We're Like Travelers, In Our Own Hospital! $$

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by JBMmom JBMmom, MSN, NP Member Nurse

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience.

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I guess my hospital finally reached a breaking point and was forced to pony up some cash. We have a small ICU with 12 beds, when I left this morning we had 29 critical care patients in the hospital. We have vented patients in PCU, PACU, the ED, etc. And the number of rapid responses/codes has increased throughout the hospital. Starting today there is a $100 PER HOUR bonus to pick up shifts for all nurses and respiratory therapists, on top of regular pay and shift diff/weekend diff etc. It's only authorized for two weeks because goodness knows the minute there's less of a surge they will cancel it, but it's at least a step in the right direction of staffing us appropriately. Maybe our night RNs on med surg will have less than eight patients each. It would be nice if we weren't constantly tripled in the ICU, but given the number of staff available and the number of critical care patients, that's not likely. But I'll have a couple really nice paychecks to make up for it. Does your hospital have a new incentive in place to help with staffing?

traumaRUs

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 30 years experience. 164 Articles; 21,139 Posts

Wow, just wow!

Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,816 Posts

Back in '03, when I started at Wrongway Regional Medical Center, they would pay an RN a $70 bonus, above and beyond overtime pay, just to come in on a weekend shift. There were so very many call offs from weekend shifts.

When I caught wind of this, I told the director that if she would just add $70 to my pay, I would work every weekend. Done deal.

Three months later, Wrongway began a weekend option program. In my 17 years there, they had several incentive programs to get staff to work more shifts. One of the first ones called GEMs for "Going the Extra Mile".

I never got involved in any of them for several reasons like I didn't want to work anymore than I had to, and if there was a way to screw something up, Wrongway administration would find it.

The last program they had before I was fired & retired was on a point system, where staff members got so many points for working extra. The points could be cashed in for something like a Walmart gift card.

At times they would offer something called "DOUBLE CRITICAL POINTS!" where an employee could get something like a $100 Walmart gift card.

I heard a lot of complaints about that, like, "Mia promised me 75000 points for working an extra shift and all I got was 3500!"

Last I heard, Wrongway has closed two of its psych units, OB, and moved med/surge and telemetry together, and is using agency nurses. However, where once nurses fought over who was going to be able to take low census, they're fighting to NOT have to take it.

As Scout said, "Thing is just a mess, Miss Maudie!"

Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,816 Posts

I just remembered something else Wrongway did one year.

Typically, the employees got a one to two per cent raise after the yearly evaluations in April. There were a couple of years where no raises were given.

But then, one year, Wrongway was going to match other hospitals' pay rate. I heard some of the employees proclaiming, "I got a 7% raise!" 

"On Jeese", I thought, "I'm afraid to look and see what they gave me". When I finally summoned up the nerve to view my paycheck on the computer, I couldn't believe my eyes. I had a 27.5% pay raise which amounted to about $1000 per month!

Believing this was an error, and talking about it to no one, I stuck the extra money in savings for fear that I would have to pay them back.

I worked at Wrongway for another few years, getting about a 2% pay raise thereafter, so I guess that the large pay raise was not an error.

Daisy4RN

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience. 1 Article; 2,081 Posts

That is great news JBMmom, from reading some of your latest posts it is most definitely deserved!! Hopefully it will make the next few weeks a little more bearable. 
 

NightNerd

NightNerd, MSN, RN

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 8 years experience. 1,112 Posts

Whoa! Seems like the severity of the situation is finally sinking in for your admin. Enjoy that extra cash!

I would pick up an extra shift or two for this kind of money, but nothing close to that is being offered here. I think it's $300 extra for the shift (plus any overtime pay), which isn't nothing, but it's not worth it for me. I'm already exhausted and cranky from my normal 36; I can't imagine what kind of evil villainess I'd be after tacking on another 12, LOL. I could probably handle something shorter, but I'm not sure if that's helpful or just screws up the assignment partway through the shift.

