comment on this nurse manager's prior post... - page 2
..................I just got to know..."how is that attitude working out for you?"... Read More
May 6, '02Okay, I don't know this NM from Adam, but if you quote one posting of hers from a thread, you better quote her next post on the same thread. Here it is (sorry, I don't know how you guys can do it right-- I haven't figured out how to do that yet).
" I have obviously hit a nerve that I did not intend to hit. From my side of the desk- yes- I have my job to do. I guess what makes my job different is that in the position I am in; if we are "short" due to call ins, nobody picking up, etc.; it is my responsibility to cover the floor. Yes- I do work the floor on an almost regular basis. WHY? Because I will not require you to stay because the next shift chose not to come to work. I see how hard you work (office is next to nurses station- door open-constant stream of nurses coming in to complain about each other) I will ask you to stay- but you have committments after work. I have
seen you (and heard you) working "short" today because 2 of your CNAs called in (no car and fight with boyfriend) and I know you have not taken a break. I have apologized and spent 2 hours on the phone trying to get staff to come in (thanks to caller-ID; mostly answering machines).So yes- I stay because someone has to provide the care for the pt. But- I will hear a constant line of "well you should have gotten someone to come in."Oh-by the way; I am on salary so I am staying over and doing this for "free". There is no overtime, half-time, anything. Your response will be "because you make the big bucks." NOT!! I may make more on paper- but taking the actual number of hours I work
divided by my hourly rate- I make less than any of my floor staff. I have gone over the line and offered as much as a $150.00 "pick up bonus" to get a shift covered and been told "no- but that plus a gift certificate and a day off with pay and I'll do 1/2 a shift for you." I know people get sick and need to call in. I have children and they do get sick. The legitimate call ins are not what I am referring to. But- how odd that where I work- if it looks like we will be down a nurse; guaranteed another nurse will be calling in (usually the same one every time) or when someone is floated to another area- they are suddenly sick and need to go home. The best is when they "just got a call about a sick child"- but I have been covering the desk for the last 45 minutes and no calls were recieved. (I have ALWAYS let nurses go for sick children..ALWAYS) I have alot of nurses that reply the same way Heather did saying "that is YOUR job." Well- your job is also my job. When nurses choose to not show up for work and only give an hours notice-I know I will be staying. It doesn't matter that my son has a game or that I was going to write next months schedule to get it posted tonight-I will be on the floor. And most of you know that unless there is an emergency in the building or an act of God outside (tornado, etc..) I cannot mandate that you stay. (Abandonment is a joke- although alot of people threaten to "take your license for abandonment"...never will hold up in a court of law unless that walking nurse was the ONLY nurse in the building). Oh- and since I am staying to be a floor nurse- would you mind taking the schedule home and getting it ready to be posted...it is already 2 days late and nurses are
complaining they do not know when they are working next month. And by the way- I need to investigate our supply charge outs to figure out why our supplies are over budget for the month- would you get that ready for my AM meeting with my boss for me? I will be here on the floor if you have any questions- call me from home. Oh...and would you come up with something for nurses day? Lets just agree to disagree....
And Jules- I would never think of floor staff as being the "lowly"ones. And- yes your job is actually more important than mine. You care for the pt. What could be more important than that? I work in smaller facilities and have hands on time with pts and families. I call them to tell them their mother or father is dying, I sit and hold their hand because they have no family and the nurse is
busy caring for someone else that is dying. I also comfort the new grad who just had her first code- I terminate the nurse who has gone beyond an acceptable number of call-ins ( no matter that she is a single parent and has a handicapped child that is frequently ill). I will cry afterword. It hurts because she had legitimate reasons. But- policy is policy and I cannot fight those above me because if I let her stay; then another nurse will come along and say why is her handicapped child more important than their child who had a cold? Why didnt she get terminated? Unfortunately- until you have been on my side of the desk- it is difficult to understand the bottom line, etc. I too wish I could forget about administration and pay the nurses what they really deserve and improve the working conditions by adding alot more staff. But it will not happen. I am sorry that most of you are not told by your management that you are appreciated other than for Nurses Day. I am also sorry if you have consultants
that have been in management so long that they have forgotten what it is like to be in the trenches actually doing the work. Please believe me- I am not that consultant! I play in both back yards...yours as a nurse and administrations as a consultant." Klare
This doesn't sound like some "suit"; it sounds like a very defensive AND CARING nurse manager. And everyone attacks someone who does pitch in and helps.
