No more free birth control, says President

That’s right. I was pretty stoked about the Affordable Care Act requirement that birth control to be 100% covered by all insurance plans. What a great thing! To not have to pay more for health care simply because you have a uterus! To make accessible the means of controlling when you will have children, thereby increasing your chances of advancing your education and career, making you, a uterus-haver, more able to pursue the dream of being an independent and self-sufficient citizen-contributor.

Allegedly the pres. wants to put a stop to abortions. Presumably the fewer abortions the better?  Since free birth control provided by the ACA became available the number of abortions per capital dropped to its lowest level since data collection began at Roe v. Wade.

MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

This is abysmal health policy. Terrible public policy. Bad economic policy. And its perfectly in tune with the administration’s regard for women. NONE.

International Woman’s Day II: A DAY WITHOUT A WOMAN

I’m punchy today.

I’m cheering on the Alexandria City Public School teachers for shutting it down. Go on with your bad selves, and thousands of VIP parents now have to figure out who’s going to take care of their kids while they make dollars. Disrupt the system.

As for me, I’m working. I’ve got no-union and a no-call-out job, I support a child with my income, and I think we’re discovering the layers to this problem.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY here’s what I’ll keep in my head today: Pasteur through Lister, god rest their man-souls, get the credit for the discovery of germ theory which is the foundation of the science behind the successes of modern medicine. This happened between the 1860s and the 1900s. Yes it arrived later in America because we are refractory to evidence, I digress… In 1854 FLORENCE “MY QUEEN” NIGHTINGALE was saving thousands of lives by cleaning up the literal shit. Check this piece out, and beware the unfortunate typo–it’s 1854, not 1954. Blockheads.

The soldiers were poorly cared for, medicines and other essentials were in short supply, hygiene was neglected, and infections were rampant. Nightingale found there was no clean linen; the clothes of the soldiers were swarming with bugs, lice, and fleas; the floors, walls, and ceilings were filthy; and rats were hiding under the beds.1 There were no towels, basins, or soap, and only 14 baths for approximately 2000 soldiers. The death count was the highest of all hospitals in the region. One of Nightingale’s first purchases was of 200 Turkish towels; she later provided an enormous supply of clean shirts, plenty of soap, and such necessities as plates, knives, and forks, cups and glasses. Nightingale believed the main problems were diet, dirt, and drains—she brought food from England, cleaned up the kitchens, and set her nurses to cleaning up the hospital wards. A Sanitary Commission, sent by the British government, arrived to flush out the sewers and improve ventilation.

So keep talking about the end of the world. I’m going to be with every other person called woman getting it done.

ALSO: Florence freaking invented data science and was a persuasive and prolific writer who though she was practically housebound in later years changed the GD world from her desk. *Spikes football*

 

Culpeper cardiologist accused of striking hospital nursing director | News | dailyprogress.com

A Culpeper cardiologist faces a misdemeanor assault and battery charge stemming from a reported confrontation with a female nursing director inside Novant Health UVa Health System Culpeper Medical Center

Source: Culpeper cardiologist accused of striking hospital nursing director | News | dailyprogress.com

Hi Doc! I hope you get fired. And fined. Props to the nurse admin who pressed charges. I’M WITH HER.

I trained at this rural community hospital. It was not an extraordinarily hostile environment. In my limited experience it was probably a 4/10 on the pain scale of abuses nurses suffered at work. Still, I’m not surprised by this repulsive development. Workplace violence, mostly verbal, is a reality of hospital work. At UVa Culpeper there was almost no interaction between MDs and RNs. The general view of nursing was that this was a group of low class, poorly educated, lazy to the point of obstructionist women. A recipe for disaster.

Nursing should be a force to be reckoned with, different but equal to medicine. Respect and autonomy are harder to come by in community hospitals–but this is a battle worth fighting. It should be noted that difference between community hospitals with minimal nurse autonomy and governance and large academic medical centers, particularly Magnet organizations, is massive. Wherever they are, nurses must be empowered as professionals to participate in advancement of their own practice. We have an important job and we have to be nailing it: know the orders, read the notes, understand the clinical picture (plan even!), be engaged enough to know the why of every drug and intervention. Be twice as good as the doc. You know what I’m saying. Do it backwards in high heels.

I see two practices for improving our situation as a historically subordinate profession: 1.) (Dare I say it?) We are stronger together. Active nurse governance at your hospital. Sit on committees. Insist on getting paid for this time, because this is not the PTA and we are not volunteering. THIS IS A PROFESSION. 2.) Get to know each other. Inter-professional education has shown anecdotal promise, even if the studies aren’t strong. Hospital administrators, you can facilitate this at non-teaching hospitals. If you work at a teaching hospital you’ve got the advantage of working with baby docs. Share your experience, and they will often share their shiny new medical knowledge. Either way, just talk to people. Regardless of their credentials they are in fact people. Here are some topics of discussion to get you started: kids, dogs, mortgages, food, car repairs, patients. It’s hard to hate (or hit) someone whose humanity you recognize.

International Women’s Day. 

In the old days, when we were in need of entertainment my spouse might offer up this question:

“What time in history would you most like to live in?” 

“Do I get to be a man? Cause if not I’m not going anywhere.”

I like that I can own property. Maybe I will someday! I am grateful for the sacrifices made by many over the centuries opening vast realms of what was a man’s world to all life creating, cycling with a m-fing celestial body human women.

Nursing is to its core, in all the best and all the worst ways, a traditional women’s profession. Essential parts of a critical care training I did today included tactics for manipulating a provider into completing a task (use their pride), how hard work is mandatory and don’t count on being recognized, and the importance of your intuition. These things I will happily lean into in the workplace. I love women’s work. But God help me I’m going to elevate it. I want recognition with my effort. I want power with my responsibility.

But hey. Now I find the great quandry of the woman in her childbearing years is all up on me. I can’t be all the nurse I want to be, and I can’t be all mother.

When I’m woe is me I turn to my fav lady sage, Madeleine Albright, who I liked before she said that there was a special place in hell for women who didn’t help each other. Now I love her.

I subscribe to her advice (actually I keep a clip from the American Master’s film Women of her on my phone so I always have a little guru with me). You can have everything. But not at the same time. Women’s lives come in segments.  Also you do not have time turn this into a Vimeo clip so you video the thing and post it on your dusty old blog.

Happy Women’s Day!