staffing woes - page 2

I am very annoyed, incase my little annoyed face smilie didnt tip you off haha at my place o' employment we have mmmmm four lines or so of full timers, myself being one of them, that work on... Read More

  1. by   fedupnurse
    This is a universal problem. Nights hates days, Days hates nights, fulltimers hate per diems/prns. That is what is wrong with this professions. The suits pit nurse against nurse when we should be standing side by side and saying to these stupid suit people who are totally clueless, YOU are responsible for safely staffing this hospital/nursing home. I am hired to do 3 12 hour shifts on nights per week. I am NOT obligated to do anything more than that. I WILL NOT resort to being angry at colleagues because they are also trying to have a life. Management knows when things are short and do very little in many cases to stop the hemorrhage of nurses leaving this profession. This is why we are leaving. Get rid of the suits with all the useless degrees after their names, require anyone and everyone in management and administration to work as a staff nurse on a short staffed unit for one week every 3 months and then you will see things change. As long as they sit in their plush carpeted offices planning mind games and pitting us against each other (and we fall for it every time!!) things are NEVER going to change.
    I am now off my soap box.
  2. by   -jt
    <<we should be standing side by side and saying to these stupid suit people who are totally clueless, YOU are responsible for safely staffing this hospital/nursing home. I am hired to do 3 12 hour shifts on nights per week. I am NOT obligated to do anything more than that. I WILL NOT resort to being angry at colleagues because they are also trying to have a life........As long as they sit in their plush carpeted offices planning mind games and pitting us against each other (and we fall for it every time!!) things are NEVER going to change. >>

    Exactly!! you said it so much better than me.

    We'd be so much further ahead of the game if we tackled the problem by pointing the finger in the right direction & holding them accountable, than by pointing it at each other & distracting from the problem by complaining that the next nurse is not feeling her "fair share" of the pain.

    What is it in our nature that we always want to go for each others throats & make sure everybody gets to live with the problem, rather than just demanding that management come up with solutions to solve the problem?

    If nobody wants to work nights or w/es, stand together, refuse to have the burden dumped on your shoulders, & make the hospital come up with a better plan - like offering incentives that make working those shifts more worth the nurses while. Its a helluvalot healthier to stand together than to be fighting with each other.
    Last edit by -jt on May 14, '02
  3. by   Jay Levan
    Originally posted by hapeewendy
    I am very annoyed, incase my little annoyed face smilie didnt tip you off haha

    at my place o' employment we have mmmmm four lines or so of full timers, myself being one of them, that work on lines, for example, one week we work monday tues fri sat sun n the next week we work wed thurs and so on and so on

    my problem is , as with every other hospital rightabout now, we are shortstaffed, but we have a ton of part timers, more part timers than full timers for sure. so you would think that some shifts would be filled by said part timers

    WRONGO!
    of all the mmmm 20 or so part timers only 2, yes 2 do nightshift, the rest only work 8hr days or 8hr evenings, thats such crap in my not so humble opinion. I wouldnt care so much if it didnt fall on the full timers to do overtime all the time, but it does. This makes no sense to me ,and ppl keep on getting hired for the day evening shifts.
    management needs to hire ppl willing to do nights also, cuz right now on any given day or evening shift we have at least one person floating around , without a set assignment and not always helping out as needed, while on nights we end up being 4 RN's for the whole floor some of the time.
    this seems unsafe and unfair.
    also our scheduling committee posted this notice about how we cant get a weekend off if its supposed to be our weekend to work , even if we let them know way in advance they wont write us off the schedule, we have to try to give our shift away....to me thats insane, I mean say someone you know is getting married in 3 months, but its your weekend to work nights, in my case I would be screwed because no one will pick up or do any damn nights!
    it may seem like I'm griping, but it seems like part timers rule the roost around my workplace,
    and ppl who work full time, full hours, and 12 hour shifts like that end up feeling pressured to do overtime, which brings me to my next/last point.
    I go to work ,do my damndest while I'm there but dont volunteer for OT, the reason being that I HAVE A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    some ppl want the extra money and thats cool ,but as a full time worker already I shouldnt be expected or pressured to take on more shifts than I already work......
    volunteering is one thing, but preferential treatment is given to those that do all this overtime, to me its not safe, I work with someone that will do 7 12's one week and then at least 5 more the next, and her patient care suffers because of it!
    I refuse to do that.....call me stubborn but I've brought up the concerns about staffing and nothing gets done, so what can I do?

    cheers
    :imbar HeHe Shouldn't have been reading anything here let alone "Posting" betwen sixteen hour shifts. Please accept my humblest apologies However I do feel that you should ask for explanation from Nursing Admin. as to why policy is apparently stacked against you?? Jay
  4. by   ceecel.dee
    Part-timers works less OT because they want to be.....Part Time!

