Tag Archives: hospital care

Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People

Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People

Saturday, 01 November 2014 10:07By Esther Kaplan, The Nation | News Analysis

Hospital staff

(Image: Hospital staff via Shutterstock)

Jessica Wheeler works the night shift as an oncology nurse at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania—but her patients are usually wide awake. “When they have a new cancer diagnosis or they’re going to have a biopsy in the morning, they don’t sleep,” says the 25-year-old Wheeler (which is not her real name). “They’re scared.”

Other patients are in their final hours of life, surrounded by grieving family. What she wants is to be there to comfort them, to talk them through those difficult hours, to hold their hands and attend to their pain. But, mostly, she can’t.

According to hospital policy, night nurses on her floor should care for no more than six and a half patients, but they typically have ten. When things go bad with one or two, the floor quickly tips into chaos. Continue reading

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