When someone is backed into a corner a vantage point is a good thing to have.
The 7th floor of MSU is only Covid positive patients now. I had 5 of those patients. It’s too much to handle effectively and give quality care. Nurses are still expected to round on the patients every hour, update the whiteboard, give our meds and care for the patients in addition to all of this other crap! Not to mention having to put on and take off the PPE for every room every time.
Today was exhausting to say the least.
Some members of administration came to the unit to ask if there was anything they could do for us.
I spoke up first. I rarely say anything off color to administration but, I HAD to say something about this.
The staff nurses aren’t going to say anything for fear of losing their job or retaliation. Not to say the hospital is like that but, you know how shit goes with administrative people. They might view you as negative or, if you have hopes of getting ahead saying something negative may impede that. You see, I have an advantage in this situation. I DO NOT work for this hospital. I am a contract employee. There is no retaliation for me. There is no promotion to worry about.
With that said, I voiced our concerns.
Me: “Yeah, I do… Why are nurses expected to take on three more duties in addition to an already overloaded workday?”
Them: “What do you mean?”
Me: “I was told by Dr. (insert whatever name here) that we are to be drawing the patient’s labs, complete all respiratory treatments and housekeeping is not allowed in the rooms. It is an actual order in the chart, and he said it came directly from the medical director.”
Them: “We didn’t know about this.”
Me: “If we are expected to do all of this then our patient to nurse ratio needs to be way less, like 3:1 , if you want things to be done safely and with competence because right now we are stressed out to the max, and we are practicing in a VERY UNSAFE WAY. Everyday that I step foot in this building not only am I afraid of contracting this virus, I am afraid of losing my license or one of my patients lives because I am too busy updating whiteboards, cleaning rooms, completing respiratory treatments, drawing labs, charting AND doing my MANY OTHER duties as a nurse. This is too much to expect of us.”
Administration does not like to hear the word ‘unsafe’ in the same sentence with patient, nurse or license.
There was a pause, an exchange of glances and some writing in a notebook.
Them: “Thank you for letting us know. We will look into this and get back to you”.
I walked away shaking my head.
Now, if you know me you would know I would NEVER- EVER say anything like this ( Not because I’m spineless but, because I have no dog in hospital fights). I am a contract employee and I work for my patients. I care about my patients and, as a nurse, I am bound by my nursing oath to advocate on their behalf.
The questions I posed to administration was not for me. The question I asked them was for the benefit and safety of the PATIENTS.
The patients… You know, the very people that hospitals get their billions of dollars from.
I can only hope they take this matter seriously.
Thank God I am off work tomorrow. I seriously need the break.
Quote of the Day
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” -Martin Luther King Jr.
What’s for Dinner?
I really think this Covid Pandemic is going to reveal how bureaucratic the hospital systems in the US are. After the dust has settled nurses need to get together as a country and demand better working conditions which include clinician ran institutions. There is a doctor who makes videos and supports nurses who completely supports this idea.
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