comment on this nurse manager's prior post...

  1. Interesting thread but I am torn...been on both sides. But- I am shocked at the response of the nurses who receive the "junk" stuff you all are mentioning. What do you expect?
    In most companies- the budget for employee benefits is limited. (Usually those that write the budget don't think it is important enough to warrant alot of money). It is used not only for nurses week- but for every other departments other "day/week/etc.." There actually is housekeepers day, laundry workers day, etc. The person who is responsible to purchase items is limited to their budget. Unfortunately- if you are in a small facility (with only 25 nurses) even spending $15.00 on each one is $375.00. Although the larger hospitals have bigger budgets- there are is also more staff. Consider the prns, the part timers, all 3 shifts. And- for $15.00; what would you get? Not much. Of course we can blame "administration" because "they" dont appreciate us; but like I said; they have budgets that limit them. Do you expect your nurse manager to pay for things out of their own pockets? (Been there-done that. Not going to do it again-they complained about the gift) Should managementoverceed the budget so the nurses are more appreciative (for a day) and take a chance on losing their job? (Not staying "in budget" is reason for termination in alot of companies) We all know that even if we got elaborate gifts; we would ridicule it and say "they should have...."
    I am not "selling out" on my peers- but due to a change in the administration of a facility I consult in; I have to come up with the gifts for nurses day. Due to medicare/medicaid cuts; there is a very limited budget and I have to buy for 13 nurses. Even an empty mug is $6.00 each.
    I am sure whatever I come up with will not be valued by the floor staff. They will smile when they get it; then go to the nurses station and complain/ridicule it and say that "they should have given us a raise instead" (be realistic!) Of course they want more staff, better pay, to "be appreciated every day" yadda...yadda...
    What do I as an RN want for Nurses Day?
    1. For the floor staff to quit whining about being "short staffed". If their peers would quit calling in and come to work; they would not be "short staffed" Some of the energy used to complain about it should be used to help come up with ideas to recruit staff
    2. To not be told for one whole week that they are overworked. We are all overworked and there is not a very bright light at the end of the tunnel (welcome to healthcare)
    3. Do not assume that because I sometimes am in an office behind a desk that I do not have alot of work to do. Not only will I be in the building for at least 10 hours- but I will take work home and get phone calls into the night to solve "nursing" problems when the licensed staff cannot supervise the building. (I am not complaining- I chose to take a management position) I spend the greater part of my time trying to figure out how someone made such a huge medication error, recruiting staff (that you will drive out of the facility by your rudeness), defending the care you are providing to irrate family members, pacifying the medical director, counseling the previous shifts nurse that you have done nothing but complain about because of what she didnt do before you got here, shuffling the schedule to make sure there is at least some staff in the building, writing evaluations (so you might get a raise), checking admission/discharge paperwork (that is never complete), scheduling inservices (that you will not come to), and designing some kind of gift for nurses week (that you will not like)..yadda...yadda
    4. Most of all- I would love to just have the nurses appreciate that there is a week set aside to recognize them. I would be thrilled if one of the nurses in one of my facilities came up to me and handed me a cheap keychain and said "Happy Nurses Week." If you came into this profession looking for recognition and praise- you are sadly mistaken. Nurses are overlooked, overworked, and overtired. I realized this during my first clinical experience in school. But- I didnt choose to become a nurse to get a pat on the back or expensive gifts or to become rich. I became a nurse to give compassionate care to my patients. Everyday is nurses day because everyday at least one patient smiles at me...that is gift enough.
    When you get your cheap piece of "junk"- appreciate the fact that you had what it took to get through school and have what it takes to stay in the profession. No gift has enough value to compete with that. Happy Nurses Week-

    ..................I just got to know..."how is that attitude working out for you?"
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    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 468; Likes: 20


  3. by   BadBird
    How about a simple Thank you for all you do. How about backing up their nurses on a daily basis with out of control patients demands or family demands.
  4. by   VickyRN
    I think a priceless gift from the heart would be thank you cards (could be computer-generated ones) from the nurse manager to each nurse, individualized with words of encouragement specific to each nurse. FOR INSTANCE, thank you for your commitment to excellent patient care, for always coming in on time, for a cheerful, helpful team attitude, etc. At least for me, such a card of gratitude would be quite a boost (if written in sincerity).
  5. by   Q.
    What I want from my manager ON A DAILY BASIS is support. Not wishy-washy, indecisive, powerless leadership. I want a manager who understands the needs and skills of her staff. I want a manager who is pro-nursing and is dedicated to the profession in that she understands what it is like to be a staff nurse in an ever-changing, patient and nurse and even physician-unfriendly health care sector, and makes decisions based on those facts.

    I want a manager who understands her staff as people, who have lives, families, and goals, needs and obligations outside of work.

