Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back in Action

On my 3-night stretches at work, it seems all I get done is work and sleep, work and sleep, much to Tandi's dismay. This week was so horrendously busy, I didn't even get to check Google Reader during the usual "quiet" hours of 2-4am. As a result, I had over 130 posts to peruse! You folks have been really chatty the last few days! So I'm trying hard to catch up, leave comments to let you know that yes, I'm still interested in what you do, and get ready to participate in Judy Laquidara's Quiltathon this weekend.

I need the therapy of fabric after the last few days. There has been a serious situation at work this week that may really change our workplace. No patient was harmed, but there was an inadvertent privacy violation involving a patient whose spouse is a physician and whose daughter works with the HIPPA folks--you know, the folks responsible for those privacy forms you have to fill out every time you go to a different physician or hospital or clinic, etc.

It was an innocent mistake; said daughter called to find out where her parent was, as no one was answering the phone in the room. The nurse told her the parent was downstairs having a procedure done. However, it was a chaotic day, they were short-handed as usual, and the nurse didn't stop to verify the daughter's identity. Said daughter was furious. She and her physician parent went to the HIPPA people as well as our administrator, and there was a big pow-wow. The gist of it is, the HIPPA people will probably be at the hospital door on Monday morning, and our unit manager might lose her job.

I know the nurse who made the mistake; she's a terrific gal and just got back from 6 weeks sick leave. I'm sure she was feeling overwhelmed and just didn't think. I also have a sneaking suspicion this was a set-up by the patient's daughter, as the family had not arranged a password, and all but one of them is involved in the medical field in some way, so they are aware of the advisability of setting up a password.

As for our unit manager, well, I believe she is just the sacrificial lamb. The-Powers-That-Be-Idiots have been riding her about budget, and we have been working terribly short the last few weeks. I've been put on call one of my shifts each week for the last 3 weeks--that's a 24-hr shortage, or one-third of my paycheck gone. My manager has worked until 7 or 8pm, then been back by 4am to help out--and has come in herself, rather than let someone come back in on overtime. She paid for our competency blitz at the lodge out of her own bonus. She's a terrific advocate of both her patients and her staff.

I think they've been looking for ways to get rid of her.

In all the years I've been a nurse (and that is 37 and counting, my friends) I have seen this over and over again. You get a good manager who really cares about his/her patients and his/her staff, works hard to promote quality care, education and team building, and Upper (mis)Management boots them out, because she doesn't play their games. The crappy managers cut corners, play the short staffing game, inspire rapid turnover, and hire any warm body to fill the holes, regardless of experience or qualifications. Morale plummets, and patient care suffers, but Upper (mis)Management loves these brown-nosers.

It's never going to change.

So I do my 12 hours the best I can, keep my head down, make waves only when I am too riled up to overlook things, don't volunteer for anything, and count the years to my retirement.

In the meantime, I kiss my husband, love my daughter long distance, hug that four-legged furbaby who is overjoyed to see me every morning, and soothe myself with little sharp objects that go in and out of colorful fabrics.


MightyMom said...

well, could be worse...we're gonna be sued due to a perfectly healthy person up and dying on us. Thank the Lord I was gone!

BUT I have to say that I love working for a large non-profit company we're a small hospital that's growing and patient satisfaction is the number 1 goal of the floor. They send out surveys to every patient post discharge and those results form the basis of the floor's eval. And they're listening to how to up the satisfaction. meaning we've been promised a phlebotomist
starting in Jan!

Pat said...

Sorry *things* have gotten worse at work :(

Keep sewing and enjoying your creative outlet :)

Jean said...

It must be hard to work at a hospital anyway and then to have someone associated with it take advantage of a slip like that, it is really discouraging. I understand that she should have made sure the person was a family member, but did the daughter even try to call back and settle it with the person who made the mistake? Seems like that would be the thing to do first. Maybe if she had been calling repeatedly, they knew her voice.

It is too bad that work has to cut into sewing time! I am looking forward to sewing too this weekend, and joining the quiltathon.

Libby said...

I just don't understand people very much any more . . . seems like it's all about the 'gotcha' rather than helping a person overcome an innocent mistake - after all we are human. I sure count myself lucky to not have to be in the workforce in today's conditions.

gardenymph said...

I'm sorry that it has been rough at work lately. I don't understand how some people can sleep after doing something that causes someone else to loose their job.
I hope that things get better for you soon.

Catherine said...

I can't believe the way the workplace is run these days -- and it seems to be just about any workplace! Playing those kinds of silly games is so counter-productive.
Glad you have the creative outlet -- I swear quilting or knitting or whatever is therapeutic.

Perry said...

Well said. I hate the way politics keep the good people beat down and the idiots put in charge. I am not even sure that democracy is the reason, lol. I think it is more human traits of jealousy because someone can do something better than they can. Keep your chin up, and count the days. Hugs to you!!

SueR said...

Kind of a sad commentary on the Institution. Is business the first priority? Hope you're getting lots done on your sewing weekend.

Exuberant Color said...

Customer and Patient satisfaction seems to have gone by the wayside while the almight dollar gets all of the attention. It's a sad situation.

audreypawdrey said...

I am so sorry that work is not a pleasant place to be! It really stinks that someone would take advantage of a situation like that, and I feel so bad for the girl who just made an innocent mistake! I hope you are able to get a lot of sewing done and relax for a couple of days!