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dream'n, BSN, RN 10,174 Views

Joined Aug 28, '06. Posts: 885 (57% Liked) Likes: 2,429

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  • May 18

    I don't think there is much you can do to change a workplace that is hostile, or shows favoritism or harassment. It usually is not going to work well for an employee to attempt to confront and change unless it is very severe and you have very good documentation, not usually worth the effort. I would concentrate my energy/efforts in getting a new job. It is nice that you want to try to help your former coworker but she/he will be in the same boat you were. Also, you need the reference of your former employer so I don't know that causing problems for them is the right way to go.

  • May 18

    If this has happened to a few of the nurses, maybe you can group together with an attorney and see if there is any legal things to be done.

    Otherwise, let it go. I know it sucks, and it is still raw and real, but there are better places out there. I too once worked for a magnet hospital, high profile, best of the best hospitals, and thought it was my dream job, (mega bucks, great benefits), only to have management treat nurses horribly. I quit and that stung for a while, but I am over now and so much better for it. You will be too.

  • May 18

    Quote from poopylala
    I notice that most nurses now are younger rather than older (less than 35 years old). Where have all the older nurses gone? Do they tend to work in certain units at your hospital or work in clinics?

    From my observation of working as a nurse for more than 20 years and now moving towards the age of 50 I find that most nurses on high traffic/ high workload floors including med/surg and all intermediate care units tend to be of a younger age as you have already observed.

    It seems to change when you look at areas that are "less crazy" and offer better work conditions including critical care areas, PACUs, intervention areas.
    In the major teaching hospitals, older nurses also gravitated towards the night shift if working on a medsurg or stepdown floor.

    Why is this happening?

    First of all, many nurses used to move towards shifts that would accommodate their family /family planning better and that used to be night shifts for many or evenings etc. - a lot of them like their arrangement and do not wish to go back to the busier day shifts.

    Secondly, some nurses plainly drop out of the hospital once they have family because they are looking for something that fits their lifestyle better.
    Thirdly, we are not getting younger....

    Fourthly, you discover that the hospital is not the "holy grail" and look into other options that do not require nights and weekends - which tends to be not the hospital environment unless you have a special position or agreement.

    I can say that when I got older and got past 35 I noticed that I felt less energetic but also less likely to put up and accept bad working conditions. I became more critical of the way management treats their nurses and asked questions pertaining to how quality of care, workload/support/staffing, and health/satisfaction of myself interfaces. Once it became more important for me to have a job that enables me to do my best work/ quality instead of just pushing the numbers of admissions and discharges on the busy floors with constant running/multitasking/ punitive hospital culture/ unhealthy working climate I took action.

    It became less important for me to put the "big names" on my resume because by that time I had already enough work experience in different areas of "big name" hospitals and instead focused on what is important to me now. I also was in the position to take a risk with starting a new job. For some nurses it is more important to suffer through the status quo because they depend on the specific job due to money or arrangements. For me it was more important not to get burned out by the giant churning machine...

    It seems that most nurses who want to keep their sanity look to leave the bedside after a few years - favorite places are case management, management (if one is inclined to move over to the dark side..), administration, areas with less patients to take like critical care/PACU....

    For a while, home care was also very popular but now it is basically the same craziness as hospital nursing - only that your trunk is full of supplies, you drive around and see one patient at a time. The documentation requirements are crazy.

  • May 17

    Quote from Meriwhen
    At 2.5 years in, I wouldn't exactly call you new

    But if what you say about your working conditions is true, I think it's time you start looking for your second job as a nurse.
    I was thinking the same, then realized I was assuming that the OP was hired into this HORRIBLE position right away.

    In any case, that sounds like the 7th level of hell.

  • May 17

    It's normal to feel overwhelmed as a newer nurse. It is NOT normal to work 5-6 10-12 hour shifts a week and it is NOT normal to care for 120 residents! The most I've heard of previously is 40-50 which is already insane. The fact that you are salaried with no overtime means they can take serious advantage of you in a way that is unethical and should be illegal, if it's not. You are exhausted. You spend all your time being "on" since you are on call even when you're home. You never get a break and that is a big part of the reason you feel so overwhelmed and close to burnout.

