Keeping it real

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Let me introduce myself. My name is Jackie and I am (proudly) a long-term care nurse.

Like the fictional ShowTime "Nurse Jackie," I do have a bad back, ironically have two brunette daughters, and will get in anyone's face — doctor, family member, surveyor, government official  (though politely and without the four-letter words) — who interferes with the health and wellness of our frail elders.

Like my fictional counterpart, I'm passionate about what I do. But that╒s where the similarity ends. Yup, no drug addiction — just a major coffee addiction — and no extramarital shenanigans.

Now the editors at McKnight's are brave enough to let me start a blog. It might at times be slightly irreverent, thought provoking and challenging, and it might cause you to become introspective. Throughout, I promise you one thing: I'll keep it real.

So let's start out with a bang. Doesn't it just frustrate the heck out of you trying to balance legal and survey? You know, fear of survey penalty versus litigation. For example, we have to allow our residents the opportunity for sexual expression. Now, I will admit that I had to get used to walking past a sexually active resident's room and hear someone yell, "Who's your ... Granddaddy!"

But that aside, here's the dilemma: So by regulation, we have to ensure that two consenting adults can have a private tryst. But what kind of beds do most of us have in the typical nursing facility? Hospital beds.

So you think, "Oh my gosh, if they fall out of bed and break a hip, I'm going to get sued!" Then you think, "OK, I'll just put up the bed rails. But wait, that's a restraint without medical necessity. I'll get a deficiency!"

I want to hear from you. Without disclosing the name of your facility, share a dilemma you face in this balance or share the most hypocritical deficiency you ever received and let's get this conversation going.

Keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC — a real life long-term care nurse who is also the director of clinical affairs for the American Medical Directors Association. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet.
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The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse who also is the director of clinical affairs for AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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