National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine January-February-March 2022

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (USPS publication permit number 0807-560/ISSN 2153- 0386 print/ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, January- February-March 2022 (Volume 118/1) is published by National Nurses United, 155 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of or ganizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general coverage and commen - tary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and health care policy. It is published quarterly, with combined issues in January-February- March (winter), April-May-June (spring), July-August-September (summer), and October-November-December (fall). Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to National Nurse, ™ 155 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announce- ment, fax (510) 663-0629. National Nurse™ is carried on the NNU website at For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. Please contact us with your story ideas They can be about practice or manage- ment trends you've observed, or simply something new you've encountered in the profession. They can be about one nurse, unit, or hospital, or about the wider landscape of healthcare policy from an RN's perspective. They can be humorous, or a matter of life and death. If you're a writer and would like to contribute an article, please let us know. You can reach us at EXECUTIVE EDITOR Bonnie Castillo, RN EDITOR Lucia Hwang GRAPHIC DESIGN Jonathan Wieder COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Sarah Cecile CONTRIBUTORS Rachel Berger, Lucy Diavolo, Amelia Dornbush, Charles Idelson, Kari Jones, Lauren Nielsen, Chuleenan Svetvilas PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Choppy Oshiro this spring marks the sec- ond year of the Covid-19 pandemic. We can hardly believe it. So much has changed and yet nothing has. One million U.S. lives have been lost to Covid and a new BA.2 variant is looming on the horizon, yet we are dropping masking mandates every- where—even on public transportation—and health care workers still do not have a health and safety standard against Covid in our workplaces. We registered nurses in particular feel like we are living in a bizarro world, where we are still caring for and seeing the sickest of the country's Covid patients, sick enough to be hospitalized and potentially die, yet when we step outside the walls of our facilities into wider society, everybody is acting as if Covid is over. It is absurdist. In this issue of the magazine, our executive director, Bonnie Castillo, RN, explores what the new normal should look like, if we actually followed the science of public health and we nurses had our way. If we are to "live" with this virus, she explains, that means we need to step up and maintain infection control measures such as masking, testing, contact tracing, and vaccination. That's how we are able to return to some of our old routines but still save lives. While we're on the subject of the new normal, one of the aspects of the pandemic National Nurses United has been moni- toring closely is all the ways in which the hospital and health care industries are seeking to exploit the pandemic for profit by mak- ing crisis conditions of care permanent. The brave new world of hospital care is supposedly one in which patients are not actually physically located at the hospital. No, instead of benefiting from around-the-clock professional nursing care and all the emergency response staffing and equipment the hospital provides, hospitals send patients home with a bunch of gizmos and tablets to be monitored remotely and are entitled to only two in-person visits per day, not necessarily by a registered nurse. Again, the absurdity of it all is astounding. We know this kind of scheme is in no way equivalent to hospital care, yet the hospitals are lobbying federal and state governments to not only allow it, but reimburse them at the same rate as if the patient were in the hospital. This is about maximizing profits, and instead of care, patients get stranded home all alone. We say no way, and are fighting on all fronts against these types of programs. You can read all about it in this issue's main feature, "Don't Try This At Home." What will the industry and our employers think of next? We shudder to think of it sometimes. What we do know is that, as nurses, we are stronger together in our union and have the best chance of defeating assaults against our patients, against us, and against our profession when we act collectively. When nothing else in the world makes sense, our solidarity certainly does. Deborah Burger, RN | Jean Ross, RN | Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN National Nurses United Presidents Letter from the NNU presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: VIMEO: DIGITAL MAGAZINE:

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