AUTHOR: John Heymach, Clinical Operations Partner & Neuro/Trauma ICU Nurse
In lieu of actually giving registered nurses full 30-minute lunch breaks, hospital administrators at Alexa Hospital in Wisconsin today voted 5-2 to allow nurses and hospital staff to have 2 alcoholic beverages per shift. After several meetings and lengthy debates about the liability and safety of the new hospital policy the unit-based council unanimously agreed that everybody would be more productive after a few drinks.
“I thought it was a crazy idea at first,” said Karen Jovovich, RN, “but after my second gin and tonic, I was so happy and giddy with this new policy that I decided on the spot to volunteer for another council just to have more meetings.”
“It’s nice to sit and have a cold beer with your patients after open heart surgery,” said John Jordan, a critical care nurse. “We now get to spend more time talking to our patients and getting to know them. I even completed my nursing plans for the week and printed out my cardiac rhythm strip today. I never would have been able to do that before the two Busch lights I just had.”
Some patients, however, were concerned about the possibility of medication errors and the overall calmness of some type A personality nurses. “I’ve been at this hospital over 20 times this month alone for not being compliant with my medications,” said one patient, “and I usually have the same nurse, Karen Scully, RN. “Since this new policy was instituted, Ms. Scully doesn’t seem as aggressive as she usually is. She acts more like a human being and isn’t worried at all about her scan rates. She still brings me the 3 sodas I always ask for to take with my sliding scale, but now she’s always trying to put rum in them.”
Doctor Zhu Hari, an ER physician said, “After a code, the whole team gets together in the nurses lounge and cracks open a couple of beers. Although we didn’t save the patient, we know we sure tried hard and now we can sit here and pour one out for our patient. Nothing really beats the camaraderie that happens over a couple of Michelob Ultras.”
A 45-year-old volunteer by the name of Dorthy Zuminski said, “It’s nice to see patient’s families in the cafeteria having mozzarella sticks, French fries and a few ice-cold beers. Seeing them so happy, makes me happy and I look forward to hanging up my vest for the day, cracking open a couple of cold ones for myself, and then driving the rest of the volunteers back to the nursing home.”
Chief Operations Officer, Mike Mulberry, commented on the new policy by stating, “It has also helped with the financial stability of our recycling program. When we’re overstaffed, we have the extra nurses run around and collect cans from all around the hospital. We get about $0.05 to $0.10 a can. That extra $26.70 we usually collect each month has allowed us to re-pave our parking lot, for the sixth time this year.”
Whether or not the public has joined in the acceptance of the new policy remains to be seen, however nurse satisfaction scores at Alexa Hospital are at a record high. In addition, the hospital has received an overwhelming amount of applications and the new nurse to patient ratio is 1:1.
We here at Next Move Inc, will continue to follow this story and see how the beer drinking nurses do.
Interested in today’s top paying nursing jobs? Check out our Hot Jobs page today, updated weekly!