Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges!!

Some recent developments at my hospital has everyone in an uproar. The CEO decided that my hospital no longer needed security. The whole department was laid off. Now I know the CEO did not realize (or care) that security is mentioned throughout our ED SOPs or that we normally require their presence in the ER for violent or unruly patients. Basically, we were told that we were on our own - wait, no......the clinical staff was not told anything, we found out by one of the guards who had the heart to finish his last shift.

Some of the staff, doctors and nurses alike, started scouring our state's laws regarding carrying weapons in a hospital. Some decided that they were going to carry a piece of medical equipment that could double as a weapon. One called the police department and asked how to handle a future threatening situation and was told police would only come if we were already assaulted and would not respond to the threat of assault. Others (mainly nurses) are looking for other jobs. If things don't change, I'm quite sure that the CEO is not prepared for a mass exodus of nurses. No nurses means no one to care for patients which means the revenue that the CEO thought he was saving by firing security will be moot.

The other gem is the cut back on housekeeping. Last year, the hospital fired the housekeeping department and replaced them with contract employees. Now, the CEO cut back on the working hours of the contractors and told the nurses to clean the rooms. Now, working in the ER, we (sometimes) have a quick turnover of patients. The nurse or tech will perform a wipe down of the bed and areas touched by the patient and change the linens. This is typical in the ERs in my area. Now they want us to sweep, mop, take out the garbage, etc. We just had to shake our heads and sigh. Yeah, right....we have all the time in the world to do this. We rarely get to eat a lunch due to dealing with the amount of patients we have, when do they propose we do this? Will the CEO come down to the ER and clean rooms? Will the administrative staff come help us with watching a suicidal patient? Come help us deal with a drugged out violent meth patient?

There will be some bad mojo on the horizon for my wonderful, dysfunctional little ER family. Although I have vented and complained about my job, the one shining star has been the awesome people I work with on a daily basis. I guess we'll see what happens from here.......


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  2. Hmm, sounds like Vanderbilt! I mean seriously nurses cleaning? And I love how they tried to spin it saying it needed to be a "team effort". Ok, if it's such a team effort then hand that doc a broom & lets get to work! Ridiculous!

    1. I'd rather hand the broom to the administrators because they are the ones making these decisions. You know, team effort.
      The doctors that I work with try to help with patient care right along side the nurses. They get blankets or drinks or anything else that will help the patients if the nurses are being slammed.
      We should be able to do our respective jobs without tacking on other jobs in addition. We can't "do more with less" without sacrificing something - and that means patient's care.

    2. That's great about your docs, good for them!