Published Jun 16, 2003
Hey, you guys, does anyone happen to know any lactation consultants? I have some questions- maybe you can answer them.
We currently have a lactation consultant, and the whole thing is a bit of a joke. It's one of those "I've been here forever, they'll never fire me, I'm not doing my job, too bad for you, Muhahahaha!" kind of deals. She's been on staff forever, is never available, only does day shifts Mon-Fri. I've never met her, but I've heard from others on day shift that she's always sitting in a back office basically hiding all day long, doing very little work.
She sent a memo out about six months ago saying that she was no longer working with every mom, but rather would be working only with those who had severe breastfeeding issues, like cleft palates and the like. All others had to be taught and counseled by the nurses. Well, much as we'd like to, this has turned out horribly. Our nurses get no education on this and most of them could care less about learning more (morale is very low on my unit presently, but I digress...). Myself and one other nurse on night shift are the only ones who attempt to promote this, and know jack about breastfeeding, pumping/storing, etc.
It's horrible, because we are missing valuable opportunities here and there are only two of us, which means limited results. Management on our unit seems very...umm...unconcerned about doing anything about this, and of course, this consultant has been here for YEARS, so she's never going to be fired or quit, I promise you (the retirement bennies at this hospital are pretty good, so we have a TON of people who could give a crap about their jobs and only stay because they're counting the years to retirement).
I was just wondering. Hmm. Advice? Suggestions? How do the consultants work at your hospital? How present are they?
And on a side note, how much do you figure this woman is getting paid for not doing anything? I can't help but think, wow, I'd love to have her job. I'm so very pro-education that I know I could excel in that type of position, and I realize it takes a ton of experience to become certified and all that, but I am just daydreaming a bit, you know? How much do lactation consultants get paid? It's probably not comparable to nursing salaries, but then again, it seems at our hospital that people with titles get paid a hell of a lot for doing virtually nothing.
I posted this in the NICU forum also and would love to hear what you have to say on this issue. ;>)
We have a similar problem where I work. Originally, there were only lactation consultants for 7-3, but we now have 2 for 3-11; thus leaving none for 11-7 (but then, what else is new - 11-7 seems always to be lacking). We had a similar note posted - to the frustration of the staff. Our problem is this. Through a grant received in this state, ALL staff (including ward clerks and CNA's) would be PAID to go to 2 8-hr classes on breastfeeding. We all attended, but only a minute few even show any interest in assisting these mothers with breastfeeding. Much of the staff went, obviously because they wanted the money, but it is unfair for afew to carry the load. By the way, the lactation consultants here make $28-30/hr and most of them are not nurses.
OUR LC IS out of this world. WE LOVE her to death and she is AWESOME...the patients love her too. I am only TOO sorry I don't have much access to ours since I work nightshift and she is a strictly Mon-Fri dayshift person. BUT she is more than happy to follow up with patients (all of them) and make appts. with those having troubles w/bf after they go home.
I am sorry yours is so awful. Perhaps you can work on an LC cert. yourself so you can be "your own consultant" in helping patients and eventually make a positive change in so doing. Hey, you never know, you could one day maybe work even as a full/part time LC YOURSELF. Just an idea. A GOOD LC is worth MORE than his/her weight in GOLD in my book!
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