NY Nurse December 2013/January 2014

Any nurse will tell you about the bittersweet nature of December. The holidays tend to bring out the best and the worst in people and situations. It’s a time when people shock us with their generosity – or sadden us with the overwhelming depression or tragic events that seem to escalate at this time of year.

Typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda in the Philippines, tore through the country on November 8, leaving a swath of destruction. Close to 3,000 RNs – including more than 250 NYSNA nurses – have volunteered through RNRN. In November, NYSNA’s Board of Directors approved a $20,000 donation to RNRN to support the Philippine relief effort.

The world lost one of its great leaders with Nelson Mandela’s death. Around the globe, people have mourned the loss and celebrated the inspiration that, as President Obama put it, “one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth” gave to all of humanity. His unbending resolve and unmatched political and organizing skill have taught many how to turn dreams into reality.

Sometimes 25 babies can be assigned to just three nurses in the nursery where Jennifer Gunderman works. Often many of them are NICU babies requiring two-on-one attention. Jennifer is a NICU nurse at Bellevue Woman’s Center near Schenectady. “That’s not the kind of care we’re used to giving,” she says.

Ambulatory care can seem like a practical way to deliver healthcare, but the rapid expanse of for-profit ambulatory care may well undermine primary care networks and the financial viability of safety-net hospitals and systems.

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