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It's The Grim Reaper Charlie Brown

Nurses Article   (7,647 Views | 32 Replies | 493 Words)

VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 250,850 Profile Views; 9,753 Posts

Ever hear that expression, "lowering the boom"? It's pretty descriptive of the way I felt tonight when my dear, sweet DON told me, ever so gently, that I might want to be prepared for lean times ahead: Our census has been dropping for weeks, and the numbers aren't going up any time in the foreseeable future; ergo, nursing hours are about to be cut. Big time. Like instead of being scheduled for four shifts per week, I might be lucky to work two.

It's The Grim Reaper Charlie Brown
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I know it's just a bit of rotten luck that can't be helped; the other nurse who works in that section has got YEARS of seniority over me, and she wants to work as much as she possibly can. But it also means that I'm going to have to look for another job---again---because I can't live on two shifts per week. There's no stinkin' way...especially not with a husband who is woefully underemployed, working at best 30 hours per weeks for minimum wage, and whose prospects for anything better lie somewhere between slim and none.

I don't want to leave. I love my job, love my co-workers, the residents, the schedule...it's all as close to ideal as it gets in this cynical age. But I don't know what else to do. Rumor has it that our prospects will be vastly better once the other nursing home in town closes down in September, but that seems awfully far away when you're looking at the possibility of being unable to pay your bills for three long months. I've done without cable, phone, even electricit...but I certainly don't recommend it.

So, what to do? I'm not laid off...at least, not yet, but that might come at some point if the census keeps heading into the dumper. I may be popular and well-thought-of at work, but I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, as if the Grim Reaper were standing at my elbow drooling in anticipation of the moment when someone says "Sorry, but I've got to ask you to leave your locker key at the front office." I haven't been there long enough even to HAVE a locker yet. That's what makes this so frustrating: I have no seniority---most of the nurses have been there for years (hence the reason why there are no lockers available). There are only three nurses with less time in than I have, and they're first in line once layoffs begin...and they WILL begin. What we don't know is where---or with whom---they will end.

I don't want to jump ship, but when management as good as ours is running around doing the modern equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and we're STILL sinking...well, the chances of keeping my job just don't look all that great from where I sit, and I've never been much for playing things by ear.

Ah, well, looks like I'd best dust off the old resume and put out some feelers. Just not today---my son graduates from high school, and I will not spoil his big day by giving him something to worry about besides the possibility of tripping on stage in front of 40 gazillion people when he steps up to receive his diploma.

But I'm worried, yes I am, and at fifty I am not looking forward to starting over yet again.

Wish me luck.

I'm a Registered Nurse and writer who, in better times, has enjoyed a busy and varied career which includes stints as a Med/Surg floor nurse, a director of nursing, a nurse consultant, and an assistant administrator. And when I'm not working as a nurse, I'm writing about nursing right here at allnurses.com and putting together the chapters for a future book about---what else?---nursing.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 250,850 Profile Views; 9,753 Posts

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CseMgr1 has 39 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Case Management, Home Health, UM.

1,287 Posts; 11,383 Profile Views

Damn, Marla.

Seems that no job is safe these days.

I was thinking yesterday that if I had the money, I'd enroll in a coding class at my local university and become a certified medical coder. I've done coding in the past with UM and Home Health, so the process is familiar to me.

As long as there are hospital and medical bills, there's going to be a demand for medical coders.

Hope you find something before this "Titanic" sinks.

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FireStarterRN has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.

3,823 Posts; 24,209 Profile Views

I'm sorry you're going through this uncertainty Marla. It sucks. :(

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VickyRN has 16 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

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Are there any rehab or subacute facilities in your area? You could try them. Subacute is the fastest growing segment of the healthcare continuum and reimbursements by Medicare to this type of facility are much better than the usual Medicaid reimbursements in a nursing home. Hence, better job security.

Also, what about part-time agency work to make up the shifts lost from the nursing home?

What about hospice?

Another consideration: Who carries the insurance in your family? Will the LTC facility in which you work still insure you if you are working just a few shifts per week?

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CseMgr1 has 39 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Case Management, Home Health, UM.

1,287 Posts; 11,383 Profile Views

I decided (following my above post), that I am going to take the certification course for medical coders.....if I can get approved for financial aid.

I just submitted my FAFSA online. If I am approved, I am going to register for the earliest available class.

