note to nurse dude, will they never learn!

  1. Hi Oramar! I'm baaacckkk.... I am seeing something here that I don't like to see, yet it is becoming apparent to me and I wonder, am I losing it or is this for real? I don't know the facility or the exact situation that you replied to Nursedude about but it's not just happening there! It's all over.

    I have, as you may recall, been working agency for awhile now. The things I have been noticing are blowing me away. Oramar they fire nurses who seem to remember what the old staffing ratios were. And here's what else I notice. You go in and find that today you have 13 patients where yesterday you had 6. You think to yourself "My God this is insane! I can't do this many patients", and by the grace of God you make it thru that day with no one dead. The next day you have 9 patients and consider it a great day. But next week you are at 11 pt's again and still manage because you did 13 before. It seems like we are being conditioned to take on more and more, so that the days when you have 10 pt's become the norm to you. It's like they are slowly but surely trying to build up our tolerance levels to take on more and more, and it's done silently. Those that refuse, or long too loudly for a return to the days of having 6 pt's find themselves without a job. And who cares about replacing them cause they now have the rest conditioned to take up the slack?!

    Have I been watching too many Oliver Stone movies, or is anyone else seeing this too?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   NCNocRN
    Last edit by NCNocRN on May 15, '04
  4. by   oramar
    HI BUNKY, I was just wondering where you were, I was even thinking of posting a request for info on what you were up to. The sad thing about this restructing thing is that the really big institutions did it five years ago and found it to be a disaster. The found a temporary increase in profits for a short time followed by a hugh outlays of money to hire back the nurses they lost. This information about their experiences is out there for any of the small institutions that are restructuring late in the game, they just do not seem to want to see it. This small health care organization is now competing with big ones for the same small labor pool of nurses. The big ones have the resources to recruit and keep them and they have the budgets to do so. Would some one please tell me what savings there is in hiring the same nurses you had working for you at $18.00 for $30.00 from an agency. That is what is happening in some cases. Mean while a little TLC would have kept that loyal nurse working for years.
  5. by   Jenny P
    This is when it helps to get the media involved. Write letters to the editor; ask the local TV stations to shadow a nurse for a day (our professional association- MNA- assisted with that); we need to alert the public to this instead of keeping mum about it. We have put up with this stuff too long; the public needs to be made aware of it. Since the national media is starting to do pieces on the nursing shortage, encourage the local media to do local pieces on it. If your local hospital has someone cutting staff; get the local people involved in what is happening. Once that local hospital is gone; the community suffers serious losses in health care services.
  6. by   NCNocRN
    Last edit by NCNocRN on May 15, '04
  7. by   lsmo
    In response to getting the word out on the nurse's perspective regarding our working conditions/environment: Use the Media-Media-Media! In an effort to do just that I will be putting together a panel of 6 nurses (one student nurse) for a cable access broadcast about our working environment for airing on our local cable station in Kalamazoo. The main focus of the program will be, "Nursing recruitment and retention: What do the working nurses have to say?" Most people have no clue what nurses want or need or are going through in health care. This is prime time to get the word out in an effort to improve our working conditions and to gain public support--before the next hospital takeover or downsizing effort squeezes the "quality"out of care for patientst as well as the quality of our working lives. We need to start telling the media just what the heck we need and want to do our jobs and to stay in the profession--and to entice others into the field of nursing. Seems like that is the big question these days, but I rarely hear working nurses quoted.So speak up gang. What do you want? I think that is television worthy don't you? : )

    ------------------
    L.Smo RN
  8. by   oramar
    Dear Joy, I think you posted before about what happened to your beloved little hospital. It is very sad, I know. It feels like a very dear relative is dead. However, before they died you had to stand by and see them beaten and starved.
  9. by   oramar
    A few months ago you posted that a certain health care organization sent you a terse note telling you your pay was cut. Another person who worked there told me that her well respected nurse manager had to reapply for her managment position and that she did NOT get it. The person I was speaking to is an experienced telemetry nurse who was deeply disturbed by the fact that this excellent manager was replaced by an outsider who is nothing but a brutal cost cutter. I told her the best thing to do when you are working for an organizaton that is using thses all to familiar restructuring tactics is be the first one out the door. This person got another job, so apparently did a lot of other people. For the first time ever this same health care organization has a help wanted list a half a page long in the classified section of the newspaper. The only thing I can think is that the increase in profit margins these people experience when they use these nasty restructuring techniques far outweigh the downside of the inevitable labor shortage they cause. They do not give a darn about the employees who remain behind and work manditory overtime to fill the open shifts. They know it is going to happen and they just do not care.
  10. by   NCNocRN
    Last edit by NCNocRN on May 15, '04
  11. by   nursedude
    Oramar,

    Look for the Hospital I was talking about to become a UPMC facility(ies) within a year and 1/2...

    ND
  12. by   Jenny P
    Joy, my home town went through just this experience after its' little hospital closed. I honestly think that the town lost one more part of its heart when the hospital closed; the town lacks another employer and a focus of the community; there is one less reason for younger people to stay or live there. There is one more empty building that can't generate revenue and is too good to tear down. It is sad that so many of the poor in the community no longer have easy access to health care of any type, but that was not a consideration at the time.
  13. by   Zee_RN
    My community hospital in the Pittsburgh area is so hard-up for nurses that the HR Dept. is telephoning RNs who have quit within the last couple years and offering them their jobs back (no doubt at greatly increased pay) and keeping their previous seniority intact. I don't know of anyone who has taken them up on this offer but it drives those who have stayed nuts.

    Recruitment and Retention are big buzz words these days. But no, they just don't get it. While pay is important (especially since your salary is largely equated with how much respect your profession is granted), it's the horrendous WORKING CONDITIONS and lack of PATIENT SAFETY that drives a lot of nurses out the door.
  14. by   oramar
    Originally posted by Zee_RN:
    My community hospital in the Pittsburgh area is so hard-up for nurses that the HR Dept. is telephoning RNs who have quit within the last couple years and offering them their jobs back (no doubt at greatly increased pay) and keeping their previous seniority intact. I don't know of anyone who has taken them up on this offer but it drives those who have stayed nuts.

    Recruitment and Retention are big buzz words these days. But no, they just don't get it. While pay is important (especially since your salary is largely equated with how much respect your profession is granted), it's the horrendous WORKING CONDITIONS and lack of PATIENT SAFETY that drives a lot of nurses out the door.
    Everything you said is true. The fact that no one is accepting the offer is pretty damning. I can almost guess what facility you are talking about.

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