This is not an uncommon refrain heard from curtained cubicles in the emergency department. A number of things make it usually an unpleasant tune — nurses having multiple other responsibilities, much sicker patients, and the overlooking of that ingenious invention the call bell placed within reach for just this purpose — but it is also a reality. On the local level it is a reality because we have few nurses, and they are so valuable to so many aspects of medicine.
On a global scale it is also a reality that we need more nurses. Though not exactly mind-blowing, Yin Li et al’s study in BMC Nursing is commendable, documenting that in one area in one disaster, RN’s were in short supply. This would undoubtedly apply to other places and other disasters. The whole world is calling “Nurse! Nurse!”
And it is a reality that shouting repeatedly and nonspecifically doesn’t help. Ballantyne and Achour published on the challenges of nurse redeployment in the pandemic and relayed that what does help is clear communication, mental health resources, and support of organizations and leadership. Clear communication…call bell, is that too far of a stretch? Made sense to me.
Ballantyne H, Achour N. The Challenges of Nurse Redeployment and Opportunities for Leadership during COVID-19 Pandemic. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. Cambridge University Press; 2022;:1–19.