Skip to content

Family and Friends

Why I’m Voting NO on Question One

Massachusetts Ballot Question One 2018

Not all Massachusetts nurses want a ‘yes’ vote on Question 1. The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) is promoting ballot Question 1, which would set limits on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time. First, this bill only pertains to hospitals and it’s important to note that hospitals staff about half of all nurses and the MNA only represents about 25% of nurses statewide.

The idea of limiting patient load is good in theory, but it’s more complicated. Supporters say that hospital nurses are often over-worked and limiting patient load could make hospitals safer. It is not surprising hospital administrators oppose the ballot question, because it would be expensive. The cost of health care in the US is a much bigger issue and our whole health care system is a mess, but that’s another story.

Regarding Question 1, I’ll be voting no on Question one for a very different reason, simply because there are not enough nurses to fill the jobs we have now. This country has had a nursing shortage dating back to the 1930’s and I don’t see an end to the shortage anytime soon. If this bill passes, hospitals will drain nurses from other much needed and already short staffed places like nursing homes, group homes, rehab facilities, doctor’s offices and home care.

Hospitals already have the most skilled nurses and they should have the flexibility to move staff where it is most needed, without government imposed ratios. Creating nursing assignments is complex and dynamic and needs flexibility. Hospitals will do just fine without this bill. However, if the bill passes, it will be devastating and life threatening to long-term care facilities for the elderly, sick and disabled – our most vulnerable citizens – who often can’t speak for themselves.

I have been a nurse for 36 years and have worked in several different settings including hospitals, nursing homes and home care. It is the nursing homes and home care who are desperate for nurses and this bill would make a bad situation worse. For example, I know of children with complex medical needs who are approved for home nursing hours, but there are simply no nurses to fill those hours. If there were plenty of nurses I would have no objection to Question 1, however at this time when I weigh the pros and cons, I think a yes vote would hurt more people than it would help.

Please Vote No on Question One.

Share

Celebrating 100 episodes of Rubber Duck Theater

Producer Cindy Bissell during a production of an episode of Rubber Duck Theater.

 

GRAFTON: Grafton Community Television celebrates another cable access milestone during August. GCTV producer Cindy Bissell, along with program hosts husband Richard Bissell and son Aaron Bissell have reached the 100th episode of their cable access show “Rubber Duck Theater.”

“Rubber Duck Theater” debuted on August 1st, 2011. Cindy, Richard and Aaron Bissell are certified access producers for Grafton Community Television. The program featuring the Bissells with recurring guest Nicholas Nicklebee, is primarily billed as a half hour movie review show, but it includes a variety of topics including family travels and themed conventions. The Bissell family reached episode #50 in January, 2014 and episode #75 in November 6, 2015.

The 100th episode features a one hour special that will run on Grafton Community Television during the month of September. The show airs on Grafton Community Television’s Charter Channel 191 / Verizon Channel 34 on the following weekly schedule: Tuesdays at 11:00 PM, Friday at 10:00 PM, Saturday at 10:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM. The program will also be available at the GCTV VOD link: http://graftontv.org/current/VoD.html.

Past episodes of “Rubber Duck Theater” can also be found at https://vimeo.com/rubberducktheater and at http://www.rubberducktheater.com/

Grafton News article PDF
Grafton News (web)
Grafton Patch (web)

Share

Historic Day

Friday June 26th was a historic day for the United States and for the Bissell family. Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. An easy call for most, but fun to watch the Republican presidential nominees trying to figure out how to best respond to this ruling. It is not about equality, it’s about votes for them. Enough politics.

Today also marks the last official day of school for the Bissell boys. Because all 3 boys have special needs, in Massachusetts they receive their services and therapies through the public school system until their 22nd birthday. On their 22nd birthday, they move from the school system into adult services; a huge and emotional transition.

We’ve spent several months visiting and researching adult programs for people with developmental disabilities. All three boys have very different needs, so no single program will work for all. We’ve finally made the best decisions we can for all three boys. They will take the month of July off and start this new chapter of their lives on August 3rd.

The hardest part of this transition is saying goodbye to all of the wonderful people in the Grafton Public School system. Hard partly because there are way too many people to thank! The boys have been in the school system for 19 years! Anyone with a child with special needs knows how many people are involved in caring for their children while in school; everyone from the teachers, to the classroom aides, to the therapists. But this is only part of the picture. The over-used saying “it takes a village” is definitely true for special needs kids. It’s not just the direct care workers that are needed to help a child with special needs be successful at school, it’s also the administration from the superintendent to the school committee to the office staff, van drivers and school nurses, custodians and cafeteria workers and even the regular education students who make inclusion work. Multiply all of this by 3 and you begin to see why it would be impossible to thank each individual who made the boys’ school years successful.

The boys have also spent all of these years with many of the same students. The students as well as their parents have become a close-knit community and dear friends. These parents are also working through this difficult transition and trying to find the best placement for their adult children. Sadly most of the young adults will be scattered among the many adult programs around Central Massachusetts. We will miss that comradery, but hope to keep in touch with as many of these amazing parents and kids as possible.

Anyone who is reading this and had anything to do with Eric, Aaron or Anthony’s school years, THANK YOU!

Here are a few photos from the twins’ last day of school:

Bon Voyage party for the twins.
Bon Voyage party for the twins.
Aaron receiving his diploma
Aaron receiving his diploma from Special Education Administrator Mr. Lundwall
Eric receiving his certificate
Eric receiving his certificate from Special Education Administrator Mr. Lundwall
School to Work students and staff
School-to-Work program students and staff
Share