Ooh, and I just found out we got $10 for food in the cafeteria tonight! That's for coming in to work during the blizzard. ??????

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,019 Posts

We are currently at $70/hr extra for day shift, $85/hr night shift (after 3pm), and $100/hr extra for weekends for any extra shifts worked.

kp2016

kp2016

Has 20 years experience. 444 Posts

18 hours ago, JBMmom said:

 Starting today there is a $100 PER HOUR bonus to pick up shifts for all nurses and respiratory therapists, on top of regular pay and shift diff/weekend diff etc.

 Maybe our night RNs on med surg will have less than eight patients each. It would be nice if we weren't constantly tripled in the ICU, but given the number of staff available and the number of critical care patients, that's not likely. 

I think the bonus pay to entice staff to sign up for extra shifts instead of mandating (forcing) them is great...... I am however very nervous that once Covid is done the new higher staffing rations 1:8 med/surg 1:3 ICU will remain. It's hard to believe the hospital bean counters won't see this as proof that those ratios are entirely do-able and gleeful at this new found way to save money at the expense of bedside nurses.

Wuzzie

4,786 Posts

Don’t worry, they’ll recoup their losses from this by instituting maximum 0.5% raises for the next 25 years. ?

I’m a little bitter about these incentives. I work 5 days a week and we’re closed on weekends so I can’t take advantage of them. Due to my job title I can’t pick up elsewhere in the hospital. In the meantime I have 100% attendance, most of it doing my job while also covering people who are out taking care of their not sick kids who are quarantined. This has led to me putting in 5-10 hrs of overtime every week. While I’m not at all judging my co-workers because it isn’t their fault, it kind of smarts when they occasionally come in and pick up a 4 hour cupcake shift and make an extra $250 that I don’t qualify for especially because when they leave after 4 hours guess who gets to pick up the slack. I think there should be some sort of bonus for those of us who are literally keeping the place going by showing up every. single. day. 

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,104 Posts

5 hours ago, Wuzzie said:

I think there should be some sort of bonus for those of us who are literally keeping the place going by showing up every. single. day. 

I 100% agree with you that it's a sort of slap in the face to all of the hard working staff that are doing just that, reliably showing up and doing their job faithfully with very little reward. The only consolation is that they will hopefully be slightly less overworked when others pick up more.

Things worked out in my favor when I went to a per diem position recently, so I'm able to reap these benefits. I fall short of saying I deserve this, but I've decided the universe has decided to pay me back for my car getting flooded in the work parking lot last fall. This will allow me to pay off a car loan I had never intended to have. 

And as of this morning we were still short staffed so even the extra money isn't bringing people in to work more hours. The conditions are just too much. We ran out of ventilators overnight and now have 29 critical care patients throughout the hospital with barely enough staff. We're still at 1:3 critical patients, and I share the concern that this will now be considered the norm. 

Edited by JBMmom

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 7 years experience. 1 Article; 2,532 Posts

One of the hospitals near me has added 100/hr extra, and another is at 70/hr. 

Great money, but not really worth the stress that comes with bedside nursing. However, if I weren't in school, I'd pick up more. 

ladedah1

ladedah1, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience. 79 Posts

On 1/17/2022 at 8:31 AM, Wuzzie said:

 I think there should be some sort of bonus for those of us who are literally keeping the place going by showing up every. single. day. 

I totally agree!  My hospital has been giving out bonuses for extra shifts, but that doesn't really say a lot by way of appreciation.  Nor does it amount to enough to decently motivate people.

My unit was transformed into the primary covid unit for the hospital at the beginning of the pandemic.  The original staff that remain are now very few.  Even the ones who started after covid and have been there less than a year are regularly leaving... and I'm pretty sure they're being hired at a higher rate than those of us who have been there ?

With all the crazy turnover and so few of us left, you'd think there would be some kind of raise for loyalty and dedication.  I've been on the same unit my entire career... covid or no covid.  I just roll with whatever comes my way.  I'm pretty sure that if I get the same ol' standard raise this year, I will be beyond offended.