Job Angst

It’s bad. It’s so bad. I didn’t go in today, I missed my time in the “dunk tank” for our “Festival Days” and they made the clinical manager who reports to me take MY turn and her turn. My daughter had a doctor’s appointment, my garage got waterproofed today and I just couldn’t manage it all.

Yesterday there were two call-offs. Almost three but we managed to bully the third one into not calling off. Remarkably, she was *fine* all day. Not sick at all. Amazing recovery. We barely have a day go by where we do not have a call off and we are understaffed to begin with. I had to miss the last day of my ACLS class to accommodate the staffing needs of the floor. Kim, clinical manager, had to staff the ICU. This goes on and on, day after day, week after day.

Why are we short-staffed? Well I don’t know. Back in January, I submitted an analysis that said we were short at least six RNs. My supervisor insisted we were not, despite my spreadsheet which clearly showed how the shifts were not covered. And when two more RNs resigned, she did agree to replace them, however, she only agreed to replace them with LPNs. OK, fine, I’m happy with more staff, regardless.  After a debacle of a week of staffing–eight months later–she reviews the schedule and announces to me as if it’s a revelation, “You’re short six RNs! No wonder we’re in such crisis.”  Not to mention the shortage of nurse’s aides. I’ve hired six aides and we’re STILL short.

There are so many critical initiatives going on right now too. The conversion to an electronic medical record, due by December 8th. A Quality Blue initiative. The entire “Values in Action” program. Joint Commission accreditation coming up. Improving clinical outcomes on the units. Orientation programs for new staff (the nurse educator basically resigned to0). Annual competencies. Enhancing the critical thinking capabilities of the staff. Instituting an Orthopedics Program. And acting as the “float pool” whenever this is a call-off or staffing need and going into staff. It’s untenable.

I worked 12 hours on the floor yesterday as a staff nurse. I actually had a good time doing that; I like patients and I like the clinical environment. I’m good at it. I’m good with patients and with families. This administrative stuff has got to go. I want hands-on or I want out. I’ll go raise dogs and cats. Think there’s a living in that?

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