    I want a manager who does not tolerate poor job performance, and who acts on legitimate concerns brought to her by her staff.

    I want a manager who encourages positive and professional behavior by exuding that herself.

    I don't want trinkets, keychains, shoelaces or stale cookies. I don't want ice cream. I want a day where nurses can be proud of what they do, respected as educated professionals, and not lumped in with other members of the hospital/clinic in appreciation. I just want ONE day to say "Hey, you are a licensed nurse; what an honorable profession, what a contribution to society you give; what knowledge you have to give to patients and health care. You should be proud of yourself and what you've accomplished and have yet to accomplish. WE THANK YOU RNs and LPNs." And simply recognize nurses as unique and different from all other areas of health care, because THEY ARE. Yes, everyone has their part and deserves to be thanked, but on May 6th, just recognize nurses and offer them a special thank you. That's all I want.
  6. by   Jenny P
    I never wanted to be a manager; good thing I'm not.

    I like being valued by my managers. And I don't complain if treated like a valuable part of the health care team. Use my name when speaking to me; ask to talk to me when I've done something right; not just when I screw up, say thank you.

    I personally don't have much of a problem with these things where and when I work; I've been there so long that most people do know me. I think we all like to be told "you did good, I appreciate you" when we work so hard. And maybe the media could be told that "it's National Nurses Week, and we have some very valuable nurses here that change and save their pts' lives".

    Wouldn't THAT be a kick?
  7. by   traumaRUs
    A sincere "thank you" is always appreciated. We are losing so many nurses from our ED its very sad. I've worked many places, stateside and overseas (while my husband was in the military) and I can tell you there are problems everywhere. No where is perfect. And, yes I do have to add that I get tired of having to work short (shorter than usual) when people call in. I'm almost 44 and have called in once in the last six years. No, I'm not superwoman, but you don't let the sniffles or a h/a keep you home either!!!!
  8. by   fedupnurse
    Oh Suzy have you hit the nail on the head and read my mind!! In addition to your comments I also want:
    1. safe assignments based on actual acuity
    2. ancillary staff who are motivated and knowledgable
    3. Equipment when I need it, where I need it and in working order.
    4. To never again hera anyone in management answer a short staffing situation with "You people do it to yourselves. If you wouldn't call out, you wouldn't be short." Well, call outs or not, we would be short. It is managements responsibility to safely staff the hospital. When you work with sick people sometimes you too get sick. If you are brazen enough to have a life where you actually know and communicate with your family members, they get sick too. With me family, friends and my health come way before any job.
    5. Dedicated, knowledgabe and compassionate managers who back up the staff, particularly when they are correct, rather than appeasing doctors and reprimanding staff for pointing out unsafe medical care.
    6. I also want to hear about the years of good work I have done rather than the few bad shifts I have had where something cropped up. When managers start to focus on the positive so will we. Lead by example!!!!
  9. by   Mary Dover
    I've been giving some thought to my post in the thread about gifts for nurse's week. And upon reflection, and reading other posts such as Klare's, perhaps I sounded like a whiner. I never whine...SERIOUSLY! (not without some geez anyway)

    But having just recently resigned a job in which I felt SO undervalued by administration - maybe I just felt like letting it rip.
    NO, I never expected tangible tokens of appreciation, nor (considering the state system I worked within) did I expect monetary rewards.

    The real rewards I found were explemplified by situations such as the following:
    The time a patient I had referred for inpt psych admission (to a hospital where I also worked part-time), came back into the outpatient clinic (where I also worked) for his aftercare follow up and said to me..."Mary, you are sure well thought of in the looney world".
    The time a patient who had felt hopeless and suicidal on the day she came into my office, approached me a few weeks later and said "I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't come talked to you. Thank you"
    The time another patient gave me a little refrigerator magnet about 'angels' after several outpt visits had her feeling a little better.
    All the times coworkers (who were NOT nurses) sought me out to ask my input or advice about medical things, for the clients that they worked with, and even for themselves or their own family members. To realize I had such trust and respect from them was an AWESOME feeling.
    The time one of the psychiatrists I worked with nominated me for 'employee of the month', which by the way, I was awarded that particular month, but even if I hadn't been, the mere fact that he had such high regard for me - was a tremendous ego boost.
    These are only a FEW of the ways I have been rewarded throughout my nursing career. Over the past several months prior to my resignation, some of those things were perhaps not so readily called to mind. For example, when you get word from administration that starting March 1st, in addition to all the other MILLION duties you have, (as well as all the documentation that goes along with everything) cause you're the ONLY nurse in the clinic - that now everyone must keep a running log of every activity performed throughout the day, thereby accounting for EACH minute of time - well there's just not time to recall all the warm fuzzies. The log thing was just one of several straws that broke this camel's back. I could go on and on, but let's suffice it to say, that after 7 years at a job that I sincerely LOVED, the bad outweighed the good anymore.
    No I don't expect much from 'higher ups', but I do appreciate some empathy, understanding, trust, and respect. NONE of the people in administration were nurses, heck - they weren't even in the medical profession at all - most didn't even have a clinical psych background. So I give them the benefit of the doubt for SOME of their lack of understanding.

