Nursing Wounds - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

June 28, 2006

Nursing Wounds

The reason for the nurses' strike on Kauai is just one of the many issues facing the health care industry.  Between runaway costs for consumers and businesses, the difficulty of some health care providers to break even, the cries for perhaps a universal health care system, the scams that threaten the insurance industry and the inevitable costs to us all, the frustrating issues seem to be endless.

The battle on Kauai is not about money; it's about the nurse to patient ratio. It's hard to provide quality care and humane comfort when you simply have too much to do, too much responsibility to deal with- and too little time.  Mistakes in this area can prove to be very costly.  Tired or overworked nurses are not something that we need for ailing patients, much like we cannot tolerate tired truck drivers or airline pilots.  On the other side, hospitals and HMOs, like other business concerns, must watch the bottom line in order to thrive or even to survive.

A mediator has been called in on the Garden Island, so let's hope common sense for the common good prevails.  With a little reality-check and mutual patience, the end result will be a positive one for the parties involved, and for the needy patients.  Think about it...

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