Alberta Health Services - page 4

OK, we've all heard that they are eliminating 100 managerial positions. We got the OT ban announcement last week, followed by the "part timers should pick up shifts before OT is permitted" (well,... Read More

  1. by   globalRN
    what is sickening is that when they put the superboard in place...they paid out millions to davis and weatherill. now, we hear that the superboard is 1 billion overbudget which is 10 times more than the regional boards racked up.

    And now, they want to nickel and dime by cutting frontline workers!!!
    I can tell u that at work (acute care hospital) it is pretty hard to find the actual staff
    looking after your particular patient...because they are so stretched.

    The patients admitted are supersick....requiring active management.
    I may write a page and a half of orders on some of the patients....some orders requiring stat or urgent execution. Go figure...who do u think is going to do them?
  2. by   Fiona59
    Well, they took away the incredible 10% discount at the RAH foodcourt. It wasn't applicable across AHS so it wasn't "fair and equitable" that we get a cut on food prices at the concessions.

    Let's see on the weekends we can have Timmies or Whitespot. Hardly a wide variety of choice and healthy options.

    And let's not forget those who work past the end of the shift and go onto OT no longer get a meal voucher.

    Good times, I tell you.
  3. by   Fiona59
    Quote from globalRN
    ....

    And now, they want to nickel and dime by cutting frontline workers!!!
    I can tell u that at work (acute care hospital) it is pretty hard to find the actual staff
    looking after your particular patient...because they are so stretched.

    The patients admitted are supersick....requiring active management.
    I may write a page and a half of orders on some of the patients....some orders requiring stat or urgent execution. Go figure...who do u think is going to do them?

    Preaching to the choir

    We all know that the OBS beds have what five years ago would have been ICU patients, and the floors are getting cr*pped on just as badly. Some real trainwrecks have been admitted to the surgical floors because there are no OBS beds. Try having a five patient assignment when one of them is a fresh ICU discharge and still on q2h vitals, the insulin protocol and have drains coming from every natural orifice and few made by the surgeons.

    It's a great weekend when we actually have the scheduled number of staff on the floor (meaning staffing actually replaces someone who is on vacation or called in sick).
  4. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Quote from globalRN
    hah! my special nurses day pen ran out in less than a month and I only work 4 days/wk!!!!!
    You got a Nurses' Week pen from AHS? I didn't. I've seen them so I know they exist, but I was at a nursing conference (that I paid for out of pocket) during Nurses' Week so I was left out. But I think those penlights are likely to cause retinal burns...
    Quote from Fiona59
    Well, they took away the incredible 10% discount at the RAH foodcourt. It wasn't applicable across AHS so it wasn't "fair and equitable" that we get a cut on food prices at the concessions.

    Let's see on the weekends we can have Timmies or Whitespot. Hardly a wide variety of choice and healthy options.

    Good times, I tell you.
    Our choices are Timmy's or Wendy's. Oh and we have a Mac's on the corner. Yum! I don't understand why they have to make a profit off their staff, for food services, parking or anything else.

    Quote from Fiona59
    It's a great weekend when we actually have the scheduled number of staff on the floor (meaning staffing actually replaces someone who is on vacation or called in sick).
    Even when we have the scheduled number of staff on the floor on weekends, we're still short. Our management rammed a new master rotation down our throats in February that was supposed to fix our staffing issues, with the option to work the rotation or do self-scheduling. Well, the rotations were horrible and unworkable so most people opted for self-scheduling. But there is no "self" in it. We submit what we'd like to work then we negotiate to fill the holes, then the manager takes it and changes it all so that there's not even a remote resemblance to what it started out as. And we're still short on the weekends, Sundays especially. And then the administration decided that we couldn't have anyone working 8 hour shifts because "we're a 12 hour unit" and casuals/part-timers picking up 8's left us short at 1500. So now we're just short for the whole 12 and that's better! That of course doesnt explain why they just posted a full-time transport nurse position that's 8 hour days... And they wonder why we don't believe anything they say...

