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Signs hospital is closing?

Posted

Specializes in ER.

Has anyone ever worked in a hospital that closed their doors without much warning?? There are rumors floating around that our facility is closing. Its a small satellite hospital, about 15-20 years old, BUT we just renovated 2 departments last year! Management has been assuring us that we are NOT closing, but we just closed a med/surg and the labor and delivery floor. They have been empty for a while now. But if they told us we were closing, they would risk loosing nurses right?? Im a relatively new nurse so this is the only job Ive had...guess Im a little scared:uhoh3:

Are there any clues I should look out for? Thank you

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

Observe the management types. If you start noticing that may of the higher ups are "absent" a good bit during business hours you can bet they are out on interviews. Look for lack of supplies, especially in quantities that would take you through months. See if needed repairs are being done.

If your small hospital has been acquired by a corporation which owns other hospitals in the area chances are good that yours may be closed, or reduced to a couple of units (such as nursing home/rehab type).

I've observed this several times in the corporate buyout situation.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Are supplies becoming more scarce? Fewer support staff in Dietary services or Housekeeping? Is it taking longer to replenish linens than it used to? These are also signs of pending financial crisis.

There are Federal requirements for large-scale layoffs that require an employer to provide 60 day notice prior to closing the facility or eliminating a large number of jobs. This is called the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification http://www.doleta.gov/layoff/warn.cfm ) There is a pdf document on this site with information for workers.

There are at least 3 hospitals in my area that are on the verge of closing but it's no secret - it's been in the local news for awhile now. I don't work at any of them so I'm not sure of the signs of impending closures other than the lay-offs and significant budget cuts. Are there other hospitals in your area you can apply to? Personally, if I were in your situation, I'd probably start looking for a new job at a facility that has more financial stability.

GHGoonette, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, OR.

Closing of certain departments is a sign that the hospital is in financial difficulties. The ongoing recession and failure of the economy to bounce back may be inducing the mother company to rationalize.

Sometimes it is necessary to close sections because the specialists who brought the patients in may have moved on to "greener pastures", or simply retired. If the exodus is large enough, it can cause sufficient harm to close the entire hospital. Also, look at the demographics; if the hospital is situated in a depressed area with high unemployment it will definitely affect the facility's income-without money to pay for their health insurance, people put off going for treatment, except for urgent or emergency care.

Older staff members with long service will probably wait it out; they have their pensions to consider and the prospect of getting a better severance package. Unless you fall into this category, you should start looking around for another job, or look at the possibility of transferring to another hospital within the group.

There had been rumors that the hospital I worked at many years ago was closing down. Nursing management told all of us that "No, it wasn't going to close down." We then found out that the hospital administrator and the DON had suddenly quit their jobs and were gone. The next day we were told that the hospital would be closed in 5 days and it was closed down permanently.:crying2:

my heart dropped while thinking that in this economy this situation could happen to me.

inteRN

Specializes in ER.

thank you so much for taking the time out to write! It is nerve racking...

GHGoonette, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, OR.

I understand fully what you are going through. In 2001, we had a busy little hospital that our patients loved coming to for its friendly atmosphere, and the surgeons also enjoyed working there. We were in a unique situation in that although we were part of the largest health care group in the country, we operated as a kind of "mini-group," as our manager owned the controlling shares in our hospital and two small satellite clinics.

Unfortunately, there was friction between the gynaecologists, because a new guy had been brought in and the older ones didn't have much time for him. They upped and left, leaving the field clear for this new one. He went to Canada at the end of that year, ostensibly on holiday, but returned in January, only to tell the manager that he was leaving permanently. So that left us without a permanent gynae, and in April of 2002, we were forced to close Maternity and retrench staff; a devastating experience for all of us and a deadly blow for the hospital.

A new hospital belonging to a rival group had also opened in the vicinity, and although the doctors still preferred working with us, slowly but surely the new place leached away our business. Several other doctors had also left, some to emigrate and others to more modern hospitals, and the final blow came when our senior physician developed multiple sclerosis and was unable to work anymore.

In 2004, our manager announced that the trust fund which had maintained our little group was bankrupt, that the two litle clinics would be closed and our hospital would revert in total to the mother company; as we were not making money, we would either be sold outright to another group or closed down. A small, fairly new group had made a bid for us and we just had to sit it out and wait for developments...

Well, the new group bought the hospital out, lock, stock, barrel and staff! They kept the old facility going until last year, then opened a new facility which they had built themselves. I won't go into details here, but sometimes I think that the retrenchment package and a new start somewhere else might have been the better option, but then I already had fairly long service (15 years) and a pretty good reputation amongst the doctors; finding another job would not have been too difficult.

Think carefully before you decide what to do; it may be a wrench leaving this hospital, but if you are still young, rather leave the place on your own terms, instead of having the door closed in front of you. It is always easier to get a job if you are already employed. I wish you the very best of good luck.

A hospital closed in my former city and personnel were given little notice before they were in the job market. If I were you, assuming the rumors and/or hints are valid observations, I would start my job search now. Either way, you might be in a better job before the closing (if it occurs).

inteRN

Specializes in ER.

thank you!!!

GHGoonette, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU, OR.

Hello OP, so have you heard anything further?