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Patricia Smith

Patricia Smith

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Patricia Smith's Latest Activity

  1. Patricia Smith

    FLOATING POLICIES

    Nurses who are reading this discussion please ready carefully the response from the nurse from California! WE have much to learn--get a copy policy and utilize this as your standard. NEVER accept an assignment that you feel in your heart is "unsafe"! When they started floating nurses in our unit (this was a few years ago when I was doing NICU-and they wanted to float us to PICU), we called the nursing supervisor, told her that we vehemently objected to the "floating" and all of us signed the sheet which stated if she "floated" any of us, she would be held accountable as we had informed her that we felt "unsafe" outside the area of the NICU. We were NEVER floated because we all stuck together! It wasn't one nurse objecting--it was the WHOLE unit! In unity there is strength! Hang ON!!
  2. Patricia Smith

    UNION

    I would say Definitely go with the Union!! this is the ONLY way we can level out the playing field when it comes to wages, scheduling and staffing ratio's. I am sorry that you had "problems" with your previous union (where you an "active" member?) A union can only be as strong as it's members and it is iportant that we take an ative part in it's organization and representation. Things are getting worse for us and it doesn't look like it is going to change unless "we" take a stand and make the changes! This is of course, my opinion but I wish you luck! We are a Sisterhood!
  3. Patricia Smith

    burnout in the OR

    Hello OR nurses: What a dying breed you are! We here in Phoenix are sending an invitation to anyone out there willing to re-locate! I am currently working in a hospital where the management is behind the nurses (especially in the Peri-operative Service Areas). I am hearing a few nurses who love the OR but just aren't in the right place! Ever consider Phoenix? We are coming at the end of our summer right now and with our winter in the 60's--it is a wonderful time to be here. We have had some changes in our hospital with managment and they have all been positive changes. We have been hit with the shortage big time and in the summer with weather at the 120 degree mark--who wants to be in Phoenix? Now is a great time...I am inviting you to contact our nurse recruiter Mary Jean Mazarella at 602-344-5802 (Please call collect and she will accept!) I love working where I am right now and am poised for growth at out facility--I also take my hat off to California Nurses Association!! I wish we all had the courage and initiative to follow their lead and there wouldn't be so many of us unhappy Nurses! Good Luck Sisters!! (You may also contact me at unionrn@uswest.com)
  4. Patricia Smith

    Fabulous Idea!!!!

    Glad to see so many new postings on this subject--I plan on riding this out and doing what I can to make this happen. Like one of the nurses so elequently pointed out "it is worth losing a little sleep over!" California Nurses Association has a wonderful website and are more than willing to give any information that gets the word out to the public. I am so jealous that their association is so active in the political arena when it comes to staffing ratios and patient care issues. I think that they have formed a solid foundation on which we can build from here. Let's follow their lead ladies--we are anatomically correct aren't we? I mean, we do have backbones--let's stand up!!
  5. Patricia Smith

    Need Your Help

    Well DSMO: These ladies have done a fine job in listing all of the meds--I just wanted to wish you luck!! You will do just GREAT! Good luck!
  6. Patricia Smith

    Fabulous Idea!!!!

    Hey Bunky! I have been there--so let's talk! At the last hospital I worked in (a hugh 600 bed facility) I attempted to "oganize" the nurses for a possible union. There were 800 registered nurses employed at this facility. (This did not count the LPN's or techs and other ancillary positions) Yes, I was fired! But the work involved was gruesome! I was in the street 3 days a week with flyers announcing the upcoming meetings (I did this with the assistance of my family--3 kids because I am a single parent) I had to be there all three shifts so that I was capturing everyone as they entered the parking garage. I had the meetings at my house and then at other nurses houses in different parts of the city so we could be sure of reaching everyone. I had people sign in and sign out of the meetings and set up phone trees (to answer questions). After about 2 months of meetings, we rented a hotel conference room near the hospsital and at that meeting nearly 500 people attended! A very positive sign! My point being that this was just a 800 bed facility--what you are talking about is on a much larger scale! I am NOT saying we shouldn't do this because believe me--I am with you 100%, but having been there, I just wanted to shed some light on the amount of organization that it takes to combine such an effort--You can certainly count Phoenix "IN". Organization is the key--and everyone MUST be committed!! P.S. I would do it all over again! we need our voices to be heard--aren't we patient advocates??
  7. Patricia Smith

    What are the pros and cons of Agency Nursing?

