Stress @ Work, No Support. - page 2
Lately work has been getting worse and worse. Just very busy, many days of missed lunch breaks or if lunch is able to be taken it is way late in the 12 hour shift. Stress has been getting to me and from talking with other people... Read More
- 0Nov 11, '11 by Make.it.workRNHi Nurseypoo.
You are in a toxic unit run by toxic managers.
I left such a unit a few months ago. Our unit was the darling of the hospital, raking in oodles and oodles of money, we were so awesome, our manager such a gem, I'm pretty certain she probably even got a bonus for being so profitable.
The profit was on the backs of the nursing staff.
The assignments morphed over time from normal to a little hard, to a little more challenging, to downright unsafe in a 2 year period. We would say, oh wonderful manager, we need more nurses, we can't keep going like this, and she would reply (from the top of the mountain) oh nurses, there is an economic crisis, we are in a recession, half of our patients are either uninsured or on Medicaid, you should be glad you have a job, because you know, there are lots of nurses and new grads knocking on the door who would love a job. Here is a hospital monogrammed lunch bag as a thank you for your sacrifices.
We started noticing that the other units of the hospital were hiring people, and we also started noticing how some days, we had more floats than unit staff working in our unit.
Anyone that complained got labeled a complainer.
Some days I don't know how I got through the day, because I had some of the most unmanageable unsafe assignments I've ever experienced.
We tried to be proactive and look at safe staffing guidelines and bring them to management, to which our manager said, oh, they don't mean units like ours.
We tried to show management how other units were hiring people, to which we were told, well....when we slow down, you are going to have to float and people will quit if they have to float.
The people who tried to enact change in the unit got labeled as trouble makers by management. The coworkers agreed with them in the break room, but in public, nobody would stand up next to them and say, yes, nurse Susie Q is correct and I'm with her on this. You should have seen the snark management put on their evaluations, it was ridiculous. Totally unprofessional and uncalled for.
The 'trouble makers' started leaving. Little Miss PM (perfect manager) said, I hope they can be happy, but they'll be back, this is the best place to work ever. Things will get better around here, because these unhappy negative people are leaving. Things didn't get better, because once they left, the rest of us were left with 5 less nurses and their patient load. Things went from worse to downright HELL. But PM stated, this is normal, we see highs and lows in staffing on a 5 year continuum, keep on keeping on, here is a lovely hospital monogrammed key chain and badge holder for your sacrifices.
I eventually moved on into a different unit in the same hospital. I can't believe how different it is, the assignments that they apologize to me for giving me are so easy compared to where I've been. I have managed to keep my mouth shut about the atrocities of my former unit, even though it's a known fact how bad the unit is and people try to engage me in the reasons things are the way they are. I just smile and say, I really wanted to try something else.
The saddest part about this post is that there are a lot of nurses who can relate to this story. There are a lot of people who are going to read this and think I am talking about their unit.
When there is a problem in a unit and a manager buries their head in the sand instead of fixing it, natural leaders will step up and try to fix things, it's how natural leaders work. Sadly, the power lies in the management and they can make things how they want, and they hold all the power.
I suggest you go to work, do your job, do it well and document your heart away. What I did when the going got bad was keep a journal. I wrote what room numbers I had, what diagnoses, and if I had to talk to anyone in management about anything. I went to management several times and said, my assignment is unsafe, I can't do this please help. I documented that too, and if I got a response or ignored and what that response was.
They took you off charge, try to not take it personal. Think of it this way, it gives you more time to focus on your patients and not worry about everything else. If you vent about this, it gives them more opportunity to blame you for being an unhappy person who is bringing the morale down.
I'm a bad girl, I have asked members of the management team to come take care of my patients so I could go eat lunch. I liked to do this on days where I had the worst assignments so they could see what my day was like for 12 hours.
When I left, they smiled and wished me well, I don't think they were planning on missing me.
On a practical note. I suggest you look elsewhere. This is your life, your body, your mind, you only get one of each. Don't let this take over and berate you. Leave the drama at the time clock. I don't talk to my coworkers outside of work for this very reason. I was miserable enough for the 36 hours a week I was there, I didn't need to think about it on my time off.
My mantra was this, I can do anything for 12 hours. It got me through a lot of long shifts. Just prioritize and keep going.