Once again, work has taken me away from writing. I'm back and motivated now, more than ever, to bring to light the changes that are felt on the ground level from a nursing point of view.
The Finance Department and Executive Leadership at Little Trauma Center have put their noggins together and decided that it's time to become LEAN. OK, I understand that there's a recession and the current state of healthcare is forcing us in this direction. But it is really hard to explain this initiative to our staff (who by the way are killing themselves to deliver quality patient care) amidst the large spending going on --- making improvements to the existing hospital and planning the construction of a new building.
The Powers That Be at LTC wanted to make a quick hit with cost savings. Unfortunately, this resulted in floor nurses, who have been frequently sent home due to low census, either losing a job or being "redistributed" to another hospital in the Big Hospital System.
Despite being the "money maker" of the hospital, we have felt the impact of this unwelcome earthquake of belt-tightening. The Powers tell OR Leadership to look at overtime hours - including mine! It's funny because there is so much we need to accomplish and they want me to do it within the constraints of an 8 hour day, 5 days a week. Ummm... Right.
We are also terribly short-staffed due to normal attrition, vacations, and FMLA. Nurses and techs can't help it but work an excessive amount of overtime. Would it be completely unreasonable to request that our executive leadership walk through the halls of our OR so that they can see that there is no such thing as a unproductive moment in surgery?
What happens when administration imposes limitations on staffing, overtime, supplies, etc., dances dangerously close to negatively impacting the quality of care we provide our patients. The thought scares this nurse enough that I am trying to stay as healthy as possible so that I don't have to be a patient! Now that's something to think about...