    Full timers wany 36-40hrs/wk and can say No to extra.

    PRN's, by definition, only want to work when it works for them.

    OT's want the extra bucks, or have not become fed-up enough to take what's offered in life (above and beyond the multiple payoffs on the job) back (remember what you used to do before this job?)!

    Do what's right for you and your coworker will do what's right for her.
  5. by   whipping girl in 07
    In our unit, we have two different kinds of PRN...the ones that schedule and the ones that get called. The ones that get called are supposed to be available to work whatever's needed. That doesn't mean they have to say yes every time they are called, but they do have to say yes sometimes! And we only have two PRNs (the one's that schedule) on nights, and none on nights that don't schedule. Obviously, our manager needs to hire some more people. But she makes sure there are plenty of people on day shift, at least from 7-3. That afternoon scramble to cover 3-7 nearly every day just gets old, and I get tired of being called to either come in 4 hrs early, or for only 4 hrs smack in the middle of the day. The problem would be solved if the PRN people had to work the same SHIFTS as the fulltimers! That's all I'm saying. Fulltimers are REQUIRED to work a minimum of 3-12 hr shifts, and can add an extra 8 or 12 every other week.

    I LIKE our PRN people (the two that work 8s all the time are two of the best nurses we have). I don't resent them, I resent our manager who won't even schedule enough people to cover all the shifts. If you look at our schedule in advance, there's always more scheduled for days than nights, and at least one opening from 3PM-7PM EVERY DAY! They either try to coerce the person working the 8 hr shift into staying, or start calling night people to come in early. I'd rather know in advance if I'm going to pull a 16. In fact, I'd rather schedule two 16s a week and be off the rest of the time!! That would give me the 32 hrs a week I need to be fulltime, and it would be good enough for me. But I can't do that, because we are required to work 3-12s. The night people work overtime nearly every week, and the day people rarely work it. And I always get a guilt trip if I say no when I'm called to work. I don't like that either.

    I was just venting along with hapeewendy (who didn't sound very happy either!) and letting her know we have the same problems. Not trying to start WWIII between FT/PT/PRN/agency/days/nights/weekends!
  6. by   hapeewendy
    I'm not blaming anyone other than who the blame is to be placed on. Management pure and simple....
    I dont begrudge anyone for wanting to have a life
    but I want the same
    and the assumption shouldnt be made that because I may not have a husband/children to get home to that I can work insane and ungodly Overtime.
    If ppl wanna do it thats fine, I dont happen to want to.
    jay - no problem, I wasnt upset , infact I'm not upset about anything really, Just annoyed by the poor staffing at my workplace and that although ppl will hear our concerns out, no one acts on them......
    I was just bothered because I was asked to do overtime and refused and got heavy sighs going around the whole place, and ppl started talking about all the do gooders that always do overtime when asked , and I was made to feel bad about not being one of them.
    but my motto would be to do the best job I can when I'm there, meaning give 110% to my patients and then take my off time for what it is, time to come home, decompress and chill out.
    It just sucks that no one can see that alot of the ppl who do all this overtime do not give the same effort while they are at work and therefore wouldnt really feel as bruised and battered as I would if I did tons of OT.
    ahhhhhh well I'm gonna stop moaning and complaining now, just wanted to see how things were for you guys, since I trust and value your opinions so much
    Cheers
  7. by   fedupnurse
    In our place, prn's have to work 8 shifts a quarter and at least 2 weekend shifts. A shift is considered 4 or more hours. Are you working in a unionized environment? If you are the favortism aspect should be a little less than the non unionized environment. But this is exactly what management reads into this kind of stuff: Oh there they go again, complaining about each other and that is why we are still in the dark ages as a profession. We are all short staffed because we have hospital executives who only care about money. Fill out unsafe staffing forms, harass the board of health, demand they close beds (if your facility is JCAHO accredited they HAVE TO have a policy regarding bed closures during staffing shortages. Send Risk Management copies of the forms and a copy of the bed closure policy. Risk Mgmt takes this stuff very VERY seriously!
    Good luck to us all because these suits are driving us all out of the business!
  8. by   -jt
    <she makes sure there are plenty of people on day shift, at least from 7-3. That afternoon scramble to cover 3-7 nearly every day just gets old, and I get tired of being called to either come in 4 hrs early, or for only 4 hrs smack in the middle of the day. The problem would be solved if the PRN people had to work the same SHIFTS as the fulltimers!>

    The problem would also be solved if she opened up more 12 hr positions for the 7a - 7p shift or a 4 hr position for 3 - 7 - full time, part time, per diem or even ordered agency for it - rather than forcing the per diems who are there now to change the terms they were originally hired under. Whats happening to you is unfair but so it would also be unfair to do this to those per diems after they already took the job with different conditions of employment.

