Staff Retention - page 2

As most who read my postings know I have been having a hard time of it lately at work. New and insane staffing grid, political BS, and just the usual garbage we all get heaped on us at one time or... Read More

  1. by   leslie :-D
    Oh my God, this is so sickening. Everyone is in the same predicament. My one raise a year was .23/hr!! And even more sickening is that I'm still there. Our new administrator deemed licensed personnel's wages 'competitive'. I want to leave for greener pastures but have become cynical of nsg. employment everywhere... Bunky, you'll know when you've reached your level of what is absolutely intolerable. And even if work loads are just as outrageous in other facilities, we may as well get paid for the sh*t we have to take. I cannot afford to be impulsive but it certainly gives one a new perspective on what our perceived worth is. It's totally degrading and we don't have to take it. For our own personal reasons, we just choose to until we're able to quit and go forward.
  2. by   oramar
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by bunky:
    Well the nurses at my hospital are leaving in droves, some with 6 and 7 years seniority. Not the top of the totem pole by any means but 6 or 7 years is a well seasoned staff member. Bunky, I think your high level managment has yet to achieved it's true goal at your facility. This goal is to get rid of the people with 10 to 20 years senority who are making what we all call "maxx". They do not care at all about the positions sitting open because open positions enhance their bottom line. Apparently, the overtime they pay and agency people they bring in do not cost as much as full time staff with benefits, especially if the full time staff is making top wages. These big wigs will deal with complaints about the inevitable decline in the quality of care by blaming the poor beleagered staff members who stayed behind. This blaming will accelerate the exodis, which is what the big bosses want. This has all been planned in advance, some EXPERT accountant was probably paid a bunch on money to come up with this atrocity. I have seen it all before and I have personally experienced it all before. God help you and all the poor souls you work with. Love Oramar

  3. by   bunky
    You know you guys, today I just lost it! I had a FIT! I also called in sick for tomorrow, and don't feel the least bit bad about it either. I recently started days with the foolish notion that I'd get home before the kids got home. I rarely (like once) get out before 4PM, and neither do my coworkers. I am convinced that nurses aren't permitted to have a life outside of work. I was running all day long (we all were) without a lunch or a break to get done and take my child to the doctor. Nothing really serious just what I think may be impetigo, enough to warrant prompt tx to avoid her missing much school. Well I didn't get out of there today until 4:20! Far too late to get home and then make the drive through rush hour traffic to get to the doctor. Oh NO. Why should I think I'd get to leave at the end of my day? Why should I have to work like this? My shift is supposed to end at 3:15 but I hadn't even come close to finishing and there they are wheeling in my new admission at 2:55 with a ton of STAT orders which sent me on a scavenger hunt all through the hospital to get the supplies to the bedside before OZ the Great and Poweful Surgeon gets to the floor to work his magic! To hell with my own kid! Oh no, I must stay and run some more.

    Oramar they are hiring agency for contract positions and paying them over $10/hr what I make. If I wasn't so pathetically grateful for any help they can send I'd be furious that someone else is making that much more an hour and that the same management who sees fit to give me a 49 cent raise and cry "we're broke" can afford to pay that kind of salary to someone who isn't a real employee. This is no slight to agency staff. I'd likely take the job if my VISA would permit it but I can't!

    Miljourney you are dead on! Of course there's no reduction in services! In our media promos we almost look like managemnt actually gives a s**t about the patients! Funny but I don't see nurses running, or frowning or throwing their hands up in the air on any of the hospital brochures! Just a happy happy image, don't scare them off with the truth!

    PPL what did I blow my big raise on? NOTHING! I am off of nights now so I lost the shift differential and make considerably less for the pleasure of being run like a dog during daylight hours! I can look at this and laugh, but this is after the fact.

