Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bad nurse! No breaks for you!

Here we are the 2nd week of March and already my NY's resolution is being challenged.. by my bosses!!!

As you remember my resolution was to make a real effort to take my lunch breaks or at least take time to leave the floor for a quick walk outside..get a mental break. Well I have been making great progress with the mini walks, I have only managed one 30 minute break. That was a great break, I even left the hospital for a trip to the store for something to eat..What a treat!!

Now a challenge has arrived to my resolution in the form of patient and administration temper tantrums. Our patient loads have really increased this year. The ski season has been great so we have been inundated with skiers and snowboards that went from riding their boards to strapped to one of mine. Also with the flu season in full swing and the flu vaccine only covering 40% of the strains out there we have been wall to wall patients. On most nights it has not been unusual to have every room full, all the fast track rooms full and resorting to parking gurneys in the halls wherever we can find a spot and taping a number above their heads. And nurses are being begged to stay overtime, night after night.

With this much influx of patients and no change in the staff levels to cope it only makes sense that the wait time for the non serious patients, ie cold symptoms, ear aches, headaches, and all other ridiculous reasons people feel to come to the ER at 2am has gone up along with the gripping about the wait. The nurses are moving, and so is the Dr and PA-C. But the patients in the waitroom don't see this. They just see the clock ticking by and are still sitting there. It is worse when we have Gold Card Members (patients who come to the ER once a week for "are you kidding " reason) who are use to being seen within 20 minutes.

As expected the complaints to the administration has gone up. So after much analysis by these suits, who have never worked the floor as a nurse, they have decided to lay the blame for treatment delay on the nurses. Yep they decided that the nurses breaks are causing a delay in care!!

So effective immediately nurses are suppose to delay their breaks until the waiting rooms are empty. Hmmm do I hear labor law violations? Union contract violations? Human rights violations? (I have a right to pee when I need to you know!!)

As you can imagine this has not gone over very well. As I have said before.. pissing off nurses is not a smart idea.. we have such creative ways of getting even.. so that being said let the games begin!! We'll see how long this new rule lasts!

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