Run Into the Ground (rant)

  1. I'm here at home thinking about how much I DON'T want to go into work today--to another day of 50-60+ phone calls, disability and FMLA forms, scheduling cases at several different sites, following up on patients who are scheduled to have procedures this week who HAVEN'T gotten their labs and preops sent in, as well as the usual Monday crap hanging over from the weekend! I work in a huge multi-specialty group practice for 2 neurosurgeons--1 is extremely busy with procedures and a high-anxiety population of cerebrovascular patients, and the other is a functional neurosurgeon who has lots of chronic pain patients. I am seeing patients in clinic 4 days a week plus my own nurse visits for wound checks, suture removal, etc., as well as anything not major enough to see the surgeons about. I am one of 3 nurses who have a 2 physician practice--the remaining 4 have one physician assigned to them. Of the 3 of us with 2 docs, 2 of us have UNREAL workloads that lead to 10-12 hour days, no lunch breaks, etc. Our clinic is a mess from the ancillary support standpoint with no MAs, lousy phone people who can't get basic information correctly from callers and who like to hit that transfer call button rather than get information and put the message on the computer so we can triage the calls. Consequently calls end up in voicemail that may not get checked all day if we are seeing patients. The checkout people will only schedule a follow up appointment--they will not assist patients in scheduling scans, tests or other procedures so the nurses end up doing it. We have spoken with the nurse manager a number of times both separately and as a group, and she is very good at taking the path of least resistance when it comes to dealing with the business-based practice administrator. Our exam rooms are filthy, unstocked--we run out of suture removal kits on a regular basis--and the red trash bins and needleboxes are usually overflowing. It's an embarrassment, especially considering that we are supposedly the "mecca" in this area........HAHAHAHAHA!

    At any rate--having been a manager, I see most of this for what it is (keeping budget under TIGHT control so our docs and administrators get their $30,000+ annual bonuses), but I am tired of feeling like I am being beaten to death every week--there isn't enough of me to go around! I come home in the evenings and my husband says I look like I've been through the war! I realize I have the option to walk, but I am just 5 months short of being 100% vested for retirement (if you leave beforehand, you lose it all, and I've worked too hard for that money--they aren't keeping it!!!!!). I am just disgusted that more and more the business end of healthcare is the only thing that matters, and that the administration here is so damn greedy at the expense of the staff and the patients (who are no walk in the park--lemme tell ya'! Wealthy, entitled, and very full of themselves--they are the ONLY ones who matter and will tell you so! ) I am feeling increasingly burned out. I've survived 28 years of healthcare, but am at my saturation point now. Do any of you in outpatient nursing experience the same thing? Are nurses usually chiefs, cooks and bottlewashers in most practices?

    I apologize about the length of this--I really needed to get this off my chest before I jump in the shower and head off to the salt mines. Thanks for taking the time to read this.......
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    About bestblondRN

    Joined: Dec '00; Posts: 398; Likes: 19
    Legal Nurse Consultant/Defense Med Mal
    Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in OB, M/S, ICU, Neurosciences


  3. by   Jessy_RN
    Clear your mind, wear your positive attitude vest today and best wishes to you!
  4. by   flashpoint
    I realize this post is a few months old, but I can totally relate. I average 75 calls a day to patients, with questions, test results. refills, etc...and that doesn't include the calls I make to set up tests, schedule referals, or call in prescriptions. I have no problem at all doing the things that patients CAN'T do, but it really burns me when a patient has 10 refills left on their Prozac and they call me asking me to call the pharmacy and tell them they will be needing a refill tomorrow. We're trying to educate our patients that it is OK for them to do that and that it really isn't our responsibility, but the doctors still expect us to do it when someone calls. We also get a lot of people who call us three or four times to find out when their tests are, when referal appointments are...we either give them the times in writing before they leave their appointment or we mail them the times...are people really so busy they can't mark something on a calendar or stick a note to their refeigerator? Friday, one of the other nurses had to reschedule 12 appointments for patients because "something came up" and they couldn't keep their appointments...personally, I think they should reschedule on their own if they are capable...we have to set up the initial visit, but if the date or time needs to be changed, I don't know of anyone that expects the change to come through our clinic. And the paperwork can just get overwhelming...I can't believe how many people expect us to fill out every bit of their paperwork...they don't even fill in their name, address, employer, or whatever...even some of the things we don't have access to!

    I know this sounds like a lot of complaining and whining...overall I really do love my job...sometimes it just feels like we are in such a "gimme" society that people expect way too much to be done for them instead of taking responsibility for themselves.
  5. by   ekm
    Boy can I relate to all of this, most of the time I have to do the front desk and med records job as well, I can't even get them to have our new patients fill out paper work which IS THEIR JOB.
    I work in a multi-physician office,3 GP's and one specialist whom I am the nurse for, needless to say that my doc brings in more money for the practice than the other docs, and they can't even get the insurance cards copied, something is definetely wrong with this picture. I have got to say that our main problem is that we have a high turnover rate of office personnel, so when they hire someone to replace, they hire someone either with no experience or they are immature. Personally I'm sick of hearing about this ones boyfriend troubles or that ones anxiety troubles, nothing much will ever be done about it...........I can only hope that my doc decides to open his own practice in the near future , since I love working for him, and that's why I stay.

    Take good care of yourself!

  6. by   elprup
    I know this thread is really old but I am sure going through this right now at my tiny rural clinic. I started 7 months ago and it was horrendous then trying to learn the clinic floor and triage as a new grad. And here I am 7 months later and it's even worse! I wrote a letter to my director today stating my concerns (pt care, risk management, and employee wellbeing). We shall see if I get fired or if things change. I'd love to hear from others.
  7. by   Elleveein
    I've worked in several offices and i believe the op was right when she said
    administration here is so damn greedy at the expense of the staff and the patients (who are no walk in the park--lemme tell ya'! Wealthy, entitled, and very full of themselves--they are the ONLY ones who matter and will tell you so! )

    I've seen it time and time again, they do whatever it takes NOT to spend money on staff and basic office needs, it ridiculous. The clinic i work at now is under staffed too many mistakes are made, but its not a concern to the docs as long as the money is coming in.