Thank God I didn't have a gun...

  1. I just finished 12 hours from hell! I work ina busy, high acuity ICU/CCU. We have a minimum of 2 and often 3 patients each. A colleague went home sick at 11 pm so I picked up one of her vented patients and another nurse took her BiPap patient. That left 4 of us with 12 patients. One of my colleagues had a patient on Dopamine and Levophed which she was titrating and only had doppler BP's and got an admission that SHE had to take to CT scan because our Assistant Manager was too busy sitting on her a$$ in her office.
    Myself and another colleague have approached our manager (who is new to her job and worthless) about the lack of support we get from the assistant managers. They do not have patient assignments so they can assist those of us who are drowning. Problem is none of them do help much anymore. Soem aren't clinically sound. We have relayed our problems to the VP of Nursing and he has done nothing but the typical administrative maneuver of turning it back on us. We have called the State DOH about our staffing and nothing ever gets cited probably because our VP of Nsg sits on an advisory board for the DOH.
    The manager who was on last night only took the job because she wanted to be off most weekends and all holidays. The first thing she said she was going to do when she started the job was get caller ID so she would know not to answer the phone when the hospital called. I told her to please reconsider taking the position because she was taking it for the wrong reasons. Morale was bad enough then and as predicted, has only gotten worse.
    I guess my question is how can we have a mutiny? How can we convey a no confidence vote in the managers we have? The assistants don't care and don't do their jobs, the nurse manager is just way out of her league and can't keep her head above water and the VP of nursing simply couldn't care less. We also have 2 physician directors who would rather not get involved. Any suggestions or should I just go get the gun???????
    NOW you all know where I got my name from!!!! Too many nights like last night!!!!
    Thanks for letting me vent!!!!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   stevie b
    Put down the gun.How about assignement under protest. if you put it in writing that you believe the number and acuity of your patient load presents a risk to the patients and give it to the assistant manager before you take the assignment, it puts the weight of accountability on her, not you. That might shake things up. Or how about a 12 hour strike? If all of you get together and develope a little case of blue flu for one shift, maybe they might hear you a little better. good luck.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    .
    I just wonder which nurse will be the sacrificial lamb before the nursing crisis is taken seriously?? Who will climb the tallest building dressed in a clown suit with an oozie under their arm and change the cliche of "going postal" to "going nursing"...............LR
    This was quoted from a different thread,

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...threadid=18102

    but I thought it applied here...

    Please remember, we may not all work in the same building, but we're all in this together, and we're here for ya...
  5. by   jstinerich
    Hey, this is not a new problem. Except our assistant left during a code! I had a gunshot to abdomin and total hip in the same room! Couldn't get to the hip pt. Went to the nurse manager to ask for help, she was setting in her office doing her homework for a college class. Because the gun shot wound eviserated, the ortho doc moved his pt. to the floor. How we nurses settled it in the past was to get the docs on your side. Esp. those on the board. They got a new nurse manager; who brought in a new assistant. The old nurse manager and assistant were transfered.
  6. by   Furball
    Maybe if you ALL put in your 2 week notice then maybe they would NOTICE your legitimate complaints......
    I know, I know....highly unlikely to get everyone that brave but just think if you could pull it off? WOW!

    PS I ca't even imagine how you would even begin taking care of more than 2 ICU pts......incredible....
  7. by   ceecel.dee
    Incident reports for unsafe staffing, each and every time?

    We actually instituted (unofficially) a call-out, where NONE of us picked up ANY extra shifts to make a point and it did help alot. The managers were working there butts off trying to cover, and suddenly had great appreciation for us and went to administrator and hospital board FOR us......Worked well for us.
  8. by   PhantomRN
    Mngt is mngt, we really cant expect alot of help from them. Some , not all, of them took their jobs to get off of the floors and away from the chaos. Besides when they took that job their roles and functions changed. I would rather have the manager in their interviewing new potential hires and trying to solve our understaffing problem.

    No I am not management

    On a rare occasion I would expect minimal help from them, but lets face it you said you question thier clinical competence so why would you want their help.

    I know we had a manager who worked the floor with us for years before becoming a manager, but on the rare occasion she came out and helped it was messy. We had to explain everything...she looked lost and confused the whole time............bottom line the set of hands was not worth the hassle.
  9. by   dawngloves
    Originally posted by ceecel.dee
    Incident reports for unsafe staffing, each and every time?

    We tried that a couple of times when I worked ICU. Then we realized those reports went right in the trash!
    I like things such as an organized call out, except I realize many nurses are a bunch of 'fraidy cats.
  10. by   shay
    Geez, I'm not a good one to talk about this kind of stuff. I had a similar situation (worthless, worthless, HORRIBLE, EVIL, SATANIC MANAGER FROM THE DEPTHS OF HADES!!! okay...you get the point.......). I complained, WE complained, followed the chain of command like good girls, had meetings, yadda yadda yadda.......NOTHING CHANGED. I cut my losses and left. Blasted them out of the water in my exit interview.

    Of course, it's now almost a year later and NOTHING has changed. Same old same old. Of course, the unit is suffering, the hospital is hurting for nurses (gee, I wonder why?), and the budget is waaaaaaaaay in the red.

    My gut instinct would be to try something drastic like a sick-out first. All of you get horribly, horribly ill for a few shifts and let your worthless managers cover it. If that doesn't fix the problem, well, you know my solution...............BAIL.

    Sorry. Not much help!! But I feel your pain!!:chuckle
  11. by   fedupnurse
    My Unsafe staffing form was 2 pages long! It is going to be faxed to the State DOH first thing in the morning. Thanks for the words! It does help (isn't that kinda sick!!!) o know we are all getting screwed pretty equally.
    Ceecel.d, I will fill out an IR tonight when I go in and I will hand deliver it to Risk Mgmt. They actually do take that stuff seriously. I too have found anything IR or QA for that matter that doesn't go to them directly is filed in the poop bucket.
    Thanks agin for the support. You are all great!!!!!
  12. by   kimberle
    Dawngloves- incident reports being "filed" in the trash can is illegal.
    There is an RN educator, 2 RN clinical coordinators, 1 RN clinical specialist in their offices and they have the "balls" to ask me if I could work extra, but they plan on leaving on time today?!
    Their response is that they would be working all the time on the floor if they filled in for the shortness and that wouldn't be appropriate.
    I see their point, but I look at it as I guess you all will just have to take turns on the floor then until you figure out something else for staffing! Scheduled days on the floor are hell 'cause we're short and you want me to come in on my day off?!
    It's just frustrating when there are more RNs in their offices on our unit then there are on the floor!

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