Hey, Managers! What's up with the "weeding out" of good nurses? - page 11

Recently there's been a spate of write-ups I've heard about that are basically bogus. Minor infractions that no one else would get written up over. I'm furious. On the surface, it doesn't seem to... Read More

  1. by   RN/MSN/JD
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    OK, I'm glad that you chose to respond but once again, this thread is NOT about nurses who have poor performance. It is about GOOD nurses with proven track records suddenly getting targeted.


    "Presumption" is also a pretty good word that I'm going to throw in here. The "presumption" from management seems to be that if someone IS targeted, it's completely justified.

    I disagree.

    You shouldn't have to "target" anyone--even a poor performer. If you are truly being fair, you are writing up everyone who makes the same mistakes.

    And therein, the entire point of this thread. "Targeting" is a waste of a manager's valuable time. Poorly performing nurses will weed themselves out, if a manager applies the rules fairly to everyone.
    I saw this happen once. The perception was that it was the 'good nurses with the proven track record' who were getting taken out. Granted, those nurses had BEEN THERE longer than anyone else. But truth be known, it wasn't about money, or trumped up charges either. Changes were coming. The administration went around and told what those changes were going to be.

    They said things like, "good people are going to lose their jobs if this, this, and this, doesn't happen." Those with the 'proven track record' thought they were exempt from this. They were making statements like, "when this job gets so I don't get any personal satisfaction out of it, I don't want to be here anyway."

    I guess they found out that the bottom line as far as the agency was concerned was not their personal satisfaction, or their proven track record. There was a problem. They were not part of the solution, so they were out of the equation.
  2. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from RN/MSN/JD

    I guess they found out that the bottom line as far as the agency was concerned was not their personal satisfaction, or their proven track record. There was a problem. They were not part of the solution, so they were out of the equation.
    i'm not saying this doesn't happen.
    but when good employees are specifically targeted, it is not because they weren't part of the solution.
    a good employee understands the value of teamwork.
    a good employee does not think they are exempt, or exceptions to the rules.
    angie is not talking about a gen'l warning from administration.
    when this targeting occurs, there are no ambiguities.
    these atrocities cannot be sugarcoated.
    it is blatant bullying and harrassment.
    and until one has personally experienced, witnessed or is party to these occurrences, the truth is hard to swallow.

    leslie
  3. by   Warpster
    They love to do it around the end of the summer, when they can feel the chill of the end of the fiscal year down the backs of their necks. Since they're allocated less resources than it takes to run the floor, they have to slash what they can. Often it's a good nurse with multiple years of experience who is encouraged to leave via bogus writeups and other harassment and the managers just hope a promising new grad will walk through the door to replace him or her.

    Managers are caught between a rock and a hard place, and we all know hospital suits look at nurses as the biggest drain on the budget. They never see us as generating revenue, only as squandering it.

    Expect to see more of the same unless there is a massive shift in health care management strategy. Right now, they're desperate to cut costs, squeezed between all those sick folks who need care and the insurance companies who don't want to pay for all of it.

    Sad. isn't it?
  4. by   Deb2
    I have experienced and am boggled by the rhetoric hospital and unit managers use. The word perception is on my list of high anxiety terms. Well, no it's not "all about perception" if I decline to follow a patients request when I know it will be harmful.

    It's really discouraging when managers spout tag lines they don't understand and can't use in an example when the staff asks for an explanation, but they expect us to live up to it?!?

    It's all about the patients, I agree - so why would a CEO of a large healthcare group write his monthly communication to the staff about how refreshing it was to have the healthcare organization pay for him to take his wife to a conference with him?!? (the staff can barely get a shift off to pay for REQUIRED classes themselves.) Most of the rest of his communications are about pie in the sky philosophies that, as written, have NOTHING to do with patient care. Just once I'd like that person to come on a working unit and demonstrate how their imaginings benefit the patients, the hospital or the staff.

