Stupid, stupid, stupid..........what management team with half a brain would ignore reports of missing narcotics??!!
I am a DON in assisted living myself, and the company that manages us is investigating some irregularities in our med room as we speak. We're not missing narcotics, thank God, but I recently discovered that a couple of my noc shift med aides haven't been doing shift counts properly, and I'm having to tighten up on everyone
---even my trusted staff---because of the laziness and neglect on the part of these two med aides.
So why don't I fire them outright, instead of forcing everyone to go through individual inservicing and dragging my sorry carcass out of bed at a thoroughly uncivilized hour to observe 0600 shift count? Because I can't replace them. So few people want to do this kind of work---running up and downstairs for a solid 8 hours, dealing with all sorts of behaviors and bodily fluids, giving up their social and/or family lives to help cover the off shifts---especially for the pitiful wages we offer (and we pay better than most such facilities). And even the ones who are willing often burn out quickly and leave after a few months, or they get hurt, or they simply find something better and/or easier.
Just last month, I had an ad in the paper for four days, and only three people came to apply. I hired one; the other two I wouldn't have wanted caring for my dog. Now the one I hired has to go back home for several weeks to help care for her dying grandfather, so I'm looking again. Meanwhile, I've got fifteen full and several more half-shifts to fill this month, and unless I want to kill myself doing caregiving AND my own job, I've got to find some warm bodies in one heck of a hurry.
And sometimes that's what it boils down to: warm bodies. I consider myself a very principled nurse, manager, and human being, but in this business, when principle comes up against the day-to-day, real life operations of a health care facility, the principle fares ill. I hate that part of it, but it's something I've had to learn to live with because health care is an industry---a soulless, uncaring, profit-motivated industry---and we do the best we can with the resources we have. That's why we have to keep less than desireable employees, to fill the shifts with people who should be flipping burgers rather than caring for our precious elderly.
I've rambled on quite a while, but I say this because I've sat on both sides of the desk, and being in management sometimes means compromising on issues you'd rather not have to. Last summer I had a med aide who actually was caught diverting narcotics, and the word from corporate was: Don't fire her outright, encourage her to quit so we don't have to deal with any negative publicity. :angryfire PUBLICITY??!! That was the LEAST of my concerns---that med room functions under MY direction, and this episode put MY license at risk. But I was overruled, and the whole thing handled behind closed doors.
Fortunately, the aide did resign after about an hour of tearful denials and "how-could-you-think-I-would-do-such-a-thing", then she blew town entirely and checked herself into rehab in another city some miles away. But to this day it bothers me that we never turned the incident in to the police; she was an unlicensed caregiver, so there was no board of nursing to report her to, but I've always thought we should have made an example of her, because everyone else learned that there are no real consequences for bad behavior. My building has fewer 'problem children' than many; however, the ones who are slackers, who play on the computer in the middle of the night instead of doing the residents' laundry, who come in just a little late and take too many smoke breaks and do only as much work as they have to in order to get by........they know they're generally safe because we need them so badly.
Now can anyone understand why managers get ulcers?