My Story - What's happening to my hospital?

  1. I'm writing this but trying to keep it intentionally vague simply because of the fear of retaliation from management at my hospital. And that in and of itself is very sad.

    I've been a nurse for more than a decade and I have never seen something happen in a hospital the way I'm seeing it now.

    This is going to sound crazy but I believe upper nursing management is trying to destroy our hospital. In the last year, over 30 nurses have left the emergency department. These are experienced, talented core staff and they are leaving in droves. In the last month alone, 7 experienced core staff have turned in their notices or transferred to an outlying hospital. The physicians have tried to go to bat for the nurses and have been told to butt out in no uncertain terms.

    The nursing manager has been a nurse for all of three years and has 3 months of ER experience. She left one week after getting out of ER orientation. Two years later with surgery experience only she was back as the nursing manager. When she has to work the floor, the only thing she can do is be charge nurse because she has no experience with taking care of ER patients or working trauma. The work environment has become extremely hostile with nurses ratting out other nurses when they voice their concern with the situation.

    There is a "supervisor" who is over the techs and secretaries who is literally the most evil person I think I've ever met. She wages war on her secretaries. She has shoved one that I know of, tried to sabotage transfers when they can't take it anymore and try to transfer to another area, impuned their morals, copied their medical files and included those with their employee files when they transfer, fires them without them ever having any previous disciplinary actions against them and despite numerous complaints to human resourses, no action has ever been taken against her.

    I am truly sickened by what is happening and I feel so frustrated because no one seems to care. Our hospital was trying to obtain magnet status (that has been put on hold for at least two years) and formed all sorts of nursing councils which are a complete joke. A recruitment and retention council when the attrition rate is truly horrifying.

    It is also happening on the floors but I won't go into that here.

    Has this happened to any others? What can we do when management does not care and moreover, seems to encourage this kind of environment?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    Have they hired a consulting firm to help them increase profits? I have seen these tactics used after a consulting firm was hired. Increasing profits by cutting wages and benefits are the primary money saving tactic. Also, they recommend decreasing numbers of full time employees and hiring part timers with no benefits. Sometime full time people who have been there a long time and thus make top salaries are targeted for harrassment in attempts to get them to quit. Non licensed personel like secretaries and NAs are the primary targets but sometimes they go after nurses with many years experience. It can be quite heart breaking and it can really impact the quality of care but the bottom line is so important that it does not matter. Also, sometimes new CEOs are hired with the understanding that they are to bring down cost and increase profits. They also can be quite ruthless. I personally have experienced both situations, the consulting firm and the new CEO and it is not a pleasant thing to go through. By the way, that very nasty management person you describe may be what we used to call a "hatchet man". Their job is to chase people with a lot of seniorty out of the building. The more awful they behave, the more senior people bale out and the more pleased upper levels of managment it with them. I am not making this up, I have been through just what you are describing. I feel bad for you, good luck and remember to look out for number one. It is the only thing these accountants:trout: respect, they think people who put the needs of others before their own welfare are fools and doormats who deserve to be exploited and abused.
  4. by   babynurselsa
    No Oramar. I know the place that tigerlily is speaking of.
    The manager went into this dept as a new grad, after 3 months she felt it was too overwhelming and quit. She then went to a ODS job.
    After some upheaval somehow, I will never quite figure this part out, she got the job as manager of a large level one ER.
    This indiviadual has made it her mission to get rid of anyone who predated her there. She has booted out people who have been in this ER for decades. Good nurses with tons of experience. IT is the saddest and most bizarre thing I have ever seen.
  5. by   Dixielee
    When I read the OP first 2 paragraphs, I thought surely she was talking about my hospital! We have lost so many experienced RN's I can't even count them. I have been there over 2 years as a traveler. We now have 14 travelers, the Oct "needs" list just came out and there are 8-10 openings every single day and that is with the current travelers. I don't mean 4 hour shifts to cover lunchs, but 8 and 12 hour shifts every day. They say they are not renewing any traveler contracts. Our manager and her boss have recently retired or resigned, leaving us with no immediate leadership. No one knows what to expect now.

    There is talk about increasing patient:nurse ratios, when we are already stretched to the limit. I know management needs to cut the budget, but to what end? We have lots of new grads, 10 or more. They were promised a one year internship and are now being expected to function fully within 3 months or so.

    I do worry about the future of health care in our country. I don't have any answers, but I know the cuts are deep and sharp. Stay healthy, do not participate in risky behavior and stay out of hospitals if you can!
  6. by   Tygerlile
    No I don't think that's what's happening. Supposedly the hospital started working to get magnet status fairly recently and formed a bunch of nursing councils to work toward that goal. You can't get magnet status when your staff is so unhappy. The secretarial "supervisor" has been around a long time and she just goes after people for fun. She is truly evil and everyone detests her but management will not get rid of her for some odd reason.

