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.