This is the reason why it is so important for nurse managers to involve nurses in all aspects of how the unit or department works. All nurses have to be encouraged to actively contribute to the day to day functioning of their environment, they need to help with some of the decisions. I am not a manager but I understand the politics of business. I understand how patients and payers of health care are now demanding quality care and satisfaction. We can't just dump frustrations on the patients, telling them how short staffed we are does not ease their minds nor does it satisfy them. It just invites them into our frustration and low morale making matters worse. If nurse managers would take their staff and show them the budget, explain the S&^% involved in obtaining extra staff and resources they might find that the educated group of nurses working underneath them might direct their anger and energy somewhere else. Perhaps sparing the patient the details.
I was once a patient at a hospital where the staff was "overwhelmed" I just had a baby and when I called for help after fainting I was told by the nurse that they were working short and she could not come when I called (I was holding my baby when I went down). I really did not care about the "short staff" problem at that point nor did I feel better being told that, I found it inconsiderate (I was a nurse at the time of the incident). I had 2 other children after that and I never returned to that hospital, I also told everyone that I knew never to go there (even though I thought the L&D staff was wonderful and I loved my OB physician). I never forgot to this day the reason that the nurse gave me for not coming when I called. I would have preferred, genuine concern, an apology followed by a promise to check on me more often or a promise to find anyone to look in on me when I called even the cleaning staff would have sufficed.
My point is...If patients stop choosing your organization for care, and payers stop making contracts you are out of a job! The business goes under! Then you will have bigger problems than the ones that I read about in this post. Patients DON'T CARE if you are short staffed, why should they?
Last edit by northernbreeze on Jan 5