Anthony Langley contacted me to ask if he could send me a copy of his book to review and possibly discuss on my Blog. I am always happy to support a fellow nurse who takes the plunge and writes a book about nursing, so I said sure.
About the Author
Anthony Langley has been a registered nurse for twenty-nine years. He also has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His interest in nursing started after getting a job as a security officer in the emergency room of a hospital. A male nurse who worked in the emergency room showed him the things that nurses did, which got him interested in nursing.
He got his bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1990. At his first job, he started on a medical-surgical unit. He has worked in many areas of the hospital, which include surgical stepdown unit, surgical intensive care, same-day surgery, and the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) recovery room.
I decided that the best way to discuss Anthony’s book was by interviewing him.
Tell me what your book is about.
The book talks about all of the unnecessary things that nurses do for other hospital disciplines. Lots of the things that nurses do for other hospital disciplines should not be done by nurses. There are times when other hospital disciplines will not or cannot do their job in time and nurses will volunteer to do them or are asked to do them by the other disciplines. For example: when the radiology department comes around and needs help positioning a patient so the x-rays can be taken, we don’t have to do it but are always asked to do it.
There are lots of times when a patient may need crunch training. If physical therapy does not get there in time to do it, we do it. There are times when a patient that is scheduled for surgery should have an antibiotic ordered by the doctor for the surgery, and if there is no order for the antibiotic, nurses will sometimes take it upon themselves to ask the doctor to write the antibiotic order. This is something nurses should not have to do, because the surgeon should order the antibiotic for his patient.
Also, doctors are supposed to check their own labs, yet a lot of times they will ask nurses to do it for them and this shouldn’t be done. These are just a few examples, but there are so many other things that nurses do for other hospital disciplines that they don’t have to. Now, if a nurse askes a radiology person to empty a Foley catheter, which is something that you do not need a license to do, the radiology person would never do it.
Why did you write this book?
What really motivated me to write this book was a time when I was working in the pre-op department and the OR nurse asked me what antibiotic should the patient get. I told her that the doctor did not order an antibiotic for the patient and she got very mad at me and said: “Why did you not ask the doctor to write the antibiotic order?” This is something that I should not do because it is not my job to ask a doctor what antibiotic he wants for his patient. I said to myself nurses are nuts.
Who are your readers?
I would hope that the readers are fellow nurses. A doctor has already told me that he read my book.
What do you expect your readers to learn from your book?
I would like my readers to learn that nurses put unnecessary strain on their already very hard jobs by taking it upon themselves to do the job of others.
I wondered as I read Nurses Are Nuts how many of the problems you describe in the book that nurses encountered with other hospital workers are directly from your own experience.
I have encountered most of the problems that I mentioned in the book. For example, I have asked doctors for antibiotic orders, which I shouldn’t have to do and I have taught patients crunch training, which is not my job, and I have helped radiology position patients for x-rays, which is something that I should not have to do. These are only a few examples of my direct experiences with the issues mentioned in my book but I have experienced a lot more of the problems I talk about in the book.
Your book was written before the COVID-19. Now that the public recognizes how necessary nurses are to the healthcare system, I believe that they are in a better place to demand changes in the hospital environment. If you agree, what should nurses demand?
I agree, nurses should demand changes. Higher pay is one thing nurses should demand. Making sure nurses have the proper equipment to work with infected patients is another. If these two issues could be addressed, I think that would go a long way in helping nurses.
What did you learn about yourself after writing this book?
What I learned about myself is that I felt that it was time to let the world know what we as nurses go through. The book may cause some flack with others who read it, mostly the other disciplines I talk about. What I learned is that I cannot fear that.
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Coincidentally, Sandy and Harry Summers have suggested that in this time of COVID-19 while the public has a heightened awareness of the contribution of nurses, the moment is ripe to implement clerical support for nurses at the bedside.
The Truth About Nursing Blog
The key to saving more Covid-19 patients? Offload the clerical work.
In the Covid-19 crisis, much has been said about the need for equipment like ventilators and PPE. But we also have a shortage of nurses. In a short video, Truth director Sandy Summers proposes that we get the most out of the nurses we do have by reinventing the hospital workflow. The medical assistants who now perform clinical tasks should instead ease nurses’ heavy administrative burdens. That shift would free nurses to provide more direct care, including ventilator care and time-consuming infection control procedures.
Watch the video here