Has anyone really broke down the numbers?

  1. 4
    I am getting ready to close in on my 2-year anniversary as a licensed RN and read so many stories about how hospitals do not staff based on acuity, how staffing is pushed to the maximum limits and how hospitals claim they have bugeting issues with payroll.

    If anyone, would like to make a fortune...I mean, a serious fortune, they would come up with a National Nurses Union and unionize every licensed nurse in the country and force these corporate hospital CEO's to cut back on their second homes in Barbados and their $120K Mercedes and make sure that patients got their care they deserved rather than PRETENDING that they do.

    I'll be the first to admit...I am a NICU nurse and I am very blessed to work in a unit that is based on acuity. For that reason, I would quit nursing if they ever tried to transfer me to another department and work at Walmart...because not another department in our hospital does.

    I float to the Pediatrics department as well and one night I was given 6 patients.....5 is typical. These are kids with chronic conditions, mostly, that come in and out of the hospital and I was hanging IV drug after IV drug of meds I had never heard of....the charting is different from my department and it was all I could do to keep up. Do you think that any of those kids got quality care that night? Heck no they didn't...it is sad that "alive and well" becomes the standard of which you rate your patients when you leave your shift....not that you did anything to improve the situation.

    On average, the nurses at our hospital make about $22 per hour. Let's say you have a patient room of $2,000 per day and 5 patients. That is only $4.40 cents per hour, budgeted to take care of each one of those kids in direct care.

    A clerical..probably getting $10 per hour..but she is the clerical for the whole unit for each shift, which usually equals about 30 to 35 kids.

    One CNA...for the whole unit.

    Respiratory Therapy..billed as specific treatment, along with radiology, etc..., so their labor is built in when the service is rendered.

    Now, I understand, that I am not factoring in managers, case workers, housekeeping, security, etc.

    But still...it makes you wonder.
    Bella'sMyBaby, lindarn, annister, and 1 other like this.
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  4. 2
    Won't happen. As I'm sure you will find out through this thread, many nurses are anti-union. Its just that way. I used to be, I'm more middle of the road now.
    lindarn and StNeotser like this.
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    I' not sure "doing the numbers" is that great an idea. The hospital charges $2000/day for the room, the biggest insurance provider pays 20cents on the dollar, one patient in three is uninsured, and 3 patients this mos filed suit against the hospital- so our malpractice insurance is 2.4mil/quarter and the lawyers are demanding 20% more to provide legal coverage. If you look at all the numbers- I'm glad I work by the hour and don't have to figure out how to keep the lights on in todays health care market.
    Nascar nurse, lindarn, resumecpr, and 2 others like this.
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    op: i am happy you saw the other side because you can become an effective advocate. i currently live in a right-to-work state (this means employers have all the rights) so unions are not allowed to form safely and are highly discouraged among employers and mangers. in any case, this is a big reason why i am moving. i am no longer going to work in a hospital in this state or any other state similar to this one if i can help it! in addition, i have only applied to hospitals in such states that have labor laws that lean towards protecting nurses and have unions! with that said, i in no way am stating that unions are perfect, but in cases where i have worked, not having a union was and is outright dangerous!!!

    for instance, the staffing assignments on the floors i have worked to include my er are not tolerable by basic union standards. there is no protection and no way to protest unsafe work conditions effectively because there are no repercussions against the powers that be. they turn the situation on the nurse as being "overwhelmed" or "unable to care for basic assignments" when he/she did not have a basic assignment and any one would be overwhelmed in a similar situation. all of my co-workers feel the same way and are miserable.

    in fact about eight months ago, a large number of the popular clique quietly protested by calling in sick and coordinating days that they were to call in sick; while others vocalized his/her concerns. we all got slapped down by management and told of the numerous nurses dying to take our jobs so we needed to stop complaining (no joke). as far as i am concerned, the numerous nurses willing to work in these conditions can have my job! unlike my co-workers who are unable to move due to personal circumstances, i am picking up my family and leaving as soon as possible.

    however, similar to you op, the one positive i have gained from working in poor conditions is that i will appreciate better conditions. thus, if i end up in an environment that is less then ideal for other reasons, i will remind myself what it is like to work within environments that are non-union and located in states that have poor labor laws.

