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"Oh so you still have a job?"

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Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

Furloughs are rolling out, departments are being shut down, and the pressure is high. Having been an educator for over six years now I am used to being seen as "necessary but disposable". In my new role as a Manager of Professional Practice (nursing strategic planning/recognition/professional development planning) I was definitely feeling that vibe again yesterday as I walked amongst the units dropping off some self-care donations we had gotten. When COVID hit I was given the hospital educators to "direct", I am interim coordinator (which is looking like it will be more and more permanent every day) over the new grad nurses, I have organized and rolled out all education (with the educators) for cross-training, PPE changes, vetted innovations, helped modify policy after policy, reworked Code Blue, and sat on endless calls about everything under my umbrella and then some.

I guess this is more of a vent than anything else. I am grateful my leadership team feels I add value to the team above the cost of my salary (I did discuss my willingness to furlough if it was felt to be the best choice, as well as recognized I may see a pay cut at some point) but I often don't know what to say to frustrated folks on the floor who just see their managers being furloughed and them being fed back to the hospital.

Thanks for listening.

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

When I was a new nurse, I went through an excellent nurse residency program in Austin. People from across the state, and even different parts of the country(!), would apply for this program because they'd heard how good it was. We had to attend monthly classes, which were pretty informative, and had debriefing sessions after those classes.

I remember one day, late in the program, the nurse educator announced at the end that it was going to be her last day with the organization (she'd been there for more than 30 years) because they'd made her position redundant. And she burst into tears. We all felt that.

Experiences like that influenced how I feel about work in America. You can't ever get too comfortable with your job, even if you're tenured, even if you've got a union-backed government job, whatever. It's always vital to have a back-up plan, an "out", because you're the only one who's going to be looking out for you in this capitalist system.

Whenever I get lax about keeping “what if” in the back of my mind, I remind myself of what was done to my father as he approached retirement age. His employer got rid of him. No job, no paycheck to provide, and most important, no pension. My father knew what was at stake so he didn’t hesitate to seek the help of an attorney although he couldn’t afford any retainers or fees. There is a point where you just can’t roll over and play dead. Because he was fortunate enough to prevail, we kept a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. Much better than living out of a car or under a highway underpass. You have to look after you, no matter where you are in the food chain.

1 hour ago, Tait said:

I guess this is more of a vent than anything else.

Are you saying that you're getting vibes and feel they might be related to others' view that you are unnecessary staff who has been kept in place while more "valuable" staff is being furloughed?

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

1 minute ago, JKL33 said:

Are you saying that you're getting vibes and feel they might be related to others' view that you are unnecessary staff who has been kept in place while more "valuable" staff is being furloughed?

In a nutshell yes. But I also understand the level of stress our staff are under and my role only became official at the end of last year, though I had been doing it informally for nearly a year.

YG FNP, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP

Has 12 years experience.

If your facility is able to see long term rather than succumbing to the knee-jerk policy style so many health care systems become comfortable with, they will realize that having educated staff is not only important but vital to their sustainability. As the experienced nurses retire or leave the bedside, the new graduates who take their place will need guidance and education to help them, especially in this difficult time. Personally, I believe the educators are invaluable in their roles for overall safety and patient outcomes that often dictate the hospitals reimbursement rates. Know your worth and keep your head high. Your are contributing in ways that are different but sorely needed.

Edited by YG FNP
clarity

CaffeinePOQ4HPRN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Never forget (see image below) that THIS is how leadership/governments really feel about us. The support is almost always just veneer. Pocket your salary and try to advocate for your colleagues wherever/whenever you can. Be frugal and careful with your finances... one day they'll look at all of us in our respective nursing roles and dismiss us as redundant. Do what you can to help your nursing colleagues survive in whatever ways you can. I once had a manager (inpatient medsurg) who was told to make drastic cuts to her floor nursing staff; she saved jobs wherever she could by redeploying nurses or recommending them for suitable roles in other departments of the hospital. At the end of the day, we're all tired workhorses in this evil machine that doesn't always value us the way we should be. Celebrate the small victories, be kind, help others where/when you can. That's all any of us can do.

ffb3d5d0-f773-407b-b0b8-415d69d09169.jpg

Tait, MSN, RN

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 14 years experience.

2 hours ago, CaffeinePOQ4HPRN said:

Never forget (see image below) that THIS is how leadership/governments really feel about us. The support is almost always just veneer. Pocket your salary and try to advocate for your colleagues wherever/whenever you can. Be frugal and careful with your finances... one day they'll look at all of us in our respective nursing roles and dismiss us as redundant. Do what you can to help your nursing colleagues survive in whatever ways you can. I once had a manager (inpatient medsurg) who was told to make drastic cuts to her floor nursing staff; she saved jobs wherever she could by redeploying nurses or recommending them for suitable roles in other departments of the hospital. At the end of the day, we're all tired workhorses in this evil machine that doesn't always value us the way we should be. Celebrate the small victories, be kind, help others where/when you can. That's all any of us can do.

ffb3d5d0-f773-407b-b0b8-415d69d09169.jpg

That is exactly what I am doing. Working hard and by the sides of those who need it most, my nurses. I actually had seasoned RN come up to me last week. She is one of TWO wound care RNs for the whole hospital, yet her history in the ICU is long and dates back long before I started there. I asked her, genuinely, how she was fairing with her partner furloughed. She shrugged and said she would handle it, it wasn't ideal, but she would deal. I told her I had survived the furlough, but was anticipating a pay cut at some point. She then told me that she hoped not because she felt I was "essential" to the hospital and should be left in peace. That meant a lot to me, because she knows me well, and told me I was a value to her. ❤️

The picture reminds me if what its like to feel like you are drawing at work with task but then you get help and you pull through.

On 5/21/2020 at 8:08 AM, Tait said:

In a nutshell yes. But I also understand the level of stress our staff are under and my role only became official at the end of last year, though I had been doing it informally for nearly a year.

This is definitely a stressful time for everyone. I hope it gets easier for you.

On 5/26/2020 at 9:26 AM, CaffeinePOQ4HPRN said:

Never forget (see image below) that THIS is how leadership/governments really feel about us. The support is almost always just veneer. Pocket your salary and try to advocate for your colleagues wherever/whenever you can. Be frugal and careful with your finances... one day they'll look at all of us in our respective nursing roles and dismiss us as redundant. Do what you can to help your nursing colleagues survive in whatever ways you can. I once had a manager (inpatient medsurg) who was told to make drastic cuts to her floor nursing staff; she saved jobs wherever she could by redeploying nurses or recommending them for suitable roles in other departments of the hospital. At the end of the day, we're all tired workhorses in this evil machine that doesn't always value us the way we should be. Celebrate the small victories, be kind, help others where/when you can. That's all any of us can do.

ffb3d5d0-f773-407b-b0b8-415d69d09169.jpg

Perfect Illustration!