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Used to love my job, pandemic changed everything

Nurses   (435 Views | 6 Replies)
by Baconpancakes Baconpancakes (New) New Nurse

Baconpancakes has 2 years experience and specializes in Case Management.

19 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I apologize this will be lengthy, just need to vent to other nurses who may understand where I’m coming from.

I work for a primary care company as a telephonic “care manager”. My job is to call patients who have been recently discharged from the hospital to make sure they understand their condition and how to best care for themselves, to prevent them from being re-admitted to the hospital and save the insurance companies money. 

It’s a mentally stressful job and can be draining, but hours are good with a flexible schedule. I have been here over a year and have really pushed myself since this was my first real nursing job. I really, really enjoyed my job until the recently.


The company has taken a hit financially due to the pandemic, and they decided to use most of the nursing staff at my office to call patients and get them to schedule an appointment with their PCP. This way our company gets money.

I understand why they are doing this, if we don’t have money none of us have jobs.

BUT the issue is they are expecting just 4 of us to continue on with our normal jobs all of us used to do, calling discharged patients.

There’s not as many patients as before, but just 4 of us taking on that amount of work is impossible. 

The maximum number of calls we had in one day before was around 11 and that was mostly on Mondays and none of us could get to them all.

(It sounds like it wouldn’t be difficult, but it’s very time consuming because of all the required questions we have to ask, writing a note to the provider, researching the patient, doing additional required tasks for billing purposes, etc, etc. it’s a lengthy process. Plus we have to try to call them back later if they don’t answer the first time, we have to call them if they won’t show up to their schedule appointments, plus check in on them a month after discharge, and if they meet certain criteria call them back in a week to check on them again. So it’s a lot.)

The 4 of us are being given anywhere from 16 to 30+ patients to call *per day*. It’s not possible, and the management doesn’t even seem to realize that or care. We had our hours cut to 4 days per week, and I’m still sent 15+ patients to call when I’m not even there. 

I’ve been asked “how many do you think you can call in one hour” - it depends on if they answer at all, and how well they’re doing or not doing. I’ve been told since someone else was having good luck with patients answering, I should be able to get them to answer too. They don’t understand the actual job or that they’re being completely unreasonable. Patients aren’t just numbers on a log, they are actual people.

I now have to hear my co-workers who set up appointments all day talk about how slow their day is going, and it’s so frustrating! 

What’s worse is they wrote me up for not being productive enough last month.  

in April, Me and 14 other people worked from home. I was selected because I’m pregnant, but I was brought back into the office after 3 weeks and written up for low productivity....

however there was never a guidance set on how many calls we were expected to complete, they just said I wasn’t keeping up with the others who were working from home even though I was doing more than before. I wasn’t even given a chance to do better, just brought back in to the office and written up for not being able to do double the amount of work as before. And I will add, all of the others have been doing this job for years, I’ve only been out of school one year.

Now I’ve been having issues with gestational hypertension (I told my manager about weeks ago) and Im being induced next week because my high BP, swelling, and seeing spots in my vision is putting me at a greater risk of developing pre-eclampsia and my OB doesn’t want to risk it.

It made no sense for them to even have me calling discharged patients to begin with, knowing I was in my 3rd trimester and about to go on leave. Now there will be just 3 co workers to dealing with this mess after next week. 

I’m wondering if it’s even worth coming back after my leave, and holding out hope things get back to normal. I feel like I’ve been treated really unfairly. 

Maybe I’m just too sensitive, but I wish it would all go back to before. I know I won’t be able to find another job like this one, and I never want to work in a SNF. Would you go back or look for a new job?

Edited by Baconpancakes

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 1,414 Posts; 8,633 Profile Views

Sounds like you are going through a tough time right now dealing with multiple issues. I agree that it sounds like they are expecting too much. Given the fact that you will be off soon and for a little while I would just get through the remaining days of work, focus on your family, put this on the back burner and think about it for awhile. Maybe by the time you are ready to go back to work things will be back to normal. If you really like your job I would at least see how it is before looking elsewhere. 

Wishing you well and hope it all works out, take care of yourself!

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

5 Followers; 2,839 Posts; 11,937 Profile Views

Deep breath. Sorry - this sounds like a plate of poop for you.  Don't be nice to the people and don't talk so long?? Really, is that what you're being told?

SO....when you're done having the baby, perhaps consider school nursing? I don't know what school nursing will look like in 20/21 but any frustration I feel absolutely pales in comparison to what's happening here.

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

113 Posts; 451 Profile Views

I think a lot of people’s jobs have changed with the pandemic.....I know there is a certain heaviness to our department.

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1,275 Posts; 8,265 Profile Views

The problem is, you took this as your first nursing job.  Now you are going on maternity leave.  
 

You will have to regroup after maternity leave.  I would find a job where you can develop time management skills.  It seems like they expected you to have this as a new nurse and that’s simply not possible.

Go have your baby and enjoy your time as a new mom!!  CONGRATS!!  Don’t even think about work.  Then, once your time is up, I’d return to my current job, but look for another where you can develop your skills.  That should have been your first job.  

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14 Followers; 4,220 Posts; 32,853 Profile Views

5 hours ago, LovingLife123 said:

The problem is, you took this as your first nursing job.

 

5 hours ago, LovingLife123 said:

I would find a job where you can develop time management skills.  It seems like they expected you to have this as a new nurse and that’s simply not possible.

Sounds a little off-base. One of the ridiculous tidbits in this story is that of sending a day's work to the OP while s/he is at home d/t the mandatory reduced hours (aka OFF DUTY).

Time management is an important skill, no doubt. But the results of doubling workload while cutting hours has zilch to do with any individual worker's underdeveloped time management skills--instead this is quite the classic case of corporate temper tantrum as soon as things aren't smoothly churning along.

**

Anyway, OP, yes. There's no good reason not to at least get an idea of what else you might pursue. You have really enjoyed this job but don't attach all importance to it. It was a year of pleasant work and now that has changed. Take care of yourself, enjoy your baby, and do a little brainstorming about what's next.

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Baconpancakes has 2 years experience and specializes in Case Management.

2 Posts; 19 Profile Views

Thanks for the  advice. I am about a week away from having the baby and I am going to do some serious thinking.

The #1 pro to this job is the flexibility and hours. It would be nice to work there part time while going back to school, but then again I could find a PRN job somewhere else and so the same while developing my clinical skills. 
just wanted feed back if other nurses would deal with this mess or not.

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