    JacknSweetpea, KeyMaster, lindarn, and 3 others like this.
  7. 0
    Charges have nothing to do with revenue.
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    So nurses who work in hospitals with unions never have to float? I guess I don't see why someone who works in the NICU floating to a general peds unit is exploiting the nurses if 5 or 6 is the norm for all nurses there. When I worked at a peds hospital I worked everywhere, the longer you are there the more familiar those typical diagnoses for that unit become, as well as the unit's unique documentation requirements.

    There will never be a National Nurse's Union. I mentioned in another thread the same idea, because I think it would help at least start to stabilize the backsliding that's already happened, but as of now the field devotes far more of it's energies defending their nurse-turf than bridging our differences. House divided and all that. . .but damn I wish it could happen. Used to be employers would try to approximate union benefits, now they are totallly mercenary and don't even bother pretending not to be.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Feb 8, '11
    JacknSweetpea, KeyMaster, and lindarn like this.
  9. 1
    If you want to go with numbers what about the little rural or even suburban county owned facilities? I'm talking the ones with less than a hundred or sometimes less that fifty beds. I really doubt their CEOs are relaxing in the tropics or at their condo in Aspen. I know what our CEO, CFO, CNO, and several others make. (County employees = public information) Believe me, unless they have another source of income hidden away they are scraping by just like the rest of us.
    lindarn likes this.
  10. 20
    Nobody dare break down the numbers and the health care lobbyists are too powerful.

    I used to be anti union until I became a nurse.

    If there are laws on one side of the coin concerning patient care, it seems absolutely ridiculous that there are no mandated nurse to patient ratios. The staffing coordinator, CEO, Unit Manager and everyone else who are either responsible or excuse short staffing do not carry the can for it. Those that have licenses to provide the bedside care carry the can.

    The other ridiculous thing in nursing, pharmacists who send the wrong drugs are not held accountable. Doctors who order the wrong dose of drugs are not held accountable. The nurse is.

    The whole thing is a set up. Yet the majority of nurses refuse to organize. Madness.
    Hoozdo, BabyLady, namazonian, and 17 others like this.
  11. 1
    Quote from nursel56
    So nurses who work in hospitals with unions never have to float? I guess I don't see why someone who works in the NICU floating to a general peds unit is exploiting the nurses if 5 or 6 is the norm for all nurses there. When I worked at a peds hospital I worked everywhere, the longer you are there the more familiar those typical diagnoses for that unit become, as well as the unit's unique documentation requirements.

    There will never be a National Nurse's Union. I mentioned in another thread the same idea, because I think it would help at least start to stabilize the backsliding that's already happened, but as of now the field devotes far more of it's energies defending their nurse-turf than bridging our differences. House divided and all that. . .but damn I wish it could happen. Used to be employers would try to approximate union benefits, now they are totallly mercenary and don't even bother pretending not to be.
    NICU is her normal area, the general floor is not. Being pulled is never easy, even for an IcU nurse. You yourself stated that it takes time to learn, so why would you expect that this pull should have been easy for her? Maybe it was the first pull, not the 101st.
    lindarn likes this.
  12. 1
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    NICU is her normal area, the general floor is not. Being pulled is never easy, even for an IcU nurse. You yourself stated that it takes time to learn, so why would you expect that this pull should have been easy for her? Maybe it was the first pull, not the 101st.
    Thank you.

    When we get pulled it is rare...I'm taking, 4 to 5 months between pulls. By the time you get pulled again, you forget everything you learned the last time you were there.
    lindarn likes this.


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