    This has been a rather long post from me. I usually try not to go on so. Just venting I guess. But let me say this..."I LOVE BEING A NURSE". Always have, and always will. I am now moving on to bigger and better things in my career. Which by the way is one of the MANY blessings I count among being a nurse, the opportunity to continue to grow as a professional as well as a human being.

  10. by   ageless
    On the issue of staffing, I would like the schedule to reflect adequately staffing BEFORE someone calls in sick. When will management admit that the nurse-patient ratio is unsafe? When will management admit that the "bottom line" is more important to them then the patient . I would like staffing to reflect and/or change according to the acuity of the patients on the unit. I don't require your thank you's..I require responsible leadership. Don't give me your trinkets, give me your respect.
    Originally posted by ageless
    I want a bumper sticker that says that!

  12. by   Q.
    Originally posted by ageless
    On the issue of staffing, I would like the schedule to reflect adequately staffing BEFORE someone calls in sick.
    What an excellent point. If a unit is staffed as such so that if ONE member calls in ill, THAT is enough to make the unit unsafe? Honey, that ain't good staffing. A good NM needs to see that and understand that. A unit should be able to absorb a call-in; if it can't, then something needs to be changed or in the very least addressed. But certainly NOT ignored and definitely NOT placed squarely on the shoulders of the staff. My old unit used to make me feel horribly guilty for calling in, and that just is NOT RIGHT. This is a J-O-B, not a way of life!

    And..if you have members who habitually call in and are unreliable, then as an NM listen to your good staff who voice these concerns to you! DON'T blow them off as simply "gossiping" or "complaining." If you don't address their concerns, the issues that they are bringing up will infect the unit like a virus, and you will LOSE your good nurses who are fed up with inadequate leadership, and you will be left with irresponsible, unreliable, unprofessional workers. And NO ONE will want to work for you because you will be the type of NM who propagates this type of nurse.
  13. by   hoolahan

    Something about that comment by the nurse manager just doesn't make me feel guilty, not after reading the thread sited above.
  14. by   susanmary
    Advocating for safe staffing, functioning equipment, the ability to take breaks/lunch, take scheduled vacations, use holiday time, be able to take sick time is NOT whining. Hospitals are not sweat shops. We are dealing with human beings who deserve the absolute best care we can give. Hospitals are staffed by dedicated professionals who expect a safe environment. We demand safety for our patients as well as the ability to give adept patient care under stressful situations. If administration wants to wear blinders, so be it. I'll continue to wear my rose-colored glasses and make the decision to be happy. I choose to be happy.

    Nurses go above and beyond. We are employed as nurses for a variety of reasons -- to some it is a calling; to some it is a job. Whatever our reasons, we DO make a difference -- although it may not always be apparent. We do the best we can with what we've got.

    As a dedicated floor nurse (with three degrees & still choose to be a floor nurse) I will call out sick if I am truly sick/contagious -- and will not accept guilt for doing so. To the above manager who blames short staffing on our peers who call out sick -- it is negligent for nurses to come to work who are truly ill. We care for fragile, complicated patients who do not need to be exposed to undue illness. On the other hand, we are constantly exposed to a variety of illness (how many patients do not cover their mouths when they cough????) and do become ill. I take great care of myself, but illness happens. I also don't want my peers to come into work if they are sick -- don't want them to expose other workers (or me!) Nursing is very punitive.

    When we give a great deal of ourselves (and give and give and give) we expect our efforts to be appreciated. But -- excellence is rewarded with more work. And more work. This is probably as true for management as it is for the rest of the staff. But, honestly, I don't care about management's headaches. I do care about my PATIENT's heachaches, though. Because I am there for THEM. I also care about my own headaches, and my co-workers headaches. OK....point taken about whining....enough about the headaches...

    Managers continue to blame staff, staff continue to blame managers. The cycle will never end. But, for me, I accept responsibility for my actions. I give the best patient care I can. As a nurse, I have options -- we all do. There are many positions out there for us. So, the question is -- why do we stay in nursing? It's NOT for the refrigerator magnet I'm getting tomorrow for Nurse's Week (or the coffee mug.) Perhaps nursing means a bit more....

    Happy nurse's week. Nurses be happy. Be kind to yourselves. Advocate for your patients and yourself. YOU MATTER.