    As for the yearly "employee satisfaction surveys", they are designed in a 'have you stopped beating your dog' style, so that it sounds like it is the staff's fault if they are unhappy. At the last 'anonymous' survey I participated in the manager sorted through the stack of forms to hand out particular numbered forms to particular people?!? Then we all look at the results, form committees to resolve issues, turn the results into management and go right back to the way it was before. Nothing changes.

    I don't doubt for one minute that managers are under the gun from administration, that's when managers need to have the integrity to share with the administration how it really is and not just kowtow to misperceptions.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from earle58
    you know, i've come to conclude that 'perception' is rather useless.
    an exemplary employee can have the "perception" that less-than-stellar employees are being favored by mgmt:
    or the low morale on your unit is really non-existent, so say the mgrs.
    or pt care is being jeopardized in favor of the almighty $$- all perceptions of an innocent bystander/employee.
    this employee goes through the proper channels in communicating concerns;
    never insubordinate.
    pt care is never a concern.
    seemingly a top-notch employee whose ideals include team-work, aspires to the highest standards of care, attendance is perfect and is professional and courteous to all s/he encounters.
    yet such perceived confidence can make a less-than-secure mgr highly threatened.
    a paper trail is created;
    w/pre-texted warnings and trumped-up charges.
    either this once-stellar employee has quit under duress, or is fired.
    the co-workers that you have worked with for yrs, disappear to only hide somewhere.
    they don't want to get involved for fear of retribution.
    all because of the wrong people in mgmt and their perceptions of a threat to their title and perceived authority.
    it happens, and far too often.
    any 'mgr' who tries to bounce it back on the employee, is merely playing head games.
    any mgr who gets too defensive, only sees the truth as it is spoken, yet opts to hide from it.
    a good manager will weed out those who truly deserve to be;
    will remain impartial with their goal in being fair and beneficent to all.
    equal treatment, all for the good of the unit/patients/employees.
    really, it's not too much to ask.

    angie speaks the truth.
    it happens.

    leslie
    OH YES SHE DOES......been there, unfortunately, more than once. I was not targeted, but saw what it did to those who were and it was just hair-raising. And disgusting.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from earle58
    i'm not saying this doesn't happen.
    but when good employees are specifically targeted, it is not because they weren't part of the solution.
    a good employee understands the value of teamwork.
    a good employee does not think they are exempt, or exceptions to the rules.
    angie is not talking about a gen'l warning from administration.
    when this targeting occurs, there are no ambiguities.
    these atrocities cannot be sugarcoated.
    it is blatant bullying and harrassment.
    and until one has personally experienced, witnessed or is party to these occurrences, the truth is hard to swallow.

    leslie
    :yeahthat:

    Never was such a profound truth so aptly put.

    I am one of the LEAST paranoid people I know, so it shocked the daylights out of me when I finally figured out I was being targeted (this was at my last hospital job). It simply had never occurred to me that anyone would do such a thing...........I came in, did my job, was flexible, rarely complained, and got good reviews from my patients. But once this one assistant manager took a dislike to me---and to this day I don't know what I ever did to make her do so---I couldn't have done anything right if my life depended on it.

    Now, if someone had told me all this before I was ready to believe it, I would have said "No way!" Where I come from, things aren't supposed to be like that---if you work hard and play by the rules, you get rewarded, or at the very least, you don't get in trouble. But it seemed I was ALWAYS getting called into this manager's office for some omission or infraction, and then the day came when another nurse took a Demerol from the narc drawer without signing it out. I was immediately accused of the 'crime'---even though I'd been on the clock for less than five minutes and hadn't even got report yet, let alone keys---and when the nurse who'd forgotten to sign the med out 'fessed up, Ms. Manager actually looked DISAPPOINTED.

