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I'm working for a for-profit hospital for the first time, and there are a lot of differences. I find that they contract for EVERYTHING! Almost all their docs are contracted, supplies are contracted, pharmacy is contracted, ancillary workers are contracted, basically everything but the toilet paper, and even then........! I find they do anything to keep their costs down. We don't have pharmacy on site at night, we have tele-pharmacy that enters orders from a satellite base site in Virginia. Staff is constantly chasing their tails on the night shifts because things are entered wrong in our EMAR, and pharmacy is slooooooow. I find there is a lot of red tape and extra protocols to follow because of the reimbursement/bonuses on a corporate level. We also don't have many nursing assistants and do a lot of ADL activities. That said, the staffing ratios are very fair. The floor I work has a max of 3 pedi patients to one nurse, and med surg is an average of 4, max of 5. Staff and management are wonderful to work with, and the patient care given is excellent.
I surveyed hospitals for my state and the Feds for several years, and, during that time, I went into nearly every hospital in my state. My partner and I used to marvel that we could tell, just by going into the facilities and looking around casually, which were for-profit and which were not-for-profit. The for-profit facilities appeared to cut every corner they could -- to a ridiculous degree -- and squeeze every nickel until it screamed. They also appeared to have more complaints made against them (investigating complaints was part of our job), often involving basic client safety or injuries, than the not-for-profit organizations. Based on my personal experience/observations so far, I would go hungry before I'd work for a for-profit healthcare facility (of any kind).
Of course, that's just my opinion and plenty of other people feel differently.
This is my current dilemma. I said yes to a for-profit two months ago and have seen first hand all the corner-cutting being referred too. The delivery model of this LTC facility is untenable and i consistently work over my shift to complete paper work. The flip side is it's a nice place with some decent people and it's close to home. I just got a call back from a non-profit i applied to two months ago and it appears the job is mine if i want it. I don't want to limit my options but a feel a certain loyalty to my current employer. It seems the for-profit has a revolving door trying to keep people while about %60 of the staff are long-timers. Weighing the pros and cons of this decision is not easy. Any feed back would be appreciated. This comment has a 'shelf-life', as i will be making a decision soon.
Avoid working at a for-profit facility at all costs. I'm lucky to be employed at a state facility, and it's so nice to be able to use as many briefs, dressings, alcohol wipes, whatever as I feel I need. We also have a pharmacy on site (rare for a LTC). contracting out health services to the lowest bidder should be a crime. The management of the companies that do so should be ashamed. I sincerely hope that their care in old age be even more shoddy and neglectful.