One of the hospitals I work at (considered to be a "prestigious" facility and coveted by many new grads here as the holy grail of places to work) is anything but. Most recently, we're experiencing extreme pressures on all resources at this hospital. Almost all units are over 100% capacity. One unit is even at 277% capacity. There are patients in the hallways, bodies jammed in wherever they can fit them. Recently, to address the situation, the hospital CEO issued template letters for staff to give to placate patients and families who raise their concerns about wait times, hallway admissions and co-gender rooming.
Injuries are on the rise, on my unit we have 5 nurses on modified duties r/t work-related injuries and 3 nurses who will be off work for the next 2-3 months because of the same. What's the hospital's solution to this? Well, they've shifted the duties from the nurses on "modified" onto those of use who are uninjured... to pick up the slack for the physical labor the inured nurses cannot do. Thus, increasing our physical strain and potential for injury. I just find it amazing that we're unable to strike. Being able to strike would give us some power to help put pressures on management/gov't to make changes that are drastically needed. Look at the teaching profession. They strike every year and get cushy benefits packages. Why don't we have the same rights and respect? Especially when it's becoming increasingly unsafe for nurses to go to work. As a result, I have been refusing shifts when I am called to come into work. Thankfully, I can do this because I have another job, but it just seems really ****** what things have come to... that those of us with an innate love for bedside have run away from it as fast as we can into Masters Degrees programs, non-bedside jobs or non-nursing jobs just to survive. I wish there was a solution or way out. I'm working on my own plan, but it just feels a little depressing and enraging to be told by a bunch of suits who couldn't save their own live if a situation depended on it to: "buck up, let's all work hard and push through this" when the stockpiling of duties is never-ending.