    That was like having a bucket of ice water dumped over my head. I woke up to the fact that for whatever reason, I WAS being steered toward the door, and there was not a blessed thing I could do to fight it. So I left.......and let me tell you, it was undoubtedly the best thing I could ever have done, for not only did I go on to much bigger and better things, I was literally forced to accept a hard truth: life really is unfair sometimes. It seems childish now, but I have to admit that until all this hit the fan, I'd lived in some sort of fantasy world where justice always prevails in the end and the good guys eventually come out on top. Learning that things don't always work out was awful, but it was the last big hurdle in the way of growing up, and I'm a sadder but wiser woman for the lesson.

    Perhaps, even more importantly, I also learned that I don't have to be a victim. No one can make me feel worthless without my permission; never again will I take abuse of ANY kind without standing up for myself, no matter what it costs me. And if someone doesn't like it, that's just T.S.
  7. by   leslie :-D
    oh marla...
    i had no idea.
    i knew that your job had contributed to many physical ailments, but this...
    your story only serves to confirm these ugly truths, as i know you to be a remarkable woman of integrity.
    and yes....the end of that chapter indeed, led you to the rewards you are now blessed with.
    it is sad when lifes' hard lessons can only prepare us to don our armor in this sometimes cruel and crazy world.
    but, your story has inspired me and instilled a renewed sense of hope.
    thank you, my friend. :kiss

    leslie
  8. by   Diploma'82
    Get this...where I work you are not evaluated on your work but whether you walk in a parade (what they consider 'community service' but I have a back to school collection every year for the schools in my county and THAT doesn't count)...so you can do all kinds of awesome work etc but you won't get a raise if you don't ADVERTISE for the hosptial in a parade!

    Sorry, this really isn't on the subject...just had to vent.
    Last edit by Diploma'82 on Sep 9, '06
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from earle58
    oh marla...
    i had no idea.
    i knew that your job had contributed to many physical ailments, but this...
    your story only serves to confirm these ugly truths, as i know you to be a remarkable woman of integrity.
    and yes....the end of that chapter indeed, led you to the rewards you are now blessed with.
    it is sad when lifes' hard lessons can only prepare us to don our armor in this sometimes cruel and crazy world.
    but, your story has inspired me and instilled a renewed sense of hope.
    thank you, my friend. :kiss

    leslie
    Thank YOU, Leslie, for the kind words..........I do appreciate them!

    I didn't want to talk about this much back then, because I was still processing what had happened and trying to figure out if I should fight back and report what this woman had done to me to anyone who would listen, or just cut my losses and move forward. I chose the latter, not because I was a coward (and I asked myself that question more than once) but because sometimes, it's the only choice if you want to get on with your life.

