Harborview or Swedish? - page 3

by Icess64

11,126 Visits | 28 Comments

I wasn't sure where to put this, so hopefully I'm posting it in the right spot! So it's come time to think about where I'm going to work (graduating in June-yay!). I am debating between Harborview Medical Center and Swedish,... Read More


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    @maximus418: VMMC is really great. Can't say enough good things, but they are currently in a hiring freeze :/ I'll be lucky if I'll get the job I was verbally offered. The only negative I can think of is that they see a smaller patient population (lower census overall than the surrounding seattle hospitals). Hope this helps!
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    I worked for years at the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center. Large teaching hospitals. I learned a lot but I REALLY learned and "made my bones" at the public hospital. You will not get the same quality of nursing experience anywhere else. You will see things at Harborview that you will never see anywhere else. If you can be a successful nurse there, you can do it anywhere. My husband works there in the Neuro ICU. They have great security there and they are VERY serious about it. I went there one night after I got off work (I am a nurse also) to get the house keys because he had locked me out and they would not let me in the hospital. They made me wait at the metal detector and he had to bring the keys down to me. You are safe in that hospital. A patient or visitor might try to assault you but you will get that type of thing no matter where you work. Your major danger area around any hospital is the parking lot and in the stairwells. As long as you use precautions, you can keep yourself safe. At Harborview they take the security of the staff very seriously and it is their top priority. My husband has told me stories of times when people got out of hand (like down in psychiatry) and security was right there, on the spot, to take action. And from what he says, they don't fool around. They are agressive with getting people under control. At least the security officers at Harborview have the authority to arrest someone. Not like at my hospital where we have "rent a cop" and they don't even carry pepper spray. They are totally useless.
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    I volunteered at Harborview for a couple years while I was working on my nursing prereqs and I loved it. I have no experience with Swedish, but I can say that I did not feel unsafe at Harborview at any time. Granted, I got to park in the garage there with my volunteer permit, but I'd give other employees rides to their car if they needed them, and HMC's safety unit will pick you up and drop you off at your car anytime you need it. The post above is correct - Swedish and Harborview are pretty darn close together (a five or ten minute walk), so anyone that you're likely to see loitering around in front of Harborview, you are just as likely to see at Swedish. I liked HMC because of all the different kinds of people and cases I saw, so I wouldn't rule out if you are looking for experiences that will challenge you and build you into a good nurse.
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    Hi, I've worked at Swedish and Harborview... and also been a patient in both facilities. I do not think Seattle is a very good place for healthcare generally...especially having worked/been a serious visitor in other parts of the country. The amount of "psychiatric survivors" on the streets is legion (what does that say about psychiatry there--or anywhere?) When "healthcare" becomes "power" (who am I talking about here? having also participated in the same)... and people are not called "people", but less than human (even when their behavior indicates they are not functioning as a human) because of "the fault of the medical system" as well as the many, many myths WE have perpetrated as a society (including that we have the right to "intervene" in others' lives and life choices--i.e. "socialized medicine" causing people to lose their will to survive as well as the demonization of learning from mistakes and suffering, and the dignity of life and death). Having myself seen the results of "considering someone less than human and less than dignified" and the resulting loss of human identity--what can we expect? Needless to say, I am no longer welcome in any nursing capacity in Seattle--the "system" does not seem to tolerate change agency very well... too much money involved in the "status quo" apparently. By the way, VM is NOT known generally as a good place, either. Having had a friend's husband die from their incompetence, as well as an 18 y/o nephew with cancer of the roof of his mouth so badly mismanaged (he could easily have lost his life: this scholar-student and star football player)--whose family could not afford the kind of care he needed... so his treatment was delayed to a dangerous point by VM (why was not he referred to where he could get immediate care?)--and when the intervention came, it was a total disaster. There many such "case histories" there I could give you, but won't. I have had other friends move out of Washington, as well... the reason? "It is a police state" (quotes from a friend, a Sorbonne-educated artist). When forced-detention is done to un-sick and politically-active people--as recently I quoted the supervisor of defense attorneys for the county as saying to me over the phone--and to "many", I'm sorry--it's pretty grim out here! Call it the effects of "liberalism" if you will--I say we educated people have a general lack of humility and a good deal of "following the herd mentality" in order to 'get along'" to perpetrate our own well-being.
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    Hey all

    I work at Harborview in one of the ICUs. I love it here. I've worked here almost 7 years. I have worked at several of the area hospitals as a travel RN...and I have to say, Harborview is the best.

    The experience you gain here is second to none. I started here as a new nurse and haven't looked back. It's been a wonderful experience hands down. I have learned more than I ever thought possible. I have become the RN I always dreampt I'd be. Everyday I do new and excited things, some I'd only read about before I came here. We take care of the sickest of the sick, the worst traumas, burns, and everything in between- in a 4 state region. We are a strong group of dedicated people (it is true that we are the lowest paid RNs in the entire city). I bet if you ask 100 nurses here, more than 80% would say they dont work here for the money anyway. We love what we do. We are good at what we do. We are proud to be here and want to teach anyone willing to join us.

    Having said that, HMC does have some "characters of questionable intent" outside...but I assure you that I have never been in an unsafe or threatening position. I have never been uncomfortable in my role here. I feel like our security is on top of their game. They know who enters this hospital and they never have to be asked twice to come to our aid, no matter what the situation involves. I have called them for and number of reasons, such creepy people hanging around the waiting rooms, smoke in the stairwell, and just because I felt uneasy. Never once have they said no or made me wait more than the time it takes them to get to my unit. I have actually had a few circumstances where I have had a security officer staged outside my patient room, and I've never felt safer. As its been previously stated, HMC is within a few blocks of several other hospitals. The "clients" we see are seen at most, if not all, the other hospitals around here too. So safety is really not a problem, so long as you are smart about when and where you go at night.

    I'd say if you are excited about nursing and want to take care of a variety of really sick and injured people....this is the place for you. Its hard not to be challenged here and its even harder to not go home rewarded for what you love to do.

    Cheers
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    I have worked at Harborview for 20 years and love it here. The best thing about Harborview is that everyone who works here; doctors, nurses, techs, even housekeeping, work here because they want to. There are easier places to work, and malcontents tend to go to those easier places. This is one of the most supportive, rewarding environments I think you could hope for. Does it have problems? Well, yeah, what place doesn't? I'll tell you this, though: the bureaucracy is more obnoxious than the people who hang around outside. Yes, there have been a few difficult situations from time to time, but our patient population is the neediest, so that is inevitable. This is the place of last resort for those who have been marginalized elsewhere, and nothing feels quite so wonderful as giving care to those who have been distrustful or difficult to reach prior to their experience here. I have never felt unsafe here; of course, you have to use your head, but that's true anywhere.
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    By the way, skeeter, we are not the lowest-paid nurses in Seattle. Our salaries are regularly reviewed, and the state is well aware that if they undercut us too much, we will go work elsewhere.
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    you are absolutely right. I didnt mean that in the literal sense. We are paid competetively. However, in the surrounding area, we at HMC, are not the highest paid. Thank you for the clarification.
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    I've heard great things about BOTH hospitals so either one would be a great place to work at.


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