Nobody Asked

18 Jul

*First up this is an opinion piece. While I usually write with optimism, little constructive criticism, and niceties galore, this isn’t that. Believe me, I’m not a bitter person, just older and wiser, and, by now, have formulated a few opinions. It’s just that no one is asking-so I thought I’d give my two cents to one of the most complicated problems around. I always thought Obamacare was the bridge, not that they didn’t try, just that we need to do a couple attempts at this. Time to hit land on the other side. Here goes. I’ll try to tread lightly.

When did healthcare become all about insurance, medications, surgery, medications, pre-existing conditions, medications, pain killers, medications, opioid addictions, medications, oversized premiums, medications, heavy fines, medications, billing correctly to receive maximum government money, medications, soaking the government, medications, unnecessary surgeries, medications, deep pockets, medications, fraud, and a business out of control?

What do I know? I was only a nurse for 38 years caring for patients and families while pursuing the best outcome, obeying doctors orders and complying with rules and regulations. Nurses don’t take long lunches,  if any, don’t drive Mercedes with heated seats, nor sports cars, get bonuses for cutting employees jobs while building new wings to make more money for them and the doctors they allow to work for them. Yes, I know healthcare has become a money driven business with new technologies that Americans take for granted, and expect it to be there for them (when they want it).

But who is governing all this, and the outcomes of such care? The very caregivers who make the money on it? What about the quality of life? Does anyone care about the outcomes that don’t get talked about? Does anyone read the page of what ifs, what might happen to you? Like flying a plane we take our chances and relish the good life when the trip or surgery is complete. We made it to our destination! What about those that don’t make it off the table, stroke, bleed out, and end up in a vegetative state?

Where’s the money? Whose pocket is it lining? The doctors? The hospital administrators? The insurance companies? Because its not lining the pockets of nurses. Hard work for decent pay is what nursing is all about. But nobody asked me. Where is the money and why can’t we have healthcare for all? Because the system is bloated that’s why. Nurses are the answer in my opinion.

The nurses could be driving down healthcare while becoming more useful, instead they still can’t act independently and must be the handmaiden to the all important doctor who controls the money, or by now the controller is the insurance company. I would like to see nurse practitioners and other qualified nurses (like ER and ICU nurses) help to drive down costs from the single largest deliverer of care: the nursing personnel.

In this new era we need nurses to do more than assist bedside care for post op patients. Their education costs are less, yet highly qualified to do more than they are presently doing. Certainly Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and CRNA’s can fill the gap. Like most Americans I’m ready to bring down costs and we should keep trying until we get it right. If you include only the bosses, doctors, hospital administrators, insurance companies, or Congress, then you only have the profiteers opinion. This is not democracy.

Why do we have so many hospitals and sick people? Maybe we don’t have enough parks for people to take walks. Maybe we take too much medicine and its making us sick! Why should a CEO make 4.5 million and cut jobs of the very people caring for the ill, while it hires more money managers to make sure it gets all the refunds and money from the government? To stay in business you’d say. The government would be us, taxpayers and citizens, buying goods.

If I had all the answers, well then, I’m sure I would win an award. But nobody asked me. But I sure would have liked to been asked to participate and contribute after I’ve given a lifetime to nursing. I helped patients get better, relieve pain, assist doctors while they make lots of money, helping secretaries secure and charge well to retrieve all monies due from insurance, people, and government. Wait. The government is me and I would have liked to have been asked as I remember all the dying patients, stroke patients, helpless patients, and yes, healed patients.

Why does everyone believe in pills so much? Certainly the human body is near perfect most of the time. Could it be the people need to get moving more (fit bit), eat better, love better, wash your hands more with soap, use less chemicals, seek more natural remedies, smile more, say I love you, take up a hobby, take care of their children and parents, quit suing so much, drive more carefully, moderation of all the devils deeds, and eat your fruits and vegetables?

I wish nurses would have been asked to be a part of this process during this crucial time in our country. Maybe they were, like I said I am not up on everything. This is just my two cents. Anyhow they could tell you more than just cost since they don’t pocket the money. Are they overlooked because they are mainly a women’s field? I know that is changing immensely as it should. Why do they seem to always get the short end of the stick? Getting more degrees so you can sit behind a desk and tell others what to do and write more procedures to comply with does not make sense. Is there an apple with that procedure? Nurses are over complied, overfilled with rules that employees can hardly remember all of them instead of caring and getting the person better more quickly. Compliance. Compliance. Compliance.

Seriously, I know about strictness and doing things correctly. I’m a by-the-book gal on mostly everything. I just think there’s a simpler way. Simplicity is my motto as much as possible. I do sound like a nurse who was overworked, underpaid, and undervalued her whole life. I did the best. Now what? We can not keep abusing and paying for the out of control healthcare system. If a person chooses to not have healthcare-so be it. In the end they get the minimum. Period. Why charge them a tax or penalty? That is wrong. This is America and we are about freedoms.

I wonder what our president thinks about healthcare? Penalizing people because they don’t buy into it strikes me as not a good plan. I don’t think healthcare is a right! Breathing, Eating, Drinking, Food, Shelter and Freedoms, these are rights. Below are my ideas, basics to be expounded upon.

Three Basic Plans …

1). BASIC CARE

Delivered by Nurses (nurse practitioner’s & well qualified nurses, ER, ICU, etc.)

Small FEE or FREE for indigent (welfare)

Immunizations, colds, Flu, Paps, Baby needs, Mammograms, BC, well checks, BP              & Diabetes care, prescriptions by doctors, wound care, antibiotics, eyeglasses, food  stamp program delivered by nurses (pick up at CVS and Walgreens, requirements).

Delivered at local corner drugstores, nursing homes, etc., by nurses under doctors stamped orders.

Alternative Therapies Availability via nurses referral: yoga, dance, music, art, talk.

2). PREMIUM CARE

Delivered by Doctors, Surgeons

Co-Pay from insurance companies free market via work and other purchases.

Cancer, Maternity (not delivered by nurse), Baby, Strokes, Maintenance Meds & Conditions, Cosmetic, Joints, etc.

Delivered at hospitals, outpatient centers, dialysis centers, x-rays, cardiac care centers.

3). EMERGENCY CARE

Delivered by Doctors and Nurses at hospitals

Co-Pay from insurance companies via work or FREE to indigent

Accidents, burns, bones, emergency surgeries, hospital emergency rooms.

Doctors and Nurses can opt to work here to pay for medical and nursing school bills. One year residency programs for doctors or nurses to alleviate school burden.

*Non profits or churches must contribute to society by giving back if they own buildings such as quarterly FREE days for your parishioners of basic care delivered by nurses, paid to the nurses.

*Nurses, Doctors and other healthcare providers contribute to these FREE services for indigent care as part of their yearly hours required for license renewal. Just think of how much good we could do instead of boring hours via the computer we hardly remember.

I appreciate comments or criticism. I’m always learning. The world will be a better place because you care!

Opinion piece by Kim Troike

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