I have worked in the ED for 4 years. Anyone who works in an ED knows the current situation with ED care. Too many patients (esp with non-urgent complaints) and we are incredibly understaffed. The turnover is so high, like I said I have been there 4 years and I figure I am in the group of 10% of RNs who have been there the longest. I have seen waves of nurses come and go. Recently it has gotten even worse.
Our management obviously is lacking. Many of the patients are "entitled". The services at our hospital keep decreasing to cut costs. I have not had a raise since I started, they always find a way out of it on a technicality. I love taking care of most of my patients ;-P and of course we are supposed to rate high on surveys for reimbursement reasons. On the other hand we are supposed to be fast and turn over the rooms quickly. It is an impossible situation. Either "too slow" for management and the patients love you, or too fast for patients and they feel neglected, "treated and streeted".
I spend time educating my patients, making them feel comfortable understanding the care they receive, etc. Normally I do this while I am inserting and IV or some other task where I would already be in the room. To be honest, I can't keep up with 4 critical patients at once - literally as soon as a patient is out of a room they bring another one down the hall while someone is cleaning the room. I don't feel like I can give good care this way.
Maybe it is just me - doesn't seem like it based on the number of nurses who have quit working at my ED, I've talked to them of course. And it seems to be getting worse - we never have adequate staffing (I think it is a danger to the patients) - we are not "rewarded" - a 1/2 hour uninterrupted break in a 12 hour shift is supposed to be reward enough, if we ever get it!
I am wondering what your experience is like. The good parts of my job are that I love most of my coworkers, I get to chose my own schedule - hours and days worked. And it is close to home.
Is my experience common? I feel like with the current situation in healthcare it will not get any better and probably worse. Thinking of making a change.