    I have no confidence in this group of hatchet-men. I see Duck-it as a sniper, hiding on a rooftop picking people off from a mile away... except that none of our admin/management ended up losing their jobs so who did?
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Jul 7, '09
  5. by   nurseinlimbo
    The whole thing really scares me. Personally I think that it is a design to break the nurses union, by overworking and taxing the nurses to the point that the can't take it anymore, and either leave for stress leave, leave for other provinces/states, or leave nursing altogether. Since restructuring can't take place with nurses in their current jobs, and the union provides layoff and recall for anyone displaced by changes, isn't it easier to slowly peg us off by making us unable to function as human beings. We already felt like we weren't doing our nursing care the way we wanted to due to lack of time, lack of staff, and burnout, now we are in a position where we don't even have a choice.
    The irony is, I had just gotten into a revamped night shift rotation in a place that is going to close, but gave it up to go casual for the summer. I am still working LOTS, but it's ironic because our area manager stated right away that they didn't have to hire me back as a casual (as if they can function without another body). If I had stayed in my postion, I would have had job security and bumping rights. As casual, I'm not sure that they have to do anything for me when they close the doors, other than provide me with an ROE so that I can collect unemployment insurance. I feel so very sorry for all the students currently enrolled in RN and BN programs, as it is obviously the plan to phase out the RN in favor of the LPN, where are they all going to go? And where does the Alberta gov't think they are going to find enough LPN bodies??? If there was an RN shortage, is it not going to be equally difficult to find LPN's? Or are they prolific and lining up at the door for jobs?? Does anyone know the statistics on LPN hiring out of school? Is it 100% like RN's were? I have heard of recent grads who had not gotten their names on a casual list who are now 3 months out of school and can't find ANY work, and the rest of us are working OT. Go figure!!!
  6. by   Fiona59
    Quote from nurseinlimbo
    .. I feel so very sorry for all the students currently enrolled in RN and BN programs, as it is obviously the plan to phase out the RN in favor of the LPN, where are they all going to go? And where does the Alberta gov't think they are going to find enough LPN bodies??? If there was an RN shortage, is it not going to be equally difficult to find LPN's? Or are they prolific and lining up at the door for jobs?? Does anyone know the statistics on LPN hiring out of school? Is it 100% like RN's were? I have heard of recent grads who had not gotten their names on a casual list who are now 3 months out of school and can't find ANY work, and the rest of us are working OT. Go figure!!!
    The ONLY route to RN in Alberta is the BScN education. Could you please tell me where you think it is the plan to phase out the RN? From what has been reported, it is about full utilization of the LPN and their scope of practice and ending the need for all RN units. The BScN was created to allow RNs to assume management roles and duties. Alberta and Ontario seem to be the testing grounds for advanced scopes for LPNs. It would be interesting to see if the CNA's proposed changes to nursing education (the multi step plan with PN being the entry level for all nurses) is actually being tried out in these provinces.

    Do you have an understanding of the LPN scope of practice or the education programme for a PN? The LPN scope of practice is being increased every time I turn around. Nobody is asking the working LPNs if they want the extra responsiblities and we are not being paid for our extra eduation. Immunization certification is paid for by the LPN and no extra pay is received. IV starts and IV medications, again, PICC dsg changes by home health LPNs, no extra pay for the responsibilities. It makes you wonder why any LPN is working in active treatment. We have skills that are not used in LTC or Rehab. I know nurses that left active treatment FOR LTC or the Glenrose because as they put it "I'm starting the IVs, hanging the IV meds without a premium for added responsibilities and skills, and CARNA is basically telling the public I'm not safe because I'm not a RN, and this was two years ago before the Duckit slash and burn.

    The unit I work is roughly as 50/50 nurse split and it's active treatment. There are just as many LPNs putting in the hours that RNs are. The hiring "review" is affecting both grades of nurses NOT just the RNs.

    Could you please tell us where in Alberta that you are working? Just the city not the facility.
  7. by   nurseinlimbo
    If you will note, I said it was my personal opinion that this is what is planned. Also, it has been stated that the purpose of the hiring "freeze" is so that the upper management can decide if a position needs to be posted or can be otherwise filled with staff already on the unit. Since most units are already short staffed, that doesn't leave any room for moving people around unless the ratio changes. Already happening with the closure of most of the LTC facilities in the province, and the implementation of LPN staffed DALs.
    Yes, I know that entry to practice is now BN only, but there are plenty of Diploma RNs out there, and the new LPN program is supposed to be comparable to the old Diploma RN program, thereby moving RNs into management, head nurse, administrative positions. I am worried, for I am currently a diploma RN working on my BN, with several courses to complete. I work in LTC so therefore don't have the "experience" to move to acute (even though I use my skills and am solely responsible for my 50 pts) and I don't know what will happen once they remove the LTC option.
    I have had an LPN tell me that the RNs deserve this, that we brought it on ourselves with our wage demands and such, but if you consider that the start wage for a PCA in Alberta is around $12 with a ceiling of $19 (without shift diffs) and the start rate for LPNs is a few dollars more, with a ceiling of what a new graduate RN starts at, I wonder what it is that the public thinks that we should be worth?? I know I wouldn't work the shift work that I do and sacrifice the personal time that I do with all the weekends and holidays and OT for less than what I currently earn, not to mention the responsibility for my own actions and everyone else on shift. Other professionals would not tolerate the poor working conditions that healthcare faces (and I mean all staff in healthcare) so why should we???
    This was not meant to be a debate about the value of RNs vs LPNs at all, notice I didn't mention anything about safety concerns etc. Just that I feel very threatened by the way things are currently being managed by Duckett, and wonder what is down the road. If I had known that this was how RN was going to be when I returned to school, I would have taken something else. I have been out 5 yrs and still can only control my life if I work casual, because all that is available to me is night rotations, and I am bottom of the totem pole for vacation etc. I got out of where I was to improve my life, and it has never been worse, and now, I worry that I won't even have a job when it is all said and done.
  8. by   Fiona59
    You are NOT responsible for the any LPNs action on your combined shift. LPNs carry their own insurance and were the first to be regulated under the Health Professions Act. This is a common misperception of RNs who have been out of practice for a while. We are encountering this frequently with the RNs who returned after the infamous ad campaign of last year.

