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When did nursing become the answer to the bottom line?

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marick_RN marick_RN (New) New

When did nursing become the answer to the bottom line? When it comes time for budget crunching, why is it acceptable to downsize positions in housekeeping, dietary, unit clerks, pharmacy techs etc. and assume nursing will just take over their duties? Why is it that nursing can do everyone's job but there is no one else to do a nurse's job except another nurse? Why are we, as nurses, allowing this to happen? Don't get me wrong, I am never above helping out another department. The problem is when nursing takes on non nursing duties it is the patient who suffers. Haven't we as nurses given up enough patient time? Where does it end?

anewsns

Specializes in Neurosciences, stepdown, acute rehab, LTC. Has 8 years experience.

I was just talking about this the other day actually , no comment but I said something very similar

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

As I have expounded ad nauseum in another thread, it is because we are non-chargeable expenses. Nurses, soap, housekeeping, electrical supply, we are one. Why not add duties/responsibilities onto those whose salaries are already paid?

What can they do about it? If nurse quit, there are dozens more waiting in line. After all, there is NO nursing shortage. Nurses are a dime a dozen.

"It" will only end when nurses band together and demand professional recognition and professional salary/billing.

Emergent, RN

Has 27 years experience.

Actually, it's a bad business model to have higher paid workers perform functions below their skill level. It's extremely wasteful to have a $30 nurse answering phones. A highly skilled surgeon should not be helping patients to the BSC. THAT is bad for the bottom line!

EmergencyRN22

Specializes in Emergency Room.

If the hospital wants to pay me my RN pay to stock carts or any other task a minimum wage employee can do - I'm okay with it.

MatrixRn

Specializes in Management, Med/Surg, Clinical Trainer. Has 20 years experience.

When did nursing become the answer to the bottom line? When it comes time for budget crunching, why is it acceptable to downsize positions in housekeeping, dietary, unit clerks, pharmacy techs etc. and assume nursing will just take over their duties? Why is it that nursing can do everyone's job but there is no one else to do a nurse's job except another nurse? Why are we, as nurses, allowing this to happen? Don't get me wrong, I am never above helping out another department. The problem is when nursing takes on non nursing duties it is the patient who suffers. Haven't we as nurses given up enough patient time? Where does it end?

The short answer is because they can get away with it. The hospital can eliminate housekeeping and have us take up the slack but they cannot eliminate us and have housekeeping do our job.

What is a non-nursing job? Just curious.

I agree with the poster above if they want me to sweep the floor I am good with it as long as I keep my job.

withasmilelpn

Specializes in Rehab, LTC, Peds, Hospice. Has 18 years experience.

I hate it. Not because I'm above it. I can grab a mop when needed, no problem. But when it's a regularly scheduled duty, forget it. It doesn't work. How do I know this? I work at a LTC facility who now requires my nursing assistants to clean their rooms too. Vacuuming, dusting, mopping. They do do it - sometimes, sometimes well, sometimes.... long as it's not too busy. And it's always too busy. Rooms are dirty, and guess who they complain to? The thing is that I need them more to help toilet, dress and feed and I have 2 for 20 Residents. On a good day there is time, on a bad not. It's very, very frustrating. And Infection control is a serious concern too. But I guess as long as you have a job....

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

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

"We" aren't allowing this to happen --- our so-called nurse leaders are. They are the ones who are supposed to be advocating for us with the C-Suite. But I guess something must happen to nurses as they claw their way to the top that takes all the 'nursiness' out of them.... they seem to morph into bean counters, just like all the other executives.

I have the enormous good fortune to (finally) be working for a phenomenally qualified chief nurse who is a nurse's nurse. She is slowly gaining ground, pushing back the ghastly changes (made by bean counters) a bit at a time). She's articulate and prepared... providing evidence that adequate nursing care is the basis of everything else... they can't achieve any improvements without sufficient numbers of competent and happy nurses to take care of the patients. I have no idea how she managed to stay overtly committed to nursing & survive/thrive as a healthcare leader.... just happy that she did.

We're taking it back, one FTE at a time.

Last time I remember this being brought up (by a hospital that was having this problem), the nurses were told "well we can always cut back on NURSES and then some of you would be out of a job altogether". So the answer was either pick up the slack.....or you might be downsized yourself :(

It is not just the nurses. Some are being replaced with lower paid "medical assistants" or "medication aides". CNA's are becoming anything from materials management to phlebotomists to patent sitters.....and nurses have to go from some ancillary help to none.

Or all ancillary help to one nurse.

Whatever can happen to make the illusion of "exceptional" patient care with as many lowest paid people dancing around a scope, with a nurse having to "supervise" (

Facilities are a business. And those in the highest pay bracket could give 2 squirts in a fireplace if a nursing is an art, a science, or a prison sentence. Submit, or go the heck home. Sad indeed.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

If the hospital wants to pay me my RN pay to stock carts or any other task a minimum wage employee can do - I'm okay with it.

Even when you have a full patient assignment, too? Jeez, you must be some kind of time management whiz. Some days I feel like I barely have enough time to get the nursing tasks done. If I had to stock all the carts and mop the rooms as well, I'd be in trouble.