    I worked agency only for about one year. Right now, I am employed full time (need the benefits-) but continue to work agency 1 shift per week (Kids in college!) I love agency for a number of reasons. First of all, when we all get to thinking that the "grass is greener" at another facility, working agency gives me the opportunity to see it first-hand! The hospital that I currently work at is one that I worked agency through so I knew "exactly" how deep the water was "before" I took the plunge! It is good to see how other hospitals in our area handle their staffing situations, ratio's and skill mix. I have met some wonderful people in other hospitals as well who are usually willing to share info when called upon. I also love the flexibility of the hours--if you don't want to work that day--there is no one to hassle you about it! If you don't need the benefits-go for it! It is your license so be sure that the assignment that you accept, is one that you are qualified and comfortable in doing. Good luck with your decision!
  8. Patricia Smith

    Nursing shortage? Read this and respond please

    I would love to fly down to Florida and scoop these nurses up and bring them all to Phoenix!! We would love to have you--as far as those so-called "Managers" who defile and deface nurses--SHAME ON YOU!! I am the Manager of a Department and I would NEVER humiliate a fellow nurse or ask her to do anything without a policy. Please note that there are reporting agencies for exactly this purpose (anonymous of course!) Here in Phoenix we are having a drought--no rain or nurses!! I am reading about all of these horror stories (mostly based out of Florida) and I have to ask, "WHY" Why would anyone want to stay and be abused when you could move to a climate of sunshine, decent salaries and hopefully a respected position? Nurses are scare here at this point--would love to hear from anyone willing to relocate! Good luck to the rest who feel compelled to stay in that environment! My thoughts and prayers are with you!
  9. Patricia Smith

    new nurse and scared

    What great advice you have been given here--use this time to learn, learn, learn!! I wish I had more time to attend some of the wonderful seminars and classes that are available--Certifications are a must--Good Luck to you and Hang-In there!!
  10. Patricia Smith

    Looking for email buddies

    Hello: Would love to hear from fellow nurses. I live in Phoenix (110 degrees who cares if it's a "dry heat")! E-mail me anytime at unionrn@uswest.com/ Have been a nurse more than 20 years--Manager of a PACU (working manager I might add--a dying breed!). Hope to hear from you!
  11. Patricia Smith

    ICU BURN OUT

    smile Well, as the manager of the PACU I must agree that support from your administration is #1. I agree that ALL mangers should put on a pair of scrubs and work along side the nurses in their unit to fully understand what is imposed on them each and every day. I am currently trying to implement a one-day-a month escape where we can just get together outside the unit for a little R & R--talk about issues and enjoy each others company. I am trying bowling this month--I am indeed a "working" manager--I also work registry on the weekends usually in the ER to maintain my skills and also to keep abreast of what else is oging on in the community as far as nursing, shortages, staff ratios and management styles. It helps me to see the "big picture". Flexibility is number one in my unit! Appreciation is number two! I only pray I can give enough of both to keep my staff happy in these trying times......Good luck to you all!
  12. Yes, Yes, Yes! I would definitely chose nursing again! (Of course with some minor changes!) #1 I would have continued on with my masters immediately--when we wait--we lose. I would have gone into administration and been a strong nursing advocate! #2 You are right, with nursing you can get a job anywhere--so, why not pick a state that has organized active nursing unions? At least there would be a forum to bring all of nursing issues too #3 I would have started earlier--(did not enter nursing until my 30's) Money is an issue that is close to all of our hearts--it makes the fat easier to swallow! But, I really love what I do.....I am exhausted but fulfilled. We are all "angels of mercy" and I pray for all of us. The decision must be made by our head but felt in our heart! Good luck to you my Friend!
  13. Patricia Smith

