I got this today in an email from ANA SmartBrief. The beginning of the article talks about a graduate nurse residency program to help ease the transition from new grad to independent practitioner. Sounds good. However the second part of the article-copied below-stuck in my craw. A way to keep nurses happy? Sounds more like a way to keep hospitals happy-by not hiring enough staff thus keeping more money for exorbitant CEO/admin salaries. Are these volunteers even legally safe? Is there a legal precedent for this I wonder? I mean I know nurses volunteer in other countries or depressed areas or at calamities or at low income clinics in the US. But at a hospital where they are helping save money for the facility as opposed to helping to care for the poor or displaced? What do you all think?
Hospitals focus on keeping nurses happy
Other area hospitals help keep nurses happy by recruiting volunteers — unpaid nurses with current licenses who provide an extra set of eyes, ears and hands to the nurses on staff.
St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur was one of the first in the country to give nurse volunteers responsibilities, including taking patient histories, changing bandages, checking vital signs and giving baths to patients. The volunteers don't take physicians' orders or dispense medicine.
Some of the volunteers are retired nurses, but others already have jobs and volunteer for the opportunity to give extra patient care.
Kim Lindley volunteers once a week through a program at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, the same hospital where she started her career in the 1980s. She also works part time at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, and she says volunteering keeps her happy.
"I get to do the fun parts of nursing, the parts you don't have time for (at a paying job)," she said. "It's more rewarding when it's from the heart and not the paycheck."
On a recent morning Lindley played Yahtzee with one young patient, gave a nursing student advice on feeding a baby and helped insert a catheter into another patient.
Nurses say they love having the volunteers' help. The volunteers understand why the machines are beeping. They can answer patients' questions. They know how to help.
"He can anticipate our needs, we don't have to ask," Cardinal Glennon nurse Marlene Zagarri said of one operating room nurse volunteer. "Our younger volunteers are more like our gofers. These guys can actually use their nursing skills."