    Sounds like a DREAM JOB doesn't it! Anyone interested in joining our team of dedicated professionals can contact me to apply for a job. I hear they have openings! Ha! Ha!
  4. by   bamdew
    Yes, everything that all of you have described exists in my neck of the woods also. However, I am not angry at my boss or administration. I don't think it helps to turn my anger towards those who are desperately trying to address the issues, effectively or not. I agree that "throwing pennies at nurses" is not the answer, but what is? I am not sure that any of us know, but we have to begin somewhere if we are ever going to improve things.
    I am so tired of going to work everyday and feeling the frustrations of the job. Yes our staffing needs to grow. Yes I now find myself constantly multi-tasking (I am the nurse, the transporter, the IS troubleshooter, the teacher, the dietician, the social worker, the supply tech,etc.etc.etc). Yes, I am verbally abused by patients and physicians and coworkers. I work 12 hour shifts and go home exhausted both physically and emotionally.
    You know who I am angry at? I am angry at nurses...myself included. Nurses are probably the most skilled professionals that exist. On a daily basis we care for patients, families, and friends under often adverse conditions. We make independent decisions that affect life and death. We problem solve and apply principles of conflict resolution without hesitation. We have so many skills that so many other professionals lack. We are caregivers, handholders, and mentors to our patients, why can we not do the same within our own profession? Why, then, do we sit back and get angry...and point fingers at administration, the doctors, the patients, and worst of all each other when we should be acting as a team together to solve these issues?
    We do our assignments, care for our patients, and solve their problems. But why do we expect others to solve our problems. Don't you think this is a bit unfair. I don't expect my administrator to solve problems that they don't even understand. Why can't we rise up from our situation and be part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem. We are often our own worst enemies.
    We are professionals, but we choose to act like employees. We throw the issues in administrators hands and walk away...and get angry when they are not fixed to our satisfaction. Professionals don't walk away from their problems. They face them head on, maturely, and as often as needed to get their voice heard. They join committees, offer solutions, and then take action. We need to design models for professional growth and development for nurses.
    We are professionals and it is up to us to assure that we are treated as such.
  5. by   Mijourney
    Hi bamdew,
    I must write before I put in my two cents or so regarding your post that you are correct in realizing that you may get critical responses. But dialogue is good, maybe something positive will actually come of it.

    I too frequently have an idealistic, albeit unrealistic view of my work and how nursing should frame itself. A positive attitude is what keeps many of us going in this ragged, war torn field. But reality is is that in assessing blame for damages, we are acknowledging the fact that we do not work in a vacuum. Yes physicians, administrators, legislators, insurers, lawyers, judges, vendors, and customers directly impact how we respond to our work and how we are able to respond. I agree with you that we need to work as a team. That is why many posters on this bb support full scale unionization of the nursing profession.

    I agree with you as well, bamdew, that nurses need to actively learn and participate as much as possible in health and medical care issues and process. I have touted this under many topics on this bb. But I think we need to be realistic about the impact of money in this global economy and how it directs all the traffic. We need to be willing to acknowledge that many people in formal leadership roles do know what is going on but choose to ignore or bandaid problems due to the obsession with their own wallet. I am glad that we have positive, caring nurses such as yourself at the bedside. If you are one of the nurses under 30 years old, I hope that your attitude will still be positive in the event you become my nurse. Bamdew, did this shot hurt you too bad?
  6. by   bunky
    Why would anyone throw eggs at you? What you are saying is quite true, but I have to remind you that in my State, talk of a union is grounds for immediate dismissal. Also, it is NOT the nurses which have set up our staffing grid, nor mandated the staffing budgets. I am not angry with my coworkers, nor the physicians or my patients. I do get angry with the nursing boards though as they seem eerily silent on the issue of safe staffing, yet print out newsletter after newsletter about what is exepcted of US. Also, like it or not, we ARE employees. The employer has the upperhand in our profession, and it would be naive to think that they don't. They are the ones who directly impact how we do our job, much as Miljourney said, it's by financial decisions such as staffing that we as nurses are not included in.

    Any committee that vocally opposes administration will cease to exist, as they are made up of it's employees. And an employee who gets too vocal will also cease to exist in their employment. In most issues, our hands are effecitively tied if we wish to keep our jobs. I for one can't afford to lose my job. So who do I become angry with if not the administration that has tied my hands and keeps a gag on our mouths? Yes, it sounds good to think that if we all stand up we'd be heard, but many are not in a position to do this as there is a great risk of unemployment as well as being blackballed in the hospital community. And don't think that this doesn't happen! The world isn't THAT big to afford annonymity to those labelled as troublemakers. Occassionally on these boards we see that it has happened to other nurses.

