If you’re in the healthcare profession, you know how difficult it can be to tell a mastectomy patient that she has to go home without a proper hospital recovery period. Some patients are still so emotionally and physically stunned by the procedure that they can’t even process the instructions for home care. It seems the financial concerns of insurance companies and other parties are pushing many women through the healthcare system before they’re truly ready to be released.
Senator Landrieu (D-LA) and Representatives DeLauro (D-CT) and Moran (R-KS), are urging Congress to end the practice of “drive-through” mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital following their difficult breast cancer surgeries before they and their doctors may feel they are ready to go home. Senator Landrieu and Representatives DeLauro and Moran are championing the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act (S.459/H.R 758), which allows a woman and her doctor to decide if she is best off going home or staying in the hospital for at least 48 hours after having a mastectomy.
The bill has stalled several times in Committee, but has gained a lot of momentum in the past year … mainly due to the support of some influential people in a wide variety of fields. There’s political support (from the likes of former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala), healthcare organization support (from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and the Oncology Nursing Society, among others), and celebrity support (Desperate Housewives’ star Marcia Cross and pop singer Jewel).
Lifetime TV has also started an online petition to champion the bill! So far, over 20 million people have signed! It only takes a minute to add your support. Just go to this petition link at Lifetime TV. And while you’re at it, forward the link to a couple friends.
There are so many ways that travel nurses can be there for breast cancer survivors and research. There are hundreds of “Walks” and “Runs” across the country, but if you don’t find one nearby, you might want to think about starting one up at a local community organization or at your work, like this breast cancer walk sponsored by a travel nursing company.
If you, or anybody you know, have been affected by breast cancer, it’s worth your time!
If you’re really interested in tracking the progress of the Bill, you can do so here.