only read this if you are not bored by personal healthcare tales

  1. Just spent week in UPMC Oakland. My nursing care was excellent. I watched those RNs and PCTs bust their butts trying to make sure everyone got what they needed. I worked there many years ago and loved the professionalism of the staff and the exciting cutting edge medicine. However, there were problems with food service, pharmacy, housekeeping and respiratory, not to mention that the building was antiquated and dirty and cramped. Ten times a day I got bytched out by patients and familes over the afore mentioned things. After several years of listening to complaints that I was helpless to do anything about I got frustrated and left. Somethings have improved, somethings have gotten worse. Food service has not changed, you rarely got a tray and when you did it was not very good. Pharmacy has gotten worse, they were sluggish when I was there but now it has become nearly impossible for the nurses to get medications in timely matter. The place is still cramped but it is neat and clean, the housekeeping staff was helpful, hardworking and pleasant. When I worked there they were lazy, morose and nasty. My experience with respiratory was very good, I was on breathing treatments and the services was timely, the tech professional. Personally, I think it was a good experience. My husband had to go buy me my meals a couple of times but I would rather have good nursing care and competent physicians that eat hospital food anyhow. PS Does anyone think that if managment made it their priority pharmacy and food service would improve? So far my recovery from surgery has been going very well, hope that continues.
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    About oramar

    Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,234
    returned nurse


  3. by   dianah
    Am relieved things went well and you're "on the mend." Thanks for the update.

    Our last survey (recent) by the state, had a nutritionist on the team who was, shall we say, into details - but the questions and points brought up made sense. Change seems to want to come from management only if 1) a big shot pt complains (loudly); 2) many pts voice displeasure about the food to admin; 3) mandated by JCAHO. It seems the pharmacy problem would be a BIG priority re: meds delivered to pt in timely manner, i.e., when ordered by the MD. You could do incident report on each missed or late med, to create a paper trail that will catch someone's eye. What about a PI project r/t problems? Pt and staff surveys r/t food service? I do agree w/you: management must make pharm and nutrition services a priority. What about someone else on allnurses giving an opinion?? I'm not a suit or in mgmt, some of you will have much wiser and more helpful suggestions. Good luck, oramar, continue to improve.
  4. by   oramar
  5. by   -jt
    We had similar problems with our pharmacy cause they lost 7 pharmacists to better paying drug stores & refused to improve anything to attract new ones to the vacant jobs. And with our messengers cause the hospital cut ancillary staff (same old story).

    So RNs were running back & forth to the pharmacy all day to get meds cause its OUR fault if something is not given in a timely manner & WE get the disciplinary action & "its just easier to go do it myself". But finally we'd had enough - especially since our contract specifically says the hospital agrees that RNs are not messengers, transporters, hosuekeepers, or pharmacy techs & are not to be spending their time at work doing these things.

    We started writing incident reports when the meds were not delivered within the hr & calling the supervisor to inform her. It was then up to her to get someone to deliver them. After a few months of this inconvenience & a legal paper trail showing ordered meds being unavailable for up to 5 hrs in some cases, the hospital installed a pneumatic tube system direct to the pharmacy & lab from the floors. We now get our meds minutes after we fax the order sheet down & our lab spec dont have to sit in the box on the desk for hrs waiting for a mesenger either.

    I felt bad for the supervisor who had to deal with phone calls to get things from the pharmacy every hr or so but things get done when it becomes a headache for administration. And when there is DOCUMENTATION that they are not doing what they need to do to provide the best care for the pt. Nothing would have changed if the RNs had just continued to carry the burden & just "go do it myself"
  6. by   sjoe
    jt---'Nothing would have changed if the RNs had just continued to carry the burden & just "go do it myself."'

    amen to that.
    Last edit by sjoe on Oct 7, '02
  7. by   donmurray
    oramar, never bored by your posts! Get Well soon!