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.......