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.
Feb 8, '11
by nursel56 Guide
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