Letter to the editor: Iowa should learn moral of River Story

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DOCTORS AND NURSES OF THE INTENSIVE CARE HOSPITAL, FIGHTING COVID-19 EMERGENCY IN PESARO - ITALY. THEY ARE PORTRAITED AT THE END OF THEIR LONG WORKSHIFT. 12 HOURS WITH NO DRINK AND NO TOILETBREAK, DUE TO THE PROTECTIVE SUIT THEY WEAR. THE SIGNS ON THEIR FACE ARE CAUSED BY THE MASKS THEY HAVE TO WEAR TO PROTECT THEMSELFES FROM COVID VIRUS. IN THE PICTURE: Annalisa Silvestri, Doctor anaesthetist

To the editor:

The River Story is a common way to describe the importance of planning as well as prevention.

Very succinctly, the story goes like this: people kept drowning in the river, but the rescuer could not save them all, so he/she went upstream to determine why they were falling into the river and then created a barrier to prevent their falling from the riverbank.

The River Story came to mind when I read of the $9 million in federally allocated funds being contracted between the state of Iowa and Favorite HealthCare Staffing of Overland Park, Kansas. While the company website indicates the recruitment salary at $187.50 for overtime, $330 is being paid by the state of Iowa to this company for an overtime hourly wage.

During World War II, when nurses were in short supply, the nursing curriculum was accelerated in order to train and quickly provide additional Registered Nurses. With minimal curricular creativity and adjustments, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Board of Nursing could generate additional nursing and respiratory staff. Individuals with expired licenses could quickly be retrained and relicensed. Training in respiratory therapy and nursing could be accelerated to care for patients.

The state of Iowa has two university-sponsored nursing colleges, at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, along with numerous community colleges offering Associate Degree nursing programs.

The federal funds coming to Iowa and being transferred to the Kansas company could have given these institutions a needed financial boost. These dollars could remain in Iowa for growth for current and future educational programs.

To travel even farther upstream: The Reynolds administration and Republican legislators could encourage or even demand vaccination and the wearing of masks to eradicate this horrid pandemic and return Iowa’s lifestyle and economic status to a more normal state.

Mary Weaver, R.N., M.S.N.
Rippey

1 COMMENT

  1. Iowa’s lack of interest in investing in education will certainly have long-term consequences for our state, where education once served as our beaches and mountains. People wanted to come here for their children to experience the Iowa educational system and work ethic. Thanks for offering this up as a perfect example, Nurse Weaver. It is an excellent example of what could be for this current state government, which does not appear to be interested in serving or in doing much of anything but providing tax cuts to people who don’t need them. The quality of life we have in Iowa or anywhere is directly related to the long-term investments we make that elevate the skills and potential of the people.

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