I am not intending to come across as another "Woe is me" tale, but after having another one of those days I find this is the place to let it go.
Two years ago I graduated from LPN school, top of my class. I loved it, thrived in the element and found my calling. I was eager to go out into the real world and apply what I had hurridly learned and keep learning. I love caring for people, making a difference in lives. I get such joy from seeing scared, confused, or sick patients become secure, confident, well people. I love my choice of career! It has been the main drive of getting out of bed each morning...just to go to the job I so enjoy.
I work in a Physician's Office, as the Ortho nurse for an Ortho dr. I love the role I carry and the contact I have with the public. I am graced with an outstanding staff, some of whom I have gained once in a lifetime friendships. However, in the time I have been there they have gone through 3 administrators. Since the most recent one has been in place we have lost 4 RN's and 8 staff (reception, billing, etc). These 12 well qualified and dedicated employees had been apart of the clinic since it started and when it came down to it...the resounding attitude from the well furnished offices of the "all knowing", was "don't let the door hit you in the a** on your way out"! What ever happened to value of hard work and dedication? Isn't that worth something these days?
Now there is talk of Drs quiting, more nurses threatening to walk, and for all the ones that have quit...only a few have been hired to replace those postitions. No other coverage for all the FT positions now open, we just have to cover extra on top of our already extremely hectic days. Plus, one of the gals that quit (employed there for 5 years) had asked for a $1.oo/hr raise, as she was taking over her supervisor's job plus her own job when her supervisor quit. They wouldn't give it to her. She didn't make squat to begin with. So what did they do?...hired a gal from one of our competetors and she is making $10.oo/hr more than the gal she replaced! They fired one of our head finance office holders and hired a new gal fresh from CPA school and she is making $12,000/yr more than her predecessor! Now they are confused as to why we have such an increase in overhead and will not hire any new staff. The clinic has never been known for adequate pay let alone raises. When our annual review/eval comes up the customary cost of living increase is the usual.
I have never seen such a top notch group of people that genuinely care for the patients and eachother. We are a family, and it makes me sick to see others being disregarded and treated so poorly. It is so depressing. The back stabbing and "looking out for me" theme is creating a thick stench of tension that can be cut with a knife the minute you walk into the clinic. The ravenous hunt for more money, more money makes me nauseated. Now they are talking about decreasing our time share and 401K benefits! Our only benifits they offer! The top pay for RN's max there is $13.75/hr and that is with 20+/yr experience and employed there 8+/yr. I don't have many options where I live to change. I refuse and do not want to work in our local LTC or hospital. I do not want to drive 120 miles a day to work in the nearest community with a variety in jobs.
Even through all of this sad political healthcare, I still love what I do...I hate what conditions I have to do it under. I hate not being able to spend the time I used to with my patients. I still find time to do the little extra things, but not up to the par I feel that they need and deserve.
I am so glad that I went back to school to better my life and my son's life..to still live in a trailor house and still have the same bills I can't ever seem to gain headway on...so I can hear the drs brag about their $1/2 mil-$million dollar homes and theater rooms with indoor pools. *gag* I make what CNA's make, now what did I gain by going back to school...oh yeah..another bill...school loan with interest!
I miss that ferver and drive I once had each giddy morning going to work. Now I want to just pull the covers over my head and call in sick. Sad, it's so sad to think this career choice is riddled with such chaos and pious idiots. All I want to do is care and treat my patients with my heart and soul...but it is being sucked from me. I just shake my head in disgust. Where is the respect? Where is the value? Where are things going in today's healthcare system? Questions I know that can not be given an absolute answer or resolve.
I just had to vent. One of my closest friends, employed for 8 yrs there, top notch and posessor of grace, beauty, humor and kindness, will be done this Fri Aug 4. She can't take it anymore and it breaks my heart. She is the embodiment of what "we" need, not chase away. I only see it getting worse. So I will do what I love in dispicable conditions...taking care of my patients, giving them my energy and compassion as long as I can as the walls crumble around me. I will try to shelter them from the dust and debri until my shoulders can no longer hold the weight of the brick and mortar. Happy Nursing.