Toledo Hospital, as well as announced plans to replace that facility with an ultra high-tech megacenter, perpetuates a continuing disregard for community needs to advance the bottom-line aspirations of an industry-oriented health-care complex, further exacerbated by the impending, well-timed exclusion of Mercy St. Charles patients from insurance by Paramount, a ProMedica subsidiary.

It is imperative that health professionals, community leaders, and the public unite in a concerted effort to arrest further ProMedica incursions into the besieged health care environment in northwest Ohio.

HOWARD S. MADIGAN, M.D.

Sylvania

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The terrorists strike, and then we bomb. Yes, we had to respond, but where does the cycle end? There must be a better, more permanent solution. There is enough blame for both sides.

Instead of the United States playing Robocop in the Middle East, why aren't the Islamic countries policing their own terrorists? Supposedly, the terrorist element is a small percentage of the Islamic population. Yet countries such as Saudi Arabia send Osama bin Laden money as a kind of bribe for not terrorizing on their soil.

Our Mideast policy is based on oil. Unless America enjoys sending its sons and daughters to fight wars for oil companies, we really don't need oil. An Oct. 19 Blade article about vegetable oil as an alternative fuel proves that. Other alternative sources of fuel include solar, wind, and methanol from corn. Even nuclear power would be acceptable to most environmentalists, provided the problem of waste disposal is solved.

A big part of the problem is that Big Oil is sitting in the White House.

PAUL SZYMANOWSKI

Curtice

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Molly Ivins' Oct. 31 column struck home for me. She is entirely right. Our congressmen, overzealous at “protecting” us, have signed away our personal rights. I believe it is specified in the U.S. Constitution that the police cannot search without a search warrant (with a few exceptions).

To me, this includes the right to privacy online. I think you need a search warrant for that. I hope that the Supreme Court will find this law unconstitutional. Why should law-abiding citizens have their privacy invaded for the sake of an anthrax scare?

An extremely fine line exists between just the right amount of protection and when it starts infringing on our personal rights. But then that is just my opinion. I believe that Socrates said that we see what is right and wrong based on our own set of beliefs and values, not as a society.

DAVID HOLZHAUER

Oregon

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What's with all the whining about the loss of jobs for the auto workers and General Mills?

Nobody has considered the 555 employees from Churchill's supermarkets. None of those employees left with severance pay, retirement plans, or medical benefits.

After 41 years of dedicated service my husband didn't even get a good-bye or thanks for all those years of building Churchill's reputation and clientele.

I'll tell you what he did get: starting over at age 63. I speak for all the other ex-employees who did not deserve to be thrown out in the cold with nothing.

Factory workers, stop whining and enjoy what you did get, because we got nothing.

MARIE VIERS

Malcom Road

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Camelot or a good night's sleep?

I love my town! It's so peaceful and quite. I really feel secure and content. Members of the local constabulary are really on their toes in enforcing our ordinances to ensure this tranquility and security. Their sheer numbers are a deterrent to law breakers.

I'm not bothered by barking dogs, loud motorcycles, vagrants, loud neighbors, or criminals who mean harm. The schools are safe from bullies. My streets are plowed, and compassion and respect prevail among the neighbors.

But then I awaken to a neighbor's dog's ceaseless barking, the thunder of semis, sirens, loud motorcycles and radios, and neighbors loudly arguing. I look out and see a prostitute soliciting and a drug deal going down. I put my night mask on and my ear plugs in, and attempt to go back to sleep. But such is life if you live near Lewis and Sylvania avenues or other areas of Toledo not-so-well protected. I often contemplate how I could achieve my “Camelot,” but I know without adequate law enforcement and vigilance of those who are paid and empowered to serve us, it is pretty much a lost cause. But I can dream. That is, if I can get a good night's sleep.

DAVID L. FLINT

Lewis Avenue

Fear more the loss of our freedoms

Fear terrorists, but fear more a government that would use recent terrorist events to take away a lot of your rights as a citizen of the United States of America in the name of new “anti-terrorism” bills.

RON SCHNELL

Midwest Avenue



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