Harborview or Swedish?

  1. 0 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, both in Seattle. I like the idea of Harborview more because they offer a well-established residency program for new grads whereas Swedish claims on it's web site that they don't have a formal residency program but they are sometimes available. I like the thought of having extra training for a specific hospital before I'm dropped into the crazy world of nursing!

    So I was pretty set on Harborview as my first choice until someone told me that her friend works there and how she doesn't feel safe there. She was talking about how they've had to hire a ton of extra security because of several attacks on staff (sometimes even having to be escorted by security from one area in the hospital to another). I looked online for information and I found only one article talking about it, which talked more about the security guards feeling unprepared rather than the rest of the staff feeling unsafe. I'm not sure if the woman who told me this is exaggerating, or if I should really think twice before going there.

    I know working there would be great experience, but as a new grad, I'll have enough stress to deal with without worrying about my safety all the time. I could use some input from people who work there, know people who work there, etc.

    Also, any input from anyone at Swedish would be great too. Their website doesn't offter much info on opportunities for new grads. Any experiences with them would be great to hear about too. My head is spinning from trying to figure all this out! Help!
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  3. Visit  Icess64 profile page

    About Icess64

    From 'Washington'; Joined Dec '03; Posts: 56; Likes: 10.

    28 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Born-In-The-USA profile page
    0
    I heard similar stories about Harborview and its my friends telling these stories who work there. She is actually trying to quit her job because of safety problem.....many bums out there waiting in parking lot for money and esp. risky for females. swedish normally doesn't hire new grads.....they look for at least 1 yr experience unless you have precepted there and want to work in the same floor.
  5. Visit  Tweety profile page
    0
    Hi! I'll move it to the Wash. state forum and perhaps you can hone in on some locals that can help you.
  6. Visit  patwil73 profile page
    0
    Hello,

    I started my nursing career at Swedish (2001) as a new grad I was hired into their Critical Care units. I had a 3 or 4 month internship which included both classwork and preceptership upon the unit. They also offered a relocation bonus at the time. I was considering between them, Harborview, or Providence but they responded first and offered the most money - so that where I went. I loved their ICU and if I had not married and moved south would most likely still be working there.

    Hope this helps,

    Pat
  7. Visit  Icess64 profile page
    0
    Quote from Born-In-The-USA
    I heard similar stories about Harborview and its my friends telling these stories who work there. She is actually trying to quit her job because of safety problem.....many bums out there waiting in parking lot for money and esp. risky for females. swedish normally doesn't hire new grads.....they look for at least 1 yr experience unless you have precepted there and want to work in the same floor.
    Do you work at Swedish or have you just heard that they don't usually hire new grads?
  8. Visit  babyNP. profile page
    0
    I'm a nurse tech at Harborview and I love it a lot. I've never felt unsafe while working there, and I'm working the night shift, riding my bike around 11pm (granted, it's pretty close to me). And public safety will drive people to their cars or walk with you at night if you feel like you need it. In any case, Swedish is literally a stone's throw away from Harborview, so it's not like there are radically different people hanging around Swedish either.

    I've done some clinical experience at Swedish and yes, the rooms are nicer and the pay is better...but I cannot tell you how many times I've seen doctors and nurses walk out of BSI (isolation) rooms without washing their hands. It horrified me. And I went to 3 different floors (tele, and two different med-surg floors).
  9. Visit  Icess64 profile page
    0
    Quote from Justine_
    I'm a nurse tech at Harborview and I love it a lot. I've never felt unsafe while working there, and I'm working the night shift, riding my bike around 11pm (granted, it's pretty close to me). And public safety will drive people to their cars or walk with you at night if you feel like you need it. In any case, Swedish is literally a stone's throw away from Harborview, so it's not like there are radically different people hanging around Swedish either.

    I've done some clinical experience at Swedish and yes, the rooms are nicer and the pay is better...but I cannot tell you how many times I've seen doctors and nurses walk out of BSI (isolation) rooms without washing their hands. It horrified me. And I went to 3 different floors (tele, and two different med-surg floors).
    Thanks Justine,

    That's good to hear (well not the part about Swedish )! I'm still very interested in Harborview, it was actually my first choice for a while, I just got nervous when I started hearing stories about violence against employees. I'm actually going there this quarter for my psych rotation, so I'll experience first hand how I feel about it. Plus, I was thinking about it, and I live on the south edge of capitol hill, right up next to Central District, which has it's share of shady areas, and I don't feel unsafe walking around by my house. So, it shouldn't be too different. Thanks for your input, I'm glad to hear from someone who works there.