    Obviously there is a need for staffing. Call a labor/management meeting with the manager & the DON, bring copies of the schedule & the daily staffing assignments - have the nurses tell them exactly how you all feel & what its doing to you as far as morale, pt care, etc.

    Tell them you want a remedy other than a phone call in the middle of the day because that is not working. Take the bull by the horns & tell them its an unacceptable situation and you need it fixed now. AND offer solutions: Tell them they need to look at the staffing module of the unit because the mix of 8s & 12s hrs is not working with the numbers of nurses you have. (proof is the schedule & assignment sheets)

    Tell them you need more 12 positions opened up to provide coverage for the early evening ...... or they can be creative & pilot a 4 hr part time/per diem position there (might need an incentive for that one). Overtime is not a staffing alternative to be used as a staffing tool. Have everyone (or as many as possible) refuse overtime until the situation is adequately addressed. (As long as we continue to keep their heads above water at our own expense, they wont lift a finger to fix anything).

    Obviously there is a problem with staffing as it is now. Its the managers responsibility to provide adequate staffing - its not your responsibility to do overtime. If they have that much overtime then they obviously need more staff. They can ask you but you dont have to feel guilty about saying no. Let their sighs go in one ear & out the other. Youre there for the amount of time you agreed to when hired - youve met your responsibility. End of story.

    For the manager to do nothing about the staffing problem to FIX it, instead of just band-aiding it by burdening you with the problem everyday is called "mismanagement".
  9. by   fedupnurse
    I couldn't agree with jt more on this issue. Meet with the suits but also have some possible viable solutions. They like that kind of stuff. It shows we aren't just bellyaching but really giving serious consideration to a serious problem. If they are anything like the suits where I work they will try to put the onus on you. DO NOT LET THEM. Your mantra should be: "It is the responsibility of the management and administration of this facility to provide safe and quality care to all of our patients."
  10. by   mattsmom81
    I totally agree with JT and Fedupnurse! Management (or the lack of) always counts on the codependents among us to 'fix' their problems with staffing....and they always will until nurses say 'NO'.

    Love that old saying: "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." It should be our new nurse mantra!

    And of course management rewards the ones who work extra whenever they ask them... I've seen incompetent, impaired nurses keep their jobs because they suck up and do whatever management wants....when they want it. Don't get manipulated into working more than you want Wendy! It's just not worth it, IME.

    Don't worry Wendy, IMO your posts read just fine...I tend to 'run on' my sentences too but I figure this isn't Freshman Comp... (thank God) so why worry?? Hehe
  11. by   fedupnurse
    Maybe that should be our new mantra: "just say NO!" Oh yeah that one is taken. If any of you have someone obnoxious enough in the plush carpeted area of administration say to you "if you are given lemons make lemonade" tell them you have to have enough lemons to make lemonade! We have a supervisor that said that to us all the time.
    I agree Mattsmom and I have suggested people hold off on any OT for just 2 weeks but you can't get people to do it. Again it's that lack of cohesivness again. Sure some people need the money but 2 weeks?? DO an extra couple of shifts in other weeks and plan ahead for it. Yes it will suck for those there but I don't know how else we can get thru to these uninformed decision makers? Anyone with any other suggestions??
  12. by   fergus51
    We did an OT ban as a part of our union's job action during contract negotiations last year and the hospital went crazy!!! Surgeries and procedures were cancelled, admits from emerg were taking 12+hours, etc. It goes to show how the system has come to rely on nurses doing OT, and that is NOT okay.
  13. by   fedupnurse
    I thank God I work in a Unionized environment! I know of other hospitals around me that will call you on a Monday and say I know you were supposed to work Tues,Wed and Fri but we need you to do Thurs, Sat and Sun. You do it or get canned. Not where I am. Suits get serious repercussions if they alter a posted schedule and OT is by choice only. It would cripple my unit if none of us did OT. Of course they have enough suits that can safely staff the unit but God forbid they dirty themselves or get stethescope burn on their necks!

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