Latest Comments by Rae

Rae 1,823 Views

Joined Nov 17, '98. Posts: 12 (0% Liked)

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    My facility is working towards Magnet Hospital status. I know that one of the magnet application criteria is that the facility must demonstrate that there is autonomy. Administration is looking at having different departments wear different colored uniforms. Does anyone who works at a facility with magnet status have administration mandating what the staff wears?

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    I have been an ICU nurse for 21 years. I am currently orienting to Hospice and after only 1 week, I don't know why I waited so long to make the change. I have been contemplating this change for over 2 years now. I was so discouraged with keeping patients alive that would have no quality of life. I just couldn't do it anymore. After only 1 week of seeing patients be at home enjoying what time they have left, I know in my heart that this will be the most gratifying experience in my nursing career. There is so much to learn because the focus for my patients will now be palliative care and not aggressive care. Good luck in your journey.

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    1. Charge RN days
    2. ICU
    3. 25 years experience
    4. Arizona
    5. $28.68 (that includes getting 3 levels on a clinical ladder and 7% diff for Charge position)

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    I am seeking help from anyone who has experience working in a closed unit. Our ICU staff is very dissatisfied floating to the Telemetry floor that is always losing staff. I am specifically looking for the good points and the bad points of having this kind of unit. The staff realizes that without our own full core staff, that this may not be an option. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Acting as many different roles deters from patient care (cleaning, looking for equipment, monitoring tools required by administration, screening patient needs for other disciplines such as dietary, physical therapy). Family members can take up so much of your time especially if there are end of life issues. Doctors frequently expect that the nurse communicate with others for him (i.e. consulting other physicians, talking to families, talking with other departments). Paperwork, not only documentation on the patient's medical record, but also forms that are expected as an employee that is needed for regulatory agencies, JCAHO, state health. I could go on and on.

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    I have been with the same organization for over 20 years. I make $27/hr and am maxed out. There is no incentive for retained good employees to stay. I look at the new grads starting at $15-$16/hr and wonder how as a profession are we so undervalued. My son who is a HS graduate makes more installing windshields than my new grad RN's do. We can only change things through legislative lobbying. At my facility (being 70-80% Medicare patients)because of the government cutbacks in reinbursement, we have much less money coming in. Also, with competing HMO contracts, they too are able to pay less to the hospital for care delivered. All of these things can only be changed by nurses becoming a strong voice to the lawmakers. If Christian men groups can meet with numbers in the 100,000 or more for a belief, so can nurses. Have we ever met in mass to address our concerns? The time is ripe for nurses now to show our force. I know nurses historically don't want to "rock the boat" for fear of being fired. How can facilities fire anyone when they can't find enough staff. And why aren't individual nursing associations making more noise? It's sad to say I will be moving into a new profession soon. I am studying to become a paralegal. Maybe from that standpoint I can show that nurses are overworked and underpaid.

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    Our ICU is looking into becoming a closed unit. We are tired of the staffing office deciding what to do with our staff (i.e. floating, staying home). Does anyone have knowledge of working in a closed unit and what are the pros and cons?

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    Our hospital would not allow that kind of staffing pattern. Even if we have only 1 patient in our ICU, we would have 2 RN's. This decision was recommended by our corporate legal advice. I suggest your manager look into weighing the options of cutting costs now or paying high prices during a possible litigation situation.

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    I just found this subject. I live in Arizona. I have never had to work under such dangerous, unsafe conditions in my nursing career. Med-surg nurses are taking 7-8 pts with no ancillary help, Telemetry takes 5-6, ICU takes 3 often times 2 vent pts, PACU is holding pts for hours to get a bed, ER takes 5-7 high acuity pts waiting for beds, and in all areas the norm is for the Charge nurse to take pts also. Infection rates are increasing, falls are on the rise, bedsores are developing. I will join the ranks of writing to legislators, but unfortunately with Arizona being a right to work state, I'm afraid it will fall on deaf ears. Hospital administration does not have to have a reason to fire and in the past when someone has tried to be pro-active, the hospital has "found" reasons to terminate. Administration is blind to the fact that there is a nursing shortage and will continue to fire and hire those who will not rock the boat(hiring by making special offers to sign-on). Our population in the Phoenix area is largely elderly. I know that the AARP are strong lobbyests and will probably be my first contact to make them aware of the unsafe conditions in this areas hospitals.

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    I am fortunate to say that our nurse managers are just as frustrated as the staff regarding working conditions. We do have managements support to close beds when we don't have enough staff. Unfortunately the hospital administrators don't have a clue. Our organization has so many projects going on right now including merging, building a heart hospital, and building another hospital, that they can't see whats going on in the existing institution. I don't understand why nursing is not lobbying more regarding our unsafe working conditions. Why aren't we getting the word out to the public more especially the AARP which has one of the strongest lobbying forces for consumers. My other concern is why nursing schools are not helping with this problem. For instance, in my area one of the community colleges had 300 applicants for the nursing program and only 50 slots. At this rate, we will never catch up with the need so that us "elderly" nurses can mentor those that are going to take care of us in our old age.

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    In my facility and our sister hospital, it is written into policy that any pt on a balloon pump is a 1:1. Why would a facility put itself in a position for possible litigation due to endangering the pt's life instead of paying the salary dollars needed to give adequate care? I would think that in a court of law if you stated that your standard of care in the past was to provide 1:1 care to these pts, the hospital would then have to justify the change in practice.

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    I am 1 of 4 Charge nurses in our ICU/CCU. We receive a 7% diff. for taking the position. We of course have staff act as Relief Charge when we are not there and they receive 50 cents/hr extra. We are not supposed to take patients, but in the 10 years I've been in this position it has become impossible not to now and the situation is often times unsafe. We have a severe nursing shortage in our area and acute care nurses are leaving to work less stressful jobs such as Hospice or dialysis. Often times my staff have to take 3 pts., one who is usually on a vent, so the nurses that come from Telemetry can take the easier pts. I am responsible for evaluations, staff disciplinary actions and counseling, interviewing, meetings, staffing, etc.,etc.

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    I'm from AZ. In our ICU, nurses get a $1/hr diff. for required competencies to work in this area. At our sister hospital, an extra 50cents/hr is given for caring for open-heart pts.



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