unit secretaries/ward clerks

  1. They want to eliminate these positions in our hospital. Anyone working with a system that does not utilize these support positions?
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   plumrn
    I guess it depends on the dept, but I don't see how it could work in the typical med-surg unit.
  4. by   KELLYGIRL
    PERSONALLY, I HAVE NOT HEARD OF ANY UNIT SECRETARY/WARD CLERK JOBS BEING ELIMINATED.... I THINK IT WOULD BE A SHAME...I WISH WE HAD A SECRETARY AT THE LTC FACILITY WHERE I WORK... WE HAVE TO CHECK OFF ALL OF OUR ORDERS AND ANSWER THE NUMEROUS PHONE CALLS DURING OUR MED PASSES....WHICH IS VERY ANNOYING ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE AT THE OTHER END OF THE HALL...UNIT SECRETARIES THAT I HAVE KNOWN ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST... AS NURSES, OUR MAJOR CONCERN SHOULD BE OUR PATIENTS... NOT ANSWERING QUESTIONS OVER THE PHONE....EVEN SOMEONE TO RUN ERRANDS AND MAKE COPIES WOULD HELP US OUT TREMENDOUSLY.......SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE WANTS TO FIND A CHEAPER WAY OUT THAT WILL ONLY HURT THE STAFF IN THE LONG RUN...........DOESN'T SURPRISE ME
  5. by   susanmary
    WHO does your hospital expect to do the work of the secretary? The nurse perhaps? Why not -- he/she already fits 15 hours worth of work into 8 hours -- why not add secretarial duties on a regular basis to the workload?

    The secretaries on my unit (different shifts) are so wonderful -- take off orders, MARS, order labs, answer phones/call bells, try to help fill sick calls, monitor the telemetry, troubleshoot -- they are indispensible. I very occassionally fill in as the secretary -- yikes -- not as easy at it looks.

    I know there are hospitals where nurses take off all their own orders, etc. -- I can't imagine working in a hospital with no ancillary support staff to "run the desk" so that I can practice NURSING.

    Sue
    Last edit by susanmary on Jan 5, '03
  6. by   sjoe
    "WHO does your facility expect to do the work of the secretary? The nurse perhaps? Why not -- he/she already fits 15 hours worth of work into 8 hours -- why not add secretarial duties on a regular basis to the workload? "

    Surely you don't have to ask. Just read Kelly's post.

    Again:
  7. by   Gromit
    At a hospital I USED to work at (years ago, as a second job) I was a phlebotomist. The hospital eliminated them, the nurses draw the blood now. When this happened, you could see the decrease in the quality of care. Nurses have too little time to do the job now, and hospitals are looking for ways to cut back.

    Oddly enough, I have yet to hear of any CEO getting cut back on their salary.
  8. by   Tweety
    Unit Secretaries actually run the unit don't you know. They are the true bosses.

    We don't have a unit secretary. The secretarial duties are performed by the charge nurse, this includes answering the constantly rining phone, putting together the admissions, plus being the charge nurse.

    They claim we would have to do without one of our CNA's on the floor if we got a unit secretary.

    We're a small unit with 20 max med-surg and 8 intermediate beds. Most of the time we block so many rooms to make private rooms (last night we had six blocked rooms) that the census is low enough we can manage, but it gets rough sometimes.

    If we had a unit secretary most of the time, there wouldn't be enough work to keep him/her busy. But we certainly could use one on day shift on a part-time basis.
  9. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    OMG we couldnt function without Our Unit secretaries. We worshiped the ground they walked on. Our unit didnt function smoothly if they were out. They once threatend our floor once with eleminating them. Our Head Nurse went through he%% and highwater and fought it tooth and nail. We told administration that if the Unit secretaries went we would Walk Out. They stayed.
    Our secretaries were so thankful on how we fought for them, and we knew how thankful we were to have them stay.
    Zoe
  10. by   allevi
    I work in small rural hospital, but when our ward secretary is ill, it is one of the nurses that does her job, usually one of our lpn's. I have done it often though, kind of change of pace.
  11. by   Nurse Ratched
    At my old facility, there was a single unit clerk for the whole hospital for the entire night after 7pm. You waited for her to some when you had admissions to be entered or other orders, or you entered them yourself (with all that free time you've got!) The next place crossed-trained techs and nurses to be UC's on night shift, but we did have a UC until 11pm. Since admitting won't do admissions on psych, someone has to be registration trained so they can register the person into the computer system.

    So yes, the natural logical conclusion to draw is that if there is no one to do it, nursing will be delegated yet another task.

    I would ask your mgt who exactly do they presume will be doing the UC's job if there is no UC. Then laugh in their faces and get the hell out.
  12. by   hapeewendy
    although I wish they would get rid of a few of the unit secretaries I work with, (half the time its not like theyre doing any work anyway), I dont believe a unit can function without someone doing the work of a unit secretary...
    and by saying that I certainly do not mean that nursing should take over this role
    we already play social worker, dietician, environmental services worker, discharge planner etc etc entirely too much...
  13. by   montroyal
    Originally posted by esmereldajane
    They want to eliminate these positions in our hospital. Anyone working with a system that does not utilize these support positions?
    When I became a RN in 1992 I worked per diem at a hospital in NH that did "Primary Care" Nursing. No LPN's, aids,transport or secs. Rn's were responsible for all aspects of pt care. This was at a time when nurses willing to work were plentiful and if you didn't like it, there were 10 other people willing to take your job. We did minimal pt teaching and spent most of our day doing the ancillary stuff. I hated it.
  14. by   canoehead
    Very poor decision on admin's part. Think of the time the RN gets freed up to do other things while the secretary is manning the phone, and the improved quality of care when one person looks after paperwork issues...it just seems like such a poor and stupid idea, even if they have to beg money from another part of the budget.

    Don't tell anyone, but if I have a good unit secretary I am willing to trade him/her for an aide and do the baths etc myself (if it's a matter of one or the other).

    And on busy shifts what about the times when no one is at the desk, if you are all in rooms are you expected to leave a naked pt and run to the phone. I suggest the passive aggressive approach- just don't answer the phone unless you are sitting in front of it. It will certainly cut down on your work for the day.

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