My roommate is now a nurse manager in LTC; she really CARES what happens to her staff and the patients. There ARE good managers out there -(my current NM is very caring); but the problem is that their hands are tied by administration also. If we pass judgement on nurses in management like this (without reading more about them); no wonder nurse managers march to administrations' tunes-- we have made sure that they have been cut off from their nurse colleagues.
May 6, '02JennyP, thanks for adding that, I didn't see the original thread, and this does shed a different light. But, I still say when the c/0 the money for nurses day, that amount is decided by the CEO's, not the nurse managers, and I still don't feel guilty about it related to the CEO salary thread. You are right that this NM does sound very caring, much like my friend/NM, who many times I thought was going to have a nervous breakdown in that position.
Like everyone else, all I really want is decent working conditions.
May 6, '02I will stick to my original post in the other thread. Dont give me tacky gifts, instead write me a letter of appreciation, that is specific to me.
Also in defense of KlareRN, she has her opinion just like the rest of us. Personally I welcome the NM, managers etc to this board and I also welcome their opinions and comments.
I like to know how and why decisions come to be, because If I TRULY want to change something, not just gripe about it, I need to know what factors where in the decision making process in the first place. I just cant go into the NM's office and say "you know it would be awfully nice of you to give us adequate staffing." I need to FIRST know WHY there is crummy staffing.
Is it money, benefits, hours not condusive to real life, the floor nurses eating their young (we all know word of this gets around....let one nurse eat the young on your floor and nurses will find out and not sign onto your floor), to many confused patients and the no restraint policy...or..what?
May 6, '02Thanks for posting that second post by Klare, Jenny. I was thinking about doing the same thing. I think Klare has been misjudged here and I too think she sounds like a caring NM who is trying very hard. We all have our opinions about managers from our own experiences. Some are good and some are bad. I give Klare credit for posting her opinion and defending it, knowing as a manager she is in the minority on this board.
My manager hasn't touched a pt in years and wouldn't know how to function at the bedside. She delagates call outs to the charge nurses so if no one can cover the charge nurse stays, not the manager. I'll take Klare anytime as my manager. Happy Nurses Day to you Klare and thanks!
May 6, '02Suzy K, Fedupnurse and Ageless are all speaking with my voice. If the administration truly values us, as their newspaper ads say they do, then they should ensure that our working conditions are fair, and safe for both patient and nurse. On Saturday, our unit (PICU) was forced to float three out of the six nurses on days to other areas where they all took a patient assignment (leaving them unable to return to PICU in the event of a code) as well as sending break relief to another area. Well, of course, there was a code, and the patient in the PICU ready for transfer had not yet gone, making the situation tense and somewhat unsafe. This happens ALL the time in our unit; I've answered the phone "PICU/ Children's Hospital Float Pool, Jan speaking", more than once. We're the only game in town with our 8 beds for a 1.6 million square kilometer area covering all or part of three provinces and one territory and serving a population of well over 1 million souls. We deserve a little support from our administration, but I'm not holding my breath that we'll ever get it.
May 6, '02I need to say a word about upper management. We at the bedside think we've got it tough, but the pressure on unit managers to 'conform' to the CEO/CFO's agenda is overwhelming, IME.
They can be absolutely cutthroat; and if a manager doesn't dance to their tune, not only will they be gone soon, but their reputation may likely be ruined. Seen it happen, and I saw some of it close up and personal when I worked as a house super and 'didn't conform' to higher up's wishes in all cases.
When you find a good facility with good managers and administrators who care, be glad... It takes lots of levels of good folks to make a place like this!