    Like the others have said, get out. Get out before this job costs you your health, your sanity, your license and your love of nursing. Report your employer to any and all agencies involved because I suspect they'd be pretty appalled at the expectations placed on you. Do not feel you're letting your director down--she is letting you down by letting you continue to work in such unsafe conditions!

    I hope you can find another LTC position (preferably an hourly one so you are fairly compensated for the work you do) or another position altogether that is suited for you, and work your way through school if needed. Go ahead and get that BSN and open up all kinds of new opportunities for yourself! You deserve so much better than what you're getting right now.

    For what it's worth, anytime I had to work 3 12's in a row, or work 4 or 5 12's in a week, I was so exhausted I couldn't think straight and could barely function. I don't know how you are able to do it!

  • May 17

    Quote from Been there,done that
    You are not working for the assisted living facility, you are running it for the for-profit company.

    This arrangement is unheard of in the business. Quit now and report the unsafe practice to the state.
    Absolutely! Quit now! Turn in your notice today!

  • May 17

    Get out! Don't give up nursing because you're in this crappy situation. Do your program so it can broaden your job prospects and find an area that isn't abusing you and that you're happy in. Quit the job? Yes! Quit the career because of the job?? Absolutely not!

  • May 17

    You are not working for the assisted living facility, you are running it for the for-profit company.

    This arrangement is unheard of in the business. Quit now and report the unsafe practice to the state.

  • May 17

    Quote from not.done.yet
    Had she not consented, then yes, it would be a HIPAA violation. However, you had her consent and as such were within HIPAA guidelines. That being said, that consent was not in writing and you are held to a higher standard now. I would think if she is well enough for visitors she is well enough to pop onto Facebook long enough to post the sentence you wrote.

    Remember, anything that even acknowledges someone is in a medical building cannot be disclosed without their permission. It does not have to contain medical information specifically.
    That's just not true. She was a visitor. You can't break HIPAA if you're seeing someone as a visitor. Further, saying what room or floor someone is on isn't a HIPAA violation. You can call any hospital and ask what room Joe Blow or Jane Doe is in and they'll tell you unless that patient specifically asked to be excluded from the directory.
    483-Does HIPAA permit health care facilities to inform visitors about a patient’s location |

  • May 16

    Quote from momto6msn
    It becomes my business every Saturday when I work short and I end up with 3-4 vents and no lunch/break for 13-14 hrs.....
    That's management's fault. If they accommodate that request.

  • May 16

    Quote from ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Yea we ran into that too. I mean these meds alone take weeks to truly start working to even know if they are helping but insurance is pushing for d/c right away. My son was on one med and he was not feeling like it was helping and it was making him feel worse, when talking to him he flatly said that although he didn't feel like he did that day we found him, he still felt very resolved that he would rather just be dead. The next day they try a new med and he didn't report any problems and so they recommended discharge. I was like Seriously??? 2 days prior he still felt like he was meant to die. But they were getting to the point where they had to D/C or change him to resident.

    The entire system is frustrating and it doesn't look like there is any end in sight.
    Getting an inpatient peds psych bed can also be hard, unfortunately. There aren't enough of them...sigh.

  • May 16

    The school nurse was called to the "fainting" scene and thought it was just that? Sorry, something is missing here. I am a school nurse and this seems so very odd.

    And yes, kids are impulsive. They cannot see the future as well as an adult can and cannot reason a time where they will feel better. They don't think of long term consequences. Suicide is the 3rd leading case of death for children 10-14 and the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 15-34. (CDC Link:

    I've seen SI more than I wish in the school setting. We take it very seriously. But parents, especially loving parents, can be at a lose what to do/how to help. Support is key. But even with all the support out there, things happen. This poor boy and family; I'm not certain they got the support they obviously needed.