    What area do you work as a nurse tech in?
  10. Visit  babyNP. profile page
    0
    I work with Trauma Surgery, which is great as a student because I get to see a lot of different stuff. I've never been to psych, but have always wanted to see it. You can't get to it from the elevators, but I'm wondering if you can access it through the stairs?

    Good luck with whatever you choose...didn't mean to put down Swedish that much, just a different preference for different patient populations.
  11. Visit  Icess64 profile page
    0
    So I've been to Harborview for my psych clinicals, and I've decided that the crazy people are on the street outside the hospital, and less on the psych unit! That being said, I do like Harborview a lot more than I anticipated, even given the overly-friendly/scary guy that repeatedly proposes to me in a less than coherent manner.

    Oh and psych is on the 5th floor and can be accessed by the west elevators, but it's a lockdown unit, so you couldn't get to it anyways unless you have a key or someone lets you in.
  12. Visit  maximus418 profile page
    0
    Hello everyone! Anyways,my question is kind of similar to the original thread.I'm currently working for Cleveland clinic but I am planning to relocate to Seattle this summer and I am looking at Harborview MC,Swedish or VMMC.I have 5 yrs M/S experience.I wanted to find out from you guys who have worked on any of these hospitals what you can say about them and if you have another hospital in mind that you think is a very good place to work at.Thanks!
  13. Visit  aeauooo profile page
    1
    I started at Harborview and yes, they do (or at least, they did at that time) have a great RN1 residency. The nursing education department really nurtured new nurses more than I have ever seen anywhere else.

    I stayed at HMC for 4 1/2 years and gained an extremely solid foundation upon which to build my career.

    I left Seattle and later returned and worked at Swedish - where as a Harborview nurse, I never thought I could or would want to work (this thread has gotten long - has anyone mentioned the underwear joke about Swedish & Harborview nurses yet?).

    I've been on staff at 5 different hospitals and worked agency at many others and I'll tell you, working at Swedish was the best job I have ever had.

    My advice is: start at Harborview, get some years under your belt there (at least long enough to be vested in the retirement plan - a mistake I made), then move to Swedish - they love taking nurses away from Harborview because they know we come with incredible experience.
    lindarn likes this.
  14. Visit  JennieO profile page
    3
    I have worked at both Swedish and Harborview. I do not have anything bad to say about Swedish, but I far prefer Harborview. I worked at Swedish for 7 years in many areas and have been at HMC for 12 years. I have never felt unsafe at Harborview. In fact, on a few occasions at Swedish I had to have security remove "Grandpa's'" vise-like fist from my clothing and then the "pt. is always right" at Swedish. Oh, and if the family does not want Grandpa restrained at Swedish, it is not allowed. At Swedish, I remember a man with a brain tumor staggering around and assaulting staff and the nurse manager promised the family we would not restrain him, but would "watch" him closely and not let him get hurt????? At Swedish after you are hit or spit at the family will tell you what a great person he/she is. At Harborview, it is certainly more interesting and you can write your own ticket after a few years at Harborview. At Harborview the nurses are certainly more in control of their practice and do not have to put up with nearly as much as you have to at Swedish, i.e. smile at the pt and family while they verbally/physically abuse you. At Harborview we put the responsibility and consequences on the culprit, the pt., and not the RN.
    ALSO, THE STAFFING AT HARBORVIEW IS MUCH BETTER THAN SWEDISH AND WE HAVE PENSIONS AND BETTER BENEFITS. Once you work at Harborview, everywhere else is boring.
    skeeterRN, outblush, and lindarn like this.
  15. Visit  JennieO profile page
    2
    I have worked at both Harborview for 12 years and Swedish for 7 years. I have never met a nurse personally who has been assaulted at HMC, nor have I met a nurse who has left HMC for Swedish. On the other hand, I worked in the ICU at Swedish and during a two year period, 15 Swedish ICU RNs left Swedish to go to HMC. I still run into many of them at HMC and nobody has any regrets. When Swedish needs RNs, they love you. When they have too many, and it happens, you are "restructured or laid-off" and treated like you are dirt. Again, that pension at HMC is certainly worth putting your time in--much better than Swedish's. Oh, and the MDs at Harborview treat you much better than the docs at Swedish.
    outblush and lindarn like this.


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