    I don't know what's going to happen but it's the saddest thing I've ever seen.
  7. by   oramar
    Quote from Tygerlile
    No I don't think that's what's happening. Supposedly the hospital started working to get magnet status fairly recently and formed a bunch of nursing councils to work toward that goal. You can't get magnet status when your staff is so unhappy. The secretarial "supervisor" has been around a long time and she just goes after people for fun. She is truly evil and everyone detests her but management will not get rid of her for some odd reason.

    I don't know what's going to happen but it's the saddest thing I've ever seen.
    What a shame. Have heard stories like this before. What ever the reason and it can happen for several reasons, it is a shame.
  8. by   MrsMommaRN
    When reading the OP I was truly saddened. Amist all of this there is patient care going on somewhere. How GROSS!! Is there a reason you the OP are not getting out or are you hoping for a wave of change?
    Best of luck to you I hope things get better for you and the sake of your patients.
  9. by   leslymill
    I bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. It is an abuse of power. I would documenting each firing or repremand that seems inapproprite it for future. You may have a pristine moment to make your concerns know to the right ears with the right power to fix it.
  10. by   Katmandu
    I'm seeing the same thing in my hospital. I'm afraid, too. I want to do some research on Medicare requirements, especially nurse patient ratio,but I can't find the right information on the web. Maybe I'm not using the right words. Medicare seems to be the only entity that they will listen to. We have patients up on one of the units that they just admit to fill the census. They don't have the nursing staff for it and they keep hiring new kids out of school that just plain don't know how to take care of patients medically much less atend to their psych needs. They've changed employee insurance for us to meet another deductible at mid year and you have to use their ER and facilities or the insurance won't cover it and even then the insurance company can deny payment. They invested in a new facility for one specialty and now they've stripped down staff and supplies to pay for it. The new CEO talked a good line when he came, but the quality of care in that place has gone down, down, down. What nurses that will work for them are just plain exploited. They've started a "Service Excellence"
    program along with a major marketing program ,which is just plain bull.
    All they were doing is putting lipstick on Dracula.
    Does anyone know where I can find the information on Medicare and their requirements without getting lynched? This is Louisiana. Thanks.
  11. by   underpaidrn
    I too, thought the writer was talking about the hospitals in my area. Both hospitals are owned by one company. The treat nurses horrendously and don't care what nurses think of them. They are the only game in town and also 99 percent of the doctor's offices are owned by the same company. It's a very rural area, so your choices are limited. Stay at the hospital and put up with whatever they toss your way, or work in extended care facilities. I know of one nurse that was fired for a HIPAA violation and then was hired back and made a shift supervisor! This was in direct violation of their no hire back policy. I guess it's who you know and not what you know. The nurse in question will fit right in with the management team - back stabbing and sneaky. I feel sorry for everyone who has to work in that type of environment. I am glad I don't. Work in home health now for one of the few agencies in town that are not owned by the mega corporation.
  12. by   linda8532
    you surely must be talking about my facility--we have the same problem here. BAD MANAGERS, I am talking bad. There is so much favoritism going around that it makes one want to puke. Seriously, the higher ups are just as bad because they turn a blind eye to it. We recently had an employee survey done and it reflected the management, but what did management do? Turned it around to make it the staff's fault, surely it couldn't be her, so it had to be the staff. We have meetings to discuss how to improve and manager sitting right there so no one will discuss anything in front of her out of fear of retaliation. We have nurses that need to go back to nursing 101, they are a threat to patient safety, but these are the protected. Unless you clean house from the top down, start over with people that are new and know no one, nothing will ever happen--things will remain the same.
  13. by   Brattyone78
    What you are describing is a culture of unchecked abberrant behavior and criminal acts. The law is still to be followed and enforced in any workplace. Pushing another person is assault and battery. Silence is consent. The things that are occurring need to be reported to the County, State and Federal authorities. If it isn't reported nothing will change.
  14. by   Orca
    I was in a situation in which a former peer became the nurse manager of my unit. She immediately set out to get rid of all the charge nurses in place, including me. I was her first target because she apparently saw me as the biggest threat to her ultimate authority. She used a small network of informants (two of whom were unhappy because I had given them less-than-glowing evaluations) who fed her information (either grossly exaggerated or totally fabricated) to build a case against me. She even had the gall to tell me (when presenting me with this litany of lies) that perhaps I ought to look into case management, "because some people just aren't cut out to be supervisors." Seeing the handwriting on the wall, I went forward with a long-delayed plan to relocate to another city.

    God help those people, because 12 years after I left this woman is now the chief nursing officer of the hospital.
    Last edit by Orca on Apr 28, '10

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