    [This message has been edited by bunky (edited August 17, 2000).]
  7. by   PPL
    Two things....1) I am a nurse, a good nurse, and hope to always be a nurse in some capacity, but one I choose for myself, not one that is decided for me by managemant. 2) I have taken a job as a lab tech/assistant at a university, for the gross anatomy professor, for half the salary I can make as a nurse, but good benefits, weekends off, and holidays off. I am jubilant, as the pace is much different, and it allows me to pick up occasional shifts at the hospital at which I am still employed. I feel it is the best of both worlds, and actually look forward to going to work at the hospital now; the shift I want, the days I want, and with the nurses I trust and respect. We live quite modestly, and may have to live even more modestly, but I feel I have my life back. I know many of you would choose to do something like this, if you could afford to, but it didn't happen for me until I made it happen. The leap frightened me to death, but my husband was absolutely supportive. I waited a year for just such a job, and now I've got it. I wish the same for all of you who deserve it so much. Find a way to do it if you desire it; it CAN be done. Thanks.
  8. by   bunky
    PPL, this is where I am at a disadvantage in the US. Due to my Canadian status, I can only work here as a nurse under my current I-94 TNVISA, and I HAVE to be employed full-time as an RN to retain my VISA. I have thought and thought about this, trying to find some way around this, but I don't think it can legally be done. I've worked too hard to find myself deported and everything I've done just taken away. I am however considering the idea of going back to school to get a second degree in an area that will be enhanced by my nursing career, while still needing my RN license to qualify me for my VISA. Any suggestions anyone? I am NOT in this for the big bucks really, just to get into another area away from the bedside.
  9. by   miner
    Thanks to everyone who replied. I work at an AHEC (Area Health Education Center) which is developing a nursing retention program to offer to rural and urban hospitals. The focus is on changing mide sets of nurses AND HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION teams. The comments here have given me support for the content I believe needs to be in the program and responses to give to administrative teams when they challenge some of the activities we are proposing.
    For all the staff nurses, hang in there. As a nurse for 30+ years I am trying to work at the problems from another direction!

  10. by   bunky
    OK Miner, do tell! What ideas have you come up with as a result of my whining? I am most interested.
  11. by   askater
    The hospital I currently work at is 10x better, but could use some improvement. I don't remember the last time I've had a break. (food or pee) And being preggo it's tuff, I take crackers and eat on the run.

    We also got great pay raises, and there also offering good incentives if you work overtime. (moneywise) But not too many nurses are signing up. We're all tired.
  12. by   binky
    I'll tell you a discouraging story...(a short one)...I have been a RN for 18 years...Had the opportunity to be in a little management in a small hospital (wanted to start small). After 2 years of short staffing and working 24 hour shifts..decreasing the budget without doing without in our department..Making alot of major changes for the good. I decided that the stress in labor and delivery/nursery/postpartum was not really worth 1.00/hr....mind u that I was management and staff nurse....I turned in my resignation as manager and stated that I would stay on as staff nurse full time and it would be easier to work an extra shift if i needed extra money at a staffing agency..and my DON said she thought that was a great idea....I told her "thanks for the pat on the back, for all that I had done" and" glad I was appreciated". I just think of all the time at home i spent doing policies and procedure and extra things....preparing classes for the hospital....ERRRRRRRRRRR binky
  13. by   seamus
    Call the teamsters. They can't callyou. Believe me you won't regret the call!
    Originally posted by normarae:
    Originally posted by bunky:
    As most who read my postings know I have been having a hard time of it lately at work. New and insane staffing grid, political BS, and just the usual garbage we all get heaped on us at one time or another but seeming to come in megadoses these days. Well the nurses at my hospital are leaving in droves, some with 6 and 7 years seniority. Not the top of the totem pole by any means but 6 or 7 years is a well seasoned staff member. Well to answer the crisis, management decided to give what we were told was to be an across the board raise. This was to retain staff as other hospitals in the area are offereing wages that are significantly higher, meaning people who work nights at my hospital are going to other hospitals to work days and they aren't losing a penny even with the shift differential! Well, today I got my "big raise". A whopping .49cents an hour! Gee kids we can buy another bag of chips in the groceries!

    I should however count myself lucky (but you know I don't)as some nurses who have been there for much longer than me are getting NOTHING! How is this for a slap in the face?! Our nurse manager is calling us all into her office, one at a time to present us with this "great news". I looked at her and I laughed! I told her that this was an insult compared to what we were promised, and that it doesn't even come close to bringing us up to the same pay scale as the other hospitals in town. She agreed with me. She said she didn't blame anyone for leaving. I am surprised she stopped short of handing us all life jackets.

    None of us asked for this pay raise. The concensus was "give us decent staffing and we'd stay". To be presented with this "bonus", and still the lousy staffing is like a slap in the face though. I think that this is going to be just enough to piss off the others who were simply biding their time to see what this new raise would mean before they turned in their resignations. 49 cents!! Whatever shall I do with this windfall? I have a great idea but can't print it here.

    I just had to let this out! I am fuming over it!
    I am getting chest pain just reading your message. How about 18 yrs experience in Perioperative nursing,BSN CNOR ONC RNFA, 1 year at a corporation owned hospital and received 49cent raise plus was terminated 3 weeks later because I had too much experience for the new manager and she "felt uncomfortable" working with me. The apparent trend of this hospital is fire the experienced and hire the inexperienced.
    Their HR office is like a revolving door.