I’ve blogged about change before, and change is often a good thing. Like, I was on a long drive Saturday and listening to the Classic Vinyl station on Sirius XM and heard two songs about phones that made me very happy about change. 

One was “Telephone Line” by Electric Light Orchestra (1976). In this song, all the song’s character wants is for his love to pick up the phone so he can hear her voice, but, alas, not only doesn’t she pick up, but there weren’t answering machines invented yet so he can’t even tell her what he is feeling. 

And later, they played “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan (1974). Remember when people wrote their number down on a piece of paper instead of putting their number directly in your phone! How archaic! Gee, I remember being stuck close to the wall or only being able to go as far as the phone cord would let me with the land line. Now, we can go virtually anywhere with our mobile devices.

So, this is a good change, right?

But Daylight Savings Time? Pullleeeze! I have yet to meet a human being who likes this change. As of today, federal law prohibits states from switching to permanent Daylight Saving Time. Changes to federal law, including the Sunshine Protection Act (meaning you don’t “fall back”), stalled in 2023 and have yet to come up for a vote in 2024. Legislation to change Daylight Saving Time remains in limbo. 

The Sunshine Protection Act bill didn’t come up for a vote in the House of Representatives in 2022, and the 2023 version of the bill did not even pass the Senate committee. Ten states (Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Oregon) have legislation to eliminate clock changes. But can you imagine figuring out time zones if a dozen or so states get that wish and others don’t? 

The thing is, this time change has some really negative effects. The time difference takes some “time” to adjust to. Think about it: We have custom care plans around resident/patient preferences. Let’s say we have a resident who we ensure gets up around 8 a.m. as that is their preference.

But if we get them up around 8 a.m. right after the time change, we have probably awakened someone who won’t be happy with us. Everyone’s internal clock is off. How do we maintain preferences? How about the staff? Everyone’s internal clocks are off. I bet you we have sleep-deprived staff for a few days. How does that affect care? 

As for me, you all know what a coffee addict I am. Well, right now, I am on my second pot. I know this isn’t healthy, but I am so tragically tired and am dragging. And each year, the older I get, the harder it gets (yeah, everything gets harder, but…)

And confusion! My daughter was so excited. She texted me Sunday that my granddaughter slept till 8 a.m.! She was so excited until she realized that it was really 7 a.m. but with a clock saying it was 8 a.m. And on Monday, she was going to have to wake up the little one for what would feel like an hour earlier for her. Can you say “grumpy toddler?!” 

Look here, Senate committee and House of Representatives. I know you all don’t want to work with each other, but for the sake of our staff, residents, moms and dads and people everywhere, can’t you make this change and pass this one little act? Seriously — before I am so caffeinated, I start swinging off the chandeliers!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

 The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.

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