I am going to be working at a facility that has recently merged with another hospital (I've worked at both facilities as a nurse apprentice). Since the merge, the patient census has increased enormously, but I feel like the numbers in staff have not. There have been numerous complaints from patients and staff that patient care has sort of gone downhill because the nurse to patient ratio is not balanced. There is going to be a lot of chaos at this facility for awhile until they get everything worked out. I'm going to be a new graduate next month at this facility and am worried about the patient load that I might be assigned. Any suggestions that may help me get through this difficult time?
Apr 24, '02
Not a lot of advice, unfortunately. Congrats on finishing school. As to pt load, make sure you get enough orientation. Insist on it!!!! Find another nurse whom you respect and use her as a mentor.
Also (and I know I will get slammed for this one) acknowledge the fact that you can't meet everyone's needs, the patients, families, MDs or other staff members. Prioritize care and realize that not everything is going to get done.
Apr 24, '02
Insist on orientation with a preceptor, and also that you get the full orientation (6-12 weeks, the length of time that the hospitals had as orientation BEFORE the merger). Having a preceptor with you through orientation will help teach you tricks and timesavers for your unit. Know the difference between preceptors and mentors and use them accordingly! And remember not to abuse either one of them!
Approach each day with enthusiasm and make sure you learn something every day. I was told that once (many, many years ago!) and am still doing it.
I agree with TraumaRUs, you can't meet everyone's needs; and it is important to prioritize care and work, do the best you can, then don't intimidate or let others intimidate you when you tell them what didn't get done.
Keep your patient rooms/ work environment tidy; it helps keep you organized and, in the event of a code, you can get code carts and guerneys in where needed easier.
Apr 25, '02
Agree with the above posters but also merging creates chaos and hard feelings similar to lay-offs (IMHO). Expect some disruption among staffers with a history with either of the preceding organizations.
Don't be afraid of working there because the hospital needs the new blood, the people with no previous institutional identity. We and them must blend into US, so to speak.
I trained in a hopsital that had merged probably 5 to 8 years prior to my education. Many nurses clung to their St. E's or Grace identity relentlessly and they weren't very happy people. Others had become "us" and they could still fondly recall the good old days and enjoy their current reality.
Good luck and congrats on your impending graduation.
Apr 25, '02
COngratulations...welcome to the "family!"
Our public hospital merged with a private hospital a few years ago. Up until then "we" had been told all kinds of things about "them."
They....make more money.....
They....treat the doctors with more respect....
They....get better/more vacation time....
We were more skilled
We were more loyal to the facility
We....well you get the drift.
After the merger...guess what......WE and THEY became US.
Plain old GOOD sister and brother NURSES.
I'd wager that the confusion/staffing problems are probably going to be pertty much settled as soon as all the policy and procedures are combined....but I also think that the staffing will be about the same as it is now.
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