    Staff Retention

    Hey Bunky! Are you sure this isn't Phoenix we are talking about?!? We too are a "right to work" state--but do you truly know what that means? Having attempted to start a union movement in Phoenix 3 years ago I am inclined to pass on all the things I have learned. Being a "right to work" state does NOT mean NO UNIONS...what it means simply is this. California for example--if you worked at any of the Kaiser facilites, you would "have to" join the union in order to be employed there. In a "right to work" state, if your facility was unionized, you would have the "right to work" WITHOUT joining the union--THAT is the only difference in a right to work state. Of course, hospital administrators use "right to work" as if we have NO right to work (making people believe you CANNOT have a union there)--Nothing could be further from the truth! WE all have the "right to organize". The nurse who wrote about being terminated due to her being over-qualified--I would have marched myself to the Labor Board so quickly---(by the way, you DO NOT pay for this service)! We are educated, strong, driven women! We need to help each other in these termulous times--Please know there are reporting agencies out there--we just need to stop being so afraid to use them! Good Luck Sisters!
  14. In our institution we utilize time clocks...the last place that I worked, the "unspoken" word there was "clock out and then finish your charting" Administrators made us feel as though we had organized our time badly and that was why we couldn't fnish charting etc during our 12 hour shift--Finally, I wised-up--went to the Labor Board and got information on working "off the clock". When the next time came and my nurse manager wanted me to "clock-out and finish" I advised her that I was not going to clock out until I WAS finished. She stated that "It will not be authorized over-time" I told her that was fine but I needed documentation that I was still there at work during those hours--Guess what? I got PAID! Also, I wrote down "NO LUNCH" when I didn't receive a lunch--We are all anatomically correct and have spines--we need to stand up straight and use them! Let us stop being bullied by managers who are only interested in the bottom line! There are resources at the Labor Board. Take a few minutes from your busy day, read them and utilize them. They are there for your protection (as well as that of our patients) I would love to see this subject made into a thesis! Luck to all of you!
  15. Patricia Smith

    To all nurses: Is my life really over?

    You are Great!! What a great nurse you will be! I for one, am very proud of you--As you have heard from the previous e-mails--we all have different backgrounds but we all have the same message "GO FOR IT"! I have 3 children, and was seperated at the time I entered nursing school. I worked a full time job (3-12 hour shifts on the weekends as a nursing assistant) and took my classes during the week. No mother and father to help! Just us.......and I graduated #1 in my class. What a proud moment it was to have my children in the front row when I gave the commencement speech on graduation day! Where there's a will--there's a way. My oldest daughter is now a nurse as --she remembers my graduation day as well! It is important to keep time for your husband and family--set time aside each week and make it work. You will do just great and remember--we are all with you! Good luck and keep us posted!
  16. Patricia Smith

    what are your thoughts r/t unions?

    My Fellow Nurses: I have a renewed sense of faith when I read the comments on this issue! I "attempted" to start a union in Phoenix 3 years ago--I was fired for "solicitation" Of course, I took them to court and won my back pay and benefits BUT we all lost! When administration makes the decision to "fire" nurses--we get scared! We don't realize our own worth--even with the shortage--how are they going to replace us?? They CAN'T fire all of us! I am a single Mom--have been for a long time--BUT I believed so firmly in nursing having the right to negotiate their own contract that I paid the ultimate price--AND I would do it again!! All of you nurses out there--don't give up--FIGHT BACK! And most of all, stick together. This is our time now if we embrace the moment. Unions are only as strong as its members--if you have a union--go to meetings, voice your opinion and be heard--the union is your voice. Exercise it and remember, there are those of us who would love to "level out the playing field". Good Luck to you all!