Reorganized, downsized, and out the door!

  1. I worked at a satellite facility comprised of 2 psych units: child & adolescent and adult. On 3/3/05, our main hospital abruptly and with less than 2 days warning, closed the kids' unit. It had been a financial disaster almost from day 1, but it provided a vitally needed service to the community. So as not to single out just kids' unit staff, the suits "reorganized" staff, totally eliminating 27 of 51 positions. It was devastating, to say the least :angryfire Our "generous severance package" was a joke: one weeks' pay for each year of service, and whatever vacation time we had coming to us. The available jobs at sister facilities were either already filled or suitable for only a few staff: what is an educational therapist anyway? A teacher's aide? A psych tech that sits in on the classroom sessions to protect the teachers?
    My point is: has anyone else faced a similar rude event? How did you deal with it, if you've been able to? I registered for unemployment the next day and signed up with the state job seekers service, but I'm still reeling. There were several staff working while going to college, some who were the sole support of their families. My husband and I had just bought a house less than 2 weeks before "Bloody Thursday", as it is now known. Anyway, I'm mad as hell :angryfire
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    About mamabear

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 212; Likes: 13
    Down-sized psych nurse.

    14 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    Yes I have been through this same scenario. Fortunately our unit was kept open but our sister unit was given about 10 days to either leave, find another slot (on their own) or be SOL. It was an awful situation handled very badly by TPTB. Later I believe it came out that the hospital would be merging with two more and they needed to have comparable staffing numbers.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    yes we were closed down in a birthing unit I once worked in. We were offered "lateral" moves to other nursing positions w/the company, but not enough L/D or PP positions existed for us all just med-surg or ED. I ended up going elsewhere as OB was what I wanted to remain doing. I was not happy, but what could I do?
  5. by   barefootlady
    went through this with HCA, only a few were offered any good positions, seems like they would rather have someone of the street than allow us to have much input into where we wanted to be. This was right after I had gotten a nice email for being recommended by patients as a kind and caring nurse. I am sorry you are still reeling from this, it will take awhile to actually set in, but it will. I wish you luck on the job hunt.
  6. by   PMHNP10
    Quote from P_RN
    Yes I have been through this same scenario. Fortunately our unit was kept open but our sister unit was given about 10 days to either leave, find another slot (on their own) or be SOL. It was an awful situation handled very badly by TPTB. Later I believe it came out that the hospital would be merging with two more and they needed to have comparable staffing numbers.
    I was in the same situation as you, all thanks to the Hunter Group. Unfortunately, some of the nurses from the closing sister hospital wanted to come work at ours, so some people at my hospital lost their job. The problem was that we knew for a couple months about the changes, but during that time there was just speculation about who was going to go. Noone's job was safe. Fortunate for me and my fellow night shift crew, I was planning to start travel nursing so I saved one person from getting the boot and another coworker transferred to another dept so that saved another, so only 1 person on nights got terminated.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    So much for the value of nursing in hospital settings. We all see how we will be done when push comes to shove. We can only take care of OURSELVES in the end. People with seniority of 20 years or more were being forced to crosstrain or take severance, where I worked. I learned a lot watching this all go down. It was not pretty. But then big business is not pretty either.
  8. by   Nurseinthemaking
    We had a local teaching hospital abruptly close down, they were given 24 hours to get their stuff and get out. Over 1000 people lost thier jobs. I have seen several of them at other hospitals having to work PRN.

    It stinks.
  9. by   cannoli
    Have had a similar experience due to downsizing. Had planned on working there for 20 or so years to get the good retirement. Oh, well. Had to find another job.

    It can be pretty devastating when it happens.

    So much for job security (even with the government).

    Good luck with the job hunt.
  10. by   ARNPsomeday
    Quote from Nurseinthemaking
    We had a local teaching hospital abruptly close down, they were given 24 hours to get their stuff and get out. Over 1000 people lost thier jobs.
    Get out in 24 hours?! Over one thousand workers?!
  11. by   happthearts
    Quote from ARNPsomeday
    Get out in 24 hours?! Over one thousand workers?!
    We had the same thing happen about 300 workers we found out in the news paper.Then The hospitial tried to lie about it .Then they tried to stiff us on our severance ,But I just happened to have a copy of my contract and I made them full fill it to letter. I lucked out a manger from my unit went and presented my unit to another hospitial. I was only ,one day without work and got 6 weeks serverance .

    We also had a whole brand new hospitial in SLC that they shut down in less than a year .I know they didn't have much notice.
  12. by   zenman
    I was working PRN at Charter Behavioral when they closed... I think it was 50 hospitals. I was ready to get out anyway, but patients had to be discharged or transferred.
  13. by   PMHNP10
    I hesitate to ask this question because I do not want to start up another debate, but I am very much curious. If you are with a strong union, are they able to protect you from some of these reorganizations and downsizings? Do they at least force the hospital to give a more adequate notice, or are even the strongest of unions unable to do anything about this? I hope I don't cause a hijacking of this thread.
  14. by   Kyriaka
    I am changing careers to nursing, so have never been downsized in this field.

    However, I have been downsized many times in the corporate world (mergers happen aprx. every 3 years).

    As hard as it is, here are some tips:

    Never burn your bridges. As much as you are angry, as much as you are hurt, keep a smile on your face.

    Send a thank you note/gift to your boss and a letter to the hospital "powers that be" thanking them for the opportunity for working for the organization.

    When it comes to references...it will pay off.

    Some things you cannot control and some things you can.

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