Time to reinvent myself, as I feel that my nursing days are over.

I will be 58 on Sunday. What better way to celebrate, than with the start of a new career?

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...I will be 58 on Sunday. What better way to celebrate, than with the start of a new career?

I hear you. I hear you all.

I am 50, and my LTC job is under fire. The pressure grows by the minute as our facility's census as well as the census of every other facility and hospital in my area drops persistently. Even the spanking new hospitals and squeaky new TCUs and ALTCs are at 50% census or less and nurses hired to staff them just weeks ago, are being cut now. If my job goes into the tank, there are few to no prospects for another one.

And although no employer would implicitly hold it against me in a hiring decision, there is also the issue of creeping decrepitude. At 50 I am a seasoned and able nurse, but I cannot do everything the younger nurses can do physically and I don't have their endurance. In the last year or so of ever-increasing workloads, that has become an undeniable problem. It is harder to catch my breath, keep my blood pressure down, manage the pain in my shoulders, feet and knees... it's harder to lift, harder to turn and position residents, harder to get myself into position to do wound care or insert foleys... even while sitting working at the nurses station, I move heaven and earth for the chance to put my feet up.

I'm searching out low-demand office-based jobs, but the competition for those is hot and heavy and they're not shy about saying they want already experienced applicants only. The ones I could qualify for tend to be in home care and hospice and specify that home visits for I.V. starts, blood draws, dressing changes, catheter insertions, etc. will be required in addition to office-based case management.

Holy crud! What is a tired, achy, swollen, seasoned and wise nurse supposed to do? :sniff:

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,753 Posts; 250,850 Profile Views

Well, I'm thinking that this may be a subtle cue that it's time to go for that hospice job I've had my eye on for the past oh, ten years or so. I've been laying the groundwork for some time.......getting to know hospice nurses, networking with some of the case managers and outreach people.......and maybe the time has come to "just do it".

I don't know if they're suffering like the rest of us, but I guess the only way to find out is to ask, right?

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VickyRN has 16 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

3 Followers; 105 Articles; 5,349 Posts; 133,379 Profile Views

I decided (following my above post), that I am going to take the certification course for medical coders.....if I can get approved for financial aid.

I just submitted my FAFSA online. If I am approved, I am going to register for the earliest available class.

Time to reinvent myself, as I feel that my nursing days are over.

I will be 58 on Sunday. What better way to celebrate, than with the start of a new career?

You may find this resource helpful, CseMgr1, in your journey: Why Retire? Career Strategies for Third Age Nurses

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CseMgr1 has 39 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Case Management, Home Health, UM.

1,287 Posts; 11,383 Profile Views

I'm searching out low-demand office-based jobs, but the competition for those is hot and heavy and they're not shy about saying they want already experienced applicants only. The ones I could qualify for tend to be in home care and hospice and specify that home visits for I.V. starts, blood draws, dressing changes, catheter insertions, etc. will be required in addition to office-based case management.

Holy crud! What is a tired, achy, swollen, seasoned and wise nurse supposed to do? :sniff:

No kidding. I dutifully sent out a resume yesterday to a radiation oncologist's office, because I have to document that I am searching for work while I am drawing unemployment. I doubt if I will ever hear back from them, because I have no back office experience.

As for home care and hospice, I have had enough driving over Hell's Half Acre for over 20 years. Even if I still wanted to, I no longer have a car to do it with.

Remember my car that my sister and BIL's friend was going to get fixed? Well, after three different mechanics and

$3,200.00 later, it still is not running right. I think the transmission is shot, which will cost another 3K to

replace. I have to pay this guy back and I have no more money to put in it....period. Quite frankly, I am ready to

have it towed to a junkyard. At least I won't have to keep paying insurance and taxes on it.

Do what I am thinking about doing: Get certified as a Medical Coder. We can both work from home and not have to worry about how we are going to get there or antagonize our tired, worn out bodies any further.

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Eishouse specializes in crit care, tele, M/S, informatics.

16 Posts; 1,991 Profile Views

Was it you who heard hospice calling? Listen closely...

This is not a world where we women in our 50's become meaningless in the greater scheme of things. I know there is something just right for you, waiting to be found.

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I know things may seem tough now and this may sound like a cliche' but, it is always darkest just before the dawn.

There was the man who complained of havig no shoes until he saw the man with no feet.

Good luck to all of you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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