  • May 16

    Quote from ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Some of these kids are learning even more stuff from the other kids in the unit that might have issues far more severe. It's overall just a frustrating situation.
    Oh, I don't deny that's a factor, too, I find frustrating as a nurse for this population. And don't get me started on the insurance companies. I've had so many situations where a kid gets on a new med with us, is thriving, insurance denies the med, and they end up right back with us when they're forced to go back on the one that wasn't working...or go without...

  • May 16

    Quote from hppygr8ful

    The other thing that surprises me and I noted this on the Psychiatric Nurses forum is how clueless most of these kids parents are. They push for discharge from a mental health facility immediately after the 72 hour hold (5585/California) is expired. It doesn't matter that the child just recently tried to kill themselves "They seem fine now." It boggles my mind. These parents have no clue what their kids are doing or feeling, who their friends are, what they are doing on the internet etc.... So yes I do believe parents carry some of the blame in these situations. Oftentimes it is s friend who alerts someone that a friend is in trouble. Parents tend to ignore all the warning signs and keep their blinders on tight. I don't know what role school nurses may have in educating families and kids on maintaining a healthy emotional balance but I suspect like most nurses they are overworked and underpaid and do the best they can under the circumstances.

    I guess this ends my rant. Like I said I didn't read all the post so apologize if I repeated others thoughts or opinions.

    You said SO much of what I was going to! And probably better than I could have, since shifting to nights has my brain fried a bit this week. SO MANY parents just do not understand how sick their kid IS or give mental illness the respect it deserves. I explain the brain is an organ, just like any other, and it can have illnesses of its own. Stigma is part of it, and sometimes cultural issues regarding mental health enter. But I have several families a week pushing for discharge, AMAs (even though that's not something we do when they're on a hold), insisting their kid is just doing this for attention, etc. If I had a dollar every time a parent threatened to call the police to have their child released to them, that we were just making a big deal out of nothing, I wouldn't have any more student loans. Sometimes they do and the police get to explain the same law to them that I just did.

    Kids can and do kill themselves. Kids can and do WANT to kill themselves. They do hear voices. Some mental health issues don't traditionally manifest until later in life, but a lot DO and people assume kids are too young for that. But they're not. Sometimes it's organic. Sometimes it's trauma. Sometimes the two mix and create an even more complex problem.

    A lot of people want to blame media for younger kids knowing how to kill themselves. But a determined kid will try anything. I've seen so many attempts, in various ways that...yeah, the kids shouldn't know. But they absorb everything in society, and sometimes something they heard one time somewhere in a different context volunteers itself in their moments of despair. A co-worker, used to adult psych, once asked me how a six year old would even THINK of hanging as a suicide option. The kid's response, when asked the same question in a therapy session? Judas hanged himself in the Bible...

    I don't like to play "blame the parents" in cases of bullying victims, at all, especially in this case where the parents were clearly involved and the ball was dropped elsewhere. But I do like to remind parents, gently, that denial and stigma surrounding mental health - or even the unwillingness to accept that kids can suffer from adult-sized problems - CAN kill.

  • May 16

    Quote from dream'n
    My son made a serious suicide attempt about three years ago. It was God that led us to find and save him in time. He was in therapy at the time, but afterwards I made the whole family get personal counseling. Even with my counseling, I know I still have PTSD from it. He has made great strides and is healthy and happy, but I still find myself having flashbacks and am trying hard not to be too hovering.
    I am glad to hear that everything is doing better, for this incident it definitely sparked back up PTSD issues I already had, it got so bad I couldn't walk into my front door and right past his room without picturing him there hanging. Instead of him physically my image would be of a boy the same age that we coded in the ER. But in my sons research it appeared that was the method he had planned on using. My grandmother and brother both committed suicide, mental health issues run very deep in the family. These cases are becoming more and more frequent and it's just heart breaking. Again, I am very glad you guys are doing better! I have been through some extremely traumatic things in my life, but nothing compared to that day, that phone call and walking through the door trying to prepare to find my son dead. So I definitely can sympathize with what you went through.*I tried to find some mushy emoji to put here but I can't find one*