I am very frustrated and angry and would like to know if any of you have experienced any or all of the following:
We just suffered a big blow to our ancillary staffing.
They cut 30 non- licensed positions at our hospital. Now get this reasoning...
they gave all of us licensed people a 5 percent raise and then within the next week pulled the rugs out from under all these EDTs, secretaries and aides! Of course no administrative jobs were cut.We had NO idea this was on the horizon.
First of all, I would gladly forego the raise to keep our hard working ancillary staff on board. We are a small community and ALL of these people are our friends.
Second of all, they gave us this raise with the suspected anticipation that they are going to raise our insurance out-of pocket pay in. Also, I am anticipating a forced .8 status to cut the amount of money they have to reserve in the vacation pool because of course even though your benefit package doesn't change persay, your actual accrual is smaller with .8 .
I feel so let down by this administration. Last year the ER and hospital was operating in the black and now we are in such a financial crisis! Someone should have been minding the books closer, I think.
I keep hearing from the supervisors and managers that at least they are not going to cut any nursing jobs. But that's not good enough for me. Do they think we are stupid enough to not realize they have left us with a skeleton crew and now have actually dangerously increased our work load! We,like so many of you, have been already working short staffed.
This is the real kicker for me....three weeks ago we hired an ex-marine who came to the area from Texas because of family obligations. He got a job in our ER as an EDT and unit clerk. He had several other job offers but took this one because he was promised he could go to nursing school on the hospitals' ticket. He also liked the staff when he interviewed. We started with our usual orientation package and felt they finally hired someone that did a great job with the "RAVING FANS" philosophy they keep shoving down our throats. He was the first one cut.
Do they really expect us to believe they didn't see this coming for months and hired him anyway? He can't even qualify for unemployment because of his short employment here. He has gone back to the other places that were interested in him and now those positions are filled. He is screwed all around.Not to mention the fact he has a family...
We, the ER nurses, have drafted a letter to administration voicing our discontent but we know the die has been cast. We are also taking up a collection for Steve and his family. But it's only a quick fix.
I have never felt so helpless and angry. I also feel no loyalty to this hospital who have been so disloyal to us.
Certainly there is a need to keep this hospital open as we are the only game in town for miles but at who's expense?
Thanks ahead of time for letting me vent.
Mar 2, '03
If he has worked anywhere in the U. S. he qualifies for unemployment. It does not have to be in the same state where he is applying. The state (un) employment office handles this. It just goes a different route and the money comes through a different fund. I know this because I have been in the same boat. Also military service qualifies him if it was recent. The employment office has a person who handles military veteran applicants.
Mar 2, '03
Yes, unfortunately, we are doing this again. the second time in our hospitals history. Unit secretaries, nursing assistants and even LPN's are being "let go".
But don't worry, administration tells us, "This won't affect patient care!" Need I say more.
OUr budget is in the red because ;
1. medicaid or medicare only reimburses 25 cents to the dollar
2. The nursing shortage has resulted in closed beds, overtime which increases cost per stay.
there is more... but I think the point here is made as clear as yours.........If there isn't enough staff to take care of the patients which results in increased cost per stay, HOW CAN DECREASING STAFF, cure the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It stinks that with such high technology that the hospital uses, we must keep re-inventing the wheel, while never comming to the conclusion that it is ROUND.
Mar 2, '03
Medicare cuts. The pain is beginning to be felt. Non-caregivers are the first to go. WRITE LETTERS to your politicians. More cuts are coming. This is a crisis...we have been reacting to it instead of being proactive. Granted it's not been even close to the top story in the news. Do a search, read some past articles...see what they have done and what they still plan to do.
Mar 2, '03
If history holds a lesson here then those of us that have been through this already can tell you what will happen. The staff that is left behind will be grossly overworked in unsafe conditions. They will begin to leave the hospital, leave the profession. In desperation the managment will turn to agency staff which will cost double. In the end the net saving will be zero or worse.
Mar 2, '03
Not sure where you are working nightmoon, but my hospital's financial problems have caused us to also lose our ancillary staff. It has made my job twice as difficult.
I found another job elsewhere, cutting my hours to part-time to maintain my benefits until they kick-in at the new job, but I don't know how long it will last at the old place, since they are now cutting RN hours to the bone. I was cancelled again this morning...that makes 3 times in 8 days. Of course, they have contracted agency help all over the place and those people are working. The salaried employees are working. It's the nurses who suffer, and the patients who are suffering more, until someone gets killed and the lawsuits come rolling in. Then they will realize they really do need their nurses and ancillary help to care for patients.
It's sad, sad, sad.......
Mar 2, '03
I'm sorry you are going through this, and feel your pain. It is not a new story and many here have felt the same sting as the corporations make their budget cuts.
All I can suggest is become an advocate for every cost saving measure you can think up, and become part of the solution- finding team to help the hospital survive AND create the best possible conditions. One facility developed a drop box for employees to present ideas for cost saving measures, and administration gave a 'reward' for good ideas.
Good luck. Ancillary staff are often first to be eliminated...I work nights and we have had minimal to none for years. I know it is frustrating to be told we are responsible for non-nursing duties when our patients need us.
My advice is continue to prioritize your nursing functions...and I suggest as nurses we should avoid continuing this pattern of severely overextending and being everything to everybody... or we will give the impression we CAN indeed 'do it all'.
Now I'm not advocating being LAZY but we do need to set some logical limits...or we simply will burn out. How does our burning out help our profession or our patients?
Mar 2, '03
My advice is this: If nurses take over the duties and responsibilities of these vacated positions, they have only themselves to blame if the facility does not subsequently re-fill them. Why should they?
If nurses "suck it up" and work harder than they did before, "for the good of the patients," then you can expect NO improvement in this situation.
Mar 2, '03
This is alwaysa difficult situation. Nursing has one big flaw and that is fatal availability. There will alwys be a nurse there who will eventually absorb the tasks of the laid off workers. Even if it is not their job!!!
It is a false economy to make the nurse do these other functions.Its easy to give the advice of just say no, but difficult to put in practise. But saying no is what must be done or nursing will continue to be fatally flawed by its never ending availability and attitude that we will and should do everything.
It took a long time for nursing to shed some duties, like emptying the trash, doing the laundry and a multitude of other non nursing duties. Don't let the drive for profits, and don't kid yourself this is what it is about, force the nursing profession backwards.
Mar 2, '03
Hospitals do not treat nurses fairly, nor do they ever disclose the hospital's true financial status. Believer me, all hospitals are making money. Somehow, there is always money in the budget to buy some surgeon a 5.000 dollar headlight, when the 2.000 version won't do, or to decorate the corporate offices for the umpteenth time. In my opinion, nurses need to work through a third party, whether it be agency or travel. That is the only way to have any control over your own destiny. I have been working travel or agency for the last two years. I have not worked one holiday, weeken, or night unless wanted to. Amazingly, I have not called in sick in 2 years-when I worked full time for a hospital, I would just count down the days until I could call in sick again, without getting in trouble. I love my freedom.
Mar 2, '03
Well budget affects the nurse and the patients. If the nurse can not safely take care of the patients with inexperienced staff and staff unfamiliar with the unit then there will be poor outcomes. The nurse will be the scapegoat and administration will come out clean they think. Think twice before becoming a martyr and playing Russian roulette with your liscense because believe me the patient will not thank you and State Board will nail you accepting an unsafe assignment because "someone has to do it."
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