Where Have All the Nurses Gone? / Edition 1

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At 6:30 A.M. a head nurse reviews room assignments and the day’s challenges ahead: twenty-nine patients, most of them seriously ill, and four nurses to care for them. That means a barely manageable and potentially risky patient-nurse ratio of seven to one, with one nurse taking eight patients. Unfortunately, this dismal scenario is played out again and again in hospitals across the country.
This in-depth, behind-the-scene’s account of a healthcare system under stress and the declining quality of medical treatment in America should serve as a wakeup call to the public. Faye Satterly, a Registered Nurse with over two decades of experience, spells out the alarming statistics: The average nurse today is forty-five years old and anticipating retirement. Only 12 percent of nurses are under age thirty. At the same time, nursing schools report decreasing enrollments and fewer graduates. The result is that the nurses who are on the front lines of healthcare are feeling overwhelmed and leaving the field for less stressful opportunities outside hospital settings.
Compounding the looming crisis is the fact that just as nurses are becoming scarce, the need for them is becoming ever greater. Over the next decade, aging baby boomers will swell the ranks of the over-fifty-five population, a group that experiences higher healthcare needs than those in their thirties and forties.
There are answers, the author insists, but they will require an honest public debate about our choices and expectations. What are we willing to do and how much are we willing to pay for safe, effective delivery of healthcare?
This fascinating and disturbing account by a veteran nurse with extensive experience is a compelling call for action to counter the nursing shortage and ensure that "caring" regains its premium status in healthcare.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A registered nurse, Satterly (cancer services director, Martha Jefferson Hosp., Charlottesville, VA) offers touching testament to the effect of the nursing shortage on the remaining nurses in the field and their ability to provide patient care. Through the eyes of fictionalized characters who represent real people in real situations, the author exposes readers to issues such as work stress, job dissatisfaction, and the pressures of a growing number of nursing specialties and hospital economic woes. Oddly enough, Satterly only briefly discusses how to address those problems. Six appendixes cover nursing organizations, specialty nurse organizations, groups supporting nurses (with reviews of some of their activities), help with advance directives, fighting obesity, and information for kids. Though selective, the lists in these appendixes do include contact information and web sites. There is also some sound advice for the patient. The personal, moving tone makes this work suitable for the public; researchers, however, would be better served by Nursing Shortage: Strategies for Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Practice and Education, which describes both the shortage and the steps to alleviate the crisis.-Margaret K. Norden, Marymount Univ. Lib., Arlington, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591021407
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 11/25/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,446,808
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye Satterly, R.N. (Charlottesville, VA), is Cancer Services Director at Martha Jefferson Hospital. She has been a Registered Nurse for twenty years, and served as Cancer Services Director for twelve years.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Introduction 9
1 A Nurse's Life 21
2 Where Have All the Nurses Gone? 33
3 One Day in the Life of a Hospital Executive 51
4 Hospital Economics: How Nurses Were Lost 63
5 Nurses and Doctors 81
6 And What about the Patient? 91
7 Enhancing the Workplace: How Hospitals Retain Nurses 109
8 Nurses: Creating Solutions 125
9 Accountability for Health: It's Not Just for Healthcare Providers 147
10 Advance Directives: Communicating Your Wishes 163
11 Liability and Healthcare 175
12 Three West Revisited 185
App. A Nursing Organizations 197
App. B Specialty Nursing Organizations 201
App. C Groups Supporting Nurses 209
App. D Help with Advance Directives 213
App. E Fighting Obesity and Overweight 215
App. F: Information for Kids 221
Index 223
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2004

    By a Healthcare Consultant

    The nursing shortage is a bitter pill to swallow but Ms. Satterly has made the medicine much easier to take in her book, WHERE HAVE ALL THE NURSES GONE. She does a masterful job of putting a human face to the problem -- actually many human faces to this multi-faceted challenge known as the nursing shortage. In compelling and extremely readable prose Ms. Satterly creates first-person accounts from the perspective of each of the major stake-holders -- nurse, patient, physician and healthcare administrator. Interspersed among these first-person accounts are chapters that explain the many factors that have led to the current situation. She does a brilliant job of breaking down a highly complex situation into parts and pieces that can be easily understood. And she does this without over-simplifying, but by staying away from jargon and other pitfalls that are often the undoing of books aimed at bringing to light a current problem, with the intention of affecting public and private policy and behavior. The approach is simple, yet thorough; factual, yet moving; informative, yet eminently readable -- even entertaining in the sense that it is a page-turner that I had difficulty putting down. WHERE HAVE ALL THE NURSES GONE also does a great job of balancing facts and figures with informed observaton and reasoned opinion. Satterly's ability to engage the reader in the plight of the nurse, patient, physician and administrator gives the reader something to really care about, not just something to know about. The result for me was that I came away from the book actually feeling something in addition to having learned a great deal. The author shows considerable restraint in that she tackles a wrenching issue with which she has personal experience without looking for a scapegoat or focusing blame. Because she makes no attacks, Ms. Satterly provides each reader with the opportunity to think about what each of us can do better or differently in an attempt to contribute to the solution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    An Excellent Read for Anyone In Need of Healthcare

    I am not a nurse. However, this book gave such an insightful view of being a nurse, I feel like I understand what they go through on a daily basis. My only contact with hospitals has been as a patient and like many of us I have at times been concerned with what I perceived to be a lack of attention. This book exquisitely illuminates this issue. Faye Satterly educates us and shows us that it is the system that needs repair, not the nurses themselves. Like most of us, nurses are overworked and stressed, however unlike most of us, their decisions can mean life or death. This book is entitled Where Have All The Nurses Gone? but I believe the book is even more valuable to non-nurses. If you or your loved one ever has to enter a hospital, you should read this book. I highly recommend it as a thought-provoking look at healthcare today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2004

    A Most Courageous Nurse/Author Opens Our Eyes

    Where Have All the Nurses Gone is the best synopsis of the current healthcare crisis! While thousands weigh in on this tough problem, Faye Satterley set herself apart from the ever-growing crowd of experts by having been in the trenches for more than 20 years and by taking the enlightened approach to tell her magnificient and scary story from all sides. Thank you for your insight and brilliant writing, Ms. Satterley! God willing there will be a nurse like you there when I need one.

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