Tell me about West Virginia University Hospitals

  1. I am applying to the university hospital. I'm from Ohio and am not too familiar with the hospital. I have been to Morgantown a few times, love the area but would like more info on the hospital. I know it's a Magnet, etc but I want to hear from the nurses who work there.

    I am thinking of applying for the operating room.
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    About quick2k2ecotec

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 27


  3. by   nursemike
    Sorry to be a little slow to respond. I work at WVUH/Ruby Memorial and am very happy there. It's a 400+ bed teaching hospital operating as a private, not-for-profit corporation, seperate from but affiliated with WVU. With a few grandfathered exceptions, we are employees of the hospital corporation, rather than the State of WV.
    One the whole, I find the hospital a rather benevolent employer: I think the administration genuinely wants us to be happy, there. Of course, they don't always succeed, and there are limits to how far they'll go, but I think most are more happy than not, and as my father says, "Some people would complain if they worked in a pie factory."
    I don't know much about the OR, but a couple of friends from school work there and seem to like it. On the floors, the target ratio is five patients/nurse, although we still sometimes get six. (I think the ortho nurses can still get seven, at times, which strikes me as a bit much.)
    Several of the units are organized with intergrated step-down units, where the assignment is three patients, but they're usually sicker. If you work on a unit with a stepdown, you rotate between that and the "floor," rather than being permanently assigned to either. The ICUs are independant units, so if you work ICU, you always work ICU, unless you get floated to a floor, in which case you get floated to a stepdown assignment.
    Pay is decent for the area. Brand new nurses start at around $21/hr. I think nurses with prior experience can usually negotiate a higher starting rate. Nurses are non-union, but some of the support personnel are unionized. I've done both, and am generally happy to keep my union dues. Benefits are similar for both, but the nurses get a couple of bennies the union employees don't, like 10% "pull pay" when floated to a different unit. Small stuff, but still nice to have.
    I started as an RN around the time the push for Magnet status was getting under way. Don't see a lot of changes before and after. The ratio change occured around the same time (going from 6 to 5) but it has other rationales besides Magnet, and might have occured regardless.
    Parking is free, but if you don't get there early on days, you have a hike ahead of you. We share lots with the stadium, so on home football weekends, parking is a mess (the athletic dept actually owns the lots, so we park in southwestern PA--well, I exaggerate--slightly).
    Don't know what else to say. There are a wide range of positions, from bedside nursing to same-day surgery. Turnover seems moderate, but some jobs are hard to get--the ones with regular, weekday hours. Orientation is reasonable: six weeks for regular, acute care, plus a couple more if you do stepdown. Twenty weeks, I think, for ICU.
    Feel free to post or PM me if you have other questions. I probably won't know, but I can make something up.
  4. by   irlandska
    Am interested in applying for a Clinical Associate position at this similar to being a Patient Care Tech where one can do dressing changes, EKG's, etc. along with regular CNA work?
    Any information would be appreciated.
  5. by   nursemike
    Quote from irlandska
    Am interested in applying for a Clinical Associate position at this similar to being a Patient Care Tech where one can do dressing changes, EKG's, etc. along with regular CNA work?
    Any information would be appreciated.
    Clinical Associate is the title given to, essentially, nurses' aides. It does not, generally, require CNA certification, except in the Skilled Nursing Unit, which is a convalescent facility within the building which operates as a seperate entity--more or less. Personnel do move back and forth, somewhat, but a patient moving to SNU is discharged from the hospital and admitted to the SNU, and vice versa. CA is a bit similar to PCT, but doe not include dressing changes. CAs take vitals, do finger sticks for glucose and some other point-of-care testing (urine specific gravity, hemoccult, etc.) and a lot of the ADLs. It's a tough, challenging job that, like nursing, often seems underpaid and sometimes underappreciated, but if you can do it well, you won't feel unloved. In the past, CAs did a lot of the lab draws, but those are now done by phlebotomists. I'm not entirely familiar with the CNA scope, but I think it's pretty much the same. Lately, on my unit--and I don't think we're unique--I've been frustrated by what I perceive as a tendency for CAs and nurses to see themselves as seperate entities. I think a few (mainly newer?) nurses see CAs almost as ancillary staff, and some of the CAs tend to associate more with each other than the nurses. This may be partly compounded by the fact that CAs are members of LIUNA, while nurses are non-union, and some rather testy contract negotiations are under way at present. For those willing, though, it can be a real collaborative relationship, and I've credited several CAs, past and present, with making me look like a better nurse than I really am. In short, "It's not just a job, it's an adventure," and, like most adventures, includes a fair amount of grief and hardship, as well as some glory and moments of comic relief.
  6. by   irlandska
    Thank you for your quick response.
    I am discouraged by the fact that I would be unable to do the skills that I had previously done as a PCT.
    May you and everyone at the hospital there have a nice Christmas.