Originally posted by MollyJ
...They state, "We discovered that boomers are both physically and psychologically exhausted. Many have been nurses for years and, frankly, they're tired. Yet they find it unconscionable to leave the unit inadequately unstaffed when they are asked to work on a day off. They wonder why they come in time and again, when their younger coworkers don't seem to have this conflict."
My Mom is 73 and has been an RN since 1970, she was a Nurses Aide for 15 years before that. Her entire career has be spent working in SNF working on the Skilled 'side' of things. Most frequently in sub-acute care. She has enthusiasticly embraced every new technology that has come along, she was one of the first Nurses in the State to be certified in PICC placement outside the hospital, she (long ago) received the training to do simple wound suturing.
I have worked at the facility she is at, it is one of the very few I would consider working at again. They have a good pay scale that rewards seniority and skill level, good benefits, education oppertunities and reimbursement and more importantly an understanding admin, excellent patient care and safe staffing ratios.
She is in somewhat marginal health with steroid dependant asthma and severe arthritis in her hips and back. Her doctor just shakes his head and says to tell him when she's done. She has a perminate disabled parking permit. Mom has been admitted to the hospital 4 times in the last 2 years-3 with pnuemonia (intubated once) and necrotizing faculitis (septic) once. Twice I picked her up from work and took her to the ER. She carries her nebulizer with her every where she goes. And I do mean carry- she doesn't drive so she walks the mile to and from work if the bus schedule doesn't mesh with her schedule.
WHY does she still work 50-60 hours per week???
Because she wont let a unit go unstaffed until she is so sick she can't work. She has been at this facility for 10 years, she loves her coworkers (for the most part) and her patients. 60% of the Nurses that work at this facility are under 35 and have been licensed less than 5 years. For the majority they are on their 4th or 5th SNF job, they go where there is a sign on bonus, work out the required time and move on to the next sign on bonus. . They walk in the door demanding M-F days, when they are convinced to agree to every other weekend or a different shift they feel put upon. Heaven forbid you should ask them to trade a shift or day or to work a 12 to cover a call off or call them on their day off. Their response is often "call agency"...heres a news flash...I work for one of the agencies that are called for Nurses and there aren't any left.
I have worked huge portions of my career along side my Mom, I know how she is. Mom puts a huge amount of time and effort into nurturing newly hired Nurses, she truely sees them as a blessing. Lately her biggest complaint is that so many of them punch out at the end of their shift and go home...leaving things like charting undone. Guess who has to do it for them? You got it, my Mom the charge Nurse, who by the way made all of their Dr. and pharmacy calls, I.V.s, the majority of their treatments, supervised the ancillary staff, negotiated with rehab, covered their lunches and breaks (you can bet they got them) AND worked a (smaller) group.
Because of her work effort and dedication my Mom is working herself into the grave. While there is a huge degree of personal responsability for it I, myself hold the "new" Nurses with s****y work habits responsable.