Originally posted by canoehead:
[B]we can't compete with $2000 sign on, and $4/h more that neighboring hospitals are offering. Our plus has always been good communication with staff and mandatory OT will ruin that ]
Does management ever wonder why they cant get nurses? Could it be the working conditions at that facility??? The problem is not short-staffing. The problem is administration not addressing the real problem - conditions that result in people not wanting to work there, which then leads to short-staffing. Saying they have no money to be competitive is their number 1 problem right there. How then do they expect to attract people to work for them?
The logical conclusion is they will not be able to attract staff & will end up short staffed.
why are the RNs standing for this situation & why arent they doing something to help themselves? what about asking those nurses what THEY are doing to help their own pts in this situation. Unionized nurses have found solutions & we have the means to get them, have put them into place in many many places & anyone can read about how we're doing it on the frontlines facility by facility if they want to learn too. They can also have the UAN/ANA come to their facility to give them more info & help them more formally - but they have to invite them in.
Have those nurses called the ANA & asked for guidance in any of this? Have they called any RN union to guide them in becoming an equal voice in finding the solutions? Have they even just gotten together & said "NO we arent working like this anymore!" Have any of them just done an old fashioned sick-out?
Apparently the agency nurses have said they arent taking it anymore cause even they wont go to that hospital to work. Doesnt anyone wonder why? Administration is just looking at the result of the problem & trying to fix that without loooking at whats causing that result or fixing those causes.
When the nurses stop accepting the situation - things will change. Have they notified the newspaper, the public, their risk management dept, their nurse managers, the CEO or even their State Dept of Health of the situation & that they will no longer allow it to continue? Or have they just accepted that the hospital has no money to fix things or make improvements that would draw nurses to that facility? The solution to the problem can be achieved only when that excuse is NOT accepted. No matter who does what for nurses, as long as they accept the excuses, nothing can be accomplished.
There is a recruitment problem at that hospital - fix the horrendous workplace conditions & provide financial & other incentives to entice nurses back to work. They can get creative - they can offer flexible shifts, job-sharing, no shift rotation - (if such a thing even still exists) - pay for experience, education & specialty certification, offer 100% tutition reimbursement... the list goes on.
But you need to get together to make administration see that. The point is ANA nurses and any other nurses who have been in this situation can give you all the info, ideas, direction & guidance & tell you step by step what to do & will - but YOU have to be willing to do it. Otherwise, the hospital will just play on your sense of guilt & duty to the pts, tell you they have no money & you will kill yourselves trying to cover staffing gaps & working mandated ot.
Whats the solution? Reorganize the finances so you can spend some money improving the conditions in the workplace; re-prioritize, place a value on experienced staff & recruiting them, show how much you believe in that value by putting your money where your mouth is. If you dont, then expect the problem of short staffing to continue. But nurses dont have to wait for the hospital to decide to do this on its own. They can force the issue.
I doubt very much (because experience tells me) that redirecting funds to pay nurses, improve conditions & offer recruitment incentives would bankrupt that hospital. But if those nurses were unionized, the hospital would have to show them the facts & financial data that would support their claim. In other words, they cant just say it, they have to prove it. If they cant prove it - we dont believe it.
That includes showing how much they spent on painting, carpeting, landscaping, the consultant fees, catering budget for the MDs, the fake trees in the lobby, new pictures for the public relations office, the CEOs birthday party, the fountain in the courtyard, the VPs salary, etc. Before they could say any increase would bankrupt them, they have to look at all these other expenditures, prioritize & redirect funds if they really want to solve the problem.
Being unionized would give the nurses the authority to obtain these records. Let the hospital prove that it cant be competitive or let it find a way to redistribute funds in order to become competititve. Being competitive is what makes our business world go round.
If you want to survive you better find a way to be competitive or you will never find the solution to your problem.