I wanted to briefly discuss some issues I am having with management at the hospital I am employed at. I work in the ED, night shift, we see A LOT of patients. We've always been short staffed, but since Hurricane Sandy, we've experienced that impact of being understaffed with absolutely no wiggle room. We had 6 nurses on medical/maternity, and on a good night, we're looking at 14 staffed nurses in the entire ED, when we really need somewhere around 20-25. There are nights where I take handoff report and have 15 patients, nights where I am in the Trauma with one float RN, with multiple traumas coming in and out. I am scared for my patients, first and foremost, and I am scared for my license. This is not safe under any circumstances. I have missed my lunch break several times both last month and this month (more on that later). And I am more than exhausted.
We've informed administration/management to no avail. We've filled out and submitted numerous POA (Protest of Assignment) forms, nothing is being done. I found out only recently that our Executive Director does not plan to hire any more night shift nurses as she feels we do not do much during the night shift.
I am starting a petition that will be sent to administration and even to those that supercede administration (basically anyone considered 'the powers that be'). I know if I send the petition myself, there will be some sort of retaliation as this has become a regular reaction from administration, even after submitting POAs. So I am getting my coworkers involved to see what we can change around here. If you could offer any advice on further steps to take, please do. I contacted my labor union rep, but he hasn't returned my phone call.
I also missed lunch 2 holidays recently, which I reported to my Charge nurse and on my timesheet. One day, on my way home, I remembered that I forgot to fill in the hours for a day I worked and I located my timesheet to fill it in. I noticed that someone had used white-out correction fluid to edit my lunch break reimbursement. I notified my ADN right away. She was very short with me, nasty, rude, etc. Here's the thing, is anyone allowed to actually make edits/corrections to a staff member's timesheet without first seeking authorization? I was told by our timekeeper that I should have been notified by my ADN if they weren't planning on reimbursing me for my lunch break.
Please let me know what can be done in this particular circumstance. I feel like administration is abusing their power!!!
Jan 14, '13
Time for a new job perhaps?
~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
Jan 14, '13
Editing your time sheet to be false is illegal. If you worked from 7P-7:30A with no break, you must be paid for working through your break.
Jan 14, '13
Agree with above posters. Also, isn't there some kind of whistle blower protection? Sounds to me like those conditions are unsafe for employees and patients. Would that fall under OSHA somehow? Because if it does, I do know OSHA has whistle blower protection that could cover your butt.
Any way you could get this management person to come work a shift with you guys? :P
Jan 14, '13
Follow your employer's policy & procedure on grievances as well as any union guidelines if that is applicable. Alteration of time sheets is a very serious issue. Refusal to pay for actual time worked... another big no no. Your HR department and administration should be interested in hearing about this and correcting problems before someone 'drops a dime' on them and they get hit with a Federal wage & hour audit.
Jan 14, '13
You NEED your union rep. If he/she doesn't return calls, go over his/her head. I do NOT think you should start your own petition, but as a union shop, there should be a process for your (valid) concerns to be addressed. Talk with your coworkers - NOT on worktime, but on lunches, breaks, walking in & out - and enlist their support.
Falsification of a timesheet - by any party - is fraud.
One bit of your story sounds funny- and perhaps it's just that I don't have all the details. You state that you are working understaffed all the time, but that you've missed lunch "several" times. That doesn't sound quite right. If you're that severely understaffed, I would think you'd be eating standing up every shift (if you even got to eat) and staying past quitting time a lot. How on earth is all the work getting done? I'm not doubting your story, but pointing out that this bit - as described here - doesn't seem to fit.
I'm so glad you're union - they should be a big help.
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