    The public have very mixed views on healthcare. They frequently tell us in active treatment that we aren't paid enough to do what we do. Half the time they don't know if they are being cared for by an RN or an LPN. Some will say that both levels of nurses are overpaid. But then they turn around and admit that they wouldn't do our jobs.

    So it's like we are an endangered species. What worries me is the thought Duckit might bring medication aides into the hospitals. Yup, like down in the US, NA's handing out meds. That idea just scares me. Many of the NAs in my hospital, are hardworkers, do jobs that will break their backs before they are 50 and have limited English but do I want them handing out meds?
  9. by   nurseinlimbo
    I don't understand the wage debate either, when lab and xray now start at a similar rate. I don't know of any other profession where you would go to school for this long and expect to work casual and for peanuts.
    I was an aide for many years, went back to school at 30, graduated at 33, have been out of "RN school" for 5 yrs. I am not one of the many who left and returned, and I know many who have left and will NEVER return. Funny how we can go from dire desperation one minute, and no shortage the next, with nothing changing in between. And I do think that Duckett has some suspicious motives, for he was quoted as saying that any RN that he doesn't hire today he doesn't have to lay off tomorrow. I have a mortgage, and we will lose everything if that happens. Have already been through enough in the last few years to bury any normal couple.
    I am looking at jobs in BC, there are 10 pages listed in one region alone.
  10. by   Fiona59
    You see the wage debate is what has angered LPNs over the years. We make less than lab techs and health records coders. All are roughly two year diploma courses yet the lab techs start at nearly $7/hour more than an LPN. Finally, an LPN with seven+ years of experience makes nearly as much as a NEW grad RN.

    If I had to do it over, I'd be coding down in a nice quiet cubicle, wearing street clothes, without having to deal with bodily fluids, relatives, and the insane amount of work a floor nurse has to get through in a shift. Oh, and they get all their breaks. I love the latest, no charting on breaks diktat, and you HAVE to take your breaks. Like who has time?
  11. by   nurseinlimbo
    That's what I mean, if this is Duckett's way of cutting the budget, by reducing the cost of labor, I think they are going to find that the union is going to demand higher wages for the LPNs increased scope of practice, because if they were already feeling that way, they will definitely want more compensation for the increase in responsibility. But even amongst the LPNs I've talked to, the older ones understand that they are being used (when working at increased scope), the younger ones have been told it is their right to practice at full scope and feel they should expect nothing less. If it were me, I'd want to be compensated....

    I would be a computer programmer, or an accountant, with weekends and evenings off, or better yet, in an ideal world, a horse trainer/barn manager, but can't afford to be.
  12. by   sabrino76
    It seems that what Mr Duckett and his mickey mouse club set out to do is turn employees against each other as a way of deflecting the real issues affecting Alberta Healthcare Services and a good example is this debate betwen RNs and LPNs wages. Why? Nurses are deserving of whatever they get paid, otherwise why don't these suit and tie wearing individuals come hang those I.Vs, comfort grieving families, clean bums and and then put a price on it.... Some of us have seen it before, where cuts are made, hospitals always come out worse with a bigger deficit. Know why...... more money is spent on OT and doing a massive recruitment 6 months down the line. Haven't some of us seen this before?
  13. by   Fiona59
    So now that our freedom of expression has effectively been taken away, do you think Duckit will be snooping here???

close