    At first I was very, very hurt, and then very, very angry; but with the help of some folks here, plus a few weeks of therapy, I was able to work through things fairly quickly.........and like you said, that is how I came to be where I am today. In a way, she did me a favor, because I've grown stronger and much more sure of myself in this past eight or nine months, and for the first time in my life, I can truly say that I am a happy woman.
  10. by   pyrolady
    OK, I'll bite and give you my perspective as a manager. I am a Director of Nursing. In my SNF, I don't care what age you are, how long you have been there, your sexual orientation, whether you're union or non-union, etc. IF YOU AREN'T DOING YOUR JOB YOU ARE EVENTUALLY GOING TO GO !!! Weeding out of good nurses does NOT take place in my facility (no need to weed the bad ones either, they weed themselves). I can honestly say that every nurse I have fired deserved to be let go. I do not want any of my staff (nurses or CNA's) to feel comfortable just because they have been around for a long time. Some of them are the worst offenders (ie: one was sleeping when I dropped in the other night, two I found out left the facility on the late shift for over an hour, one nurse lets the tail wag the dog all shift). Sorry, but when you fire a few bad apples the rest of them are sooooooooooo much happier because what you have left are people who actually do their work and are pleased to be there. I especially was happy to let a 14 year union rep. go - she felt she was untouchable because she'd been there for so long....she also trampled on my resident's rights. Once she was gone you could feel the atmosphere of the whole building change. I even had staff come up and thank me. It is my DUTY to make sure that the staff I employ take good care of our residents. They deserve nothing less and they count of me to make sure the bad apples get trimmed from the tree so that their life will be good.
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from pyrolady
    OK, I'll bite and give you my perspective as a manager. I am a Director of Nursing. In my SNF, I don't care what age you are, how long you have been there, your sexual orientation, whether you're union or non-union, etc. IF YOU AREN'T DOING YOUR JOB YOU ARE EVENTUALLY GOING TO GO !!! Weeding out of good nurses does NOT take place in my facility (no need to weed the bad ones either, they weed themselves). I can honestly say that every nurse I have fired deserved to be let go. I do not want any of my staff (nurses or CNA's) to feel comfortable just because they have been around for a long time. Some of them are the worst offenders (ie: one was sleeping when I dropped in the other night, two I found out left the facility on the late shift for over an hour, one nurse lets the tail wag the dog all shift). Sorry, but when you fire a few bad apples the rest of them are sooooooooooo much happier because what you have left are people who actually do their work and are pleased to be there. I especially was happy to let a 14 year union rep. go - she felt she was untouchable because she'd been there for so long....she also trampled on my resident's rights. Once she was gone you could feel the atmosphere of the whole building change. I even had staff come up and thank me. It is my DUTY to make sure that the staff I employ take good care of our residents. They deserve nothing less and they count of me to make sure the bad apples get trimmed from the tree so that their life will be good.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your entire post, but especially with the highlighted parts. Thanks for contributing to this thread.

    Aside: I might not agree with a manager, but pyrolady is the type of manager that I expect when I go to work. She is a true leader who does not play favorites. I've worked for many managers like you--the majority, in fact--and I am one of the employees who would've thanked you for weeding out those poor performers as they put so much more burden on the rest of us.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Sep 10, '06
  12. by   UM Review RN
    Marla,

    I'd be honored to work with you. Perhaps I already have. Nurses like you are gems and really should be treated as such by ALL of us. It's difficult to find such commitment, integrity, and experience, so I'm truly at a loss to explain what happened to you.

    I see it happening to a few people that I know to be nurses of high caliber, and I have to ask why--my reason for starting this thread.

    A couple have decided, as you have, to turn that negative into a positive by moving on, and are in the process of changing jobs.

    A couple more are trying to stick it out. But it really breaks my heart to hear ANY GOOD, EXPERIENCED nurse say, with tears in her eyes and anguish in her voice, that she comes to work every day expecting that this will be the day that she is fired.

    It just breaks my heart.

    As Tweety said a few posts ago, we nurses who do chart checks and who follow the other nurses really know who are the best nurses on any particular unit, because we're reviewing those charts more frequently than any review committee or manager.

    If someone was written up for a mistake, I am sympathetic, but if they ask me if it was justified, they know they'll get support as long as they realize that most times, a writeup is a wakeup call to make some adjustments in an area where they're weak. If it's taken in that spirit, I feel that most of us could rise to the challenge and improve, given half a chance.

    I have no quibble with the manager who is fair, who is equitable. But if I make a mistake and you write me up for it, don't let SallyB get away with the same exact mistake, because we will see that as favoritism. Because it IS.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Sep 10, '06
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I will repeat what I said before in this thread.

    I would not want to be a manager in today's business climate. You just can't seem to win.....between administation pushing almost-impossible and unreasonable policies at you, and very discontented, sometimes abused and/or burnt out employees, you have your hands full. I can't say I envy today's middle manager in any company and/or hospital. Often the pay they do get is woefully poor compensation for the difficulties and pains of the job. Many staff nurses make more than their managers do!

    Soooooo.....No thanks.

    Lest we wonder "where all the good managers have gone"....we might think, just like many NURSES, the answer is: on to greener, more peaceful pastures!

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