May 6, '02Ooooooh, KlareRN. You really know how to get us going. You sound EXACTLY like my old manager; because of her I said "The H*** with this nonsense," and went into business for myself. I could not be happier.
You seem to have bought into all the "managementspeak" and guilt trips you manager types all seem to be masters of.
First of all: STAFFING is a MANAGEMENT dilemma. THAT is why YOU get the big bucks. YOU are responsible for replacing staff who have called in sick, are on vacation, ed leave, disability, or WHATEVER. It is YOUR job to call registry or the per diem pool in the MORNING so that you will not run short at 3 P.M. and start trying to bully people into staying overtime; or, worse yet, laying guilt trips on them like "What if that was YOUR mother in there? "
PLEASE. My mother is dead. Even if she was not, I would never recommend she go to a hospital where the staff nurses were treated so badly (and insultingly) by management.
We are contracted, 8 hour employees (well. some are 10 or 12 hour employees.) We are under absolutely no obligation to stay one minute past our contracted time. We may have other jobs to go to; we may have children to pick up from day care and take to sports, WE MAY JUST WANT TO GO HOME AND VEGETATE ON THE COUCH AND HAVE A DRINK OR TWO OR TEN!!!! The point is, what we do after our contracted shift is none of your business, and we should not have to make excuses or apologies as to why we can't help you out of your staffing dilemma. HANDLE IT. That is your JOB.
People don't deserve to be chastised by their peers for calling in sick. My old boss used to put the names of the people who called in sick on the board, and then say at report, after a big sigh, "Well, there won't be any morning breaks, and lunches will be late. Maybe you should let your colleagues who called in sick how you feel aboout that..." How unprofessional of her!!
Another thing she did was put a written message on the board for you to get whenever you got out of your room (I am an O.R. nurse) whenever the school called and said your child was sick. She would not tell you verbally, or transfer the call to your room.
One time I was scrubbed on a case for over 6 hours. When I came out, there were THREE increasingly urgent messages (wirtten over the course of the entire 6 hours) on the board for me, informing me of my 4 year old's rapidly increasing fever and lethargy. Each said "Child needs to be picked up NOW!" When I came out, and saw the 3 messages, and said I needed to go, her response was "Don't you have a neighbor or someone who can pick him up?" When I got there, he had a fever of 104 and had broken out in chicken pox.
I could go on and on, but you get my drift. It seems you management types JUST DON'T GET IT. I have noticed that they (management) BLATANTLY (they don't even make excuses; it's public knowledge) take off all the time they want for (supposed) crises involving their GROWN children, or for any other reason WE (staff RNs) would NEVER get away with. (I have noticed that the grown children of management types always seem to be dysfunctional and unable to cope with routine adult situations; a lot of them are still living at home, well into their 20s...)
One last comment: There is no such word as "overceeded." The word I believe you were looking for is "exceeded." That's another thing: ever notice that management types, despite their advanced degrees, always seem to make terrible and errors?
May 6, '02Stevierae, because you've had a bad manager does not mean EVERY manager is bad. I don't know what you read into Klares' postings; but I can read a lot of anger in yours. Please focus it on the person responsible, not every manager out there.
May 6, '02Thanks, Jenny P!
After all it is nurses week for us, too and we are also nurses. Doesn't feel good to be under fire.
May 7, '02I was once told, byt a very smart person, that when we start our thoughts with "THEY could, should", we are doomed for failure. How do we translate this to meet our needs of change? Well, once way is to focus on this the way WE can become successful. It is a WE.
I agree, WE are not responsible for portions of duties. Ultimately, many of the decisions that are made to the demise of safe nursing coverage are implimented by "managers".
I guess all I am trying to say is, when we speak in anger about a situation it will not create change. It will only be useful in allowing us to vent and formulate our ideas.
True change will only come when WE are organized and clear on what we can change (IMHO). So... what can WE do?
May 7, '02The CEO of my hospital is a millionaire. He is the highest paid hospital CEO in my state. I think he could spring for something a little better than the freakin' pen on a string we got. Feel like hanging him with it!!